Zoom H4 Handy Recorder

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alex Yates, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. DubbaCTrumpetMSU

    DubbaCTrumpetMSU Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 29, 2006
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Another good recorder..I was trying to decide between the two, but then Alex posted the 299 price...and I'm definitely going to try and get one of the Zoom H4's.
  2. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    So far I've had mixed results with the unit:

    *Early results... of course subject to change*

    1. It's really easy to use!
    2. It's small, lightweight and almost cut fit in your pocket!
    3. I like that you can instantly record into mp3.
    4. You can use external mics in this unit
    5. It can even function as an USB interface for computer recording.
    6. Switching between recording formats is easy.


    1. Sound quality isn't really up to what I'm looking for. I think initially at least my mini disc recorder has better quality. BUT>>>>> this is just after my first test. I bet with a little "tweaking" I can get a much better mix.

    2. External mic "noise" and hiss is pretty noticeable. I bet that can be solved however with me going through my preamps.

    Trust me, the cons are big if that is a permanent case. Quite honesty I doubt that is the case and that my recordings will improve with this unit. While it might not be as clean as my Fostex unit I bet this will be great for recording students and lessons in the future.

    I'll be sure to keep everyone updated. By the way, the site Alex referred me to was REALLY great. I ordered the unit and had it in three days later with free shipping (it does pay to be on the east coast I guess).



    PS: I'm putting my Fostex on ebay tonight... get it now if you'd like! ;) I'm switching over to laptop recording and that's why the fostex is being sold. It has nothing to do with this unit.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  3. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Edirols are great and that seems like a nice unit.

    I am happy with the H4 for my needs for now - mostly practice and reference copies of performances. I also think I can get some nice prints using an external mic if I need to throw a few things onto a CDROM. I am still experimenting to find the "sweet spot" in the learning curve and like Trent, feel I will be able to improve the recorded quality in time. With the price being split into three, it was an easy decision without hurting the post-holiday season pocketbook.

    Thanks for the detailed report Trent!
  4. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
  5. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA

    mp3 128 k

    just a really quick little ditty using the internal mics and set on mp3 recording. no effects have been added to this.. just a raw recorded sound.

    A couple things:

    1. Use the AC adapter to eliminate noise, battery power causes more noise

    2. I also set this on a tripod and sat a few feet away from it.

    I'll post REAL clips later, not me just aimlessly noodling.

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  6. TWEAK

    TWEAK New Friend

    Jan 23, 2005
    anyone who knows me knows i like recording devices...

    i have had my eye on this thing ever since i saw it in jazztimes or downbeat (one or the other i dont remember which) magazine a few months ago...
  7. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    That stinks that it runs loud on the battery. The whole reason why I would want that is to run it on the battery
  8. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It depends on your definition of loud. for "practical" purposes it's probably fine...

    for "recording" purposes and future mixing purposes I'd think the noise would be too much.

    it's still early in my analysis though... I'll keep working on it.
  9. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    I always kept my external mic away from my old mini disc so it wouldn't pick up the sounds of the machine. But I don't understand why switching to battery on this zoom would make it louder. I'm not saying it doesn't. but I don't get it
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  10. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    A couple thoughts/questions:

    First, the thoughts. One of the teachers at the jazz festival I hosted this weekend had one, and recorded some of the dress rehearsal and then the concert. The rehearsal clip he played sounded pretty darn good. (Caveat: the pretty darn good is for laptop speakers). He was using batteries, tripod mounted, in the middle of the auditorium. I was really impressed with the versatility of this little thing. I'm interested to hear the concert recording. I considering one for school to record lessons and rehearsals. I currently use a laptop and Audition for that and my practice sessions. For portability, it certainly beats carrying a laptop bag and setting up additional stuff in your practice area.

    Questions: can the noise be eliminated after the fact? Say, after you record, you dump it into your computer, open your recording program, and create a noise reduction profile for it, then apply it?

    I understand it comes with Cubase SE, but the teacher that used it had not so nice things to say about Cubase. And the 2 GB card...that seems to be a must.

    Alex...how'd it do for you this weekend?

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