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Topic: Very basic questions about using an external mic

Please let me say upfront I am totally new to this technology!  I have a Beyerdynamic M58 microphone, with a single XLR cable, and a Zoom H4.  I have two very basic questions:

1) I used the Beyerdynamic in combination with the H4 for the first time in the field.  The volume of the sound was quite low.  I manually increased the level to the maximum (127).  The volume was still not so high, but I noticed that there was some sound distortion when people spoke loudly.  Should I give the mic phantom power to increase the volume, even though it is a dynamic mic?  Or is that simply not done with a dynamic mic?

2) The sound file created on the H4 is stereo, but using one external mic and one cable results in the stereo file having sound on only one channel (left or right).  I then have convert the file stereo to mono in Audacity.  Is this optimal?  Is there some kind of adapter for the cable that allows the H4 to have the same sound going to both the left and the right channels?  Or is it best to simply do all this "editing" in software?

Is there some kind of online resource that covers very basic issues like this? :-)

One more thing: I have realized that not asking leading questions or questions not resulting in a yes / no response, as the resources suggested by Joe advocate, takes a little practice!! hehehe

Thanks in advance!
Damon

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Re: Very basic questions about using an external mic

Hey Damon.

Nice open ended questions smile

I can answer #2 ... hopefully one of the H4 owners can pop in to help with #1 as I've had very little time with this recorder, but it sounds like a input gain versus levels issue.

RE: mono

You can set the H4 to record a mono file in the menu (I think the H4 refers to this as a Track 1 recording).

Converting it to mono in Audacity is fine as well, but if you do it in the recorder you'll be able to monitor the sound through both channels in your headphones.

-joe

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Re: Very basic questions about using an external mic

Thank you very much Joe.  You are right about the mono recording.  Going into 4 track mode to record in mono format does not strike me as the most obvious solution, but that is what works.  Unfortunately the sole format is wav, but something is better than nothing.  I noticed another user with this combination of hardware has a similar problem with input volume.  I suppose one way to "crank up the volume" would be to supply phantom power to the mic, but I have no idea what effect that would have on short or long term reliability of the microphone!!

Thanks again.

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Re: Very basic questions about using an external mic

I'm a real newbie to this, but I read something recently that mentioned the low volume problem with this recorder.

Check this out:
  http://www.transom.org/tools/recording_ … 3_zoom_h4/

I'm thinking about buying this recorder as my first machine.  Do you recommend it?

thanks,

david kennedy