After the successful launch of the Zoom H4 Recorder and it’s 1.20 version Zoom has announced the H2 Handy Recorder which prototype was showed in Winter NAMM ‘07. The prototype was a non-working version, but the listed features looked like the H2 handy Recorder will be a very good gadget.
The Zoom H2 Handy Recorder features 3 integrated mic capsules (allowing front 120-degree cardioid, front-90 super-cardioid, rear 120-degree cardioid, rear 90-degree super-cardioid, and 360-degree polar software switchable patterns), 96, 44.1 and 48 kHz WAV and 320kbps VBR MP3 recording formats, USB port (to transfer data or to use it as USB mic), power stereo mic input, timestamp function, and true 5.1 surround sound recording.
Zoom H2n Handy Recorder is the only portable recording device that is available with inbuilt five microphones and a ton of recording options. It has four different recording modes: X/Y, Mid-Side, 2-channel surround, and 4-channel surround. Besides, it is also inbuilt with many advanced features like automatic gain control and onboard MS decoding; limiting and low-cut filtering; and effects like compression. Even you can use this Zoom H2n Handy Recorder as a multi-purpose USB microphone!
Few ways of using H2n:
The H2n is inbuilt with multiple microphones and recording modes, hence it can handle almost every kind of application. Below is the list of few ways it can be used:
• Live recording of concerts and rehearsals can be done in either stereo or surround sound
• Location videography—the H2n gives you enough options in postproduction
• Helps in creating audio for YouTube videos
• Generating lasting audio documents of important events
• As a USB microphone, it can be used for providing input to the recording software
Five Microphones and four ways of recording:
The Zoom H2n handheld recorder not only offers one or two but five built-in microphones, among which, two are arranged as an X/Y pair and the other three are configured in an MS (“Mid-Side”) pattern. You can use them separately for X/Y or MS stereo recording or combined to create stunning 2- or 4-channel surround sound.
Mid-side Technique for variable Stereo Width:
The H2n is the first hand-held recorder to offer an incredible Mid-Side stereo recording technique. For so many years, this technique is used in film and broadcast, where ambiance and surrounding noise are crucial. The Mid-Side recording combines three microphone elements, one is a unidirectional Mid mic which faces forward and captures sound directly in front of you. The other two are bi-directional Side mic that captures sound from your left and right. You can increase or decrease the level of the Side mic for controlling the width of the stereo field. If you are recording in RAW mode, you can even adjust the stereo width after recording.
X/Y for Live Stereo Recording:
The X/Y technique provides a brilliant stereo recording with natural depth and accurate imaging while still capturing sound sources in the center with clarity and definition. The inbuilt X/Y microphone in H2n provides two matched unidirectional microphones set at a 90-degree angle relative to one another, ensuring that the mic is always at equal distance from the sound source for perfect localization and no phase shifting.
Perfect Surround Sound:
You can combine the signals from both the X/Y and MS microphones to create stunning 360° surround-sound recordings. You can use 2-channel mode to create a single stereo file of the combined mics or 4-channel mode to record the signal from the H2n’s X/Y mics onto one stereo track and signal from the MS mics onto another. Besides, you can use the H2n’s MS decoding feature independently to alter the level of the Side signal in both 2-channel and 4-channel modes.
Spatial Audio for VR:
Using a 360-degree “Spatial Audio” mode of Zoom H2n, you can create a single
four-channel, multi-track WAV file that includes Left/Right, Omni and Forward/Backward tracks. You can combine this Spatial Audio file with the google JUMP compatible camera rig to upload immersive videos on YouTube.
The Input and the Output port:
The Line In of H2n is a stereo ⅛” mini phone jack, it can accept two channels of mic- and/or line-level signals. You can connect the Condenser microphone of Plug-In Power 2.5 volts to this jack.
The Line Out of H2n is a stereo ⅛” phone jack with inbuilt volume control. For private monitoring of the input or recorded signal, you can connect the headphones to this jack. The back panel of H2n is also an inbuilt speaker that helps in monophonic monitoring of the signal to be recorded.
The USB port allows the transfer of data to and from your computer and it also enables you to use H2n as a 4-in/2-out audio interface or as a USB microphone.
Pre-Record, Auto-Record and Data Recovery:
Using the Pre-recording feature, the H2n silently but continuously doing the recording in the background all the time. The Auto-Record function allows the H2n to start recording automatically when a certain level of sound is perceived. Using Data Recovery, the H2n automatically repairs corrupted files.
Add Sonic Polish to the Recording:
The onboard effects of the H2n allow you to add polish to your recordings as well as to compensate for any problems or limitations in the acoustics of the recording environment. You can control the fluctuations in level by using Compression and limiting. A low-cut filter can be used to remove signals below a designated frequency to control pops, wind noise, blowing, and other kinds of low-frequency rumble such as transmitted resonance from an onstage mic stand.
Types of the Files Supported:
The type of audio files that the H2n can be able to record are WAV and MP3. The WAV files are uncompressed and can be either of 16- or 24-bit with sampling rates of 44.1, 48, or 96 kHz. These WAV files can be time-stamped automatically to convert them into Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) compliant.
On the other hand, the MP3 recordings can be compressed which makes them much smaller than WAV files and thus these files are much easier to upload and download. You can easily convert WAV files to MP3 format in the H2n.
Power Source and Battery Life:
The H2n needs just two AA batteries as a power source- can be either alkaline or rechargeable NiMH. When you are using alkaline batteries, the life of the battery is more than 20 hours even during continuous recording. You can also use the AD-17 AC adapter as the power source that can be plugged into any standard wall socket. The H2n supports both standard SD and SDHC cards up to 32 GB.
Includes Audio Editing Software:
The Zoom H2n comes with free audio editing software like Steinberg’s Cubase LE music production software and WaveLab LE audio editing software which allows you to do spectacular things with the captured audio in every box.
High-Speed Data Transfer:
The USB port of the H2n can be used as a High-Speed interface to transfer files to your laptop or desktop. Once you transfer your recordings on your computer, you are free to edit, store playback, and share it. The H2n can be also as a USB microphone which allows you to record directly on your computer.
Some of the important features of the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder are:
• 5 built-in mic capsules and four recording modes- Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90 X/Y stereo, 2-channel, and 4-channel
• Built-in USB 2.0 interface
• Records in WAV up to 24-bit and in MP3 up to 320kbps
• Records in WAV up to 24-bit/96kHz and MP3 up to 320kbps
• Additional functions like Lo-cut Filter, Compressor/Limiter, Auto Gain and much more
• Data recovery function available
• 20 hours of Battery life of standard AA batteries
• Operates on battery, AC or USB bus power
• 1/8″ Mic/Line Input and Phones/Line Output stereo phone jacks
• Accommodates up to 32GB SDHC memory cards
• Large 1.8-inch backlit LCD display with 128 x 64 resolution
• Supports up to 32GB SDHC memory cards
• On-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner
• Includes Steinberg WaveLab LE 7 editing software