Uploaded on Mar 6, 2010
After having done a quick video test for the Kodak Zi8, I decided to do something which would focus more on its audio recording capabilities. I also wanted to test the Zoom H4n, a portable flash recorded I recently purchased so, here I am, killing two birds with one stone.
I setup the Kodak Zi8 about 5 feet from the sound source, which is an upright piano that's me noodling on it. The Zi8 is mounted on a tripod.
About 15 feet away from the piano, I've setup the Zoom H4n recorder. This unit has an XY stereo microphone built into it. It also has the ability to record two inputs, in the form of XLR or 1/4-inch. So, we'll be hearing the built in XY microphone on the unit as well as a pair of AKG 414s which I positioned above the piano, pointing into the open lid.
"Kodak Zi8 Internal Microphone"
Here we hear the internal microphone on the Zi8. Mono, a bit noisy and perhaps a little too close to the piano to capture a clean sound. In any case, this does the trick for capturing an idea, but definitely doesn't cut it if you're looking for high-quality audio.
"Zoom H4n XY Microphone"
Here the stereo image opens up suddenly. This XY microphone which is built into the unit is capturing a very natural, coincident stereo sound. It's a very reflective room, so you hear that, as the microphone is about 15 feet from the sound source.
"Zoom H4n Pair AKG 414s"
Here we're hearing the pair of AKG 414 microphones pointing into the piano. Because the microphones are very close to the sound source, there is significantly less "room" sound. This would be more suitable for a studio recording, while the XY sound would be more appropriate in perhaps a classical or field recording.
"Zoom H4n Mix of XY + 414s"
Here we have the best of both worlds. We have a blend of the direct signal from the 414s AND some of the room sound from the XY microphone. I believe this is the best overall option in most scenarios.
Finally we return to the Zi8 internal microphone to hear the major difference when using external audio equipment. At under $200, I believe the Zi8 does a great job capturing the visual and at under $300, the Zoom H4n does a remarkable job with the audio.
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