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Aaron Lloyd
Zoom amateur
on Jul 28, 2019 at 1:41:55 am

Hey Guys,

I I am not an audio pro, and I am in the process of hiring one going forward. But my question is I have the H4N, a Sennheiser lav, and a Rode NTG 3. Can I record using both mics to have 2 separate tracks of an interview on the Zoom? I have recorded, one but never both at the same time If so, under what settings? I am recording an interview for a doc, and can't postpone before my audio hire. If there are any other suggestions, please I am open to here them.
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Richard Crowley
Re: Zoom amateur
on Jul 28, 2019 at 4:42:17 am

It is not clear why you think you need "two separate tracks"?
What we call "Stereo" is just two separate tracks that happen to be recorded together.

If you plug one microphone into the #1 Left input and the other microphone into the #2 Right input, you will have a "stereo" track with one microphone on the "Left" and the other microphone on the "Right". This is a very common way of recording multiple microphones and it is not clear why this is not acceptable?

You did not state what editing software you are using, but I can't think of any editing software that won't let you separate the "Track #1 Left" and "Track #2 Right" channels to properly mix them independently.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Aaron Lloyd
Re: Zoom amateur
on Jul 30, 2019 at 6:44:16 am

Thank You, Richard and Robert!
I appreciate your replies and help. I wasn't suggesting any method was unacceptable Richard, I don't know enough to speak on any procedure being the wrong way. I just wanted to have 2 tracks to back up my recording as you suggested Robert, to ensure I have an acceptable take to use. I was really asking what mode to use, and any suggestions as to steps to take that would assist me in getting the best recording my "no nothing" self is cable of. I realize the importance of audio pros, the skills they demonstrate, and the difficulty in getting quality sound. I really am scared that I will mess this up. I have played around with the product Robert and read and watched youtube videos, but found little on recording both inputs. Thank you guys again, I will take your suggestions and welcome any more you or others may have for me. I can't wait to hire a pro for future shoots than I can focus my talents in my wheelhouse.


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Robert Withers
Re: Zoom amateur
on Jul 30, 2019 at 3:20:53 am

Hi Aaron,
It sounds like you are planning to use the two mics so each can serve as a level safety or quality safety for the other. This is a common practice. Whenever I'm doing stuff like this that I don't do every day with equipment I don't use every day I study the Zoom Recorder manuals and play with the controls and cables.
There are standard guidelines for setting levels -that you can read about everywhere, i.e. NEVER go above 0 dB AT ALL with a digital recording system. - if you don't have a sound person to watch levels and check recordings you can do a couple of rule of thumb levels with one set 6-12 db higher (lower) than the other. Your sound person would be listening to mic quality of each set-up, handling the set up of the lav and the cardiod mic etc. -- the little things that make a different between quality and useless sound. Consider a slating system and record directly through a camera mic to facilitate syncing.
Cheers,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Peter Groom
Re: Zoom amateur
on Jul 30, 2019 at 1:54:21 pm

If youre using non familiar kit or doing something you dont normally do, its doubly important you do these first.

1) Set up and make it all work BEFORE going to the shoot
2) At the shoot make a test recording using both mics, and playback to check you are getting what you need
3) ALWAYS wear headphones.

On the zoom make sure the recording levels for each mic are adjusted independently of each other as each mic will be different.

4) Dont take off the headphones
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Ty Ford
Re: Zoom amateur
on Jul 30, 2019 at 4:16:40 pm

Hello Aaron,

Richard, Robert and Peter (The Creative Cow Audio Dream Team) have all given you solid info.

I'll add that I think I remember that the Zoom H4N may be equipped with a double record feature that lets you record 10 dB or so below the main record level. It's been a while since I I had to use it, so I don't recall the details, but they should be in your manual or online.

I'm an audio guy, but every shoot is different. Even for me, before I go out, I test every connection and operation. The peace of mind that cones with that is pure gold.

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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Aaron Lloyd
Re: Zoom amateur
on Jul 31, 2019 at 2:32:31 am

Thank you all, gentlemen for your assistance, it was GREATLY APPRECIATED. Your help meant the world and I am doing all the suggestions given. Some I knew already, but it reassuring to hear what is important to those who have greater knowledge than I on the subject. And as I write this, I am about to begin test recordings tonight prepping for tomorrow.


Aaron


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Ty Ford
Re: Zoom amateur
on Jul 31, 2019 at 1:37:10 pm

Aaron,

Glad we could help. Come back anytime and let us know how it went and hang around to help others.

Among other things, hooking everything up the night before is a great way to find bad cables when you're not under pressure.

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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