new room microphones for use w/ H4N

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by hgregs, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. hgregs


    Sep 25, 2008
    ct/ny border
    spent most of the day trying to research a good mic upgrade for recording my band on the zoom H4N. i record all our shows, and i'm starting to want a better quality recording than what i'm getting. we're a large rock band (2 drummers, 2 guitars, keys, bass, vocals) playing small clubs/bars. i currently put the zoom on a mic-stand (using an adapter). looking to spend up to $500. want easy setup and improved sound from the onboards. pretty sure the zoom can provide phantom power if needed. thoughts?
  2. bigboote


    Aug 24, 2010
    I have the H4n and will be grabbing a stereo ribbon for it soon for that kind of thing.
  3. Hmm, the mics in the h4n are fairly decent and you won't be looking at too much of an upgrade for $500. You'll get a nicer mic for sure but for recording live setups the difference between a separate and the h4's mics won't be too pronounced.

    What exactly is it you want to improve, soundwise? It most likely going to be helped by mic placement more than a new mic. The sort of extra detail you get from a nicer mic is going to be very limited by trying to capture the whole band as one.

    Also, what sort of sound do you like? that'll influence mic choice a lot, rock can mean anything from led zepplin to nickleback and the mic choice will vary considerably!
  4. hgregs


    Sep 25, 2008
    ct/ny border
    here's a recording from our last gig

    it's not bad, it's just not great either. i feel i don't hear what my bass really sounds like. i think the recording could be a lot fuller. as a band we talked about getting a digital board to make soundboard recordings, but nobody wanted to fund it. so i'm trying to find alternatives. maybe the h4n is as good as i get without significantly more effort and money.
  5. That sounds alright for a stereo pair! Pretty decent.

    Bear in mind the main differences in another mic will be transient response and frequency response.

    I can't hear either of those really effecting the recording that much in your case. Subtly maybe but they wont fundamentally change how your bass sounds, for example. Ditto a different frequency curve will not change what you hear that much, just give an emphasis to certain frequencies (or lack of emphasis).

    That said, if you got an extra mic and put it near your amp and used in it conjunction with the zooms stereo pair you would get a bit more of the sound as you hear it from the amp. Or just get a nice mic and place it on stage somewhere, play with the position unitll it gets the right balance of instruments and mix that in with the further zoom mics. An LDC with both cardioid and omni patterns would be good. Add fig8 as well and then you have a lot more choice of emphasising certain instruments with its pronounced peaks and nulls.

    Generally though, I'd use whatever you get to augment the nice room sound you have going with the zoom mics. And play with eq's a bit on the recordings you have and see what you can bring out that way. Little boosts and cuts here and there can end up having a big difference in the perception of the overall sound!
  6. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
  7. hgregs


    Sep 25, 2008
    ct/ny border
    good tips charling - i think a couple of mics up on stage and using the 4trk function - a little post editing - probably goes a long way. i'll try to post results when i get to that.

    faulkner - sounds great - makes me more concerned about my skilz! nice playing.
  8. @ Faulknersj

    That sounds good, the midrange push really helps the definition and apparent clarity of the music. It has a nice bite!

    I think you could get closer to that with the zoom with a different placement though. The zoom sounds as though it was a bit further away in the posted clip, and the front of house mix of the band will be a factor too!

    The flip sounds like it has some inbuilt compression going on, which works pretty well for this kind of live capture. May be worth giving that a go on the zoom tracks.

    @ Hgregs, no probs, try moving the zoom closer as well, you should be able to get quite close and still get a good stereo spread. You could probably come right up to or on the front of the stage, in the middle in front of the band. That would get a bit more clarity accross the board, at the expense of the 'live' room sound!
  9. hgregs


    Sep 25, 2008
    ct/ny border