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Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic

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Dane Moreton
Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 28, 2015 at 3:01:05 am

Hello. I just purchased a giant squid lavalier mic that I want to use for interviews, and tried it out with my Zoom H2n. I got a recording from the lav for about a second, and then it quickly diminishes and does not record audio. It may be more precise to say that it records silence after the one second that it actually works.


I connected the lav to my camera and it worked fine.

There were no internal adjustments that were made that would explain recording from the shotgun, but not the lav.

Any ideas? I want to use the shotgun for my camera and the lav for the zoom, for practical reasons.

Thanks.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 28, 2015 at 5:11:43 pm

Well, the most likely cause may be power.
But that is a wild guess because we don't know:
What camera? What shotgun mic?
Assuming 3.5mm plug? XLR adapter?


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Dane Moreton
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 28, 2015 at 5:42:17 pm

Thanks for your response.

The shotgun is a Rode vidomic, with a 3.5mm plug. The camera is a Nikon D5300. The Rode has it's own power, a 9V battery. The lav, a Giant Squid, does not have it's own power. By "it's own power" I mean a battery or energy/electrical source that may allow it to be powered independently without using phantom power from another source (a camera, or audio recorder, etc.).

Both the Zoom H2n and the Nikon D5300 accept 3.5mm plugs. No adapters were used, as it was not necessary. Also, not extension cords were used either.

Perhaps my qualm is with Giant Squid for not telling me I "may" need to power the mic with something other than what it is plugged in to.

I hope this helps.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 28, 2015 at 9:59:16 pm
Last Edited By Richard Crowley on Jan 28, 2015 at 9:59:48 pm

ALL electret microphones require power. That includes all GiantSquid products. They will not operate without it. The GS people apparently just assume that everyone knows that.

The Zoom H2n provides "plug-in power" to the 3.5mm microphone input. That is why the GS microphone works with the H2n.

From searching the D5300 manual for the word "power" there is no apparent indication that the D5300 provides "plug-in power" for the microphone input. This is rather to be expected from a DSLR. They were never designed to be video cameras, and they don't play well in that area. Most DSLRs have really lousy audio performance and serious shooters use DSLR audio only to sync the video to the GOOD audio recording from the separate recorder.

GS make a "battery box" for an insanely inflated price. For whatever that is worth.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 29, 2015 at 1:22:01 am

[Richard Crowley] "The Zoom H2n provides "plug-in power" to the 3.5mm microphone input. That is why the GS microphone works with the H2n.

From searching the D5300 manual for the word "power" there is no apparent indication that the D5300 provides "plug-in power" for the microphone input. This is rather to be expected from a DSLR."


Richard: I think Dane was saying that the lavaliere won't work with the H2n, but does work with his D5300.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 29, 2015 at 2:45:41 am

@Jason, I am assuming that Dane had it backwards because the H2n explicitly DOES provide plug-in power for the GS microphone, and the camcorder apparently does not. If this was an incorrect assumption, Dane didn't correct it.


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Dane Moreton
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 29, 2015 at 1:25:55 am

Thanks. I guess that clears it up. If I can record something with the lav, then it doesn't need power, and if I can't than it does. I would have to purchase a power source for the GS lav if I want to record with a digital audio recorder that I own. I see that a 9V battery box can be found for about a buck, though I would have to build it to accommodate the mic, and I wouldn't really know where to start.

GS does sell them for $25. I guess they also assume that I have a power source ready for the mic, and also assume that everyone who purchases from them is an expert, and probably also assumes that they have no duty to their customers to make any of this clear.

Anybody who is shooting with a Sony C300 is probably not running into this issue, as they are not independent, and working on a budget like mine. And, guess what? That's at the low-end of cameras.

So, yes, I am aware that with lots of money, I can get the audio set-up that will be broadcast quality, and surely make angels cry with the clarity and beauty that it washes over all humankind, but I work with what I have, and am trying to record decent audio to a Zoom.

I am not in the market to selling any of my organs for fantastic sound, yet I want something that I can be happy with.

I find that, though DSLR's are not made for the primary purpose of recording audio, with a shotgun mic attached, it does increase the quality, as it seems the major issue is with the mic, and not the recorder, though I'm sure the recording quality is still less than ideal.

I have looked at lav mics with and without power, some with preamps, some to be recorded with smartphones with no mention of needing power. All this being said, and me assuming that you can deduce that I am on a budget, what would you recommend I use, or purchase, at this point, to get usable audio from an interview subject?

Please keep in mind that I have only one good kidney, and I cannot get rid of another one.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 29, 2015 at 3:01:02 am

I'm sure Mr. Nemeth is a nice guy and all, but I have never understood the fascination with Giant Squid microphones? Why would anyone pay $40 for a $1 mic capsule and a bit of plastic, wire, and plug? And in the quantities he is buying capsules, probably more like 40 cents each. And he must be using solid gold capacitors in that battery box to get $75 for it. But if he can get those kind of prices, good for him at least.

To be sure, Mr. Nemeth is not a professional manufacturer or vendor of audio gear, and he likely sells mostly to the "taper" crowd which is well aware of the power requirements for electret capsules.

The circuit for a battery box is extraordinarily simple, and there are likely several "how-to" videos on Instructables, etc.

Nobody here is suggesting that you spend "lots of money". Rather the opposite we are trying to get you there on a shoestring budget.

I made the assumption that you had got your symptoms wrong. I assumed that the GS microphone IS working on the Zoom H2n, and it is NOT working on your DSLR. If that is incorrect, then we have a major mystery on our hands.


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Dane Moreton
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 29, 2015 at 3:17:37 am

Hahaha. Then, yes, there is a mystery on our hands. The GS works on the DSLR and not on the H2n. As I said, when I monitor the H2n, I can hear the mic work for about a second, and then it goes out.

Also, the Rode, works on both, which it always has, I just wanted to check.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jan 29, 2015 at 7:31:27 pm

I would take up the problem with Mr. Nemeth at GiantSquid. He is in a much better position to resolve your problem than we are.


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Susi Arnott
Re: Zoom H2n won't record with lav mic, but will with shotgun mic
on Jul 26, 2016 at 4:40:52 pm

The H2n will power an external mic; go to Menu-Input Settings-Plug In Power and set this to 'On'
(Took me a few years to find this!)


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