Zoom H1n vs in camera audio recording?

1 month 3 weeks ago #741510 by neal1977
Will recording audio on something like a Zoom H1n provide better audio than what is already captured by camera?


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1 month 3 weeks ago #741596 by Colorado Mike
What do you plan to record?  Also depending on what mic you plan to you use, the camera is going to capture what you need and will sound good.  That said, recording audio on a professional recorder independently does come with some advantages.  


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1 month 3 weeks ago #741603 by CharleyL
The recording quality of both the camera and the H1N is nearly the same. The difference will be in the microphones used. Camera mics are terrible, but when a good quality mic is used, the recorded audio in the camera will be very good.

The H1N has built-in microphones as well, and they are better than the in-camera mics, but using an external mic that is identical to the external one used on the camera will result in recordings that will be difficult or nearly impossible to tell apart.

I use an H1N for my back-up audio and use the built-in microphones much of the time, but cover them with foam plus a "dead cat" if outside. I use a Rode shotgun mic, also with foam and "Dead cat" covering on my camera much of the time and the recordings are nearly identical, if the distance between mics and audio source are nearly the same. But sometimes my on-camera mic gets substituted with a 2 channel wireless mic system and 2 lavalier mics, or sometimes a lavalier and a hand held mic. The wireless system, in itself, has very little affect on the audio quality, but the choice of mics plugged into it makes a big difference.  Don't use cheap mics if you want good audio, either main audio into the camera or the back-up audio into the H1N. The H1N does have an external stereo mic input. Using it will disconnect the internal mics, and the same is true when using an external mic on the camera. My biggest complaint with my H1N is that it's case is sensitive to touching. You need to be careful where it is mounted/placed to keep cables, etc. from touching/rubbing on the case of it while it's recording, or these sounds will be part of the recorded audio. 

Charley


 


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1 month 2 weeks ago #741729 by Overread
While you can separate the audio files from video in post, having a separate audio track does give you more flexibility to adjust and fine tune.  However what will matter the most is not so much the device recording the audio, but the mic you are using.  That will impact audio quality the most.  


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1 month 2 weeks ago #741796 by Norse Photographer
So if you are running around shooting video, could you still use something like this?  


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1 month 2 weeks ago #741804 by CharleyL

Norse Photographer wrote: So if you are running around shooting video, could you still use something like this?  


I use my H1N attached to my camera cage to record audio whenever I'm shooting videos. Each recorded file is a bit longer than the video associated with it, because I start the H1N before the camera and end it after the camera recording ends by a few seconds.  It helps, if you can do something in the very beginning of the video that makes a noise and this noise creation can also be seen happening in the video. Doing this makes it relatively easy to synchronize between the video and an audio files that are being created separately, when it comes time to use them together in some way during editing. 

In the early days of making "Talkie Motion Pictures", they invented the "Scene Board" with the clapper on top, so they could synchronize the audio recording being made with the film being recorded. Back then they were being made on completely separate equipment. The audible clap could be matched up between audio recordings and the film frame that showed the clapper striking the board could be the match to the movie. It was matched up in editing and both the film and audio for that scene were then in sync with each other.

While I have a small version of one of these clapper boards. Our video cameras already synchronize their audio inputs with the video being made at the time of recording, so that part is easy. The problem occurs when something is wrong with either the camera audio track or the back-up audio. Having a back-up audio source for the video that was created then becomes a life saver.

Good audio is actually more important than the video, in many cases. Try listening to assembly instructions without seeing the video. Then try listening to the audio track of the video without seeing the video image, and see which you learn more from. Of course, being able to both see and hear the assembly instruction video is better, but I think you will then understand what I'm saying and agree with me.  

It's easier to match up a second audio recording with the one being made by the camera, but it helps to have a sharp distinct sound at the beginning of both to help make this easier. The audible clap of the clapper on the scene board can be used, if you have one, but I also have an old  "Halloween Clicker" that I frequently use just after I start the  start the H1N and the video camera. This click noise makes it easy to synchronize both the camera audio and the H1N audio at the time of editing, so I can then use pieces of either audio track as I go through the editing process, if I should find that one audio track is better than the other for some reason. Worse case is when the mic connector falls out of the wireless mic transmitter and you get no audio at all from the main source, or the subject keeps brushing clothing against their lapel mic.  Having the H1N recording, though made from the camera position and not at the subject, can save the day and let you replace these noises with better audio. Maybe not perfect audio, but better than what was recorded in the camera audio.  A few adjustments for level and tone and you can save the video being created by replacing the bad spots in the main audio with the same good spots in H1N recording, or all of it in a worst case situation.

Editing videos and their related audio files takes some time to learn. It isn't intuitive, at least for me. I feel like quite an amateur when compared to others that I know, probably because I don't do that much of it. It is by far more difficult to learn than basic Photoshop or light room editing, mostly because you are working with multiple video and audio files at the same time. It gets a bit easier with continued use. I guess I just don't do enough of it.   

Charley
 



  


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1 month 2 weeks ago #741876 by govindvkumar
Always go for an external audio recorder if you want very good sound quality, The in-camera audio quality is not that great. If you want to avoid syncing the audio in post, use the microphone feature of the zoom h1n and feed the output to the audio in of the camera. Kepp the audio level to the lowest possible value in the camera. It will ensure to capture a better quality audio integrated with the video.


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1 month 2 weeks ago #741920 by CharleyL
In camera audio is good if you use a good external mic. It's the built-in mic that makes the poor camera audio. I always use a good external mic.

Charley 


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