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Zoom h2n level problem

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Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Innocent_Bystander » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:51 am

Hi,

The bass player in our band recently bought a Zoom h2n recorder for use recording our band rehearsals. We're a simple four piece rock band; necessarily because there's a drummer involved, but certainly not excessive.

We're having huge difficulty getting a level that doesn't clip.

There's a mic level control and I would expect this to completely mute the mic at it's lowest setting, but it doesn't seem to do so. With the level control rolled all the way down, the mic is still clipping regularly.

There are various compression and limiting settings and we tried all of these, but with no success.

I've read the manual cover to cover and we've searched online, but nobody else seems to be having these issues.

So, I can only assume we're either missing/ ignoring a crucial setting somewhere or the unit is faulty (it's brand new).

Before we try to adjust some settings with a hammer, I wonder if anyone here has one of these recorders and might know what we're doing wrong.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Honeyboy » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:57 pm

Press MENU, Select INPUT, Select COMP/LIMITER, Choose LIMIT2(CONCERT) - Limiter for live performance.

Make sure you are recording in an uncompressed WAV, 24 bit format.
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Innocent_Bystander » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:20 pm

Hello Honeyboy,

Thanks for your reply. We tried the various limiting options, including the CONCERT one, but no success unfortunately.

I'm pretty sure it's set for 24 bit WAV, but I'll double check tomorrow (don't have the unit in front of me right now). Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm confused why setting the gain control to zero still results in any level at all. I would have thought the range of the control would include starting at -infinity and working up from there. I'd assume that would provide the widest range to work with.

If you have this unit, does yours still give level when the gain control is at it's lowest setting?

Thanks again for your suggestions!
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Honeyboy » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:20 pm

Sounds like you may be using the line-in inputs with external mics instead of the built in mics? Even when dialed down to zero, the H2n line input is uncontrollably over-sensitive.

The line in and built in mic inputs are both controlled by the mic gain wheel, but even when the mic gain wheel is lowered to 0 the line in is very sensitive and over prone to clipping.

Use the built in mics, make sure Auto Gain is set to OFF, and move the device further away from the sound source if the levels are still too hot.

I've recorded several very loud bands with this device, all with good results.

With the analogue mic gain turned all the way down, there is still a small signal going to the internal mics. This is perfectly normal. It is designed to give you finer control over the useable range of gain, rather than work as an on off volume control.
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Innocent_Bystander » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:54 pm

Hello Honeyboy,

It's the internal mic(s) we're using, nothing external at all. I did read somewhere that the line input is pretty hot, almost exactly the problem we're having with the internal mic. At least using an external mic there's an option to pad it down before it comes in. But, the idea was to find a simple one box solution, so we'd rather not get into external mics (although I appreciate that's not what you're suggesting).

There's not really space to move the mic much further than we already have and I'm confident that we're not stupidly loud, certainly less so than the average pub band. It's really very strange.

Thanks very much for your suggesting so far. If anything else comes to mind, please do let me know.

Thanks!
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Smellthevalve » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:41 pm

The manual quotes the mics being able to handle 120 dB spl so the distortion issue should not be happening.
However have you got this http://www.zoom.co.jp/downloads/h2n/software/
update as it suggests solving a problem with distortion in surround sound recording mode?
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Innocent_Bystander » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:46 pm

Smellthevalve wrote:However have you got this http://www.zoom.co.jp/downloads/h2n/software/
update as it suggests solving a problem with distortion in surround sound recording mode?

No, hadn't seen that, thank you! I can't check the firmware version because the unit is with it's owner, but that looks very interesting. I'll check it out and let you know.

No, there's no way we're 120dB!

Thanks again!
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Richard Graham » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:02 pm

I've got the H4 (forerunner of the H4N) and it will distort from the internal microphones in a band practice, when powered from the batteries, no matter what settings are used. There is a thread on here somewhere about it.

The solution is to power from the external p.s.u.

I don't think it's the microphones distorting. I think its the pre-amps: not enough juice from the batteries. By the time it gets to the AD converters, the signal is mush.

Try the PSU.
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Honeyboy » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:24 pm

I'm running latest firmware 1.10, and I've never ever needed to use the built in limiter when recording a live band rehearsal (or had a problem with preamp distortion on batteries).

I updated the firmware in my unit to 1.10 before I first used the recorder, so I would guess that is probably where your problem lies..
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Jorge » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:39 am

Hold the hammer for a minute. I have the old H2 but on the picture of the H2n the setup looks the same. There are 2 level controls that affect the mic input. The volume key that shows change in level on the screen is on one side of the unit. On the other side is a 3 position switch Mic Gain L/M/H, located between the external mic input and the line level input. I found that unless that switch is set to L, live music always clips the mic. The volume key still adjusts the record level numerically on the screen even when the Mic Gain is on L. Have you set that switch to L?
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Re: Zoom h2n level problem

Postby Innocent_Bystander » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:14 am

Hello!

Thanks for the replies overnight, really appreciated.

I've forwarded the link to the updates to our bass player and hopefully he'll get that installed today and we can try it out tonight. I'll also bring along a PSU so we can power it from the mains in case it's that.

Jorge, thanks for your suggestion. I don't have the unit in front of me, but from the images I can find online the H2n doesn't have the level switch that the H2 has. That's a shame, it would be very helpful in this situation!

Thanks again for your help guys, it's very good of you.

Cheers!
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