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#997306 - 05/14/08 08:17 PM Zoom recording settings  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 198
Mistaya Offline
Full Member
Mistaya  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 198
Now that another showdown with the red dot is over - I was wondering what sorts of settings people are using. Info's a little spread out in the zoom thread. I'm happier with my recording quality this time (sadly, playing quality wasn't affected:))

input level at high (used to use medium)
44.1 Hz
24 bits (previously 16 bit default)
autogain off (on before)
input level at 100
mic set to U87 (had used default)
everything else off
recorder placed directly on the floor under the middle of the piano - facing straight up
(added benefit of repeated pushups to reach the record button)
clipping dead space in audacity and then saving the mp3 at 192 kbps (thanks to Ovaltine's reminder)
I didn't normalize this time

Is this about typical or do people have suggestions?

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#997307 - 05/14/08 10:16 PM Re: Zoom recording settings  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,187
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member
currawong  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,187
Down Under
Is this a zoom H2 or H4 that you're using?
I'm still working my H2 out, so these details you've posted are bound to be useful to me!

At the moment I'm setting input on L (because I was getting distortion on anything higher), placing the zoom as you do (though I didn't think to lay it down flat), everything else probably default (because I haven't worked out all that stuff yet smile ), and then normalise (and sometimes amplify as well) with Audacity, as well as cutting out the clicks and shuffles at beginning and end.

Du holde Kunst...
#997308 - 05/14/08 10:51 PM Re: Zoom recording settings  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 198
Mistaya Offline
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Mistaya  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 198
I'm using an H4 and had the zoom mikes pointed straight up towards the soundboard. In previous recordings I used the M setting, but it seemed clearer set on high but with the input level set to 100. I tried 120 but got clipping.

#997309 - 05/14/08 10:54 PM Re: Zoom recording settings  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 83
playerpiano Offline
Full Member
playerpiano  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 83
New Jersey
Speaking about zoom, I am interested in buying one. Can someone please tell me what is the difference between the H2 and H4?

Thank you!

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#997310 - 06/13/08 10:46 PM Re: Zoom recording settings  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 257
cscl Offline
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cscl  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 257
Suburban Boston
Does anyone out there have a definitive basic guide to recording an acoustic with a Zoom H2 similar to this Zoom H4 thread ?

I've been using:
Low mic gain
100-125 levels
rear 120 degree mic setting

I haven't paid attention to the other settings, but I see that I'm in
44.1/16 Record mode. Don't even know what else to pay attention to.

I've been setting the Zoom H2 with built in stand on the right side of the music desk of my Estonia 190 with lid up on the short stick.

This seems to work okay, but I don't really know what to do to improve the quality (change mic gain? change levels up or down? other settings? placement on or near the piano?), etc. Also, I'm still using a borrowed H2 when I can, but thinking about buying my own, so I tend to forget what settings I used previously each time I borrow it.

So, I would definitely appreciate some guidelines from those of you using a Zoom H2 with an acoustic.


Estonia 190 Satin Ebony
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#997311 - 06/13/08 11:26 PM Re: Zoom recording settings  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 216
polostrings Offline
Full Member
polostrings  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 216
On the last recital:

Zoom H2, on tripod about 4 ft from open lid, front mic only, medium gain. Better without string cover. everything else on default. Pretty good results I think. Piano is a Kawaii GM-10K, 5 ft grand.

Kawaii HI, results not as good, I think string cover was on. Everything else the same.

Dead space clipped on Garage Band, changed to MP3 with Itunes.

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#997312 - 06/15/08 10:15 AM Re: Zoom recording settings  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,193
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,193
Lexington, Kentucky
My setup:

Zoom H4
Autogain on
Medium gain
Zoom on tripod in curve of piano, with recorder about 6 inches above rim of piano.

I think so much is dependent on room acoustics etc. that the best way to find out what is good is to experiment endlessly with positioning and mic levels. I haven't had the energy to do all that trial and error yet.

Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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