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Old December 4th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #46
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Zoom H4

well, damn, I MUST be doing something wrong, because I just have not been able to make this thing beep or whine.....I appreciate the last posting...I went to the thread and did some reading.....apparerently people are getting this problem when running on Batts....so I ran my previous tests again...this time on battery power, and I still cannot hear any beeps or whines....how far down into the noise floor is this beep?? I have ambience peaking at about-30 and I cant hear anything but room tone, and I have my powered speakers totally cranked...I tested at all wave resolutions and cant hear any beeps or whines......any hot tips on how I can make this thing screw up?? Is virtually EVERYONE getting this flaw???
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Old December 4th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #47
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Interesting thread over at soundonsound. It addresses the beeps starting about 2 posts from the bottom of page two, and most of page 3.

My favorite quote: 'I believe it is just as valid a use of the H4 to "record butterfly wings flapping at 100 paces" as it is to record a spotty wanker flapping an electric guitar at 6 inches...'

The point in that section of the thread was that some users will run into the beeps and some won't, depending on what they're recording.

There is speculation about whether some SD cards are implicated, and some not, and apparent confirmation that people have the problem on battery power, not ac, and some are going to alternate DC sources for a fix. Reports of no beeps at 24/96, and users will record in 24/96 when recording soft stuff, which makes sense anyways, but shorter record times.

Steve, are you using just AA batts? Did you do a power system for your new audio bag? Me, I'm using my favorite cheap-o AAs from Costco. As I think about it, I'd probably already run a couple hours by the time I tested, which could make a difference too.

Lots of the other discussion at soundonsound revolved around whether the h4 was worth the money, even with the "extra" content added. I say yes, I'm keeping mine. (and will use AC power or 24/96 when it matters, and hope that the problem is addressed in future software upgrades.)

There is a whole zoom forum at http://www.2090.org/zoom/bbs/viewforum.php?f=15

For the record:
Tested with internal mics.
Cheap AA batts.
Kingston 2gb SD cards (a not-bad brand...)
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Old December 4th, 2006, 07:32 PM   #48
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Zoom H4

Seth....
I did my first test on AC, second set of tests this evening on Battery after reading the SOS thread, just RayO Vac AA's, which is what I usually use, purchased at Target....I get 4 hours out of them, just as claimed....I also went back and played with the gain selector, testing first at low, then mid, then high gain...I have NOT done the benchmarks with external microphones as yet(my audio kit being down in NYC at the moment), but that will be my next test.... am wondering if a flaw in fabrication might account for some folks getting this and others not...in such a small device , tolerances must be exact....a screw up in a suppliers line might create such an inconsistency...OR, I just havent hit the right button yet, and so have not gotten the beep/whine...
AS for an alternate power source in the field IF I do find this problem: I do have lots of NMH-50's...I could get another NP1 cup, but would then need to kick down the voltage to somewhere near the 9V the Zoom likes...I am sure I could cook it at the 14.9 V a freshly charged NMH-50 puts out...
The SD Card I tested on was a 1 GB SanDisk...I have not tested on my 2GB Transcend yet, tho when I first got it I recorded a bunch of out door ambiences ON IT and hear nothing unusuaL......at this point I am going to keep mine as well, since I have yet to find an actual problem (knock on wood)I will be keeping an ear open to see what developes and what Zoom has to say about it......
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Old December 5th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #49
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Just coming back to the SOS thread and just in case you missed it, someone did post a recording of the noise at the bottom of page 2. Again, I'm not sure it's such a major issue as it only appears at maximum gain and the noise from the pre-amps is at around the same level anyway.

C
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Old December 5th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #50
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Zoom H4

I went ahead and downloaded the files posted on SOS...I have to say that platyng them on WMP with my soundcard full blast and my speakers all the way up I could not hear anything...SOOOOOO....
loaded them in Vegas and NORMALIZED the tracks...still couldnt haer anything but a bit of constant hiss...so THEN I cranked op the master bus to max AND the channel volume envelope to Max .......AT that POINT i COULD just HEAR A regulaR , , intermittent sort of hiss/pulse...it also appeared on the master bus meters....it was quite difficult to discern from the hiss, but I could just make it out......I dunno, is this REALLY a problem???? I had to take pretty extraordinary measures to just barely hear it.......I am not surprised that I could not detect it on my unit with a room ambience/noise floor of -30.....the original wave form could not even be SEEN on the Vegas time line...just straight lines.....

" I buried paul......I buried paul.....I buried paul............."
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Old December 5th, 2006, 11:29 AM   #51
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I thought it was "Paul is dead... Paul is dead... Paul is dead..."!!!

Per my post above in which I detailed my test procedures, I was able to hear this at normal recording and monitoring levels, but by the time I hit these tests I had at least two hours on AA batteries, which may have been a factor according to various posts on other forums (see links above).

I'd send or post these recordings... but I'm going nutz getting ready to travel with the darn thing Friday. Maybe there will be time Thursday.

Here is the text of a semi-helpful response from Samson tech support:

"There is a pulse very close the noise floor of the H4. To eliminate this pulse, use the AC adapter that is supplied with the H4.

Thank You,
..."
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Old December 6th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #52
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More tech support messages, this one from Zoom in Japan, the actual manufacturer:

First of all, please accept our apologies for the inconvenience. We have figured out that the noise problem is caused by the analog circuit board layout. So, it's not possible to solve by updating the system software. Please be advised further explanations below. 1. S/N ratio of the ZOOM H4 (110dB) is superior to one of the competitor, EDIROL R-09. 2. Noise was available because battery does not apply enough to load change. So noise is disappeared when you use a supplied AC adaptor. 3. Also noise level depends on a SD memory brand, because power consumption is different.

We would appreciate your kind understanding and continuous use of the unit. However in case you are not satisfied, please contact the store where you purchased the product.

Sincerely,
ZOOM Corporation.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #53
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This post has been deleted.

Last edited by Michael Rowe; December 7th, 2006 at 06:09 PM. Reason: OT
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Old December 9th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #54
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Zoom...H4...

Maybe I am running the right type of SD card...I did my previous tests on SanDisk 1 GB card...I will run additional tests on the Transcend 150X 2 GB card and will post results...would be great if other users test and post their rfesults as well so we can parse which type of card is best....
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #55
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Just got it. The 128mb card didn't work, but a replacement 2gb SD card from Ativa seems okay.

The Cubase software is daunting. I finally figured if I opened a new project, I could import a stereo 48khz 16 bit WAV file. I can time stretch it if needed to sync with camcorder footage.

But what I haven't figured out is how I can I combine two channels of a stereo recording into 1 mono track?

Or can I blend two independent channels into a stereo track? I think this is called panning. In other words, if the left channel was voice and the right channel was music, I would want the voice track mixed 70% left 30% right, and the music track mixed 70% right and 30% left. Can the Cubase software suite do this?
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #56
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Duplicate post with typos <g>
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Last edited by Steve House; December 14th, 2006 at 04:54 PM.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:55 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Roper
Just got it. The 128mb card didn't work, but a replacement 2gb SD card from Ativa seems okay.

The Cubase software is daunting. I finally figured if I opened a new project, I could import a stereo 48khz 16 bit WAV file. I can time stretch it if needed to sync with camcorder footage.

But what I haven't figured out is how I can I combine two channels of a stereo recording into 1 mono track?

Or can I blend two independent channels into a stereo track? I think this is called panning. In other words, if the left channel was voice and the right channel was music, I would want the voice track mixed 70% left 30% right, and the music track mixed 70% right and 30% left. Can the Cubase software suite do this?
I don't use Cubase but I think it works like most other DAWs such as Vegas, Audition, or Nuendo. Set the pan for each track to centre. Use the channel mixers to adjust levels of each across the timeline. Bringing up the music when the voice is silent and drop it 3dB or so during speeches. If you set the pan's offset like the 70/30 ratio you indicated that will offset the voice to the left and the music to the right in the stereo field which is often disconcerting. IMHO narration and music should be centred. If the music still interferes with understanding the voice after adjusting levels, use the equalizer gently to make a hole in the vocal frequency ranges in the music during speech. If the music is stereo send the music left channel hard left, the music right channel hard right - that's done with by panning each channel separately if the music is recorded as two mono tracks or panning centre if it's recorded as a single stereo track. Set the narration centred equally between left and right.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #58
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Incredible advice! Thank you Steve!
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Leone View Post
wow, I stand corrected!!.....you are quite right, TRS will send line in, the XLR will be mic level....I used XLR out of my mixer sending line out to TRS into the H-4 and the line in is perfect...thanx for the hot tip....all you need is a pair if TRS cables or adapters and youre all set..... I am all the more impressed by this thing now that I know you can send line into it.
Thanx for the hot tip!!....next time I'll have to try reading the user manual.....
These TRS cables your speaking of, are you talking about a balanced 1/4" male stereo plug (3 conductor) or just a standard 1/4" (2 conductor) instrument plug?

I can't seem to find any RCA males to TRS cables anywhere.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:11 PM   #60
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re H4

TRS are stereo males
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