Wednesday, January 11, 2012

3D Mic Pro, Zoom H4N and recording volume.

I have been learning to use the 3D Mic Pro, together with my Zoom H4N to record sound whenever I film.  I been learning how to properly set the volume level for the recorder in louder environments. Below is some of my findings when recording loud sources, or close to loud sources.

Scenario 1

The following set of audio files was recorded using my Zoom H4N and the 3D Mic Pro. The 4CH005M track was the built in audio recorder microphones. The 4CH005I track is the input from the 3D Mic. The 3D Mic was connected using the XLR inputs. The tracks were recorded simultaneously. The Zoom H4N mics were set to a recording level above 20. The 3D Mic recording level was set to 0.5

The recording is of Christmas Bells. The Christmas bells are electronically controlled but contain mechanical mechanism that causes them to ring.  The bells start up playing the scale up and down.  The bells were strung along an archway. The   3D Mic Pro was mounted right above the Zoom H4N.  Both were centered between 2 to 3 feet below the bells.

I recommend right click and save to play.

I can hear what sounds almost like it being maxed out, in the second scale. Here is what the tracks look like normalized.

Question: Why did I have to lower the 3D Mic Pro to below 1 but the Zoom H4N mics were fine with it in the 20+ range? ( I don't specifically remember what the range was but it was above 20 for sure, it could have been as high as 50).

Scenario 2

Scenario 2 consists of the same setup as scenario 1 for the audio connections.
  • Zoom H4N Mics on the "M" track. 
  • 3D Mic on the "I" track with XLR inputs.
  • Volume levels of both the Zoom Mics and the 3D Mic have been set somewhere between 10 and 30. I do not recall off hand. I know for sure the 3D Mic was level was not less then 1. 

The sound is really loud. I recommend right click and save.

The recording was at a party in which there was a group of people playing one of the Rock Band games on the play station with others talking.  It was a louder environment but not uncomfortable to the ears.

Here's how they appear each track normalized.


Why is the 3D Mic seem to sound like its getting clipped during recording despite the DB levels not being very high?

Why is there such a drastic difference between the Zoom H4N mic's and the 3D Mic?

In loud environments I find I have to set the audio recording level for the 3D Mic to less the 1 on the recorder limiting my options for controlling the audio level.  The audio still tends to sound clipped.