Lab 2: Recording Audio

As audio students, you will be recording and importing audio for your projects constantly. Recall, the VO Narration Project requires you to record five audio tracks using either your own equipment or audio recorders from the equipment room at SFSU. This lab will introduce you to proper recording practices and importing audio files into Pro Tools.

Zoom Recorder

Zoom H4

The Zoom field recording devices has many options from the H2 to H8 models. The corresponding number in each model indicates the amount of inputs. Put simply, an H2 is capable of recording 2 inputs while an H8 can record up to eight individual audio tracks. In this course, you will be using an H2, H4, or an H6. You can watch the video below to get an introduction to the Zoom H4.

Introduction to Zoom H4

As noted in the video, Zoom field recording devices operate in two modes. You can decide which mode works best for your particular recording situation.

Stereo Mode

This the most common mode used for this class. If no external microphones are connected to the Zoom H4, then you can use the attached microphones on top of the device. Usually, audio engineers will use two microphones to capture the natural sounds and ambiance. The two microphones are configured as an XY stereo pair made to mimic how we hear with our ears.

4 CH Mode

The Zoom H4 gives you the option of 4 channel recording. This means you can use the attached stereo microphones plus two external microphones simultaneously. There’s a few reasons why you may choose to record in this mode.

  1. You can record a full drum set if you’re doing recording for music production. In this case you can position the attached stereo microphones over the drum set (about 4 feet above) and use two external microphones for the kick and snare.
  2. Or, perhaps you may want to record the direct sound of an audio source along with its ambiance. For example, you can record someone walking in a reflective cathedral by pointing the external microphone towards their shoes and using the attached stereo microphones to capture the ambiance. In this case, you will end up with 2 audio files; one for the microphone pointed towards the shoe, and the other stereo track would be the ambiance.