Zoom h4n pro my first thoughts

Hello this is Darrell Hyatt of computers with ease, recently at the Black Friday sales. I purchased a Zoom h4n Pro recorder. As many of you know I had been using a zoom h4n recorder to do both this podcast as well as a separate audio recorder for doing my videos and it worked exceptionally well.

I had very little difficulty with it, It worked flawlessly until recently when I started having problems with the built-in microphones. One of the channels would peak at 100% and thereby ruin the recordings. So when Black Friday sales came up, I was able to find a very good deal on the h4n Pro so I upgraded.

I wanted to talk about my initial thoughts of the new recorder in terms of what I like and my other thoughts. As with the h4n the Pro is very solid has a good solid feel to it. Good weight and it doesn’t feel flimsy or too much like plastic.

So is very comfortable and easy to use and I’m not afraid of something breaking. One of the things that they changed from earlier versions was the screen colour, It’s now a very light blue and I find this much easier to use not only in sunlight but I find it much more comfortable overall, then the previous orange or amber colour that was on the earlier versions.

One of the other things that I like is the locking mic sockets at the bottom of the recorder. I like the fact that they’ve added the locking feature so that when you connect a mic it actually clicks in and you don’t have to worry about the microphone coming loose from the socket which may be a concern if you were doing interviews.

With the older version and your people were walking around or moving around on your recordings that depending on the length of your microphone cable it was possible to disconnect the microphone from one of the XLR sockets so that an improvement.

Another feature that I like is the fact that the power adapter from the h4n also works on the h4n Pro, which means that I don’t have to go out and spend another $40 on a new adapter because I don’t like using batteries just because of the expense and then you have to dispose of batteries. I much prefer having direct power to the recorder for most of the things that I do. It works much better.

Another thing that I really notice in using this recorder is that the preempts in the new one, are significantly more improved then in the old one and where this comes in handy is that as I sit here in my office recording this podcast, I’ve got a computer running very close to me and with the older recorder there was a significant amount of background noise from the computer and other things that I’ve got running that I had to edit out after doing the recording and sometimes it was a little difficult.

With the new recorder the background noise is significantly less, which makes my editing time a lot shorter and a lot easier for me. Which means I will be able to get more content created because of the time I’m saving in editing my material.

One of the things that I would suggest doing if you buy a new recorder like this is update the firmware. So what I did when I got the recorder was go to the zoom website and check in the download section for a firmware update, and indeed there was one. When I first powered recorder on it had firmware 1.01. When I checked the website the latest firmware was 1.10. So I followed the instructions and downloaded and installed the firmware just to make sure that I had the latest firmware which had some bug fixes and it specifically to do with Windows 10 and gave me the full functionality of the recorder.

So that’s one thing I would suggest when you buy a new recorder. The other thing that I did out of habit. was I formatted the SD card that I was going to use in this recorder in the recorder itself as per the instructions before I actually started using it to make sure that the card was compatible with the recorder and there was no issues with my recordings and being able to transfer them to the computer and get the best audio quality that I could recorder. I hope you found this review helpful.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know at darrell@computerswith ease.com I look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have Thank you very much for listening.

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

Your process – Your way

Hello my name is Darrell Hyatt and today I wanted to do a video to talk about something that has become important to me and hopefully will be useful for you as well. Right now there are so many different people who have programs and courses on how to create audio and video.

You read so many different things about how important video is and so on, their certain procedures that you need to follow when editing audio and video, and so on. One of the things that I’ve come to realize in and doing my own audio and video work such as this, is you have to develop process and methods that work specifically for you that are comfortable for you as a creator.

As an example of this, I shoot. most of my videos just like this one in my office with a camera and a separate audio recorder, but one of the things that I’ve learned in doing all of this is that I have to be comfortable with not only the tools that I’m using, but the material that I’m putting out in the audio and video content.

I wanted to take this opportunity to let everybody know that that as important as what you use for equipment, what procedures you use.

It’s fine to have all of the procedures and follow them based on all of these people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if the procedures don’t work for you or are more difficult for you and therefore you don’t use them.

They’re not doing you any good and that causes stress, frustration, and even more importantly, it stops you from creating the content that you’re an expert in that only you can deliver in that way to reach your audience.

So I think personally that’s the important thing create the content that’s important for your audience in the best way that works for you that your audience relates to.

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to email me at darrel@computerswithease.com I look forward to hearing from you and will do my best to assist you in creating great content. Thank you very much.

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

I can’t save recorded audio/video – try this !

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast where we talk about all things related to audio and video, my name is Darrell Hyatt. Today I wanted to talk to you about an experience I had recently, I was recording video for one of my projects and I always do a test recording prior to starting the actual recording.

When I did the test recording of 30 or 60 seconds and turn off my video recorder it said that the video itself could not be saved, I tried doing two or three test recordings and I made changes in each one and nothing solved the problem.

I went and got a brand-new card to put in my camcorder and try the recording and once again it didn’t work as I’m scratching my head wondering what’s going on here I thought maybe I should try reformatting the card in the camera.

I did that with the old card that I had been using and reformatted it according to the instructions for the camera and then tried another test recording, when I saved the recording this time I didn’t get the error message and so I assumed the recording was saved.

I was able to play it back and everything was fine I then went ahead and did my video recording project that I was intending to do and everything worked fine. But it brought to mind the reminder to reformat your cards for storage for not only your camcorder but also your audio recorder if you use one.

It will save you the frustration that I had prior to doing this project it was certainly an unexpected error which can cause delays when you’re in the middle of projects and have deadlines to get things done.

What I learned is I want to reformat my storage cards on a monthly basis to make sure that they’re working properly however make sure that you backed up anything of importance on the storage cards before you reformat them

I hope this tip saves you from the frustration that I had if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at darrell@computerswithease.com Thank you for listening.

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

We can all use a parking lot

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast where we talk about all things related to audio and video. my name is Darrell Hyatt in today’s podcast I wanted to talk about something that drives us all crazy at one time or another.

We all have a lot of things on the go whether it be projects etc, how do we keep track of everything when we got so much going on and ideas keep popping into our head or tasks come up that we remember that we need to do and how do we keep it all straight.

One of the ways that I do it is with what’s called a parking lot you can call it anything you want but the term parking lot comes from my instructor training, and what it is simply a place where you can jot down ideas and things that you want to keep track of that you don’t want to forget but are not necessarily related to the task that you’re working on at the moment.

So you put them down on a piece of paper or whatever it is you want and there the information will sit until you’re ready to deal with it or use it thus that’s why it’s called a parking lot.

For me what it allows me to do is just when something comes up that is not related to my current project I can simply jot it down and release it from my brain and yet know that I won’t forget it and can go back to it later.

For me the parking lot is simply a blank piece of heavy cardboard and then I use Post-it notes on that piece of cardboard to keep track of the items, and it’s sitting in my office here where I can see it and when I have time I can simply go to that list and say okay I can take care of this item.

Then once I’m done I can remove it from the list and know that I’ve gotten something extra done for the day. This helps me not only stay on track with my jobs that I’m working on, but allows me to have a place to put everything else that comes in my head as I’m working.

I encourage all of you to try using the parking lot idea to help you stay organized not forget important things when they come up for you, and overall make you more productive during your day.

If you have comments or questions please feel free to email me at darrell@computerswiththese.com  Thank you very much.

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

Transcripts – how to create

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast in today’s episode I’m going to talk about transcripts, transcripts are something that I’ve used ever since I started podcasting back in 2010.

Transcripts make your podcast searchable because you’ve now included text that can be searched using Google for example .One of the other reasons that I like transcripts is that you can include links in the transcript and still maintain the context of the information which makes it easier for people to follow and understand what the link means and is there for.

Now the big question is if I want to include transcript how do I create them? The good news is there several ways of doing it, you can create them yourself by typing them which is a rather tedious way of doing it and depending on the length of each podcast may take a while.

There are several transcription services available with a simple Google search and the cost generally is anywhere from a $1.00 to a $1.50 per minute based on the length of your audio file so again, if you’re creating several podcasts per month or week it can get expensive. But may will be worth it for you depending on your situation and your time involvement that you’ve got available.

Now the final way to do a transcript is the way that I’m doing mine at the moment is using speech recognition software to capture the text that’s in the podcast as I’m recording the podcast itself. The software that I am currently using is Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

I would be interested to hear whether you do transcripts with your podcasts at the moment and if so how you create them please leave a comment below.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at darrell@computerswithease.com Thank you very much for listening.

Posted in Audio, Podcasts | Leave a comment

Too long – timing is everything

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast, one of the issues that I struggled with when I first started doing podcasts in 2010 was how long should my podcasts be and since then I’ve discovered shorter is better, and when I say shorter I mean no longer than five minutes maximum and under three minutes is even better.

One of the best ways to help you decide the proper length for your particular podcast is listening to your audience, they will tell you how long your podcast should be by telling you whether they listen to the entire podcast and leave comments for example.

Another way is to review your statistics for each of your podcasts, many platforms will now give you statistics about not only how many people are listening to and downloading your podcasts but also how long each listener listened to your podcast.

One of the things that I recommend if you’ve got a topic that is lengthy is to break the material down into a series of podcasts instead of a single say 10 or 12 minute podcast .Break it into three or four shorter podcasts and put them out as a series of say a week apart I hope this is been helpful.

If you are interested in doing a 20 minute consultation regarding your audio and video needs please email me at darrell@computerswithease.com Thank you very much for listening.

Posted in Audio, Podcasts | Leave a comment

Editing – how much is too much

Welcome to the computer’s with ease podcast, one of the important topics that I would like to talk about today when it comes to working with audio and video is how much editing is too much.

There are several factors to consider when deciding how much editing you want to do on a particular project. Of course you want to get rid of any unwanted noise that is in your project and in your background. Whether it be a lawn mower noise or noise of the dog outside which you may or may not be able to hear in this recording. Actually it could also be something as simple as a computer noise, if you recording in an office that has other equipment in it like I do.

One of the other issues that we find is that we all tend to say the word uhm, or ah and of course we want to get rid of those as well. But again, it’s a question of how much of that do you edit out, and sometimes depending on where those sounds are It’s easier to leave the occasional one in instead of trying to remove it.

There is also the question about the sound of yourself breathing. I know from personal experience that I have quite a bit of breath sound in my recordings, and over time I’ve gotten to know what they look like in my editing program, and so I can very easily and very quickly go through and edit out the majority of them and it’s just something that you get used to. The more you do recording of your material and editing the more familiar you will get with things like breathing, noise and other material that you want to get rid of in the editing process.

One of the last things that I want to talk about in terms of editing is the style of your podcast or video. What style are you trying to achieve with each project, do you want something with more freestyle to it that is more of a casual flow and yet professional, or do you want something really highly polished and professional and ultimately, that’s up to you with each project.

This will have an effect on how much editing you do and what you decide to edit out and what you decide to leave in, depending on the style you trying to achieve, the feeling you want the listener to have when they listen to the podcast.

If you trying to, for example, give the feeling of a casual conversation you may leave more things in and not be quite strict in your editing. But again, it all depends on you, and it’s going to take practice and overtime. you will just develop an overall sense and style of what you want and it will eventually develop and become natural. I hope this is been helpful

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at darrell@computerswithease.com I currently have several open spaces for a free 20 minute consultation to talk about your needs when doing audio and video. So if you’re interested in a free consultation call please sign up. I will provide the link in the show notes of this podcast https://sagenda.net/Frontend/5ae233ef9a33628d60a01654?retrieveFromCookies=False and I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much for listening.

Posted in Audio, Podcasts, Video | Leave a comment

Plan your video – some thoughts to consider

Welcome to the computers with ease podcast, one of the topics that I’m working with right now myself is the planning of a video and for me, there are several key steps involved and I thought I would simply describe these in the maybe it would help you in your planning process as well.

The first area is what is the purpose of the video, why are you creating this video? What do you want to say in the video itself. What point do you want to get across to your viewers? Basically, what do you want to leave the viewers with, what information do you want them to have that they don’t have now.

And what are you going to do with the video, where are you going to put it on YouTube on your own website. When it comes to the video itself there are several questions that come up.

What shots do you need? What are the key points in each series of shots that you want to make sure that you get? What information do you want to capture, is it something on the computer screen or is it something somewhere else outside etc. that you want to make sure you capture. Now once you have that, what’s the order for shooting the actual video?

Are there items that need to be shot or captured before you capture something else? Make sure that you have that order written down because it will make your shooting schedule much more efficient.

Are there any preparations that you need to do before you shoot any video? For example, I use a lot of screen captures from my computer and one of the things that I have to make sure that I do is make sure that I have the appropriate program opened to the right screen before I start to capture that the video that I need. And it may require two or three programs be opened for me to get that.

Another question is, is there any existing video that you already have that you may want to use in another project. Make sure that you have that and know where it is so that you can quickly and easily use it in the new project.

When it comes to audio, are you going to do a full written script for the audio portion or are you just can use a list of key points? And then how are you going to record it? Are you going to use your Webcam, headset microphone or an external recorder such as I have for this podcast?

Now as with the video the same applies with audio, are there audio that you already have that you want to use again in this project. If so, again, make sure that it readily available and you know where it is so you can easily access it.

When it comes to the settings for your video camera and your audio recording record both your audio and video at the highest quality that you can, using highest quality possible will not only give you the best overall results, but later on if you want to edit at a lower setting to say, create a smaller file size for the video.

You will still get great results, If you record the initial video at a higher quality. I hope these tips have been helpful. I recommend writing this stuff down in whatever format is comfortable for you, just so that you have the information readily available as you’re creating your video project. It will make the whole thing go much faster, be less stressful and more enjoyable.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at darrell@computerswithease.com  please feel free to sign up for it, a 20 minute free consultation about your audio and video needs I will include a link in the show note for those of you that are interested.   https://sagenda.net/Frontend/5ae233ef9a33628d60a01654?retrieveFromCookies=False If you would like a specific time and date, please feel free to email me and we can arrange that. Thank you very much for listening.

Posted in Audio, Podcasts, Video | Leave a comment

Microphones – getting started

Hello and welcome to the computers of ease podcast, today I wanted to talk about microphones. This is a topic of importance, no matter whether you are doing podcast or video.

I always seems that no matter who you talk to, there’s always going to be a difference of opinion depending on what you’re doing so I thought I would just go over some of the basics in terms of different types of microphones and the cost as well as some of the pros and cons of each one.

But the first thing I’m going to say when it comes to microphones is use what you got. Get started now, you can always upgrade and change as you go. Now as I said earlier, there are several types of microphones one of which is handheld microphone like what you see newscasters using when they’re doing interviews and so on.

.The cost ranges anywhere from $25 to say 300 they’re good for TV style interviews and they can pick up external noise from around you depending on the quality of the microphone. But they’re good to start with If you have nothing else.

Now one of the other choices you’ve got is a headset microphone, and these range from approximately $50 to 300 and these tend to be very good because are more stable, the microphone stays at a consistent distance from your mouth and there less likely to get bumped.

They don’t pick up as much of the surrounding noise so they can be very good for doing podcasts I use a headset microphone for my dictation on my computer and it works exceptionally well for that as well.

One of the types of microphone that is very available right now and most of us have one is the microphone in your Webcam. They range from $20 to 200 and can be used for doing your podcast or your video.

They will pick up background noise as well, but again it’s one of those things that everybody has one. So when you’re thinking I don’t have anything or I have to go buy something expensive to get started.

Start working with your Webcam If that’s what you have. As I said earlier, you can always upgrade later once you have started and you’re more comfortable.

If you have comments or questions please feel free to email me at darrell@computerswithease.com I have a few openings for a free consultation about your individual audio or video needs. I will include a link to sign up in the show notes feel free to sign up https://sagenda.net/Frontend/5ae233ef9a33628d60a01654?retrieveFromCookies=False and if for some reason those times and dates don’t work for you.

Please feel free to email me and request a specific date and time. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much for listening

Posted in Audio, Podcasts, Video | Leave a comment

Plan your podcast – a guide

Hello and welcome to be computers with ease podcast my name is Darrell Hyatt. Today I wanted to talk about the topic of planning your podcast. This is something that I try to do with every episode and I thought I would describe the process that I use for planning.

The first thing I have is what I call an ideas list. This is a document that I have a word file where I keep an ongoing list of topics that I may want to use for a podcast or for video. Now as I said earlier I use plain word document, but you can use any tool that works for you in any format at all.

The important part is that you have a list of the topics for future reference so when you want to create a podcast or video you got somewhere to start.

Another thing that I have is a key point list. So when I am working on a podcast I start with my key points and those are the things that I want to remember to talk about for each podcast itself. In my case I use Post-it notes on a plain piece of paper so that I can organize my key points and if I need to change them around. I can do that.

Once I’m comfortable with the key points themselves, and the order then I have a one-page sheet that I transfer those key points to and that’s in fact what I’m looking at. as I’m doing this particular podcast.

Another thing to consider when you’re planning your podcast is your introduction music your outro music, and any music you want to use between your segments of the show. Make sure that you have your music located in an easy to find location so that when you’re doing the editing and so on you’ve got access to it easily.

There’s lots of places online where you can get it and you may either have to pay a small fee for each song or with a lot of the free downloads you have to acknowledge where you got it in your podcast or your video wherever you are using that particular piece of music.

One of the other points to remember is if you need other information for your podcast have it readily available in my case, I simply have it sitting on the desk and I can refer to it easily and quickly.

Now if you’re having guests on your podcast as part of your planning. I recommend having their contact information readily available as well as your login information for anything such as Zoom or any conferencing software that you can be using if you’re doing an interview, and make sure that your guest has that information as well.

One of the other things I would suggest is if you’re using a conferencing tool sign in early and test your connection and your audio with the other person so that if there is any difficulties you have time to sort those out before you start the recording.

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to email me at darrell@computerswithease.com Thank you very much for listening.

Posted in How To, Podcasts | Leave a comment