Zoom Recorders Workshop

From Help Wiki

Media Loan

  • www.evergreen.edu/medialoan
  • Bring your Evergreen ID with the current quarter sticker.
  • Make a reservation for equipment, stop by Lib. 2504, or call (360) 867-6253.
  • Test and confirm all equipment is in working order before leaving Media Loan.
  • Media Loan has SEVERE LATE FINES. Return equipment on time, or call to make a renewal. Follow up with an appeal form to negate late fines.
Late Fines assessed daily, per item
Equipment valued over $250 — $20.00 per day
Equipment valued under $250 — $10.00 per day
Keys and all equipment and accessories valued over $50 — $10.00 per day
Equipment and accessories valued under $50 — $5.00 per day

Microphone Types

  • Dynamic Mics
    • Can withstand louder noises, rugged pickup elements.
    • No power needed.
  • Condenser Mics
    • More sensitive to quieter noises, and more delicate pickup elements.
      • Still capable of withstanding loud noises, but may require using a "Pad" (something to reduce the volume of the incoming signal; often located on the microphone).
    • Needs power supplied through a battery, or through phantom power (+48V) on zoom recorder.

Microphone Pickup Patterns

  • Omni: Picks up sound from all directions.
  • Cardioid: Picks up sound in front of microphone ("Directional").
    • Proximity Effect: Low frequencies are boosted as mic gets closer to the source.
  • Super-Cardioid: Picks up from front with a narrower pattern.
    • Good for blocking out unwanted sounds in the vacinity of the recording.

Microphones Categories

  • Handheld
  • Lavaliere: small clip-on microphones that attach to clothing; almost exclusively used for vocal recording.

Connector Types

The Zoom recorders make use of receptacles called "Combo Jacks" which allow the user to plug in either an XLR connector or a 1/4" connector.

  1. XLR = used at the bottom (H4n) or sides (H6n) of the recorder for use with external microphones; mic-level input signals must use these XLR connectors.
  2. 1/4" = used at the bottom (H4n) or sides (H6n) of the recorder for use with line-level and instrument-level input signals; line-level input signals must use these 1/4" connectors.
    • Examples of line-level signals: Phone, iPod, laptop.
    • Examples of instrument-level signals: Electric guitars, acoustic instruments with 1/4" outs.
  3. Mini or 1/8 inch = for headphones.

Mic Usage Tips

  • Use a stand if possible to reduce noise (table, or floor)
  • Listen for:
    • Handling noise
    • Proximity effect
    • Popped p's (aka "Plosives")
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio
    • The closer you are to your source with your microphone the higher the signal to noise ratio
    • The further away you are from your source the more unwanted noise gets into your recording.
  • Perspective
    • Close up recordings produce isolated sounds which enhances the texture of certain objects and provides a narrow and close up perspective.
    • Recording at distances provides width and depth to your sounds which can provide clues to location, combined actions of objects, weather, ambiance, time of day, etc.

Media Loan Shopping List

  • Zoom recorder
  • Mic cables
  • Headphones
  • Extension cords (for power, if needed)
  • Mic stands: Desk stand, floor stand/boom stand, microphone handle
  • Microphones:
    • Recommended for vocal recording > SM-58, SM-57, EV RE-27, Sennheiser 421, ECM-50 Lavalier
  • Extra AA batteries

Zoom Recorder

Digital audio recorder that records to flash memory cards. No moving parts. Copy files off just like using a USB drive.

Recording Checklist for Single Narrator Recording

Select a controlled and quiet recording location. Avoid noisy public locations (like restaurants, or areas near a road). If possible, eliminate background noises (turn off stereos, TV’s, fans, air circulation vents). A room with carpeting and furniture will typically sound better than one with hard floors (too much echo).

  1. Plug in to ac power, or use fresh AA batteries. Confirm stamina switch inside battery compartment is off.
  2. Turn on recorder
  3. Format card
  4. Plug in headphones
  5. Connect an external mic to recorder, press 1/2 button on the front panel. If using a condenser mic turn on Phantom Power (+48v)
  6. Set to record to WAV, 48kHZ, mono, manual record levels
  7. Set the mode to Stereo
  8. Confirm all filter settings are turned off
  9. Make a test recording:
    1. Press Rec button once - this will go in record pause mode
    2. Test the microphone placement, confirm if you are hearing the built in mic, or the external, any crackles, or hums, room noise, too close, too far away from the sound source?
    3. Set levels - record level controls on the right of the recorder. Levels should be the loudest around -12dB
    4. Press Rec to start recording (counter will be running, record light will be solid)
    5. Listen on headphones
    6. Press Stop to stop recording
    7. Playback recording

It is recommended to record some "room tone" to be able to insert any pauses needed later in post-production.

Copying Files

  1. While the Zoom is turned OFF, connect the recorder to a computer using the included USB cable.
  2. Turn on the recorder, select USB mode (H4n) or SD Card Reader mode (H6n).
  3. Copy files from the audio recorder to a computer as you would from a USB drive. Protect the privacy of your recordings by deleting all files on the recorder before returning equipment to Media Loan.
  4. When finished, EJECT the Zoom recorder either by clicking and dragging the device icon to the trash, or by right-clicking on the device icon and selecting "Eject..."
  5. Turn off Zoom device.

Get proficiency sign in sheet.