Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After reading through a bunch of topics here on this forum I decided to pick up a Zoom H4 for recording some of my Alto music, however when I load my recordings up into my computer the sound is really weak. Like I know the recording itself is good, it's just weak, and I need to turn my sound up a lot to hear it. I didn't record far far away from my mic at all, and the sensitivity on the H4 was set at "Medium".

The recording improved a lot when I amplified it in Wavepad, but I know that there's something I'm missing elsewhere to just make my H4 record with a strong signal.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about, or could lend some advice? I'm really new to recording so I'm somewhat lost hehe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
Are you transferring via a cable or a card reader? I use the card reader and I haven't had the same experience.

I did discover that the only thing I had on my computer that would play the 24-bit files at all was iTunes. You might try different players--ie Windows Media Player, iTunes, etc. and see what happens. What bit rate are you using?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm transfering through the mini usb cable that came with the H4. So far I've just been using Windows Media player to play back the recordings. Here, maybe giving you the links to the files would help better describe what I'm asking about?

The first one is unmodified, straight from the H4 and sent through WavePad.

http://files.filefront.com/Heart+of+Bluemp3/;7926544;;/fileinfo.html

The Second one is exactly like the first except everything is amplified 400%.

http://files.filefront.com/Heart+of+Blue2mp3/;8095845;;/fileinfo.html

As far as the bitrate for both, they're at 320 KBPS.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! It'll be cool if I can get this "fixed".
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
2,578 Posts
Check your recording volume settings (I think there's a setting for that too, you just have to drill down through the menus) in addition to the gain switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
First of all, the quieter file doesn't sound too bad, but clearly the wave amplitude is small and thus the volume. I was really impressed that the 400% amplified one didn't really sound distorted or clipped in anyway, so I don't think your work-around is bad at all.

Based on what I'm hearing, I'd guess that you're not playing very close to this mic. I think you might be expecting too much from it in that sense.

I wonder if using the USB cable isn't part of the problem, though. I never use that cable. I take the SD card out of the H4 and put it into a card reader. Maybe that's silly since I suppose the H4 might just be treating itself like any other card reader, but if instead it is treating itself like an audio interface...well, then all kinds of screwy stuff can happen with your volume in Windows and you'd have to go into Windows volume control to work with that and you STILL might not get what you expect--as is the case with my soundcard's DB50XG daughterboard.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,215 Posts
If you can't get a 'hotter' recording level, then use your editing software to 'normalize' the recording.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the help! I'm going to try a few things and see if I can get the results I'm looking for.

Thanks for all the takes, I'll be trying a bunch of different stuff :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Chordelis said:
Thanks for the help! I'm going to try a few things and see if I can get the results I'm looking for.

Thanks for all the takes, I'll be trying a bunch of different stuff :D

When you listen to your recording thru earphones direct out of the H4 is the volume still too soft? That'd be my first step to see if I'm losing signal thru the cable when dumping my record onto my hard-drive. I've never used a card reader; I always upload the file via the provided USB cable.

The suggestions above are good. I haven't used mine as an audio interface, only to record then dump the file and work with it. I've used it in all formats, wav and the different bit rates when doing mp3 and have only had a volume problem when "I" set the volume wrong (both high and low).

Of course there could be a little something wrong with the actual unit or the cable. Good luck with it. Once you get the hang of the little silver taser, I think you'll love it. I'm glad I bought mine.

New Life Sax
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
774 Posts
Just received and unpacked my H4, bought off ebay....along with its 100 page User Manual ...eek :eek:

How much of this will I need to know???
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
2,578 Posts
Not much at all if all you want to do is quick recording using the built-in microphones, which are quite good.

You can control the basic recording volume with the mic gain switch on the side (hi-med-low).

To start a recording, just turn it on and hit the record button 2x (first time is standby).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,384 Posts
Recording a band live using the built-in mics? Then flick the Mic Gain switch on the right side of the unit to "L" (low), and set the unit in front of the group. Then, as awholley says, turn it on and hit the record button twice.

Gonna be outside? It's very sensitive to wind noise, which will make your recordings unlistenable -- make sure to use the included windscreen.

How long you want to record? Get a 2G card (costs around $20...) and you can record at 44.1k for hours...

Here are 2 live recordings using the H4:

Sentimental Mood

November Morning

The first was recorded outside, with the unit *behind* the group (it was the only available spot), and consequently is a bit bass heavy; the 2nd in a club, with the unit on a tripod in front of the group. I used Digital Performer to add reverb and bring up the levels on both recordings -- the Zoom comes with some version of Cubase that could presumably do that for you.

That manual is daunting but a worthy read, but the little Zoom ain't hard to operate....
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,215 Posts
rogerb40uk said:
Just received and unpacked my H4, bought off ebay....along with its 100 page User Manual ...eek :eek:

How much of this will I need to know???
All of it. Only 100 pages?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
774 Posts
Thanks, hakukani :D (and the others)
I'll read it if all else fails.... isn't that the normal way?
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,215 Posts
Here in the islands, the H4 is Interstate Highway 4, which is the Hawaii Superferry, which just began service between some islands.

H1-3 are interstate freeways in Honolulu. We are the only state where the interstate doesn't connect to any road outside the state.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top