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Zoom H5 or........

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Zoom H5 or........

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon May 03, 2021 11:12 am

Have a slightly odd application whereby I need to send a stereo XLR handheld recorder along with a couple of Sennheiser MKH8050s to someone who is undertaking field interviews. Because it’ll be on and off for a few months, I don’t want to send down a MixPre as inevitably it’ll clash with another project.

Preamp noise wouldn’t be a problem. Ease of operation would be important.

I’m thinking a Zoom H5 but happy to hear of any other suggestions.......

Ta!

Bob
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 03, 2021 11:21 am

An H4 is cheaper but only allows multi-tracking at 16bit.
Other thing to bear in mind is that an H4/5 providing phantom power to two mics absolutely eats batteries. Not sure if you're "field interviews" will be indoors or actually out and about, but if the former then make sure to get a mains adaptor as well.
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby shufflebeat » Mon May 03, 2021 12:12 pm

Looks like the H5 takes 5vDC via USB, would a chunky power bank be appropriate?


Slight OT:
#2 brought a solar powered one back from sunny China a while back and I've been keen to find a niche for it. The Rockboard 9v battery (5v in) looks like the winner.
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby The Elf » Mon May 03, 2021 12:17 pm

A Zoom H4/5 would be my choice for size and flexibility combined with decent quality, but if quality and flexibility can take a back seat then something like an Olympus LS-P1 (or whatever the current model is) might be worth considering. I managed to get one from a charity shop recently and I've been pleasantly surprised how useful it's been.

And if anyone can tell me what the difference between the P1 and P4 are I'd appreciate it - I can't see any!
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 03, 2021 12:37 pm

I've just reviewed the Zoom F6. It's an astonishingly good little recorder that is about as idiot proof as as anything I've ever used.

Minimal controls, and floating point recording format mean its pretty hard to come back with something unusable. Six preamps are very good quality -- not quite MixPre Kashmirs, but not far off.

Very compact, and remarkably frugal on the power consumption. Can be powered from a Sony L brick or a USB powerbank, and even the internal AA batteries last a surprisingly long time.

And it can serve as a 6-track backup recorder to your mainstay MixPres...

... Obviously more expensive than an H4 or H5, but no bigger, better sound quality, easier to use, and has a valuable role after your field interviews.
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby The Elf » Mon May 03, 2021 12:48 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I've just reviewed the Zoom F6. It's an astonishingly good little recorder that is about as idiot proof as as anything I've ever used.
A crying shame those inputs aren't XLR/jack, mic/line combos. :cry:
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby Wonks » Mon May 03, 2021 1:03 pm

The Elf wrote:A crying shame those inputs aren't XLR/jack, mic/line combos. :cry:

Those combi connectors are considerably deeper than straight XLRs, so they'd have to make the recorder significantly bigger to fit 6 of them in. And small seems to be beautiful with these field recorders. It might not bother you, but it obviously bothers the design/marketing people at Zoom.
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 03, 2021 1:13 pm

The Elf wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:I've just reviewed the Zoom F6. It's an astonishingly good little recorder that is about as idiot proof as as anything I've ever used.
A crying shame those inputs aren't XLR/jack, mic/line combos. :cry:

It's designed for location videographers and location sound recordists really, rather than musicians, and the preamps don't have a hi-z mode. Plus, since combo XLRs are bigger internally using them would have resulted in a larger overall package and that would have made it less attractive again for videographers.

As it is, with six full-size XLR sockets and an internal 4xAA caddy, it's difficult to imagine where all the electronics are anyway!

Its a compromise that will inevitably frustrate some, and appeal to others. Personally, I don't have a problem with it for the kinds of applications I'd want to use it on. There are alternative multichannel recorders with TRS hi-Z inputs... But they are all bigger...
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon May 03, 2021 9:03 pm

Thanks folks.

Yes the F6 is tempting alright, but probably beyond budget for the application. I’m also adding the Tascam DR-100MKIII as a possibility as it appears to out perform the Zoom in terms of preamp performance.

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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue May 04, 2021 1:56 am

Those 8050s wouldn't be my first choice for outdoor work unless well protected from wind. How skilled are the people operating the gear?
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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue May 04, 2021 2:31 am

The interviews are indoors.

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Re: Zoom H5 or........

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed May 12, 2021 8:58 pm

And a little feedback.......

I settled on the Tascam DR-100mkiii and was partly influenced by this EIN comparison report: http://www.avisoft.com/recorder-tests/

Also it has a dual recording mode (a duplicate file recorded 12dB lower) which is potentially very useful for the said application. I presume this occurs by splitting the signal and attenuating it prior to a second set of converters?

Anyway a solid little unit (metal body) with sensible controls and good metering. The onboard directional mics are workable, but not brilliant, and the XLR preamps seem really rather good. There’s something about it which is reminiscent of the HD-P2 which was a unit I really liked in the day.

The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery is a great feature too for field recording.

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