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Author Topic: Zoom H6 compressor  (Read 1620 times)

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Offline SacredMetal

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Zoom H6 compressor
« on: October 04, 2016, 03:13:50 PM »
Own a Zoom H6

wanna know your thoughts on the built in compressor/limiter

Currently I don't use it but have been thinking of trying it out.

Manual really does not give enough info IMO



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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 06:23:30 PM »
I can't speak to the compressor, but the limiters in inexpensive portable recorders usually are all digital, aren't all that great, and will raise the noisefloor noticeably if you're recording quieter music.  For what you're recording, I'd avoid it.
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2016, 10:21:19 AM »
I can't speak to the compressor, but the limiters in inexpensive portable recorders usually are all digital, aren't all that great, and will raise the noisefloor noticeably if you're recording quieter music.  For what you're recording, I'd avoid it.

Hmmm, So "don't touch it its evil..." [Time Bandits]

But I should consider outboard at some point possibly or just keep level low enough as I been doing & roll the dice? 

If I switched to an F4/8 then that would be a different story I suppose.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2016, 06:14:59 PM »
I can't speak to the compressor, but the limiters in inexpensive portable recorders usually are all digital, aren't all that great, and will raise the noisefloor noticeably if you're recording quieter music.  For what you're recording, I'd avoid it.

Hmmm, So "don't touch it its evil..." [Time Bandits]

But I should consider outboard at some point possibly or just keep level low enough as I been doing & roll the dice? 

If I switched to an F4/8 then that would be a different story I suppose.

The F4/F8 have digital limiters as well.  For real quality limiting without adding noise, analog limiters are going to be superior, but you'll typically find them only in the expensive pro-level recorders and preamps, or obviously in a dedicated outboard limiter.  Around 2:30 or so in this video, there's a decent explanation of analog vs. digital limiters.

I wouldn't roll any limiters for what you're doing, just set levels reasonably.  If you get a recorder that is capable, run a set of -12 dB safety tracks instead of a limiter.  If you absolutely must use the limiter, set it to a fairly high threshold so it doesn't activate until you're getting very close to 0dB.  But personally I would avoid it altogether.  For any music with a wide dynamic range and a quiet background, if the limiter does engage, you'll probably hear it, unless it's a very good analog limiter.

The music I record often has a wide dynamic range, and I never use limiters.  I do run safety tracks if I have the extra channels available, but even if I don't I just set the levels conservatively and can count on one hand the number of times I've had any clipping in a concert recording, outside of applause when the mics have been close to the audience.

Check out the "O Fortuna" and "Jai Ho" tracks from this concert.  I set levels from the rehearsal run, and backed off just a bit from there because people play louder in front of an audience.  The safety tracks were running, but not needed.
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Offline angelo sixo

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2016, 08:27:33 PM »
i use mine i set it on the live concert setting and 80 on the lowcut and i like it
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2016, 10:13:02 AM »
i use mine i set it on the live concert setting and 80 on the lowcut and i like it

Setting filter would kill bottom end of gongs unless I did eqing or some bass reconstruction of some sort.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2016, 01:51:58 PM »
i use mine i set it on the live concert setting and 80 on the lowcut and i like it

Setting filter would kill bottom end of gongs unless I did eqing or some bass reconstruction of some sort.

I wouldn't ever use the low cut filter on a consumer deck unless my mics were placed in close proximity to a subwoofer.

Likewise I would never use the limiter unless I was doing a paid film dialog recording and not getting the take would cost me my job. If I did use it I would set it with the threshold as close to 0 as I could get with a fast attack and gentle release.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2016, 05:52:00 PM »
i use mine i set it on the live concert setting and 80 on the lowcut and i like it

Setting filter would kill bottom end of gongs unless I did eqing or some bass reconstruction of some sort.

I wouldn't ever use the low cut filter on a consumer deck unless my mics were placed in close proximity to a subwoofer.

Likewise I would never use the limiter unless I was doing a paid film dialog recording and not getting the take would cost me my job. If I did use it I would set it with the threshold as close to 0 as I could get with a fast attack and gentle release.

Agreed 100%.  SacredMetal; you definitely don't need a limiter for your work.  If you listened to the recordings I linked, I think you'll find that careful level setting will have you in good shape.
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Zoom H6 compressor
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2016, 01:05:17 AM »
Thanks Voltronic, I get it now. Sometimes I need it beaten into my skull a little bit...

I was working on an old piece today in RX5. I'm really beginning to like that program, but there are some things no matter how good a program is it can not save.

I had one section that hard clipped really bad. No safety track because it was an early recording & I was still figuring the recorder out.

If I clip going in, I'm toast but if I have a safety track (which I can do in H6) I can try to work with that section & edit it back in.

Also post filtering only. After many hours this week looking at spectrum-graphs & listening, I would loose too much in the bottom end with stock filter setting.

Some of those gongs go stupid low. The tones& harmonics  they can produce is insane. I'll post some clips to share soon.
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