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Synching ZOOM H4 Audio with Mini DV Video

by dsapadin / January 21, 2008 10:56 PM PST

All:

I have a ZOOM H4 digital audio recorder. It will save in any format you want. I was videotaping an event using standard MiniDV camcorders. I also set up the ZOOM H4 on a tripod for audio recording. Much to my chagrin I was not able to synch the audio recorded on the ZOOM H4 (saved .wav) with the audio/video tape. I saved the Audio/Video onto my hard drive as usual (.avi) and I used Adobe Premier Pro. I saved the .wav from recorded on the ZOOM H4. I synched the tracks at the beginning. Slowly the H4 audio loses synch - so much so that I had to re-synch it about every 3 or 4 minutes. I found this pretty strange since I thought a .wav file was a .wav file and figured that there shouldn't be any difference in timing on them since all the files are digital. Can anybody explain to me what's going on here. I tried emailing ZOOM and got an answer back in broken English. Something to the effect of the "internal clock" on the ZOOM H4 being different than that used by DV camcorders (???) Using the ZOOM H4 seemed like an ideal way to capture somebetter audio than that recorded by the mics on the camcorder...and you could simply mix them to your liking in Audition (or any other Audio Processing application). Not so! But I don't understand why.

Any help in understanding this phenomenon would be appreciated.

Dave

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Synching ZOOM H4 Audio with Mini DV Video
by mikeaiken1 / March 23, 2008 2:34 AM PDT

Dave,
Have a look at this--http://videomaker.com/community/forums/topic/audio-sync-1
A lot us us are having the same problem. It really is a pain. I'm trying something new right now - capturing the audio from the Zoom in real time to my computer, not just copying the .wav file. Since the Zoom's internal clock will also be used for playback, it may just work. I don't like the idea of going back to analog, and the length of time it takes to recapture, but if it works it'll beat having to resync every few minutes.
Mike

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Synching ZOOM H4 Audio with Mini DV Video
by mikeaiken1 / March 23, 2008 4:28 AM PDT

It Worked!!
I used the line out from my Zoom into my audio interface and recorded the playback from the Zoom into Audition. Then I pulled the file into Premier and synched them up at the beginning. It stayed in perfect sync for about 25 minutes (that was all I captured so far). Like I said, I hated to convert back to analog but the quality of this little recorder is so good I can't hear any difference, and I can deal with the time it takes to do it compared with cutting out a few milliseconds of the audio track every few minutes. Hooray! I'm happy with the zoom again.
Mike

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ZOOM
by dsapadin / March 23, 2008 4:55 AM PDT

Hi:

Let me see if I got this right. You ran from the audio out of the ZOOM while it was recording (using the ZOOM like an audio pass-through?) straight into the sound card on your computer and saved the file using Audition in real time or what?`

Thanks,

Dave

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Zoom Sync
by mikeaiken1 / March 24, 2008 12:40 AM PDT
In reply to: ZOOM

Not quite.

It's the same way you capture video from your camera into your computer. I just recorded normally with the Zoom onto its internal memory card. Then, back at my computer, I plugged the line out from the zoom into my computer's sound card (actually I use a FP10 Firewire interface but you could go right into your sound card if that's what you use). Then I let the Zoom play back the file and recapture the audio with your editing program (I use Audition first because I usually like to tweek the sound a little before bringing it into Premiere, but you could probably capture straight to Premiere). Then save it as a new wav file. Don't try to use the wav or MP3 file on the Zoom's card. Make the Zoom play it back itself. It's the same way I transfered audio when I used a MiniDisc recorder since a computer can't read those files anyway.

What's happening is the same as if you recorded a track on a tape recorder that was running at 7-1/2 inches per second instead of the standard 7 ips. When you play that tape back on the same recorder, it would be in exact time and pitch, but if you played it back on a recorder that was running at a true 7 ips, the time and pitch would be different from the original sound. The processor clock on the Zoom is a little different from the computer's.

(Now that I understand this I don't fault Zoom so much anymore. It would be impossible to keep different pieces of equipment in sync without a common sync signal to each of them like broadcast equipment does. We're just lucky that in this digital age they can stay so close anyway.)

Mike

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Thanks...
by dsapadin / March 24, 2008 3:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Zoom Sync

Thanks for the tip. I will definitely give that a whirl. However, I am not so sure that ZOOM couldn't hit the standard with their internal clock. Seeing as how every DV digital camcorder made records and plays back in exactly the same time synch, seems like that oughta be the standard.

Thanks again,

Dave

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LOST
by scythiantoo / August 28, 2008 5:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Zoom Sync

HELP!

I have a Zoom H4 and spent two hours trying unsuccessfully to play the Zoom into my Sony Soundforge software without success. I can open the Zoom H4 from Soundforge and see the soundfile. I also played the soundfile from my H4 but it wasn't going into Soundforge (or as far as I can tell into my computer hard drive).

My H4 came with Cubase but for some reason Cubase refuses to function on my laptop.

Where am I missing a ste? Can you help me figure this out?

Thank you in advance for any help you (or anyone reading this post) can offer.

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Hey
by SJHK / November 18, 2008 12:02 AM PST
In reply to: Zoom Sync

I don't have Audition or Premiere.

Would the same process (of recording it back into your computer) work in Final Cut Pro?

And also- this process that you're referring to- you're saying that we shouldn't just plug in the H4 and drop off the sound files, right?

Thanks

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Buying new technology - any suggestions
by lexibass / September 15, 2009 4:51 AM PDT

I do not yet own the zoom h4, or a camera but am looking to buy both soon. I have used the older h4 and the new one looks just as awesome but with some extras. as far as video, I use a sonyvx2000 from school (old technology but I'm in art school, we have no $$) for planned shoots but I want something smaller for catching video on the go with a good picture and an audio in - does the zoom h4 work this way? Technology keeps evolving, I keep sleeping on it... I just need to buy something. Advice?

-Lexi

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Huge Thanks for this!
by DBassPlayer / July 23, 2011 5:43 PM PDT

I bought a H4 ages ago specifically to record audio that I would later sync with video shot at the same time. I found the sync issue (which is a little more complicated than just a rate difference as even stretching would not sync the whole tape) and was not able to fix it so had to use the camera audio. I have just made a 20 minute test and your solution worked perfectly. Suddenly I can go back to my original plan. Apart from my chagrin at being so tech-pathetic I am really enthused by this breakthrough and have already started planning a live trial. So thanks, you've made an old man very happy!

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Its worse with Q3HD!
by Journojulz / January 22, 2012 7:03 AM PST

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"><span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> I use <span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> the Q3hd to shoot live band vids - <span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> so i can't just import the audio without losing the HD footage - and sdding a layer of interface noise by rerecording.
<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"><span id="INSERTION_MARKER">

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"><span id="INSERTION_MARKER">My only solution is to use Final Cut to slow the footage to 99.9042% - and even then it is still a frame or 2 out after 10 mins - making audio mixing impossible.
<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"><span id="INSERTION_MARKER">

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"><span id="INSERTION_MARKER">If you want to sync 2 streams btw, pan one left and one right - headphones will tell you when they are in sync
<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"><span id="INSERTION_MARKER">

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