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Old November 11th, 2006, 09:29 PM   #31
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I love the symbol for phantom power, in p79 of the manual.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 06:28 AM   #32
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Zoom H4 for Documentary films

Thanks Ron and Steve.

I was initially looking for a USB interface with phantom power for recording documentary voice-overs into my computer, but then it occurred to me that with a device such as the Zoom H4 and a lapel mic, I could also get away with a less expensive camera such as the Sony FX1 instead of a Z1, if I could feed the line output into the camera's mic input during interviews (essentially just to sync the audio later).

The thought of having the whole interview on another medium is also useful when you need to move the camera during the interview, not to mention that having access to the audio of the interview immediately on a laptop without having to digitize the video tape is also very handy for transcribing in the field, not to mention that it's multi track function is handy for getting a translating in the field as well.

I've found that in documentary films, having a more expensive camera like a Z1, is really only necessary for its xlr inputs for interviews and that for the most part I don't use all the other image-tweaking functions.

The Zoom H4 would also give the added advantage of being able to capture ambient sound with its built-in stereo mics without having to handle the camera or use video tape, which is a real advantage when you are working alone... all this for the price of a USB interface.

live and learn

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Old November 19th, 2006, 05:47 PM   #33
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Zoom H4

Anyone hear about the possibility of using Transcend 4 GB SD cards with the H4???
My Transcend 2 GB 150X card works perfectly, but I hard a rumour that the device can use the 4 GB cards as well.......
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Old November 19th, 2006, 06:36 PM   #34
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Zoom H4

I did find THIS comment:
"with 2GB SD cards at $35-40 right now and 4GB cards, which it can use BTW, at $75-80"
here:
http://www.taropatch.net/forum/topic...79&whichpage=2

anyone have any more info about using 4GB cards with the H4??
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Old November 20th, 2006, 11:29 AM   #35
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Zoom H4 w/4GB cards

Steve,

There's a good thread over at taperssection with lots of folks talking about their success using Transcend 4GB SD cards with their H4's: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=68423.165

From what I've read one must first format a 4GB card before use in the Zoom, but aside from that you should be all set.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #36
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Zoom H4

Thanx for the info...the Zoom thread is here, for those who wanna take a peek...you will need to reister to use the board:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...0&goto=newpost

Yes, it seems that the Transcend 4 GB 150X card will work, as long as you format the card in your PC, and NOT in the Zoom...the Zoom wont format a card larger than 2 GB...also, the Zoom wont play back files bigger than 2 GB, but it will record until the card is full, and display the correct time remaining on the card....at least until the software is upgraded, which I hope will be soon....guess I am going to order a 4 GB card and see how it works.....so far, I am having very good results with this thing...
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Old November 20th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #37
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Zoom H4

sorry, THIS is the actual link for the thread I was referring to:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=68423.0;all
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Old December 1st, 2006, 08:49 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum
When you use the H4 without a mixer, in stereo mode, can you adjust the manual recording volume while recording? (the menu settings from 0-127, not the H-M-L switch). Or, is this a menu operation in which you must stop recording to adjust.
To answer my own question, yes, you can adjust the record level during recording.

However, you'd better be using external mics, not those that are built in, because any handling at all is picked up quite well by the internal mics.

Yes, I purchased an H4 this afternoon for a job next week, and a quick trip to frys for 2 2gb sd cards and I am VERY impressed with the value of this little box.

Thanks everyone for the detail of your experience on the H4.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 10:21 AM   #39
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Zoom H4

Seth;
what sort of job are you doing with the Zoom?? I am curious, since there was a big debate on another thread/s regarding maintaining audio synch when recording audio on an external device for use in post with video.
I have not had a chance to test this with my camera set-up, and would be interested in any experience other users have had....
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 12:24 PM   #40
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Steve, I'm going to be touring up the west coast with these people
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S45OJnQp6mI as they present the Whirling Dervish ceremony in SF, Berkeley, Ashland, Eugene, Seattle, and finally, Portland, where we will do a 3-cam shoot with HD100s and 24-track audio (yes, Burk is on that shoot).

This is the year-long doc project I might have mentioned to you.

I purchased the h4 for general wild sound at events. In the past, I've used my HHB MDP-500, a truely outstanding minidisc recorder with great preamps & etc. However, the h4 offers the possibility of throwing it in the camera case and pulling it out as needed, careful one-handed operation for pickup audio-only interviews, fast transfers into the computer (the MD is real-time transfer only), and built-in x-y mics (I've been using Oktava MC-012 in ORTF... but still can do that too with the h4).

I'm going to miss those HHB preamps though.

I've synched hour-long takes from MD and DV, Vegas is the best NLE when it comes to fine-sync, as it will go sub-frame, down to sample level. Mostly, I've done it wild, using reference cam audio. I've also had good results with unsynched sound devices 744-T and two Z1s, using time-of-day code for rough synch and reference audio for fine synch. No, that wasn't my 744-T... what a sweet recorder!

I'm hopeful that the h4 timebase is as good... but I haven't tested it yet.

However, I already have buyer's remorse after less than 24 hours of ownership. Benchmarking has shown very low-level beeps being recorded in all modes (system 1.1, hopefully the next system upgrade fixes this)... And, the dealer where I purchased has the Edirol R-4 and R-4 pro, they also offer a great upgrade of all 4 mic preamps for $250!

Even with all this, I think the h4 will serve for all kinds of run and gun, adds significantly to capability without adding much to the load, incredible function for the price, etc.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 12:51 PM   #41
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zoom h4

Yeah, I have heard of folks getting those beeps....I have not heard them; how did you do your benchmarks??? I was also doing the XY thing with Oktava MK012s....
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 01:47 AM   #42
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Steve, as I think about it I need to do more testing. I was listening to record and playback from the line output and into my monitor mix system, which is a Mackie 1202 and Genelec 1029/1091 monitors.

I established a recording level from a tv, which was recorded acoustically with the built-in mics, peaking about -6db. Then I turned the TV off, leaving a fairly quiet room, recording at the same level. On playback, I set the monitoring level to a reasonable gain for the tv sound. I could hear the beeps easily in the quiet sections, they were totally masked by the tv sound.

I tested in all recording modes, the frequency of the beeps was different for 16 bit than 24 bit.

What I haven't done is turn off the limiter, which I later realized was on for all the tests, I haven't tested from the external inputs, and I haven't pulled the recorded file into an audio editor for playback. When I pull the files into the editor I'll see how much a narrow notch filter might do... because the beeps might well be simple sine waves. More testing tomorrow.

This would only be of issue in quiet locations, as it is masked by a fairly low level of sound... I guess I need to test that too, figure out how much it takes to mask it.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 09:23 AM   #43
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Zoom H4

I ran some benchmarks last night....I do not have Genelecs, but had to make do with my little M-Audio powered monitors fed by my computer....my tests were only for 44/16 and all the mp3 modes...I wil do the rest of the waves next week when I get my other 24/96 interface back, but in the meantime:
I tested my voice peaking at about -8, more or less...the H4 was set up FIRST with compressor on, auto gain on, and mic modeler set to U87...
I used the built-in XY mics for these tests....
...I wanted to make the test as noisy as possible with tons of ambience from a dead quite room...the ambience was peaking at about -28 and plenty loud enought to hear quite clearly....I monitored playback at full volume, way louder than normal for me....
In my tests I heard NO beeping at all....

I DID hear what I believe are digital artifacts resulting from the Zoom chip trying to compress the continuous background ambience of a dead quite room(speculation). At higer rates the ambience sounded just like hiss(white noise??)
The Artifacting occured at:
MP3 - VBR
and all MP3 rates 64 KBPS and lower
I could not detect this artifacting at 128 or higher AT ALL, with background ambience sounding like undistorted hiss.

The artifact sounded like white noise put thru a flanger and was pretty apparent. I also just barely detected some warbling, constant with some fluctuation in tonality buried in the flanging hiss. My playback loudness was set to 100%, on both the computer and the speakers...LOUD.

I ran a second battery of tests set up like this:
level set ALL the way up
auto gain off
modeler off
limiter and comp off
My voice peaking at about -8
at this setting the ambience of a dead quite room did not get a rise at all on the meter.
Playback was pristine at all rates EXCEPT 64 and lower, which demonstrated some warbling of my voice, typical of recording at very low rates...sounding like your typical streaming IP audio.....there was litte to no discernible background noise even cranked all the way up.....I ran this test at 44/16 and all the MP3 rates...again, I can not test 96/24 at this time, but tested all the other rates.
I DID power the device with the a/c adapter during these tests.
Oh, I did flash upgrade the Zoom os to 1.10 before running these tests...
No doubt your Genelecs are a much higher resolution than my M-Audio monitors, with way more power....
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #44
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Zoom H4

OK, just so I could get a quick listen, I just plugged the output Of the Zoom right into my M-audio powered speaker to check playback of all of the Wave 's...I did not get any beeps on playback..this is how I tested:
44/16
48/16
96/16
96/24

First batch of tests :
my voice at -8 peaks with dead quiet room ambience
comp on, auto gain on, U87 modeler on

second baTCH:
my voice at -8 peaks with dead quiet room ambience
comp off, limiter off, auto gain off, modeler off
manual Levels set to MAX

I never heard any beeping, with volume set loud enuf to wake my dead grannie......
only noise I have gotten so far was the artifacting I mentioned in my previous posting....FWIW...still want to run a synch test with my camera....
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Old December 4th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #45
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Hi Guys.

There is much talk of the beeping issue in this forum thread:
http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/sh...ound - Zoom H4

You'll need some patience as it (the thread) gets a bit out of hand for a time but I can summarise...

The concensus is that the beeps occur only when using batteries and at all sample rates except for 24/96 - It may still occur at this setting but no-one can hear it. The beeps apparently coincide with the blinking of the Access LED while in record and Zoom have apparently acknowledged this as a minor fault but no word yet of a fix.

I don't own one (yet) so can't attest to any of this but it appears most users are reporting the problem, though to those recording mostly loud sources (music etc.) it doesn't really present a problem. I also felt when listening to someone's audio files of 'silence' that the beeps were at a level low enough that the pre-amp noise was almost as much of a problem.

So recording at 24/96 or using a power supply/external battery pack could resolve the problem and judging by the widespread reaction I would like to think Zoom will act accordingly and find a fix for this soon.

Regards

Colin
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