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Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897

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Brock Landers
Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 11, 2013 at 1:12:44 am

Hi. I've been using a Zoom H4N with an Audio Technica AT897 shotgun mic to record voices for video shoots. Unfortunately, the recordings are never loud enough. You can barely hear the voices when I play the files on the computer. Any idea what might be wrong?

I adjusted the input volume on the H4N all the way to the maximum setting (100). That will pick up reasonably decent levels when the speaker talks very loudly and stands right near the mic, but everything else is very quiet. This is problematic because the files are basically unusable and I've had to rely on my awful camera mic for sound.

Any help would be much appreciated.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 11, 2013 at 3:34:37 am

Was the level low when you were recording the tracks and listening to the output of the H4n with headphones?


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Brock Landers
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 11, 2013 at 4:27:34 am

It didn't seem too bad. It was generally hovering around -6 dB on the monitor.


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Peter Groom
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 11, 2013 at 7:02:03 am

if it was hitting -6 on the zoom display, and your EARS said it was good (you were wearing headphones i presume) then it must be something that is happening after.
Have you tried listening to JUST the shotgun track on it own. NOT as part of a stereo track from the zoom but split off to mono and then the other side removed. Im wondering if youre losing audio level through phase cancellation. Try the rifle track singly, and then pan centre.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Brock Landers
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 11, 2013 at 7:07:42 am

I will give that a shot. Thanks.


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Peter Groom
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 11, 2013 at 8:36:22 am

Upload a section if you would like me to have a listen to its phase values?
peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Brock Landers
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 12, 2013 at 6:22:18 pm

Thanks Peter. Here is a sound test that we did with the mic and recorder a few days ago. The first part is me talking to my friend. The second part is him improvising some lines at regular conversational volume. I'd appreciate any thoughts.

http://www.megafileupload.com/en/file/450335/STE-057-wav.html


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Peter Groom
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 12, 2013 at 9:40:29 am

Did it help at all?
peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Peter Groom
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 12, 2013 at 6:55:22 pm

OK
Well the file is pretty low. recorded -15 to -18db below max (not that im suggesting you should try to hit max, but a healthy -5 to -10 should be achievable by increasing the recording gains on the side of the zoom.
Also as its only on 1 channel, fade law means that as you take the panned left track and pan it centre (to come from both speakers) it will decrease by -3db there too, so this will need to be made up.
Phase def isnt your problem tho as its only 1 channel of audio.
How far from the mic is the speaker. More than 5ft? Have you put a fresh battery in it?
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Brock Landers
Re: Low Volume with Zoom H4N + Audio Technica AT897
on Sep 13, 2013 at 1:46:20 am

Thanks Peter. I really appreciate the help.

The speaker was about 4 feet away from the mic during this test.

I will try messing with the gain the next time we record. Unfortunately, my equipment is at my friend's house 35 miles away, so I can't access it right this moment. I will certainly heed your suggestions though.


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