Zoom H6, Deity S-Mic 2 , Sennheiser MKH 416

Hi, friends!

I am a beginner in voice over, not an expert at all.

So, I have Zoom H6 and Deity S-Mic 2 for my work. I bought the last one, because I saw several youtube videos where it was compared to Sennheiser MKH 416. I also wanted something portable and durable, since I often move from one country to another. In all these videos the level of self-noise of Deity S-Mic 2 was similar to MKH 416 (or at least people said this)

Now I record at the gain level 6 at Zoom, pretty close to mic, but still there is a lot of self-noise. I expected this mic to be almost silent, since everyone spoke about this. In post production I have to use DeNoiser to get rid of this noise, which affects negatively the recording.

So, my doubts are:

Is it the preamps of Zoom that are guilty of this self-noise or is it mic itself?

Does anyone have a chance to compare these 2 mics? Do they really have the same level of self-noise? I want to buy Sennheiser MKH 416 in the future, but if it is going to be the same thing, there is no reason (I am pretty happy with the performance of Deity expect for the self-noise).

If I buy Neumann TLM103 in the future, will I run into the same problem with the self-noise? This mic has the lowest self-noise posible, but will it work well with Zoom H6?

If my problem are the preamps of Zoom H6, which audio interface would you recommend me? (not very expensive, please). It would be great if it portable and will work well with Neumann TLM103.

If I buy an audio interface, would I be able to use it with my Asus Transformer Book T100 on Windows? This is the only fanless laptop that I have.

Many thanks in advance! Sorry for so many questions!
 

jiff 41

An Ex Tractor Fan
Have you tried the mics that come with the H6? I have a H6 & find it almost noiseless with the supplied mics or with a 57/58 & use it as a portable recorder for vocals/guitar & transfer the signal to Reaper & I've never had to use noise reduction!

I now have a Rode NT1a & can confirm it's the quietest mic I've ever heard! Haven't tried it with the H6 as I've no complaints about the mics that I use with it?.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Disconnect the mic and record a bit at the same gain level.

+1 and post it here as a 320k MP3 attachment. That mic has a high sensitivity, 30mV/Pa that is some 20 times hotter than a dynamic and it could be that you are just picking up ambient noise but BSG's test should confirm that.

To test if you have a noisy sample of mic, wrap it in a duvet and record it in the quietest place you can find in the house. The mic has a claimed noise level of 12dB and that is some 8dB better than most SDCs such as my AKG P150s and I have no noise problems with those.

Dave.
 
Have you tried the mics that come with the H6? I have a H6 & find it almost noiseless with the supplied mics or with a 57/58 & use it as a portable recorder for vocals/guitar & transfer the signal to Reaper & I've never had to use noise reduction!

I now have a Rode NT1a & can confirm it's the quietest mic I've ever heard! Haven't tried it with the H6 as I've no complaints about the mics that I use with it?.

I have the same problem, even worse. I had to rise the gain up to 8 or 9 at Zoom to get -6 db, the noise is high and can be clearly heard in the headphones (in post production I rise the the volume to -19 LUFS in matching loudness in Adobe and it becomes even worse).
 
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ecc83

Well-known member
How can I attach the sample?
I do not see this option. I uploaded it, but I am not allowed to post links yet. :(

Uploaded it to where? I cannot remember if it is 5 or 10 posts you need before you can attach clips but I think a moderater can intervene and 'bump you up'? Some further info...

Minus six dB fs? ! You don't need to be recording anything like as hot as that. Assuming 24 bits (44.1 or 48kHz) you should aim for the average level to hover around -20dB fs with peaks no higher than -10, -8 max. You can always boost ("Normalize") digitally post tracking if you need to.

The "no input thing" goes like this: setup for normal recording, maybe for now run the gai nhot as you were before. Get 20 secs or so down then simply unplug the mic from the AI. The level will drop drastically and give you the noise floor of your AI. I would expect that to be better than -70dB fs.

Dave.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I have the same problem, even worse. I had to rise the gain up to 8 or 9 at Zoom to get -6 db, the noise is high and can be clearly heard in the headphones (in post production I rise the the volume to -19 LUFS in matching loudness in Adobe and it becomes even worse).
I think you are doing something wrong, and as [MENTION=89697]ecc83[/MENTION] notes, you don't need to record that loudly. With any mic that has reasonable sensitivity and correct mic placement, the Zoom H6 preamps should not be an issue.

I used the H6 for many years and never had a noise problem, and most of my recording was done with Shure SM58 mics (live venues). Now, the ambient noise was not insignificant, but I never noticed noise. It may depend on what, exactly, you are doing. (This came up recently in another forum and I posted two videos of the same performers done a year apart in the same club, one using the H6 and one using the [Zoom] F8, which has 75dB of pretty clean gain, and the comment was that without knowing, you couldn't tell which was the H6 or F8.)

Testing preamp noise is best done with an XLR plug wired (correctly) to a 150 ohm load, or with a dynamic mic wrapped in towels and buried in your sock drawer :). I.e., you need the preamp to see some resistance, but no amplitude.

I'm assuming you are recording 24-bit WAV files on the Zoom H6. You can simply take one of those, and post in on a Google Drive or Dropbox location, get the link to Share it, and post that here. Leave off the 'https://' part and put spaces around the "." so the URL does not get recognized. We can then download the file.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Teensey point? Whilst it is pretty standard practice to terminate an input with it design source resistance, in practice with modern mic inputs it makes very little difference.
This is because any input equipped with phantom power is going to be loaded by a minimum of 6k8 Ohms and probably less.

Yes, open circuit IS an bit noisier but good enough for jazz!

If you have an old mixer or tape deck with mic pres without phantom power they can be very noisy unterminated.

Dave.
 
Thank you, guys!
I checked it again, and I was trying to record at the level of around -12, as it is advised everywhere (not -6 as I said). But again I had to rise the gain at 9 for Zoom x/y capsule and to 6 for Deity.

So I plug the mic and record silence with the mic and then with the power on I just unplug the mic and record some more silence, right?
But I record 16bit.44, should it be 24? Does it really matter?
 
Testing preamp noise is best done with an XLR plug wired (correctly) to a 150 ohm load, or with a dynamic mic wrapped in towels and buried in your sock drawer :). I.e., you need the preamp to see some resistance, but no amplitude.

How can I mesure 150 ohm load? Is it posible to wire XLR incorrectly?
You were lucky with your Zoom. In my case this is the second device. The first one came with 2 mic inputs damaged (terrible noise). So I am not surprised if something is wrong with this one as well (made in China :(
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
How can I mesure 150 ohm load? Is it posible to wire XLR incorrectly?
You were lucky with your Zoom. In my case this is the second device. The first one came with 2 mic inputs damaged (terrible noise). So I am not surprised if something is wrong with this one as well (made in China :(

You could perhaps put a 150 ohm resister across pins 2 and 3. The suggestion above to connect a dynamic mic and wrap it in a blanket and record a minute or so in a quiet room should work.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Thank you, guys!
I checked it again, and I was trying to record at the level of around -12, as it is advised everywhere (not -6 as I said). But again I had to rise the gain at 9 for Zoom x/y capsule and to 6 for Deity.

So I plug the mic and record silence with the mic and then with the power on I just unplug the mic and record some more silence, right?
But I record 16bit.44, should it be 24? Does it really matter?

With a 16 bit recording you will not get better than a -90dB noise floor, in practice a bit worse. 24 bits is theoretically -144dB so the analogue circuits define all the noise which in even the very bes systems will not be better than -120dB.

Don't sweat the termination on the pre amp input, you could just short pins 2&3, the noise/load curve is a very flat one. You are looking to fix a LOT of noise not a dB or three!

Dave.
 
You could perhaps put a 150 ohm resister across pins 2 and 3. The suggestion above to connect a dynamic mic and wrap it in a blanket and record a minute or so in a quiet room should work.

Sorry, I do not have a dynamic mic, just Deity S-mic 2 and Zoom capsule. I do not know nothing about resisters. :(
 
Don't sweat the termination on the pre amp input, you could just short pins 2&3, the noise/load curve is a very flat one. You are looking to fix a LOT of noise not a dB or three!

Dave.

I could not understand this one! So sorry! But I will record with 24 bit from now on.
What does it mean "Don't sweat the termination on the pre amp input"... ??? :confused:

I think another mistake of mine was to burst the volume level to -19 LUFS in Adobe and then to use DeNoiser. Maybe I had to use the DeNoiser first, so not to burst the noise, and then the rise the level. Even though I would be great not to have any noise to clear.
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
"Don't sweat the termination on the pre amp input"

"Don't worry about having a mic or a resistor on the preamp input."

You could just use some conductive metal to connect pins 2 and 3. On most decent XLR connectors there are tiny numbers molded into the insulation around the pins and sockets. Something made of steel or copper touching both of the pins should do the trick. It basically zeroes out the signal going into the recorder. If there aren't tiny numbers, look up a diagram of an XLR connector.
 
"Don't worry about having a mic or a resistor on the preamp input."

You could just use some conductive metal to connect pins 2 and 3. On most decent XLR connectors there are tiny numbers molded into the insulation around the pins and sockets. Something made of steel or copper touching both of the pins should do the trick. It basically zeroes out the signal going into the recorder. If there aren't tiny numbers, look up a diagram of an XLR connector.

Like so?

Like so.jpeg


And then I record the silence with Zoom H6 at the level 6 gain? The XLR is attached to the Zoom H6 with this metal thing on the other end, right? I am a bit afraid of damaging something.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Like so?

View attachment 107980
And then I record the silence with Zoom H6 at the level 6 gain? The XLR is attached to the Zoom H6 with this metal thing on the other end, right? I am a bit afraid of damaging something.
Dave, [MENTION=89697]ecc83[/MENTION], said this is not really required to get a "close enough" recording of preamplifier noise. If you do start shorting pins, I'm just guessing, but I'd make sure you do not have phantom power turned on for that input.

The 44.1kHz/16-bit recording, as noted, will not give you the widest dynamic range in your recording, so you should use 24-bit for best results. The sample rate does not matter.

You might record a couple seconds with the gain knob all the way off to start, then at about 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and then a couple steps to 100%, since there's usually a spot just before the end where noise and distortion rise more rapidly. Whether that's the taper of the pot or preamp design, I can't say, but take notes so when you post the audio, we can associate the steps we should see in the audio wave with the changes in the gain knob.
 
Hi, guys!
I just finished the tests. (I did them 2 days ago, but the forum was readonly).
Here what I got.
I hope I did everything right.
In the second recording, I turned the refrigerator off just in case (it is far away, but still).
Looking forward to your comments! Thank you so much for helping me!

I also recalled that I wrote once to Zoom support, but it was about compressor (general) feature. The self-noise with this function becomes very audible. They said that it is ok.
I uploaded the sample with general compressor just in case.
Video:
 
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