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Got to try a Zoom H6. Quite impressed!


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Zoom (no longer handled by Samson) of Florida, sent me a sample H6 to try out, and I must say, they've come a long way from the H2. First of all, the recorder comes in a very nice, high-impact padded and fitted carrying case. secondly it has interchangeable microphone modules and comes equipped with two: an X-Y and an MS module. The X-Y module allows one to rotate the barrels on the two mikes for both 90-degree and 120-degree stereo spread. The MS module has a side-firing figure-of-eight mike (the S in MS) and an omnidirectional mike for the "M" mike.. Each of these modules has a ganged level control which controls both (balance can be handled with a L/R pan pot). Below the mike mounting place there are four combination balanced XLR/TRS phone plugs and each can be separately phantom-powered with 12, 24, or 48 volts (supplied by the recorder). A -20dB pad on each XLR/TRS input insures compatibility with line-level sources (such as a keyboard instrument) as well as microphones. The user interface is a color representation of a 6-input mixer, complete with color VU meters, pan pots, and "visual" level controls (actual level is controlled via rotational pots).

 

The recorder will do multiple formats, including MP3 (why bother?) and for our purposes, 24-bit/96 KHz LPCM. It also sports both built-in on-demand volume compression and several levels of limiting. The unit uses an SDHD card for storage and will take up to 128 GB with the proper card type. It is powered by four AA cells which can give up to 20 Hrs of recording time - depending on type.

 

Optional accessories include an wired (???!!) remote control a "shot-gun" hyper-cardioid mike and a plug-in module supplying two more balanced XLR/TRS mike inputs.

 

All-in-all it's a pretty spectacular package for the money (US$400).

 

Zoom says that the X-Y capsules are a new "large capsule" design, but they still don't specify the mike frequency response and I found that one still needs the bass-boost function in Audacity post-capture to give decent bass, but decent bass can be had with just a 3dB boost at 30 Hz.

 

I recorded a two piece group consisting of an acoustic guitar and one of the most elaborate percussion setups I've ever heard. The groups bills itself as a jazz ensemble, but the playing style is very reminiscent of middle-eastern music - what with the percussion and fast flamenco style of playing. The results are jaw dropping and utterly amazing for such a compact system. If you are thinking about getting a small recording ensemble, I can't see anything on the market that comes even close.

George

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Hi George,

 

Any chance you can provide a (few) sample(s) of the recording?

 

Thanks!

 

P.S. My wife has an H4 that we sometimes use for recording practice-sessions. Works pretty well also, but I assume the H6 has gotten quite a bit better!

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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Hi George,

 

Any chance you can provide a (few) sample(s) of the recording?

 

Thanks!

 

P.S. My wife has an H4 that we sometimes use for recording practice-sessions. Works pretty well also, but I assume the H6 has gotten quite a bit better!

 

Kind regards,

Peter

 

Yeah, I'll downconvert (using Korg's Audiogate) a few minutes of the recording and post a URL to my Pogo-Plug "cloud", so that you can download it. I'll try to do it before the end of the week.

George

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Wow George, amazing what you can do with a $400 recorder. It makes you wonder how some of the studios still manage to come out with such crappy recordings though.

 

But I'm even more impressed by the music, especially once the guitars get going. Really nice stuff. Who are these folks? Is their music available anywhere?

 

Chris

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Wow George, amazing what you can do with a $400 recorder. It makes you wonder how some of the studios still manage to come out with such crappy recordings though.

 

But I'm even more impressed by the music, especially once the guitars get going. Really nice stuff. Who are these folks? Is their music available anywhere?

 

Chris

 

The are called "The Robinson Group"

 

home

 

I think that they are doing a CD, but I don't believe that it's out yet.

George

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Wow George, amazing what you can do with a $400 recorder. It makes you wonder how some of the studios still manage to come out with such crappy recordings though.

 

But I'm even more impressed by the music, especially once the guitars get going. Really nice stuff. Who are these folks? Is their music available anywhere?

 

Chris

 

 

You think that the 16-bit/44.1 KHz sample that I posted sounds good, you ought to hear the 24/96 version!

George

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Here 'tis! 16bit/44.1 KHz uncompressed. About 28 Mb file size.

 

Pogoplug: ZOOM_H6_sample.wav

 

Hi George,

 

Very nice! I did not have the chance yet to listen to it on anything better than my laptop and not-so-good headphones, but it sounded excellent. Where did you record these guys? In a studio?

 

Just like chrisnee, I liked the music quite a bit. I will check out their website!

 

Thanks and kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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Hi George,

 

Very nice! I did not have the chance yet to listen to it on anything better than my laptop and not-so-good headphones, but it sounded excellent. Where did you record these guys? In a studio?

 

Just like chrisnee, I liked the music quite a bit. I will check out their website!

 

Thanks and kind regards,

Peter

 

 

No, not a studio! This was recorded using the MS mikes that come with the H6 at a nightspot/bar called the IC club in Sunnyvale CA. Funny thing and good for me (though not so good for the bar) was that a few minutes after I started recording (after 11:00 PM) the place emptied out as if someone had yelled "fire!". I don't think they left because of me. After all I had just had a shower and put on clean clothes... :)

 

Anyway, with no one in the place other than the club wait staff, the musicians, and me, the place was very quiet. Bad for business, good for recording!

George

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