There’s already some discussion about this on the field recording thread, but I feel like a lof ot that is getting lost, plus not everybody might be interested in one of these to do field recording.
So I think it’s time to create a new thread for it.
Let me start by sharing my experience with the
which seems one of the most popular recorders.
I’ve had it for several years now, use(d) it constantly for both field recording and to record jams and live performances (well, when we were still performing live that is).
In general I’d say it’s decent value for its money, but I never used anything else (except an H1 from the same maker… but that’s a different thing altogether).
Ler’s start with
the good things
What I do like about this recorder is that it feels very solid, and that it has actual volum wheels. One thing I really don’t like is having to use buttons to adjust volume. The wheels are a bit hard to turn, which is both good and bad. You can’t really adjust volume without creating handling noise.
Recording quality is decent I think, to be more specific, it’s ok as long as the signals are loud enough or your mics are very sensitive. If you are trying to record very subtle sounds with the stock mic, then you might be disappointed. The preamps are pretty noisy!
The menu is well structured and it has lots of handy features. Most of which I’ve never used. It does have plugin power, which is great because I have a pair of USI mics. Also it can record 4 channels at the same time, so you can for example record both the line out from the mixer and the room sound during a jam or live gig (they will be back I’m sure!)
Just like other Zoom recorders in this class (eg. the H6) you can swap mic capsules. But I haven’t tried any of those.
One thing I saw coming is that the rubbery finish on the plastic shell is now turning into a sticky mess. Why does everybody insist on using this kind of finish? It’s horrible! If anybody has a tip on how to deal with that, please let me know.
More things that can be annoying:
Again, the preamps are very noisy if you use the buil-in mic.
When you line-level audio through the line input you still have to use the volume wheel to adjust gain and the range is really bad. Basically you have to find the sweet spot between 1 and 1.5 (it goes up to 10). You can of coruse use the combo jack inputs (channels 1 and 2) on the bottom, which have a -20db pad. But I often have to use stereo mini jacks, and so the LR line input is much more convenient to me. Also getting inputs 1 and 2 to be on the same level can be a bit fiddly (you have two wheels to do that for each channel separately, which of course makes sense in many cases)
If you also have an H5 and want to add something to this, please do so!