Whether you're a band that needs to record your live shows, a music student who wants a quick reference of your practice sessions, or a songwriter looking for the easiest way to capture ideas, the Zoom H4n portable digital recorder is a truly professional solution. Zoom has struck a smart balance between extreme ease-of-use and feature-rich recording with this incredibly useful device. Record in stereo at up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution, or record 4 simultaneous tracks at 48 kHz/24-bit using the high-quality on-board stereo mics and XLR combo jacks for mic, line, or instrument-level sources. If you've got a million-dollar studio that you plan on locking yourself into for the next 10 years, don't get a Zoom H4n. Otherwise, you'll find innumerable uses for this portable wonder.
H Stands For Handy, 4 Stands For 4-Track
Ever try recording a live performance on your laptop? There's the power adapter, the audio interface, the microphones, the clips, stands, cables -- and the computer itself, precariously balanced next to the soundboard as it churns away. Don't forget to turn off the wireless card and set your OS not to go to sleep. And exactly how long can your DAW roll four tracks without freezing or running out of free space?
There's an easier way: mount the H4n on a mic stand using its built-in thread mount, and use its on-board condenser mics to capture a perfect X-Y stereo image, either 90 or 120 degrees wide. Next, run a stereo feed in from the soundboard…
onto the remaining two tracks via 1/4" or XLR cables, and presto -- you're recording on four tracks. A large red light flickers on when an input clips, so you can easily tell when your levels are too hot, and adjust input gain accordingly, via the dial on the side of the H4n.
You can record continuously for six hours on two AA batteries, and a single 32 GB card can record over 15 hours of uncompressed 4-track 48 kHz/24-bit WAV files. Or record directly to 320 kbps MP3s in stereo mode for an incredible 222 hours of recording time. Simply plug your H4n into a computer to transfer and back up your files -- it'll show up as a USB drive with your WAVs or MP3s. Handy, indeed.
Practice PartnerIt's the rare piece of gear that can actually inspire you to practice. With 18 built-in amp modeling presets and an on-board tuner, you'll find that the H4n is an excellent practice amp for bass or guitar -- just plug in the headphones of your choice to listen and record. And with two microphones that can so easily be mounted on a single mic stand, it's never been easier to record your drum kit, either. With variable playback speed from 50% to 150%, learning new songs is a breeze. You can even alter pitch without changing playback speed, cancel the center channel, and use an existing track as a backing track while you record new vocals or instruments on top of it.
Demo MachineNeed to make a quickie demo before a song idea escapes you? Stop playing into your cell phone! Grab your H4n and lay down a clear, detailed track that you won't be embarrassed to show the rest of the band. With a built-in metronome and multitracking capability, the H4n is an incredible tool for capturing ideas on the fly, whether you're using the on-board stereo mics, your line-level or instrument-level source, or any mic of your choice. Use 50 on-board DSP effects including compressor, delay, and reverb. And when you prefer to fire up your computer and record into a DAW, the H4n functions as a 2-in/2-out 48 kHz/24-bit bus-powered audio interface.
Newsworthy RecordingsWhile zZounds is known for providing great gear to musicians and audio engineers, we've also found the H4n is a indispensable field audio recorder for filmmakers and journalists. Use it to record high-quality audio on set when you don't want to run audio into the camera. Record interviews or location sound effects with the on-board mics. You simply won't find a better location recorder that runs on two AA batteries.
A Moveable FeastDocument band rehearsals, record field interviews, capture sound effects, or make demos just about anywhere -- the Zoom H4n can do it all. So, stop asking your friends if you can borrow their portable digital recorders, and get yourself one of the best on the market: the Zoom H4n.