Zoom Mixer

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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samelove
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Zoom Mixer

Post by samelove » Wed May 09, 2018 7:28 am

Hello everyone, I am a newbie on this forum. I have a very specific setup issue for a field recording (birds rec in specific). I attached a quick sketch of how I would like it to be. This set up very much inspired by Chris Watson (sound recordist). My question is about MSH-6 MS CAPSULE for Zoom H6. I could not find any information on youtube considering how to add a fifth on sixth levels to a mixer. I assumed that in a configuration such as Zoom H6 all inputs + XYH-5 X/Y CAPSULE there should be 6 levels on the mixer panel. Still, it might be true, only I could not find a visual evidence of that being possible in those youtube videos. I am aware of a multi-track setting I can go with but I would like to avoid any software programs or any use of a laptop.

With that set up I am trying to get a better stereo effect. All mics are omnidirectional + capsule that has both mono and side-stereo. I will appreciate any comment or advice on my set up (text/video/pic). Yet, the most important to know is whether I can or not add a fifth level bar onto a zoom’s mixing panel. I hope that my question is clear as I am not really into gear. I do it for artistic purposes.

p.s I do not own any equipment, therefore, I dig into a theory, before a future rental.
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Wulfraed
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Re: Zoom Mixer

Post by Wulfraed » Wed May 09, 2018 11:08 am

samelove wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:28 am
I assumed that in a configuration such as Zoom H6 all inputs + XYH-5 X/Y CAPSULE there should be 6 levels on the mixer panel.
H-6 manual, page 14: The plug-in module(s) are treated as a single L/R stereo track with one "dual" meter, while the other four XLR inputs have independent meters but will be either mono or linked stereo tracks depending on how many in a pair are selected (and how the selection was done? -- page 26).
Still, it might be true, only I could not find a visual evidence of that being possible in those youtube videos. I am aware of a multi-track setting I can go with but I would like to avoid any software programs or any use of a laptop.
The H-6 is always in a "multi-track" mode -- with production of a master covered on page 52. Most of the other field recorders from Zoom have different options: basic stereo from just one pair of inputs; simple surround mode using two pairs of inputs (H2 internal microphones using both front and rear pairs); multi-track mode (H4 would have simple stereo, and multi-track, but the multi-track can only record one pair at a time as I recall, designed for music overdubbing/mixing).
With that set up I am trying to get a better stereo effect. All mics are omnidirectional + capsule that has both mono and side-stereo. I will appreciate any comment or advice on my set up (text/video/pic).
If the XLRs are truly omnidirectional, you will be picking up all sounds from all directions on all the microphones -- any stereo effect will be the result of spatial diversity/time-difference-of-arrival (a sound will be recorded on, say, the rightmost microphone, and a few milliseconds later it will be recorded on the left-most at a slightly weaker level. Approximately 0.9msec per foot between the microphones. If the playback system doesn't have speakers at that spacing it might sound more like an echo <G>

With a spatial diversity microphone array, you do NOT want to change panning as doing so will conflict with the TDOA. Panning adjustments are used when each microphone is dedicated to one sound source, to distribute those sound sources across a playback "space" (If track 1 was, say a lead guitar, track 2 a bass, track 3 a rhythm guitar, and track four a vocal -- you'd adjust the panning so the vocal is in the center, the lead and rhythm are about halfway on each side, and maybe push the bass all the way to one side; if you didn't pan them all four would sound like they are coming from one spot).

In contrast, X/Y microphones are placed together, but use cardioid (or higher) directional elements, aimed at 90deg separations. This way the sound sources are recorded by both /at the same time/ but with the signal strength varying by the angle (sound 45 degree to one side of straight ahead will be full strength on one element, and maybe half strength to the other). Again, you do not pan these (stereo tracks normally have "balance" which moves both sides proportionately in the same direction).

I don't know what you mean by "better stereo effect"... Using the mid/side capsule, you do get to adjust the apparent width of the signal (by adjusting the relative strength of the side pickup vs the mid pickup -- but this is still a directional microphone, having a defined "front" and minimal pick-up from behind. And... if you are after birds, the SSH-6 is a mid/side shotgun design which will focus more strongly on straight ahead while still have side pickup for stereo imaging.
Yet, the most important to know is whether I can or not add a fifth level bar onto a zoom’s mixing panel. I hope that my question is clear as I am not really into gear. I do it for artistic purposes.

p.s I do not own any equipment, therefore, I dig into a theory, before a future rental.
If you don't own any equipment, my best suggestion is to go to the Zoom web site and download the PDF version of the manual for the device(s) of interest.
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samelove
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Re: Zoom Mixer

Post by samelove » Wed May 09, 2018 4:36 pm

wow ;) that's a lot to take in, but thank you very much, though :book:
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still_fiddlin
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Re: Zoom Mixer

Post by still_fiddlin » Fri May 11, 2018 7:13 am

I'm a little confused why you're using omni mics because if you want to create a stereo field, being able to place the recorded tracks across the LR span is how I'd do that. But if their capture is truly "omni" it's going to be hard[er] to get that clear width I'd think. Honestly, I've never done anything like this, though I often record up to 6 tracks on my H6, it's always mixed on a computer afterwards. I would think you'd have to do that to get a good balance, but, like I said, never tried what you're proposing.

The MS capsule will require some kind of post processing to produce the actual 3 channels of MS information (i.e., LR+M), so you wouldn't be able to record 4 additional mics with the H6 and actually use the MS capsule all on the H6 itself.

You could use another XLR pair with the optional EXH-6 combo capsule instead of the XY or MS ones. It allows you to record either of the XLR mic inputs independently or as a stereo pair, just like 1&2 or 3&4, so you have mix placement capability. However it does not supply phantom power, so you'd be limited to dynamic microphones, or condenser mics with either an inline (battery) or external phantom power supply.

I'd record all of the tracks as individual tracks, not as stereo pairs, and then place them across the LR spread as appropriate to get the sound you want. This is going to be far, far easier to do on a computer, even in relatively simple, free software like Audacity.
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