December 24, 2010 at 3:27 am
I’m on the market for a portable handy recorder and a lavalier microphone. I want to move away from using radio mics, such as the Sennheiser G2…too many issues with interference, quality etc.
I already have a Zoom H4n but I want something else as well, preferably cheaper and smaller.
I’m thinking of getting the Zoom H1 with the Audio-Technica ATR3350 mic. I’ve read/heard mixed opinions/results with this set up so I’d appreciate any insight you guys could provide as to whether this is a feasible set-up. And if not, what alternatives should I consider that are within the same/similar price range?
Thanks in advance, Mike
Michael Folorunsho – Videographer & Editor
December 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm
Cheers Michael and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.
Maybe an H1 and that AT mic would work. I haven’t heard it and don’t know your intention of quality.
Typically a $39 USD mic isn’t as good as one that costs more, but there are a few exceptions.
Why don’t you spring for one and post some clips to let us know what it sounds like.
A word of caution. There are very good reasons to use a mixer before a recorder or camera.
1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limtiers have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn’t pros wouldn’t use them.
January 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm
Thanks for your response. Sorry for the late reply. I don’t think I’ll be using mixers at this point as I’d like to keep my set-up light and minimal for now.
Here’s a couple of reviews I found:
The quality seems decent enough. Although I’m a bit concerned as to some of the apparent background hiss.
I’ll be specific: I want to use this set-up for shooting weddings to stick on the groom. What I’m asking is, does the Zoom H1 have anything over using a cheaper mp3 voice recorder quality wise? Or is it all in the mic? Are there any lavalier mics you could recommend within the $50 to $100 price range?
Thanks again, and happy new year!
Michael Folorunsho – Videographer & Editor
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January 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm
Q: I’ll be specific: I want to use this set-up for shooting weddings to stick on the groom. What I’m asking is, does the Zoom H1 have anything over using a cheaper mp3 voice recorder quality wise?
A: I don’t know. I don’t go that low.
Q: Or is it all in the mic?
Is all what in the mic?
Q: Are there any lavalier mics you could recommend within the $50 to $100 price range?
A: Not lavs.
January 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm
The ATR 3350 in the demo is perfect for “Event Videography”. I have friends who shoot weddings, confirmations, etc and they all use lavs in the under $50 range and it sounds fine. Another plus is that when the mic gets trashed you’re only out $50 max.
January 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm
They use the Audio Technica ATR 3350 or the Radio Shack equivelent. About $20 or so anywhere on the web.
January 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm
I have the very setup you describe: Zoom H1 with 3350 lav. Perhaps I’m doing something wrong, but the sound level is quite low when using the 3350 as an external mic to the H1, compared to the H1 internal mic sound level. Impedance specs are 1000ohm for the 3350 and 2000 ohm for the H1. Could this be the problem? Also, the 3350 is mono, while the H1 input supports stereo, I think.
Sorry, I’m a complete nimrod for things audio; just got into this a month or so ago.
February 26, 2011 at 5:43 am
Hi, I hope by now you figured out what you want, but in case anyone else comes along, I have most of the stuff in question.
A Zoom H1, Sony Pocket recorder, AT 3350, and an Azden EX503 Lav.
I haven’t had much time to do extensive testing as I received all but the Zoom today. However after a few quick tests, this is how it looks.
H1 vs Sony ICD-Ux200 pocket recorder.
Zoom: Level Adjustment from 1-100
Sony: Only Low Med High
Zoom: Shows Levels On screen with clipping notification
Sony: Monitor through headphones only, no clip warning
Zoom: Records in WAV and MP3 format
Sony: Records in MP3 only up to 44.1 @ 192kbps
The Sony may seems to have slightly more noise although it may be the lack of ability to fine tune the levels.
Sony has a better reference speaker and build quality. Its also smaller, lighter, has a built in USB plug and the reason I bought it to test out, is that it has the headphone and mic jack on the top of the unit. So that makes it easy to put in your pocket without breaking the plug off like the zoom. I didn’t break a plug off btw, it just feels like it every time I use it and plug a mic in it.
As for the Mics, at this point I would recommend the Azden EX503 over the AT 3550 if you are going to use it with either recorder. They have similar sound characteristics but the Azden is a hotter mic. I cant even get the AT 3550 mic to peak at the highest input levels. It is useable though.
The three biggest differences that should sway your decision:
1. Aforementioned sensitivity difference
2. The Azden only has a 3′ cable. Good for recorders/transmitter. Nothing else.
3. Azden DOESN’T need a battery. Both recorders I tested give it enough juice.
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