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microphones for recording discourses with Zoom H1

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Srivas, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Srivas

    Srivas Active Member

    Hi!I have a Zoom H1 and I use it for recording different discourses. But although the clarity of sound is great, the built-in stereo mics are not quite meant for such a type of work, too large stereo field, and I'm not satisfied with the clarity of the speaker's voice. I need something directional or with smaller field and at the same time portable. Also, since the discourses are being translated, maybe it would be nice to have a second mic for the translator, or a pair of stereo mics, one channel for the speaker and one for the translator. I would later on mix it together as I want to. So I guess maybe a pair of lav mics or a directional mic on a stand or shoe with a small stereo field. But there's one more aspect. Many times people from the audience ask questions, so if it's a discrete directional mic, it wouldn't get the questions at all. But if the questions are audible enough, even though quite more quiet, that's not a problem, since the quality of the recorder (and a good mic) will allow to attenuate the questions afterwards without introducing a big amount of background noise. So I need to choose something and I don't know what's best. I had a cheap lav mike before and I just put it on the table, and the quality was much better than H1 internal mics. My budget is also limited, I would say around 100 dollars. I hope I can get something good enough for that money. Thanks for any input!
     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You really don't have much choice here. The internal microphones don't have to be used. Instead, you can feed it with 2 other outboard microphones. Simple directional dynamic microphones such as the SHURE SM58 can do a great and professional sounding job. They are each about $100 US. So ya have the budget for one. You could also purchase two of their lesser quality varieties for about the same price which will also work as well for your purposes. You can't plug-in for outboard microphones without some kind of intervention through a mixer. And that doesn't fit in your shirt pocket. At least not most. Though there are those that will. Mostly used for live television capture purposes. But with $100 budget, you are pretty much limited to a couple of inexpensive dynamic microphones and a couple of cables and that's about it. Everything else would be a waste of your money. These microphones will last you a lifetime. Don't expect to pick up people on the other side of the room, with one of these. For that, you need a shotgun condenser microphone. And you won't find one of those for much less than $300 US. The only magic in providing good audio is having the equipment to support that. If we didn't need multiple microphones and mixers, we wouldn't have them. So you can't cobblers all that you want when you don't have the proper tools to do the job. You have limits on the device you have purchased. The XY microphones are good enough to pick up the ambience of your crowd. Then you need one of those microphones with a cable for the featured speaker and perhaps one of those microphones on another cable, on a floor stand, for those that want to direct a question to the guest speaker. And that's what you have there.

    Hope that helps?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  3. Srivas

    Srivas Active Member

    Hi Remy!
    Thanks for the input. I checked out Shure and the microphone you suggested is definitely a tough one (there's a video on youtube about how it's the toughest mic ever), but not exactly what I need. The point is that simple dynamic mics are already there, I need something separate like small lav mics, just to record into my recorder. So I need something portable and small, maybe a small directional mic on a shoe. And ok, forget the crowd, that's secondary.
    The other issue is 3,5 mm input. If there's some pocket size pre-amp required and it's not crazy expensive, but I can use a higher quality mic, well, I would check it out. And I could stretch the budget a little if it's worth it.
     
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The H1 has a 3.5mm stereo jack with plug-in power for external electret mics. Bearing that in mind, post #3 in each of these two recent threads may be of interest:
    First
    Second
     
    audiokid likes this.
  5. Srivas

    Srivas Active Member

  6. Srivas

    Srivas Active Member

  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    For your purposes, a couple of directional lavalier's would be a worthy investment. They really aren't much different from those built-in XY microphones on your H 4. Keep in mind, if they do not have XLR balanced outputs and are of only the mini photo plugs, you will be restricted to about 10-20 feet/3-6 m or so but no further. The XLR balanced output microphones allows cables up to 1000 feet (technically even further). These types of outputs are what we call balanced and prevent picking up hum and spurious electromagnetic and radio frequency interference which can really completely destroy any of its possible advantages. So ya have to think of function before you think about price.

    All of my unbalanced lavalier microphones have cable lengths of only 2 m maximum, 6 feet. They are basically designed to go into a UHF/FM wireless microphone belt pack. And if you're going to have these microphones within 6 to 10 feet from you, why bother? They won't be any different than the built-in XY microphones.

    I did this for NBC-TV for 20 years.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  8. Srivas

    Srivas Active Member

    Hi Remy!howdy
    Thank you for the information! I know I will need it in the near future.

    Well, as far as the XY mics are concerned, they're give a feeling like you're in a cellar, there's not enough clarity of the speaker, not enough highs, warmth, and too much bass, plus they're sensitive and record too much background sound in a crowdy place. They're good for music but not for discourses. So lavs should make a difference and what I hear from youtube previews on different lavs, it's basically what I need. But a really good quality lav will cost at least 200 bucks. So although lavs are also omni-directional, still it seems they have less field than H1 built-in mics, well, it depends on a specific model. I like the sound of above mentioned SP-BMC-2 mikes and the price is very reasonable. There's two mics and I would like to try them out on different speakers, translator will sit next to the speaker. Of course it's not meant to be used like that, but if quality is good enough then it will be just what I need. I can mix them together later on, if that is required. And since the H1 has a 3.5 mm input jack, there's not much options. I can also get a small amplifier, like this one http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/category.cgi?item=SP-SPSB-10
    I will have to see do I need it though. So these are my thoughts, please let me know if I'm getting it wrong, I will be happy to know.
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Bos, thank you for cross referencing within RO like this. (y)
     
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Hmm, I'd forgotton that thread. Hang on, it was 4 years ago...
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm continuously working on ways to cross reference our content within our database and notice you as most loyal and organized at this. It makes our forum so much better. Thank you.
     

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