Mics for H4N Pro (1 Viewer)

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
I have an H4N Pro and would like to get a mic, to use at home for nocmigging but also occasionally for use in the field.

I'm more interested for now in shotgun mics.

Any recommendations please? Reading online I know that Sennheiser ME66/K6 is popular but have found it's not that available to purchase.

Gi
 

NorthernHarrier

Active member
I have an H4N Pro and would like to get a mic, to use at home for nocmigging but also occasionally for use in the field.

I'm more interested for now in shotgun mics.

Any recommendations please? Reading online I know that Sennheiser ME66/K6 is popular but have found it's not that available to purchase.

Gi

I still find quite a few ME66/K6 for sale on Ebay in the USA, where I got a good deal on mine, in February of this year. I've heard the Schoeps CMIT 5 U is supposed to be very good, if costly, although I do not know that from personal experience.
 

Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
I use a Rode NTG4 and it's great - much cheaper than the Sennheiser kit but not a massive difference in performance.
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
I still find quite a few ME66/K6 for sale on Ebay in the USA, where I got a good deal on mine, in February of this year. I've heard the Schoeps CMIT 5 U is supposed to be very good, if costly, although I do not know that from personal experience.

I use a Rode NTG4 and it's great - much cheaper than the Sennheiser kit but not a massive difference in performance.

Thanks both. I will check ebay but I think the Schoeps CMIT 5 U is a bit out my price range! The Rode was one I was considering, so good to get approval. It does seem more readily available.

Gi
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
I ended up getting the Rode NTG4+ with the Rode W6 windshield to couple with the Zoom H4N Pro. Just getting used to using the kit, having used it in the garden then last night headed out to a heath (it was a fairly still night).

When using the kit, I've listened through ear buds (must get some proper headphones) when recording and find I hear a hiss sound. As a consequence have set the level low to not hear this so that I can hear the recording well in situ but back at the laptop the file seems quieter.

To compensate I applied some the high pass filter between 700Hz and 1kHz. I then applied Gain, ranging from 14dB to 22dB. I've attached one of the files.

Not sure if this is the way to go. Will be experimenting more.

Gi
 

Attachments

  • Nightjar_23062020_edit.wav
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Ruff-Leg

New member
Somewhat similar, I have been using a Zoom H5 because of its replaceable mic capsules, and fitted the SGH-6 short shotgun. Reasonably good results for a one-handed bit of kit and only about 500 USD invested.

As to all the talk about filtering and amplifications, I have followed the desired guidance at Cornell's Macaulay Library - minimal filtering, and then normalization to -3.0 dB peak with Audacity (OceanWave works as well.) The H5 allows me to set a low-pass filter at 512 Hz, with a very gentle 6 dB / octave roll-off.

This works well getting recordings to a standardized, common level without the noticeable artifacts/artefacts that more aggressive roll-off filters seem to introduce.

This level of processing seems to be in accord with what xeno-canto wants of your submissions (although format requirements are different).

I have experimented a bit and having the gain setting on the SGH-6 set to the mid-level seems to reduce the pre-amp noise floor when normalized.

Hope that may help.

Scott
Tucson, AZ
 

iveljay

Well-known member
I think it worth reading the Macaulay Library guidance in full. It is certainly excellent advice for ensuring that the recordings in the Library are of the highest standard for scientific work and the recordist does not accidentally destroy their original recording etc. Under optimum conditions this guidance is excellent. For less than optimum conditions, 'the warts and all' recording will allow people to accurately assess the value of the recording and in some cases this may be the best that anyone has achieved anyway.

If you are recording a sound track to a video you probably have other considerations, that in the time available to you, you will be recording from far from optimal conditions and the audience will be slightly more forgiving in absolute quality if you can remove the noise of screaming pre-amps and some of the wind.

Regrettably also, the Zoom H5 has good pre-amps for its price point, but not everyone else is so blessed, so the work involved in getting acceptable recordings can be that much more difficult.

So for submitting your work to libraries or even building up your own collection Scott is absolutely right( but please read the whole of what the web site has to say, it is both interesting and helpful).

For other purposes such as video work or presenting to a local gardening society, for instance, consider the audience and produce something they want to hear.

I have sat through presentations where the audience is not sure whether to laugh or cry. Its probably a good guideline that if the majority of your presentation is not fit for human consumption, don't present it, but 'tweaking' a recording so it sounds nice over a village hall p.a. system is pure courtesy to your audience and you have the unedited originals available for other uses anyway.

Your audio expertise gets better the more you do, and you will only learn from experimentation. However, where guidelines exist for particular uses - do what Scott says - follow them, and in all other cases consider the needs of your audience - even if it is just you! There are also some excellent books on general audio recording, if you want to understand the theory a bit better, but they can be heavy going.

I can endorse the Zoom H5 with the SGH-6 he uses, its one of the set-ups I use from time to time, I havn't tried the SHH-6 which is the strereo version and clearly has its uses. The H4N Pro which is where this thread started has the same excellent pre-amps as the H5, but without the replaceable mic capsules.
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Hi Scott and iveljay,

Thanks for the info, had read through and it's just some high-pass filter then -3dB normalize.

I've found that when I recorded in the field of singing birds recordings were not too bad using level set at 80 on the Zoom.

For nocmig in the garden it's a bit different; it's an urban area plus there are hedges and trees so I get a lot of background noise. Additionally things are not always overhead. I was extremely lucky to have Crane over the house the other day, I've attached the original plus an edited version with high-pass filter of 750 then -3dB normalize.

Gi
 

Attachments

  • P2_1Hr53mins_06082020.wav
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  • Crane_-3dB_06082020.wav
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