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Author Topic: Zoom H4N Pro -- Expected Noise From Built-in Mics?  (Read 832 times)

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Offline Modulo3

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Zoom H4N Pro -- Expected Noise From Built-in Mics?
« on: October 02, 2016, 11:50:20 AM »
I had decided to buy a Zoom H4N Pro because it includes a few features I really like, such as punch-in recording capability and built-in configurable X-Y mics. I was looking for a recorder with decent built-in mics to begin with, for lack of any external ones to use, and had read the Zoom is good and it fits my budget. So I went ahead and started recording in a relatively quiet room (the quietest I could find)... Each recording lasts only a few seconds, and both were sampled at 44.1kHz (16-bits stereo), with the only difference between them being the recording levels: the first was taken at a level of 40, the other at 80. The hiss at level 80 is quite pronounced, in my uneducated opinion, even for such a high level. Since I have only 7 days to exchange the product, I ask: is the noise/hiss from the built-in mics expected from this model? (Please bear in mind I've got less than a month's experience with recording under my belt, so please excuse my questions if they seem a bit naive.) Note that what has been recorded is silence in the room to accentuate the mic noise.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 01:28:40 PM by Modulo3 »

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Zoom H4N Pro -- Expected Noise From Built-in Mics?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2016, 12:45:05 PM »
I had decided to buy a Zoom H4N Pro because it includes a few features I really like, such as punch-in recording capability and built-in configurable X-Y mics. I was looking for a recorder with decent built-in mics to begin with, for lack of any external ones to use, and had read the Zoom is good and it fits my budget. So I went ahead and started recording in a relatively quiet room (the quietest I could find)... Each recording lasts only a few seconds, and both were sampled at 44.1kHz (16-bits stereo), with the only difference between them being the recording levels: the first was taken at a level of 40, the other at 80. The hiss at level 80 is quite pronounced, in my uneducated opinion, even for such a high level. Since I have only 7 days to exchange the product, I ask: is the noise/hiss from the built-in mics expected from this model? (Please bear in mind I less than a month's experience with recording, so please excuse my questions if they seem a bit naive.)

Since you have only 7 days to exchange the product, have you tested the punch-in recording capability to see if it works for your purposes?
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

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Offline Modulo3

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Re: Zoom H4N Pro -- Expected Noise From Built-in Mics?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2016, 01:11:08 PM »
Since you have only 7 days to exchange the product, have you tested the punch-in recording capability to see if it works for your purposes?

Yes I have... After reading the manuals of a few other recorders, I think this is about the best I'll find in a portable digital recorder in that price, and dropping-in can be a physically managable process once I start doing it on a regular basis -- so long as I remember to switch to MTR mode. I don't think there's a single machine out there as simple as a basic tape recorder, but the Zoom comes pretty close by being very intuitive.
I was thrilled from the outset with the H4N Pro in just about every respect. Unfortunately, I don't know what I can reasonably expect from the built-in mics since I have nothing to compare it with (the Tascam's microphones are listed as omni-directional and wouldn't make a fair comparison, as far as I know).
And thanks for the reminder!

Offline Mike Stranks

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Re: Zoom H4N Pro -- Expected Noise From Built-in Mics?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 01:12:14 PM »
It's the preamps...

I had an H5 and good as it was, when you had to push the preamps to get enough gain then you do start to wander into hiss city. Generally I found it was OK with the internal mics, but had significant problems when using external dynamic mics. In the end I got a MartiAudio cascade preamp (like the Tritons/Cloudlifters but cheaper) and that solved the problem.

Just a thought... and apologies if this is blindingly obvious... you are only peaking at -12dB aren't you and not attempting fullscale deflection?

I've jsut upgraded to the F4... no internal mics, but 75dB of clean gain.  ;D 
The older I get the better I used to be

 

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