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Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas

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Joe Mizera
Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 29, 2014 at 9:33:55 pm

I recently replaced a Zoom H2 with a used H4n. 48/16 Wav files recorded on the Zoom do strange things when placed on the Vegas timeline. To begin with, the waveform looked strange. It sounded even stranger, jumping back and forth in time, replaying short bits of sound, and switching channels randomly. Very weird. Even stranger that the audio file seems to play ok in Windows media player, as it does on the Zoom. Tried different cards, reformatted them. Still happens, and shows the odd behavior randomly.

I finally recorded the audio from the Zoom via line in, and it seemed a workaround for now. Anyone ever encountered this?

A screen grab is below.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zha6fm4j32shocz/Screenshot%202014-04-29%2016.27.1...


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Scott Simpson
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 29, 2014 at 9:40:23 pm

I use the H4n and have not seen that behaviour myself.

Is this weird audio recorded with the internal mics? The answer wouldn't make the problem any less weird to me, but it might be more info for someone else.

---
Radio guy in a TV world. Bigasssuperstar.com


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Joe Mizera
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 29, 2014 at 9:58:41 pm

Good point. This was recorded via rec outs to line in on the H4n. This phenomenon has happened on three different boards now.

I've yet to do anything with the internal mics.

Joe Mizera
Mizera Digital
http://www.austexvideo.com


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Kelly Griffin
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 29, 2014 at 10:23:36 pm

Hey Jim--

Sounds very much like what I've experienced all along with my v10 (tried v12, too, to see if it went away. It didn't).

It only happens with WAV files (all WAV files), but I'll get what you get and worse... I'll get parts of intended audio, then redlining static, then parts of audio that isn't even in the same project folder.

I have to take EVERYTHING into SoundForge and convert to AIF.

--Kelly


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Bob Peterson
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:41:24 am

I have no problems with H4N or WAV files in v12.


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Dave Haynie
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:06:33 pm

Hmmm... sure looks like something's wrong with the WAV file formatting. I've been using a Zoom H4n regularly, pretty much since them came out (replaced my old Tascam digital recorder), and never had a problem in any version of Vegas.

I can recommend a couple of general things: run the latest H4n firmware, of course. The unit gets noisy if you're using external mics with phantom power and the battery gets low. If you record from a mixer, watch your levels -- most mixers will put out audio at pro +4dBu levels, and the H4n's line inputs are -12dBV consumer-level inputs, and if you're running to the XLR jacks, they're mic level and you're going to want a pair of 20dB pads.

However, there's no manner of bad behavior I can think of that would get me the first waveform you're displaying. Maybe a noise gate with a real slow recovery, or some sort of WAV encoding issue... maybe there's a bug in the format, particular if you're running an older version of the H4n firmware. And just to be safe, make sure you're not running with the limiter or AGC enabled, at least until you verify you're not running into any weirdness due to those.

If you have Sound Forge, try loading the WAV there. If it plays/displays as expected, write it out to another file.. WAV is ok, since Forge will re-write the file. Try that in Vegas, see if anything changes. I have an old Sanyo FH1 I bought for crashcam use (before the Heros got good), and while this does a decent job, it records in an MP4 wrapper, sometimes with a corrupted timecode. Vegas always crashed on that timecode (haven't tried it lately), which is not a huge shock -- the job of an NLE is to rapidly process correct assets, not to take the time to assume every asset might be corrupt. Anyway, running that through a program that generated a new MP4 wrapper solved the problem. That's basically what Forge, or some other audio program (even Audacity) might do for you here, if the problem is Vegas not understanding these files.

However, as said, I have never had a problem with the H4n. I'm running a recent but not absolute latest build of the firmware.

-Dave


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Joe Mizera
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 30, 2014 at 4:15:17 pm

Thanks for all the responses. I did pull the wav into Sound Forge. A very old version, but works fine for me. It too displays a periodic pattern on the waveform, but seems to be able to play it ok.

By the way, a pad was used, and no compression, limiting, lo cut, etc.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kw4eqseuc89ubh7/Screenshot%202014-04-30%2009.55.4...

I did try outputting as AIFF, and the same results occurred. I did do the bios update (was 1.60 now 1.72) and so far have been unable to duplicate the problem. Just recording of a tablet with music and tones for test. The only other variable is that these were very long recordings, nearly three hours in length. Going to try this next just to see.

Joe Mizera
Mizera Digital
http://www.austexvideo.com


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Antonio Salva
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on May 1, 2014 at 4:13:18 am

Dave, can you tell us about your setup. I too am having problems playing WAV files. Even WAV files created bySony Vegas via CD capture within the program. I have also read another post that has this same problem. I installed Vegas Pro 12 hoping all the kinks would have been worked out by the last version. This is really frustrating because I can't work on projects with this glitch. My videos play perfect and the audio accompanying them. When I add a WAV file the sound is a jumbled mess. Is this something new or has there been any reports of these problems in the past. It seems to happen when I use an external drive, and only WAV files. Tell us more how you have your computer set up with any changes to preferences or bios that may affect how WAV files are played back, or any soundcard changes ie buffer sizes etc Thanx Tony


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Dave Haynie
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on May 1, 2014 at 5:50:08 am

[Antonio Salva] "Dave, can you tell us about your setup. I too am having problems playing WAV files. Even WAV files created bySony Vegas via CD capture within the program. I have also read another post that has this same problem. I installed Vegas Pro 12 hoping all the kinks would have been worked out by the last version. This is really frustrating because I can't work on projects with this glitch"

Understand the frustration. I can't say I have a clue about the solution. But here's my setup:

Intel i7-3930K processor, 64GB DDR3 DRAM, 960GB SSD main drive, ~6GB RAID10 data drive, AMD Radeon HD6970 GPU, 2x 1440p + 1x 1200p monitors, external 12TB Drobo on Firewire 800. Dozens of USB ports via multiple 12-way USB 2.0 and one four-way USB 3.0 ports.

About once a season I do a recording of one of the "jam" groups I play with using the H4n, and various others at more random times. That's usually 3-4 hours of sound, 4-channel (two stereo WAV files), 48kHz/24-bit, using internal mics and usually two external dynamic mics. For video projects, I generally set the Zoom up the same way, setting it "free running", so it functions as a time base for cameras that are constantly getting turned on and off (DSLRs in particular). Running System 1.70, Version 1.01, on the Zoom.

What else... no CODEC packs installed, tons of software for internet, EE CAD, music, photography, etc. I run smart but not light... I haven't found it that easy to screw up Vegas. You mentioned Vegas 13 Demo does the same thing? I was planning to ask if you tried re-installing, just for grins, but figured you did if you're trying the Vegas 13 demo/purchased.

You can drop me one of the offending files (davehaynie@gmail.com on DropBox will work) and I'll give a try here. That might at least tell you if the mutation is file-based or Vegas-based, but given that it plays in other things, you may have established that already.

-Dave


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Antonio Salva
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on May 2, 2014 at 4:54:22 pm

Dave, thanx for your reply. I think I've narrowed the problem down to something connected to using the external drive. When I copy my WAV files to the c drive they work fine, but become jumbled when played on an external with my laptop. Any advice or settings I may be overlooking-Thanx Tony


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Antonio Salva
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 30, 2014 at 9:02:11 pm

Yes, I have this exact problem, I too use an H4n, I also have this problem when I import audio from a CD via Vegas, I just upgraded to version 12. At first I thought this may be a problem with my hard drive, I wrote a post titled "jumbled audio on USB 3 drive" and only had one response talking about corrupted sf files. But I knew this wasn't the case because I imported the audio via CD capture twice and have same problem that you have. Is this a known glitch in Vegas 12 or is it possibly a setting on the USB 3 drive. Are you using a USB 3 drive? How.can importing WAV files be a problem when the CD capture renders the file. Will Mr. Rofano please give some insight, he seems to know Vegas as well as anyone. I'm a little worried because I do music videos and use WAV files constantly from the H4n and other sources.


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Joe Mizera
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:44:46 pm

Antonio, as to your question, I used USB 2, both in a card reader, and direct connection to the H2n. Same problem. After the firmware update, I did some short recordings, and they came out fine. When I did a long recording, about two hours 45 in this latest test, the problem is back. The length of the wav recording has something to do with it. Whether the problem is Vegas, or the Zoom, is still unclear to me.

I'm going to do the same length recording in Mp3, and see if the results are the same. If I have to default to Mp3 recording, that would be a bit of a bummer. Even at 320, it's still compressed.

Joe Mizera
Mizera Digital
http://www.austexvideo.com


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Antonio Salva
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on May 2, 2014 at 4:48:46 pm

Joe,
I think this problem has something to do with using an external drive via USB. I put my WAV files on my C drive and they worked perfect. Try this out, if you find they play good then we need to concentrate on why the external drives play back all jumbled. Tell me about your findings-Tony


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Joe Mizera
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on May 2, 2014 at 5:03:32 pm

Hey there Tony,

I should have clarified that I actually copied the file to my local hard drive. I tried both USB transfer, and pulling out the card and putting it in the reader, but I always edit with all media on the local hard drive.

I did another experiment with a recording of over 2 1/2 hours lone on the H4n in Mp3 320kbps. No problem at all for Vegas.

Joe Mizera
Mizera Digital
http://www.austexvideo.com


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Antonio Salva
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on May 3, 2014 at 3:15:11 pm

This isn't an acceptable solution, I could edit WAV from a zoom that were over two hours on Vegas Pro 8.Sometimes I use multitrack from other sources that are WAV. MP3 is a lossy compression format, everytime you open the file it loses information. WAV is a professional format that Sony Vegas PRO!!!,needs to handle. I'm not having problems playing my wav on the local drive, I wrote Sony and I'll report back when I hear their response-Tony


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Joe Mizera
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on May 8, 2014 at 1:37:30 pm

Just to kind of wrap this up on my part, I have made a couple of discoveries. First, I generated a three hour 48/16 WAV file with Audacity, and brought that into Vegas. No detectable problem. I also recorded nearly three hours on the Zoom in mp3 320. Playback on the Vegas timeline was fine.

In this case, the problem is not with Vegas, but clearly with the H4n. At least I can still record in mp3. I would much rather use WAV of course. Guess that will have to wait until I can replace the recorder.

Joe Mizera
Mizera Digital
http://www.austexvideo.com


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Jaanus Henno
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Jun 16, 2014 at 7:22:55 am

Hi!

I was looking around the net since I have the same problem. I just wanted to add my two cents to clarify that the problem is not because of H4n, it is really the problem with an external drive. As suggested, I copied my wav onto system drive and now it plays back fine in Vegas 12. My wav is not recorder with H4n.


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Joe Mizera
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Jun 18, 2014 at 3:54:24 pm

Hmmm.... I wonder if the symptoms were the same as in my case. The file was imported from the internal system drive in my case. I have never quite figured out what to do about this, but would love to know a clear resolution.

An example of what I experience is below.







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Jaanus Henno
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Jun 19, 2014 at 2:37:12 am

One thing I can add is that in my case the problem occured after converting stereo to mono. I wanted to save some space while archiving my wavs, but after adding the converted file back to the project, those symptoms appeared, just as in your project. I thought first that maybe Vegas got messed up since I didn't delete the peaks file, but doing that and building a new one didn't help either.

So since copying the audio to another drive (maybe it doesn't have to be a system drive, I don't think so) solved the problem, it must be connceted how Vegas reads the file and seems like it saves some inital data about the wav in the project and copying the file to another drive forces Vegas to re-read the file from the scrach. Thats my guess in the dark.


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Jon Chamberlain
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:25:12 pm

I have this same condition and have not found a solution. This applies to audio files from Zoom H2. My typical setup involves 2 cameras (Panasonic af100 and gh3) with 1-6 H2's collecting audio throughout a room...I'm shooting professional development in a classroom environment. Typical workflow is place video and external audio tracks on a timeline and use the Pluraleyes app to sync everything via audio. If the project is on any external USB drive 2.0 or 3.0 the audio from the H2's will have this condition. Only was to solve it is to put the H2 files on an internal drive. This a waste of my time Sony! It's been a problem since Version 10, at least that's when I discovered it.

I'd love to get this conversation active again.


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Antonio Salva
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Dec 13, 2014 at 4:39:12 pm

Yes, this can be a pain. Putting the files on the local drive (c/)will help. Also what I do is to re-render the file as a new wav file and this seems to work when I place it in the same folder with the other media. A little time consuming especially with files that are an hour or longer. Any other work arounds by other people? Let's use this thread as a reference till the problem is addressed. Thanks for keeping this problem in the light-Tony


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Paul Wright
Re: Bizarre audio from Zoom H4n in Vegas
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:24:40 pm

This is not a problem with the H4n, it's with Vegas. The H4n files work fine in Premiere, and in Pro Tools. Vegas is the only program having issues with these wav files. Vegas does the same glitch with audio recorded on my Sound Devices 664 as well, and also with multi track wav files recorded on an HD24. So it's not limited to the H4n. I wonder if anyone has found a solution? The AIF workaround works, but is a pain and you lose timecode and metadata in the files. The bug is killing me. Oddly, the files open in Vegas 10 on a laptop just fine, but not on my main editing machine. Both 64bit, same program. Anyone know why Vegas 10 and later can't handle these wav files correctly?


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