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Re: [ARSCLIST] Digital oral history recorders - any recommendations?

helpful experience: It wasn't oral history, but the week I got my H2, I was recording a software conference (16 roms at once!) when they asked us at the last minute toi record a round table meeting across the street. It was users sharing their experiences and the executives needed to hear it - I put the H2 in surround, locked the coltrols, handed it over and told them to put it in the middle of the table, bring it back when done. With 6 hours at 16/44.1 on a 4G chip, I was able to bring it into my laptop DAW. do some appropriate compression, and deliver the file an hour after the luncheon was over. It was nice stereo too, in two shannel but with surround micing. They wanted mono, so it was easy rto collapse to mono and deliver an MP3.

First piece of gear that paid for itself on its first use! I use a Sound Devices for music too, and the H2 is a perfect convenient unit for this use.

By the way, I also use it from the -10 line output of the SD deck to record MP3s simultaneously - can hand the musicians a preview copy right away. VERY handy.


Lou Judson • Intuitive Audio

On Jan 26, 2009, at 10:25 AM, Richard L. Hess wrote:

Personally, I have a Sound Devices 722, but I use that for music more than oral history. On the other hand, I'm coming close to getting a Zoom H2. I now know some people who have one and I think it makes sense for certain uses. My son wants to start recording things he does and I'm considering getting one for my church as we want to start podcasting sermons. I hear from my local music shop that the H2 is selling like hotcakes and newspapers are giving them to reporters, too.

One thing for oral history interviews that I find attractive about the H2 is that it can record in a quadraphonic mode that I would think would be interesting for a round-table discussion. It has two pairs of cardioid mics, front and back. Personally, I think stereo enhances the oral history experience and the H2's quad is set up so that it should sound reasonable out of a standard ITU 5.1 configuration (with only a phantom front centre).

I know, this is not like me, but this interest was partially driven by the church application and the tradeoff there is any dollar we spend on technology is a dollar we don't spend on feeding the homeless. In view of that, is the H2 adequate? I'm willing to buy one soon to see. It's $259 CAD at the local music store--when they get them back in stock.

One of the people with really good ears who has one doesn't use it for final music production, but he does use it to work through ideas. Another professional sound restorer from New Zealand has one and he says it's much better than a cassette.

The H2 will take higher capacity SD cards than the H4, as I read the specs, and is cheaper. The connectors are not as good. Like most things in life, it's a tradeoff.

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