Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Experience With Zoom H1 Handy Recorder

Audio has been a challenge when recording speakers and poets. Some people mumble. Others are racing through their text like they are on the track at the Indy 500.

Zoom H1 Handy Recorder
The library room has an automatic heating and air conditioning that cycles on and off. There are old school florescent lights on the ceiling that hum. Standard camcorder audio is fair at best but you can't ask it to perform miracles. I had to do something so I purchased a Zoom H1 Handy Recorder.

It saved my bacon this week for sure. I used Miro Video Converter to export to an .mp4 video format. Later I used MPEG Streamclip to export to de-interlace and export to .avi.

Then I used MoviePlus X3 to edit. It bought in the video fine but the audio was very tinny. It was bad.

I'm thinking mean thoughts about the camcorder but I had to get the video out. I tried to fix the sound in Audacity or use some kind of filter in MoviePlus to pluck out the tinny blips.

Nothing worked. I then like a dope remembered that I have an audio back up. Snipped out the original audio and laid in the .mp3 audio. Worked great. The sound is rich and full bodied, even when recording to .mp3 instead of .wav audio.

Upon reflection it was not the camcorder but perhaps a conversion too many. I'm working out the kinks.

Things I Need To Remember

I need to either leave it on and mark each change of speaker or remember to turn it on and off. I was turning it on and off after each speaker but there were times when I forgot.

The unit is made of plastic - I need to be very careful about transport. My handbag is not the most safe place for this device. It needs a padded case. I can make one but you have to be careful not to crush it.

I put the H1 on auto but I need to experiment with the manual settings to see if I can improve the sound. I'm not an audio person or understand the lingo. It will be a learning curve.
In any event, it was really good to have an alternative audio source. I need to get a windscreen for the mic heads and some kind of brace or connector so that I can have it attach to the tripod.

It was a good investment.

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