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Zoom H2 modification; now with 4 line inputs

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Zoom H2 modification; now with 4 line inputs

Postby Bertoa » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:05 pm

One year ago I bought the Zoom H2 as a tool for recording ambient sound. I like the 4 channel "surround" mode. After splitting the 2 stereo files I import the 4 WAV's in Apple Soundtrack Pro and in the "real surround mode" I mix all to an AC3 File.
Lately I was working with 2 softsynth's. I could monitor them on the 4 channels of my audio interface, but recording was impossible. Looking at the zoom H2; it is possible to record with the 4 build-in microphones on 4 tracks but not via a line input. So I wanted to experiment with my H2 to get that job done. I bought for 10 euro parts in the local electronic parts shop and started the modification.
After all it is possible (I don't say easy) and it was successfull. The microphones are working as usual; the line inputs are doing the job well. I made a movie of the modification:

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. When you don't succeed, you can always go back to the original state of the device. 6 holes in the back is all you have to cover up. By the way; you can keep the RCA plugs on the back. You can connect them to the stereo line in- and output of the H2.
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Good one!

Postby Jeraldo » Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:22 pm

Thanks for this. A fun hack. The H2 is something I've always wanted to play with. You're the first person I've met who has really exploited the multi mic possibilities. I was once at an organ concert, and someone who I met there was informally recording the concert. He wanted my guess about where to put the thing. He sent me the uncompressed recording via CDR. Recording was made using just two mic's. The recording was much better than it should have been.

I don't have the H2, but I've thought about getting it.

PS Liked your video!

PSS You're in NL? If so, where about? I didn't check your profile or anything. I don't have one...
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Re: Good one!

Postby Bertoa » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:25 pm

He Jeraldo, thanks for your comment. This is only the beginning of an open source hardware hackers dream on the Zoom H2. I work now
on the version3 modification video that will be soon published on Vimeo and You Tube.Search for > Zoom H2 modification.
Besides an optimalisation in reducing unwanted signals (the line inputs have to be as clean as possible!) I have a surprice.
Version2 on you tube brings in a tantalium capacitor of 3,3 mF 35V to keep a DC component from the line input therefore from the source.
I post on several fora and hope to help many audiophile's to uncover the hidden potentialities of this device. Keep in touch with this thread!
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Re: Zoom H2 modification; now with 4 line inputs

Postby ghellquist » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:58 pm

Really like the idea.
Builds - ie things that could be made different, not necessarily better.

o use a multipole contact. Maybe only one small contact instead of four.
- more expensive
- might need a pigtail
- a bit more difficult soldering
+ fewer holes and maybe neeter result

o use a contact with built-in switch. Contact plugged in = use line, otherwise use mic.
- more expensive
- less choice of contacts (few have the switching needed)
+ no need for the switch

o use small switch, guess they could be found
- more expensive
+ better looking result (hmm, tastes do differ)

Real nice reading. Almost has made me go out and by a H2 just for the fun.

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