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Author Topic: Zoom H2 initial settings  (Read 825 times)
dmcginnis
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« on: January 13, 2010, 12:36:12 AM »

Howdy - I just got a Zoom H2 and our group will be playing at a local pub wednesday night - any suggestions on what I should set for initial recording settings for the best possible recording?  We generally sit around a table so I will plan to use the surround sound option.

Thanks for your suggestions...I will need some time to get to know the unit and I have no experience with recordings.

Cheers,
Dave
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RoundLakeDT
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 02:00:44 AM »

It's really easy, so you should be good to go.  The only real settings you might want to think about for your first recording are the mic sensitivity switch (low/medium/high) and whether to record in MP3 or WAV format

The sensitivity setting determines whether you're either overloading the mic (on too high a setting; occasional clipping) or not getting enough volume (too low a setting; noisy sound).  To test this out, press the red Record button once, the light will flash (not recording yet).  Have everybody play as loud as they're gonna, and you can read the meters to see the level.  (you have to press the button a second time to actually record, or Menu to cancel out)

In a pub, start with medium or low sensitivity and adjust from there; aim for less than 0Db peaks but not too low (lower is better than overload).  You can also fine-tune the gain with menu settings but this is enough to start

As for the recording format, WAV is cd-quality (and takes up a relatively large amount of space).  For a pub recording, MP3 format is probably just fine though

Let us know how it goes!  I love my H2 but haven't used the surround feature (front + back mics) since I'm just recording me+guitar from the front

By the way, since you have two choices for the mic angle (90 degrees using the front-only, 120 degrees using the rear-only), you might consider using the "wide-angle" rear mics (placing the H2 off to the side) instead of all four mics (placing the H2 in the center).  Maybe record both ways and see which one suits you better

Dave
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ffinke
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 02:39:09 AM »

I got one for Christmas so these tips were good for me, too.

Thanks, both of you.

f
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dmcginnis
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 04:28:46 PM »

The H2 comes with a 1 Gb SD card - any idea on how long this will record with different settings?  For example, Wav vs. Mp3?  Stereo vs. Mono?  2 channel vs. 4 channel?

Thanks,
Dave
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2001 McIlroy A30 #75, Spruce/Rosewood
Martin OM-15M, all mahogany
Paddy Burgin Bouzouki, Redwood over Claro Walnut
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1927 Langestyle tenor banjo
RoundLakeDT
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 09:18:59 PM »

You should be able to get around 1.5 hours of WAV on a 1 Gb card, maybe a bit more.  MP3 time will depend on what bit rate (quality) you're recording at.  Using 256 kbs setting you probably have at least six hours; on 128 kbps you'd have double that

Easy way to check is to put the H2 into whatever mode you're interested in (WAV, MP3) and then go to Card > Remain in the menu, and it'll tell you how much recording time you have left at that setting.  You can then change settings and go back to see what the time would be.  It's ok to mix recordings of different settings on the card too, to compare the difference in sound (if you can hear it)
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Larrivee4me
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2010, 04:26:37 PM »

The mp3 setting will be fine especially in a live setting.  Only on the lowest mp3 setting have I noticed a definite lack of fidelity.  Any of the better mp3 levels should be OK.  Recording levels are very important.  I use the earbuds and play with the input levels quite a bit before I record.   If you record too hot it will sound harsh.  Allow for big sound spikes too if any are expected but don't record too low either as you'll be turning the volume way up to hear the recording later.  The meter is a good tool for setting levels.
   I really like the mic array on the H2.  When I recorded a hammer dulcimer player and myself,  the stereo image was quite good.  You could easily tell where each instrument was and how far away.  These clips were recorded for learning purposes.  In Tom Billy's Jig I had the H2 too close to the guitar.  I should have moved it a away a bit and turned up the rec level.   Anyway cut me some slack as you listen to these clips.

Flowers of the Thorn

Hammered dulcimer and guitar

Tom Billy's Jig
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