anyone use Zoom H1 to record live sets?
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default anyone use Zoom H1 to record live sets?

    Hello everybody!

    Looking for a little help - just grabbed one of these to record my live sets externally and I am having trouble recording without distortion. I have tried using the auto level feature and adjusting manually - cant find the right setting to record a distortion free mix that sounds clean. I have been using 320 MP3 - should I be using Mp3 or Wav Format? I am recording from pioneer cdjs & A&H zone22 mixer - rca out to 1/8 line in on the zoom H1.

    I was thinking of returning it but have read mutliple accounts of people having success with it - hopefully i just havent figured it out yet....

    Any help or best practices would be appreciated - thanks in advance!

    -joonya
    Providence, RI

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Ross's Avatar
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    Which output are you using on the back of the mixer? You should be using rec out which would give you a consistent level as long as you had your gains not distorting.
    Pioneer DJM 700 / Traktor Kontrol X1 / 2 x Technics SL1200MK5 / Traktor Scratch Pro 2.6.7 / Ortofon Concorde Nightclub MK1
    Audio 8 DJ / Sennheiser HD 25-1 II / Magma Traveler / IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R155 / KRK RP6 G2 / Vinyl

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Polygon's Avatar
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    I use an h2 when i'm mixing on cdjs for me it works mighty fine, plenty of headroom and even if i redline a time or two it doesn't distort that much at all

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmniRoss View Post
    Which output are you using on the back of the mixer? You should be using rec out which would give you a consistent level as long as you had your gains not distorting.
    thx for the response! I am using the rec out on the mixer. I seem to get the most distortion when both channels are engaged fully - I am not red lining the channels either...keeping them right in the happy zone. In addition to distortion, I get a handful of "pops" throughout the mix as well - could it be a defect maybe? Maybe I should recording to a different format (wav) or perhaps an mp3 setting less than 320?

    appreciate all the help....

  5. #5
    Tech Wizard johndavid's Avatar
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    I have a Zoom H2N and the input is too sensitive which causes mixes to distort if the levels are not kept under tight control (never mind recording someone else mixing, never once have I managed to get a distortion free recording, they always peak at one point of another).

    Multiple solutions:
    -KEEP THE LEVEL DOWN! But this is asking too much especially in a live context where you are going to hit the red at one point or another regardless of how careful you are.
    -use an extra mixer between the dj mixer and the recorder so you can adjust the level if necessary, this is far from ideal(more gear ... ).
    -inline pad attenuator (DIY http://www.martin-doppelbauer.de/aud...drecorder/pad/ / 26 bucks http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=266-244
    -volume knob control (some people even build them DIY style http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewto...&t=5080#p23048 but they can also be purchased http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NTI0WDUyNA...eCg~~60_35.JPG )

    I've just gotten myself an rca volume knob controller which I find to be the best solution versus a pad.

    The overly sensitive input on the Zoom H2N has been a major deterrent in getting me to record more live sets because every single recording has turned out distorted. At home I manage to control the levels better especially because no one else is mixing but me.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Polygon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndavid View Post
    I have a Zoom H2N and the input is too sensitive which causes mixes to distort if the levels are not kept under tight control (never mind recording someone else mixing, never once have I managed to get a distortion free recording, they always peak at one point of another).

    Multiple solutions:
    -KEEP THE LEVEL DOWN! But this is asking too much especially in a live context where you are going to hit the red at one point or another regardless of how careful you are.
    -use an extra mixer between the dj mixer and the recorder so you can adjust the level if necessary, this is far from ideal(more gear ... ).
    -inline pad attenuator (DIY http://www.martin-doppelbauer.de/aud...drecorder/pad/ / 26 bucks http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=266-244
    -volume knob control (some people even build them DIY style http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewto...&t=5080#p23048 but they can also be purchased http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NTI0WDUyNA...eCg~~60_35.JPG )

    I've just gotten myself an rca volume knob controller which I find to be the best solution versus a pad.

    The overly sensitive input on the Zoom H2N has been a major deterrent in getting me to record more live sets because every single recording has turned out distorted. At home I manage to control the levels better especially because no one else is mixing but me.
    Listen to him and ignore my post, the h1 is the same generation of the h2n, while my h2 is an older one. So the problems might persist along the whole generation of devices
    Quote Originally Posted by donstone View Post
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  7. #7
    Tech Wizard johndavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polygon View Post
    Listen to him and ignore my post, the h1 is the same generation of the h2n, while my h2 is an older one. So the problems might persist along the whole generation of devices
    And in case anyone is wondering, the volume in my case(and the OP as well I'm presuming) is always set at a minimum yet the recording distorts.

    In regards to volume control there's also one other option that might be worth considering as it could have multiple uses(it's very similar to the rca volume knob controller)
    Volume knobs made for monitors:
    Fostex PC-1
    PC1EX_Top.jpg
    Behringer Mon 800
    behringer-minimon-mon800-424860.jpeg
    SM Pro Audio Nano Patch Plus
    113037.jpg

    as you can see I've looked into many different options.

    There's even mini mixers such as
    Behringer MX400
    ART Macro Mix
    Rolls MX 22s (the best brand for compact gear and more expensive) ... but these tend to require an external power supply which means more weight to carry(I try to optimize my gear size/weight as much as possible as there's already so much to carry).

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Polygon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndavid View Post
    And in case anyone is wondering, the volume in my case(and the OP as well I'm presuming) is always set at a minimum yet the recording distorts.
    Nono i was telling to the OP, i just quoted your post to let him know, sorry for the misunderstanding
    Quote Originally Posted by donstone View Post
    I only use VINYL flooring. Rugs are for cheaters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    If you can't find an Abba song that you like, you are a liar of the highest order.

  9. #9
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    thank you all for the input (pun intended) - im gonna keep tinkering with it to see if i can find a sweet spot to record - if not, probably return it and look elsewhere for another solution. Not trying to add any more gear or build anything...but everyone's feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Sidebar -a droid/iphone app to record to via usb or whatever would be way to useful for anyone to actually make, right? #wishfulthinking

  10. #10
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    Hi All,

    I'd just like to follow-up on this.

    I've recently made the mistake of buying one of these to record my DJ sets. After much tinkering I still haven't found a solution...

    I purchased the -12db Harrison Labs RCA attenuators and they attenuate way too much... No matter how much I boost the input level I can barely hear anything.

    I'm in Canada and those cost me 50$, quite the waste. So far I've spent 175$ on this machine and I haven't been able to record sets with it... I really regret it and should have bought another recorder in the first place.

    However I'm too deep into the pit now and I'd like to know if anyone has found a solution with this yet... I'm thinking about ordering another pair of attenuators... I'm guessing -3db would probably do it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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