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I will be recording a number of interviews in office settings using a Schoeps CMC641 and a suitable lav mic.

These will be connected to a Zoom H5 recorder.

Question: how should I configure the recorder to optimize sound capture in this setting using these two external mics?

  • Should I use the automatic recording level feature?

  • Should I enable low cut or some other filter?

  • Which other settings do you recommend enabling to best capture the interviewee's voice in this setting?

UPDATE: Following Arnoud's request below, I don't have many more specific information about the locations. The interviews will be happening in university and corporate offices here in the US.

  • Do you use a DAW at all? It would be really easy to achieve good levels in ableton live for example. – Kyle Feb 23 '15 at 2:39
  • hi kyle, why use ableton? it's workflow is not exactly geared towards editing an interview. (how about possible sync and warp issues?) – Arnoud Traa Feb 23 '15 at 9:56
  • @Kyle, unfortunately I won't have a laptop with me. So no DAW. – mc3 Feb 23 '15 at 18:50
  • i think kyle meant that you should use a DAW to manage levels after the recordings (back in the studio). – Arnoud Traa Feb 24 '15 at 9:26
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-Should I use the automatic recording level feature? No never, it's destructive and not undoable. If it's an interview so the subject will probably keep his or her voice on the same level. Two options: 1. You can choose to manually ride the 'levels' during the interview to correct low speaking. But with a Zoom H5n i think it's safer to choose > 2. Set an appropriate level, watch it for a minute (ask some questions that are not 'on topic'). Correct levels in a DAW (ableton would not be my first choice, use logic or pro tools).

-Should I enable low cut or some other filter? Depends on the environment/context. The reason to use low cut is to avoid low end sounds eating up your headroom during recording. Is it a quiet room without nearby traffic or generators? Then you won't need it, but you can always try to be on the safe side.

-Which other settings do you recommend enabling to best capture the interviewee's voice in this setting? Again, depends on the context. Add a comment to explain the situation and we can provide more help.

  • thank you for this. I have added the (little) information I have above, mostly offices in university departments. So, I will set the levels based on listening to some early exchanges with the interviewees and enable low cut if I understand correctly. – mc3 Feb 23 '15 at 19:07
  • please set the levels with every new interviewee not based on earlier recordings, people don't have the same way of speaking (some are louder or more dynamic). – Arnoud Traa Feb 24 '15 at 9:27

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