Zoom H6 as Dslr Pre amp question.

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Pablosrt8
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Zoom H6 as Dslr Pre amp question.

Post by Pablosrt8 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:38 pm

Hi, I am new to field recorders and recently learned the importance of audio on video.
I purchased a zoom H6 after reading so many positive reviews.
Is it a waste to use the H6 as the Pre amp for my Nikon D850?
What I did was set up the audio level on the camera to 1 or 2 and then crank up the volume on the H6 with the XY mic with line out to my camera.
It sounded good, but is it a waste of H6 and I should really only use the audio from the H6?

So to sum up what I did was H6 line out to mic in on my D850. Audio level on the D850 set to minimun and crancked up the volume on the XY mic input.

Thanks!
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Re: Zoom H6 as Dslr Pre amp question.

Post by Jim_Fogle » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:07 pm

Never a waste when you achieve the results you want.
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Re: Zoom H6 as Dslr Pre amp question.

Post by Wulfraed » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:21 pm

Pablosrt8 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:38 pm
Is it a waste to use the H6 as the Pre amp for my Nikon D850?
What I did was set up the audio level on the camera to 1 or 2 and then crank up the volume on the H6 with the XY mic with line out to my camera.
Line-out should be a fixed level signal, so once you learn what the maximum output from it is (if you've got some source of continuous sound -- say a synth keyboard -- set up the H6 to record the output of the keyboard and adjust input levels to just the point of clipping; then adjust the camera so that the pass-through signal is also just below clipping).

For normal recording, you should adjust the H6 inputs for ~-12dB; the camera should show the same if you haven't changed the camera levels.

NOTE: you are adjusting the /input gain/, not the "volume" (which really applies to the headphone output).
It sounded good, but is it a waste of H6 and I should really only use the audio from the H6?
Well, it takes more post-processing, but I'd likely let the camera record normally, and take the H6 files as separate. Use the camera audio in editing for purposes of synchronizing the H6 files (Warning: most recorders do not have clocks as precise as a video camera; some time stretch/compression may be needed to align the end of the file. Many years ago [now lost] I ran a test with two video cameras, H2, BOSS BR-600, HD16, {don't recall if I had this at the time} R16, and Superscope CD recorder... both video cameras were in sync after 30 minutes. The Superscope was the next most precise unit. BR-600 came up short, and Zoom devices came up long -- short means the device clock ran slower and it captured fewer samples than correct for the time. The worst device was out by 15 video frames (half a second) at the end of the 30 minutes.
So to sum up what I did was H6 line out to mic in on my D850. Audio level on the D850 set to minimun and crancked up the volume on the XY mic input.
Again, you should adjust the input gain (not volume) of the H6 to just below clipping on the loudest source material, and the input gain of the camera should be set so the line-out maxes at the same "just below clipping" (0dB).
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Re: Zoom H6 as Dslr Pre amp question.

Post by still_fiddlin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:35 am

The main downside I'd say, assuming you get the levels straight so you're not clipping anything or introducing noise, is that the DSLR is possibly recording a compressed audio if you have it set that way, so subsequent editing (of audio) will not be working with a non-lossy format to start with. Looking at the specs of the 850, it supports both LPCM and AAC, so I'd choose LPCM if storage is not a concern, but I couldn't find where it defines the bit-depth of that, so if it's 16-bits, you're giving up some dynamic range by recording directly to the camera, as well.

I prefer to record on the H6 in non-lossy WAV at 24-bit, 48kHz, then do post-processing in Logic (my DAW), and then bounce the audio down for import into the video project. But, it really depends on what you're recording whether those extra steps are something that will matter in the final video.
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Re: Zoom H6 as Dslr Pre amp question.

Post by Wulfraed » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:41 pm

Ah yes -- 48kHz is the recommended sample rate if recording audio for use with a video. It divides into all the common frame rates evenly.

24fps => 2000 samples per frame
30fps => 1600 samples per frame
60fps => 800 samples per frame

25fps => 1920 samples per frame
50fps => 960 samples per frame
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Re: Zoom H6 as Dslr Pre amp question.

Post by Pablosrt8 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:35 pm

Thank you for all the responses.
You guys helped a lot!
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