I'm doing more and more field recordings recently, starting to really like it, and I want to know more of it. Is there someone who using a Zoom H6 with its own mics for ambience recording? If so, what is your working process? How do you set up the Zoom, and what do you do after that? How do you process the sounds?

I'm focusing on early morning bird chirps right now, set up my Zoom before I go to sleep. I'm using the "general" limiter because I'm afraid that if there would be a sudden cool sound It might be clipped (like a thunder that come out of nowhere). My level is usually on 9-10, it is very noisy of course. Then I do a little noise reduction, EQ and normalization in Izotope... but most of what I do is came from speculations. I's sure there are better tehnices that can bring the best out of the H6 and the recordings.

Thanks in advance!

My suggestions would be to:

  • Use the MS microphone in RAW format. It will allow you to post-process the scene after the recording and adjust the amount of ambience.
  • Record everything in 24-bit/48kHz WAV format.
  • Use the Backup Recording option. It will create two extra tracks at -12 dB gain so that if the main setting clips you might still be able to get an undistorted audio.
  • Do not use any in-built equalisation/dynamic range compression, etc. It is far better to do that offline, even in Audacity.
  • Always use the windshield.
  • I would generally prefer to avoid using to much of the microphone gain. It’s quite obvious that ZOOM H6 microphones are not very good for recording quiet sounds.
  • If you still want to do some noise reduction then maybe you can try the Adobe Audition (30 day trial) and see how it works. They have quite good noise reduction capabilities, especially with the latest matrix factorisation algorithms.

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