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Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B

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Beau Brotherton
Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 9, 2011 at 3:53:30 pm

Hello to all!!

I just purchased a H4N to use with my 60D (I've previously came from HVX200 land, so spoiled with the all in one camera). I'm primary going to be using the zoom for recording talking head audio. So visible wired lavs have been my preference in the past...great clean sound and easy setup.

Unfortunately I am having some terrible hissing sound when using my Sony ECM-44B lav. I do not have this issue at all when my HVX200. I also did a test with my Sennheiser G2 wireless system, a Sterling Audio ST51 mic I use for VOs, and a cheap Shure PG58 stick mic. **All of these I had much cleaner sound than with my ECM-44B. Which my ECM-44B has always been my cleanest sounding mic with my HVX.

I of course am not an audio guy, so please forgive me if I am missing something very obvious.

I do know that with the ECM-44B, I am having to raise the REC Level to 90+ for these tests, which I'm sure is at least part of the problem. Where as my other mics I was able to be around 65-75 REC Levels.

I also just updated the system version to 1.72, no improvement.

If there is anyone who could help I really would appreciate it. I have a shoot this Sunday that I have to record audio, and I'd love to not have to drag around my HVX as an audio recorder.

Thanks for your time and help!! :)

-Beau Brotherton

HVX200 | 60D | i7 iMAC | FCP7 | AE | Zoom H4N (for now)


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Noah Kadner
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 9, 2011 at 6:14:26 pm

yeah sounds like you might need an outboard mixer to get the levels correct but others will chime in with better advice.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Beau Brotherton
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:18:59 pm

Thanks for the reply Noah.

Huge bummer if I need to get a mixer just to use this mic. I might just get another wired lav in that case...or in that case just bring my HVX to record audio and have it as a backup 2nd camera.

**One thing I forgot to put in the original post is that the ECM-44B is battery powered, reason for the "B". And two of the other mics need Phantom power, but the G2 wireless of course are battery powered also.

It just seems like there has to be something that I'm missing, all I hear is great results with the Zoom.


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Ty Ford
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 10, 2011 at 12:56:15 pm

Hello Burton and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Do you have the Zoom phantom supply turned on or off?

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Beau Brotherton
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 10, 2011 at 1:26:39 pm

Well, I've tried both. It hasn't seemed to make much of a difference in the hissing sound with phantom power on or off. I also took out the battery to see if phantom power would work (no go). Plus its a brand new battery in the mic.

I did however update the software, then was able to adjust input 1 & 2 separately, I turned input 2 down all the way...that helped a little bit. But I still need to turn input 1 up to 90 for the REC Level.

Thanks for any help!!! :)


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Craig Alan
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 12, 2011 at 5:22:30 pm

According to specs at BH that mike does not accept phantom power. But you tried with both. Perhaps it is defective? Adding a mixer is a great investment. Much easier to ride the levels and monitor and get good clean preamp. The sound devices 302 is a steal at $1300. If you are shooting with multiple mikes it is also great to have another hand riding the levels so the cam operator can concentrate on framing and exposure.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz
; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Eric Toline
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 10, 2011 at 2:14:45 pm

With an internal battery in the mic it doesn't matter if the phantom is on or off.

Eric


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Beau Brotherton
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 10, 2011 at 2:22:33 pm

Thanks Eric for your reply...any idea of why there would be a hissing sound in this mic alone, or why this mic would need a much higher REC Level on the Zoom then other mics? 90 compared to 55-60 REC Levels on my other mics.


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Ty Ford
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 10, 2011 at 5:08:54 pm

Eric,

I have had antagonistic results when powering a mic by its own battery and applying phantom power at the same time.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Craig Alan
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Jun 12, 2011 at 7:24:31 pm

Make sure polarity of battery is correct. Try a different battery. Make sure compartment is screwed tightly shut. Test again with cam. Try different cable.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz
; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Andy Olsen
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Mar 27, 2013 at 4:50:04 pm

I'm having the exact same problem. I have a zoom H4N and when I connect my RODE Videomic Pro it sounds great. When I connect my Sony ECM-44B I have to crank the volume to 90+ which creates a terrible hiss. I have tried all of the things mentioned in this forum as well. I would love to hear a solution.

Thanks for posting this!


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Ty Ford
Re: Zoom H4N very hissy sound with Sony ECM-44B
on Mar 27, 2013 at 5:09:34 pm

I think this is pure science.

The Sony is much less sensitive than the Rode. -53dB versus -38 dB

As a result, if you have it wired correctly and powered properly, the Sony requires much more of whatever preamp you have it plugged into.

To confirm this, try plugging in a Shure SM58. With its -54dB sensitivity, it should cause the same hiss problem. If the SM58 works, then it's a problem with that 44B.


Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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