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Author Topic: Zoom H4 digital recorder  (Read 1531 times)
Denis
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« on: April 12, 2007, 03:20:13 PM »

I got one of these a couple of months back and I've been recording my sets at an open mic I've been going to since the beginning of the year. 

The little H4 is surprising.  Easy to use, good quality recording using the built in mics, 1/4" and XLR inputs, mic modelling, 48v phantom power for condensers, stereo or 4 track recording modes...all sorts of fun to use.  I had a Tascam DP-01FX for 18 months or so and I think I've gotten more use out of the H4 in the last couple of weeks than with Tascam the whole time I had it!!!

Here's me doing a Beatles tune I learned back in 1981 from Nigel, my first guitar teacher!!!  I still love this song.

http://media.putfile.com/Norwegian-Wood-47

 
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hal537
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 10:06:18 PM »

Yeah it's a very neat and versatile recorder.  I bought one for one of my boys who does stand-up comedy routines in clubs etc. and he found it very easy to use.  One day maybe he'll let me borrow it. I don't really know to much about its potential but he told me you can simulate different mic types to give your acoustic guitar different acoustic sounds. Yeah, very neat.
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ronmac
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 11:01:37 PM »

That's great Denis! You seem to be singing and playing more confidently.

The H4 is a very nice unit that is easy to use and sounds amazing, for the price.
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Ron

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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2007, 07:25:49 AM »

Oh and I forgot to say it but that was a real nice version of one of my old favorites   

Presumably that was not played on your parlor though.  What was the guitar.
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Denis
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2007, 06:01:20 PM »

Hey Hal and Ron, thanks for the kind words.  Hal that's the L-03...fast becoming my favorite guitar, not just favorite now either.  I really love it and it sound great acoustic or through the K&K I had installed.

Here's another tune I uploaded this morning.  Again, so easy to record using the H4, strapped it to the boom on the mic stand, set the built in mics' gain to medium and hit record until the button light stays lit.  I'm so happy these little machines exist.  amazin how good the quality of the recording can be for so little money.

http://media.putfile.com/Old-Man-43

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hal537
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2007, 06:55:52 PM »

A very very good performance Denis - enjoyed that one too.  That L body sounded very full too.  I was listening to Neil Young at Massey Hall in the car with my boys today and we all thought that NY's guitar (a Martin D??) had great tone in the base lines but that L is good too.  How far from you was the H4 when you recorded the piece? and was it difficult to get a balance between voice and guitar.

I bought a camera tripod thingy for my son so as he could hang the H4 absolutely anywhere (he uses it on stage for comedy stand-up nights) and I think you should check out this site as you might find it useful too - it's called a gorilla pod - saves you taping the H4 to mike stands.

http://www.joby.com/gp1.html
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Denis
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2007, 07:08:20 PM »

A very very good performance Denis - enjoyed that one too.  That L body sounded very full too.  I was listening to Neil Young at Massey Hall in the car with my boys today and we all thought that NY's guitar (a Martin D??) had great tone in the base lines but that L is good too.  How far from you was the H4 when you recorded the piece? and was it difficult to get a balance between voice and guitar.

I bought a camera tripod thingy for my son so as he could hang the H4 absolutely anywhere (he uses it on stage for comedy stand-up nights) and I think you should check out this site as you might find it useful too - it's called a gorilla pod - saves you taping the H4 to mike stands.

http://www.joby.com/gp1.html

Hey, that's one cool looking photo tripod!!!  and only $22!!!

I'm singing through a Shure SM58 that's on a boom stand and the H4 is strapped to the boom, maybe 2-3 inches behind and maybe an inch or so lower than the SM58.  I'm usually 6-8 inches away from the mic when I'm singing.  With the mic cable wrapped a couple of times around the boom arm and stand, it doesn slip or turn. 

I listen to the Neil Young CD all the time.  I marvel at the quality of the recording.  It's so clean, full and rich.  I love the version of Cowgirl in the Sand and I get goosebumps whenever I hear Old Man...WOW, best CD I've bought in a long time!  Listening to it as we speak...don't let it bring you down, it's only castles burnin', find someone who's turnin' and you will come around...

Thanks for the kind words Hal.  I think the L sounds good but it's still quite new, only 4 months old.  It's really changed since I got it but I'm certain it's still got a long way to go before it's really played in.  Gonna be fun gettin' there though!!!
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LaminateBoy
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2007, 07:55:49 PM »

Is the guitar plugged directly into the recorder and then out to the PA or are you picking up the guitar acoustically through the microphones on the recorder?
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Denis
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2007, 08:38:40 PM »

Is the guitar plugged directly into the recorder and then out to the PA or are you picking up the guitar acoustically through the microphones on the recorder?

Both the guitar and vocals are both being picked up acoustically with the built in mics on the H4 although I'm not all that far from the speakers, in between the two, but they are pointing in the opposite direction from the mics.
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Dale B
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2007, 01:44:09 AM »

Hey Denis, I really think that Zoom H4 sounds incredable for what it cost,also I enjoyed your playing sounded really nice.
Dale B
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Notchback
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2007, 09:56:48 PM »

I have to agree that these are neat little recorders.  I just picked one up.  Now if I could just figure out how to use it 
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2007, 10:26:45 PM »

I have to agree that these are neat little recorders.  I just picked one up.  Now if I could just figure out how to use it 

It took me a few weeks to get it down and then a bunch of recordings to find out the best setting for where I was placing it and how loud I was singing/playing.   On the Norwegian Wood and Old Man recordings, I have it set to stereo mode with the built in mics set to med gain.  The unit is strapped to the boom of the mic stand, just under the mic I was singing into.  The guitar got picked up pretty well too but would be even clearer and louder had I placed the H4 about 12-14" away from the guitar above the 12th to 14th fret but that would be good to record just the guitar.  Took me a while to get used to the little wheel thingy on the side...that's the one you need to navigate the menus.

What a blast to use once you get the hang of it.  I haven't tried it in 4 track mode yet...one day.

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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2007, 02:11:09 AM »

Thanks Dennis, that helps.

I did a quick recording (or "take" now that I am a recording artist  ) last night and I had the unit no where near that close.  It was about 3 feet away.  Still sounded pretty good..  I will try it the way you described and see what I get out of it.   The 4-track does look cool.  I am thinking about doing one track with my D-03 and the other with my Parlor and and mixing them.  Lot's of cool stuff you can do with this baby... I just have to be careful not to let this new toy cut into my practice time :-)
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2007, 11:53:11 AM »

I learned something new every time I used mine for the first couple of months.  Really neat little recorders.  So easy to upload your stuff on to the computer as well with the USB out...you don't even need batteries to transfer anything files from the H4. 

And the sound quality is surprisingly good, better than I ever would have expected.  I still remember the days of the old Fostex/Tascam/Yamaha...etc 4 track cassette recorders...Tape?  Does anyone still use tape for home recording?  Can new audio cassettes even be bought anywhere? 
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