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Thread: Zoom H1 vs Lav for Interviews

  1. Default Zoom H1 vs Lav for Interviews

    I'm not sure if this is supposed to be in this section so feel free to move it (mods)

    I bought a Zoom H1 recorder and I love it. I did want to get opinions on whether I should be using a Lav with the Zoom H1 for Interviews for Documentary videos or if just the Zoom H1 is okay by itself? I don't usually film interviews outside and when I'm inside I always go into a quiet room.

    Thanks,

    Bryce

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    There isn't really a "should" as far as whether to use one or the other. There is more of a should as regards how close you should place your mic to the interviewee - the answer to which is "as close as possible".
    The closer you get your mic to the sound source, the more you get of the primary sound - the sound you want: in this case the interviewee's voice. and the less you get of the unwanted sounds (background noise and the reflections of the interviewee's voice from the walls/windows/furniture. Reducing background noise can be mitigated to some extent by using shortgun mics (which reduce "off-axis" sound to some degree - they do not "zoom in" on sound in front of the mic, despite what advertising material might have you believe) or "cardiod" mics which are semi directional. I believe the HI has a pair of cardioids. However, none of these are nearly as effective as getting the mic close to your source.

    So, your choice now depends on who happy you are for the mic to be in shot. To get an H1 is as close a proximity as a lavalier, it will be pretty obtrusive. Personally I'd use a lav.

    If on the other hand, you want to record both interviewer and interviewee, you'll need two lavs and a splitter which will take each lav to a different channel on the H1 (assuming the H1 accepts a stereo in - and this is not going to cause impedence problems) or the H1's own mics (which will mean leaving more distance (=bad) between sound sources and the mic.

    An alternative is to record the inteviewer's questions separately.

    It's great that you get a quiet room for the interviews, but try to get one as full as possible of soft furnishings, long curtains etc - in order to reduce the number of reflective surfaces off which sound can bounce.
    Tim

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    The three most important considerations when recording sound are:

    1. Microphone position
    2. The position of the microphone.
    3. Where you position the microphone.

    After that come other considerations such as what type of mic etc.

    So, I would agree with Tim. In your situation, go for a lavalier.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    If on the other hand, you want to record both interviewer and interviewee, you'll need two lavs and a splitter which will take each lav to a different channel on the H1 (assuming the H1 accepts a stereo in - and this is not going to cause impedence problems) or the H1's own mics (which will mean leaving more distance (=bad) between sound sources and the mic.
    This approach works very well with my Sony ICD PX333 recorder, using a splitter cable like THIS one.

    Gives me 2 separate audio channels which can then be edited in my audio editor.

    I would guess the Zoom HI should work the same OK. The 'plug in power' for the lavs is not normally that critical, and should supply both mics easily enough....

    (It's probably useful to point out that a 'standard' 3.5mm headphone splitter cable is not the same thing, and is wired differently from the one linked to above)

  5. #5

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    I use a lav every time for interviews unless we're in a totally silent, non echoey room - which is almost never - and I need to get more people in the interview (e.g. a small group) than I have lav mics for (I only have 3). In that case I mount the mic (preferably two) on a boom and suspend it over them just out of shot.

    The lav mic will give the best results by far. Most rooms have an echo / reflections that you don't notice until you listen to the sound in another location (e.g. edit suite). Getting the mic as close as possible will help reduce, though not totally eliminate this. I've used lav mics and still got lots of echo if the room was particularly bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogs View Post
    This approach works very well with my Sony ICD PX333 recorder, using a splitter cable like THIS one.
    Thanks for confirming and clarifying this rogs
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    Most rooms have an echo / reflections that you don't notice until you listen to the sound in another location (e.g. edit suite).
    Boy, is that true.
    Bryce, I think you have your answer by now
    Tim

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