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basic settings to use on a zoom h5 digital recorder when recording an interview indoors

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Lara Michaels
basic settings to use on a zoom h5 digital recorder when recording an interview indoors
on Feb 17, 2015 at 3:18:22 pm

Using the wealth of excellent information available on this forum, I now have two mics (a decent lav and a schoeps cmc 641) to record audio of some upcoming interviews (conducted in an office building). I will be using a Zoom H5 recorder.

As an audio newbie, I would like to know which are the basic settings I should enable on the Zoom H5 in order to improve my odds of getting decent audio out of these interviews. Are there any basic settings in terms of sound processing, file formats, filters, etc. that I can use on the H5 that will make these recordings more usable? As mentioned, these recordings are just plain sit-down interviews conducted in offices.

Thanks!


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Nicola Hammond
Re: basic settings to use on a zoom h5 digital recorder when recording an interview indoors
on Feb 18, 2015 at 4:40:15 pm

Hi Laura

If you want to keep it really simple ( you say you're a newbie) I'd just use one mic and get really close (knee to knee). I do a lot of interviewing (yes often in offices) and if you have two mics, yes your interviewee may be more comfortable but also may rabbit on quite a long time... which will add to your editing time.

I don't know the H5 but use the H4 as standard. Test the mic and your equipment before you set out. ALWAYS use headphones, that way you can hear any pops or if the battery cuts out (not that you would turn up with dud batteries!?). Make sure you are not listening to the built in mics by tapping both and push the mic button on the left on or off (I can never remember which) to make sure you have the correct setting. This is probably all grandmother and eggs, but worth saying I suppose in case anyone else is reading. Then if you don't get really close you'll pick up the vast office and less of your interviewee.

Hope this helps and good luck!
Nicky H


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Lara Michaels
Re: basic settings to use on a zoom h5 digital recorder when recording an interview indoors
on Feb 20, 2015 at 7:43:02 pm

Hi Nicola

Thank you for this, it is very helpful.

What about in terms of configurable settings in the recorder? Should I enable any sort of filter/processing while recording? Or better leave the signals "as is" for later treatment?


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Nicola Hammond
Re: basic settings to use on a zoom h5 digital recorder when recording an interview indoors
on Feb 22, 2015 at 12:33:17 pm

Lara...
Personally I do everything afterwards in my editing software system (ProTools in my case). So long as you either set the recording level to "Automatic" OR you take level (just note your level while you're doing your pre-interview chat or ask a stupid question which you'll know you won't use e.g. what did you have for breakfast is a standard!) The zoom h4 does tend to record a little low. Try and get to around 12db HOWEVER it's worth remembering that too low is way way better than too high as it will distort. You can't do anything about distortion but if it's a bit low you can rescue and boost the level in your editing software. But do wear headphones as you record, even if they're only little in the ear buds.
Best of luck and hope that helps!
N


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