1 (edited by mshakeshaft 2007-07-15 06:25:40)

Topic: Samson Zoom H2

It appears that there is a new sound recorder due to be launched any day now. It looks really interesting.

Check out:
http://www.samsontech.com/products/prod … rodID=1916

http://www.samsontech.com/images/productImages/h2_page/H2_solo-web.jpg

I have tried the H4 but it appears to be a bit over the top for my needs, more suited to musicians. The H2 is a slimmed down version. The mics would appear to be good for ambient recordings..... and it has mic ins (although not XLRs).

At the price it looks very good (about £140 in the UK)

Martin

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

Does anyone have any feedback on these?

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

I've had mine for a couple weeks. Very nice. However, I've not had any other professional audio to compare it to. It's compact, easy to use, and the sound is great. I've attached the included handle, wrapped it with handlebar tape, and took it for a couple projects...

I've used it for events, such as festivals, and very quick interviews (used as sound bites for slideshows). I haven't used it yet for my primary intended purpose - interviewing folks. I wanted to get the kinks (my kinks!) ironed out before the stakes are higher.

Any particular questions about it?

-teresa

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

Anyone who has used both care to compare the Zoom H-2 with the Edirol R-09?
Thanks in advance...
Ben

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

teepee wrote:

I've had mine for a couple weeks. Very nice. However, I've not had any other professional audio to compare it to. It's compact, easy to use, and the sound is great. I've attached the included handle, wrapped it with handlebar tape, and took it for a couple projects...

I've used it for events, such as festivals, and very quick interviews (used as sound bites for slideshows). I haven't used it yet for my primary intended purpose - interviewing folks. I wanted to get the kinks (my kinks!) ironed out before the stakes are higher.

Any particular questions about it?

-teresa

Hi Teresa,

I just ordered the H2 and have been reading the PDF manual before it arrives. Do you export files as WAV or MP3 for your ss projects?

Bill

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

Hi Bill,
So far, I've recorded all sound files as WAV.  This leaves me the maximum flexibility for other uses I guess - not sure how much difference it would make if I just recorded as MP3.

-teresa

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

It seems as if O'Reilly has lots of queries and responses on the blog component of that website.  Good stuff too.

http://www.oreillynet.com/digitalmedia/ … detai.html

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

I just got a new mac and an H2 for work.  I can't really compare it to other recorders as it is my first, but I have to say it's pretty simple to use even for a complete noob like me.  Though I have noticed one problem, it won't dock with my new Mac running Leopard.  It runs on my older Mac.  Hope there will be a fix soon.

Russ
http://russroca.blogspot.com

9 (edited by gearscout 2007-11-15 15:54:34)

Re: Samson Zoom H2

I just received my H2.  Seller included a 2GB card, which is 3 hours at 48/16.  Around 1 hour at 96/24.  The standard 512MB card was in the box.   

This post is just a user's observations about the H2.  You can find a more technical rundown of the H2 and some useful suggestions here:

http://www.2090.org/zoom/bbs/viewtopic. … 6209#96209

This post has grown in size as I add notes about my own experiences...

Sound Quality:  Excellent recordings, lives up to expectations.

Internal Mics:  Better than expected for voice recordings, but tend to "pop" when held 4-6 inches away, even with the windscreen attached.  I've been experimenting with different settings to try to eliminate that.  You could definitely do voice tracks with the internal mics in the H2, but I still want to test other microphones with it.  If you monitor the recordings as they're made, you could carefully hand hold it

There is much to be said about treating the H2 like a "point and shoot camera."  Just use what it has...in most areas it's enough to render very good audio for either tracking your voice or recording ambient sound.

Low-Cut: Selecting Low-Cut ON from the menus appears to produce a better voice track, in my opinion, with the internal microphones.

Environmental Recording:  Tested the H2 along the Chattahoochie River at dawn.  Internal mics/2 Channel Surround.  Following the advice of others, I did not crank up the audio but left it on Mic Gain Medium and left the Record Level at 100.  While the recordings were very low when played back on the computer, simply Normalizing them in Audacity brought the levels up without introducing lots of unwanted noise.  Waters rippled and Geese honked nicely.

Menu System:  Very small display.  This is tolerable but not enjoyable.  Too bad they didn't think to create "Profiles" so a user could have 4 (or even 2!) customizable presets.  I would really like to be able to go from an "Environmental" setting to a "Voice Track" setting without having to adjust Low-Cut, Mono-mode etc. through the Menu system.

If you want to delete files on the SD card, you have to individually select each one, navigate to "Delete" and then confirm the delete.  You'll be using your computer to delete files.  There is no option to delete an entire directory of files.

Recorder Controls:  Again, small, but logical, with the most frequently used settings like Record Levels and Microphone selections easily accessible without having to go into the menu.

External Microphone Jack:  Appeared not to accept a mono microphone plug on my lavalier mic...but that was only because I had not turned "Plug-in Power" to "On" in the menu system.  Mono plugs will record on the Left Channel.  You can turn on "Mono Mix" to record the same signal to both channels.

Low-Cut:  Selecting Low-Cut ON from the menus with the external microphone (Audio Technica tie-clip) exhibits Much Less impact on the recording.  Obviously this is relative to the individual microphone and your mileage will vary.

Very surprised to see that even without a matching transformer, the ElectroVoice 635A made a respectable recording for a voice track.  Just a simple XLR to mini adapter worked fine.  The 635A does not need "phantom power" to operate.

AudioTechnica's low-priced wireless microphone system (Pro88) worked well with the H2, producing nice voice audio.  (My digital voice recorder tended to flatten out the signal, giving it a slightly muffled sound quality.) 

Build Quality:  Plastic.  Thin plastic.  If you're going to be working on concrete sidewalks in cold weather, be sure to kiss the H2 goodbye before you drop it.  Control buttons are similar to what you get on a really cheap remote control, with a layer of plastic film over the contacts.  Slide switches are cheap.  Volume control +/- rocker switch appears to be slightly better quality.

"Made in China" on the back of the flimsy battery compartment cover says it all.

What Comes in the Box:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y263/gearscout/H2_package-1.jpg

• H2 unit (no AA batteries supplied)
• 512MB SD card
• Windscreen
• USB Cable (about 1 meter)
• Small stand (plastic with 1/4"/20 screw for bottom of H2)
• Tapered plastic 4" adapter to hold H2 on a mic boom via the microphone clip (or use it to hand hold the H2)
• Audio cable - Stereo mini-plug to 2 RCA male plugs
• AC Power Adaptor - 110V only, so no sense taking it overseas
• Stereo Earbuds
• Printed Manual
• Incredibly cheap, synthetic bag with pull strings posing as a "protective case," we guess.  Too small to hold H2 with windscreen attached.
This is the "mini version" of what they hang on hotel room doors in China to hold your shoes.

Other Notes/Overview:

The recordings are good.  The H2 fits comfortably into my hands...but I don't think I want to go handheld because of the risk of creating noise.  I've got a USB/XLR adapter that lets me plug my Electrovoice 635A into my laptop.  I do not think the H2 delivers a better soundtrack than that $25 adapter.  But you can't record ambient sound or do interviews very easily carrying around a laptop.  There's a lot of convenience with the H2. 

In all fairness, the H2 works pretty wall as an interface, too.  You can connect via USB and use the H2's microphones to record tracks directly onto a computer or plug another mic into the external jack and use that.  Setup is simple and you can change your settings like the low-cut filter as you monitor the recording.

Maybe it was just my batteries, but I thought they were fresh...and the H2 burned through them in a couple hours of moderately heavy use.  Obviously, I was making a lot of short recordings with different settings, using the Menu Light a lot, etc.  When your batteries get low, the first indication seems to be that the backlight on the Menu screen doesn't come on...the Low Battery warning comes later.  No Auto-OFF...if you leave the recorder on, the H2 will run until the batteries are dead.

Encoding a 96000 .WAV file to .MP3 seemed to take FOREVER.  It's probably another task best left to the computer.

USB file transfer works OK.  Just turn off the recorder and plug it in.   The "USB Storage" option comes up as the default, so you can just press the red "REC" button and it's recognized.  Yes, you could pull the card and probably get faster transfer times.  You might also break the flimsy plastic door on the SD compartment faster.

Want a great case for the H2?  It fits perfectly into a metal flip box designed for Kaenon's larger sunglasses.  This ($25 shipped) case is just a bit longer and deeper than the H2, but because of the design, it holds the H2 firmly in place and leaves room for earphones, tie-clip microphones and even the windscreen if you compress and fold it.  (No room for the power supply.)

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y263/gearscout/H2_XLcase.jpg

The case is actually made out of real metal!  Seriously, it would prevent damage to the recorder buried in a gear bag.  Other (less expensive) large eyeglass cases might work, too.

http://www.kaenon.com/product.cfm?actio … uct_id=595

Suggested software:  Levelator

http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

any more updates? I am thinking it is such hard work with my old mini disk that I really need to upgrade to something a bit better.

don't forget, I am spending my own hard earned here!!

Teepe has some really nice sound on her shows but no voices.

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

I say get it.  I had my department purchase two for use in the field.  I teach some production related courses. I had used the mini disk, but I knew that is/was being phased out.  My students have found the Zoom H2 easy to use (and you know that they will not read a manual). Most importantly (to me) is that the sound quality is hella good!  And that fact that you can set the recording specifications:  for example, mp3, wav, as well as the sample rate.  Oh, and it is lightweight. I'm trying to think of some cons, but not so much right now.  I like the price point too. Hope that helps.

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

got it.
took it back. :-(

got an Edirol R-09HR  :-)

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Re: Samson Zoom H2

I recently purchased the Zoom H2 and I am very happy with the cost/performance ratio.  I have never used a hi-quality unit so I have no comparison.  For interviews and capturing ambient sound it works great.  My work will be slide shows with sound posted on the internet.  Zoom H2 and Audacity are a winning combo for budget sensitive journalists who want an affordable voice recording system.