On an indoor video project, if using an external mic, which MODE do you shoot in. And do you shoot stereo?
You put the H4n in Stereo mode, and push the 1 & 2 button (so you use the XLR inputs, not the internal mics). This is the same for indoor and outdoor recording. Working outdoors is all about using wind protection.
If I can use the H4n with my handycam, what kind of assessory do I need to connect the two? Thanks.
You would need a cable with an in-line pad that attenuates the line-level signal out of the H4n's headphone jack down to mic-level. I'm not aware of a 1/8" to 1/8" transformer cable like this that is sold at B&H. We sell larger XLR barrels that do this, but it's a bit impractical to use these with the H4n, especially if you're going to be mounting it on top of your camera.
I will most likely have 4 mics rolling at all times because we have some tight "car scene shots" and two Hd cameras rolling. Im thinking two wireless LAV, shotgun (well not in car) as well has 1 handheld placed where ever possible, and if possible the built in mics rolling at all times. Im pretty sure I understand the 4 ch mode, I would use 1/8"mini line level from the h4 to xlr into the mixer...yes?
No. You want to plug the microphones into the mixer. You plug the outputs of the mixer into the two XLR inputs on the H4n. You could use the 4 track mode on the H4n, providing the the recorder is positioned in such a way that the audio from it's built-in mics will be useful. You don't want to use the MTR mode on the 4Hn for this kind of situation.
Or would I use the xlr 1,2 on the h4 into line xlr on the mixer, and run the handheld and shotgun from the mixer(mic)...If i did this in 4ch mode will the built in mics stay active?
Yes, the mics will be active. That's why you would want to postion them. Personally, I would try to get all the sound I needed with the other mics, and keep the H4n in a spot where I could easily access its controls (and not use the on-board mics). In a situation where you have multiple people working together to shoot a scene, it's best to be able to move quickly and make adjustments on your equipment quickly.
I guess I dont quite understand MTR mode other than it has effects, which seems would be great with an instrument but not all that useful with mics?
The MTR mode turns the H4n into a multi-track recorder. If you're familiar with the old cassette 4-track machines that were popular in the 1990's, the MTR mode basically turns the H4n into one of them.
I wanna show up to our shoot knowing exactly what mode is best and how to use it to get the best audio possible.
Pester your audio teacher with questions. Seriously. Audio is really deep. I think taking audio classes is a great thing to do. Make the most of it. Ask your teacher about everything, take a lot of notes, and keep the notes in a folder. I did that a long time ago, and I still pull out that old folder and re-read my audio class notes.
Also what exactly is the EXT. stereo input jack most commonly used for?
It's used for external mini-plug microphones. There are lots of them. Here's an article about mini-plug shotguns:
and here's a bunch of other mini-plug mics:
BIG NEWS UPDATE!
You know that big comment I left on 10/06/10 about needing the IMP 1 x 2 Splitter and the Audio Technica in-line pad in order to control the two XLR input levels independently? Well, throw all of that out the windo\w.
This morning Zoom announced the free 1.70 firmware update for the H4n that adds independant level control to the H4n! Here's a link to the download and installation instructions:
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