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Topic: help.....external mic with H2

Hi all....I bought the H2 2 weeks ago as my first foray into audio (i'm a photojournalist).  At first, I was very much enamored with it.  It was my first nice piece of audio kit, however after a few assignments, I am finding its limitations.  One problem is when I use the 90 degree mic array to do interviews, I can't monitor the levels at the same time (since they are on the same side as the display). 

Thus, I thought I'd use an external mic so I can monitor the levels while doing an interview and to reduce the handling noise.  I bought an EV 635 since it came highly recommended and was durable.  However, it doesn't seem to play well with the H2.  I can't get the levels high enough and there's a real audible hiss.  I'm not sure if this is a function of the mic or the pre amps in the H2 or both.

What would be the next step to using an external mic?  Would a condenser mic be better?  I've been looking at the AT shotgun mics.  Can you just hold those without a boom and shocks?  Will it pick up a lot of handling noise that way?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

2 (edited by gearscout 2007-11-19 07:43:40)

Re: help.....external mic with H2

Russ,

You don't need anything special.  The 635A is a dynamic mic, doesn't need power, and will work fine with the H2. It is preferable to the internal mics because you don't get all the handling noise.

Think of the H2 like your digital camera shooting in RAW.  You can easily increase the exposure/gain in post processing.  But if you get overmodulation or distortion it's a lot like blown highlights...they can't be recovered easily.

Just put the gain switch on M, set your audio to 100 or 104 and record.  DO "work" the EV635 in close...4 to 6 inches.  It's a voice mic, not meant for picking up a room of sound.

Low levels are normal.  Without a pre-amp, the 635A is going to be peaking at something like -24db.  Not a problem.  Drop the finished file on "Levelator" when you get done.  This would have a better effect than trying to increase all your gains.  DO NOT use the "High" gain setting. 

Get Levelator here.  You'll love how easy it is!

http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator

After you have copied the file from the H2 to your computer, drag it and drop it on Levelator.  The program will automatically create a file with the same name with "output" inserted into the left side.  Like mono-001.output.wav

If you are increasing the gains, this is probably where you're getting the hiss.  Also know that playback, when cranked up in the H2, gives lots of hiss that will NOT be on the recording.

All you should need is a XLR to mini plug converter.  If it's wired to a mono mini plug, turn on "MONO MIX" in the Menus.  I've tried the 635A with impedance matching transformers and there's no difference...the low level input for "mic in" on the H2 works fine with the 635. 

Hope that helps.

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Re: help.....external mic with H2

russroca wrote:

I've been looking at the AT shotgun mics.  Can you just hold those without a boom and shocks?  Will it pick up a lot of handling noise that way?

Regarding the A-T shotguns, I've owned the AT-835b since '99 and have used the AT-897 as well.  The 835b is four inches longer, but overall the mics sound very similar.  They are more susceptible to handling noise than the dynamic mic you have, but it is very much possible to use the A-Ts handheld.

If the 897 had been available when I bought the 835b, I probably would have bought the smaller one.

Both of these mics are powered condensers, which will give a stronger signal than the dynamics.  That usually results in less gain needed by the smaller recorders, and typically a reduction in preamp hiss.

-joe

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Re: help.....external mic with H2

gearscout!

thanks for your advice.  i will try this out right away.  i was getting worried that i couldn't get decent levels.  I didn't know that WAVs were that flexible!

joeweiss

thanks for the response.  i live in long beach, ca and there is a dearth of any half-way decent audio supply stores so I'm forced to buy things sound unheard, so to speak...i'll give the 897 a try

best,
russ
russroca.blogspot.com

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Re: help.....external mic with H2

follow up....gearscout....i tried the EV mic again...the levels were peaking at around where you said....however, when I put it up in levelator it was still hissing like a snake (but it did give me usable levels at least)....

i did try levelator with other audio recorded from the H2 internal mics and it worked like a charm....i just think that the EV 635 and H2 don't play well, perhaps? or maybe the h2 doesn't work that great with dynamic mics as a general rule?

6 (edited by gearscout 2007-11-21 06:44:17)

Re: help.....external mic with H2

russroca wrote:

...when I put it up in levelator it was still hissing like a snake (but it did give me usable levels at least)....

i did try levelator with other audio recorded from the H2 internal mics and it worked like a charm....i just think that the EV 635 and H2 don't play well, perhaps? or maybe the h2 doesn't work that great with dynamic mics as a general rule?

Russroca,

Hmmm.  My 635 isn't hissing.  Settings, perhaps?  I have NOTHING selected.  No low-cut, no AGC-COMP...nothing.  I do have MONO MIX set to ON.  Mic Gain = M, Rec Level 100

Audio Test

That test file was dropped on Levelator to bring up the audio. 

The advantage of the EV635 is its size and cost.  A shotgun mic, grip, shockmount and deadcat will cost $300 + and is easily tucked away....nowhere.   ;-)