H6 - Low Gain with XYH-6 and MSH-6

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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Andros
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H6 - Low Gain with XYH-6 and MSH-6

Post by Andros » Fri May 04, 2018 10:51 am

Hi, I recently bought a Zoom H6. It's second hand but looks like new: no scratches and everything works perfectly. I've mostly used it with the 4 jack inputs for recording synths but yesterday I tried to record my upright piano. I placed the H6 at about 0.5 meters behind my seat with the X/Y capsule whose gain was at 6 and the recording resulted very very low. I tried with the Msh and had the same results.

With the gain at 8 I have a good (still a bit low) volume but this also gets me a lot of noise. Is this ok or do I have a faulty unit? Seems a bit strange to me, ok maybe I should keep the H6 closer to the piano but still, it's an acoustic piano, people on the street can hear me when I play (I live on the 3rd floor) and a professional recorder needs so much proximity and gain in order to have a decent level of recording? Also, I used the line in jack input of the X/Y capsule and it works very well with the gain set to 1, I know that you can't compare the line in with the mic, but still this seems a bit odd.

Let me know if I am missing something or this is the usual behaviour. Consider that I have no previous experience of other mic recorders so maybe everything it's ok. I will try to do some other recordings in the meantime. Thanks a lot.

EDIT: I recorded at 48kHz/24 bit with no Lo Cut nor comp/limiter.
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still_fiddlin
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Re: H6 - Low Gain with XYH-6 and MSH-6

Post by still_fiddlin » Fri May 04, 2018 3:54 pm

Doesn't sound right at all to me. By noise, are you meaning the surrounding sounds or microphone noise?

It would be useful to record at a couple distances and if you can, measure the SPL (maybe use a free phone app) right at the H6 too so you can report on that, and then report the peak SPL measured and also the peak dB in the recorded WAV file, along with the level setting and distance. Then I (or someone else) could try to duplicate it and see what we get.

That jack in the XY capsule is for an external microphone so if you put a LINE level input there it's definitely not going to need to be dialed up more than 1!
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Re: H6 - Low Gain with XYH-6 and MSH-6

Post by Wulfraed » Fri May 04, 2018 10:48 pm

Pianos are one of the hardest things around to record. I suspect an upright adds its own complications.

Commonly, for a grand piano, one sets up two microphones (bass and treble) OVER the strings, with the lid held up -- and fiddles with exact position to get the best balance.

A Mid/Side is probably not going to be very effective for a piano, unless you are in a room with very high reflections from the side walls.

X/Y might be usable, but by the time you get close enough, you may get non-linearity (the strings on the ends sounding weaker than the strings in the middle, presuming the microphones are over the middle).

Are there any "vents" in the cabinet meant for sound to come out? Those are probably the best position to place microphones (and likely means using separate microphones via XLR cables).
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Andros
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Re: H6 - Low Gain with XYH-6 and MSH-6

Post by Andros » Sat May 05, 2018 12:12 pm

Thanks a lot for the replies. Yesterday I saw a video of a guy demostrating the two capsules and and the behaviour of his H6 was similar to mine, he also set the gain at 7 so probably mine doesn't have any problem at all. The noise I had yesterday could have been the surroundings. Like I said I am pretty new to recordings with mics, the H6 is my first so I just have to understand how to best use it. Thanks again.
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