Tentacle Sync Zoom H4N.pages

Tentacle Sync Zoom H4N.pages
TENTACLE SYNC - WHITE PAPER
Working with a ZOOM H4N Audio-Recorder
Tentacle Sync can be used with many cameras and audio-recorders. A very popular audio
recorder is the Zoom H4N. To get it to work with Tentacle, some preparatory work needs to
be done.
Principle
The Zoom H4N has no timecode generator build in (although the files it produces seems to
have timecode - but this pseudo timecode that comes from the internal and very imprecise
Real Time Clock). Therefore we need to make use of Tentacles Audio-Timecode feature
wich makes it possible to record the timecode information onto one unused audio track.
The Zoom H4N is capable to record 4 channels simultaneously. These are divided into 2
stereo tracks. One stereo track from the internal microphones and one form the XLR Jacks
at the bottom of the device. If you are using the H4N together with Tentacle you are able to
record one stereo track with the wanted audio-signal and the other stereo track will be
used for recording timecode.
Setting up your Zoom H4N
1. Set your Tentacles to output timecode at MIC-Level. This can be done via the included
Tentacle setup software.
2. Attach the Tentacle to the Zoom H4N with the included Mini-Jack Cable to „Ext Mic“.
This will cut off the internal microphones of the H4N. Instead of them the external
timecode-signal will be recorded on the MIC-Track.
3. Switch the Zoom H4N to 4CH-Mode (4 Channel) where it records 2 stereo tracks: One
MIC-Track (now Timecode Track) and a stereo track where the usable signal from the
XLR connectors is recorded
4. Adjust the level of the incoming Timecode signal so that it is not clipping.
5. Theoretically you could start to record now. But there is still one issue to solve: On your
headphones you will hear both the signal coming from the XLR inputs and the
annoying timecode-signal together. We want to record the timecode, but we don't want
to hear it during monitoring. To make this work, the Zoom H4N has a monitoring Mixer,
where you can choose wich signal to monitor. Just go to the Menu, select Mixer and
turn the Level of the Mic-Track all the way down to „MUTE“. Now you are able to
record both stereo tracks, but only monitoring the track with the wanted signal.
PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately the Zoom H4N does not show the level of the track
anymore on the Level-Meter (during recording) when muted in the monitoring
mixer. Although it will still be recorded.
6. Ok, you are done and ready to record audio-files with Timecode! Please note that you
should make sure to start new files for every take. This is done by pressing the
„Stop“ Button after recording. Pressing „Pause“ would result in a continue of
the existing file wich Tentacle Sync is not able to handle at this time (but will be
in future :)
Beyond Shooting
The Tentacle Sync software is ready to process audio-timecode files recorded with a Zoom
H4N in the previously explained manner. One issue that the software solves for you is that
it automatically detects the right stereo track-pairs that belong together. This is important
because one Track (the Mic-Track) holds the Timecode informations for both Tracks, but
no usable audio. The XLR-Track hold the audio you want to use, but no Timecode
Information. Tentacle deals with that and copies the Timecode to the corresponding Track.
Once loaded and analyzed you could now delete the MIC-Track if you want to. This is
conveniently done by choosing „Select Audio Tracks w. Audio-TC“ out of the edit-menu
and hitting the Backspace Key.
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