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Recording live Classical music

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:25 am
by Jesus56Gon
I recorded some parts of a Classical Music live Concert (Shostakovich) with my new H4n Pro and I think I miss the very low frequencies of the Tuba or the Double Bass while the Trumpet, Horns and some other middle range frequency instruments are recorded brilliant. I have tried to find some H4n Pro frequency chart on the web but I didn't find anyone.

I used X/Y internal mics and the standard Stereo H4n Pro configuration: 44.1khz, 16 bits

So I am not sure if I am doing something wroing or my device is not working well, or should I take any action to get out the most of those bass notes?. Any help will be welcome.

Re: Recording live Classical music

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:24 am
by emmrecs
What are you using to listen to the recording you made? Headphones, external speakers?

My suspicion would be that those frequencies actually are there but your monitoring chain is not allowing you to "hear" them. Can you open the recorded file(s) in a DAW and check the frequency spectrum of your recording? What does that show?

Classical music employs a very wide frequency spectrum (as you imply) and, as such, it demands a monitoring system whose spectrum is equally wide. Unlike much "popular" music, classical music does not go out of its way to artificially boost its low frequency sounds. As a result, if one is using headphones or speakers more suited to "popular" music listening, listening to classical music may produce the results you are hearing, or rather not hearing.


Re: Recording live Classical music

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:29 pm
by Jesus56Gon
Hi emmrecs,
Thanks for your reply
I used the HD205 Sennheiser Headphones and my old Beyerdynamic DT990 to hear that.

An following your suggestion I have attached a screenshot of the Frequency Analysis Chart of that piece of recording.
It seems to me that there are almost no sounds below 44Hz?

Re: Recording live Classical music

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:02 am
by emmrecs
Thanks for the info and screen shot. Unfortunately, the latter is too small and too low quality to allow much detail to be viewed so I'll take your word for the stated 44Hz.

Some thoughts: headphones, I have no experience of either model you list but would certainly not depend on any headphone model to give me detailed and accurate reproduction much below about 50Hz or even higher.

44Hz is pretty low! A quick Google search on the frequency ranges of the Bass (BBb) Tuba and the Double Bass show they extend at lowest to slightly above 40Hz (see ... e&ie=UTF-8) for details. As a musician, my experience tells me that only rarely will each of those instruments descend so low! Composers, even Shostakovich, do not want them always playing at the lowest extreme of their range.

As you say, details about the frequency response range of the built-in mics of the H4n Pro is remarkable by its absence. That is a serious error on the part of ZOOM, in my opinion. Regrettably, such omission can lead to speculation, not always unfounded, about "inadequate" performance. In addition, the sheer physical size of the built-in mics (I assume you were using these) inevitably leads to the loss of some LF sound since the wave lengths of very low pitch sounds may be too long for these quite small mics to handle accurately.

In summary, 44Hz is realistically as "low" a sound as an orchestra is likely to produce when playing most music; I think you have nothing to substantially worry about with your recording. If you are concerned about the LF reproduced response, you could try a slight LF boost in your DAW.



Re: Recording live Classical music

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:52 am
by Wulfraed
I don't recall if it had been mentioned, but... Was the "Lo Cut" filter turned on? Even at the least effective position that would attenuate sounds below 80Hz; at the higher settings it is attenuating the A one octave below concert reference pitch.

Re: Recording live Classical music

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:29 pm
by Jesus56Gon
Hi Wulfraed,
I am not sure about the Lo Cut filter. I think it was Off as it is now, but not sure.