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Help adding/matching 2 x Microphones to New Zoom HN4n

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by norskdrum, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. norskdrum

    norskdrum Active Member

    :biggrin:Hello Fellow Members.
    Could do with some advice please..that should read more advcie as I have already received some very good replies elsewhere.For those who have not read my older threads..I am very new to all this..although I have read much.Nothing beats first hand advice from experts like you guys on these forums.

    I have just today purchased a Zoom-Hn4n Recorder,which actually will rarely if ever leave the house,but be used to record my Percussion lessons IE(CONGAS & TIBALES +Assorted small hand percussion instruments e.t.c.)which I can play back to chart my progress or lack of it.and let my teacher listen(to be arranged?)to my efforts.I am awaiting delivery of the Hn4 but was pursuaded that this would be a very good purchase for some one like me..who does not intend to mix & dub tracks e.t.c.I am not a recording engineer.

    My idea is to make acceptable recordings of the above items (no accoustic drum set up) just latin instruments,as listed above.

    I have being given a short list of good stereo microphones,to connect to the XLR inputs making the above 4 track and told this would make a big difference in the overhaul sound quality?even for the basically simple task I intend??

    please see the following quotes:-

    My music room is very small 3.3 mtrs x 2mtrs x 2.70mtrs High! Concrete floor, pine planked roof,plaster board walls painted ;

    I know that much of this work is trial & error experimentation with miking positions and the like..but suggestions always welcome on any aspect.

    OK! so to the main thrust..>>>

    1)thoughts on the 2 x Mics to add to the onboard xy mics of the Hn4n
    2)Would the HN4n be better out front on a mic/boom stand of somekind

    3)the two additonal mics also,? would they be ok on boom type stands and a rough idea of postioning would be very helpful

    there will be two congas[Centre stage] and Timbales to the side other side rack with smaller items cow bels e.t.c. (least used)4)The room is being refurbished for me..as it stands there is a concrete floor which will have Parket flooring on 4-5mm underlay.would folk advice a drum mat of somekind,on top of the wooden flooring..

    sorry for rambling everyone,this project means the world to me,for many reasons and am a s keen as mustard to get it as right as I possibly can..there is no great rush..

    all the very best from Norway

    Regards Steve
  2. Ian Tomlinson

    Ian Tomlinson Active Member

    The H4n's built in mics are killer, and if you don't plan on producing your stuff for the mass public, I'd just stick it on a stand and point it towards your instrument. The main problem you'll run into is your concrete floor. The sound waves will be bouncing all over the place! Try hanging some blankets.
  3. norskdrum

    norskdrum Active Member

    Two or Four? that is the question?

    (y)Hi Ian
    Very good of you to rply..much appreciated.
    I suppose a part of me was/is hoping to be convinced/swayed that I only really need the Hn4 mics and not the extra two?:confused:but elsewhere I am told you MUST have the other two 4 xTrack..e.t.c. with the corresponding Mic suggestions..
    I have absolutely no experience with recording or Mics so evrything is new,and I really do take on board all the kind and helpful advice...

    Interesting point re the concrete floor? It will have a 5mm underlay with 14 mm Parket(wooden) flooring on top of that.the underlay is thermal which is good for me.how will this change your view Ian

    I am open to all advice

    Many Thansk Once again
    regards Steve:smile:
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    (Not Ian, but...)
    You will want to throw a rug onto the floor. A densely-barided wool rug would probably be best, but any will do. What you are attempting to do is to minimize sound reflections off the flooring. I agree with the statement that you should be able to use the mics in the H4N on their own...mount the recorder to a camera tripod and aim it at the source!
  5. norskdrum

    norskdrum Active Member

    two votes for not using extra mics?

    Good to hear from you..Many thanks for your input.
    So like Ian you would lean on the side of just using the h4n internal mics?
    and not bother buying the extra 2 to make it 4 track e.t.c.

    I was thinking of buying either one of the Protection Racket Drum mats to cover the area where the instruments will be located.would this you think suffice? or maybe just a thick wool rug..Must admit would prefer the drum mat way..but I am open to suggestions?

    Back to mics is it possible to quantify the improvemnet in the sound quality using 4 mics(4track) as against the two XY onboard mics on there own.As I mensioned earlier posts..If the extra mics are not required that would be a releif..as I have being looking at both the Octavia stereo pairing & SE1s Stereo Pairing..

    I would appreciate very much..more input and further suggestions as to anything else I may require on the recording side of things..Camera Tripod or Mic boom stand ?? which may be best.

    How far back approx should it be set and how high..I know this is a bit hit and miss and will require sone experimentation...but no harm in asking.

    I thanks you very much,it eans a lot to me to get this right for all kinds of reasons

    Finally the Hn4 as you will know comes with cuebase le4 software..will this suit me fine or should I be looking at Reaper as was suggested on home recording forums? again advice valued.don`t suppose in my case it should matter to much as I am not going to be mixing/dubbibg e,t,c,

    all the best for now Cheers Steve(y)
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The H4N has a camera tripod screw mount, not a microphone stand mount.

    As others have said, don't spend any money on additional mics and cables until you have made many recordings using the H4N built-in mics. Your problem in the first instance is going to be room acoustics, and this will be the same for the built-in mics as for external mics. Experiment with H4N positioning using different thick rugs, mats, carpets or whatever until you can make recordings using the basic H4N that sound good in acoustic terms. Only then will you have any pointers as to what type of addtional mics to go for to complement rather than replace the H4N mics. Don't forget that the ceiling is just another floor as far as sound waves are concerned.

    For audio software, you can indeed use Cubase LE4, but it's a bit wimpy. For two track input, you could also try the free Audacity. Reaper, on the other hand, is a full-function pro package at a low cost.
  7. norskdrum

    norskdrum Active Member

    (y)Hello Boswell
    Good to hear from you,appreciate your good advcie re the microphone situation.

    Yes it does... an adaptor comes in the box and screws in so it can be fitted to standard Mic stand or boom.think I would prefer using mic stand to be honest.

    I know I will have to experiment with Mic positioning e.t.c.But would it normally be a little way from the instruments and slightly lower than the top of say the Congas?

    also please let me know what your favourite mic stands are..not cheap ones but reasonable quality,value for money type of thing!

    Do we still think maybe using on e of the better quality Drum mats on the wooden floor a good idea?
    If there are any other issues or suggestions
    please let me know..

    Oh nearly forgot the Cuebase LE4 as against Reaper...Is there are very strong argument for going with Reaper(even allowing for it`s low price) given the kinds of recording I intend?

    all the best & many thanks
  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Atlas stands, the MS25 rocks and it has an "air clutch" and heavy duty base that will keep the recorder stable. If that's too much, K&M offers a good selection, and being German, may be more affordable in Norway than the Atlas products.
    That drum mat looks like its' more useful to anchor a kit to than to actually control reflections off the floor, but I'm not really familiar with it, so... As Bos pointed out, you'll really need to treat the ceiling, too. This is done by making a "cloud" (designs for which are all over the net) that is suspended over the recording area. Personally, I would put the money into that (and the wool rug) rather than into the mat. But that's me...
  9. norskdrum

    norskdrum Active Member

    Atlas stands superb!

    (y)Hi Moon baby...
    many thanks for your reply..very helpful..I was aware of the K&M range of mic stands but not really the Atlas ones:biggrin:wow they look good...although I did read a scathing attack on there more resent build quality..following the trend of switching some or all production to foreign parts?but still selling the product at a premium price.

    That said,they look good to me..but we run in to a second problem, one I am all to familiar with..as you know although I am Englsih,I live in Norway..we pay incredibly high taxes for everything..not least all imported items works out at 35%+ including fees e.t.c.and as usual Atlas do not appear to have an Importer here in Norway,so I have contacted them directly in hope? with fingers crossed..Nothing wrong with the German K&M stands..but if I am only going to buy one stand it may as well be the best..and I am ssuming a boom stand will offer me more positional flexibility:confused:

    I really do not wish to get involved to much in room treatments...I accept the pine plank roof will be an issue..likewise the wooden floor no doubt.The drum mat was only initially for,as you rightly stated an anchor point for the Congas & timbales and percussion stand (small items) I may still buy this as I do not really wish to completely cover the new floor in a big wool rug,so inevitably I will have to accept compromise,on this as well as the roof..although I could research this suspeded cloud you speak about?

    Once again many thanks
    cheers Steve:wink:

    If there are any other small er acoustic improvements I could make please let me know.
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The "cloud" that I am referring to can be nothing more than a large fabric (linen or muslin) sheet filled with absorptive material (rockwool) suspended from the ceiling.
  11. norskdrum

    norskdrum Active Member

    (y)Wow! that was quick..many thanks for explaining the cloud method..i was going to check it out further later...now that sounds more like it no major(expensive) room altering...
    Please feel free to suggest anything you feel maybe of help

    all the best Steve

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