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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #16
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Hi Scott,
I listened on some HPs; AKG-240 ,Sony 7506 and Fostex T-20s and still don't hear any significant high-end hiss. But since my 50+yr. ears don't function like they use to, I checked this on a frequency analysis app. I only see a slight/narrow bump around 19kHz. (unlikely to be what your hearing.) I selected only the room-tone since that's where one would notice hiss and BG noise the most. Are you sure you're not hearing natural acoustical borne ambiance?
Could your sound-card or other playback electronics/amplification be the cause?
FWIW, In my opinion, Bose speakers are normally not good reference monitors..Far from flat, with hyped highs and lows. The AKG-240m HPs should be pretty accurate though. I'll post the frequency analysis image later on.
Cheers, Rick
PT-test.wav, room tone around 00:00:06:25
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General settings for Zoom H4n-scott_pt-test.jpg  

Last edited by Rick Reineke; October 14th, 2010 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Addendum: add graphic
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Old October 14th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #17
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I have a similar audio setup for my rig. A Zoom H4n and a Rode NTG3. Your audio clip sounds very similar to the results that I have been getting. I usually run the Zoom between 80 and 95 percent on the gain and the preamps are a little noisier than I would prefer at that level but nothing has been too bad. I actually thought your clip was a tad cleaner that some of the stuff I've been getting lately. After reading this thread I think I'll turn off the Mix to Mono option. That would avoid summing two channels of noise together with one mic.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #18
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Robert. Awesome info with the Juiced Link thread. It won't help me for fixing my current problem but it's good to hear that I'm not going crazy, and that others have shared the problem. It makes perfect sense that an external preamp sounds better than the built in preamps on the Zoom.

Rick, perhaps the problem is with my listening gear. The hiss is definitely there, but you are right that it is more apparent with the Bose system. It is not nearly as bad on my AKG's. That said, most people that will end up watching my film back will either watch it on their computer speakers, of which many people do have speakers that kick up the highs and lows. I guess you could go crazy though trying to make sure your product sounds good on every available type of speaker.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #19
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Using a 3 band EQ on FCP, I boosted the low gain up to 8, and cut the high gain down to -6. It already sounds a lot better. It does not eliminate the hiss, but cutting back the highs does help, and it sounds more full now.

Does this sounds about normal for EQing dialogue? What do you guys typically do to dialogue before calling it done? I didn't used to mess with audio settings at all, but now I'm getting to where I wouldn't let a project go public without a little audio clean up, much like how I wouldn't call something finished until I've done at least a little color correction.

What kind of stuff do you guys do for basic audio treatment?
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Old October 17th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #20
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You need LOTS and LOTS of power to effectively drive the AKG K240M headphones, which is high impedance. (600 ohms) So your HP amp may very well be contributing more than just a little noise.
I'm not familiar with FCP's 3 band EQ, so I can't say what's excessive. (though boosting the lows 8 dB on a 3-band EQ sounds a bit abnormal)
'Typically', for processing I use, if needed: Noise Reduction, EQ, Compressor. On the Master bus I insert brick-wall limiter to catch any peaks from exceeding my target peak level. Sometimes I'll substitute or add a multi-band compressor on a track, sub-master or master.

Before I finalize a clients mix, I listen to the project on different sets of pro and consumer speakers, large and small, expensive and dirt-cheap, with and without sub-woofers. Minor compromises usually need to be made to sound good on all. I usually make my final track level adjustments on 30+ year old Auratones, where less than 1dB SPL level changes are audible on the all important mid-range.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 03:26 AM   #21
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if you don't have proper 'accurate' monitoring in an acoustically treated environment, any changes you make to the audio may not be accurate: like trying to color correct an image on a consumer TV that has hyped/inaccurate colors in a room with red lights.
if your film is being released and has a chance to get attention with 'known actors', you may want to think about getting a professional to mix the audio...
other than that, you can do it your self, but be sure to check the results on as many different systems as possible to see how it translates. and, though not always, it is generally better to cut frequencies than add them.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #22
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In FCP select your stereo track then hit Alt-L to separate them in to two mono tracks, then delete the one you don't need. You could also have hit the mute button for that one track.

Alternatively, select the stereo track then go to the Modify Menu then uncheck the Stereo Pair item.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 10:53 PM   #23
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H4n recording

I have the same equipment. It has been a while since I did all my tests, but here is how I remember it. Using the NTG2 pluged into the H4n with XLR mono mix down off, I needed level settings up in the 90-100 range to get around -12 db as you experienced. When mono mix down is on the level dropped to about -18. Splitting the signal to both channels and dividing the gain?

Here is the kicker though. When pluging the NTG2 (or any other mic for that matter) into the mini jack the record level only needs to be in the 60 range to get to -12. I am not sure if this is because they are unbalanced or because the mini plug uses the pre amps differently or what. I am sure that is partly responsible for the increased gain in Roberts test with the Juiced Link, as the output from the Juiced Linked is a mini plug.

I was very disappointed when I discovered this because I sold my Marantz 660 to get the H4n. With the 660 I never put the record level over about 5 (0-10) to get decent gain. The 660 had a lot of hiss, but that is well documented and why I sold it.

I have been getting good results from the H4n running through a mixer (XLR) so I can keep the record levels down in the 60 range. I have been meaning to call Zoom to see why the mini input is so much hotter. If I do I will post.

Hope this helps.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 02:22 AM   #24
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I just put my headphones on to test my new H4N+NTG-2 combo and was horrified to hear only the left channel. I haven't read the manual yet, just hoping there's a way to preview audio binaurally.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #25
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In the 4-channel mode, if you turn on 'Stereo matrix' on Input 1, you get to preview audio binaurally, or at least I think you do ( I am just starting out/have been using the H4n for two months).

A question Ihave right now is what's the difference between Mono Mix on an input in the H4n's stereo mode, and Stereo Matrix on an input in the H4n's 4-channel mode.

Loving the learning!
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