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Topic Options
#1285082 - 10/11/09 07:37 PM recording
jtattoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 323
Loc: Austin TX
I have been a little playing around recording mainly to just judge my work and make corrections. I am at the point I would like to do some serious recording. I have been using the Sony Walkman with the microphones that came with it (two sort on a T). I have tried Audacity and not gotten far. I downloaded on to my laptop and it keeps stopping (Microsoft can't find a reason). My question is should I invest in H4 or H2? Will I need to still deal with Audacity? I want to be able to edit the recordings (no professional here, so will be splicing). Should I just invest in good microphones (poor here also). Any help/advice would greatly appreciated. Thanx

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#1285086 - 10/11/09 07:58 PM Re: recording [Re: jtattoo]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I'm following this with interest, since I currently only use my computer's mic, with Audacity. The Mac version of Audacity seems stable, but you should check their website for any possible updates for Windows.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1285095 - 10/11/09 08:19 PM Re: recording [Re: Horowitzian]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
My Zoom H4 is nearly three years old. I bought it on the strength of the rave reviews it was already getting here at PW, and I think it makes very decent recordings. The manufacturer has periodically upgraded the system software with enhancements to functionality, too (via downloads available on its website).

The Zoom H4n certainly has a sleeker and more modern design; I haven't really paid attention to discussions about it or the H2, though, so others will have to weigh in on those models.

The H4 used to ship with Cubase (and maybe still does)—in a light version, perhaps; I never installed it, as Audacity was being recommended here instead as strongly as the H4 itself. I've found Audacity easy enough to use and fairly intuitive; it definitely has editing capabilities that include deleting and splicing, though I have no idea how it compares to more sophisticated software for editing audio.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1286336 - 10/13/09 06:20 PM Re: recording [Re: sotto voce]
jtattoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 323
Loc: Austin TX
H I will let u know. I just purchased an H4 new. Who knows, I might just decide to take the courage and post some of my playing..................LOL

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#1286338 - 10/13/09 06:26 PM Re: recording [Re: jtattoo]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I'm surprised more people didn't respond in this thread. FWIW, there have been a number of discussions in the past (perhaps more so in ABF than here) that you might check out. I seem to recall an informal FAQ that was put together for the H4 as well.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1286370 - 10/13/09 08:15 PM Re: recording [Re: sotto voce]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
I'm surprised more people didn't respond in this thread. Steven


I just didn't have much to add. I like my H4 but I find the controls are not intuitively obvious so I struggle with it a bit.I Did I read somewhere in PW that the new one does video too? Had I known this was a possiblity, I would have waited until it came out instead of buying the H4. I get very good sound on the H4 but you can't see my lovely Steinway.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1286383 - 10/13/09 08:41 PM Re: recording [Re: gooddog]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 579
Loc: piano bench, usually
I just ordered my H4, so right now I have more questions than answers.

Deborah, there is a new Zoom called the Q3, just released a couple of days ago. It has video and the sound quality is supposedly as good as the H4. There's an active thread on ABF regarding this.

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#1286437 - 10/13/09 11:08 PM Re: recording [Re: heidiv]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I'm drooling, but I've only had the H4 a few months so I can't justify spending more money on the video. Thanks for the info.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1286447 - 10/13/09 11:29 PM Re: recording [Re: sotto voce]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6248
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

The H4 used to ship with Cubase (and maybe still does)—in a light version, perhaps; I never installed it, as Audacity was being recommended here instead as strongly as the H4 itself. I've found Audacity easy enough to use and fairly intuitive; it definitely has editing capabilities that include deleting and splicing, though I have no idea how it compares to more sophisticated software for editing audio.

Steven


The advertisements I've seen lead me to believe that the Cubase with which it ships, is playback only. Also it seems the newer Q3, while having video, doesn't appear to have the ability to accept external microphones.


Edited by Damon (10/13/09 11:31 PM)
Edit Reason: Just because
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1287054 - 10/14/09 05:46 PM Re: recording [Re: Damon]
jtattoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 323
Loc: Austin TX
Steven Where do you place the H4? I found a very extensive piano recording thread and someone there suggested directly under the grand piano. Curious. Can't wait for the machine to get here (Monday). Have the newest Audacity loaded and ready to go.

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#1287138 - 10/14/09 08:34 PM Re: recording [Re: jtattoo]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: jtattoo
Where do you place the H4? I found a very extensive piano recording thread and someone there suggested directly under the grand piano.
I have the H2 and this is one of the positions I've had very good results with.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1287146 - 10/14/09 08:45 PM Re: recording [Re: currawong]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
BruceD suggested I put it on the side of the grand near the curve but a few feet away and slightly above with the lid opened on the short stick. It worked pretty well.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1287170 - 10/14/09 09:18 PM Re: recording [Re: jtattoo]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: jtattoo
Steven Where do you place the H4? I found a very extensive piano recording thread and someone there suggested directly under the grand piano. Curious. Can't wait for the machine to get here (Monday). Have the newest Audacity loaded and ready to go.

I don't give a whole lot of thought to the optimal spot for placing the H4 (though I know others do), and haven't really experimented. There are so many variables, combinations and configurations possible—location of the device, room acoustics, piano lid up or down, recording settings, etc.—that I wouldn't know where to begin; more importantly, I'm not sure that I would really find a noticeable difference.

In my experience, the built-in microphones on the H4 are good, and the technology is quite forgiving for creating very decent home recordings. It has seemed that the unit could be placed anywhere in the room, and it will record very nicely what a listener would hear from that vantage point.

I have no idea if there's an optimal distance from the piano or optimal position relative to it. I do have a sense that putting it beneath the piano might be overwhelming and distorted, though; for the same reason, I don't even lift the piano's lid. (It's in a rather spartan and rather acoustically "live" room already.) Today I recorded with the H4 on the mantel of the fireplace, pointed toward the curve of the piano about 10 feet.

Another area for the ambitious to test and tweak for maximum quality is recording formats. It's been advised here to record as .wav and convert the file to mp3, but I've had comparable results by just setting the device to record in mp3. And for either format, of course, there's a spectrum of "bit" choices. I'm not savvy enough even to make an informed decision about that! To my ears, the default mp3 setting (128-bit?) is fine.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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