More Zoom H4n samples – external microphones

I know next to nothing about microphones or recording, but I’ve had a few queries about the H4n’s performance when using external mics.

So here are two samples using the H4n’s XLR inputs.  The first is taken with an OctavaMod MK-319 large-diaphragm condenser.  The second with a Shure SM57, which I think is not ideal for this kind of job (but it’s the only dynamic mic I have).  The MK-319 is recorded at about 12 inches away, and the SM57 at about 6 inches.  I have no idea if these are appropriate distances.  Today’s reading comes from an old Intellivision brochure.

SM57

MK-319

Discover Realism

Discover Realism

Noise levels sound okay to me, but I’m not obsessing. The 57 might have a bit too much preamp hiss for this sort of work, but I’d never use it to record a quiet voice anyway. For a guitar cabinet or a snare drum it’d work fine. The MK-319 does sound a bit darker than it should, though. It might need a hotter signal than the H4n can provide, or it might be that I didn’t have the gain set high enough. Further testing will be done — hopefully in a band setting — and I still have a cheap pair of small-diaphragm matched condensers to try out.

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