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 Post subject: Connecting Edirol/Zoom H4 with mixing console/extern mics?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Location: Germany
I have a question to all (and Didier, it would be very nice of you especially, if you could give me an answer,please, because you seem to be so competent):
A seller in a music-shop told me, that it would be possible to connect my mixing console (Phonic AM220) to the mic-input of the edirol R09. I should go out of the main output (which is 6mm clinc), there are adapters with one end 2 of the 6mm clinc and the other end with one stereo mini-clinc 3,5mm. With such an adapter I should connect the main output of my mixing console with the extern mic-input of the edirol. So, I could use extern condenser mics (like the Neumann KM 184 for example) also with the edirol.
Another possibility would be to connect the two condenser mics with the XLR-inputs of the Zoom H4, which has such inputs, without having a mixing console between the mics and the digital recorder. Or I could connect the mics to the mixing console and then connect it with two normal 6mm clincs to the XLR-inputs of the Zoom H4. The Zoom H4 has a good phantom power of 48 V, the Edirol has only a small phantom power of nearly 3 V or so, so you can´t connect extern condenser mics without puting a preamp between the mics and the Edirol I think, isn´t it? But there are extern stereo mics, you can connect to the Edirol (but this is not, what I want, I want two condenser mics, I think the Neumann KM 184.)
All this is so confusing. What do you think, it´s the best?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Is what you call clinc, what is usually named jack ? It seems so.
Then there would be a stereo 6 mm jack output from your console to be connected not to the MIC input of the Edirol but to the 3.5 mm stereo jack LINE input. This is OK.
You can also plug the KM 184s on the XLR inputs of the H4. I do not know how the preamps of the H4 compare with the ones of your console. For connecting your console to the H4, you must use use both mono 6 mm jack inputs (combined with the XLR inputs on the H4). Then you should rather use two cables if your console has separate L and R output, each with stereo 6 mm jacks if the outputs are balanced, or with mono jacks if they are unbalanced.

The H4 seems more interesting because you could use or not your console.

Hope this can help. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:47 pm 
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Quote:
Is what you call clinc, what is usually named jack ? It seems so.
Then there would be a stereo 6 mm jack output from your console to be connected not to the MIC input of the Edirol but to the 3.5 mm stereo jack LINE input. This is OK.
You can also plug the KM 184s on the XLR inputs of the H4. I do not know how the preamps of the H4 compare with the ones of your console. For connecting your console to the H4, you must use use both mono 6 mm jack inputs (combined with the XLR inputs on the H4). Then you should rather use two cables if your console has separate L and R output, each with stereo 6 mm jacks if the outputs are balanced, or with mono jacks if they are unbalanced.

The H4 seems more interesting because you could use or not your console.

Hope this can help. :wink:


Thank you very much for your direct answer, which helps very much!!! :D
Sorry for my bad English, of course, I meant with "clinc" the "jack". (In german jack is "Klinke".)
I read about the built in preamp of H4, which is said not to be of good quality. So, I think, I will join between the mics and the H4 my console, I have to look, if the jacks are balanced or unbalanced. I don´t know it. Do you think, it will work like this? (In every case I will buy the Neumann KM 184 now and the H4 I can test and giving it back, if I don´t like it.)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:45 pm 
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Balanced or unbalanced is not so much important. If the output and the input are both balanced, it is better to use a balanced link (3 conductors), more immune against extra noise generated by the external electromagnetic field. But if the input or the output is unbalanced (likely the case of your console jack outputs), a balanced link is without benefit with respect to an unbalanced one (2 conductors). Are you sure that the preamps of the H4 are worse than the ones of your console ?
People saying that they are not good may use to work with professional preamps, the cost of which may be higher than a pair of KM 184s, and may have very sensitive ears. For my ears, the preamps are much less critical for my piano recordings than the microphones. Here attached 5 recordings that I made a few month ago for comparing a 2-channel preamp offered to me for my birthday, a DAV Electronics BGI used by many professionals for recording acoustic music, especially classical music, a Focusrite TwinTrack Pro, good gear for amateur, the preamps of an audio soundcard (Edirol FA-66), a 2-channel valve preamp from Behringer, and the preamps of a Behringer mixer for amateur home-studio similar to the Phonic. Can you guess which one is the BG1 ? :wink:
Note that it is 5 different takes made in a row with the same microphones (Avenson STO-2). So there could be differences due to my playing.

Edit
I removed the attachments for saving the storage amount of pianosociety. If you want them, just PM me. :wink:


Last edited by Didier on Sat May 24, 2008 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Wow, that´s a very interesting test! If I´m honest, I can´t hear any significant differences. Record nr. 3-5 seems to me a very little bit better than nr. 1 and 2. And nr. 4 is for me in very little nuances the best sound quality. (I´m talking now about the warm and deep sound of the preamps and mics, not about the quality of your playing, which I find really very good and musical. So you are not only competent in recording technique, but you are also a good pianist!)
I listened several times to all 5 records and nr. 4 seems for me having the most room, warm and deepest sound, but probably this is only my fantasy. (So, is nr. 4 the BG1?) But the conclusion is, that the preamp is not so significant as the quality of the mics. That´s what I learned from this test, isn´t it?
I really don´t know, if the preamps of my console are worse than the ones of the H4, and I think, you are right, that there will be no significant difference for me.
But now I have had another thought. I don´t really need the little intern mics of the H4, so I will buy a Foster MR 8 hard disc recorder. It has 40 GB and is also portable. With this I will connect the Neumanns directly. What do you think of this? Is the Foster better than the H4 ? The Foster has so much effects, that I ask me, if it would be possible to record one just in natural way, without any "Hall" or "room"-effect or something else. Do you know something about this?

Thank you so much for this interesting test and informations. You help me very much with this :D


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:32 pm 
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2 is the mixer Behringer (EURORACK MX802A). The sound is a little bit confused with respect to the other preamps. The one is the DAV. As an opposite to 2, the sound is very clean. May be too clinical for you ? I agree that 4 is warmer : it is the british sound from the Focusrite. 3 is the Editrol : an affordable solution to use good microphones and record directly on a PC. 5 is the valve preamp ULTRAGAIN PRO MIC 2200 from Behringer.
(I'm happy that you appreciated also my playing because I have worked on this piece for a so long time...)

I do not know the Fostex. The MR8-HD model has 4 mic XLR inputs with phantom power, which is nice. I prefer recording on PC because the audio editing is easier.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:56 pm 
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Location: Germany
Hi Didier,
yes, I find your playing really very good (because of the expression and dynamic). So you play very musical and with sensation.
So, I didn´t too well with your test. :oops: I have to admit, that the differences even with my Arcam A80 and my Myro-speakers are so minor, that I hear them hardly. However, they are interesting, such comparisons IMO.
I have decided now finally to buy the Neumann KM 184 and the Zoom H4, because the Foster has only 16bit/44000Hz samplerate, but I record always with 24bit/96000 or 88000 Hz. The Zoom H4 is able to do this. With a 4 GB SD-card it should be possible to get nearly 2 hours music on it. The new firmware of the H4 (vers.2.1) allows sd-cards up to 8 GB, so it is promised on the internet.
I need not more than two mics at this time (and I think, I never will use more, because it takes too much time to built up and down always the whole equipment. With the H4 it is easy: I put the Neumanns on it and press the red record button. Before I do some attitudes of mic-type and input-selection and so on, of course. Do you think, I made a good decision? (Besides that I have the possibility to connect my mixing console directly to the computer, which is in the upper stage, my grand is a stage under it, so I use a nearly 20m cable to connect the console with the soundcard of my computer. It works well, but takes always much time with the cables. So I would like to have the H4, for not always have to use the cables.)
Thank you once more for your kind help. :D


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