Lumix GH3 Audio vs Zoom H6

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

I’ve been using my Panasonic Lumix GH3 as my main video cam for the last year or so and it’s a terrific tool. The articulated display, live HDMI out, high bitrate codecs, WIFI connectivity, and luscious image quality have made it my favorite shooter. But I’ve avoided using camera audio even though the GH3 does have some intriguing audio features. (more…)


Zoom H6 vs RME UFX – Ribbon Mic Samples

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

I added some ribbon mic samples to the H6 vs UFX shootout in my last post, but I created the samples using a very low level test tone and what passes for silence in a suburban bedroom. I’ve gotten some requests for samples using voice and guitar, so here they are. (more…)


Zoom H6 vs RME UFX

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

The H6 has four XLR inputs built-in to the body with individual phantom power options. I noticed in an earlier comparison that the preamps behind these XLRs seemed very high in quality, basically indistinguishable from those in my RME UFX interface in a quick and dirty comparison. I set out to do a more careful comparison to see if my initial impression was correct. (more…)


Zoom H6 MS Noise Issue

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Zoom has been pushing MS or Mid-Side recording technology in their recent products. The ones I know about are the MS decoder in the H4n followed by the rear-facing MS mics in the H2n. Their latest video camera, the Q2HD was the first with the distinctive ball shaped mic array housing. Now the new H6 recorder includes an MS module also featuring that ball shape, and in the “announced but not shipping” category we have the iOS mic, the iQ5 using that styling as well. Doug Young was the first H6 owner I talked with and he immediately identified a self-noise issue with the MS mic module. My initial explorations all focused on the XY mic module and the external connection preamps, but now I’ve had a chance to experiment with the MS module a bit. (more…)


Zoom H6 – Acoustic Guitar Shootout

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

I’ve been interested in the new Zoom H6 since it was announced back in April of this year. I’ve long hoped to find a multi-channel portable recorder with performance comparable to a nice consumer audio interface at a friendly price. In other comparisons I’ve done the lower priced battery powered gear added a bit of noise that I don’t hear with a comparably priced audio interface, even when using the same mics. But technology moves on and there have been some terrific new preamp-on-a-chip products released in the last couple of years, so Zoom’s claim of improved preamps seemed plausible. Now that I have my unit I’m trying those comparisons again. (more…)


Rode NT1a vs ADK A6 plus Two

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

There are a number of comments I expect to hear when microphones are discussed. Someone is likely to call the Rode NT1a harsh, strident, shrill, or some similar indication of high frequency problems. And when asked to recommend a mic for recording acoustic guitar, the ADK A6 is one of the more common responses. So how obvious are the differences between these two mics in a four way blind comparison? (more…)


Ever Heard of a Martin Tiple?

Friday, February 8th, 2013

At various times in my life I’ve surrendered to the urge to collect musical instruments. It’s a common ailment among my peers, and probably one of the less damaging addictions one might suffer. But over the past few years I’ve tried to go straight, stick with the instruments I have and definitely stay away from oddball stuff that once called out to me.

Then I ran across an Ebay auction for a Martin Tiple. Now the “tiple” is one of a number of smallish stringed instruments played throughout the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, where the word is pronounced “teeplay.” But a Martin Tiple is a strange member of the `ukulele family, an instrument that was vitally important to the CF Martin company in their history. I’ve learned a lot about the Martin Tiple by visiting Uncle Emile’s Blog, The Martin Tiple.

I started off tuning this tiple like a modern tenor uke, G C E A or C6 tuning. But we discovered that it plays and tunes better one step higher in a D6 tuning of A D F# B. (more…)


Free Tools to Tweak Q3HD Audio

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I’m continually learning about the importance of volume/loudness/level in recording and video. Our listeners expect a “normal” level similar to commercial recordings, but through the vagaries of technological and commercial development, normal recording levels are just not as loud as normal delivery levels. Our recordings will sound wimpy and unimpressive if we deliver them at the level we used to capture them. (more…)


About the Blog

    Howdy, my name is Fran Guidry and this is my Homebrewed Music blog.

    I play Hawaiian slack key guitar and recorded my solo acoustic CD at home. Most of the recording information I find on the internet seems focused on bands, drums, multitracking, and so on but my main focus is recording solo acoustic guitar. Lately I’ve been enjoying video recording along with audio, so that shows up in the blog as well.

    I’m also a guitar nut. I love big ones and little ones, handmades and factory guitars, cheap ones and expensive ones. So I’ll be sharing the fun of exploring guitars as well, along with the challenges of amplifying acoustic guitars for live performance.



    My recording philosophy is pragmatic, skeptical, not super critical. After all, the performance is by far the most important component of a track, and every aspect of any recording is a matter of taste.

    But I do like to know “about stuff.” Back in hifi days I learned about double blind testing. I learned that we humans can easily hear differences that don’t really exist. The more I’ve learned about our human auditory system, the more I’m skeptical of what people say they hear, especially if they claim that a particular microphone or preamp or cable has some magical property.

    I’ve only been recording since 2001, and when I started I found the usual places on the internet. I sought advice and accepted it, thought I would improve my recordings by using more expensive equipment. It didn’t work.

    Two things that did seem to lead to better recordings were experience and room treatment. Getting an appealing sound is the combination of many small details, and learning those details only comes from experience. Amd the sound of the recording space is obviously a big factor.

    I’ve only recorded seriously using digital technology, but I remember trying to record rehearsals and gigs back in analog days. I don’t have any nostalgia for analog recording and playback systems at all. I think even low end digital systems can capture marvelous recordings. So when I look at gear, I look for good specs: low noise, broad flat frequency response, wide dynamic range, low distortion. I’m not interested in colorful components, mics and preamps with a sound, I want the sound to be the sound of my guitar.

    But the last word is that I’m just learning and I hope you find something useful in my posts.