Tips for Using the Zoom H4n in a DSLR Video Shoot

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The extra work you'll be required to do extends to every phase of production. In pre-production you're going to need to plan your audio recorder/DSLR operation workflow. During the actual production you're going to have to operate (or preferably have someone else operate) the digital audio recorder. In post you're going to need to transfer the sound files into your computer and sync them with the picture. There are many inexpensive yet high-quality portable audio recorders on the market that will enable you to do all of this, but a favorite among video producers and independent filmmakers is the Zoom H4n. Not only does the H4n offer one of the best bang-for-the-buck ratios out there, but more importantly, a large number of video-enabled DSLR users have adopted this specific recorder for use in video production and are achieving impressive results.

The Zoom H4n is a bit of a Swiss Army Knife production tool. Not only can it serve as an external recorder for DSLR video work, it can also act as an audio interface for your computer. This means that you can connect it to a Mac or Windows PC via USB 2.0, plug a microphone into one of its two XLR inputs, and use the H4n to create voiceovers in post production. You can record directly into the timeline of Final Cut Pro, or into any video or audio production software that supports external interfaces. There are also lots of powerful features for musicians in the H4n, such as multi-track recording, a guitar tuner, and a metronome. It's even possible to record four separate channels of audio using the H4n's high-quality built-in stereo condenser microphones and its two XLR microphone inputs simultaneously.

You can easily set the H4n to record different file formats and audio resolutions--including the ability to record audio as compressed MP3 files. But since the goal here is to achieve the best quality possible, let's forget I even mentioned the name MP3! In my personal experience recording sound for video productions, I've had great results setting the recorder for 24-bit/48 kHz WAV files. Many people have reported excellent sync results when setting the Zoom H4n to record sound with 16-bit/48 kHz WAV files for shooting 24p video. But I would recommend trying 24-bit/48 kHz first. It's a richer-sounding bit depth, and it gives your audio recordings more headroom.

Because there are so many video-enabled DSLR's that offer different frame rate capabilities, you may need to experiment to find settings that work best between your camera, audio recorder, and editing software. I strongly recommend doing test shots to work out any issues before you get involved with a serious production. From start to finish, roll your camera and external audio recorder for over 10 minutes. As the equipment runs, periodically clap your hands in the frame (or better yet, use a clapper slate). After you've logged the footage into your computer, if the claps stay in sync when you watch the test video, then you've successfully recorded double system sound. If the clapping audio isn't in sync with the clapping on screen (especially later in the footage, 5 or 10 minutes in), then you need to adjust the settings of your software.

Interestingly, sync issues happen more often when the video editing software's preference settings are incorrect. The audio and video files are usually not at fault. A common pitfall is when the timeline of the video editing software is set to a different frame rate than the video and audio footage. Even if the DSLR was set to record video at 24fps and the audio files were recorded as 24-bit 48 kHz (or 16-bit 48 kHz) WAVs, if the timeline in the software is locked to 29.97 frames per second, you're bound to have sync issues.

How you approach using the Zoom H4n with your DSLR can vary. If you're shooting everything by yourself, keep in mind that you're going to have to hit record on theH4n every time you start recording on your camera. You will have another set of batteries (the H4n runs on two AA's) and another memory card to keep tabs on as you work (the H4n records onto SD cards). Microphone placement also becomes a big issue if you're shooting solo. If the microphones are not physically close to the sound source, it's going to sound that way. I don't mean to discourage anyone from shooting double system while working alone, but you do need to keep these factors in mind.

One nice touch is that the Zoom H4n can be mounted on top of a DSLR camera. The H4n features a 1/4-20 tripod mount on the back of its chassis. With a simple accessory like the Pearstone Male Accessory Shoe, the Zoom H4n will balance comfortably on the shoe of your DSLR. However, you'll have to keep handling and wind noise in mind if you're going to be moving around with the H4n hard-mounted on your camera. If you want to get into using external professional microphones with the H4n, you could rig up your DSLR with shoe-extension accessories like the NRG 59111 Accessory Tri-Mount. This would enable you to mount the Zoom H4n and a shotgun microphone with a shockmount. For more options on microphone shockmounts for a DSLR camera, check out this B&H Insights blog post.

Whenever possible, try to work with a professional location sound person. They will take the burden of capturing the best sound off of your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate fully on making the best-looking picture possible. The more people you can get to help out on your production, the better. As mentioned earlier, it's a good idea to bring along a clapper slate whenever you shoot double system. Have a production assistant (or a friend who owes you a favor) operate the slate at the beginning of every take, and at the end of the take, too (if it's a lengthy shot). This will really help you sync the footage in post.

Feel free to get creative with the Zoom H4n on your shoots. If you don't have external microphones, have your talent hold the H4n just below the frame when they're speaking to the camera. This way if the microphones are closer to the subject's voice, it will likely sound better than if the H4n was mounted on top of your camera. If you don't have wireless microphones, you can plug a XLR wired lavalier or a mini-plug lavalier directly into the H4n and conceal the recorder in the talent's pocket for a wide shot. Finally, don't be intimidated by people who tell you that you can't achieve good audio with a limited budget. Let your own research and experimentation determine what you can and can't do. The clock is ticking. Stop dreaming about making a film. Get out there and bring your vision to life. Elmo is rooting for you!

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Hey,

Can anyone tell me, what is the point of connecting the H4N to the DSLR if you still need to sync up the audio at a later date? im a little confused by what the point of the connection is in the first place?

can anyone clear this up for me please?

thanks, JJ

Hi Johnny Jay - 

It's all about the audio quality. Your DSLR cannot deliver 24-bit/48 kHz WAV files internally.

Is it possible when using H4N and DSLR for the audio to be captured and NOT require syncing?

I.E - when connecting the H4N to the DSLR, is it possible for the video to be captured/recorded and automatically using the H4n Microphones as  the source?

I am able to do this with my GoPro HERO 3. So surely?

Hi Martin -

Connecting the H4n directly to the camera and using the recorder's mics and preamps to record is a huge improvement over using the camera's internal microphone.  But the in-camera audio recording is still a relatively low-res audio file when compared to what would be available via the H4n's recording.

I have an H4N and a T6i. Anyone know if there's a way to sync the two so that hitting recording on one trigger the other?

Hi Jason - 

There is no sync/start mode or cable available for these devices.

The Zoom H4n works excellent when I record separate audio for my video and sync in post. However, sometimes to streamline workflow I'll keep the Zoom in record/pause and send the headphone out directly to the camera.  The trouble is because this is a headphone out and not a "line-out", the signal is hot and makes for a noisey recording.  The Sony PCM-10 allows you to select line-out or headphone out for the same jack, and results in a low-noise recording when using the "record/pause" method of audio capture.  Any suggestions to make this work with the Zoom?

Hi Steven - 

An attenuation cable might work to "cool down" that "hot" signal.

The Whirlwind WHH4NL 3.5 Line-to-Microphone Attenuator Cable measures 1' (30.48cm) long and is specifically designed to connect the line outputs on portable recording devices (such as the Zoom H4N and Zoom H1), to the microphone inputs on HDSLR cameras. The cable features -25dB of attenuation and a right angled connection at the camera's end for added convenience.

Hello, I use my zoom recorder to film audio during wedding receptions. I plug into the DJ's euipment. One problem I run into is that it records to high. How can I adjust the settings so that it doesn't record to loudly and get distorted audio?

Hi Ellen - 

If you are coming out of the DJ' mixer's LINE/AUX outputs, the signal is too hot and needs to be attenuated. This attenuating cable connected to  the recorder's 3.5mm microphone should do the trick.  You may need an adapter depending upon the configuration of the mixer's output connections.

The Whirlwind WHH4NL 3.5 Line-to-Microphone Attenuator Cable measures 1' (30.48cm) long and is specifically designed to connect the line outputs on portable recording devices (such as the Zoom H4N and Zoom H1), to the microphone inputs on HDSLR cameras. The cable features -25dB of attenuation and a right angled connection at the camera's end for added convenience.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Something I am having trouble finding - could I record to the H4N and use it as a USB mic/interface at the same time?

My use case is live streaming to Facebook from a laptop, while also recording with several other cameras, while wearing a lav mic. I want the lav mic to record to the H4N and I would prefer either the lav mic audio or the H4Ns mics to my laptop's built-in mic. After the live stream is concluded, I then want to go back and sync and edit the audio from the lav mic on the H4N with the footage from the other cameras - I may or may not have access to the laptop, so I don't want to rely on it for recording my audio for post production.

Thank you!

Hi Sean - 

The Zoom H4n cannot record internally while being used in the USB interface mode.  You may want to consider purchasing a basic, stand-alone audio interface.

Focusrite's second-generation Scarlett 2i2 is a portable audio interface designed specifically for use in a portable computer environment. Lightweight at 1.3 lb, the device sports two inputs, two outputs, instrument/line switches, 48V Phantom power, direct monitoring, a discrete headphone output, and the ability to draw power via USB. It's designed to operate handily at resolutions and sample rates of up to 24-bit/192 kHz, and its combination front-panel inputs render it suitable for tracking instruments with much in the way of headroom and little in the way of distortion.

Hi, 

I'm a photographer and just purchased a Zoom H4n from B&H to make field recordings, sorry for the lack of knowledge. 

I made 5 recordings for my current project and when I transferred the files on to my computer I noticed that only the first two recorded sound. The other three don't play sound at all, they do have all the correct recording length and they also have the right amount of file size. 

When I discovered this, I tried to make new test recordings, to see if I changed some settings by accident (although I'm certain I didn't change anything) and I still was unsuccessful to record the sound. You can see that no sound is displayed while recording. 

I couldn't get help on the internet so far and now I found this discussion. I'm a bit desperate, because tomorrow I'm flying back to work on my project and I bought the recorder for this. What settings might I have wrong or is the build in microphone just broken?

Also it takes up to 3minutes sometimes to load when starting it - this seems super long to me. Maybe my whole device is just broken?

Help and advice would be very very very appreciated! Thank you!

I'm not sure about the missing audio, but when I use a larger sd card, it tends to oot alot slower. When I put in a 4gb sd I had no issues at all.

Hi there i use a nikon with h4n,and i have a question the signal lvls in zoom is to high,if i understand corect the camera audio recorder canseled as i conect it with the cable in zoom and takes recording from h4n or both together?i thing is taking audio only from h4n but which one is better to lower the sound signal because is kinda high?lower the h4n directly or the cameras audio lvls?

and one more question is as i understand, the audio and video saved together in the cameras memory card,but also the audio saved in the zooms memory card.i want to put some reverb on the audio after is easy to sync it or there is any program that i can put directly reverb on the video file?any idea? 

Hi Chris -

With the recorder connected to the camera, the audio picked up by the recorder's high quality mics and preamps, is relayed directly to the camera, bypassing the camera's own internal microphone.  The result will be a clearer, more accurate recording, without the need to sync in post if you are satisfied with the audio in the video clip.  For a higher resolution recording,  you could sync the camera track with the recorder's audio file track for even better results using software.

Red Giant PluralEyes enables you to sync video footage with externally recorded sound at the press of a button in just seconds, as long as you simultaneously also recorded the sound in-camera. It does this by matching up the waveforms of the external recording to the in-camera recording.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi dont be mad but i after ive read it all i dint understand,if i conect with a cable the h4n and the dslr did i have to sync them on a program?or i do not have to sync them after?

so when i hit record on both camera and h4n will be sync or i have to try diferent set up  parametres about 24bit or 16.

if is noise problems and no sync with a cable then where is the usage of it? 

The LN2MIC-ZMH4N-6 from Sescom is a problem solving cable for users of HDSLRs who are using a Zoom H4N or Zoom H1 as a secondary audio recording source. It offers the necessary -25dB attenuation that the listed camera's require to obtain correct gain level settings. Depending on your audio source and recording circumstances,  a correct level may not be available without using this Sescom cable.  Many professional DSLR cameras have unbalanced stereo microphone level audio inputs on a mini TRS 3.5mm jack. The Samson Zoom H4N or H1 output line level audio signals. This cable provides the proper microphone levels and preserves the delicate connector contacts inside the camera, allowing users to go directly from the audio recorder into the camera.

You will need to sync the tracks using software:

Red Giant PluralEyes enables you to sync video footage with externally recorded sound at the press of a button in just seconds, as long as you simultaneously also recorded the sound in-camera. It does this by matching up the waveforms of the external recording to the in-camera recording.

PluralEyes 4 is standalone software, not a plug-in, and therefore imports video and audio data directly from your computer and can export the synced up file to virtually any editing system. Version 4 is, however, also capable of importing timeline sequences directly from Final Cut X, Premiere Pro, and Sony Vegas and then exporting them back out to these editors after you've made your syncs. Moreover, Version 4 has a feature called the Premiere Pro Panel, which allows you to export to PluralEyes, sync, and the import back into Premiere right from Premiere. The Premiere Pro Panel opens up PluralEyes for you and lets you work from inside Premiere. PluralEyes 4 also introduces a variety of new features that will allow for more power, flexibility, and efficiency.

The syncing process happens live in front of you. You can watch as your footage is being synced, and color-coded visuals show the status of your footage so that you can easily identify any problems that might need some attention on your NLE's timeline.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi there,

I'm experiecing a strange issue of no playback on my Mac or in Adobe Premiere.  Here's where I'm at:

The "Mic", "1", and "2" are all lit up when on standby and when recording. 

The levels meter is registering for a L+R internal mic channel; and the levels meter is registering for a L track from Input 1 (originating from the Lav) all at the same time.

That's all while on 4CH.  And then I record, and check out the files on my laptop.  But there is no sound playback from the Lav channel that has been recorded.

When I turn it to Stereo mode, I can only select L+R internal recorder; or Ch 1 or 2, and because I've got the Lav plugged into Input 1, there is a meter indicating the levels.  Then I record.

And even though I can't play the tracks on the computer or in Adobe,THERE IS playback on the H4 itself. Weird! 

But does not playback on the laptop mean that there is no audio (on the SDHC card, there are :05 WAV files are 6MB in size, so there is data).

Hi Ashley -

It sounds to me like you may have formatted the memory card, since it is easily read by the recorder. Once formatted it will read and write the files from the recorder, but cannot be understood by the computer or your editing software. On that topic, if you used the same card in the recorder and in another device like a camera - the files could still be read by the recorder - but not by the computer as they are now corrupted.  If you are using a Mac, you might try dragging the files onto the desktop and opening them there.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hello, 

Is there a way I can have two Wireless Sennheiser microphones connected to the Zoom H4N? If not what is the best way to catch audio from two people (the interviewer & the interviewee) while shooting with a DSLR?

Rest Regards,

Yes you may use two systems as long as they are on separate frequencies.  Two mics can transmit and receive cleanly when they are on separate frequencies or if you are using a dual band receiver to pair with the two transmitters.

I have a nikon d610 and when I connect it my zoom h4n recorder with a sescom cable it has a lot of hiss. Any option?

Hi David -

Make  sure gain is adjusted and any AGC in the camera is disabled and/or the audio gain is correctly adjusted as well.  Are you using this cable?

The LN2MIC-ZMH4N-6 from Sescom is a problem solving cable for users of HDSLRs who are using a Zoom H4N or Zoom H1 as a secondary audio recording source. It offers the necessary -25dB attenuation that the listed camera's require to obtain correct gain level settings. Depending on your audio source and recording circumstances,  a correct level may not be available without using this Sescom cable.  Many professional DSLR cameras have unbalanced stereo microphone level audio inputs on a mini TRS 3.5mm jack. The Samson Zoom H4N or H1 output line level audio signals. This cable provides the proper microphone levels and preserves the delicate connector contacts inside the camera, allowing users to go directly from the audio recorder into the camera.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I love my H4N, however I find it difficult to find a jack cable that will comfortably fit into the port on my Canon 700D. Most of the ones on Amazon have a very thick end which sometimes results in the cable not being fully inserted into the camera. Not a biggie, as I use the audio recorded on the H4N's SD card - but it does make it a bit time consuming to manually sync the audio. Do you have a cable you would recommend to use specifically with the 700D? (I believe the body is pretty much the same as previous Canon DSLR models).

Hi Anders -

The LN2MIC-ZMH4N-6 from Sescom is a problem solving cable for users of HDSLRs who are using a Zoom H4N or Zoom H1 as a secondary audio recording source. It offers the necessary -25dB attenuation that the listed camera's require to obtain correct gain level settings. Depending on your audio source and recording circumstances,  a correct level may not be available without using this Sescom cable.  Many professional DSLR cameras have unbalanced stereo microphone level audio inputs on a mini TRS 3.5mm jack. The Samson Zoom H4N or H1 output line level audio signals. This cable provides the proper microphone levels and preserves the delicate connector contacts inside the camera, allowing users to go directly from the audio recorder into the camera.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hello. I found this article and follow-up comments very useful. I have a markII and Zoom H4N I am planning to use together.  In the comments on this page I see two things:

- those who say they were able to make it work with a simple, cheap 1/8 inch male to male cable by simply adjusting the audio levels to account for the fact that the h4n outputs by default an audio signal higher than that of a regular mic

- those who recommend using a significantly more expensive cable like this  that reduces the gain

So my question: is there a good reason for using the more expensice cable or is it just a matter of adjusting the audio level that gets in or is being recorded so that there is no clipping? I.e. can the gain reduction be done manually or is it inherently better to have it done automatically by the cable?

Hi Laurent -

The LN2MIC-ZMH4N-6 from Sescom is a problem solving cable for users of HDSLRs who are using a Zoom H4N or Zoom H1 as a secondary audio recording source. It offers the necessary -25dB attenuation that the listed camera's require to obtain correct gain level settings. Depending on your audio source and recording circumstances,  a correct level may not be available without using this Sescom cable.  Many professional DSLR cameras have unbalanced stereo microphone level audio inputs on a mini TRS 3.5mm jack. The Samson Zoom H4N or H1 output line level audio signals. This cable provides the proper microphone levels and preserves the delicate connector contacts inside the camera, allowing users to go directly from the audio recorder into the camera.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Thanks for this forum. I have a Canon 6D and I am running a rode video mic pro on the camera for better ambient sound. But I am using the Zoom H4N with the Sound Devices 302 audiio mixer. I am using a Senniheiser G3 wireless Lav and Rode NTG 3  shotgun. Is it possible to record both mics separately to the zoom and ultimately use each track in editing. IF so what would I record in, stereo, 4-channel or something else? So far I have only been able to get one track of combined sound. Please help, I haven't been able to get an answer to this question anywhere.   

Hi Aaron -

Setting the Zoom H4n to 4-Channel Recording mode will allow you to record with your external microphones (On Inputs 1 & 2) to separate tracks for editing.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I use the Tascam DR-40 in a theater setting.  I record the house audio to it and then sync it to the video in post.  The problem is that the audio gets out of sync the longer it records.  I always end up having to go into Adobe Audition and "shrink" the Tascam's audio file down to get a perfect sync all throughout the act.  The amount of time drift can be 1/4 sec. over an hour.

How does the H4N or the H5N compare with that?

  All the devices are using their own internal clocks with no way to sync. There will be drift no matter which recorder you use. 

I have a Zoom h4n and an audio technica AT8035 mic running off the installed single battery of the mic.  I find that I have to raise the gain to almost 99 in order to get a proper -12db level.  Is this a common problem with the Zoom h4n or is it a problem with the mic or a combo of both?  Are some condenser mics just not good paired with the Zoom H4n?  Same thing happens using the Phantom power.  Zoom is set to Stereo with mono mix.  Any help will be appreciated.

Hi Ray -

This is not a common problem for the recorder or the microphone. Be sure to use phantom power (+48V) from the recorder and check the that the switch is active for phantom power.  Record using the stereo mode setting and select the appropriate Input (1 or 2).  Check the XLR cable for a solid connection as well.  Be sure to check your microphone with another device to ascertain that the mic's output level is "normal".

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I have a Cannon T3i, the Zoom Hn4, a wireless audo techniqua lavalere and reciever...and a wired mini-plug lavalier. I get great sound into the Hn4 with either...but even using a Sescom audio LN2MIC attenuation cable with the earphone monitoring jack...im not getting sound into the camera. The idea is NOT to sync sound in post, as I am only allowed to work 20 hours a week...often split between shooting and editing. Im a one woman media girl for my place of employment...and I dont have the extra sound. I know there is a way to make the audio go into the dslr...help!

Hi Ashley -

First, I recommend connecting the lav mic directly into the Canon camera.  This will help troubleshoot the issue. If it doesn't work, then we know the problem lies with the camera. Then check the camera's audio menu showing that "Automatic Level Control" is set.  It may be set to "Manual"  and the level set very low.  You can raise the level manually or re-set to Automatic mode.  There is also the possibility that within this same audio recording menu the setting is "Disable" which will not allow any audio recording at all.  You may also try setting the camera back to the factory settings to restore all functions to the original factory settings (time and date will need to be adjusted).  See "Reverting the Camera to the Default Settings" (Page 176 Canon Rebel T3i Instruction Manual)

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

OH MAMA MIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

great

Hi :

I connect audio cable(from h4n accessory) to h4n to dslr, but there is no any sound recorded since i hit record button on dslr ?

Could you advise me

Best Regards

Huang

Hi Byron -

The H4n operates independently of your camera.  The cable you are using sends recorded audio signal into your camera only.  It cannot control the recorder.  Remember to turn the H4n "on" and to "record" before shooting with the camera.  Be sure that you are using a recommended cable as well:

The LN2MIC-ZMH4N-6 from Sescom is a problem solving cable for users of HDSLRs who are using a Zoom H4N or Zoom H1 as a secondary audio recording source. Many professional DSLR cameras have unbalanced stereo microphone level audio inputs on a mini TRS 3.5mm jack. The Samson Zoom H4N or H1 output line level audio signals. This cable provides the proper microphone levels and preserves the delicate connector contacts inside the camera, allowing users to go directly from the audio recorder into the camera.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

If I plug the h4n into my cannon t3i do I just hit record on both and bring the file from the camera in for editing, or do I bring both the h4n audio file and the t3i video file in to my editing package seperatly and add them together and sync them?

For the best possible quality you will want to record on both but then sync the audio from the Zoom with the video from the camera in post production.

Hey,

Such a helpful and informative discussion, how ever for people like me who just jump into Dslr Film making, its great help for them. In fact I recently ordered the device and cant wait to start experiments with my Dslr.

Thanks to share and we will hope for in future. 

Regards.

Imran 

Good info

Hi, just a heads up, found this thread looking for a way to use my H4N as a mic for a Sony SR8 Handycam. It works great, with a bit of playing aroung...

After testing, all you have to do is use 3.5 to 3.5 lead out of the headphone socket of the H4N and into your camcorders mic input.

Yes it is hot, but if you turn your headphone output down to 20 on the side of the H4N it is a similar level as what your cam gives you..

Some gotchas, your camcorder most likely has auto gain, but you have that with the camcorder mic anyway, the H4N is just a lot better quality.

You could record on the h4n as well so you have H4N audio going to the cam and the H4N SD card, this way you end up with cam audio safely auto gained (for instance in loud venues) and the H4N audio which you could manually set the levels for, just dont have it clipping or you lose both.

It will be really easy to sync the cam audio and SD card audio in post since the waveforms will be almost identical.

 I've been reading through these comments and responses and it's helpful, but I just need some clarification on my specific circumstances, I'm shooting with a 5d mkii and a Rode VideoMic w/an h4n. 

Given the recent firmware update by zoom, I realize that I can now adjust the levels of my 2 audio channels independently through the h4n, yes? 

I guess my next question would be: what is the best way for me to hook up these pieces of equipment to one another (without having to purchase a mixer or a splitter box) so that my audio syncs w/my footage and I can still have 2 audio channels?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated (what wires I would need,etc.) thanks!  

 hi,  recently purchased an H4n to go along with my t2i to record sound.  will use it for many different types of work, but would really like to use it for run n and gun/one man band journalism stuff i do.  what's the best way to sync?  i obviously won't be able to clap before each take.  would love any advice.  thanks!   

rob

 So can i use garageband to record audio for my DSLR video shoot? Like hook up a shotgun mic to my laptop and record the audio? 

Hi, I use the Zoom 4HN with a wired lav connected to the XLR input. However, the recording level needs to be turned up super high--to the max of 100--and I still don't get the recording between -12 db and -6 db.

I have put in fresh batteries, used various other lavs and still the recording level does not hit the mark.

I found this post where others were complaining about the same situation.

Is there a preamp i can use to boost the level without increasing the noise level? I have been normalizing in final cut pro but would rather just capture the best sound.

thx

I have successfully used a 1/8" stereo male to 1/8" stereo male cable between the H4n and my Sony A55.  I have only (so far) been using the built-in X/Y microphones on the Zoom. You need to adjust the mic rec level (side rocker button) down to below 70 to avoid clipping.  I forgot to change it recently and found bad clipping above 70 (and a ruined video to boot).  I am going to try using the built in compressor [Menu|Input|Comp/Limit|Mic] for the mic input at the next recording.  I also look forward to the independent recording levels for the 1 - 2 XLR inputs!

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