Recording vinyl with a H4nsp

Discuss the Zoom H6, H5, H4, H4n, H2, H2n, and H1. Please don't "post and run". Participate in the discussion. Thanks.
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dedannen
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Recording vinyl with a H4nsp

Post by dedannen » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:05 am

I use my Zoom H4nsp to record my old vinyl lp,s onto a SDHC memory card.
For anyone not familiar with recording vinyl, the basic idea is to find the loudest point on the loudest track and to set that level by usually manually adjusting,
a knob on your ADC (Analog to Digital Converter),the input level so that its between -3Db and -6db,hoping to obtain a -4Db level.
I record the albums in stereo mode-96/24.
On the H4nsp there is no knob which manually allows you to fine tune the levels,there is a button (Rec Level)+ and -,which allows you to set the input signal,
Input 1/2 Level: 1, which usually corresponds to 0Db
Input 1/2 Level: 0.9, which usually corresponds to -3Db,
and finally Input 1/2 Level:0.8, which usually corresponds to -6Db.
By setting the recording level to 0.9 or -3Db, on some albums it seems to limit the input signal to -3dB on all the tracks,
giving all the tracks almost the same peak level.
On other albums using the same -3Db level, all the tracks have Different peak levels ranging from -3Db to -6Db.?
It seems that on some recordings its sets the peak level to the same level for all the songs and on others it does not, or am i missing something.?
Any helpful comments will be great appreciated. :D
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dedannen
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Re: Recording vinyl with a H4nsp

Post by dedannen » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:07 am

Here is the Dr rating using the Zoom H4nsp.

foobar2000 1.3.16 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-11-13 14:51:45

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Analyzed: Praying Mantis / Time Tells No Lies/Zoom H4nsp
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DR9 -6.00 dB -16.43 dB 3:55 01-Cheated
DR9 -6.00 dB -16.28 dB 2:57 02-All Day And All Of The Night
DR9 -6.00 dB -16.55 dB 3:40 03-Running For Tomorrow
DR10 -6.00 dB -17.48 dB 3:48 04-Rich City Kids
DR10 -6.00 dB -18.19 dB 4:54 05-Lovers To The Grave
DR9 -6.00 dB -16.09 dB 3:45 06-Panic In The Streets
DR11 -6.00 dB -17.97 dB 5:28 07-Beads Of Ebony
DR10 -6.00 dB -16.47 dB 5:03 08-Flirting With Suicide
DR10 -6.03 dB -17.32 dB 5:39 09-Children Of The Earth
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of tracks: 9
Official DR value: DR10

Samplerate: 96000 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 4608 kbps
Codec: PCM
================================================================================
Last edited by dedannen on Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recording vinyl with a H4nsp

Post by dedannen » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:08 am

Here is the Dr rating using the Roland Quad-Capture

foobar2000 1.3.16 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-11-18 17:48:44

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Analyzed: Praying Mantis / Time Tells No Lies/Roland Quad-capture
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DR11 -1.87 dB -14.92 dB 3:54 01-Cheated
DR11 -1.79 dB -14.79 dB 2:57 02-All Day And All Of The Night
DR11 -2.04 dB -15.06 dB 3:40 03-Running For Tomorrow
DR12 -2.29 dB -16.00 dB 3:48 04-Rich City Kids
DR11 -2.39 dB -16.76 dB 4:54 05-Lovers To The Grave
DR11 -2.48 dB -14.59 dB 3:47 06-Panic In The Streets
DR12 -2.07 dB -16.50 dB 5:27 07-Beads Of Ebony
DR11 -1.95 dB -14.99 dB 5:03 08-Flirting With Suicide
DR12 -2.10 dB -15.84 dB 5:39 09-Children Of The Earth
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of tracks: 9
Official DR value: DR11

Samplerate: 96000 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 4608 kbps
Codec: PCM
================================================================================
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Re: Recording vinyl with a H4nsp

Post by still_fiddlin » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:01 pm

At 24-bit 96k you can safely record with your peaks at -6dB and then process those recorded tracks in any DAW to EQ/normalize/compress/limit whatever, and dither the output to 16-bit lossy or non-lossy, depending on what you want to do. IOW, I'd worry about getting a non-clipped signal first and get your levels right on something with finer control. I probably wouldn't push the -3dB, and certainly no higher as I don't know if the H4n is getting a true peak measurement.

It's very likely you'll need to at least add a highpass on those tracks because of rumble that may have slipped in from the turntable.
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Re: Recording vinyl with a H4nsp

Post by Wulfraed » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:24 pm

I might even suggest aiming for between -12 and -6dB. -12dB is where the advisory marker is on much digital recording equipment (especially video cameras).

If the eventual target is to produce standard (vanishing) audio CDs, those are at 16-bit/44.1kHz/stereo. While scaling 24-bit to 16-bit isn't difficult, going from 96kHz to 44.1kHz will involve some interpolation. Video work tends to be based on 48kHz (it fits evenly into various frame rates) and 96->48 is just an averaging of adjacent samples. 88.2kHz serves that role for CD audio.

The old idea of getting close to 0dB during recording falls apart when one goes to a digital system as one risks clipping in both A/D conversion, and in any post-processing that adds gain. It was safe for analog tape as tape didn't really clip like digital -- tape saturated, acting a bit like a compressor algorithm, when the signal exceeded 0dB; and analog needles couldn't track the peaks as well (I've seen a cassette deck with digital peak meters where the recommendation was to set the levels so the peaks were around +3dB -- to cover the lag common in analog meters).


Last time I duped LPs, I did use the "find the loudest passage" and set the levels based upon that. But then, I was recording directly to a CD-R ( http://www.superscopetechnologies.com/i ... nglish.pdf ; not a cheap device at the time -- partly as it supposedly was licensed to permit direct binary copying of protected audio CDs)
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