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Zoom H4 for beercasting?

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  • Data Scavenger
    Hi all! My first podcast is off the ground (http:// pipodcast.libsyn.com) and I am working on doing some more on site recording. The show is about Pennsic
    Message 1 of 16 , Jul 21, 2008
      Hi all! My first podcast is off the ground (http://
      pipodcast.libsyn.com) and I am working on doing some more "on site"
      recording. The show is about Pennsic and I'll be recording as much
      material as I can manage in a couple of weeks. If you're not familiar
      with the SCA or Pennsic, then just think of it as a 2 week long, 24
      hour ren-faire. Lots of background sounds. But that's good!
      Ambience! :)

      So one episode idea that I had is effectively a beercast. I want to
      get a bunch of people around a table and have them talk about their
      Pennsic experiences for at least one episode.

      What I can bring on-site includes a Zoom H4. I was trying to find a
      nice omnidirectional border mic for this. Then it occurred to me that
      perhaps the built in mics on the H4 would be just fine for this.

      Anyone have experience with this? Any advise on this particular
      application (slightly noisy environment, 3-6 people around a table,
      recording with no more than 2 mics or using the Zoom H4 itself) would
      be really appreciated!

      Thanks in advance,
      Leif the Grumbler (SCA name)
    • thejabbercast
      ZoomH4 is great for EVERYTHING, lol. Love that thing. We use it for remote podcasting with the built-in s for ezmacpodcast.com at the apple stores, etc even
      Message 2 of 16 , Jul 21, 2008
        ZoomH4 is great for EVERYTHING, lol. Love that thing. We use it for remote podcasting
        with the built-in's for ezmacpodcast.com at the apple stores, etc even when lots of
        background noise.... still is great for remote unit.... use the pop filter..... keep the
        interviewees CLOSE.... also use it for other shows I produce....

        good luck

        BigJD (thejabbercast.com)

        --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, Data Scavenger <datascavenger@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi all! My first podcast is off the ground (http://
        > pipodcast.libsyn.com) and I am working on doing some more "on site"
        > recording. The show is about Pennsic and I'll be recording as much
        > material as I can manage in a couple of weeks. If you're not familiar
        > with the SCA or Pennsic, then just think of it as a 2 week long, 24
        > hour ren-faire. Lots of background sounds. But that's good!
        > Ambience! :)
        >
        > So one episode idea that I had is effectively a beercast. I want to
        > get a bunch of people around a table and have them talk about their
        > Pennsic experiences for at least one episode.
        >
        > What I can bring on-site includes a Zoom H4. I was trying to find a
        > nice omnidirectional border mic for this. Then it occurred to me that
        > perhaps the built in mics on the H4 would be just fine for this.
        >
        > Anyone have experience with this? Any advise on this particular
        > application (slightly noisy environment, 3-6 people around a table,
        > recording with no more than 2 mics or using the Zoom H4 itself) would
        > be really appreciated!
        >
        > Thanks in advance,
        > Leif the Grumbler (SCA name)
        >
      • spuhn
        We use one for our beercast Should I Drink That when we record remotely. It does a fantastic job killing background noise as we ve found out at many beer fests
        Message 3 of 16 , Jul 21, 2008
          We use one for our beercast Should I Drink That when we record
          remotely. It does a fantastic job killing background noise as we've
          found out at many beer fests (and will this weekend). Pending on how
          many people you have, take advantage of the XLR inputs on the bottom.

          cheers!
          spoon


          http://www.shouldidrinkthat.com
          Should I Drink That? beercast
          "Even if it's crap, we drink it so you don't have to!"


          > --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, Data Scavenger <datascavenger@>
          wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi all! My first podcast is off the ground (http://
          > > pipodcast.libsyn.com) and I am working on doing some more "on site"
          > > recording. The show is about Pennsic and I'll be recording as much
          > > material as I can manage in a couple of weeks. If you're not
          familiar
          > > with the SCA or Pennsic, then just think of it as a 2 week long, 24
          > > hour ren-faire. Lots of background sounds. But that's good!
          > > Ambience! :)
          > >
          > > So one episode idea that I had is effectively a beercast. I want to
          > > get a bunch of people around a table and have them talk about their
          > > Pennsic experiences for at least one episode.
          > >
          > > What I can bring on-site includes a Zoom H4. I was trying to find a
          > > nice omnidirectional border mic for this. Then it occurred to me
          that
          > > perhaps the built in mics on the H4 would be just fine for this.
          > >
          > > Anyone have experience with this? Any advise on this particular
          > > application (slightly noisy environment, 3-6 people around a table,
          > > recording with no more than 2 mics or using the Zoom H4 itself)
          would
          > > be really appreciated!
          > >
          > > Thanks in advance,
          > > Leif the Grumbler (SCA name)
          > >
          >
        • thejabbercast
          Ya, peeps should just check out some podcasts that use the unit & then u will see :-) JD
          Message 4 of 16 , Jul 21, 2008
            Ya, peeps should just check out some podcasts that use the unit & then u will see :-)

            JD

            --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "spuhn" <fatherspoon@...> wrote:
            >
            > We use one for our beercast Should I Drink That when we record
            > remotely. It does a fantastic job killing background noise as we've
            > found out at many beer fests (and will this weekend). Pending on how
            > many people you have, take advantage of the XLR inputs on the bottom.
            >
            > cheers!
            > spoon
            >
            >
            > http://www.shouldidrinkthat.com
            > Should I Drink That? beercast
            > "Even if it's crap, we drink it so you don't have to!"
            >
            >
            > > --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, Data Scavenger <datascavenger@>
            > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Hi all! My first podcast is off the ground (http://
            > > > pipodcast.libsyn.com) and I am working on doing some more "on site"
            > > > recording. The show is about Pennsic and I'll be recording as much
            > > > material as I can manage in a couple of weeks. If you're not
            > familiar
            > > > with the SCA or Pennsic, then just think of it as a 2 week long, 24
            > > > hour ren-faire. Lots of background sounds. But that's good!
            > > > Ambience! :)
            > > >
            > > > So one episode idea that I had is effectively a beercast. I want to
            > > > get a bunch of people around a table and have them talk about their
            > > > Pennsic experiences for at least one episode.
            > > >
            > > > What I can bring on-site includes a Zoom H4. I was trying to find a
            > > > nice omnidirectional border mic for this. Then it occurred to me
            > that
            > > > perhaps the built in mics on the H4 would be just fine for this.
            > > >
            > > > Anyone have experience with this? Any advise on this particular
            > > > application (slightly noisy environment, 3-6 people around a table,
            > > > recording with no more than 2 mics or using the Zoom H4 itself)
            > would
            > > > be really appreciated!
            > > >
            > > > Thanks in advance,
            > > > Leif the Grumbler (SCA name)
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • Erk Pod
            The H4 is a great piece of gear, especially with the XLR mics. I ve done some podcasts on beaches, at a go cart track and and at a whitewater stadium as well
            Message 5 of 16 , Jul 21, 2008
              The H4 is a great piece of gear, especially with the XLR mics.

              I've done some podcasts on beaches, at a go cart track and and at a
              whitewater stadium as well as interviews. Episodes 112, 114, 115, 117,
              118 and 119 are examples.

              I use a mic for me and another mic for ambient noise. Then I mix them
              together because otherwise you'd hear me in one ear and the noise in
              the other.

              --
              Erk

              Erk Pod: all Erk, all the time ..... and then some!
              Sydney, Australia
              http://www.erkpod.com.au
            • thejabbercast
              For those with podcasts that end up being in mono anyway, the H4 now records in mono (from last firmware update). I love that feature & they also added a voice
              Message 6 of 16 , Jul 22, 2008
                For those with podcasts that end up being in mono anyway, the H4 now records in mono
                (from last firmware update). I love that feature & they also added a voice activated feature.
                This thing gets better all the time. Plus, for anyone that does not know, it multitracks - It
                is a stand alone studio, plug in drum machine, guitar, bass, then sing, bounce tracks, join
                them, edit, normalize.... it is very full featured including tons of effects & emulation.

                JD

                --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Erk Pod" <erkpod@...> wrote:
                >
                > The H4 is a great piece of gear, especially with the XLR mics.
                >
                > I've done some podcasts on beaches, at a go cart track and and at a
                > whitewater stadium as well as interviews. Episodes 112, 114, 115, 117,
                > 118 and 119 are examples.
                >
                > I use a mic for me and another mic for ambient noise. Then I mix them
                > together because otherwise you'd hear me in one ear and the noise in
                > the other.
                >
                > --
                > Erk
                >
                > Erk Pod: all Erk, all the time ..... and then some!
                > Sydney, Australia
                > http://www.erkpod.com.au
                >
              • Stephen Eley
                ... The built-ins might be adequate if you set the Zoom up on a tripod at one end of the table, or even a bit beyond the table. They re not omnis, they re
                Message 7 of 16 , Jul 22, 2008
                  On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 8:09 PM, Data Scavenger <datascavenger@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > What I can bring on-site includes a Zoom H4. I was trying to find a
                  > nice omnidirectional border mic for this. Then it occurred to me that
                  > perhaps the built in mics on the H4 would be just fine for this.

                  The built-ins might be adequate if you set the Zoom up on a tripod at
                  one end of the table, or even a bit beyond the table. They're not
                  omnis, they're cardioid stereo, so they're only going to pick up
                  what's in front of them. This puts a lot of dependency on the
                  placement of your group and the amount of background noise.

                  Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot you can do that's better for
                  cheap. In a case like yours, recording a table conversation, I often
                  recommend the Giant Squid omni stereo lapel mics (I clip the two mics
                  to water glasses and space them evenly on the table); but in the
                  specific case of the H4, the only way to get a 1/8" input with plug-in
                  power is to buy a $100 adapter. And it probably isn't worth it to
                  record one episode. A Giant Squid and a Zoom H2 or an iRiver, on the
                  other hand, is a potent combination.



                  --
                  Have Fun,
                  Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                  ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                  http://www.escapepod.org
                • Rich Elswick
                  dude, you definately need to stop by and say hi! I am in the block with Bloodguard just off the path, Peng Wei or some such street name. My camp name is
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jul 25, 2008
                    dude, you definately need to stop by and say hi! I am in the block with
                    Bloodguard just off the path, Peng Wei or some such street name. My camp
                    name is Company of Outremer.

                    I run (or did a while ago and haven't picked it back up much yet) a podcast
                    called The Pain Bank:

                    www.painbank.com (new site)

                    http://thepainbank.libsyn.com (old site)

                    There are two others starting up podcasts on the SCA as well. I have been
                    itching to buy an H2 or H4, but just haven't yet. Very hard urge to resist.

                    What kingdom are you from?

                    Richard fitzWilliams (SCA name)
                    Midrealm

                    On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 8:09 PM, Data Scavenger <datascavenger@...>wrote:

                    > Hi all! My first podcast is off the ground (http://
                    > pipodcast.libsyn.com) and I am working on doing some more "on site"
                    > recording. The show is about Pennsic and I'll be recording as much
                    > material as I can manage in a couple of weeks. If you're not familiar
                    > with the SCA or Pennsic, then just think of it as a 2 week long, 24
                    > hour ren-faire. Lots of background sounds. But that's good!
                    > Ambience! :)
                    >
                    > So one episode idea that I had is effectively a beercast. I want to
                    > get a bunch of people around a table and have them talk about their
                    > Pennsic experiences for at least one episode.
                    >
                    > What I can bring on-site includes a Zoom H4. I was trying to find a
                    > nice omnidirectional border mic for this. Then it occurred to me that
                    > perhaps the built in mics on the H4 would be just fine for this.
                    >
                    > Anyone have experience with this? Any advise on this particular
                    > application (slightly noisy environment, 3-6 people around a table,
                    > recording with no more than 2 mics or using the Zoom H4 itself) would
                    > be really appreciated!
                    >
                    > Thanks in advance,
                    > Leif the Grumbler (SCA name)
                    >
                    >



                    --
                    Rich Elswick
                    http://www.moyaentertainment.com

                    <a
                    href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/scacast"><img src="
                    http://feeds.feedburner.com/scacast.gif" style="border:0" alt="The Pain Bank
                    - SCA and WMA"/></a>


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Data Scavenger
                    ... Excellent points. Thanks Steve. Since my original message, I found a small omnidirectional mic in Radio Shack. I ll need to get a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jul 31, 2008
                      On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 2:53 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:
                      > The built-ins might be adequate if you set the Zoom up on a tripod at
                      > one end of the table, or even a bit beyond the table. They're not
                      > omnis, they're cardioid stereo, so they're only going to pick up
                      > what's in front of them. This puts a lot of dependency on the
                      > placement of your group and the amount of background noise.

                      Excellent points. Thanks Steve.

                      Since my original message, I found a small omnidirectional mic in
                      Radio Shack. I'll need to get a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter for it, but its
                      an omnidirectional boundary mic. I hope that it works out. :)


                      > A Giant Squid and a Zoom H2 or an iRiver, on the
                      > other hand, is a potent combination.

                      Well, depending on how it works out, I just might use this as an
                      excuse to buy an H2 or Giant Squid mic. I was debating both options
                      anyway. Buahaha! More gadgets! =)

                      Thanks for the advice.

                      Lief the Grumbler
                      Pennsic Independent Podcast
                      http://pipodcast.libsyn.com
                    • Stephen Eley
                      ... Be careful: if it s a typical 1/8 electret microphone that relies on plug-in power (the 5V to 9V voltage from most consumer mic jacks), then simply
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jul 31, 2008
                        On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 3:08 PM, Data Scavenger <datascavenger@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Since my original message, I found a small omnidirectional mic in
                        > Radio Shack. I'll need to get a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter for it, but its
                        > an omnidirectional boundary mic. I hope that it works out. :)

                        Be careful: if it's a typical 1/8" electret microphone that relies on
                        "plug-in power" (the 5V to 9V voltage from most consumer mic jacks),
                        then simply plugging it into the Zoom H4's 1/4" jack won't work. The
                        H4 doesn't send phantom power through the 1/4" center post jack -- and
                        if it did, phantom power is 48V and would probably destroy your
                        microphone.

                        If you want to use that mic with the H4, you'll need an adapter that
                        converts the H4's phantom power into plug-in power. The only ones I
                        know are made by Sound Professionals, and they're not cheap:

                        http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-ZOOM-PHANTOM
                        http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-ZOOM-OMNI-MIC

                        I own the second one, the $99 adapter that also includes a built-in
                        omni stereo mic. I figured that would give me maximum versatility for
                        conference panel recording, etc. It works well, and the Giant Squid
                        sounds great with it, but I was very aware that by the time you've
                        added $100 to the price of a Zoom H4, it's not such a great deal.

                        (And then the H2 came out. *Grumble.* Hazards of early adopting.)



                        --
                        Have Fun,
                        Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                        ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                        http://www.escapepod.org
                      • Richard Amirault
                        ... From: Stephen Eley ... (snip) Yes .. but ... many of those low priced boundry mics use a AA cell for power. My concern is the original poster s comment:
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jul 31, 2008
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Stephen Eley"


                          >Data Scavenger wrote:
                          >>
                          >> Since my original message, I found a small omnidirectional mic in
                          >> Radio Shack. I'll need to get a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter for it, but its
                          >> an omnidirectional boundary mic. I hope that it works out. :)
                          >
                          > Be careful: if it's a typical 1/8" electret microphone that relies on
                          > "plug-in power" (the 5V to 9V voltage from most consumer mic jacks),
                          > then simply plugging it into the Zoom H4's 1/4" jack won't work.
                          (snip)

                          Yes .. but ... many of those low priced boundry mics use a AA cell for
                          power.

                          My concern is the original poster's comment: " Any advise on this particular
                          application (slightly noisy environment, 3-6 people around a table,
                          recording with no more than 2 mics or using the Zoom H4 itself) would
                          be really appreciated!"

                          A single (or even a stereo pair) of omni directional boundry mics will not
                          be a good idea in a "slightly noisy environment". BUT . you've got it
                          already .. give it a try and see what you get.

                          I use a pair of Crown Sound Grabbers (omni boundry mics) for recording
                          panels at Sci Fi conventions and they work very nicely, but the only sound
                          (normally) is the panel members voices. There have been times that I've
                          picked up music and voices from the next room so be warned.

                          Richard Amirault
                          Boston, MA, USA
                          http://n1jdu.org
                          http://bostonfandom.org
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hf9u2ZdlQ
                        • Data Scavenger
                          ... The boundary mic is battery powered. I believe that would make it a condenser mic. But I do appreciate the warning. ... Very interesting. Thank you for
                          Message 12 of 16 , Aug 1 6:34 PM
                            On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 3:34 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:
                            > Be careful: if it's a typical 1/8" electret microphone that relies on
                            > "plug-in power" (the 5V to 9V voltage from most consumer mic jacks),
                            > then simply plugging it into the Zoom H4's 1/4" jack won't work. The
                            > H4 doesn't send phantom power through the 1/4" center post jack -- and
                            > if it did, phantom power is 48V and would probably destroy your
                            > microphone.

                            The boundary mic is battery powered. I believe that would make it a
                            condenser mic. But I do appreciate the warning.


                            > http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-ZOOM-PHANTOM
                            > http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-ZOOM-OMNI-MIC

                            Very interesting. Thank you for putting in the effort to find and share those.


                            Lief the Grumbler
                            Pennsic Independent Podcast
                            http://pipodcast.libsyn.com
                          • Stephen Eley
                            ... Oh, okay, in that case you ll likely have no problems. It d be a good idea to field test the setup before you go recording anything really important -- as
                            Message 13 of 16 , Aug 1 6:45 PM
                              On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 9:34 PM, Data Scavenger <datascavenger@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > The boundary mic is battery powered. I believe that would make it a
                              > condenser mic. But I do appreciate the warning.

                              Oh, okay, in that case you'll likely have no problems. It'd be a good
                              idea to field test the setup before you go recording anything really
                              important -- as Richard said, an omni boundary mic _might_ pick up
                              enough noise to make it hard to distinguish background from
                              foreground. Or it might work great. The best way to find out is to
                              try it. Good luck!


                              --
                              Have Fun,
                              Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                              ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                              http://www.escapepod.org
                            • Martin McKeay
                              It s not quite a beercast, but I ve been recording a series of short interviews at the Black Hat security convention the last few days using my Zoom H4, a
                              Message 14 of 16 , Aug 8 7:43 AM
                                It's not quite a beercast, but I've been recording a series of short
                                interviews at the Black Hat security convention the last few days using my
                                Zoom H4, a Shure PG 58 and a low end AKG microphone. You and the person
                                you're interviewing have to hold the mic's obviously, but the fact that all
                                of the interviews were done in crowded hallways and you don't get more than
                                a general suggestion of the background noise more than makes up for having
                                one hand occupied.

                                http://netsecpodcast.com

                                The shortest comes in at just over 3 minutes if you want a short example of
                                the sound: http://netsecpodcast.com/?p=63


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • thejabbercast
                                1. Your recording quality from the mics is GREAT! 2. The recording is really bad, due to clipping I believe. Sounds like it was recorded too hot & it is full
                                Message 15 of 16 , Aug 8 9:05 AM
                                  1. Your recording quality from the mics is GREAT!
                                  2. The recording is really bad, due to clipping I believe. Sounds like it was recorded too hot
                                  & it is full of static.... that's what u have to get right, the levels..... but the mics are gonna
                                  sound great... The clip I heard from yer link... I would not release that bad a quality..

                                  The ZOOM H$ is awesome & sounds like the quality of the mics is fine, but it's the
                                  engineering. And I don't think that could be fixed, it is the way u recorded that.

                                  At least that's what I get from this one recording from the link....

                                  Good luck,

                                  BigJD



                                  --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Martin McKeay" <Martin@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > It's not quite a beercast, but I've been recording a series of short
                                  > interviews at the Black Hat security convention the last few days using my
                                  > Zoom H4, a Shure PG 58 and a low end AKG microphone. You and the person
                                  > you're interviewing have to hold the mic's obviously, but the fact that all
                                  > of the interviews were done in crowded hallways and you don't get more than
                                  > a general suggestion of the background noise more than makes up for having
                                  > one hand occupied.
                                  >
                                  > http://netsecpodcast.com
                                  >
                                  > The shortest comes in at just over 3 minutes if you want a short example of
                                  > the sound: http://netsecpodcast.com/?p=63
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                • Martin McKeay
                                  That s odd, I went back to listen to the audio and don t hear any of the clipping you mention, at least in the short example I used here. There was some
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Aug 11 7:16 AM
                                    That's odd, I went back to listen to the audio and don't hear any of the
                                    clipping you mention, at least in the short example I used here. There was
                                    some popping of the p's and b's, but a simple wind screen and some better
                                    mic technique would help that a lot. I still have a lot to learn about
                                    recording and talking to some of my fellow podcasters at Black Hat over the
                                    weekend, I discovered I may have been recording a little hot from the very
                                    beginning.

                                    Just as an aside, we had a live podcast with 7 computer security podcasters
                                    over the weekend live from Las Vegas and the Defcon 16 convention. It was a
                                    ton of fun and something I hope we can do again in the future.

                                    Martin

                                    On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 9:05 AM, thejabbercast <bigjd@...>wrote:

                                    > 1. Your recording quality from the mics is GREAT!
                                    > 2. The recording is really bad, due to clipping I believe. Sounds like it
                                    > was recorded too hot
                                    > & it is full of static.... that's what u have to get right, the levels.....
                                    > but the mics are gonna
                                    > sound great... The clip I heard from yer link... I would not release that
                                    > bad a quality..
                                    >
                                    > The ZOOM H$ is awesome & sounds like the quality of the mics is fine, but
                                    > it's the
                                    > engineering. And I don't think that could be fixed, it is the way u
                                    > recorded that.
                                    >
                                    > At least that's what I get from this one recording from the link....
                                    >
                                    > Good luck,
                                    >
                                    > BigJD
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Martin McKeay" <Martin@...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > It's not quite a beercast, but I've been recording a series of short
                                    > > interviews at the Black Hat security convention the last few days using
                                    > my
                                    > > Zoom H4, a Shure PG 58 and a low end AKG microphone. You and the person
                                    > > you're interviewing have to hold the mic's obviously, but the fact that
                                    > all
                                    > > of the interviews were done in crowded hallways and you don't get more
                                    > than
                                    > > a general suggestion of the background noise more than makes up for
                                    > having
                                    > > one hand occupied.
                                    > >
                                    > > http://netsecpodcast.com
                                    > >
                                    > > The shortest comes in at just over 3 minutes if you want a short example
                                    > of
                                    > > the sound: http://netsecpodcast.com/?p=63
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ------------------------------------
                                    >
                                    > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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