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 Zoom H4
Author: mikeyarbulu 
Date:   2010-10-20 00:30

I've been using my Zoom H4 lately, but I'm not sure what settings to use to best record my clarinet lessons and auditions. Should I record at 96kHz or with the mp2 format? How are these different? I'm using the internal mics, no externals. Any opinions, information, and experiences would be wonderful!


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 Re: Zoom H4
Author: Noqu 
Date:   2010-10-20 09:26

The decision is a trade-off between sound quality and file size. The four recording qualities on the H4 (96 kHz, 48 kHz, 44.1 kHz, MP3) are ordered in decreasing quality and file size.

MP3 is the only "compressed" format of the four, where the file becomes really small in exchange for some information loss. The numbers on the other formats denote the number of sound samples taken per millisecond (96 kHz ~ 96000 samples/sec), so you can roughly imagine this as a unit like megapixels on digital cameras.

96 kHz is pretty impressive studio-like quality (I rarely need that). On the other hand, if you intend to do digital post-processing on the sound files (other than just cutting and trimming), you should probably stay away from MP3.

Personally, I often use the H4 to just capture a rehearsal and hear it again later (just like a snapshot foto for memories, not for making a CD or something like that). For this, I found MP3 absolutely sufficient, and the small file sizes make the handling easier and faster. Also keep in mind where you are going to hear it - I often use an iPod, where all my music is in MP3 form anyway.

The best idea is probably to just try it out - see if you can hear a difference.

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 Re: Zoom H4
Author: timg 
Date:   2010-10-20 11:46

Just to expand on what Noqu wrote:

The H4 can record MP3s at a range of bit-rates, from 48 to 320 kbps. 48kbps will sound noticeably distorted, whilst 320kbps is virtually indistinguishable from CD quality. The samples are always 16-bit at 44.1kHz.

128kbps is often sufficient, but I'd suggest using 256kbps or more if sound quality is important.

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 Re: Zoom H4
Author: Merlin_Williams 
Date:   2010-10-20 19:16

Record at the settings many pro studos use: 44.1k, 24 bit. Excellent quality, more headroom and doesn't eat up memory so badly.

Jupiter Canada Artist/Clinician
Stratford Shakespeare Festival musician
Woodwind Doubling Channel Creator on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodwindDoubling

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 Re: Zoom H4
Author: mikeyarbulu 
Date:   2010-10-20 20:38

Thanks for the input! I'm gonna try all the settings soon!

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 Re: Zoom H4
Author: chris moffatt 
Date:   2010-10-21 00:45

If you want to do any post-recording editing using a computer it's best to use an uncompressed format so you don't lose information that. you can always compress it after editing to save space on an iPod or other player.

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 Re: Zoom H4
Author: Gandalfe 
Date:   2010-10-23 22:36

If you use a higher quality sound track under a video and then post it to YouTube, will you lose the quality by the conversion process when you upload it to the YouTube service?

Jim and Suzy

Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns
Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra
Seattle, Washington

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