New Zoom H2 recorder!

After thinking about it for days, I ordered a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder on the weekend. It shipped Monday and I got it yesterday and spent all day playing with it. I love it. Besides cheap-ass earbuds, assorted cables, and a little screw-on tripod-foot, it came with a 1-gig SD card, a foam windscreen that slides over the mic, and a mic-stand adapter (not shown in the pics nor mentioned in the description, so I ordered a mic stand adapter as well, oops).

After fiddling with it a lot, I figured out that the best setup for me is to have the gain on medium and set to max. I attached it to a boom mic stand behind the couch, and the boom goes over the back of the couch and across my left shoulder. I have the mic near my mouth and tipped sideways so I speak just past it.

With my old (but very nice-sounding) condenser mic, I could only record in the bedroom because the mic was so sensitive it picked up the server hum, the refrigerator hum, and every tiny noise. Also, no matter what I did, my condenser mic picked up background hum from something and I had to do rather aggressive noise-cleaning for my Ignatius recordings (Ignatius likes LOUD recordings so any background hum was amplified as well). Last night Henry and Dan were playing videogames in the room next to the bedroom for hours. Ordinarily I would not have been able to record at all, since their voices would have come through the bedroom wall and the livingroom was out of the question. But last night I was able to record the five last chapters of “This Country of Ours, Part 4″ sitting in comfort on the livingroom couch! I do still run my recordings though my 10-band EQ filter to remove any low-end rumble, a gentle compression filter to even them out a bit, and a *tiny* bit of light noise-cleaning because I’m just obsessive that way.

The Zoom’s sound quality is very nice — not tinny like my cheap USB mics. Not, perhaps, *quite* as warm as my condenser mic, but nearly so, and the lack of background hum more than makes up for that.

The Zoom H2 has a great interface. Once you get used to it, it’ve very easy to navigate around to change settings, record, play or delete files, etc. The thick manual is very thorough. Transferring audio via its USB cable is slow, so for my longer recordings I pop the SD card out and use my card reader instead, but for the shorter recordings it’s handy to just use the cable.

By a pleasant coincidence, Jacek, a Polish English teacher, emailed me yesterday for help registering at librivox, and it turned out he was also looking for someone to record short humorous anecdotes in English for his students. I volunteered, of course, so those were my very first recordings on my Zoom! Here they are:

Exact Change
Fishing

Lol! And Jacek has just sent me some more, which I can do right here right now!

Category: Audiobooks, Blog 3 comments »

3 Responses to “New Zoom H2 recorder!”

  1. anne

    I couldn’t find the appropriate place to comment. Thank you for reading Our Island Story! My kids and I are enjoying it at mealtimes. The stories are so enjoyable and your reading doesn’t fall asleep (like I do when I read aloud)! I look forward to continuing on to This Country of Ours. Thank you!

    PS – Do you homeschool?

  2. kara

    Hi Anne,
    This is a fine place to comment — so glad you and your kids enjoyed Our Island Story! You might like my other H.E. Marshall recordings, and The Story of Mankind as well. Hit the “Librivox Recordings” link at the very top of this page to find them.

    Yep, my 14-yr-old son has always been homeschooled, and I was homeschooled too! :)

  3. anne

    A second generation homeschooler! I will check out the story of mankind too. I hadn’t heard of that!


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