zoom h4n review for Arkansas wedding films

Sound For Wedding Films

I’ve been shooting wedding films for over a year now and the biggest transition has been audio. It’s such a different situation and thought process than doing photos. I’ve got several different pieces of equipment so I thought I’d share my info in a Zoom h4n review.

The first thing that you might consider when using for wedding videos are the different ways to record with it. The easiest way is to use the built in microphone. You can switch to it by simply hitting the mic button and the front, aim in the general direction,  and hit record. In general this works pretty well if you are close to the source and there isn’t a lot of background noise. More often though I connect something to the recorder.

On the Zoom h4n there are two XLR ports on the bottom. XLR is used in more of the professional equipment. If you need to, you can use an adapter to go to a 3mm. With these inputs I’ve done several different things. I’ve used a wireless mic and then connected the receiver to it. This works well if you don’t have any interference and you can monitor and adjust the sound from your location. I’ve also plugged a mic directly into the xlr port. The only issue I’ve run into with this is storing the unit on the person. The Zoom is kind of big and bulky so it’s hard to hide in pocket, and as far as I’ve seen, there isn’t an accessory available for mounting it to a belt. One of my mics has a clip built into it, and I’ve used that to mount it. Also, this way, you have no way of monitoring the sound once it’s on. The last way I’ve used it is by plugging directly into the sound system at a church. Most churches will have an XLR out. This method usually gives you the best sound because your recording what’s coming directly through the board from their mic.

Now, one cool thing I just figured out is that you could technically plug two different things in and record both. There’s a way to separately control each XLR port’s volume, so you can adjust each. If you did it this way, each device would record to a different channels of the stereo file, left or right. In the end, you would only get one file, but you could always split the channels later and make two files. For wedding films, this would be a good option so you could connect two mics to the Zoom and double mic the pastor, so you would have a backup if one screwed up.

The last real thing is the cost of the device. I believe I bought the Zoom with a set of wireless transmitters, but if you were to buy it individually, it costs $200. That’s not a horribly expensive product for what all it does and the quality of the device.

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Overall I’ve been really happy with the Zoom and what it has brought to our wedding films. I plan on using it more in the future and finding better ways to incorporate it into my workflow. If you’re just starting out, I would highly recommend the Zoom H4n

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