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Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:35 am
by GV
I just noticed that the quality of the sound is significantly different when I am recording, and monitoring the recording through headphones, than when I listen during playback.

Is this because the signal is routed through the recording section in order to avoid or minimize latency?

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 1:21 pm
by yodaspeak
Were you using a Mastering Effect? That's the only thing I can think of where I have experienced a difference in the recording vs. playback

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:40 pm
by GV
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

No, I was not using a Mastering Effect.

And, to be clear, I am not saying that there is any difference between the recording and the playback.

Rather, there is a difference between the sound I am hearing in my headphones during the recording (the monitored sound), and the actual recorded sound.

And the recorded sound is fine.

But this does make realistic monitoring - i.e., adjusting any audio parameters - a really cumbersome process, because it means that I will have to make some adjustments, record a little, and listen to the playback, and then tweak, if necessary, rather than just tweaking as I am listening in my headphones, before I start recording.

Tried this with two sets of headphones so far, and I find it bizarre.

Maybe something has gone wrong in my Zoom monitoring section, because it never used to be like this.

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:56 pm
by sciurius
(I'm not familiar with R16, but I assume my R24 is close enough.)

I try to understand what you are saying.

You make a recording and monitor it through the headphones. When you stop the recording and play it back on the same R16 using the same headphones it sounds 'significantly different'. Yet the recording is fine. Can you describe 'significantly different'?

You mention 'adjusting any audio parameters'. What parameters do you adjust during recording?

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:31 am
by Wulfraed
Out of curiosity, where is the balance control [page 34] set during these tests? And are you using a metronome during record but not playback?

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 1:42 pm
by GV
sciurius wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:56 pm
(I'm not familiar with R16, but I assume my R24 is close enough.)

I try to understand what you are saying.

You make a recording and monitor it through the headphones. When you stop the recording and play it back on the same R16 using the same headphones it sounds 'significantly different'. Yet the recording is fine. Can you describe 'significantly different'?

You mention 'adjusting any audio parameters'. What parameters do you adjust during recording?
Hi sciurius,
Not sure how similar the R 24 is in terms of all of its internal wiring and so on.

Wulfraed may be able to comment on this.

Yes, the recording was "significantly different" in that I was hearing a very muddy signal (not many high frequencies) in the headphones during recording, but the recording itself was fine.

Sorry if I was unclear about adjusting audio parameters - I did not do that at all during the recording; I was just trying to say that if I had wanted to do that, I would not have been able to hear any adjustments properly because of the muddiness of the headphones.

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 1:49 pm
by GV
Wulfraed wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:31 am
Out of curiosity, where is the balance control [page 34] set during these tests? And are you using a metronome during record but not playback?
Hi Wulfraed,
Thanks for your reply.

Now you come to mention it, during several of the recordings, the metronome 'intro' count was on, but I think that I turned it off at one point - I definitely turned the metronome setting itself off so that it was not playing during the recording (i.e., after the intro count). However, the muddiness in the headphones persisted throughout.

I had the (rotary knob) balance control set to the far left 'Master Direct' the whole time, and I think that I had the 'Metronome' switch set to 'Phones Only'.

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 10:08 am
by Wulfraed
GV wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:49 pm
I had the (rotary knob) balance control set to the far left 'Master Direct' the whole time, and I think that I had the 'Metronome' switch set to 'Phones Only'.
Based upon the manual, I'd have expected that position to result in no metronome sound at all, regardless of metronome on/off.

I had been thinking that, if the balance was between Master and Metronome, and the metronome was off, you were still mixing nothing with the master for monitoring, so the total output would be lower than expected.

Re: Sound Quality on Zoom R 16 Different in Record and Play Modes?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 3:14 pm
by GV
Thanks for that, Wulfraed.

Yes, I agree with your reasoning.

I have now remembered that at one point I turned the Metronome sound off - think I did that in the menu - but there was still a 'pre-roll' delay of two bars until the recording started. But I had definitely had the rotary knob set to the left / 'Master Direct' position, and