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Re: Portable Digital Records

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  • joshuamcnichols
    I love my Zoom H4. The Pre-amps are terrible, so the levels are low, as I understand is typical with all flash recorders in this price range. I understand
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 13, 2009
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      I love my Zoom H4. The Pre-amps are terrible, so the levels are low, as I understand is typical with all flash recorders in this price range. I understand the new H4n has better pre-amps. As for the XLR jacks, they're great, at least if you use a condenser mic with its own battery (I had to reject a Shure SM58 cardoid mic because the levels were terrible - my Audio Technica shotgun mic does much better). After my H4 got old, it started emitting a faint and barely discernible pure tone - like a high C - that became noticeable whenever I had to crank the levels way up. Strangely, the noise went away, after persisting in first one and then the other XLR jack over about 6 months.

      In short, it's a cheap plastic thing, but it stands against its peers quite well, and the XLR jacks may even put it slightly above the competition. And despite the lukewarm review I just gave, I love it.

      > I'm also
      > considering the Samson Zoom H-4, primarily for its XLR input. I think it
      > would be great to route my Heil PR-40 straight into it. So if anyone has
      > experience (good or bad) using the XLR inputs to the Zoom, please share
      > them.
    • Erk Pod
      I love my Zoom H4 as well. I always use the XLR mics and now I use it as my primary recorder for studio based work as well. I have used it a lot under various
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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        I love my Zoom H4 as well. I always use the XLR mics and now I use it as my
        primary recorder for studio based work as well.

        I have used it a lot under various conditions and once you know how to drive
        the thing, it's pretty good. My only complaint is the centre button
        arrangement for the menu and other controls that isn't great for those of us
        who have un-elfish fingers!


        Erk, Sydney (Australia)

        Host of the Erk Pod, Erk FM, Echo Romeo Kilo & Erk's Blast From The Past

        Producer of Judy's Blast FM.

        Find all 5 podcasts on Channel Erk. There is a podcast for everyone!

        http://www.channelerk.com
        erkpod@...

        Skype: erkpod
        Twitter: @erkpod (personal)
        Twitter: @channelerk (podcast updates)

        A member of the Association of Music Podcasting (AMP)
        http://musicpodcasting.org


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      • Data Scavenger
        I like my Zoom H4 well enough. :) I have to confirm what others have said about the levels, though. You can either have the recording be kind of quiet or
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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          I like my Zoom H4 well enough. :) I have to confirm what others have
          said about the levels, though. You can either have the recording be
          kind of quiet or (by using high gain) pick up everything in the room.
          Even when you use high gain, though, its still a little more quiet
          than you'd expect.

          That said, I own an H2, and H4, and I've gone through a few SanDisk
          MP3 players with recording and a few Olympus voice dictation devices
          and even a pair of USB headsets. I find myself using the H4 the most
          often. I like the H2 a lot for impromptu stuff and portability.
          However, my best sound comes from the H4, 2 mics, 2 table stands, two
          cables, and two AA batteries.

          Of course, I record at SCA events... So I'm effectively conducting
          interviews at camping events. :)

          My second biggest complaint about the H4 is that the interface is
          non-intuitive. It took me a while to puzzle out, but it does have its
          own sense of logic. Once you've figured it out, you'll be able to
          find and do what you need.

          I hope that helped!
        • Rich
          On Tue, 2009-07-14 at 21:32 -0400, Data Scavenger wrote: If the background noise in the room is X dB quieter than what you re recording (you re voice for
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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            On Tue, 2009-07-14 at 21:32 -0400, Data Scavenger wrote:

            If the background noise in the room is X dB quieter than what you're
            recording (you're voice for example) it doesn't matter how much gain you
            use (without distorting), that difference will remain the same. In fact
            you're better off recording with more gain because then you're farther
            away from the noise floor of the device, itself.

            That's just good gain-staging.

            Rich...


            > I like my Zoom H4 well enough. :) I have to confirm what others have
            > said about the levels, though. You can either have the recording be
            > kind of quiet or (by using high gain) pick up everything in the room.
            > Even when you use high gain, though, its still a little more quiet
            > than you'd expect.
          • Stephen Eley
            ... Agreed -- but with a stronger warning that you d better make sure you re not clipping. (I have an hour-long file I made with my iRiver and a Giant Squid
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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              On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:43 PM, Rich<wielgosz@...> wrote:
              >
              >  If the background noise in the room is X dB quieter than what you're
              > recording (you're voice for example) it doesn't matter how much gain you
              > use (without distorting), that difference will remain the same.  In fact
              > you're better off recording with more gain because then you're farther
              > away from the noise floor of the device, itself.

              Agreed -- but with a stronger warning that you'd better make sure
              you're not clipping. (I have an hour-long file I made with my iRiver
              and a Giant Squid mic near the front of a Daikaiju concert. The
              iRiver was set at the recording levels I used for interviews earlier
              that day. *Occasionally* the nails-on-chalkboard distortion subsides
              enough that you can catch a couple notes of music. But mostly it's
              just torture.)

              Between the high and low extremes, though, environment and mic
              technique matters a whole lot more for live recording than the exact
              recording level. As long as there's always sufficient difference
              between signal and noise, you can fix most things in software.



              --
              Have Fun,
              Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
              ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
              http://www.escapepod.org
            • Stephen Eley
              On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:22 AM, ... I respectfully disagree that the H4 does poorly with Shure dynamics. I ve had good luck using mine with my Shure SM57, so
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:22 AM,
                joshuamcnichols<joshuamcnichols@...> wrote:
                > I love my Zoom H4.  The Pre-amps are terrible, so the levels are low, as I understand is typical with all flash recorders in this price range.  I understand the new H4n has better pre-amps.  As for the XLR jacks, they're great, at least if you use a condenser mic with its own battery (I had to reject a Shure SM58 cardoid mic because the levels were terrible - my Audio Technica shotgun mic does much better).

                I respectfully disagree that the H4 does poorly with Shure dynamics.
                I've had good luck using mine with my Shure SM57, so long as the gain
                is set to medium or high.

                The most exotic thing I ever did with my H4's XLR jacks was an outdoor
                group recording from my hot tub for my girlfriend's podcast. I had my
                AKG condenser mic set up on a boom stand a few feet away to capture
                the whole group and ambient sound, and then we passed around the SM57.
                (On the principle that if we dropped the dynamic mic in the water,
                nobody got fried.) >8->

                End result:
                http://polyweekly.com/archives/25
                http://media.libsyn.com/media/polyweekly/PWBonus_HotTubCast.mp3

                It took a little finessing to balance the levels from both channels,
                but I think the final product came out sounding pretty good. (From a
                technical perspective at least. I will confess that the content
                itself is pretty cheesy; but so what? Cunning Minx. Naked. I regret
                nothing.) >8->


                --
                Have Fun,
                Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                http://www.escapepod.org
              • Paul Puri
                ... Stephen naked!?!? MY EYES!!!!!! -- Paul Puri The most interesting person you will never meet! Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri Buy stuff from
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                  On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:

                  > I will confess that the content
                  > itself is pretty cheesy; but so what? Cunning Minx. Naked. I regret
                  > nothing.) >8->
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  Stephen naked!?!?


                  MY EYES!!!!!!


                  --
                  Paul Puri

                  The most interesting person you will never meet!

                  Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri

                  Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com

                  Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri

                  Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Martin McKeay
                  What s your problem, Paul? You ve seen it all before, some of us even have the pictures to prove it. Safely stored on a lead covered USB stick for everyone s
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                    What's your problem, Paul?

                    You've seen it all before, some of us even have the pictures to prove it.
                    Safely stored on a lead covered USB stick for everyone's safety.

                    Martin

                    Martin McKeay
                    CISSP, GSNA, QSA
                    Network Security Blog and Podcast
                    http://www.mckeay.net
                    http://netsecpodcast.com
                    Twitter: @McKeay
                    Cell: 707-495-7926


                    On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:31 PM, Paul Puri <paulpuri@...> wrote:

                    > On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > I will confess that the content
                    > > itself is pretty cheesy; but so what? Cunning Minx. Naked. I regret
                    > > nothing.) >8->
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    > Stephen naked!?!?
                    >
                    >
                    > MY EYES!!!!!!
                    >
                    >
                    > --
                    > Paul Puri
                    >
                    > The most interesting person you will never meet!
                    >
                    > Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri
                    >
                    > Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com
                    >
                    > Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri
                    >
                    > Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > YahooGroups Podcasters Links
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
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                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Paul Puri
                    ... The owner of this email account cannot respond. He/she is at the moment, under a desk in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably, due to the mental
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                      On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:04 PM, Martin McKeay <Martin@...> wrote:

                      > What's your problem, Paul?
                      >
                      > You've seen it all before, some of us even have the pictures to prove it.
                      > Safely stored on a lead covered USB stick for everyone's safety.
                      >
                      > Martin
                      >
                      >

                      ----- BEGIN AUTO RESPONSE ----
                      The owner of this email account
                      cannot respond. He/she is at the moment,
                      under a desk in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably,
                      due to the mental images pictured after a previous post.

                      We apologize for this, and are sure he/she will return
                      after some deep psychological therapy.
                      ----- END AUTO RESPONSE ----

                      --
                      Paul Puri

                      The most interesting person you will never meet!

                      Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri

                      Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com

                      Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri

                      Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri


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                    • Stephen Eley
                      ... I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to aesthetic
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                        On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Paul Puri<paulpuri@...> wrote:
                        > The owner of this email account
                        > cannot respond. He/she is at the moment,
                        > under a desk in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably,
                        > due to the mental images pictured after a previous post.

                        I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open
                        enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to
                        aesthetic perfection. Particularly in another man.

                        (Me, I was thinking about *Minx* naked. But maybe I'm just weird that
                        way. Far be it for me to object if that's not as interesting to you.)


                        --
                        Have Fun,
                        Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                        ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                        http://www.escapepod.org
                      • Matthew Wayne Selznick
                        ... Agreed! I ve only recently begun playing with the H4, but I recorded an entire audio book for a client using my trusty SM58 through the H4 and it worked
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                          On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Stephen Eley<SFEley@...> wrote:
                          > I respectfully disagree that the H4 does poorly with Shure dynamics.
                          > I've had good luck using mine with my Shure SM57, so long as the gain
                          > is set to medium or high.

                          Agreed! I've only recently begun playing with the H4, but I recorded
                          an entire audio book for a client using my trusty SM58 through the H4
                          and it worked great. Ya gotta have that gain up, as Steve says.


                          --
                          Matthew Wayne Selznick
                          Author and DIY New Media Creator
                          ****************************************
                          "Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights"
                          An Ongoing Serial Fiction Webzine
                          http://www.hazydaysandcloudynights.com

                          "Brave Men Run -- A Novel of the Sovereign Era,"
                          plus commentary, short stories, music and more:
                          http://www.mattselznick.com
                        • Paul Puri
                          ... You got me there Stephen. I m a closet Eley-sexual. Alas, there is no fruit more sweet than the forbidden. ; ) -- Paul Puri The most interesting person you
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                            On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:

                            > I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open
                            > enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to
                            > aesthetic perfection. Particularly in another man.
                            >
                            > (Me, I was thinking about *Minx* naked. But maybe I'm just weird that
                            > way. Far be it for me to object if that's not as interesting to you.)
                            >
                            >
                            >

                            You got me there Stephen.

                            I'm a closet Eley-sexual. Alas, there is no fruit more sweet than the
                            forbidden.

                            ;>)
                            --
                            Paul Puri

                            The most interesting person you will never meet!

                            Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri

                            Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com

                            Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri

                            Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Calvin Powers
                            Thanks all for the thoughts on the H4. I ordered and H4n and am eagerly waiting on its arrival. The discussion about gain and haivng suficient difference
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jul 15, 2009
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                              Thanks all for the thoughts on the H4. I ordered and H4n and am eagerly
                              waiting on its arrival. The discussion about gain and haivng suficient
                              difference between sound level and ambient room sound was very informative.
                              I have had similar problems with my Heil PR-40 going into my Alesys mixing
                              board. The levels are generaly too low and I either have to speak louder
                              than is comfrtable into the microphone or turn the gains up so high on the
                              mixer that there's bad ambient room noise. (The room is a huge "bonus room"
                              in my house with high ceilings and lots of flat echoy walls. ) Usually if I
                              fiddle with the gains I can get it just about where I want it and then do a
                              bit of compression and amplification in software. The problem is that in the
                              long run, I'd like to be able to do a more or less "live to tape" podcast.
                              So I still have lots of learning to do. Which brings me to my next
                              question.....

                              I have been watching all my local community college course catalogs for a
                              sound engineering course that I could take but have not seen any. Is anyone
                              aware of any online training for sound engineers? And failing that, gasp, I
                              might even be willing to read a book on the subject if anyone could
                              recommend a good one.

                              Thanks,
                              Calvin Powers

                              On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 1:02 AM, Paul Puri <paulpuri@...> wrote:

                              > On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > > I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open
                              > > enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to
                              > > aesthetic perfection. Particularly in another man.
                              > >
                              > > (Me, I was thinking about *Minx* naked. But maybe I'm just weird that
                              > > way. Far be it for me to object if that's not as interesting to you.)
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              > You got me there Stephen.
                              >
                              > I'm a closet Eley-sexual. Alas, there is no fruit more sweet than the
                              > forbidden.
                              >
                              > ;>)
                              > --
                              > Paul Puri
                              >
                              > The most interesting person you will never meet!
                              >
                              > Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri
                              >
                              > Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com
                              >
                              > Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri
                              >
                              > Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              >
                              > YahooGroups Podcasters Links
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >


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