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Author Topic: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording  (Read 862 times)

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Offline cmstewart

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Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« on: July 18, 2018, 03:56:18 PM »
I'm new here! And I'm also a first-timer with recording concerts (so bear with me if you can). I have a Zoom H5 with the SSH-6 mid-side pattern stereo shotgun mic capsule. I also have a Beyerdynamic MCE72 Stereo shotgun mic (crossed pair pattern mic). Both mics in the zoom will be recorded on separate stereo tracks, so I will essentially be making 2 recordings. I have a compact handheld mount (with shockmounts for each mic) to carry it all, and may use a tripod if i can get one before Sunday. These are all recent additions, so I'm still figuring out what else would be necessary (preamps? attenuators? etc.) to make a great recording.

It's a Counting Crows show at the Woodlands Pavilion. My seat is about 13 degrees off-center toward the back of the front/middle section. Pretty nice distance in my (inexperienced) opinion. Does anyone have any advice on Zoom's settings at a live show (limiter/compressors for instance) that have helped you? The great news is that CC allows pretty much anything at their shows. So i don't have to be sneaky. Given that I have that freedom, I feel I need to ask experts in order to make the most of it.  8) I'll also be mounting my V20 phone to video the concert, but my priority is the audio. And I'd love to have it turn out great. I'm willing to learn as much as I can.

Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 07:55:34 PM »
Well.... I tried!!!!!!

Offline seethreepo

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 08:00:59 PM »
While I don't have first hand experience with your exact equipment , I highly recommend practicing on a local bar band (to estimate levels) get used to starting and stopping the deck etc.
Bring Extra batteries
 you might want to read this thread since it covers "shotgun" mics  which in many opinions are not idea for what we do but YMMV.   http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=186891.0

If your gear has a "line in" it might be advisable to use that  to avoid brickwalling or "distortion. 
lastly you might inquire with the venue before hand to see if they will allow a mic stand  (tripod, lighting stand)  , print a copy of the CC' taping policy if there is one otherwise you might get denied at the door. 

having taped a ton of bands (some which allow it some who dont) , Its best to clear things ahead of time  rather than assume. People sometimes have isses taping the Grateful dead and they invented audience taping !   also show up early to have a buffer to overcome any hassles at the door.  Tapers to venues are not normal customers.  (we are a nuisance to some and Verboten to others.)   

I'm sure others will chime in  as we are mostly a helpful bunch  :)

best of luck
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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 10:07:56 PM »
For levels I'll start with the pre-show music at about -30 db. Likely this will be a little low when the band comes on, but it's better to have your levels a little low, than a little high.

I'm usually happy with peaks somewhere between -12 and -6.

CC don't have a huge taper following so it's likely that you will get denied at the door. Be polite and ask if they can double check with the bands MGT. Also get there early so you have plenty of time to have them check. I was at a shot last week (open taping band). Took about 30 minutes of waiting to get let in.
-24      -12              -6             0       OVER
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Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2018, 08:16:24 PM »
As for the taping policy/venue issue -- I already emailed Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Thursday and got written approval of the use of recorders, mic, tripods, and video cameras. I'll be carrying that email with me when I go. So, being denied is still possible but I will remain confident. Thanks for the heads up though, hopefully I won't have too many troubles. I'm more worried about where/how I'll set up, where I don't feel like I'm in other people's way!

As for the use of shotguns, I don't really have a choice as it's all I have, and I'm just doing this for the fun and enjoyment of the music, not to be a professional. At the same time, I'm willing to learn and do it the best I can with what I have. I just got the H5 so I'm a novice, but I've run a lot of tests to get a feel for it in the last 3 or 4 days. It's hard for me to simulate the volume of a live show though in my apartment (without getting the cops called at least).

After reading the first page of that thread you linked.... it seems my gear may not be a terrible idea? (perhaps not ideal still). One suggestion seemed to be a M/S pattern shotgun mic configuration in the center, with 2 spaced out omnis on the L and R. Now, I did make one small mistake - the Beyerdynamic MCE72 is actually (although shaped like a shotgun) simply a stereo condenser mic set in a crossed pair pattern at a 120 degree angle. My mistake. But my other shotgun is a stereo M/S pattern shotgun. So I'm hoping those with the right spacing can get a nice L/C/R type of recording?

The H5 does have a line in, but using it cancels out the M/S mic capsule. And I'd need to get the correct cable for the other mic (with a 3.5mm plug) to plug that into it. So I'll have to use the XLR inputs tomorrow. I definitely don't want any brickwalling. I'll start with the levels low and work up to what sounds best to my ears. What height range on a tripod (for a large outdoor pavilion) would you guys think is ideal? I may not have the room for the "ideal", but I'm just looking for general ideas/standards to work from. :)

Thank you guys for all the input.

Offline jefflester

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2018, 11:02:54 PM »
What height range on a tripod (for a large outdoor pavilion) would you guys think is ideal? I may not have the room for the "ideal", but I'm just looking for general ideas/standards to work from. :)
You pretty much want to get the tripod as high as you can, but people behind might complain and you might get forced to bring it down to head height.
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Offline restevezes

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 06:48:45 AM »
+1 to the practising tip. It is by far the best source for learning. reading forums is necessary but without practising you will not make any progress. (would you read about how to have sex???  ;D)


Go and tape couple of random bands in a loud environment.
Experiment with different settings, configurations, and write them down somewhere.
Listen at home and try to figure out differences when you changed things and learn why this happened
Then come here asking for any potential questions you might have, and start again. After few rounds of practising you should be ready to go
never go to your wanted show without trying first!

Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2018, 03:28:17 PM »
+1 to the practising tip. It is by far the best source for learning. reading forums is necessary but without practising you will not make any progress. (would you read about how to have sex???  ;D)


Go and tape couple of random bands in a loud environment.
Experiment with different settings, configurations, and write them down somewhere.
Listen at home and try to figure out differences when you changed things and learn why this happened
Then come here asking for any potential questions you might have, and start again. After few rounds of practising you should be ready to go
never go to your wanted show without trying first!

Haha well that's obvious. I'm not asking to make me an expert, unfortunately CC plays tonight and I just got the idea a couple weeks ago. So I don't care if I suck, I just like having tips to build on. it's better than walking into something blind right? I really don't care, it's fun. I want to enjoy it. I thought that was the purpose. Since Live plays first I'll get about an hour to test things with them before CC goes on stage. Next year they come around I'll have more experience. Thanks.

Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2018, 09:11:46 PM »
Well - to my ears this recording came out really great, especially for a first attempt. As I mentioned before, I used 2 stereo mics so I have two separate stereo recordings. When I played it back to listen thru, I was listening to both simultaneously. Now I need to blend the two into a single recording... and "master" it? This is an area I'm less experienced with. Would anyone be willing to help guide me through what's necessary (or link me to something with advice)? I'll be searching around the site for advice already here.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 11:26:04 PM by cmstewart »

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2018, 09:55:25 AM »
Well - to my ears this recording came out really great, especially for a first attempt. As I mentioned before, I used 2 stereo mics so I have two separate stereo recordings. When I played it back to listen thru, I was listening to both simultaneously. Now I need to blend the two into a single recording... and "master" it? This is an area I'm less experienced with. Would anyone be willing to help guide me through what's necessary (or link me to something with advice)? I'll be searching around the site for advice already here.

I would seriously consider choosing one stereo recording or the other. Two stereo shotgun recordings are not likely to benefit from being mixed together. It might - and I haven't heard them - but for your first go at it I would just pick one and work on it.

My workflow for "mastering" a stereo recording is -

1. Import file into audio editor (I use Wavelab6) - reduce any unwanted peaks using gain adjustment tool, increase overall gain of file to -.1dB, make any EQ adjustments (I often will remove some lowest bass frequencies) and add any dynamics processing. Add fades if you want them. Export as a .wav file.

2. Use CD Wave Editor to cut the .wav file into individual tracks. I remove long periods of non musical between song bits at this point. I create my info text file at this time with source info, notes and setlist and save it in a folder where I place the FLACS for uploading.

3. Convert files to FLAC - CD Wave Editor does this along with other program like Trader's Little Helper.

4 Upload to LMA and add FLAC files to my tablet so I can jam out in the car - all done! :guitarist:
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Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2018, 04:31:57 PM »
Thanks Goodcooker. Just to clarify... it's not 2 shotgun mics. There's only one. The other is a stereo condenser. I'll let you hear it when I'm through, but there does seem to be a benefit as it's made a L/C/R recording. I lowered the figure 8 (the side mic on the M/S shotgun) down a bit to keep relatively center. The stereo condenser is more wide sounding... much more distant and more crowd noise. The shotgun is far more focused on the band, more mono-sounding, and less crowd noise. Matrixed it has the detail of the shotgun and the openness of the condensers and keeps the band cutting through in the middle. Just my opinion but I like it.

*The thing I personally love about it is it sounds SO MUCH like it really did at the Pavilion. I really love the venue, and when I listen to it the ambience around the band, when I hear it play, I can visually see what I really saw being there. Real clean, the band sounds crisp, and it brings me back to that night when I listen. So maybe I'm selfish mixing this how I like it?  :shrug: but it is what it is!

Neither really clipped at all but I know if mixed down to one they will at points, so I'll just decrease the level of each and experiment with how much to keep it below 0, adjusting  peaks like you said.

Is Wavelab free? I thought it was only for purchase. I have used audacity, but I have a question about that (if you are familiar). I recorded at 24-bit 48khz. When exporting as WAV, it wants to export as 16-bit. But I can export as 24-bit FLAC. What's the benefit of exporting in WAV then using another program to convert to FLAC. Is CD Wave Editor better at doing it? Cause I can also add fades and track it with Audacity. But maybe there's a quality improvement by using Wavelab or some other programs? I don't really plan on using any EQ, no frequencies stick out and I'd like to keep it pure if I can.

What is LMA? Just FYI - I'm a devoted member at Crows-Town and will also be sharing a download link there as well. I'm a brand new taper, but have collected boots for years. We have a database of hundreds of CC boots if you ever want more. Hope you got a great sound system in your car  ;D
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 05:21:32 PM by cmstewart »

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2018, 05:21:57 PM »
I have used audacity, but I have a question about that (if you are familiar). I recorded at 24-bit 48khz. When exporting as WAV, it wants to export as 16-bit.


You can export from Audacity in 24-bit WAV. You have to select "Custom format" or something like that, then it gives you the option.

Mixing the two sources in Audacity is dirt easy, so if you're familiar with that, I highly recommend it.

And LMA = Live Music Archive = archive.org's music site. It doesn't look like CC is authorized for upload there, though.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2018, 07:25:35 PM »
From your description of your mixing it sounds like you have a handle on things and will move more quickly toward advanced multichannel techniques than most novice tapers do.  Follow your ears.

As goodcooker suggests, its often simplest and least problematic to choose the better of two stereo recordings rather than mixing them together.  Yet if it works and sounds good to you to mix them then there is no reason not to go for it!

The "problematic or not" issue basically boils down to mixing two recordings which weren't made in such a way that they were designed to combine well without problems.  In that case it's pretty much a crap-shoot as to whether mixing them will make things better or worse.  Unfortunately with tapers that's pretty much the general rule rather than the exception - making two stereo recordings each of which makes sense on its own in isolation, yet are sort of haphazardly setup with respect to each other, both attached to the same stand without much thought given to the spacing, angle, directional pattern and other relationships between the two setups other than having both of them point toward the stage.

There are things one can do with regards to microphones and their setup to help make mixing two sources made in close proximity work more successfully more often, if that's what you like doing.  It helps to consider of all the mics you are going to mix together as essentially a single multichannel stereo array, which may or may not consist of two separate stereo recordings which will be combined.

Your description of how you ran the two stereo microphones in one hand-held mount sounds like you are using a mount which essentially places the two stereo mics in close coincidence with each other, and that's one way of avoiding weird mixing problems.  Another is spacing the pairs or some of the microphones far enough apart from each other.  Unfortunately, the more common and oftimes problematic combination is two seperate near-spaced stereo pairs, placed on a stand so as to be near-spaced to each other.  Too many microphones that are neither coincident nor far enough apart from each other, all pointing in about the same direction and picking up the same content = a recipe for conflicts.

..it's made a L/C/R recording. I lowered the figure 8 (the side mic on the M/S shotgun) down a bit to keep relatively center. The stereo condenser is more wide sounding... much more distant and more crowd noise. The shotgun is far more focused on the band, more mono-sounding, and less crowd noise. Matrixed it has the detail of the shotgun and the openness of the condensers and keeps the band cutting through in the middle. Just my opinion but I like it.

*The thing I personally love about it is it sounds SO MUCH like it really did at the Pavilion. I really love the venue, and when I listen to it the ambience around the band, when I hear it play, I can visually see what I really saw being there. Real clean, the band sounds crisp, and it brings me back to that night when I listen. So maybe I'm selfish mixing this how I like it?  :shrug: but it is what it is!

You are already doing things which work in a way similar to what I describe with regards to microphone setup and mixing choices for a multichannel array.  My suggestion in the other thread to use a shotgun in the center between a pair of spaced omnis is a real-world adaptation to the oddity of audience perspective recording. It produces a type of L/C/R type of stereo I think you would really like.  The omnis provide the wide openness, you-are-there-ness, the ambience, while the shotgun provides the direct clarity, detail and focus.  The two parts work together to help each other rather than fight with each other trying to provide the same thing.

Using a Mid/Side shotgun in the center makes this better by allowing adjustment of the Side channel level when mixing.  That essentially does two things- blend the shotgun center more more seamlessly into the open ambient "bed" provided by the spaced omnis; and provide some tight Left/Right coincident imaging across the center of the stereo image.  Typically, just as you describe, you'll use much less Side channel than you would if you were using that Mid/Side shotgun alone.  That's because the omnis are providing most of the width and diffuse stereo interest.  The Mid/Side shotgun then can focus on providing a touch of stereo-ization to the direct sound.   Each pair providing something different enough that they aren't competing but rather help each other.

If you have a pair of cheap miniature omnis give it a try, spacing the omnis as far apart as you are able to.  Shoot for 3-6 feet apart but that's not always doable so just do what you can.

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Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2018, 08:13:54 PM »
Thank you Gutbucket for expanding on the L/C/R idea. It was your post that led me to try it, though I feel I was just lucky that that was the equipment I had. I figured, well this seems like the only way to make a shotgun useful, so why not! The big concern I had was that the "side" mic would overlap too much with the L/R condensers and create some phase issues, so I lowered it a few decibels. As far as I can tell though, there's no issues I can hear. What you described about the concept of the whole setup is exactly like I was envisioning. I didn't realize it, but you're right about the side mic helping the shotgun blend in with two condensers. It's really makes it seamless, and the different frequency patterns of each I think help bring out different details that one mic may not have been able to catch. I'm sure I could improve my gear some more though to make it even better.

I love experimenting so if I can get a couple omni's it'd be fun to try. The only issue I see with it is how to get all the mics high enough if they're that spaced out, without picking up too much annoying chatter. When all the mics are nearby, you can just find a nice spot and raise them up to a good level. I only have one tripod for it so I'd need to figure that out. Of course, this also depends on the venue and stuff as well.


You can export from Audacity in 24-bit WAV. You have to select "Custom format" or something like that, then it gives you the option.


You're right, it's called "Other Uncompressed Formats". I've been wondering, what's the benefit of exporting a WAV file and then using another program to convert to FLAC? Is exporting in FLAC doing too much at once? Or are other programs better than Audacity at doing it? Or is it just the "right way" to do it so you have a clear lineage from one step to the next? It's things like this that really expose my inexperience in taping!

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2018, 09:12:59 PM »

You're right, it's called "Other Uncompressed Formats". I've been wondering, what's the benefit of exporting a WAV file and then using another program to convert to FLAC? Is exporting in FLAC doing too much at once? Or are other programs better than Audacity at doing it? Or is it just the "right way" to do it so you have a clear lineage from one step to the next? It's things like this that really expose my inexperience in taping!

FLAC is lossless, so there's zero reason to save first as WAV and then convert later to FLAC that I can think of.

Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2018, 10:18:29 PM »

You're right, it's called "Other Uncompressed Formats". I've been wondering, what's the benefit of exporting a WAV file and then using another program to convert to FLAC? Is exporting in FLAC doing too much at once? Or are other programs better than Audacity at doing it? Or is it just the "right way" to do it so you have a clear lineage from one step to the next? It's things like this that really expose my inexperience in taping!

FLAC is lossless, so there's zero reason to save first as WAV and then convert later to FLAC that I can think of.

Okay cool. I just see a lot of people exporting from wavelab (or other programs) as WAV then using CD Wave to convert. I guess maybe Wavelab can't export FLAC, or it can't divide up the tracks? I don't have it so I'm clueless as to why. Thank you!

Offline jefflester

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2018, 10:59:43 PM »

You're right, it's called "Other Uncompressed Formats". I've been wondering, what's the benefit of exporting a WAV file and then using another program to convert to FLAC? Is exporting in FLAC doing too much at once? Or are other programs better than Audacity at doing it? Or is it just the "right way" to do it so you have a clear lineage from one step to the next? It's things like this that really expose my inexperience in taping!

FLAC is lossless, so there's zero reason to save first as WAV and then convert later to FLAC that I can think of.

Okay cool. I just see a lot of people exporting from wavelab (or other programs) as WAV then using CD Wave to convert. I guess maybe Wavelab can't export FLAC, or it can't divide up the tracks? I don't have it so I'm clueless as to why. Thank you!
Now you get to learn about SBEs. :-)
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Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2018, 11:44:51 PM »

Now you get to learn about SBEs. :-)



Hmmmmmm......... you stumped me.   :facepalm:

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2018, 09:39:28 AM »
This is advanced stuff, but your ear for it is already there as is your predilections, so I'll jump right into it-

Perhaps the biggest realization I've had which affects how I think about live music recording, how I go about doing it these days, and which has dramatically improved the listening experience of the recordings more than anything else is the use of separate microphones, microphone pairs, or different portions of a single multichannel array to record different aspects of the sound, and then combining those things afterwards to form a well balanced recording where each aspect is well optimized.   This approach eliminates a number of compromises always inherent in using a single stereo pair, while introducing a loads of control over getting each aspect of the recording balanced and sounding its best.

Your current setup using two stereo microphones is essentially providing you the ability to split the job into two separate but overlapping parts- Gathering clear, direct, detailed sound from the rather distant stage and PA via the M/S shotgun, and gathering ambient, immersive, reverberant sound arriving from all directions around you via the Beyerdynamic 120 degree X/Y microphone.  I like spaced omnis for that second role because they are optimally suited for recording and conveying a diffuse, reverberant, immersive sound, and also because they are sort of the polar-opposite of a coincident stereo setup such as your M/S Shotgun, which helps with the "focused on different aspects without too much conflicting overlap" thing.  In addition, the spacing used between the omnis places them far enough away from your center shotgun that mixing problems are further minimized.

But you don't have to use spaced omnis.  I love them but they are not always practical to run, mostly due to the spacing required.  I'll follow this post with a couple suggestions you might try with your current setup if you'd like to do some experimentation, and the first you can try with your existing Counting Crows recording.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2018, 10:42:01 AM »
Okay, here's a couple suggestions you might try with your current setup-

1) You can use a pair of Mid/Side encode/decoders to change the effective stereo width of the 120 degree X/Y Beyer microphone, essentially making the inclusive angle narrower or wider than 120 degrees.  To do so with two Mid/Side instances, you'd first convert the Left/Right stereo signal back to Mid/Side, make the adjustment to the M/S ratio, then convert back to L/R again.  Or you can use a stereo-width adjustment tool which is basically doing the same in a single step.

My suggestion is to play with making the Beyer mic contribution wider than 120 degrees.  On its own that will probably sound less focused and more reverberant (not what you'd want if making the recording using that microphone alone), but in combination with the center shotgun that will give you greater differentiation between front focus and immersive width.  You'll probably want to readjust the M/S ratio of the stereo shotgun, likely making it a tad wider, to get the best blend and to get a bit more of the sharp coincident imaging across the front.

If you want to play around with taking the mixing to the next level using EQ, you already have lots of additional options available to you with this arrangement.  Besides general EQ of the resulting stereo mixdown, you can EQ each pair separately, making each sound its best for the sonic attributes it is contributing.  You can EQ the center shotgun for clarity and the X/Y ambient pair for smooth naturalness, or whatever works best.  You can even push that a bit, trying different curves which compensate one pair against the other such that the overall EQ remains the same, but the emphasis within the overall sonic scene is altered one way or another.  Each pair listened to in isolation may sound less than optimal that way, but it balances out when combined.  Best to start with simply making each pair sound best on its own in isolation prior to combining them, before going to far with those kinds of compensating EQs.

You can go deeper than that, and play with EQing the Mid and Side signals of each pair differently.  This provides control over the stereo width of each pair by frequency range.  Say you boost the low frequencies of the Side signal while reducing the same frequencies in the Mid signal by the same amount.  The L/R stereo output will have the same overall EQ balance as before, but the stereo width at low frequencies will be widened while the stereo width at mid and high frequencies remains unchanged.  This technique is powerful and can be applied to to any stereo recording by converting it to Mid/Side and back as described above.

2) Try pointing your Beyer X/Y microphone backwards instead of forwards.  This sounds crazy but its really a further extension of making the ambient collection portion more differentiated from the front focused part.  It is also likely to make the ambient portion sound wider and more immersive and will provide additional control over the direct/reverberant balance of the recording by adjusting the relative levels of the two.  As above you may want to use a bit more stereo width from the M/S stereo shotgun in combination with doing this, but perhaps not.  Best to decide that kind of thing by listening as those choices will vary given the recording situation.  Note that you'll want to route the Left channel to Right and Right channel to Left if pointing your Beyer stereo microphone backwards, or probably easier to simply rotate the microphone so that it is upside down when pointing backwards so that the Left capsule side is still pointing Left, and vice-versa.


Other things to try with all this in mind-
If you have a pair of cardioids and want to try using them instead of the Beyer X/Y mic for the ambient portion of the recording, try using those near-spaced (easier to setup than wider spaced omnis) but pointed 180 degrees away from each other to each side instead of forward.  Again, probably not what you'd want if using that pair alone, but more optimal for combination with the forward facing stereo shotgun.  Push them apart as wide as is practical for a single stand and whatever mic bar you are using.  A good target would be twice the width of a standard near-spaced arrangement if you can manage that.  With regards to the microphones forming a single multichannel stereo array, think of the of the center shotgun and each cardioid as forming adjacent near-spaced pairs with a 90 degrees inclusive angle, which is why twice the spacing of a standard near-spaced cardioid pair is probably a good starting point if you can manage that.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2018, 10:51:56 AM »
As I mentioned in my earlier post, your current setup using two stereo microphones is essentially providing you the ability to split the job into two separate but overlapping parts.  That in turn provides more degrees of freedom in manipulating the resulting recording which you can choose to take advantage of or not.  I run an array of 6 microphones which essentially splits the job into four separate but overlapping parts and I generally balance level and EQ between those parts to build the resulting recording.  I'm still at the mercy of the venue acoustics, audience, sound guy, and band, but I maximize my options this way given the hand I'm dealt.  It's a lot of fun to play around with afterwards, and I have very much enjoyed the learning and experimentation process in getting to this point.

I hope all this is all more helpful than overwhelming.  You certainly don't need to do any of this stuff and I mostly wanted to outline possibilities which are open to you.  Even though my way is not the way most folks approach recording, it's rewarding for me to share these insights and discuss them at TS, in the hope that it may help others along their own path.  Welcome aboard!
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Offline cmstewart

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2018, 03:49:02 PM »
I hope all this is all more helpful than overwhelming.  You certainly don't need to do any of this stuff and I mostly wanted to outline possibilities which are open to you.  Even though my way is not the way most folks approach recording, it's rewarding for me to share these insights and discuss them at TS, in the hope that it may help others along their own path.  Welcome aboard!

I would say about 80% of that I have a good grip on. I'm relatively new to taping, but from what you said it sounds like this sort of setup isn't common or conventional, which I kinda like. It's part of the fun of doing something to find what "you" like, and as long as it works for what you want there's no reason not to build on it. The Zoom H5 can record the M/S shotgun in "raw", which means it's just placing both mics on different L/R channels so you can adjust them separately after recording, and then matrix them with another program. I didn't do that this time because A) I've never used a program that does that and B) I wanted to monitor the M/S already mixed into one stereo track while it was recording, so I could get a feel for how the actual recording sounded. But if I did have them in raw, I can see a lot of benefits of being able to manipulate both tracks independently to compliment the other.

It's interesting you mentioned turning the Beyerdynamic backwards, because the first time i heard that mic someone used it for voiceover, with a mono mic pointed at them and the Beyer turned around to pick up ambiance of their voice. It sounded really good, just gave a slight stereo-feel to it. I'm sure doing that would allow me to (as you said) increase the side mic on the shotgun since they would overlap less.

When I listened to the whole show through, I was blown away cause I didn't expect it to sound as great as it did. Since it already sounded great, I'm hesitant to manipulate it much with EQ unless something specifically sticks out, which in a few instances has happened. I just don't have a great grip on how to analyze a track to see what's out of balance, and how specifically to correct that problem once you do pinpoint it. So I tend to just want to leave it uncolored as much as I can. Maybe over time I'll begin to understand all that better and can utilize it. I mainly just like using my ears, but that means when I tweak the EQ I'm just taking shots in the dark, then listening to see if it helped or not. Maybe that's how most do it? But I'm sure there's more of a science to it than that.

I've never used an Omni for anything I don't think. So I'm curious how different that would sound. I think the part that's kind stumped me is the encoder/decoder you mentioned to make the Beyerdynamic wider or narrower than 120 degrees. I didn't know I could do that! I also find it interesting that you use 6 mics in your setup. I'd have to upgrade to a recorder with more inputs to be that ambitious, the H5 only has 2 in addition to the built-in capsule. I may see if I can get my hands on a couple omnis and run some experiments to hear the difference they make. Thanks so much for the welcome! And I really appreciate all the input!

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2018, 03:54:25 PM »
It's a CD burning thing:

http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/support/helpdesk/index.php?pg=forums.posts&id=7984

That is a really interesting article. Since I recorded in 24-bit, I'm curious.... is there a preferred way to convert it to 16-bit for burning?

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2018, 06:49:49 PM »
..it sounds like this sort of setup isn't common or conventional, which I kinda like. It's part of the fun of doing something to find what "you" like, and as long as it works for what you want there's no reason not to build on it.

Contrary to the way most tapers are doing it.  Most are pointing a near-spaced stereo pair of microphones at the stage/PA, making relatively basic variations on that, using mics with different polar patterns and making minor (though important) setup variations of microphone angle and spacing.  If running multiple microphones and mixing them, it's usually two or more of those near-spaced stereo pairs pointing at the PA, maybe a pair of somewhat wider-spaced omnis.  Or one near-spaced stereo pair mixed with a soundboard recording. Some run an X/Y or Mid/Side pair, but few seem to be mixing those with other mics (other than a soundboard feed if available).   I understand why folks do that, they like the sound of near-spaced stereo configs (as do I).  The problem is that a near-spaced config represents an optimized 2-microphone setup.  Mixing in more microphones or other pairs does not tend to make that more optimal, and frequently makes it less so. There are ways of making optimized multimicrophone stereo recordings which are designed so as to mix correclty, but that generally requires abandoning the optimized near-spaced stereo configurations that are most popular, and most tapers don't wish to take that leap.

Quote
The Zoom H5 can record the M/S shotgun in "raw", which means it's just placing both mics on different L/R channels so you can adjust them separately after recording, and then matrix them with another program. I didn't do that this time because A) I've never used a program that does that and B) I wanted to monitor the M/S already mixed into one stereo track while it was recording, so I could get a feel for how the actual recording sounded. But if I did have them in raw, I can see a lot of benefits of being able to manipulate both tracks independently to compliment the other.

Not sure of the H5, but many/most? recorders which feature a M/S function allow you to switch on the M/S>L/R function for monitoring (and playback) while recording the Mid and Side channel signals in their non-encoded state.  That's intended for doing exactly what you want- monitoring L/R while recording M/S.

Quote
When I listened to the whole show through, I was blown away cause I didn't expect it to sound as great as it did. Since it already sounded great, I'm hesitant to manipulate it much with EQ unless something specifically sticks out, which in a few instances has happened. I just don't have a great grip on how to analyze a track to see what's out of balance, and how specifically to correct that problem once you do pinpoint it. So I tend to just want to leave it uncolored as much as I can. Maybe over time I'll begin to understand all that better and can utilize it. I mainly just like using my ears, but that means when I tweak the EQ I'm just taking shots in the dark, then listening to see if it helped or not. Maybe that's how most do it? But I'm sure there's more of a science to it than that.

If it sounds good it is good.  No need to mess with it, except if you want to play around with things in order to learn what's going on and further hone your ear and audio manipulation skills and get a better handle on what's going on such that you can use that to inform further variations on your recording technique.  And that's a good reason for me.

Quote
I think the part that's kind stumped me is the encoder/decoder you mentioned to make the Beyerdynamic wider or narrower than 120 degrees. I didn't know I could do that!

You can do this with any stereo recording!  It's a powerful mastering technique to convert L/R to M/S, then adjust the stereo width or do other things to the Center versus the Sides, and then convert back to L/R again.  It's least problematic to do so with a coincident stereo recording where there are no phase differences between channels, but it can still be done with near-spaced directional mic and wide-spaced omni recordings, if with a somewhat more narrow range of useful readjustment.

Quote
I've never used an Omni for anything I don't think. So I'm curious how different that would sound. I also find it interesting that you use 6 mics in your setup. I'd have to upgrade to a recorder with more inputs to be that ambitious, the H5 only has 2 in addition to the built-in capsule. I may see if I can get my hands on a couple omnis and run some experiments to hear the difference they make. Thanks so much for the welcome! And I really appreciate all the input!

I love omnis, they are the most-basic pattern, the least wind and handling noise sensitive, usually more natural sounding, and relatively less complicated to manufacture - so in general less costly omnis tend to sound better than similarly less costly directional microphones.  But they'll pretty much pickup everything around them in that natural way, which can be both good and bad, depending.  They can make for a more natural "you are there" sounding recording, and perhaps not surprisingly that can sound less detailed, close and intimate given a distant recording position.  For me they are the basis upon which I build the recording I want to hear via a mindful addition of other directional microphones.  Below is a link to a long-running thread which more-or-less blogs my path over the past 12 years from a single pair of spaced omnis to the multichannel arrays I'm currently using.  It's called the Oddball Microphone Techniques Thread for good reason, and suspect that may connect with your inherent preference for non-convention. https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=96009.0
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Advice on Using a Zoom H5 for AUD recording
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2018, 06:54:03 PM »
It's a CD burning thing:

http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/support/helpdesk/index.php?pg=forums.posts&id=7984

That is a really interesting article. Since I recorded in 24-bit, I'm curious.... is there a preferred way to convert it to 16-bit for burning?

Apply dither when reducing bit-depth.  Doesn't need to be fancy noise-shaped dither, basic "triangular dither" works fine and is what I use.  Most modern editing programs will automatically dither when outputting to a lower bit-depth file, just check setup.  This should be your last processing step, other than maybe tracking (and tagging).
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