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Re: H4 recorder in the field

Subject: Re: H4 recorder in the field
From: "Rob Danielson" danielson_rob
Date: Thu Nov 9, 2006 9:24 pm ((PST))
At 5:48 PM -0500 11/9/06, Robin Carter wrote:

Thanks for the report Robin!
>4. I noticed that when the recording mode was set to 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz or
>MP3 recording there was an annoying high-pitched intermittent hum or beep on
>the recording. I could not hear such a beep when using 96 kHz. This may be
>due to a defect in my H-4 rather than a design flaw.

Your report of whining seems to be consistent with the post on the 
phonography list that I mentioned. (My apologies to those who aren't 
subscribed to that list!) If you can post a sample recording from 
your H4, I'll combine them both to compare. Mike used Hi gain with an 
record level of "99" in a room with external mics 18" away. Here's 
some upload space to post the sample if you are interested:

>For a beginner who is going to get one or more good mics I would advice
>skipping over the H-4 in favor of one of the better recorders. I am quite
>pleased with my Marantz PMD 660, even if it can't record at 96 kHz. For a
>beginner who does not have a lot of money for mics right now I think that
>the H-4 with its rather good built-in mics might be a good choice. When you
>do get a good mic with an XLR connector that uses phantom power you can
>still use it with the H-4.

A post on the DV list reported the phantom unit falls considerably 
short of 48 volts. This wouldn't affect all phantom-powered mics 
negatively, but some would be.

Seems like there may be some serious compromises with the H4 
recorder. As beginners frequently consider the recorder as the 
primary "base" investment to build on, I'll add this: The cost of a 
PC/Mac Hi-MD recorder is the same and it can be equipped for 
phantom-powered mics for $50-$70 more when low noise mics become 
irresistible.  If low-profile mics are an initial priority, tiny 
Primo EM-158 mic's with a respectable ~20dB(A) self noise can be 
added to the Hi-MD recorder for $120/pair pre-wired or for $20/pair 
as "solder-yourself."  S 
There are a good number of novice and established recordists who 
would prefer a pair of omni mics to mount creatively over a fixed, 
X-Y cardioid array to hand-hold.

 From what I've heard through sound samples, the Hi-MD/Rolls Phantom 
Power Supply combo has less noise with more gain than a 660 or 670. 
Maybe someone who owns a Hi-MD and 660/670 can comment. The outboard 
phantom unit does makes the Hi-MD combo "chunkier," than the PMD's 
but they can be quite compactly housed.  Rob D.

>For my application, a point-and-shoot backup recorder, the H-4 is more than
>adequate. With the provided tripod connector I could even mount the H-4 onto
>the end of my waking stick (which has a camera tripod connector) and use the
>walking stick as a monopod for recording. This is not really necessary. I
>had no trouble recording with the H-4 hand-held.
>Robin Carter
>Columbia, SC USA

"Microphones are not ears,
Loudspeakers are not birds,
A listening room is not nature."
Klas Strandberg

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