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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 20th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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Zoom H4N is HUGE!

Just got an H4N. I know I'll love it, but the first thing I've noticed is its size. I am hoping to primarily use it for the groom. Just curious - if you have an H4N, how do you place it for a lapel mic on the groom or officiate? Seems like back pocket over the shoulder might be best, assuming he doesn't have to sit any. Seems like if it were in the jacket breast pocket it would be really bulky and may show up in photos/video.

Just a side question, but could anyone compare its preamps with a Marantz pmd660? There may be other times I would use the H4N to plug into the sound system, and just curious how it would perform. Trust me, that wouldn't be my main source of audio, but is definitely a back-up I use on occasion!
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Old July 20th, 2011, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

I'm happy you like your new zoom, you will certainly get lots of good use out of it.

I would not put a bulky unit like the Zoom in a groom's pocket, unless it was an emergency. Grooms here are wearing more tailored jackets, more form fitting than they used to, and even my wirless unit seems bulky oftentimes. I would suggest you go with a wireless unit or smaller recorder.

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Old July 20th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #3
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

the Zoom H1 would be a better choice for what you want to do, smaller and lighter
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Old July 20th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #4
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

Agree, I use the H4N for some things but I wouldn't think about putting it on a groom. I use a H1 for any on groom mic placement if I'm not doing wireless.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:07 PM   #5
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

Agree. H4N is definately a mid-size field recorder. Not for pocket. I use either a Sennheiser G2 tranmitter, or iRiver on groom/officiant. I use the H4N either for capturing live music via the mics (eg: string quartet), or for taking a feed off a sound board or PA system, via the bottom input jacks.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #6
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

I'm trying to find a smaller recorder online with an XLR input. Anything out there along these lines? I've already got a Zoom H2, and I've tried using an XLR-to-3.5mm adapter, but haven't been pleased with the results.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #7
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

Why are you not using a wireless? No sync issues, etc. Much simpler. The Sennheiser G3 comes with an XLR plug, I think, and I know the newest Sony has one, cause one came with mine.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:53 PM   #8
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

I already have a G3 but wanted a good backup (can't throw down the cash for another G3 yet), so the answer may be to wait until I can.

I guess when it comes down to it, I'm just looking for a pocket-sized recorder/mic where the signal-to-ratio isn't that bad. Under $500.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 07:17 AM   #9
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

Funny, I just recieved my H4n today, and compared to the H4 I've had on extended loan I though it was small!

I agree with others that the H1 is the best option for placing on a subject. Apart from the bulkiness, If you put the H4n on the groom with a single lav mic then you are pretty much throwing away one recording channel/input that could be used for something else.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 02:57 PM   #10
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

I put my G2 (transmitted to my H4N) on the groom so that I can monitor his vows and boost it if I need to when the bride speaks. I have a H1 on the officiant which I can't monitor but I set the audio to AUTO. I invested in a Countryman mics and will never go back to cheap mics again. I also have a cheap cell phone leather case to hold my H1 because the officiant might be a woman in a dress. I have a second cell phone holder with a H1 clipped to the stand where the band plays too for the ceremony. I have another H1 and lapel mic for where the guest to the Readings.

Side note: I took the advice from another wedding filmmaker and mic up anyone who is doing speeches. It makes a difference.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 04:25 PM   #11
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Re: Zoom H4N is HUGE!

Just have a question about either of these mics: Do they have built-in attentuators. I film some live music stuff with the 5D and a Videomic/Rode Stereo Mic on top. Problem is, unlike my xh-a1s, the 5D doesn't limit the top of the noise for me so besides setting the mic setting to "manual" and a low sensitivity setting, there's nothing else I can do to limit audio peaks and valleys all over the place. I'd like to know if the Zooms can settle that for me.

Also, I hit record/stop all night so something that doesn't send audio right into the 5D won't really cut it for me.

Thanks!
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