How to use Edirol R-4 and Zoom H-4 with a soundboard? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:06 AM   #1
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How to use Edirol R-4 and Zoom H-4 with a soundboard?

I’m a wedding videographer and I have this old 8 channel Peavey mixer (Model: Unity Series 1002-8 RQ). I bought it years ago along with some VHF wireless mics all cased in a half height roll around rack. I use the thing like once maybe twice but soon learned that I didn’t have any clue what I was doing and had soon ended up leaving it the rack and mixer at home, and just plugging the receivers to 12 volt battery power since they used a AC to DC converter any ways.

Well, that was about 6 years ago, and I still don’t know much more abut audio now then I did then when I bought all of this audio gear. Since however, I have done away with the VHF semi-portable receivers and now use 3 sets of the Sennheiser EW100 series G2 wireless mics and receivers. But, the 8-channel stereo mixing board has remained at home, as I have just been using the wireless Sennheiser’s with my VX2100 via a mini 3 input mixer at the camera (Azden 3-cam mixer). I’ll put one mic on the groom, 1 mic on the officiant, and try to connect the 3rd wireless up the churches or DJ’s soundboard.

So that’s my history, let me get to the point of my post. I have recently purchased the Edirol R-4. It’s a 4-channel Portable recorder. I’ve also recently purchased the Zoom H-4. So, in all actuality, I can now record 6 individual and independent tracks of audio. My end goal is to have the option of mastering the ceremony and reception audio to 5.1 surround sound.

While playing with the R-4 and H-4 I realized I’m going to need a place lay all of this stuff. It’s a little too much to hang it all on the tripod, besides that’s part of the reason I’m going this route, I want to get everything off the tripod except the camera, and I want to set up my audio and walk away from it and concentrate strictly on capturing video.

So I thought maybe I’d finally put that half height roll-around rack to use. I could remove the mixing board from it and just use it as a portable table top to set the R-4, and accessories on. Then it hit me, why not leave the mixing board in the rack and use it in conjunction with the R-4 and Zoom H4! The problem is however, I really don’t know much about soundboards. I have the manual so I know what the specs are. I think I still want the groom and officiates wireless to be connected directly to the R-4 via 2 separate channels, then I’m trying to figure out the best way to use the mixer to output 2 additional mono tracks to the R-4 and 2 more mono tracks to the H4.

Now this mixing board has The Main L/R Unbalanced 1/4 “ phone jacks which I could use as 2 mono channels I suppose. The board also has a Monitor output which uses the 1/4“ unbalance Phone output, along with an Aux Send which is a 1/4 “ unbalanced TRS output. Does this mean that the Aux Send is a Stereo output? If I used this output, would I not have to have a 1/4 “ TSR to "Y" cable with 2 separate XLR inputs or 1/4" phone jacks? The board also has a Tape out, along with a stereo headphone jack of course.

So, I guess my real question is how can I use this mixer along with the Edirol R-4 and Zoom H4 to the best of my advantage without jeopardizing the reason for purchasing the 4-channel recorder and Zoom H4 in the first place?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Ron Priest; June 22nd, 2007 at 01:28 PM.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 12:45 PM   #2
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You probably don't want to hear this but... remember the K.I.S.S. rule?

IMO, this is simply overkill for a wedding - unless you're doing high caliber weddings and command a high billing. It's just too much to have to set-up and keep track of under pressure. I like to keep it simple.

At most, I would ditch the Mixer all together and use the R-4 with a LANC cable connected to your camera - this way the R-4 Starts/Stops recording every time you start and stop the camera automatically. With that 40GB drive, I'd probably just let tapes run straight with minimal stopping to avoid syncing in post as much as possible.

So, feed all mics into the R-4 and down mix two channels out of the R-4 into the camera (this way you'll have two channels perfectly synced on tape).

In post, Import the R-4's WAV files and Sync 'em up. If you want to go crazy in post with 5.1, you can fake it in a few apps and have total control, but most of your clients aren't really going to care about 5.1 and the effort you put into it.

Hope this helps,
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 03:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Cochran View Post
IMO, this is simply overkill for a wedding - unless you're doing high caliber weddings and command a high billing. It's just too much to have to set-up and keep track of under pressure. I like to keep it simple.
Yep your probably right, in most cases it would be overkill for a wedding. However, there are those occasional ceremonies where a feed from the venues soundboard is not available and their speakers are mounted on the celing. Kind of hard to place a mic in front of them to capture everything else that I don't have miked. So, figured I could find a good use for my mixer, especially since I would have the portable rack there to house everything anyway.

Then, there are the receptions with live sound that would be nice to capture with multiple mics.

As far as hooking the R-4 up to my camera, in most cases the camera is not going to be that close to the R-4, besides, if I have to swap out a DV tape in the middle of the wedding, I don't want my audio to stop.
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