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  1. #1

    ZOOM H4n to video-sound

    Hi, I have an ZOOM H4n sound-recorder (eminent sound), and my question is what fileformat is best for video. The H4n can record in mp3 and Wav, in several khz/bit.
    Soundfiles are to be used as soundtrack to my HD-videos, captured vith a Sony HDR-SR12, with very bad sound from internal mic.
    I know that WAV in 96khz/24bit is the best choice, but is a lower level enough?
    Last edited by justrace; 26th Aug 2009 at 15:46.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    I know that WAV in 96khz/24bit is the best choice, but is a lower level enough?
    Hi justrace,
    I've been eyeing the ZOOM H2, myself. H4 is an overkill for my needs. However in regards, to your question: as a master recording, I would want the best audio I could get - from the microphone to the recorder. Later, you can down convert, to anything else you need. So is your question about file size quality vs file size space?
    SC358
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. - Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

  3. #3
    I was looking at H2, too, and was what I was going for, and a RØDE Stereo Video Mic, but then I been presented for H4n, .... , but we are here only once. But I get it for around 100 USD less than actual price.
    And what a kind of sound, every little detail, even far sounds, is recorded exactly how it sounds, great. A great detail is that it uses SD-card to recording media, so theres no harddrive- or tape-noise, and working like a USB-storage when connected to the PC.

    To the question: I have no problem with the filesize, it's only a question about what quality Premiere Pro CS4 and Sony Vegas Pro 9 can handle, witout downgrading soundquality when rendering the final video. To record to the exactly file/quality, the software uses, must be the best way, because any little convrsion must be loss of sounddetails.
    Normally i render to Full HD 1080p, to Blue-Ray disks.
    Last edited by justrace; 27th Aug 2009 at 12:13.

  4. #4
    If filesize and data storage, aren't an issue, definitely go with what SC538 said and record the audio in the highest sample and bit rate possible for your recording device. When downsampling the audio for specific renderings or projects, use a copy and keep the high-res recordings as a master/backup. Even if a particular project rendered your audio at a lower quality, you would still have the high quality files available.

    If filesize does matter, and you're looking for decent quality sound, don't go below 44.1 kHz / 16-bit, which is CD-quality audio. If you know your audio will only end up on an audio CD down the road, you can also just use 44.1 kHz / 16-bit. Blu-ray audio uses 96 kHz / 24-bit audio, so if that's your target media, you might as well use the highest quality it can handle.

    I would be doubtful if Premiere or Vegas wasn't able to read and use 96 kHz or higher sample rates, and probably even upconverts your 24-bit audio to 32-bit floating point internally during mixing/editing. I wouldn't worry about those software hurting the audio when working with it in your project. They will most certainly convert the audio on rendering, depending what your render settings and output media are. If you're rendering to a compressed format like mp4, they will certainly compress your audio as well. If you're rendering to Blu-ray, they should convert (either downconvert or upconvert) it to Blu-ray's standard audio resolution.

    Downsampling or downconverting the audio doesn't really lose you any quality or details, per se. Yes, if downsample too much you will lose frequency information above a certain point, and lowering the bit depth does reduce the dynamic range and increase the noise floor. But going from 96 kHz 24-bit down to 44.1 kHz 16-bit, you would be extremely hard pressed to actually hear an audible difference. If you do hear something, you're probably imagining it. The process of converting shouldn't inherently damage your audio, though there are certainly differing quality conversion algorithms and processors out there. The main benefits of higher audio resolution are really more for multi-track mixing or when doing lots of processing on your sounds. There are other reasons higher resolution can come in handy as well, but if it is just a matter of simple conversion for playback purposes, I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as you're using CD-quality audio at a minimum. Of course, there are assuredly some audiophiles out there that would burn me at the stake for saying so, but that's their opinion.

  5. #5
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Quote: SchwartzSound
    I would be doubtful if Premiere or Vegas wasn't able to read and use 96 kHz or higher sample rates, and probably even upconverts your 24-bit audio to 32-bit floating point internally during mixing/editing.
    Yep, that's definitely true for Premiere Pro.

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    Of course, there are assuredly some audiophiles out there that would burn me at the stake for saying so, but that's their opinion.
    I say put them to a double-blind test and see how "golden" their ears really are
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