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Domenico



Joined: 04/08/06
Posts: 238
Loc: Bristol, UK
Zoom H2 or H4? new
      #498034 - 08/08/07 01:10 AM
Ok, I want to get one of those two but I am a bit confused and have some questions so maybe users of these units could throw a word here:

What about the recording quality of these devices? Is the quality of H4 far superior than the H2 as the price suggests or not?

I know H4 is an audio interface as well. H2 not? Does H4 have ASIO drivers?And how good are they?

I will most likely record voice, guitar and Grand Piano, will they distort on loud signals(like a grand piano maybe?).

H4 still supports 2GB cards whereas H2 which is cheaper supports 4GB cards. Is that correct?

Thank you in advance for any reply. Comments about these devices are welcome!

--------------------
Cubase 5.5 RME UFX, Asus P6T, 12Gb Corsair Ram, Intel i7930, Powercore Firewire, Asus 9400GT Silent


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Tim.



Joined: 14/11/02
Posts: 2458
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #498053 - 08/08/07 05:21 AM
I can’t answer most of your questions because I’ve not compared the H2 with the H4. Because the H4 only works in 16bit/44.1kHz mode when used as a USB audio interface, I wouldn’t use it for that purpose so I didn’t bother testing the drivers. If only they had enabled 24bit…

There are three preset levels and manual control so you should have no problems recording the instruments you mention. I’ve recorded a helicopter at fairly close range (low setting) without distortion.

I haven’t tried but I believe you can get 4GB cards to work in the H4, but I think there is a file size limitation that if you go over, causes problems.

The H4 is a great device, especially when the price is taken into account but it isn’t without its little annoyances:

Bad points
Screen and legends extremely small makes navigation difficult.
Menu system inconsistencies are confusing as you are never quite sure which button to press.
No clock/date setting means all files are dated 16 September 2005, 00:00:00
Screen backlight doesn’t work when connected via USB making legends even harder to see when using the H4 as an audio interface or transferring files.
Only 16bit/44.1kHz when used as USB audio interface.
USB1 makes file transfers slow.
H4 doesn’t fit in supplied carry bag (not that it’s up to much, it’s cheap rubbish)when it has the tripod adapter fitted.
When the tripod adapter is fitted you can’t change batteries or SD card. (I’m seriously thinking of chopping the adapter into three parts, throwing away the Velcro fixings parts and gluing the middle bit to the back of the H4 to remove that annoyance)
Mono MP3 files don’t show up.
Foam windshield loose fitting and easily lost

Good points
Sounds very good
Can record wav and MP3
Can be used as four track recorder (but only at 16bit 44.1kHz)
FX built in (but only when used at 16bit 44.1kHz)
Just over 2 hours of 24bit/44.1kHz recording on a 2GB SD card.
Long battery life - I got 2.5 hours recording with phantom power and headphones on a pair of 2500 rechargeable batteries.
Good for transporting files between different PCs
Mine came with a 512KB SD card (not 128KB as stated on the box)

--------------------
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Rousseau
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Tim.]
      #498089 - 08/08/07 08:33 AM
Quote Tim Rainey:

I can’t answer most of your questions because I’ve not compared the H2 with the H4. Because the H4 only works in 16bit/44.1kHz mode when used as a USB audio interface, I wouldn’t use it for that purpose so I didn’t bother testing the drivers. If only they had enabled 24bit…

There are three preset levels and manual control so you should have no problems recording the instruments you mention. I’ve recorded a helicopter at fairly close range (low setting) without distortion.

I haven’t tried but I believe you can get 4GB cards to work in the H4, but I think there is a file size limitation that if you go over, causes problems.

The H4 is a great device, especially when the price is taken into account but it isn’t without its little annoyances:

Bad points
Screen and legends extremely small makes navigation difficult.
Menu system inconsistencies are confusing as you are never quite sure which button to press.
No clock/date setting means all files are dated 16 September 2005, 00:00:00
Screen backlight doesn’t work when connected via USB making legends even harder to see when using the H4 as an audio interface or transferring files.
Only 16bit/44.1kHz when used as USB audio interface.
USB1 makes file transfers slow.
H4 doesn’t fit in supplied carry bag (not that it’s up to much, it’s cheap rubbish)when it has the tripod adapter fitted.
When the tripod adapter is fitted you can’t change batteries or SD card. (I’m seriously thinking of chopping the adapter into three parts, throwing away the Velcro fixings parts and gluing the middle bit to the back of the H4 to remove that annoyance)
Mono MP3 files don’t show up.
Foam windshield loose fitting and easily lost

Good points
Sounds very good
Can record wav and MP3
Can be used as four track recorder (but only at 16bit 44.1kHz)
FX built in (but only when used at 16bit 44.1kHz)
Just over 2 hours of 24bit/44.1kHz recording on a 2GB SD card.
Long battery life - I got 2.5 hours recording with phantom power and headphones on a pair of 2500 rechargeable batteries.
Good for transporting files between different PCs
Mine came with a 512KB SD card (not 128KB as stated on the box)




I'd also add to the good points list:

Robust and not sensitive to vibrations or high G loading (mine's been in an assortment of racing cars and been flawless)


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 3140
Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #498101 - 08/08/07 08:46 AM
I'd agree with both the good and the bad points raised here for, despite being an owner (and a fan) of the H4.

Whether the bad points bother you enough to outweigh the overall usefulness of an H4 is what you need to figure out.

It does a lot of things (palmtop recorder, digital multitrack with fx, audio interface), and mostly it does them well: so it is *incredibly* useful: but it has its limitations.

For instance, it's fine as an audio interface for me, because I'm just plugging in a guitar, so 24-bit would be overkill. For *me*.

If you don't need the 4 track and FX, or the inputs for external mics and instruments, maybe you should consider the H2.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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Domenico



Joined: 04/08/06
Posts: 238
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #498143 - 08/08/07 09:58 AM
Wow! Thank you very much for the detailed replies!

Actually, the main purpose I would get one of those is to do some field recording or record ideas that come to mind sometimes (and next moment are forgotten). However a secondary reason would be using it as an audio interface for my laptop when my RME isn't at hand.

The most important thing for me at the time is the sound quality. Will the two electret microphones of the H4 perform(or are likely to perform) better than the 4 mics that are built in the H2? I am not likely to connect any instruments or other mics on the device (although this would be welcome), nor am I going to use the FX (the metronome and tuner would be great though) so spending more money for these features would be extra luxury for me. But if the audio quality of H4 is better than the H2,then I would go for H4 all the way.

--------------------
Cubase 5.5 RME UFX, Asus P6T, 12Gb Corsair Ram, Intel i7930, Powercore Firewire, Asus 9400GT Silent


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Richard Graham



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Posts: 3140
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #498174 - 08/08/07 11:06 AM
If you want an audio interface with instrument inputs, the H4 is the way to go. Otherwise, I think the H2 supports one single external powered mic.

The H2 does M/S recording (whereas the H4 doesn't), though why anyone would want a high quality recording of Marks and Spencers is beyond me.

Also, beware if you a planning to use the H4 using battery power to record very quiet sources. There is a bit of pre-amp noise but more annoyingly, a very faint beeping noise.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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Domenico



Joined: 04/08/06
Posts: 238
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Richard Graham]
      #498196 - 08/08/07 12:07 PM
Quote Richard Graham:



Also, beware if you a planning to use the H4 using battery power to record very quiet sources. There is a bit of pre-amp noise but more annoyingly, a very faint beeping noise.




Beeping noise??? Is it a fault by design?

--------------------
Cubase 5.5 RME UFX, Asus P6T, 12Gb Corsair Ram, Intel i7930, Powercore Firewire, Asus 9400GT Silent


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Tim.



Joined: 14/11/02
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Richard Graham]
      #498197 - 08/08/07 12:08 PM
Quote Richard Graham:

Also, beware if you a planning to use the H4 using battery power to record very quiet sources. There is a bit of pre-amp noise but more annoyingly, a very faint beeping noise.




I was aware of reports of the faint beeping sound before I bought my H4. Since there are well publicised ways around the ‘problem’ I wasn’t bothered about it; I was either going to open the unit and solder new caps in place or use an external 9v battery when using it away from the mains.

Since getting the H4 though, I’ve recorded in a silent situation at full 127 gain on batteries and mains and the noise was so low in volume as to be of no significance at all. Those tests led me to the conclusion that Zoom must have made changes to the latest models.

--------------------
Studio: www.kymatasound.com


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Domenico



Joined: 04/08/06
Posts: 238
Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #498203 - 08/08/07 12:22 PM
As far as I can see H2 also has USB2.0 port.Whatsmore it also sports a time stamp function.

So I guess it all comes down to the microphones. Does anyone have a clue if the H4's ones will be superior to the H2's?

--------------------
Cubase 5.5 RME UFX, Asus P6T, 12Gb Corsair Ram, Intel i7930, Powercore Firewire, Asus 9400GT Silent


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 3140
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #498216 - 08/08/07 12:41 PM
As for the mics, I doubt if the H4s are better than the H2s. If you are just in the market for a handheld recorder, I'd buy the H2, because that is really what it was designed to be. Whereas the H4 is much more a 'jack of all trades', or as I said in my original review (on these pages) the 'Swiss Army Knife' of recording devices.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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analoghell
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Richard Graham]
      #507695 - 23/08/07 10:32 PM
FYI the H2 has exactly the same mic capsules as the H4.

I'd also imagine the pre-amp design used is the same or very very similar.

Note also that Zoom have change the design - it is *not* the 3 capsule Mid-Side design as originally stated, but a quad capsule XY front & rear design.

The timestamp feature is hugely welcome on the H2!


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Scramble
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #507838 - 24/08/07 09:24 AM
Be aware that the quality of recordings on an H4 (esp. using the in-built mics) will be pretty low. Fine for recording ideas when you're away from your studio, but I wouldn't use one for anything serious. (Haven't used an H2, but I expect the same applies).


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analoghell
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Scramble]
      #510634 - 29/08/07 11:32 PM
Actually the H4 mics are quite impressive for their price. They are more than capable of adequately capturing all but the quietest of detailed sounds - even then it is the mic amps that fail the H4 rather than the mics themselves.

As long as you're happy with an X/Y configuration rather than M/S then the H4 is a winner. Clearly nobody would make an album with an H4 but i've had no problem importing field recorded material into Protools for production use.

It's really a very impressive little package.

Though now i've finally got my hands on an H2, my H4 is heading for the 'bay. The H2 is just as good but way more compact (truly pocket sized).

ac


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AntiLuddites



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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: analoghell]
      #510734 - 30/08/07 08:40 AM
Wooo, someone's finally got an H2.

I notice that the H2 is not mentioned on the zoom web site.

The H2 has no phantom power.
The H2 has only unbalanced line in via a 3.5mm stereo jack.

The H4 has two phantom powered combo XLR + 1/4" input jacks.

--------------------
With a boom-a-lacka, zoom-a-lacka, wee.


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bentropy
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: AntiLuddites]
      #511314 - 31/08/07 12:54 AM
One thing that turned me away from the H4 were the reports of the poor interface, specifically the recording level adjustment being buried a couple menu levels down. Blech! I know from minidisk and recording in general, this is the most important control in getting good recordings, especially in digital format (notoriously unforgiving compared to tape). The H2 is said to be much better designed, and there are dedicated record level adjust buttons right on the front panel, as well as the 'coarse' H/M/L button on the side. Yay.

No, it doesn't do multitracking, no efx or mic modeling. No phantom power, nor XLR or balanced 1/4" i/o, just 1/8" mini, but from what I'm hearing 4 very usable mics. These enable a variety of pick-up patters, including 360 deg recording, which you can then convert to 5.1. Seems better to live without the stuff it lacks for it to do its principle task very well (portable recorder!) with a simple U/I, and under $200. You can always get an external phantom power source if you need to use fancier condensers.

BTW, some users of the H2 are reporting the ability to use larger-than-specified 8GB cards with success.

My hope is that they sorted out a lot of the issues that kept the H4 from being the obvious choice over the competing Microtrack or Edirol R9. Hopefully along with the improved and simplified interface, the bugs plaguing the H4 (like the beeping) have been fixed. Preliminary reports are encouraging. Almost ready to order one.

here are other discussions I've been following:
http://createdigitalmusic.com/2007/07/24/zoom-h2-portable-flash-recorder-c oming-soon-mic-design-delay
http://createdigitalmusic.com/2007/01/26/namm-zooms-199-usb-h2-mobile-micr ecorder-found-in-the-wild/
http://www.oreillynet.com/digitalmedia/blog/2007/04/zoom_h2_digital_record er_detai.html


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bentropy
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #511318 - 31/08/07 01:20 AM
Update: Manual now available as PDF from Samson's (Zooms parent) site, at bottom of page.
http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1916&brandID=4#s ervsupport


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Doublehelix



Joined: 04/12/02
Posts: 4162
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #511535 - 31/08/07 01:34 PM
I see a lot of talk around about the Zoom unit, but has anyone had a chance to look at the Edirol unit? I don't mean to hijack the thread, but it looks like the Edirol unit can use the HD chips (32GB) rather than the standard 2 GB chips and also does the 24/96 thingie...

I am pretty sure it was reviewed in SOS... I need to go search for the review.

--------------------
James
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" ~Napoleon Bonaparte~


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ConcertinaChap



Joined: 20/07/05
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #517601 - 12/09/07 02:33 PM
I've got an R9. There's been a recent update to the O/S that allows it to use SDHC cards. I guess that won't be in the review.

The power switch fell out of my R9 and I have to use a ballpoint to turn it on and off, also the red recording light is a bit obtrusive, but otherwise I can't fault it, it's a brilliant bit of kit. Can't say how it compares with the Zooms, but the price on the H2 looks very good, I have to say.

Chris

--------------------
Remember: Tidy wires are happy wires!
Mr Punch's Studio


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #517693 - 12/09/07 04:07 PM
There are a couple of people on this thread criticising the H4 without having used one, based (apparently) only on what they've read in reviews.

On the subject of sound quality, it is actually really good: admittedly not pro-standard, but far from poor. The internal mics are fine for 'ambient' recording, and when you plug in external mics it takes a step up (depending on the mics!).

The criticism of setting recording levels being long-winded is a fairer one, but only if you don't use the 'auto-level' function, which works very well: it basically sets the level for you, based on the source material, and the level then stays constant.

I still use mine daily, to get my electric guitar into Guitar Rig 2. I also still use it for band rehearsals.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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Robin Lemaire
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Richard Graham]
      #517725 - 12/09/07 04:35 PM
I'd be very interested to know how the H4 copes with serious volume levels. I'm looking at one to roughly record my loud band. Are they ok at gig levels (and above)?


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
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Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Robin Lemaire]
      #518057 - 13/09/07 09:30 AM
If you use the supplied external power-supply, it's totally fine: I use mine to record full-tilt metal band rehearsals. Otherwise, no, it just distorts, presumably because the batteries can't supply enough juice to the mic pre-amps (this is with 1.25V rechargeables, it might improve a bit if you use 1.5V non-rechargeable AAs instead).

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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Robin Lemaire
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Richard Graham]
      #518346 - 13/09/07 05:22 PM
ta. I'm dropping hints to the other half as my birthday is coming up soon!


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MikeRivers



Joined: 13/09/07
Posts: 3
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: ConcertinaChap]
      #518348 - 13/09/07 05:25 PM
Quote ConcertinaChap:

I've got an R9. There's been a recent update to the O/S that allows it to use SDHC cards.

the red recording light is a bit obtrusive



The latest update allows you to turn off the Recording light. It's a "power save" mode.


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Darclinc



Joined: 04/08/03
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: MikeRivers]
      #518696 - 14/09/07 08:47 AM
I have a quick question :

I have a pair of OKM Binaural Mics ( reasonably nice ones too ), and I have been looking for a replacement for my Sony minidisc as a mobile recorder. Therefore the H2 looks like a good replacement, but I've read that a few people are having trouble with the apparently uber sensitive line inputs ( distortion etc. ), which is obviously where I'll be sticking the OKM's and primarily what I'll be using this unit for.

Can anyone comment on this please ? I would hate to buy this unit and have to find it lacking in this capacity.

Thanks,

D.

--------------------
www.thirdfloormusic.com


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ChrisCarter
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? [Re: Domenico]
      #519554 - 16/09/07 08:13 AM
There's a very good in-depth review of the Zoom H2 HERE.

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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #520026 - 17/09/07 02:36 PM
Quick question for anyone out there who uses the H4 as an ASIO audio interface. What's your minimum latency, and on what spec machine? I'm getting 16mS: just long enough to be noticable when I play through Guitar Rig. I'd like to get it less, but I don't know whether the minimum latency is imposed by the H4 or by my PC (Athlon XP 2100 512MB Ram).

I won't upgrade the PC if the limiting factor is the H4.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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ConcertinaChap



Joined: 20/07/05
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: MikeRivers]
      #522580 - 22/09/07 03:13 PM
Quote MikeRivers:

The latest update allows you to turn off the Recording light. It's a "power save" mode.



I didn't know that. Whoopee!

Thanks,

Chris

--------------------
Remember: Tidy wires are happy wires!
Mr Punch's Studio


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Phillip



Joined: 20/11/06
Posts: 15
Loc: Washago, Ontario
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Darclinc]
      #525212 - 27/09/07 09:50 PM
Quote Darclinc:

I have a quick question :

I have a pair of OKM Binaural Mics ( reasonably nice ones too ), and I have been looking for a replacement for my Sony minidisc as a mobile recorder. Therefore the H2 looks like a good replacement, but I've read that a few people are having trouble with the apparently uber sensitive line inputs ( distortion etc. ), which is obviously where I'll be sticking the OKM's and primarily what I'll be using this unit for.

Can anyone comment on this please ? I would hate to buy this unit and have to find it lacking in this capacity.

Thanks,

D.




Hello,

I have an H4 and recently purchased an H2 as well to see if it's the keeper or not.

I have a pair of home-made binaurals that use plug-in power (which the H2 provides at the mic input) and the result in testing these was disappointing: very noisy and very low level.

The analog level control is still only a 3-position switch. The continuous volume controls on the front are for digital levels only.

I would like to use the line-in instead of the mic input, but I would need a preamp for that. I am intrigued by your OKM Binaural Mics which you plan to stick in the H2 line input. Do they have their own preamp?

By the way, there is NO level control for the line input on the H2 --- another reason why a preamp with volume control would be necessary.

I think the H4 has the edge on the H2 in recording quality, but I still haven't done a real A-B recording shoot-out with them.


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: ConcertinaChap]
      #525276 - 28/09/07 12:55 AM
Quote ConcertinaChap:

Quote MikeRivers:

The latest update allows you to turn off the Recording light. It's a "power save" mode.



I didn't know that. Whoopee!

Thanks,

Chris




Does that mean the (very) low-level intermittent whistling noise on very quiet recordings is also a thing of the past? (its related to the light apparently)

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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Darclinc



Joined: 04/08/03
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Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Phillip]
      #525330 - 28/09/07 08:07 AM
Quote Phillip:

Quote Darclinc:

I have a quick question :

I have a pair of OKM Binaural Mics ( reasonably nice ones too ), and I have been looking for a replacement for my Sony minidisc as a mobile recorder. Therefore the H2 looks like a good replacement, but I've read that a few people are having trouble with the apparently uber sensitive line inputs ( distortion etc. ), which is obviously where I'll be sticking the OKM's and primarily what I'll be using this unit for.

Can anyone comment on this please ? I would hate to buy this unit and have to find it lacking in this capacity.

Thanks,

D.




Hello,

I have an H4 and recently purchased an H2 as well to see if it's the keeper or not.

I have a pair of home-made binaurals that use plug-in power (which the H2 provides at the mic input) and the result in testing these was disappointing: very noisy and very low level.

The analog level control is still only a 3-position switch. The continuous volume controls on the front are for digital levels only.

I would like to use the line-in instead of the mic input, but I would need a preamp for that. I am intrigued by your OKM Binaural Mics which you plan to stick in the H2 line input. Do they have their own preamp?

By the way, there is NO level control for the line input on the H2 --- another reason why a preamp with volume control would be necessary.

I think the H4 has the edge on the H2 in recording quality, but I still haven't done a real A-B recording shoot-out with them.




Hi Phillip,

Thanks for the detailed post but I ended up buying the Fostex FR2-LE instead, which is due to arrive today / monday ! Thought it better to get this unit based on the mountains of favorable reviews I read. Very excited.

The OKM's do have a small and basic preamp, but no volume control, it's simply a battery pack with attenuation / pad switch that amplifies the signal ( dunno how well ).

Find out more here :

http://www.dacs-audio.com/Distribution/Soundman/soundman_main.htm

Also, the good people at DACS have created a phantom power converter for the OKM's specifically, so you can whack them into normal 48v preamps, with better results :

http://www.dacs-audio.com/Distribution/DACS/ppa_main.htm

Getting one of those too !

Best,

D.

--------------------
www.thirdfloormusic.com


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3832
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #592826 - 18/03/08 10:46 PM
Thought I'd blow the dust off this thread and chip in with my experiences and a specific question.

I've had an H2 for about six months now and have the following observations in addition to what's already been said here:

1) The external mic input is not very good. Despite using a good omni mic for interviews, I've now abandoned using an external mic and use the H2's internal mics - all 4 mixed to 2-channel mono-mode - with the H2 on its supplied handle for interviews. Much better quality and perfectly OK for broadcast.

2) Despite what the manual says, you can adjust the line-level input when recording. You use the level up/down controls in exactly the same way that you would when adjusting mic levels. You can even do very nice fades that way too!

Now my question:

I was using the H2 at the weekend connected to a good-quality mixer for a location recording for radio. I was very careful about setting levels so that 0VU on the mixer was -6db on the H2 meter. I very occasionally lit up the +3 light on the mixer meter, but no more. This should have still left me another 3dbs before hitting zero on the H2. I definitely did not have the AGC/Limiter/Compressor activated on the H2, but when I've loaded the sound into my computer for editing and processing it's clear that some form of brick-wall limiting has taken place on the signal at levels well below 0VU. The recording is still usable, but it's left me wondering how this happened. Has anyone else experienced this? My tests to try and find the cause continue!

It's still a great little device and I'm please with it - still trying to sort the "features" though!


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Checkonetwo



Joined: 29/07/07
Posts: 53
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Domenico]
      #592991 - 19/03/08 01:14 PM
I can live with the level setting issue, it's a 2 stage
design.

Switches L/M/H on the side of the device and then in software which is slightly convoluted to get to.

The H4 compared with the FR2LE (I can do a direct comparison) is a little harsher, which probably reflects in the electronics and the A/D and D/A conversion.

One other niggle, is that the headphone output level on the H4 is pretty hopeless in any loud environments, almost useless other than to check a signal is there , it's a useful stereo back up device. It seems to take +4dBu signals well enough, though I tend to peak levels at -12dBFS leaving some headroom.

I thionk it's a very good little device for the money and you have to spend quite a bit more to get anything better.

With a set of 30dB in line pads you can even get balanced line inputs through the mic pre's which is what I do sometimes. (the line in on jacks, is not balanced)

Hope that helps too !


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 3140
Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Zoom H2 or H4? new [Re: Checkonetwo]
      #593017 - 19/03/08 02:34 PM
Good tip for the balanced ins. I find the headphone out plenty loud (and I like things LOUD!), it can even do deafening without distorting, but maybe not will all headphones.

With regard to the H/M/L gain settings, I think I read somewhere that the 2nd stage gain (the software-controlled gain, accessed via the menu) was post A/D converter: can anyone confirm or deny this? And if so, what is the setting I want for 'unity gain', ie to allow the outputs of the A/D converter to be passed through un-scaled?

Since Hugh's digital article I tend not to worry about squeezing as much gain as possible out of my H4 when recording. I'm happy to record at whatever setting gives me loads of headroom, knowing that the worst side-effect I can expect is a little additional noise.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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