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Author Topic: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features  (Read 18825 times)

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Offline landshark

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AKG 461's / 463's OR Senn MKH 8040's > MR1000 (Busman mod) or Shure FP24 (aka MixPre) > MR1 (open)
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Offline flintstone

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 03:10:27 PM »
Better battery life, too.  Seems like Zoom has re-designed the H2 in several ways.  The upgrade is welcome.  Zoom introduced the H2 in July 2007.

Flintstone

Offline ben_r_

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 04:50:17 PM »
Zoom.... They just keep trying to jam more and more into their devices. Theyre all about marketing.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 05:14:24 PM »
This could be good, especially if the internal mics were replaced.

I've been tempted by the original H2, since it has four inputs.  I'm thinking two for mics (replace internals) and two for (attenuated) line input from SBD.

If anyone gets this, please let us see the internal mics.  I'm guessing they make the "side" channel with back-to-back cardioids.

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

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Offline sunjan

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Offline flintstone

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 09:09:08 AM »
A few more detials in this article
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/audio/hands-reviews/new-zoom-h2n-rewrites-book-portable-recording

I'm concerned about the ergonomics of this recorder.  It looks like the record button and transport controls are positioned at the bottom of the front panel, which makes them hard to reach when holding the H2n in your hand. Seems like Zoom expects you to mount the H2n on a tripod or video camera more often than running hand-held.

Offline Walstib62

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 09:55:36 AM »
At $200, if those mics sound decent, this would be a very easy way to do a 4 channel recording onstage, hanging overhead or stand mounted.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2011, 10:52:18 AM »
Is there any software available for Mac that makes it simple to convert 4 tracks, such as from this H2n as well as the Tascam DR-2d, into surround sound audio DVD's?
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 03:17:13 AM »
This looks like it will trump the market for one-piece recorders - "mics that record" . 

The configuration of the mics seems to be the same as was first announced for the H2, but production models of the H2 lacked the MS facility. 

Given that remarkable recordings possible with the venerable H2, this new model should be a cracker. I guess my Sony M10 will be hitting eBay (I hate its lousy stereo imaging).

[Edit - just pre-ordered... heh, this is an expensive forum to read!]
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 04:33:12 AM by Ozpeter »

Offline hi and lo

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 08:05:42 PM »
oh cool, a new Zoom product!

          

I can't wait to accommodate the idiot sbd patchers that show up 15 minutes before the headliner!





Offline easyed

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 10:32:44 PM »
This looks like it will trump the market for one-piece recorders - "mics that record" . 

The configuration of the mics seems to be the same as was first announced for the H2, but production models of the H2 lacked the MS facility. 

Given that remarkable recordings possible with the venerable H2, this new model should be a cracker. I guess my Sony M10 will be hitting eBay (I hate its lousy stereo imaging).

[Edit - just pre-ordered... heh, this is an expensive forum to read!]

My experience with the Zoom is that it is a terrible worthless POS.  I think the gain might be digital, that is, it happens after the analog > digital conversion.  It's like a digital camera, take a shitty photo and then blow it up after the fact, you are just enlarging a grainy low resolution photo.  The only thing I would use a Zoom for is recording talking around a conference table or practicing an acoustic instrument in the living room.

See this article from August 2008 issue of Pro Audio Review about Prosumer Portable compact flash recorders:
http://www.jellyinajar.com/ProsumerPortablesInAProWorld.jpg
(I've scanned it as a jpg and uploaded it to one of my sites)

If you would give up a PCM-M10 for any Zoom device, I would snatch up the PCM-M10 in a heartbeat.  Seriously - you want to sell it, I'm interested.
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Offline fmaderjr

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2011, 05:14:31 PM »
My experience with the Zoom is that it is a terrible worthless POS.  I think the gain might be digital, that is, it happens after the analog > digital conversion.  It's like a digital camera, take a shitty photo and then blow it up after the fact, you are just enlarging a grainy low resolution photo.  The only thing I would use a Zoom for is recording talking around a conference table or practicing an acoustic instrument in the living room.

Gain has always been digital in previous models. Reducing the level below 100 to keep the meters under 0 dB does not prevent distortion (at least on the H4 and H2).

I hate ZOOM recorders and am puzzled by Ozpeter's love for them, given how knowledgeable he is. I'm guessing he likes the built in mics for less than critical applications because the only plus I can see on previous ZOOM models is that the built in mics are pretty good.
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Offline flintstone

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 08:45:40 PM »
"...puzzled by Ozpeter's love of [the Zoom H2]..."

I think it's because of results like this
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=93532.0

The H2 has strengths and weaknesses, like any inexpensive recorder.  Just because a recorder isn't the best fit for your needs doesn't mean it won't work for someone with different needs.

Flintstone

Offline easyed

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2011, 10:04:36 PM »
"...puzzled by Ozpeter's love of [the Zoom H2]..."

I think it's because of results like this
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=93532.0

The H2 has strengths and weaknesses, like any inexpensive recorder.  Just because a recorder isn't the best fit for your needs doesn't mean it won't work for someone with different needs.

Flintstone

I think what this demonstrates is how important placement of mics and room's acoustics are, point being that placed in the right spot in a good sounding room even inexpensive recorders with serious design flaws (like digital gain) can make very useable recordings.

And yes if you fail do research the pros and cons of different recorders on the market and have already purchased one and you are happy with what it does, then good for you.  For people still researching with intent to buy, please don't buy Zoom!
Beyerdynamic CK-930s > Naiant Tinybox or Littlebox > Sony PCM-M10 or
DPA 4061's > Core Sound Battery Box > Sony PCM-M10 or
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: New Zoom? H2n, has some interesting selecable pattern features
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 07:42:37 PM »
Thanks for digging up that old thread, Flintstone.  I'm staggered how long ago it was posted!  The samples still play.  Listening again just now I think the chief difference between the H2 recording and the "real" recording is a sense of "smoothness" in the latter, but considering the price and size difference between the two rigs, I would still describe the H2 recording as "remarkable".

Quote
I hate ZOOM recorders and am puzzled by Ozpeter's love for them, given how knowledgeable he is. I'm guessing he likes the built in mics for less than critical applications because the only plus I can see on previous ZOOM models is that the built in mics are pretty good.

Indeed it's a matter of "fitness for purpose" and therefore one can't generalise about what is the "best" recorder. 

I guess one could say that hand-holdable recorders have up to four overall uses -

- recording from built in mics (using the device as a 'mic that records')
- recording using external mics connected to the mic input
- recording from a line-level source (mixing board or mic preamp usually)
- recording from a digital source (such as a mic preamp having a digital output)

Of course not all devices are capable of accepting all these input types.

Perhaps the greatest differences between the various models are found in the built in mics.  Then comes the differences in mic inputs (chiefly in the matter of connector types and noise performance), then in line inputs (where IMHO the differences are pretty small compared to the mic and mic input differences) and lastly the digital inputs, where in theory there should be no differences between models.

In theory one could identify a recorder which has overall the best of all these four worlds, but many users are more interested in one aspect than another. 

In my case, I don't have much of a use for non-phantom-powered mic inputs (I have an R-44 and other devices for use with high quality mics), so if the mic input of the H2n turns out to be as noisy as that on the H2, I'm not that fussed.  It would be handy if it turned out to be ok, but for me no more than that.

I would hope that the H2n line input is acceptable because I usually run a backup stereo mix to a second device when using the R-44 or other main recorder, and if the H2n can replace my Sony M-10 in that role, it would be one less device to keep in the cupboard between gigs.

Neither the H2n nor the M-10 have a digital input, so there's no discussion there.

So, for me and for my purposes, the critical thing I'm looking for in a new small recorder is mic quality - in terms of frequency response, noise, and stereo image.  No point for me if the noise level is low and the frequency response is flat and wide if the stereo image is poor.

The stereo image - and variety thereof - obtainable from the H2n should be second to none (but we'll have to wait and see if it lives up to expectations).  Given that it's a surprising number of years since the H2 was released, the frequency response and noise levels should be better in the new model, and in that case I know I'll be pleased.  As I've often said, for me the stereo image obtained from the M10 is very poor, as I should have expected given the choice of mic type and mic placement within the case, which means that I can only use it (personally) as a line input device chiefly as a backup to the R-44.  It's a superb little recorder with a very nice mic input for those who want that, but for me it doesn't cover enough roles to justify its keep (though I might keep it just because it's such a well engineered device!).

I've been professionally recording live acoustic music since 1969 and I hate to think of the amount of gear I've heaved over all those years, not to mention the setting up and the laying of cables in trip-free locations, etc etc.  Often all that effort has been applied to the simple matter of deploying a single stereo pair, which is often all that's required for acoustic performances if correctly located.  The concept of being able to use a 'mic that records' with no need for all the rest of the stuff appeals to me no end, and I'd be delighted if that turns out to be possible before I finally hang up my headphones.  Will the H2n provide that possibility for appropriate occasions?  We'll see...

Which brings us to level setting.  On the H2 there were, really, only two levels although high, medium and low were available.  The setting for low-level audio was demonstrably no better in terms of overall signal to noise ratio than the middle level - using the middle level and applying digital gain in post production gave the same result as using the low level setting without digital gain.  The switch position for high level audio was on the whole appropriate for amplified music which I'm not normally involved with.  So for my purposes the middle setting was "set and forget".

That corresponds to my experience with using a high quality mic pair with a matching preamp.  Over many years of recording I came to realise that there was, for almost all acoustic music recordings, a single correct level which I marked with a red line next to the gain knob, and it was rarely necessary to adjust from there during a soundcheck.  Mic placement tends to look after level differences.  If recording, say, an acoustic guitar recital, the mic is usually placed pretty close.  For a (louder) string quartet the mics are further away, so the level at the mic is not that much different than for the guitar recording.  For a symphony orchestra, you're further away again, so even though it's radically louder than the guitar, the mic placement deals with that, and the preamp setting remains the same.  Obviously there's some exceptions but for the recording I do, gain setting is not much of a big deal, and so the crude gain setting of the H2 (using always the neutral setting of "100" for its digital gain setting) was actually no problem.

I am however slightly suspicious about the gain knob of the new H2n - it's carefully described as "analog-style" which could mean that it's an analog knob controlling digital gain.  Or it could be a conventional analog gain control, or it could be an implementation of digitally-controlled analog gain.  We may be arguing about which it is for months to come - the gain arrangements of the R-44 were similarly puzzling and hard to be sure about.

Obviously when this new recorder arrives I'll report back, though where I stand in the queue I have no idea - it could be in many reviewers' hands long before mine makes it across from the USA to Australia.

Sorry for length...

 

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