Why I'm Ditching my Zoom H4N and Switching to the juicedLink RA333
I've been using the Zoom H4N for a couple years now, and it's been great, considering the awesome price tag of $249.00. It was a huge upgrade from the downright awful audio that you can get with DSLR's!
Until recently, I had been using the two on-board condenser microphones that came with the Zoom, but being the quality snob and always striving to better the content I produce, I felt that I needed something better. But unfortunately, the first option that I went with wasn't giving me the upgrade I hoped for.I purchased a Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic, thinking that the hiss and noise that I was getting with my audio was because the condenser microphones that I was using on the Zoom we're just subpar. I quickly found out that this wasn't the case I was getting the almost the same results from those condenser mics as I was with my newly purchased Rode mic. It was noisy and it was quiet. Nothing had changed!
Even after trying to work all the magic as I could in post production, it just wasn't cutting it! So, it was time to figure out a better alternative.
My deductive reasoning lead me to think that the preamps in the Zoom we're the problem. This would make sense, considering the loud hiss and the weak audio levels I was getting. So I began searching for an external preamp that I could hopefully plugin into the Zoom H4N, override the it's built in preamps, and get the awesome, clean sound that I didn't have to crank up later in post. I didn't find much in my search, but I did find that a lot of people recommended the Sound Devices MixPre-D (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/764543-REG/Sound_Devices_MIXPRE_D_MixPre_D_Compact_Field_Mixer.html). It had a pricey tag for my tastes of $899 and every setup that I saw in conjunction with the Zoom H4N seemed complicated and a huge hassle (http://www.danmccomb.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/cablingmixprezoomh4n.jpg). I think I would be willing to try this setup, even with all the cables and different connections, but not for the $1,000 price tag. If I was going to spend that much, the setup better be awesome, and not reliant on tweaks and overrides.
While trying to dig up other possible/simpler solutions that would work with the MixPre-D, I stumbled onto a juicedLink video on YouTube doing a comparison between a few products including the H4N. I had heard of these guys awhile back, but I didn't pay too much attention. I was already set on getting the Zoom at that point because I had seen it as the go-to for so many people doing DSLR video. I guess I learned a valuable lesson to not always follow the crowd and make educated decisions for myself, right?!
The results from the video we're awesome! They we're getting fantastically loud, clear audio without hiss while using your standard dynamic mic! It really was no comparison to similar products the juicedLink RA333 was the way to go!
Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 02/17/2016