Matching Microphones

I’m running Audacity 2.1.1 on a Power Mac Pro, OS 10.9.4.

I recorded an interview with 2 lav mics and a shotgun for backup. Either the lavs had issues or the H4N did, I’m not sure, but there are static issues and drop-outs in the lav track. The shotgun had some issues as well, so I cannot use the entirety of either tracks. The best solution I can come up with is to use the lav mics for 95% of the interview and cover the unrepairable parts with the shotgun. The problem is lavs and shotguns sound completely different. The shotgun captures the bigness of the room (dinning room with hard wood floors). Is there any way to get the echo/reverb/tinnieness out of the shotgun to get it close to the lav?

I’ve ran some segments of the shotgun track through various filters including Amplify (going negative to bring it down), Reverb (same as amplify), and Bass and Treble to try to match the tone. It’s not even close. Any help would be appreciated.

Is there any way to get the echo/reverb/tinnieness out of the shotgun to get it close to the lav?

We can do the tinniness, but not the echo. There is no removing echo/reverberation.

I’m still counting microphones. Zoom says in Big Letters Portable 4-track Recording, but what they mean is the two microphones on top and two external plugins at the same time. You can’t walk up to an H4n with 4 XLR microphones and record them. Did you plug the shotgun into the little “EXT MIC” connector on the back?

You can get crackling and popping if your tracks were overloading. Do the blue waves ever go all the way up and down in Audacity? 1.0 or 100%? Turn View > Show Clipping on. Does the timeline fill up with red trash?

If you have overloading and echoes, you’re really close to having no recoverable show. You can’t do a reshoot, right?

You could try adding echo to the straight tracks to match the shotgun. Chance of it working is zero.


The lavs went into the H4N, the shotgun went into the B-camera.

When somebody says “shotgun,” I go right to the Sennheisers and Rodes. That would probably have worked, or worked better. If by “shotgun” you mean the four-inch microphone that comes with a camcorder, then no. Those are designed to be wide-acceptance for the consumer market and would have picked up a lot of room along with the show. We have postings from people who had trouble shooting weddings with one of those. No, you can’t shoot wedding vows clearly from the seats, or worse, the back of the church.

How were the lavs connected? If somebody in my world said what you said, we would be looking at a bad radio connection, or multiple radios bucking each other. Cell phone problems? Were you hard-wired? Did you find out what happened?

Was this your first pass at recording a performance? Did you find out why the lavs failed? It’s suspicious if they both failed. That’s unusual. Did you replace the batteries before the show? I’m still going with overload.

You seemed to do everything right, but you somehow offended the sound gods.


The “shotgun” mic is a Sennheiser ME55. The lavs were hard wired to the H4N. Cell’s were off or in airplane mode. I have been recording video and audio for years and have never had this problem. The Lav’s and H4N were rented, I own the shotgun mic. I think the shotgun issue was the cable I used, a 3’ XLR. I record with that mic once a month using a 1’ XLR to mini into my DSLR and never have any sound issues, so I don’t think it’s the mic.

Although I never solved the issues, I did the best I could with what I had. This project is over and it seems that what I was trying to do cannot be done with quality results.