Any thoughts on Zooms new 32 bit recording hardware?

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ryebrye
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Any thoughts on Zooms new 32 bit recording hardware?

Post by ryebrye »

The H4Essential looks pretty great - I've used the H4n pro quite a bit but the obvious issue is always making sure to set the levels.

The 32 bit recording would be amazing to just take along and toss in a decent spot and press record.

Anyone have any thoughts? The H6essential has interchangeable recording capsule things, but I think the X Y pair on the 4 seems good enough for what I'd use it for.

The one thing they changed from the H4n series is it seems like you can't switch the mics from 90 to 120 degrees.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Any thoughts on Zooms new 32 bit recording hardware?

Post by harrisonreed »

I am saving for the field recorder F8n. I'm excited about 32-Bit too.

Don't forget that with 32-bit float, while you technically can just put the gain on max and not clip your signal, you are really just moving the step of setting your levels correctly into post production. All 32-bit buys you is safety from clipping, and more dynamic range than can be put onto a CD or most streaming formats. So if you record a piano recital, for example, at max gain, you'll find that you pick up unbelievably soft dynamics alongside the most loud fortissimo, given a performance with enough dynamic contrast. So soft and so loud that you'll still have to compress your recording a bit to make it nice to listen to. I remember BIS released one of the first 24-bit SACDs back in the day and it had too much dynamic contrast even in that format -- you couldn't hear the softest sections under normal listening conditions unless you turned the volume up enough for the loud sections to blow up your speakers.

I do wonder about the pre-amps, because Zoom handhelds are known for getting a lot of noise when the gain is cranked.

The Zoom capsules are good enough for a lot of things, especially recording a chamber ensemble rehearsal or your personal practice. I don't personally find them flattering on brass unless you have them at a distance where the stereo angle makes sense. But that device comes with two XLR inputs so you would be able to also use a good mic or two for a recording that you were planning to let others listen to.

All in all, you get a lot of kit with that thing for not a lot of money.
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ithinknot
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Re: Any thoughts on Zooms new 32 bit recording hardware?

Post by ithinknot »

harrisonreed wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 6:49 am I am saving for the field recorder F8n.
Have a listen to the Sound Devices MixPre series before committing. I've used both quite a bit. The Zoom is a well thought out package, and I prefer some of its practical/ergonomic choices, but there was a clear enough difference in other respects that I was happy to cough up for the SD.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Any thoughts on Zooms new 32 bit recording hardware?

Post by harrisonreed »

ithinknot wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 7:45 am
harrisonreed wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 6:49 am I am saving for the field recorder F8n.
Have a listen to the Sound Devices MixPre series before committing. I've used both quite a bit. The Zoom is a well thought out package, and I prefer some of its practical/ergonomic choices, but there was a clear enough difference in other respects that I was happy to cough up for the SD.
Thanks! I'll look at it.
chouston3
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Re: Any thoughts on Zooms new 32 bit recording hardware?

Post by chouston3 »

I have a zoom H5 that I have used heavily for pipe organs and voice.

I find 24 bit to be plenty. I try to go as hot as I can without clipping.

The pre amps are not super clean on it though. So, I get better results on different equipment.

For solos, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of setting the stereo mics next to the piano and plugging in an sm58 to record the solo.

To mix, i set the solo track to twice as loud as the accompaniment tracks.
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