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Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

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Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Jpjb14 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:56 pm

Hello All,

I would just firstly like to say thank you for your help with my first question earlier today, very very helpful and after taking in what was said and playing with my recorder some more (Zoom F6), I now am beginning to really understand what each things is and how they work :)

So I now have a bit more of a technique question if I may. Now I appreciate every scenario/mic/recorder can play a part with these settings, however Im going to be recording Wildlife/Nature and mainly Bird sound, with a shotgun mic & then some ambient nature sound with a matched pair of stereo condenser mics, and wondered for this genre/subject of audio where is a good place to start in regards to the gain/trim level & fader level?

Thank you : )
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:08 pm

The fader level only affects the stereo mix, so start with that at its unity (0dB) position.

The gain/trim control sets the preamp gain (or the nominal level if using the floating point format), and you should adjust that so that the loudest signal peaks don't go higher than -6dBFS. If the recording subject is erratic, err on the side of caution. Even if your peaks are around -20dBFS it will sound better than overloads and can be raised in a DAW.
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Jpjb14 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:19 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The fader level only affects the stereo mix, so start with that at its unity (0dB) position.

The gain/trim control sets the preamp gain (or the nominal level if using the floating point format), and you should adjust that so that the loudest signal peaks don't go higher than -6dBFS. If the recording subject is erratic, err on the side of caution. Even if your peaks are around -20dBFS it will sound better than overloads and can be raised in a DAW.

Right okay that makes sense.

So in practice then, if I was somewhere out in the field with my shotgun mic and found a bird in a tree that was signing… I would set the gain/trim to a level that means the signal (noise from the bird) can be heard clearly but the peaks stay between -20dBFS & -6dBFS (at an upmost limit)…. Then set the trim to 0db and just adjust as needed to affect the stereo track to what I feel works… (if I was using multi mics then the fader would be adjusted to set the noise output of each mic to the fader)

Hope my understanding is correct?

Thank you :)
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:26 pm

Yep! :thumbup:
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Jpjb14 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:33 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Yep! :thumbup:
Amazing! Hugh again thank you very much for your help today, I have learnt so much and can’t wait to get out there now with the new kit and knowledge aha :)
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby sound bites » Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:50 pm

It‘s a good idea to record quiet sounds at lower levels, very quiet sounds down to -40dB. This leaves enough headroom for dealing with a soft wind or insects flying close to the mic. It also makes sure that the sound character stays true in relation to the overall sound spectrum. Loud=loud, quiet=quiet.
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Jpjb14 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:13 pm

sound bites wrote:It‘s a good idea to record quiet sounds at lower levels, very quiet sounds down to -40dB. This leaves enough headroom for dealing with a soft wind or insects flying close to the mic. It also makes sure that the sound character stays true in relation to the overall sound spectrum. Loud=loud, quiet=quiet.

Thank you for these tips, really helpful & makes total sense for sure : )
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Jpjb14 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:17 pm

When I was playing around with the F6 I have noticed a setting link with the headphones output, of Post Fader or Pre Fader...

Now if my understanding I correct, Pre means your listening to the sound before its recorded onto either the single mono track or LR stereo track (if using mix of mics) and the Post means your listening to the final recorded sound on the mono or LR track, after fading applied??

So if my understanding is correct, is it not best to use the Post fade mode so that your hearing how it will be recorded? Why would you use pre fader?

Thank you : )
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:44 pm

Jpjb14 wrote:Now if my understanding I correct, Pre means your listening to the sound before its recorded onto either the single mono track or LR stereo track (if using mix of mics) and the Post means your listening to the final recorded sound on the mono or LR track, after fading applied??

Not quite.

Check out the block diagram on page 193 of the full manual.

There is no fader on the ISO recording path. The faders just control the contributions of each input to the stereo mix.

So you can decide whether to audition the original source level of each ISO track, or the co tributimg mix level.

So if my understanding is correct, is it not best to use the Post fade mode so that your hearing how it will be recorded?

You'll hear how it will be heard in the stereo mix.

Why would you use pre fader?

Perhaps because you're only using a small amount of that source in the stereo mix, but you need to check it at its full (ISO) level?
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Re: Thank you & Gain Trim / Fader levels for Wildlife/Birds/Nature

Postby Jpjb14 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:25 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Jpjb14 wrote:Now if my understanding I correct, Pre means your listening to the sound before its recorded onto either the single mono track or LR stereo track (if using mix of mics) and the Post means your listening to the final recorded sound on the mono or LR track, after fading applied??

Not quite.

Check out the block diagram on page 193 of the full manual.

There is no fader on the ISO recording path. The faders just control the contributions of each input to the stereo mix.

So you can decide whether to audition the original source level of each ISO track, or the co tributimg mix level.

So if my understanding is correct, is it not best to use the Post fade mode so that your hearing how it will be recorded?

You'll hear how it will be heard in the stereo mix.

Ahh okay - wow that is a complex diagram :lol: - however I think I understand what you mean, so If your only recording using sed number of mics, to sed number of mono tracks or a single mic to the LR stereo track, then the only thing you change is the gain/trim => which then records onto the said track.. and what you hear in the headphones is what is being recorded as per the gain/trim level.

But if you use 2 or + mics to record onto the LR stereo track together, then you still set the gain/trim for each mic (depending on where there being used for) - but you also then ''unlock'' the faders, which you then use to set the amount of output signal from each individual mic, that's being recorded to the LR stereo track.... So in this scenario you would then choose whether you want to hear the sound pre fader = all mics as per there set gain or post fader where you will be listening to the final LR stereo track whereby your (fader set) contributions will be heard?

Why would you use pre fader?

Hugh Robjohns wrote: because you're only using a small amount of that source in the stereo mix, but you need to check it at its full (ISO) level?

So say you had a mic on person A, a mic on person B then a pair of ambient mics doing crowd signal... but you want to check the person B mic on its own?

I think it is getting there aha - Thank you for your support ! : )
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