Zoom ZH4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Pinned on June 17, 2013 at 15:55 by Keith Daniels

Zoom ZH4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Zoom ZH4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Zoom H4n is the most sophisticated portable handheld recorder with new features and improved user experience at every level. Among its many new features, Zoom’s H4n offers superior, built-in X/Y stereo condenser mics that allow variable recording patterns at either 90° or 120°. Higher quality audio capture through its new, digitally controlled, high-quality mic preamp, the ability to use internal and external mics simultaneously for 4 channel recording, a large LCD screen,more intuitive interface and onboard reference speaker will take the user’s recording experience to the next level. The H4n’s onboard X/Y stereo condenser mics are arranged with the right and left mics on the same axis. This design ensures that the mics are always equidistant from the sound source for perfect localization with no phase shifting. Frequency response remains uniform throughout your recording. The result is great stereo recording with natural depth and accurate imaging every time. The mics also adjust for variable recording patterns at either 90° or 120°. Our unique design lets you rotate each mic capsule from 90° (standard) to 120° (wide-angle) stereo for the ultimate versatility in any recording situation. Everyone knows that proper miking is essential to making a great recording. The H4n is the only handheld recorder that allows you to record on four channels simultaneously by using its onboard mics with either external mics or direct inputs. You can then use its built-in mixer to blend the channels for perfectly balanced recordings. Now your recordings can be richer than ever before. Or, to get a great recording of a live performance, use the H4n’s onboard mics to get a room mix while simultaneously recording a stereo mix from the mixing board for a live recording that is easily one of the best you’ve ever heard.

Zoom ZH4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder Features

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Zoom ZH4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

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Oresti Tsonopoulos says:

Kodak Zi8 + Zoom H4n Audio Test + Review After having done a quick video test for the Kodak Zi8, I decided to do something which would focus more on its audio recording capabilities. I also wanted to test the Zoom H4n, a portable flash recorded I recently purchased… so, here I am, killing two birds with one stone.I setup the Kodak Zi8 about 5 feet from the sound source, which is an upright piano… that’s me noodling on it. The Zi8 is mounted on a tripod.About 15 feet away from the piano, I’ve setup the Zoom H4n recorder. This unit has an XY stereo microphone built into it. It also has the ability to record two inputs, in the form of XLR or 1/4-inch. So, we’ll be hearing the built in XY microphone on the unit as well as a pair of AKG 414s which I positioned above the piano, pointing into the open lid.”Kodak Zi8 Internal Microphone”Here we hear the internal microphone on the Zi8. Mono, a bit noisy and perhaps a little too close to the piano to capture a clean sound. In any case, this does the trick for capturing an idea, but definitely doesn’t cut it if you’re looking for high-quality audio.”Zoom H4n XY Microphone”Here the stereo image opens up suddenly. This XY microphone which is built into the unit is capturing a very natural, coincident stereo sound. It’s a very reflective room, so you hear that, as the microphone is about 15 feet from the sound source.”Zoom H4n Pair AKG 414s”Here we’re hearing the pair of AKG 414 microphones pointing into the piano. Because the microphones are very close to the sound source, there is significantly less “room” sound. This would be more suitable for a studio recording, while the XY sound would be more appropriate in perhaps a classical or field recording.”Zoom H4n Mix of XY + 414s”Here we have the best of both worlds. We have a blend of the direct signal from the 414s AND some of the room sound from the XY microphone. I believe this is the best overall option in most scenarios.Finally we return to the Zi8 internal microphone to hear the major difference when using external audio equipment. At under $200, I believe the Zi8 does a great job capturing the visual and at under $300, the Zoom H4n does a remarkable job with the audio.[…]

J. Doubek says:

Impressive with minor flaws In looking for a portable handheld recorder for scratch tracks and samples, I weighed the benefits of a few of the handhelds available today and settled on the H4n. The other recorders on my short list were the Edirol R-09 and Sony PCM-D50, and also the H4. So far the H4n hasn’t disappointed.I settled on the Zoom H4n for a couple of reasons:1) 1/4″ and XLR inputs with phantom power – Very handy for throwing a mic on a kick and snare, and the H4n will record those plus the internal condensor simultaneously, which is perfect to get the rest of the drum kit for some quick loop scratch tracks.2) More geeked out features than the others – They are not needed but still fun to have. The H4n is like the Leatherman of handheld pocket recorders with plenty of built in effects (which sound really good btw), built in 4 track recorder mode, tuners and metronome, playback speed control, MP3 encoder, acts as USB audio interface (both input and output), built in monitor speaker, and more. I also like the little things I’m still discovering, like when I put Ni-MH batteries in and then plugin in the adapter it recharges the batteries.3) Build – I like the build quality compared to the H4 – Not as nice as the Sony but the thing does feel solid and substantial in your hand. The built in mics are a little exposed without a wire cage on the top like others have, it would probably not be a good thing to drop this unit and have the mics hit first.4) Cost – This recorder was midrange even with it being brand new. It’s less than the Sony and more than the H4 or R-09. I suspect the price will come down a bit when it’s been out for a couple months down to where the R-09 is now. For what it has built in it’s amazing to be it’s as inexpensive as it is.5) Sound quality – The H4n sounds clean. I believe turning on the built in compressor, or boosting a really weak input signal with a lot of input gain could cause hiss, but for the most part I don’t notice any. Usually the noise floor is so low on what I’ve recorded that it is not audible. Some different mics and setups might have different results, time will tell.6) Menu and button layout – I really like the way they set this unit up. Very easy to navigate and record with, and does what I want quickly with only a few caveats mentioned below.7) SD card format – SD cards are cheap and readily available. I don’t care so much for the memory sticks the Sony uses.Now the downsides, maybe all these handheld recorders suffer from similar issues but I’m going to give my first impressions never having used one before and the H4n is the best I have to compare with:1) Menu system – While easy to navigate, still feels like it could use refining through a firmware update. It feels like it wasn’t finished when the product shipped. The fonts look a little like a 5 year old put them together, Zoom could have done better with the screen they put in the H4n. A lot of products like this are rushed to market to meet revenue goals, so hopefully they will get time to take another look at the firmware and make UI improvements. Also the firmware is trying to be a little too fancy with the menus. There is a little expanding box effect that happens when you open a menu, but it ends up just looking like screen artifacts when changing the menus. It would have been better to immediately jump to the menu, it would be faster and would look better.2) File naming (another UI complaint) – I really wish the firmware gave you the ability to delete a character in a file name. The filename can be edited, but characters can only be added or changed, not deleted. If you use divide alot, the name gets larger and larger but cannot be made smaller. This is a bit annoying when combined with the divide implementation….3) No divide while recording – there is no divide while recording that I could find. It seems like it would have been very easy to make one of the unused buttons act like a divide when recording. Instead you can set a “mark” (non editabled btw, after one is set it is permament in that wav file). The marks let you easily jump to that point and divide it later, but when it divides the file you end up with an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ tacked on to the filename. Now, imagine recording an entire gig or practice with only marks to use to delimit the songs, and then you have to divide them later with the naming scheme and lack of delete character function I mentioned above. What you end up getting is files named something like ‘STE-001A.wav’, STE-001B.wav’, ‘STE-001BBBBA.wav’, and eventualy ‘STE-001BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBA.wav’ etc and there’s not a lot you can do on the device to fix it since the best you can do is replace the extra characters with spaces so that you end up with a file named something like ‘song blah .wav’ (you can plug it in as a USB interface later and fix all the filenames in the…

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