ZOOM TECHNOLOGIES > H4 Handy Recorder

The H4 from ZOOM is such a cool pocket recorder. It has all of the features that are needed to travel, write, demo and transfer. Listed below are a zillion functions found on the H4. Some are completely useful, some are candy and others might be overzealous. Either way, with the ZOOM H4, you can achieve accurate field recordings that can be brought back into any studio.

List Price: $299.00
Website: ZOOM

The H4 from ZOOM is such a cool pocket recorder. It has all of the features that are needed to travel, write, demo and transfer. Listed below are a zillion functions found on the H4. Some are completely useful, some are candy and others might be overzealous. Either way, with the ZOOM H4, you can achieve accurate field recordings that can be brought back into any studio.

First, lets talk about the most obvious feature-the stereo mics. Stereo recording is often accomplished by using two microphones in a V-shaped set up that faces the performer. While this method will result in good stereo separation, responsiveness for the area directly in front of the mics will be low, causing problems with depth perception and imaging. The ZOOM H4 uses an X/Y configuration where the two microphones point inward at a crossing angle, allowing the recorder to cover a wide area, and at the same time capture sound sources in the center with perfect clarity and definition. Phase differences between left and right channels are also eliminated because sound is picked up simultaneously by both microphones.

If MP3 transferring is a logistical nightmare, then why not record in the format from the get go? The H4 allows 24-bit/96 kHz linear PCM recording in WAV format, resulting in excellent transparency and definition that exceeds the sound quality of CDs. This is great for capturing the nuances of an acoustic instrument while preserving the ambience of the recording location.

Another safety harness for media storage is that the H4 records on Secure Digital (SD) Media cards. These widely available cards boast an amazing amount of recording time in a small package. And unlike tape or disc media, mechanical vibrations do not affect recording quality.

While having high quality built in mics is sweet, The H4 also wields two phantom powered XLR-1/4″ input jacks that support direct connection of external microphones. You can also use the H4’s Hi-Z rated phone inputs for direct connection of guitars, bass or any other line-input device.

The H4 allows simultaneous recording on two tracks and simultaneous playback on four tracks. Level and panning can be adjusted for each track individually. Punch-in recording and track bouncing make editing a breeze. Other features include a versatile tuner for guitar and bass, a metronome for use as a rhythm guide and A/B repeat capability.

For the knobby twiddlers, ZOOM has included what is now a standard for all recording systems-famous microphone and amp modelers. The integrated DSP effects processor with 32-bit architecture employs the latest modeling technology to replicate the most famous guitar, bass and microphone sounds. They’ve also included a compressor/limiter to prevent input signal overload, Zoom Noise Reduction (ZNR) and other studio quality effects such as chorus, flanger, phaser, delay and reverb. The effect memory of the H4 accommodates 60 patches, and 50 presets are already programmed for applications such as direct recording of guitar and bass, as well as mic recording of vocals and acoustic guitar.

Last but not least, the Handy Recorder offers easy-to-use audio interface and drag-and-drop file transfer. The H4 also will function as a direct audio interface for your computer. When connected via USB, the H4 comes bundled with Cubase LE from Steinberg so you can start to produce and edit music right away. Thanks to the direct hardware monitoring function, there is no latency problem.

When the H4 is connected to a computer it also functions as an SD card reader. This allows you to drag and drop audio files to your computer like you would pictures from a digital camera. Create a media player sound library, tailor a recording with a waveform editor, then mix and master with a DAW. Then create your own CDs, send files by e-mail or use them for podcasting. The possibilities are endless. The H4 will even function as a portable MP3 player.

This might be a new standard until the old standard gets upgraded. The ZOOM H4 Handy Recorder will certainly do its job for a long stretch in the short run. Check out www.zoom.co.jp for more products, as well as the long list of additional features for the H4.

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