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Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s

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Steve Graves
Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 9:01:17 am

Was wondering if anyone has had any issues with using TWO wireless systems, one into each of the XLR inputs on the Zoom. The RF on each (relatively new) G3 is excellent, I record in stereo (to be separated later in FCP) but when I set the sensitivity on both transmitters to -12 dB I then have to set VERY different levels (on the side of the zoom) for channels 1 & 2 to get similar recording levels on the meter (even though the two voices are very similar). For example, for dialogue on two wired individuals to peak at recommended levels I have to set channel 1 to around 40 and channel 2 to 80+. And this is after I've already doubled the sensitivity on the channel 2 transmitter to -24 dB. Both wireless systems have fresh batteries, and switching the systems to different XLR inputs doesn't alter the inherent "weakness" of XLR input #2. Channel 1 just seems to be coming in stronger than channel 2.

I've done some tests (at these very different levels on each channel/wireless system) and the results, when dropped into a FCP timeline, seem good. My concern, however, is that I'm missing something. Seems like if two similar voices are speaking then the various levels set for each shouldn't need to be so radically different.

Hope this makes sense, and thanks for reading.


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 11:58:04 am

I've never used a Zoom, but are the inputs switchable mic/line? On my G3 EK100 receivers the output is adjustable in the menu.

Steve






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Steve Graves
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 1:56:03 pm

Not that I'm aware of but now I will investigate that possibility - thanks Steve.


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Eric Toline
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 2:03:14 pm

The XLR inputs are mic level, the 1/4" input in the middle of the XLR connector are line level.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Eric Toline
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 1:59:15 pm

First setting the tx sensitivity to -24 from -12 is not increasing the output, it's cutting it in half. The lower the sensitivity number the higher the output from the tx. See if moving just the connecting cables from input 1 to input 2 of the Zoom makes a difference. Also check the internal menu to see if there's a setting for mic input attenuation that might be turned on.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Steve Graves
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 2:19:35 pm

Nice catch, Eric. I checked my settings on the G3s and actually I'd changed #2 from -12 to -18 (not quite double), so next I'll try going the other way (-9 or -6). The problem is that XLR port #2 seems to be considerably weaker or less sensitive, and yes I've tried switching the wireless units but will try this again to see if perhaps, out in the field, I missed something. In theory they should be exactly equal, right? As far as I can tell all attenuation settings in the menu are set to OFF. Thanks for the notes; I'll mess around with the set up again later this morning...


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Eric Toline
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 2:30:37 pm

Steve,

Set both tx to the same level and both rx to the same level so you have a level playing field. Use only 1 lav mic for the test moving it to each transmitter individually while creating a constant sound source. A faster way to test the Zoom inputs is to use a handheld mic plugged directly into each input one at a time with the input level the same on both channels and see what the Zoom meters read. Be sure the 48v phantom is turned OFF on the mic inputs as you don't need it for the handheld or the wireless.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Steve Graves
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 26, 2012 at 2:38:27 pm

Copy that, will do - thanks Eric.

Steve


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Peter Groom
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 27, 2012 at 11:33:37 am

Are you aware thet there is an output setting on the g3 receivers as well. Are these matched.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Steve Graves
Re: Zoom H4n & Sennheiser G3s
on Oct 27, 2012 at 12:56:02 pm

Exactly. I believe one of the culprits was indeed the RF output, which were set slightly different.

There seem to be two essential lessons that have been stressed over and over in different circumstances on this board, lessons which I now have officially taken to heart...

#1: Test everything thoroughly before you ever use it in the field, where it counts.

#2: When you encounter a problem that baffles you then simply start over, step by meticulous step, from square one.

When it comes to the image, half measures can often seem artsy - flares, soft focus, the infamous jumbly cam, etc. - but when it comes to audio there's simply no such thing as a happy accident. It might explain why so many aspiring filmmakers, who tend to be more emotional/creative/right brain types, seem to struggle so much with sound, which requires every ounce of left brain skills they can possibly muster. Which isn't to say that sound, especially at the professional level, isn't creative or that the image, even at the amateur level, doesn't require a firm technical grasp - only that the two sides of this audio-visual coin seem to almost be coming from different levels of one's being...

At any rate, apologies for rambling and many, many thanks to the audio professionals who offer their valuable time to help others on this goldmine of a site. You guys are really fantastic.

SG


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