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Hello - Beginners Questions on L/R & ISO vs Mix

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Hello - Beginners Questions on L/R & ISO vs Mix

Postby Jpjb14 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:11 pm

Hello, hope everyone is well and thank you for excepting me to join this forum.

I am brand new to the world of sound recording and have recently got my self a Zoom F6 recorder and a Rode NGT5 Shotgun mic & a matched pair or Rode NT5 to play around with to learn the art of field recording - hopefully wild & nature. Nothing too crazy but just to then maybe put the tracks into some post software and play around with what I have created :)

However there is a couple of things that im a bit confused with and was hoping for some clarification & guidance what they are/does... (I think there generic and not specific to the Zoom f6)

1) I have noticed that when I am recording a mic say through XLR 1 then on the front screen the channel 1 bar move up and down (gain bar) but also the L&R bars do too... what are the L&R bars and is this correct to happen?

2) (I think this may be related to above actually), but I have read the phrase ISO track & Stereo Mix (track)? again what are these and when/why would you use each?

Thanks so much for your help and support everyone, really appreciate it.
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Re: Hello - Beginners Questions on L/R & ISO vs Mix

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:35 pm

Jpjb14 wrote:1) I have noticed that when I am recording a mic say through XLR 1 then on the front screen the channel 1 bar move up and down (gain bar) but also the L&R bars do too... what are the L&R bars and is this correct to happen?

Multitrack recorders like the F6 generally record each input to its own track (often called an ISO recording -- as in 'isolated'), but also record a live stereo mix of all input sources, and you can use the front panel knobs (or perhaps some external controller) to adjust the levels and pans of each input into that stereo mix.

In most of the intended applications for machines like this, the expectation is that the user would create a live stereo mix of the inputs which might be used to feed a video camera, or would serve as the final mix, but the individual track recordings are retained and can be used for a remix in post-production if necessary.

It is normally possible to switch off the stereo mix function if you don't need it and/or don't want to waste drive capacity with an unneeded stereo mix.

2) (I think this may be related to above actually), but I have read the phrase ISO track & Stereo Mix (track)? again what are these and when/why would you use each?

I think I've probably explained both of those points above!

Separately, recording out of doors needs high-quality wind-shielding, as even light breezes will cause nasty rumbles on the mics that easily ruin a recording. Most pros use the products of Rycote.com, and although they might seem expensive they really do work well, and can last a lifetime if well looked after. There are other manufacturers of windshielding products, but in my experience very few are as effective or long lasting...
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Re: Hello - Beginners Questions on L/R & ISO vs Mix

Postby Jpjb14 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:43 pm

Thank you so much for this, really helpful and makes me understand things quite a bit more now!

So from what you have said there, I think to start with I should turn off mixing if possible and just record separate track to play around with then in the future look at adding a mix into the equation…

One thing if I may, the L&R bar that is shown then does that relate to if you have a stereo mix? And would that be only two mics linked? (Sorry my explanation probably not brilliant)

As for your added tips around wind protection, very much appreciated and definitely something I will look into :)
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Re: Hello - Beginners Questions on L/R & ISO vs Mix

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:28 pm

Jpjb14 wrote:So from what you have said there, I think to start with I should turn off mixing if possible and just record separate track to play around with then in the future look at adding a mix into the equation…

There's no need to turn off the mix recording unless you're short of space on the memory card.

And actually, the stereo mix is what normally feeds the headphone monitoring anyway. So if you're using multiple microphones you're probably going to want to create some kind of monitor mix, and quite probably in stereo... so you might as well record it too!

And would that be only two mics linked?

The stereo mix can be a mix of any or all inputs, and each can be panned wherever you want. You'll need to do a bit of menu diving to find the relevant controls, but it's all fairly obvious on the F6. For stereo pairs of mic, you can link their gains so that one control will set the level of both mics in the mix -- but don't forget to pan one mic left and the other right, otherwise you'll end up with a mono mix!
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Re: Hello - Beginners Questions on L/R & ISO vs Mix

Postby Jpjb14 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:35 pm

Hugh - Thank you again so much for this, really really helpful and everything you say there make sense : )
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Re: Hello - Beginners Questions on L/R & ISO vs Mix

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:05 pm

:thumbup: :D
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