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I'm looking for a handheld recorder to record practice sessions with my band. What I want is to turn it on and let it record for 3-4 hours, preferably longer, and don't need to pay attention to it. I may want to use it for other things, for example as a external mic for my camera, but that's secondary.

I've heard a lot of good stories about the Zoom recorders (H1 & H2N). Are there other recorders in that price range that have same or better quality and are worth considering. If not, which of the 2 would be the better one for recording a band of 4 people.

asked May 06 '12 at 14:46

Mitte's gravatar image


most of those recorders allow for external mic inputs so if needed, you can use a good vocal mic for the singer, then have specialized mics for the instruments.

If you want a professional sounding recording then the vocals and the instruments need to be on separate tracks. Instruments are generally louder than vocals and heavy bass or anything that causes the diaphragm of the mic to flex heavily, it will prevent the minute articulations from happening thus if you record everything at once with the same mic, you will get issues such as vocal detail being lost when ever a bass heavy or loud instrument is played.

the H2n seems pretty good http://www.samsontech.com/zoom/products/handheld-audio-recorders/h2n/ offers a decent level of control over the stereo field


wanted to add, it is very easy to use these mics with the camera, if the mic allows for real time monitoring then you can connect the audio out, to the line in on the camera then record (the camera will save in a more lossy format but the lossy track is still good to have because you can use it later to sync the higher quality audio track with the low quality camera recorded audio, then the high quality audio will be in sync with the video without the need or the time consuming process of using a slate this process allows for greater accuracy than with the slate since the slate method can cause the audio to be out of sync by as much as 40ms (though not noticeable unless someone examines the video very closely for a frame of video that does not match with the audio directly under it, eg the audio of a firecracker exploding happening 1 frame before the video (not really noticeable in a 24-30FPS video)

answered May 20 '12 at 11:28

Razor512's gravatar image


edited May 20 '12 at 17:36

Because no one had an answer to this question I went out to a store and asked their advice. For a band, they recommended the H2n because the amount of mics in the device and the placement of these mics. The H2n is more Omni-directional while the H1 is more directional.

answered May 20 '12 at 11:11

Mitte's gravatar image


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Asked: May 06 '12 at 14:46

Seen: 1,241 times

Last updated: May 20 '12 at 17:36