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Old August 10th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #1
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Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

Originally posted this in the "members only' by accident, so sorry for the double post, but hoping to get some feedback:

For those of you using a Zoom or similar to mic someone...do you leave the "Auto Level" on, or do you set a level?

I find it is virtually impossible to get a proper audio test to set a level...no one EVER talks at the same level they are going to during the ceremony...and I absolutely HATE the auto adjust that comes with the natural fluctuation of voice.

Just curious what you do? Normally we use a mic / transmitter, but we have had a few occasions where we've used the Zoom with a lav, and this is just what I've noticed.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

Hi Katie

I only use mic/transmitter combos so adjusting levels can be done on the fly..I think with a non-accessible recorder away from you, the only real option is auto...yes, it does raise the background level a bit during quiet times but sometimes emotion takes hold and the bride is suddenly down to a whisper...I think I would rather have a little extra gain noise and a decent signal rather than an almost flat line on the NLE's audio track cos the voices were so low.

I have always thought about using a zoom for backup but the fact that I cannot adjust or monitor the audio does scare me so I put up with having to maybe adjust frequencies to avoid interference rather than not have any control.

I would have thought by now a wireless remote for a DVR would be around so you could at least lift levels if needed but as it's in the groom's pocket, it couldn't be infra-red!!

Chris
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Old August 10th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

I use a portable Yamaha recorder as a backup and the recording level is set to auto. It does a great job as back up recorder and has saved me a couple of times when the wireless recorders have occasionally had interference .
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Old August 10th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

I am very happy with auto using the zoom, no complaints, works like a charm, I love it. Very clean sound, love my zoom.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

I use my zoom H1 for musical part of the ceremony and I place it 1-2 meters in front of them using a mic stand. I used to have it on auto but it did not lower the gain quick enough so the first tones were distorted. Now I set it manually on 35-40 with much better resaults. It is better have a recording, lets say -12 dB, instead clipping above 0 dB. I have raised the volume up to 20 dB during editing without audiable noise.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

Ever since I went to H1's on the groom and officiant I've been a happy camper. Wireless are Big Trouble and are never as good as the sound that you get from the H1.

I've set the audio to AUTO before and got distorted sound for the first second every time the speaker stopped and started talking again. I'll never use AUTO again.

I set my audio levels on the Officiants h1 to 55 and the Grooms to 60 level and it's perfect.

Here is a video with the those exact settings. No feedback or wireless crap noise!!

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Old August 16th, 2012, 12:30 AM   #7
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

When using manual volume settings, the correct level is going to vary depending on the mic you use.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 03:10 AM   #8
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

Kelly, the audio sounds great, what lapel mics are you using?

Steve
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Old August 16th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

I have to say, the few times we have used the zoom with a lapel I have been really impressed with how great it sounds as well. Two worries that get me though...As Chris said, it's tough for me to not be able to monitor and adjust during the ceremony...but when it comes down to it, if there's something really wrong, what am I going to do about it?? Nothing.

The only other thing is that the mic jack doesn't screw in. I like that added safety of knowing if somehow they pull the cord too far, it's not going to pop out. Unlikely, but I'm sure it's happened!

Aside from using them with a lapel...for the cost and quality, I feel like the Zooms are such a huge asset to our kit.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

Katie, you can get lavs made up with the 3.5mm jack being the L shaped kind so its far less likely to get pulled out. This also gives a slightly narrower side to side profile as the jack and wire do not protrude so far from the body of the recorder, making it easier to hide in clothing. I had three cheapo ones made up by Giant Squid and they are fine for wedding purposes.

Pete

Last edited by Peter Riding; August 17th, 2012 at 04:49 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 10:19 AM   #11
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asvaldur Kristjansson View Post
I use my zoom H1 for musical part of the ceremony and I place it 1-2 meters in front of them using a mic stand. I used to have it on auto but it did not lower the gain quick enough so the first tones were distorted. Now I set it manually on 35-40 with much better resaults. It is better have a recording, lets say -12 dB, instead clipping above 0 dB. I have raised the volume up to 20 dB during editing without audiable noise.
I agree with this.
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Old August 27th, 2012, 04:58 AM   #12
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Re: Mic'd up with Zooms (or other audio recorders)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Langerak View Post
Ever since I went to H1's on the groom and officiant I've been a happy camper. Wireless are Big Trouble and are never as good as the sound that you get from the H1.

I've set the audio to AUTO before and got distorted sound for the first second every time the speaker stopped and started talking again. I'll never use AUTO again.

I set my audio levels on the Officiants h1 to 55 and the Grooms to 60 level and it's perfect.

Here is a video with the those exact settings. No feedback or wireless crap noise!!

May & Allan l Julian Morgan Ballroom l Same Day Edit on Vimeo
What he said, except I put one zoom on auto and the other is manually tuned. Also, whenever a mixing board is available, I tap into that with my tascam dr-100. I have had pretty good luck so far using the auto feature on the H1.

I might have to give your method a try sometime.
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