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#1340732 - 01/04/10 04:59 PM Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM?  
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mhagstad Offline
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I want to be able to record on my computer. Having failed at various and costly attempts at any direct connection (DP to computer)I thought I'd try using the Zoom H2.

I can record to it. I can download to my computer. I cannot play the files because my computer does not have a "MS PCM Format (1) codec".

Gee! I wish I had one of those. Where might one get one? How much does it cost?

If there is a better place to make this inquiry I would be please for any specific (and reasonably polite) redirection.

Thank you.

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#1340762 - 01/04/10 05:24 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Have you downloaded 'Audacity'? That's what I use with my H2. Here is the link. That might not be what you need; but it might be! blush

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/

Last edited by HappyApple; 01/04/10 05:25 PM. Reason: PS

“Some people stay far away from the door if there’s a chance of it opening up. They hear a voice in the hall outside and hope that it just passes by.” Billy Joel

1970 Baldwin Hamilton
#1340765 - 01/04/10 05:25 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Welcome to the forum, mhagstad. smile I'm somewhat stumped on your question; when I hook my Zoom up to the computer, it just plays the files and didn't ask for a codec. Is your computer very old? Have you been keeping up with your Windows updates?

If one of our more computer-sophisticated members here doesn't chime in with the answer, you may want to try the Zoom forum itself. (Believe it or not, there is a Zoom forum. eek ) I'm guessing you just need to download a software driver, either from Windows or Zoom.

Not very helpful, I realize. Sorry. smile


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#1340780 - 01/04/10 05:38 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: Monica K.]  
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PCM stands for Pulse Code Modulation. I remember that from my electrical engineering days in school. All the "pulse" is, is a sample of duration 0.0226757 seconds - or roughly 44,000 samples per second for compact-disc quality fidelity, which characterizes the original waveform by way of approximation. The more samples per second, the closer the approximation and the more memory required to store it.

Modern algorithms, like Microsoft's, also include some data compression, as did the sound on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. I forget the exact ratio, but the algorithms achieve decent data compression by storing the deltas (e.g. change from one sample to the next) rather than the entire 16- (or 24-) bit sample.

The MP3 format has largely supplanted this.

This is just from memory. Wikipedia, I'm sure, would offer a much more detailed explanation.

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#1340850 - 01/04/10 07:04 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: gerg]  
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Thanks you for the quick responses.

Happy Apple: yes, I have downloaded Audacity. What might it have to do with PCM etc? How do I use it to hear my file, which, as best I can tell is still on the H2, not on my computer any more.

Monica: I had tried to find that forum. I know I've been there before, but I can't find it now. Been through ten pages of google search. It must have some other name. What is the actual internet address.

Gerg: I am sure that I am a better person for having read your response, or at least a smarter one. But not smart enough to figure out how to record my digital piano and hear the result.

Thank you all.


#1340869 - 01/04/10 07:24 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Hmmm... when I google "Zoom forum," it came up as the very first hit:

Zoom forum

Good luck, and if you find out what the problem was, let us know.


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#1340877 - 01/04/10 07:33 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: Monica K.]  
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mhagstad, best of luck to you. You asked the question, "What's a PCM?" I did my best to answer that question.

Monica it seems has provided a link to the forum. Hope you are able to record soon! thumb

Kind Regards,

Greg

#1340907 - 01/04/10 08:12 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Originally Posted by mhagstad
I want to be able to record on my computer. Having failed at various and costly attempts at any direct connection (DP to computer)I thought I'd try using the Zoom H2.


Why has recording direct to the computer not worked? It should be easy and the result should be better than you can get with a hand held recorder.

The Zoom uses a microphone. A direct connection will sound MUCH better. Leave the zoom to those who want to make casual recording of acoustic pianos.

#1340930 - 01/04/10 08:32 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: ChrisA]  
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by Chris:

"Why has recording direct to the computer not worked? It should be easy and the result should be better than you can get with a hand held recorder.

The Zoom uses a microphone. A direct connection will sound MUCH better. Leave the zoom to those who want to make casual recording of acoustic pianos."

Chris, how would you get the sound in your computer without a microphone? I like the sound of the ZoomH2. And I know it sounds better than any other option I have with my laptop. How would you do it?

Last edited by HappyApple; 01/04/10 08:33 PM.

“Some people stay far away from the door if there’s a chance of it opening up. They hear a voice in the hall outside and hope that it just passes by.” Billy Joel

1970 Baldwin Hamilton
#1340947 - 01/04/10 08:52 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: ChrisA]  
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A perfectly good question. I think probably cause I just ain't bright enough to figure it out. I went to Sweetwater (I mean I actually visited their store). I told them I wanted to record to my computer via USB. They told me I needed an audiobox. So I got one. I have no idea what to do with it. I've tried sticking wires into all its little "ports", but I can't get anything to show up on the computer.

So, as a next best, I thought I'd try a microphone. So far that's not working out too well either. But I haven't hardly given up yet. It took me months to move on from my direct connect efforts.

Mike

#1340950 - 01/04/10 08:55 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: Monica K.]  
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Monica: Thanks. I've left a query on those boards. Maybe someone who speaks kindergarten computer will respond and I'll try whatever they come up with. I have no idea why I couldn't find that site. I've made it there before. Just one of those days.

Thanks for helping out here, and for all you do on this site.


Mike

#1340954 - 01/04/10 08:56 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Happy Apple, mhagstad has a digital piano, so he/she should be able to record directly on it. With your acoustic, a recorder with external mics is the way to go.

mhagstad, one of our forum members, mahlzeit, wrote a website on how to record with a digital, and it's a wonderful, user-friendly site with good photos of all the cables etc. you'll need. Please check it out, and if you're still not able to get it to work, shoot mahlzeit a private message:

http://www.pianoclues.com/how-to-record-piano/


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#1340956 - 01/04/10 08:57 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Just saw your post, Monica! Gee...thanks! None of this was making sense to me! LOL


Last edited by HappyApple; 01/04/10 08:58 PM.

“Some people stay far away from the door if there’s a chance of it opening up. They hear a voice in the hall outside and hope that it just passes by.” Billy Joel

1970 Baldwin Hamilton
#1340995 - 01/04/10 09:40 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: HappyApple]  
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Originally Posted by HappyApple

Chris, how would you get the sound in your computer without a microphone? I like the sound of the ZoomH2. And I know it sounds better than any other option I have with my laptop. How would you do it?


I saw the part of the question that read
Quote
Having failed at various and costly attempts at any direct connection (DP to computer)

So I figured a digital piano was involved. One the biggest advantages of a DP is recording


#1341013 - 01/04/10 10:04 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: ChrisA]  
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Sometimes called pcm or riff but more commonly a wav file. I suspect the problem is that you set it to record 4-channel. Only high-end audio editors can deal with more than 2-channel wav files. Try set it to stereo.

Howard

#1341105 - 01/05/10 12:50 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: hv]  
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Good thought, hv, but its in stereo. I checked. I don't think there is any problem that I've found with the H2. The problem is with my computer or the windows media player that is missing something it needs to play this file.

I've posted on the H2 forum (thank you Monica), and I've searched the web for this thing called a "microsoft PCM Format (1)codec" to download. I've found some sites that say you can, but no luck actually doing it. I even tried to download a whole new wmp, twice. It aborts part way through.

Is there a way to use some other player? I have never had any problem playing any of the files posted here on PianoWorld.

Any new thoughts are welcome. Thanks.

Mike

#1341111 - 01/05/10 01:14 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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This might do the trick:

http://www.winamp.com/

I know nothing about the Zoom, but if it has a 24 bit option, it wont play in WMP ( at least, my 24 bit recordings won't)

Try recording in 44.1kHz/16-bit resolution if you have the option. That should play ok.


Rob
#1341160 - 01/05/10 03:47 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Originally Posted by mhagstad

Is there a way to use some other player? I have never had any problem playing any of the files posted here on PianoWorld.

Any new thoughts are welcome. Thanks.


Can you post a 3 second example file someplace where others can get it? Make a short example where you say "test test test" into the mic.

#1341192 - 01/05/10 06:12 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: ChrisA]  
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MS PCM is a format for storing audio sample data, popularised by Microsoft, and widely used by Windows applications. If you have a file whose name ends in `.wav', then most likely it contains MSPCM data.

I'm mildly surprised that there is any Windows computer around that needs extra codecs to play .wav files. As others have said, you can Google around for the missing codec and try to install it, but it looks to me as if your computer is suffering a certain amount of brokenness to be in this state (or is very old).

#1341239 - 01/05/10 08:55 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: kevinb]  
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There should be absolutely no problem, and the problem you have is not a Zoom problem, but one with your computer.

You don't say what your computer is, but I'm betting it's not new. As computers get used, the operating system gets messy and things get lost. I think it's time for you to wipe it and start over, reloading the opearting system. Most geek types recommend doing this every six months. I'm forced to to it about once a year, but my wife, who doesn't use hers for as many varied things as I do can go three or four years without problems.

Anyway, something in the system that's supposed to be there isn't there: time to reload.

PCM files are uncompressed data, like on CDs, rather than the compressed form of MP3s. It's a very common format, and you shouldn't be having any problems.

#1341471 - 01/05/10 01:55 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: Michael Darnton]  
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Rob: Thank you. That works. I can record and play back so long as I keep the bit rate at 16, not 24. This was my own error (as usual). I thought that I had read a recommendation to record at the highest bit rate, but obviously not, or those who made the recommendation are using software that lets them do that.

What limitations does this introduce? Twenty-five years from now, if I practice a lot, and get good enough to try it, does this mean I can't make playable cds? Oh. I probably won't live that long, and by then no one will know what a "cd" is.

I really do appreciate all the suggestions and the thought and time that went into them. Thank you, everyone, for helping out.

Mike

#1341478 - 01/05/10 02:03 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: Michael Darnton]  
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Maybe you could upload your file to box.net and we can check what is the problem. Zoom H2 record in 2 format mp3 and wav (pcm). Like others members said, wav is a common format, wav can be 24 bit and 4 channel instead of 2. But you didn't tell us about your computer and OS.

Serge


Glad you solved it.

Last edited by Serge88; 01/05/10 02:08 PM.


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#1341488 - 01/05/10 02:10 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Glad you got it figured out, Mike. smile I don't think the 16-bit rate will make a difference in terms of burning your recordings to CD; I make an annual CD showing my own progress and have no difficulties burning the files to CD. (And the sound quality is pretty nice; not professional level, but very clear.)

If you haven't already done this, you should follow Happy Apple's suggestion of down-loading Audacity. It is free and pretty easy to use, and it will let you edit your recordings, e.g., delete false starts and the like (I have plenty of those!), and normalize the files, which is helpful when you burn a CD so that all the tracks are playing at pretty much the same volume. You can do fancier stuff with audacity, too, like adding effects and noise removal, but I haven't figured that out yet. If you download the Lame extension for Audacity, you can also easily convert your .wav files to .mp3's, which can be handy for uploading on the web. You could even submit your recording to one our quarterly on-line recitals. smile


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My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#1341497 - 01/05/10 02:18 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Originally Posted by mhagstad

What limitations does this introduce? Twenty-five years from now, if I practice a lot, and get good enough to try it, does this mean I can't make playable cds?


In practical terms, using 16-bits means you will have to be a little more careful to set the level, or gain so as to have it as high as you can without clipping. With 24-bits you can be slightly less careful and still get good result. There is a lot more to it but for our purposes here that's it.



#1341810 - 01/05/10 07:31 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: ChrisA]  
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HApple: Sorry I confused you for a minute there. But confused is where I live, when it comes to computer's and recording.

Serge: Nice idea, but since even making a recording on my own is beyond me, I don't think any "uploads" are in my near future. I would like to be able to put the recording into a format that I can share with my kids. That's next, I guess.

Monica: Thank you again - in re info on making cds. I downloaded Audacity some time ago, and I have Mahlzeit's stuff downloaded. I'll just need to take some smart pills before I can understand either one.

ChrisA: Thanks for your suggestions. My computer is about five years old, HP, AMD Athlon, running XP. Given my skill levels, if I ever figured out how to "wipe" my computer I'd certainly never get it unwiped. Mostly it's me that could use a brain wash, or maybe a transplant.

Thanks all, again.

Mike

#1341816 - 01/05/10 07:43 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Originally Posted by mhagstad
HApple: Sorry I confused you for a minute there. But confused is where I live, when it comes to computer's and recording.

ChrisA: Thanks for your suggestions. My computer is about five years old, HP, AMD Athlon, running XP. Given my skill levels, if I ever figured out how to "wipe" my computer I'd certainly never get it unwiped. Mostly it's me that could use a brain wash, or maybe a transplant.


Must have confused me with someone else. I would never suggest continued ownership of a computer that needs a periodic "wipe and re-load".

If you need help ask. It looks like one problem is solved, just continue on and solve one problem at a time and eventually you will be able to post MP3 files on-line.

#1341850 - 01/05/10 08:44 PM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Glad it worked for you, mhagstad smile

As ChrisA says, 24 bit will allow you more headroom, level-wise, than 16 bit, although, it will result in a slightly larger file size.

If it helps, all commercial cds are 44.1/16 bit.
When creating the cd, the software 'dithers down' the bit depth to 16.

24 bit can be used on DVD audio, though.

Edited to add: If you are still interested in recording your DP, direct, please post details of your equipment here, and I am sure that we can get you up and running.

Last edited by R0B; 01/05/10 09:03 PM.

Rob
#1341999 - 01/06/10 12:57 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: R0B]  
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Oops. I do apologize to both of you, Michael Darnton and Serge88, for confusing your responses. I appreciate the help you both have given.

And especially appreciate the offers from ChrisA and ROB to help out in future efforts as I go stumbling and bumbling into the 21st Century, and the intersection of music and computers. At least I don't seem to have worn out my welcome (yet). But I think any of that should be under a new topic.

Thanks again.

P.S. what's with this little "posting form" box and hiding the last line I type below the "horizon". It makes typing very difficult.

Mike

#1342064 - 01/06/10 03:54 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: ChrisA]  
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Originally Posted by mhagstad

What limitations does this introduce? Twenty-five years from now, if I practice a lot, and get good enough to try it, does this mean I can't make playable cds?


In practical terms, using 16-bits means you will have to be a little more careful to set the level, or gain so as to have it as high as you can without clipping. With 24-bits you can be slightly less careful and still get good result. There is a lot more to it but for our purposes here that's it.





Bah! Only if all the analog stuff is able to cope with the increased resolution. I suspect that with consumer-grade analog electronics and microphone, the bottom bit (at least) of a 16-bit recording will be below the noise floor. So what are we going to use the other 8 bits for? Presumably, a more precise acquisition of all the analog noise and artefacts:/

Until we have analog electronics and microphones that can offer > 120 dB precision and accuracy right across the signal chain, I'm not convinced that > 16 bit recording precision is other than a gimmick outside top-of-the-range studio equipment.






#1342142 - 01/06/10 08:54 AM Re: Zoom H2 issue:What's a PCM? [Re: mhagstad]  
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Originally Posted by mhagstad
P.S. what's with this little "posting form" box and hiding the last line I type below the "horizon". It makes typing very difficult.


Many of us have run into that difficulty. It's an issue with Windows Explorer and the forum software. What you need to do is go to "Tools," and then click on "Compatibility View." That'll take care of it. thumb


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by rich2k4. 12/14/17 02:49 PM
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