Zoom H2 digital recorder

December 18, 2008

Wow, what a sweet piece of technological goodness. The Zoom H2 has been reviewed extensively elsewhere, so I’ll just say how it meets my needs. 

It has the best recording quality I’ve heard from a low-end digital recorder (I got mine for $180). I’ve been using the Olympus D-10 for years and have been really happy with it. Then I heard the H2 at a recording session with Lara and Kevin and fell in love. I did a side-by-side comparison recording of Kaia and the sound on the H2 completely blew the D-10 away.

In the Kaia recording, both recorders were on the ground at the center of our semi-circle. The H2 made us sound like we were in a cathedral (I think I need to try a 90 degree recording pattern instead of 120 degree) plus was clear enough to pick up each individual voice. I was stunned and amazed to discover that a few singers were singing the wrong note on a piece we’ve been working on for some time. I listen to all the recordings repeatedly from the D-10 but had never heard this small dissonance. The H2 made it pop right out.

The one thing lacking from the H2 is speakers, no matter how tinny. Instant playback to check levels or even just to ensure you got the start of a piece has to happen through the (included) earbuds or by jacking into an amp. This was a bit tedious in our recording session because Kevin had to keep switching cords; one while we recorded and another for playback.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the amazing things the H2 is capable of, but I look forward to exploring. Check out more info:

CNET’s online review
Portland Music Company website
Where to buy: Sweetwater!

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