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Which Portable Zoom Recorder?

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  • Which Portable Zoom Recorder?

    Ok so I have my BB, my mackie 8 channel mixer, Minibrute 2 & Microfreak and an electric guitar running through a HX Stomp. All of these devices are running through the Mackie mixer. I’m finally getting round to producing some tunes. I’m thinking I’d like to record them so which out the portable Zoom recorders would you recommend for this purpose?
    Last edited by Slowhead; 10-02-2020, 01:29 AM.

  • #2
    Your setup sounds a little too close to mine. I use a zoom h4 pro: stereo recording, good interface, simple. I thought about a couple different models but I think the others like the h6 were overkill.

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    • #3
      I got a Zoom H1n. Doesn't do much but record, but it does so in stereo and 96lhz if one prefers (which I do). I've recorded masters to that one from the Blackbox into my SSl SiX and then to the zoom and released those tracks and not a single DAW was involved.

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      • #4
        circuitghost Thanks for this! still on the lookout and will probably buy this at some point

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        • #5
          No worries Slowhead if you're looking for a high quality simple recorder that just records, period, this one's great.

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          • #6
            I have a Zoom H4N. Easy peasy and does the job just fine.

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            • #7
              The zoom H6 is fantastic - I have that one. However, get rid of your mixer and buy a Zoom R16 - 8 channels, recording to SD card, on board mics, 8x8 interface, etc. I have two of them and they can be daisy chained to be a 16x16 interface/recorder with up to 32x32 layers.

              Mike

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              • #8
                I have used many of the lower end zoom recorders like the F1 and Q2n and ran into troubles with their "line" input, which isn't really a line input.. I think it can go as low as -12db and will clip on the record out of my Xone mixer at the lowest setting. I have used attenuators and that works well, but for some reason I do believe that the pre-amp on the zooms isnt that great. I might be wrong for their better models like the H series or the higher end F recorders. After all the F recorders are "field" recorders hence not really made for line level input so I probs should have gone for the H2. What I am trying now is to integrate a little modular recording setup with a 4ms WAV recorder which def takes line-level input, which sounds excellent. Its a bit costlier but I was really looking for something I can integrate permanently and fits on my pedal board. I hope I can play back the SD recordings on the F1 though as I really like its formfactor.

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                • #9
                  I have an H5 that I bought just for the Blackbox. Other than the input levels being a little too touchy for my clumsy fingers, I don't have any complaints.

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                  • #10
                    I bought an H6 when my old H4n got nicked. The H5 hadn't come out yet. I kind of regretted its bulkiness until it came in super handy recently recording an improv session with a pianist. I have a "small" modular system with the BB alongside running into a little homemade mixer. I could run stereo main outs and stereo effects all into the H6 inputs and use the attached mics to record the grand piano in stereo. It worked out really well.

                    It generally sounds good to me but I know people who are real audiophiles who say the Zoom preamps aren't great. I think they're probably good for the price.

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                    • #11
                      I know this was focused on Zoom, but have you tried any of the Tascam offerings? I use a really old Tascam DR-05 and am blown away at the sound quality of both the internal mics and the line in recording from stereo sources. There are newer versions than mine now. Thought I'd mention that.

                      Yesterday I was using the internal mics to record and go headphone out to Blackbox, and it worked great for acoustic guitars, cajon, shaker, and vocals.

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