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Author Topic: Advice for external mic for H4n Pro  (Read 153 times)

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Offline Godisradio

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Advice for external mic for H4n Pro
« on: Yesterday at 10:45:04 AM »
Hello. Looking for advice on getting an external mic for my Zoom H4n Pro. I’ve been recording for several years using only internal mics. Quality seems pretty good. I usually record most concerts I go to, so I’m usually sneaking gear in. Wondering if I’ll notice a big difference if I get another mic. Can’t be too large so I can be somewhat stealth. Thank you.

Offline daspyknows

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Re: Advice for external mic for H4n Pro
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 01:59:18 PM »
There will be a big difference.  First question is what is your budget?  You can spend a hundred to a few thousand.  I am partial to Schoeps but they are the top end of the price range.  I'd suggest listening to recordings made from others and doing your research that way.  Then you can find what works based on cost, quality and size.  Also the info here.

Offline love2tape

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Re: Advice for external mic for H4n Pro
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 11:47:01 PM »
I was in the same boat as you- using the h4n pro's internals for a bunch of shows. I got some Church Audio mics (CA-14) + the CA-Ugly battery box to power them and it was an immediate sizable upgrade for ~$150.

Here's an example- my first capture with the CA-14s. Was pretty ideal circumstances- I was in a great spot balcony DFC in a sitdown venue with great acoustics (so, almost-silent crowd compared to standing shows where you get more singing and chatter). I simply clipped them to my shoulders beside my head.

I also picked up the CA-11 cards, example here. Not as ideal circumstances- venue didn't sound as good, but this pull is better than what I would have been able to get with just the internals. I was pretty far back with the mics clipped to my glasses pointing forward, and looked up DFC between the stacks. In my experimenting, I generally prefer the CA14 omnis.

I've had no trouble stealthing w/ this rig. If you wanted to get schoeps + actives I imagine that would would be more ideal, but then you're talking at least $1000 I think, if not $2000. I'm not even sure exactly how it would work with the h4n pro.. I only recently began researching actives. Question for others- wouldn't you need some other device besides just the H4n pro + actives + schoeps caps? I didn't think you could just go schoeps caps > actives > h4n pro. Would you need to run this through these? I'm trying to figure out what the "miniature binder plug" on the KCY 250/5 IG output is- what I linked looks like the wrong size. I'm not finding anything that specifies "miniature binder to dual XLR", and isn't that what you'd need for an h4n?

e: nvm, pretty sure I misunderstood actives- reading this thread now. I see that you'd need bodies (such as VST 62 IUg) and the actives merely allow them to be more remote so as to lower the gear footprint where you place the mics.
« Last Edit: Today at 01:18:23 AM by love2tape »

Offline TheMetalist

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Re: Advice for external mic for H4n Pro
« Reply #3 on: Today at 05:03:25 AM »
I only recently began researching actives. Question for others- wouldn't you need some other device besides just the H4n pro + actives + schoeps caps? I didn't think you could just go schoeps caps > actives > h4n pro.

To run Schoeps capsules and active cables you need a battery box/preamp. It works the same way as CA11/14.

The active cables and preamp replaces the microphone bodies normally used for the capsules.

As far as I know there's only one man who makes these cables (Nbob) and preamps (Nbox) nowadays and that's Schoepsnbox here at TS. Don't hesitate to contact him. He makes stellar products.
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Advice for external mic for H4n Pro
« Reply #4 on: Today at 07:16:46 AM »
CA-14 cards and AT-853 cards are both excellent entry-level (~$200, less if you get them here used) mics for use with a simple battery box. I've used both, and they're almost indistinguishable in sound quality — the 853s are a little sturdier is the main difference.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you're going to be recording a lot of loud shows, you'll want to get the low-sensitivity (4.7k) modification to the 853s to keep them from distorting. (The CA-14s have them built in already.)

And yeah, Schoeps are a definite upgrade over either, but at 10x the price, so many people (including me) stick with the lower-cost options as good enough. (And they are pretty good, just not Schoeps-level good.)

 

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