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Zoom H2 Portable Recorder

Zoom H2 Recorder
Zoom H2 Recorder
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Zoom H2 Portable Recorder

Posted on Wed, Aug 29, 2007

First off, I apologize to non-musicians for posting more audio geek stuff. Secondly, I apologize to musicians for telling you about something you're probably going to end up getting sucked into buying. :)

I got a new toy in the mail today. It's the brand new Zoom H2 portable recorder. The Minidisc recorder that I use to tape concerts has been flaky at best over the past year, so I decided to upgrade. I was planning to spend a ton of money for a decent Flash card recorder, but then I read about this being released - for only $199.

It kicks ass. It's one of those rare products that somebody obviously put some thought into designing. Among the coolest features:

The sound quality is surprisingly good! I recorded a guy-and-guitar demo sitting at my kitchen table that had good enough sound to put on a CD. I can see this being my go-to tool for songwriting.

   Discussion: Zoom H2 Portable Recorder
Brad (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
Sweet! Now the only question I have is how to convince my wife to let me buy it... :(
David (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
Very cool, especially for the price.

What do they mean by this on the bottom of the page you link to? "Can not be used as an audio interface." You say it can and I'm inclined to believe you instead of that page...

Any 1/8" mic inputs? How's the battery life?
Josh Woodward Back · 9 years, 3 months ago
Yeah, I saw that on the page, but it definitely can be. Although according to the manual, it can only do 16 bit in interface mode, so that limits any serious use.

It has an 1/8" stereo mic input, including phantom power I believe! The battery life is apparently 4 hours, which I suppose isn't bad given that it's powering up to four condensor mics. I'm probably going to invest in some rechargables.
David (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
Thanks kindly for that. (Does the interface mode to ASIO low latency operation, or is that being too greedy? Would be a nice thing to use with a laptop)

Anyway, I think I hear Christmas bells ring ring ringing. If not, I'll be Santa myself.
Josh Woodward Back · 9 years, 3 months ago
I'm not sure about the ASIO. I've never had to get into the geekier aspects of interfaces, since they've mostly Just Worked for me. I doubt there'll be tons of development work in that realm, given the 16-bit limitation, but you never know...
JohnnyLemon (anon) Back · 9 years, 2 months ago
I'm interested in buying one of these and emailed Zoom about the ASIO driver. They are planning to release one, but they didn't give me a specific date.
David (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
I hope you'll post something that came from the machine. I'm curious about the onboard mics and it'd be great to hear how the unit sounds in the hands of someone who knows what he's doing.
Jamie Dull (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
Dude. Sick. 4 condensers eh?

Are you going to use that now to record your Amici gigs?
Josh Woodward Back · 9 years, 3 months ago
Yeah, but probably just from the board. Even with the 414s, a straight board feed usually sounds better. Someone needs to come up with a mod for the unit that lets it record with two of the mics and the line in at once, so I can do a matrix. :)
Jamie Dull (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
Jeremiah (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
Weird - i'm looking for something just like this to make quick one-off demos, etc...just as an appendage to my existing (paper) notebooks.

I think the whole "plug it in and it's a drive" is the win for me...I'd like to be able to take the audio i've recorded and drop it right into my editor.

Thx for this post, Josh.
Michael Gregoire (anon) · 9 years, 3 months ago
Sweet little device.... especially with a price like that!
Izzy (anon) · 9 years, 1 month ago
Just bought one--was told just plug in to usb would work with old windows 98--wrong -book say works with xp--windows xp says i need disc to download & gives danger warning if you continue --anybody had experience with this--appreciate help --Izzy
cafewalter (anon) Back · 9 years ago
Re working with Windows XP, at least if you have a reasonably up to date (SP2) version it should work without any addons. I just plugged my new H2 into the USB port on my computer and it popped right up just as any other USB hard drive would, didn't load any drivers of any sort.

So I'd say, start by getting your Windows XP fully up to date (e.g., Windows Update), and then see if you still have problems.
Rob Salberghi (anon) · 7 years, 11 months ago
I have Windows XP with all necessary updates and my laptop still wont recognize or read my Zoom H2. Says USB storage device then says it will require hardware to work....Anyone?
Adam Falk (anon) · 7 years, 10 months ago
Would it be possible to create drivers for USB connection to Windows Mobile, Symbian S60 etc. mobile devices/phones. People on the internet are doing the strangest things, like dissassembling headsets to connect external microphones to their smartphones (for video, diary´s field capturing in general....- not happy whith the built in mics like the ones in my SonyEricsson X1 Xperia - and not happy carrying around an extra videocamera when the ones in their phones are so competent) A driver for usb-usb (like the ones working whith Mac OSX/Windows Vista would be a nice) All the advanced new phones have stereo 44kHz/16 (and often more) so it´s a waste the built in mics are so weak. Any Thoughts?

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