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Just bought a ZOOM H4n!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Ricky Daion, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. I had to pull the trigger. I was looking at getting the H2 and saw the new version so I shelled out the extra bucks. I haven't tried it in a real situation yet but I have a rehearsal on Sunday and a gig next weekend so I'll give it a work out then.

    On first sight ZOOM has been reading the reviews of the H2 and really improved on the parts that most seemed to complain about. The negative parts of the reviews I read had the same complaints over and over. The screen was to small, the buttons were to small and flimsy/cheap feeling, the battery compartment cover was flimsy and the overall feel was cheap. At least cheaper feeling than other companies products. That has changed in the H4n.

    The screen is now the size of a typical digital camera (about 2in.) and is very easy to read. The overall feel of the body is much better and has a non slip texture on the sides. The buttons are bigger and have a much more quality feel to them. The mics are still kind of exposed however. I'm not a hack so I dont anticipate that to be a problem. Overall build quality feels much better.

    They've included a speaker in this version as well. Not enough to sound any good but at least you don't need headphones to make sure it's recording.

    It came with a case!!, windscreen, 1gb sd card, wall adapter, an adapter for a mikestand!(no more velcro straps) a usb cable and Cubase LE.

    Price? $439.00 cdn. The old H4 is going for $339.00 cdn up here so the extra hun was worth it to me.

    I'll let you know how the recording goes and maybe post some tracks.

    Here's the link to the H4n http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1994&brandID=4

    Ciao for now.:hyper:
  2. jkdahlman

    jkdahlman Ambitious But Rubbish

    Jul 13, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Cool. Subscribed.
  3. Alright, I'm back to update you on the H4n. I tried it out at our gig this last weekend and I'm impressed. I don't have experience with any other devices of this type so my opinion is of the ZOOM only.

    I only used the stereo mics for the gig. I would have done a 4track recording but didn't realize that I needed wallpower/ adaptor until I got there. 4 track recording requires more juice so I had to go with batteries and stereo recording only.

    Very responsive mics. I was impressed with the freq range it picked up. We had a tight set up as well with the recorder about 3 feet from the front of the stage. It was just my duo playing so we had the drums supplied from our keyboard. We only use our mains to monitor vocals and run our drums through so with the recorder being so close to the stage the drums were a little low. That's why I wanted to record in 4 track. I was going to run a sub mix from our board of the drums/keyboards to the 2 xlr inputs and mix it after but it'll have to wait for a couple of weeks.

    See the pic below of our stage set up. it's wide enough for 2 of us but not deep at all hence no room for our drummer.


    I've included a a couple of mp3's so you can give it a listen. It would have been better if I could have set it up a few feet farther back from the stage but we had no one to watch it(from sticky fingers).

    Try not to pay attention to the mistakes;)


    I'm really looking forward to the 4 track recording. I'll post back here in a couple of weeks.

  4. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA
    I also just picked one of these up last week. I'm planning or recording some songs I've written. My first session will probably an acoutic guitar with drum machine track 1. Then add bass and keys on trak 2 & 3, finally vocals. This is my first venture into home recording, but I'd like some other ideas to make the mix easier to do, so I'm open to suggestions. :)
  5. Links not working :bawl:
  6. infoseeker


    Oct 15, 2008
    I've loved having and using my H4 for practices, gigs, and just trying to remember stuff I came up with. The new H4n piqued my interest for the new features you described. Maybe I'll get that one if my old one craps out. Recording has helped me/us out alot.
  7. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    I own the Zoom H4 and I use it on a daily basis.
    It is probably the best piece of equipment I've ever purchased.
    Just the amp simulators alone are worth buying the Zoom H4, then throw in a 4-track studio on top of that. I use it as my interface to my computer for my DAW as well as recording by band rehearsals.
    I can only imagine how much better the H4N should be.

  8. Thanks for pointing out the faulty links. I've tried to figure out the problem and hope I got it. I would appreciate it if you try it again and let me know if it works.

    Anyways I agree with infoseeker that it's great for pointing out areas that need improvement. A lot of the stages we play on (like the one we were on for these clips) are so narrow that my amp is within a couple of feet of my butt. I can hear it fine but there isn't the definition in the sound that I like. I've had the tendency to bring up my treble somewhat to give the notes some edge. Listening back to the recording made it very clear that I had to much top end resulting in fret noise and plucking noise. I've made a point of turning my treble and high mids down and living with less definition on stage knowing it sounds fine out front.

    The built in mics are very sensitive to crowd noise. The crowd wasn't that big in these recordings but subsequent recordings have that din of the audience yammering away unless were really rocking. Recording in 4 track will minimize that with two tracks coming directly from our boards submix. Then I can remix later and bring in just enough of the mics to give it a more "live" sound.

    We have a regular gig coming up next weekend at a lake nearby and I'll try 4 tracking it. It's in a big quonset that actually has pretty good acoustics. I'll be able to set up the Zoom a little farther away and we'll be using our sub for kick and bass reinforcement. I'll also have more time to tinker with Zoom to get it set up better. We'll have the volume cranked up for this one. It's a camping weekend so it'll be a big drunken bash:D
  9. von buck

    von buck

    Feb 22, 2008
    wolcott ct.
    I was getting ready to order a H4 the other day, and came across this thread.
    So I take it the extra buck and change is worth the upgrade to a 4Hn?

  10. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    I guess it's all just a matter of what you intend to use it for.

    If you just want to be able to set it down and hit record to capture audio then just get the H4.
    But if you want to use external mics along with the internal mics and record on 4 channels at one time then definitely go with the H4N.

    Either way you are going to get one great piece of recording equipment.
    You can't go wrong.
  11. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Just bit the bullet myself on this unit. I've had the H4 for awhile now, and it's been incredibly valuable. I really like the improvements they made to this machine, esp the mic adapter, 90 or 120 degrees, the 'phrase trainer' function and the ability to record up to four tracks at once. Not to mention on eBay I got a deal that included the remote, desk tripod and a 16GB card. Not bad at $349.

    Anyone want an H4?
  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I've had mine for less than 48 hours and I'm already up to my ears in recordings! :D

    For self-analysis, rough "live" demos, audio clips for my FS classifieds, rehearsal aid, archiving and all around fun, I have no idea how I ever managed to get by without this thing.

    This is about 1000 times handier than the MiniDisk rig I had, a few years back.
  13. Deesack


    Aug 25, 2009
    At Sam Ash it goes for 299...

    Got one last week and it's amazing... I don't need any pickups for my acoustic and it records perfect acoustic guitars.

    Throw in the bass.. Man I'm so impressed.

    Only concern is those two mics are begging to be dropped and broken. They seem fragile, as the spinning part is simply a hollow cylinder. Wish it wouldv'e had some sort of grill covering it like the H2 and others I've seen, although it wouldn't look as "cool"
  14. ilai


    Aug 20, 2010
    thinking of purchasing the zoom h4n.
    does anyone know if i can plug in the guitar to an amp
    and then plug the amp to the zoom so i can record directly from the amp to the zoom?
    and if so how is the recording quality?(i heard there is a disadvantage in the zoom h4n it has an issue with hiss sound).
    did anyone record a live band using the 4 track option? is it possible to get a good track?
  15. I think the recordings sound great! Nice clarity in the high end and plenty of lows. I think you done good. I"m jealous!

    There seems to be a part in the recording when I can actually hear the acoustic sound of the strings on the strat being played. That's pretty amazing.
  16. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I haven't had much luck, trying to record my bass direct. Not straight in the 1/4" jack or with XLR via a preamp or DI. Seems like it just doesn't have the headroom to handle my bass.

    Not surprising I suppose, given that it runs on 2 AA batteries. But if a feature is going to totally suck eggs like that, I'd rather they not be touting it. :meh:

    For quick & easy live recordings with astonishing clarity, I'm still blown-away. I'm just glad I didn't get it for its multi-tracking or audio interface "capabilities". :eyebrow:
  17. greggster59


    Oct 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    If you have an XLR line level output on your amp then you can go from the amp into the XLR input on the unit. I want to do the same thing and looked into it. Can't tell you how it sounds as I haven't bought one yet but folks around here seem generally pleased.

    I bought one at Sam Ash yesterday and tried the multitrack recording as a test. I recorded the bass to an existing instrumental track that I removed the original bass from using Audacity. I did one recording using the line level XLR connection from my amp and one take plugging the bass directly into the H4n with a standard instrument cable. Results were similar but I liked that I could adjust the amp's line output level and effect the input that way instead of just using the record level settings. No hiss at all in 44.1kHz/16bit format.

    There are a bunch of effects in the recorder's preamp that you can either add to your bass as you record or process while mixing afterward. I've sampled some of them at their default settings and they were pretty interesting though I'm not much of an effects guy myself.

    Very impressed so far. The batteries go fast so I try to use the A/C adapter as much as possible.
  18. Exactly my experience. All I got was distorted sound, no matter how low I set the input level...
  19. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    This can happen with any of them.
    My H4 has been to gigs since 2006 and more than once been kicked, bumped, knocked off a 2 foot stage and survived UNTIL Feb 2010 it got to ride face-first from the edge of a stage to one of those "snap together" dance floors they use in ballrooms. It is intact but the right channel now sounds muffled. Left channel is fine.

    Since then, I've been waiting for the $$$/reason to get the H4n. The H4 has not only records band gigs, it records high school marching bands, football game halftime shows, concerts, nature sounds, anything you want and with excellent results as long as you set it at 160kbps or higher.

    My H4 will retire to my day job to record business meetings, etc.

  20. Well, today I learned that I was not lowering the input level ENOUGH... My mistake. Instead of watching the level meters, one just needs to watch the light of the input. When it blinks the input clips. I really need to set the recording level very low until the light stops blinking. Sorry for wrong information, now I love my Zoom! :)

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