Sunday, 13 March 2016

How to use a Zoom H1 Microphone on Auto Level

Recording good audio seems to be incredibly overlooked in this age of gadgets.

I have over ten microphones available to me, yet none as good as the Zoom H1.

All I wanted to demonstrate to myself - How to record an everyday task in clear audio and without that much fuss.


For some unknown reason, there was a smashed jar of mayo nearby, glass everywhere and it needed cleaning up.


All I did, place Zoom H1 on a mini tripod, hit record and see what happened with the Auto Level set to ON. Normally I never use the mic like this -- I have a manual setting with the mic open at 80%.

 I recorded in three audio files in WAV format at 96000 Hz 16 bit, copied them to win10 laptop and opened in Audacity.

As you see below, I make no claim Ihave remotely mastered how to use this Zoom H1. I have two Nikon DSLRs are I use them like a third arm - I feel comfortable and see feedback (in the way of a photo) immediately. Of course audio is all about deep listening, and a real skill.

Trimmed off some unwanted start and finish areas, applied Normalise and Compressor, aligned in order, added a few fade in/out and saved as WAV 80.4mb/3072kbps and mp3 5.63mb/214kbps for one track at length 3 minutes 39 seconds.


You'll notice the WAV file is 14 times bigger than the mp3. That's important to know when

uploading. For this file, we have 22mb WAV and 1.55mb per minute.

If I'd produced a 30 minute interview, that would be 660mb WAV or 46mb mp3. Of course we have many more audio formats available these days (like flac or m4a).

As I wanted to send to YouTube, I opened up Sony Vegas to make a quick video and that was troublesome. My render was at 1280 x 720 at 135mb and using Handbrake, only shrunk file to 127mb. Big files are I will have to investigate that further - too many variables in play. I blame this alot on my lack of understanding audio bit rates.



This is exactly what I wrote in the YouTube description..



Cleaning up Mayo recorded with a Zoom H1 mic Auto Level


I've owned a Zoom H1 since Aug 2013. If I'm brutally honest I've never got to grips with it. I use it, but have 'no natural instinct' for sound. I'll put that down to being an old school photo guy.

Still, here's to a new start and seeing how the Zoom H1 is an amazingly brilliant bit of kit , I'm determined to get to force myself to use it - until it becomes second nature.

It's literally my voice to reach the 187 countries where people watch my videos. I'm practising speaking in a natural quiet tone, a voice that all teachers have (when they are not shouting across the classroom).

In this video, I use the Auto Level set to ON. If you listen closely, you'll hear the audio slip raise and lower quite fast as it searches for a new balance. I needed a simple topic to test this feature.

There is also a Google Drive audio only version:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6dF7rWxc-5aMGFPeExwYjdNUE0/view?usp=sharing ..

https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/handy-recorder/h1-handy-recorder

Original audio edited from Zoom H1 into http://www.audacityteam.org/ on win10 ..

Google Drive version


YouTube version


.

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