Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

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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Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Sat May 12, 2018 2:15 am

Yesterday I was filming a rock concert, hired form the band to cover the live event.
My setup:
In CH1 in Zoom H5 there was a Rode Video Mic Pro (connected via Rode VXLR adapter) and on CH2 another one with another Rode VXLR adapter.
Recording on Multifile, L/R was Off.
Matrix Off.
By changing the gain to the CH1, I could see the gain level on the Zoom H5 changing accordingly. Same for the CH2.
Put my levels, cover the event.

The Issue:
Then I got home and checked the sound from the DSLR and it was disappointing.
Try to find out what happened and this is what I found out.
With only 1 Rode Video Mic Pro with VXLR adapter in CH1, Zoom H5 Records only in CH1 (as it should, since only CH1 was selected and only CH1 led was On) BUT DSLR records on both channels.
Same If I switch to CH2.
So, yesterday my CH1 Mic was sending signal to both L/R in my DLSR and CH2 was also sending signal in both L/R in DSLR.
Try today to find out the way so CH1 sends signal only to L to my DSLR and CH2 sends signal only to R, could not find it.
Change the TRS cable from Line Out to a Rode TRS cable (thinking that the issue could be from hardware, the same).

So, how can CH1 send signal only to L and CH2 can send only to R to my DSLR?

What am I doing wrong here?


PS: I know 2 Video Mic Pro are not the best choice for live events but usually I am doing weddings and using only 1 Video mic Pro connected to L/R in Zoom H5 with backup level On and I am having good sound (second Mic as a hardware backup if the first one fails).
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by still_fiddlin » Sat May 12, 2018 7:55 am

I don't have an H5, but from just reading the manual, it looks like you must have STEREO FILE mode set for inputs 1 and 2, which automatically sends 1 to L and 2 to R. Do you have a WAV file created on the H5 corresponding to that recording? The file should be something like ZOOM0001_Tr12.WAV. That will have the data you want.

And make sure you haven't set it to create a MONO output file. See page 88 of the manual. If you made this setting change, the file will have "MN" in the name, it seems.
https://www.zoom-na.com/sites/default/f ... E_H5_0.pdf
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by Wulfraed » Sat May 12, 2018 9:59 am

If you were truly in multi-file mode, AND

a) did NOT arm L/R (built-ins)
b) did not stereo link 1/2

the odds are that you recorded two separate mono files. Mono files /playback/ with a default pan position of center! And, that probably means the output from the H5 to the camera was also defaulted to both tracks in center.

If, by some chance you had also armed L/R, the camera was getting a mix of the built-ins along with 1/2.

Just seeing level meters move with gain settings is NOT sufficient -- you really need to use a set of monitoring headphones to verify the content. I suspect doing such would have revealed that the output from the H5 was center-panned mono-mix (not to be confused with the internal software mono-mix which records the same mix in both left/right stereo file).

Recommendation: STEREO LINK 1/2 so that they record an actual stereo file of left/right data instead of two centered mono files; verify audio using headphones.

Recovery -- if the H5 was actually recording, look for a pair of mono tracks, use DAW (or, since this has to be synced to video, a good video editor) to pan the tracks full left and full right, respectively, and save as a stereo file for syncing to video (use the video audio track as base-line -- you may need to time stretch/compress the H5 audio as Zoom audio gear doesn't have the most precise clock relative to video frames -- then mute the video audio track when rendering the production so only the H5 audio tracks come through).
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Sat May 12, 2018 1:25 pm

Thank you both so much for your help!
I was sure STEREO mode is what you choose to use when you have only one input in CH 1&2 and you want to be written simultaneously in L/R (but that is Mono Mix) and since I had 2 inputs I should use Multifile.

Sorry, but EN is not my native language, so reading the manual without having previous knowledge in recording devices (and in sound in general) does not help as much as it should .

Wulfraed, that's the case, I have recorded two separate mono files _Tr1.WAV & _Tr2.WAV.
And yes, you are right, I should have check before recording, it would have revealed the issue before the live event and it is clearly my fault and not recorders fault.

So I just checked now (trying to be proactive this time) using STEREO and it actually sends CH1 to L and CH2 to R.
BUT:
When I do not plug a mic in CH1, L is not dead, it is still gets a signal from R.
When audio level in R is -12dB, audio level in L is -43dB.
I can see levels in Audition moving in the same way in both channels and if I mute R I can actually hear L where it should be dead since there is no input.
Vice versa, when there is not mic in CH2, R is not dead, it gets signal from L.

So, it seems like Zoom H5 does not separate 100% L from R in the Line Output or maybe I am doing something wrong again?

Also, sorry for asking, but in which cases can center-panned mono-mix be used?
In live events for sure not, since it does not provide any good result (it sounds like having echo, specially in bass tones).
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by Wulfraed » Sat May 12, 2018 2:35 pm

The true "mono-mix" is used when you have to deliver a two-track (aka Stereo) WAV file -- but do not want actual stereo ambience. OR where you need widely spaced microphones to cover a wide expanse, but again, do not want a stereo effect on playback.

Bleed-over when using only one microphone might be a sign of common circuitry in the pre-amps (having a single phantom power circuit driving two inputs could lead to bleed-over; a drain on one input "sucking" from the other).
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Sat May 12, 2018 2:58 pm

Thanks Wulfraed,
Phantom power is Off since Video Mic Pro does not need any.

Is there any setting I should check/ change to stop the bleed-over?
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by still_fiddlin » Sat May 12, 2018 4:12 pm

My H6 does not behave that way at all. I just plugged a mic in to 1, nothing plugged into 2, and there's nothing on R in the Tr12 file. This is with both tracks 1&2 enabled (which must be the case to get a Tr12 file written).
Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 4.08.30 PM.png
Does the H5 really behave that differently?

I guess I'm wondering why you're testing with one mic when I thought you wanted a stereo feed to the camera!
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Sat May 12, 2018 6:27 pm

I tested with one mic because the issue in my live recording was that Mic1 and Mic2 were giving simultaneously signal to both L/R and I ended up with a useless file (it sounds like having echo) in my camera.

So I wanted to be sure that in STEREO mode CH1 goes to camera's L and CH2 goes to camera's R.
So, I unplugged one Mic to be sure that this is the case.

But there is a bleed-over in the camera.
Zoom records without any bleed-over. Your picture is form the audio file that Zoom recorded and not from the Line Out.
The issue is in the LIne Out, not in the internal recording.

So either this is the case for Zoom H5 (does not separate 100% the channels in Line Out) or I have some settings wrong.
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by Wulfraed » Sat May 12, 2018 6:49 pm

almost wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:27 pm
But there is a bleed-over in the camera.
Zoom records without any bleed-over. Your picture is form the audio file that Zoom recorded and not from the Line Out.
The issue is in the LIne Out, not in the internal recording.
Or the issue is the camera Line-In, or the cable used...

I presume you are using a TRS cable -- and that the (unnamed) camera has a stereo TRS input... (early models may have created stereo audio tracks, but used a mono input). How long is the cable? What quality is the cable (if the cable doesn't shield left and right separately -- and many may not -- you could be getting capacitative coupling (bleed) between them in the wires from the H5 to the camera.

With a good supply, you could try something like direct feeding the microphones to a 2-TS (mono) to 1-TRS (stereo) Y-connector into the camera. Then try with one side removed. Oh... I presume the camera disconnects its own microphone when something is plugged into the audio input (could the "echo" be partly due to the camera microphone mixing with the inputs?) {My apologies for the vagueness -- but I've always felt that general video should be recorded by a dedicated video camera -- DSLRs with video capability were initially aimed at professional shoots: short, pre-planned, clips where the final production audio was recorded separately -- rather than long continuous shoots. DSLRs were popular because their larger sensors allowed for artistic effects, like shallow depth of field, that more common video cameras couldn't produce (even wide-open, my Canon XH-A1 has a depth of field of a few feet, where a full-frame SLR at the same f-ratio and framing would be only a few inches)}


If you've recorded a version on the H5, I'd recommend biting the bullet and (as I mentioned prior) using video editing software to replace the camera audio track with the "purer" H5 files (consider, your signal path has been Analog in => ADC to H5, DAC to line-out, camera line/mic-in to ADC... That's two conversions that would be skipped by using the H5 files directly).
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Sun May 13, 2018 2:45 am

Once again, thank you Wulfraed for your reply.
So I know now what the issue is, let me tell you how I find it out.
Yes I am using an unbranded TRS cable less than 3 inches long to my unnamed camera (Sony a6300).
So I did a test feeding to my old Nikon D800 and the bleed-over was even worst. So it had do do also with the camera.
Then I line feed my Atomos Ninja Flame and the bleed-over was less than the Sony.
So I tried out with a Rode TRS cable.
Rode TRS cable (also less than 3 inches) provide the same result like when using the unbranded cable in D800 and in Atomos Ninja Flame.
But in my Sony it was like giving me the result of the MULTIFIlE and not the STEREO (bleed-over was a mess).
So, that make me understand that there is also an issue with the way that the jack plugs into my Sony.
I went back to the unbranded cable and make it as a stable connection as I could with my Sony by using the cable protector that comes with my cage.
So I had a rock solid connection with the jack 100% alongside of the Sony input.
Now I do not have any bleed over.
So the cable needs to be 100% aligned with camera input, any little angle (that can not been detected by looking at it) can lead to bleed-over.
Now I just have a little noise in one channel when I am feeding the other one.
It seems like it is hard to get a rock solid connection with the 3.5mm jack, that is why I guess some 3.5 mm inputs have Locking jack socket.

Regarding the Live event, I replace the camera audio with the one I had from Zoom (which was .wav and was way better for editing) and I sync it in Premiere Pro CC and the video is fine.

I just wanted to avoid syncing audio in my videos as it adds time to my editing.
My previous set up was with one Rode Video Mic to Zoom H1 and I was getting great results in my camera.
Since I wanted to add a second Rode Video Mic Pro to my setup (as a hardware backup) I purchase Zoom H5 and I was thinking that I could have L in the right level and R with -10dB in camera so I could also have a back up in Levels.
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by still_fiddlin » Sun May 13, 2018 7:58 am

Most modern video editors I would think have the ability to automatically sync an audio and video track(s). Final Cut Pro X does, and I use it all the time. Only had one recent set of clips where it couldn't align all of them. But, manual alignment is not hard if you practice it, either. And you'll get far better audio if you do some post-processing in a DAW, IME/IMO, if the audio is important, anyway. (I do live music performances so the audio is probably more important than some events. A couple recent ones in the Off Topics board.)

The drum I beat all the time is that the camera position is almost never a good place for the audio recording. Even with a separate device like a Zoom, if you're cabling to the camera, you are very rarely going to get the best audio. Now, maybe if you've got 10m mic cables to external mics, it's different, but I gave up plugging into the camera years ago!
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Sun May 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Hi still_fiddlin,
I totally agree with you, for live performance sound is probably more important than the video (focus and stability taken for granted).
For the live event I covered, I got 10CH audio directly from the sound engineer in a usb stick but this audio is going to be processed from the band.
I wanted to present a video with a decent sound and I think thanks to Zoom I got it.

I was thinking about the Rodelink Filmaker Kit so I can have one line directly from the console for the weddings I am usually doing but I am afraid I am going to make it even more complicated for me.

Is there a way that I can record MULTIFILE but CH1 sends to L and CH2 Sends to R or this can only be done by using the Stereo Mode?
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by Wulfraed » Sun May 13, 2018 7:11 pm

Manual page 19... read the "HINT"

BTW: if the primary target is to fit to video, recommend using 48kHz format rather than 44.1kHz. 48kHz divides evenly into all the common video frame rates (24, 25, 30, 50, 60)
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Mon May 14, 2018 1:29 pm

Thank you Wulfraed for the 48kHZ tip, didn't know that, I am going to stick on that!

Just read the Hint in page 19 and I have one question:
Which one from the two stereo files will be delivered to dslr from LINEOUT?
The one from the L/R or the one from Input 1&2?
Or L and Input1 from Zoom H5 will be mixed to cameras L and R and Input2 will be mixed in cameras R?
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by Wulfraed » Mon May 14, 2018 3:53 pm

It will likely depend upon which inputs your have armed (page 22-23 -- my interpretation of the table on p23 is that you do NOT have to select L/R and could have just 1, 2, 1/2 both mono, 1/2 as stereo)... So, yes, a mix if you have L/R and 1/2 all active -- I suspect the contents of page 82-83 apply to the headphone output and may not be for the line-out; you'd have to do experiments to see if setting L/R monitor level to "mute" affects the line-out.

Page 84 may also be of interest -- note that this item only affects the line-out, not headphone. Just to ensure you don't overdrive the camera input (which could also result in distortion on the camera end) since the camera is probably designed for a weak microphone that needs amplification and not fixed/strong line-level.
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by almost » Mon May 14, 2018 4:48 pm

p84: I am already using -20dB so that I have the same levels in my camera and in the zoom (otherwise Zoom will record in very low level when camera records at -12dB).

Yes, p82-83 is for the monitoring, not for the LINEOUT.

I was wondering: what will happen if I take the signal from Zoom H5 to my camera from the headphone and not from the LINEOUT?
I mean, that was the case when I was using the Zoom H1, since H1 does not have LINEOUT.

I could lower the signal output by adjusting the volume of the headset, just like in Zoom H1.
That way I could decide what mix I need in each recording scenario.
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Re: Zoom H5 records Mono, DSLR records Stereo

Post by Wulfraed » Mon May 14, 2018 10:43 pm

The biggest problem with using headphone out is that it is /not/ a fixed level -- you end up having to balance the output volume against the input gain of the camera. Line-level exists because it is a fixed level -- especially when one has line-out feeding line-in; line-out to microphone in still leaves you having to tweak the input side.
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