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H4N recording issues

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Eric Brandle
H4N recording issues
on Nov 13, 2012 at 7:46:56 pm

I've been recording dialogue for short films using a H4N and an Rode NTG-2. Typically I'm within a couple of feet of the source while staying out of frame.

The levels I record are always low despite having the gain turned all the way up. I don't have any of the limiters turned on and I'm not using phantom power.

When I normalize I get a lot of static noise, which when i noise reduce inevitably starts to tear up my dialogue.

What am I doing wrong or what can I do better?


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Brian Reynolds
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 14, 2012 at 12:36:12 am

I just did a test between a NTG2 and a Senni 416 and with my basic test setup the 416 has about 5-6 db more gain than the NTG2.
I also have found on dialogue recording the maximum microphone distance away from the talents mouth is one arm length..no more, (talent should be able to touch the mic).... if the shot is wider than that bring out the radio mics.


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Ty Ford
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 14, 2012 at 1:12:02 am

Hello Eric and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

The zoom doesn't have enough clean gain, and even if it did, you 'd be better with a good mixer between the mic and recorder that has good quiet gain and a limiter. Tickle the limiter with your signal and you can get a good 3-5 dB safely onto the recorder. Get a Sound Devices 302 mixer. Be happy. Sound better.

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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Peter Groom
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 14, 2012 at 1:34:35 pm

Why are you normalizing?
Mix it on faders. Thats what theyre for.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Bob Kessler
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 14, 2012 at 4:43:45 pm

The NTG-2, as has already been noted, is well known for low output levels.

The H4n was never intended to be a production sound tool. The H4n is aimed at musicians who generally work at high volume levels, so the H4n has lower input levels. The noisy pre-amps are much less noticeable when recording very the loud sources associated with music.

Put the NTG-2 together with the H4n and you have very low levels. I can understand that you would want to normalize as the levels are extremely low, but when you normalize you also bring up the noise from the substandard pre-amps.

Peace,

Bob
____________________________________________________________________
Filmmaking is the art of the invisible;
If anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 15, 2012 at 4:49:47 pm

I have been using a H4, older model, and had the same issues. Bought a Tascam DR-680 and have not looked back, for the same price as a decent mixer, I get a 6 track recorder, clean pre-amps, and their is a guy who upgrades the electronics if you want to squeeze the last bit of quality out of the device.
http://www.busmanaudio.com
I bought two of his "modded" mics, they are amazing. Small diaphragm condensers, matched stereo pair, fabulous as boom mics or on a stand.
The output of the Tascam is fine for me, but the headphone pre-amp is noisy, just remember that when you are listening as the mic pre-amps are quiet.

M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Brian Reynolds
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:16:41 pm

Just a question on the Tascam DR680... can the DR680 be used as a mixer (with outputs to feed a video camera)or is it ONLY a recorder?..... I want to get a multi track recorder but thinking the SD664 might be better as it is also a good mixer.
I need the mixer for 75% of my work and a recorder for only 25%.



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Malcolm Matusky
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:54:04 pm

Tascam says it can, but I only use it as a recorder. It can "pass through" all six inputs, or mix down to a stereo pair, you can feed that to a camera, but I would only want to use it a scratch track. I prefer to mix in post, not on location. If you need to "ride levels" this recorder only has one rotary pot, you change channels by pushing a button and then rotating the pot. A little weird, but I got used to it quickly, fine for my work, but if you wanted to ride all the levels it would be a problem. Still I think it's far superior to the Zoom products for location sound recording.

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Ed Lefkowicz
Re: H4N recording issues
on Nov 23, 2012 at 6:26:46 pm

The NTG-2 can run on phantom power or internal battery, but I recall the output is lower with the battery. I have pretty good luck with an NTG-2 and 48v phantom power from my Zoom H4N.

ed Lefkowicz - photography
creative photography for creatives
advertising / editorial / publicity
http://www.lefkowicz.com


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