First Look at the Zoom H2n

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

I’ve probably recorded more hours on my Zoom H2 than any other recording device I’ve ever owned. It’s handy and functional, but still some distance from perfect, I’m afraid. When I heard about the new Zoom H2n and read the feature list I knew I’d get one as soon as they were available. Happily they were released a bit ahead of schedule, and mine is here.

The first thing that jumped out at me – the new box is a lot smaller.

Zoom H2n and H2 Boxes side by side

How'd they make the H2n box so much smaller?

Not the result of a breakthrough in packaging efficiency, I’m afraid. The reason is the lack of accessories. The AC adapter is missing, as is the mic clip adapter stick. These useful bits are now part of an extra cost accessory pack which adds $40 to the price of the H2n and includes stuff that I already have or wouldn’t use. Bummer, as we used to say in the 60s.

H2n Contents unpacked and spread out

Not much in there, is there?

On the other hand, the AC adapter is a USB connector type, so maybe I have something around here that will work, and the long battery life makes the AC adapter less necessary. And I’ve collected a couple of mic sticks already, so for now I’ll skip the accessory pack. And I’m happy to see Wavelab LE7 in the package. Maybe I can get rid of my Adobe Audition and use this instead.

Look and Feel

The look of the H2n is cool black, the new screen is bigger and brighter. This is my number one reason for wanting the new unit – I can operate the menu without glasses. This screen is still pretty lame compared to the beauty they put on the Q3HD, though. The H2n screen is monochrome and pretty low in resolution.

Zoom H2n and H2 side by side

Cool black vs classic silver

The menu is similar to the H2, but a bit simplified. The menu interface is simple and direct – a menu button takes you in and out of the menu, the playback paddle serves to select options. The buttons all operate much more easily and positively than those on the H2, but many of the H2 buttons are covered by a plastic skin which should add longevity even though it reduces tactile feedback.

SDHC card access is not quite as easy as the H2, it’s one of those uninspiring “flexi-hinge” covers and it’s pretty stiff right now. When I see one of these I figure there’s going to be duct tape on there someday. To be fair, plenty of people complain about the H2 hard plastic cover, and I’ve read reports of failure (and replacement with duct tape).

The battery compartment is a big surprise – the batteries both go the same way!! First time I can remember this configuration, usually two AA batteries would go opposite each other.


There’s no “Standby” mode as in the H2. The unit is listening and giving meter readings as soon as it’s turned on. Press the big red button all by itself on the front and you’re recording. Press it again and you’re not. Standby is a feature that has been part of recorders for a long time, but I know I am not the only one who missed many recordings because I only pressed the H2 record button once. I’m not sure which bit of technology made this new design possible, but I see it as a step forward, as soon as I can get out of the habit of pressing record twice – oh no!

Headphone monitoring can be turned off or turned on constantly, but the default is to have monitoring on at the home screen or while recording.

Files can be named with a date time stamp!!! No more hassles with duplicate file names when combining different recording sessions!!

The two obvious changes on the recording side are the level setting and the mic options. Instead of a three position analog “Mic Gain” along with a digital “Rec Level” control in the H2, the new recording has a continuous thumbwheel controller that is advertised as analog. My first impression is that the H2n offers much higher overall sensitivity than the H2, which will be a big benefit to nature recorders if the noise floor is adequately low.

The mic arrangement is interesting. There are still two mic arrays inside the H2n, but now there are five mics instead of four. A classic XY array (two cardioid mics at a 90 degree angle to each other, 45 degree angle to the source) points to the front of the H2n, as it does in the H2. The back array on the H2 is a pair of cardioids at 120 degrees, giving an option for a wider stereo field. In the H2n there are three mics in the rear facing array and they are combined into an MS (mid-side) configuration. This consists of cardioid mics facing opposite sides and in opposite polarity, so the two mics together emulate a single figure 8 mic at right angles to the source, while a single cardioid mic faces directly at the source and serves as the mid mic. The mid and side mics are then combined mathematically to yield a stereo field. The H2n can save either the decoded (stereo) or raw (mid and side separately) files, and it can be monitored in either mode as well. This is a nice bit of flexibility. In addition, you can adjust the amount of the side mic mixed into the decoded stereo file, changing the width of the stereo image. Visit the Zoom H2n site for a detailed explanation of the mic arrays and how they can be combined and adjusted.

I have this strong feeling that the real benefit of the mid-side (MS) mic arrangement is the marketing buzz it generates, but there are probably many users who will find a benefit in the ability to adjust the stereo width at record time. I’m guilty at times of seeing the whole recording world in terms of solo acoustic guitar, I’m afraid. I would add that the mic selector can be a bit difficult to adjust. It’s a small circular nob with a somewhat slick surface, so a slight case of sweaty palms can make it impossible to change mic patterns.

The playback speaker is a very nice addition. We no longer have to carry headphones just to confirm that we got something. Playback is controlled by the same jog-and-press wheel that navigates the menu. These things always feel a little uncertain to me, but it gets the job done. The headphone out is clean and clear, I’m thinking this unit will work very well as a powered mic to feed into a video recorder like the Q3HD.

Recording Samples

I was satisfied with most aspects of the H2 recording quality, except for the low level noise. My big hope for the H2n is an improvement in that area. I set up a comparison by putting the H2n, the H2, and a Rode NT4 stereo mic next to each other.

Mic and Recorders mounted side by side

Rode NT4 between two Zooms

The Rode was connected to my Echo Audiofire Pre8 interface. I played a 1 khz test tone into all three recording chains, adjusted levels to avoid clipping, and recorded the tone. With the recorders still running I played a bit of slack key guitar, and left a nice long “tail” at the end of the recording complete with tummy gurgles. This ending section where the last note dies off is a classic place to hear self-noise generated by mics and preamps, along with the room noise (and the belly noise).

After recording these clips I pulled them into REAPER, put the Sonalksis FreeG stereo meter on each track, selected the reference tone in a loop, and adjusted the level of each track so they were within 1 dB or so. This is barely adequate level matching, but hopefully it will be revealing of the differences in noise level. I trimmed off the test tone when I rendered the sample files – no one should be subjected to a 1 khz tone if they don’t have to be. I also made a second set of clips with just the tails, and here I raised the gain significantly.

Zoom H2

Zoom H2n

Rode NT4

Zoom H2 Tail

Zoom H2n Tail

Rode NT4 Tail


Having listened to these a bit I hear two things – the overall spectral balance and audio quality of the Zoom recorders is similar, and they’re both similar to the NT4. And the H2n does improve on the noise performance of the H2, but it’s still noticeably noisier than the Rode & Echo combination.

Knowing what I do now, I’m glad I got the H2n. The improved battery life will make my recording projects easier, and the more readable screen will help as well. But aside from those issues, I’d say the H2 holds its own very well in this comparison. For many projects the difference in audio quality is probably not enough to justify a switch. For someone on a tight budget the H2 might still be a good purchase, especially if their eyesight is good.

*** Update ***

Down in the comments, Boston Dave asks about how the H2n deals with loud sources. I banged away pretty vigorously on my Martin and from looking at the wave form and listening to the result I think turning down the mic gain wheel successfully eliminated clipping. You can download the test clip, it’s straight from the recorder so it’s a little ungainly, but perhaps it will be useful to someone.

H2n High Volume Test

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 2:56 pm and is filed under Audio, Comparisons. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • iRig Acoustic Stage Comparo
  • Three Stereo Mic Arrays Compared
  • -->

    41 Responses to ' First Look at the Zoom H2n '

    Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to ' First Look at the Zoom H2n '.

    1. Steve Berger said in post # 1,

      on September 1st, 2011 at 5:23 am

      Hello Fran . . . Thanks very much for you review and comparison of the new H2N recorder. I’ve gained considerable knowledge from all the the work you put into your gear analysis. And I love your music and your videos.

    2. Fran Guidry said in post # 2,

      on September 1st, 2011 at 6:55 am

      Thanks a lot, Steve. Did you get a chance to listen to the clips? I was kinda proud of the the old H2, I thought it held up pretty well. Poor thing will go in the drawer or get gifted now, though.


    3. Matt Sarad said in post # 3,

      on September 1st, 2011 at 10:38 am

      I found the H2n to have a bit more sparkle on the top end.

      Great playing as always.

    4. Ralf said in post # 4,

      on September 1st, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      The main prob of the H2 wasn’t so much the noise with the built-in mics but the noise when recording with an external mic. Could you do another comparison please with an external mic connected to both recorders?


    5. Fran Guidry said in post # 5,

      on September 1st, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Matt, thank you for stopping by.

      Ralf, I’m writing up the results of a comparison between the H2n and the Echo interface. But I can tell you that the external mic input seems about as limited as the one on the H2.


    6. Dave King said in post # 6,

      on September 1st, 2011 at 5:38 pm


      Sorry to hijack this thread, but I don’t see another way of contacting you.

      I just watched your “Vocal – Guitar Separation using Figure 8 Mics” video on YouTube because I want to do this very thing. I only have one Figure-8 microphone (Shure KSM-44) and wonder what would be the best way to handle recording vocal and guitar simultaneously with the least amount of bleed with only one Figure-8 mic availlable. The other mics I have are a Shure SM7, Shure SM-58, Audio-Technica 4033sm and CAD Equitek E-100. Do you have any suggestions on which mics might be best used in which position?


    7. Fran Guidry said in post # 7,

      on September 1st, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      Dave, you might try using the search box or the tag cloud, my YouTube posts almost all have corresponding blog entries.

      To answer your question, though, my first thought would be to use the KSM44 on the more important part. Is this mainly a vocal track, and you might replace the guitar, or vice versa? The KSM44 will deliver the cleaner track.

      Then with cardioid mic aim the null. The null is directly opposite the aiming point so the cardioid will be at an odd angle to its source, but that should actually help a little with reducing proximity.

      And then the best answer of all – try every possible option yourself, and learn along the way.


    8. Luca Giudici said in post # 8,

      on September 3rd, 2011 at 1:28 am

      I wonder if the raw MidSide recording of the H2N would
      be a noticeable advantage over the H2 in the following
      case. Recording of a live performance of a band (where
      I play): some flute/recorders, keyboard or guitar/lute,
      a few strings, sometimes a trumpet or a horn,
      sometimes a vocalist (music from late middle age to late
      baroque/early classical). Since I have
      no experience at all in microphone placement, I suspect
      that a mid side recording of the H2N would be an
      advantage over the H2 if placed between the director
      and the band, since this placement would be good for
      the angle of mid side recording and since there will be
      more possibilities in post production to (partially) adjust
      the balance of the instruments. I do not expect
      advantages instead when recording something like
      flute/recorder and guitar/keyboard alone
      (surround mode I suspect will be the right
      thing to record two instruments, with the
      H2/H2N in the middle).

      What is your opinion?

      Thanks in advance, your writings are always
      informative for me.

    9. Fran Guidry said in post # 9,

      on September 3rd, 2011 at 7:36 am

      In fact it’s possible to adjust any stereo recording, regardless of original mic configuration, but using a digital mid-side encoder and decoder. So the only advantage I can see of having mid-side is if there is going to be no post-processing.

      I’m far from an expert, in fact I have no experience in, recording of acoustic ensembles, but from my reading the mics are usually as far back as the conductor/director or farther, rather than closer. But each case is unique, each recordist has their own experience and preferred result. As always, the only way to know for sure is try.


    10. Boston Dave said in post # 10,

      on September 9th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks for the review. A question for you: The problem some others and I had with the original H2 was that it usually distorted when recording loud rock music (read: snare drum) in small rehearsal spaces – no matter how we set level/gain/limiter. If you check the forums, this was a common issue. Do you know if the H2N gain wheel and/or limiter functions have solved this problem for those of us in LOUD bands? Any feedback would be appreciated.

    11. Fran Guidry said in post # 11,

      on September 9th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      Dave, thanks for your question. My tinnitus is bad enough that I’m not going to try a snare drum, but I banged away on my Martin about 1″ from the H2n mic. I recorded a clip with volume going down from 6 to 0 trying as hard as I could to clip. I don’t see clipping (or hear distortion) in the section after volume level 4. I’ll edit this blog post and add the clip so you can download it.


    12. on September 13th, 2011 at 7:25 am

      […] گذاشته و با نمونه صدای رکورد شده با Rode NT4 مقایسش کرده. First Look at the Zoom H2n | Homebrewed Music پاسخ با نقل […]

    13. J.K.Chris said in post # 13,

      on September 23rd, 2011 at 5:19 am

      H2n on guitar sounds a bit sharper and with more highs. H2 on the other hand sounds more deeper and somewhat warmer. I was curious about the internal mics difference, because using sony d50 for sophisticaded tasks – I my old H2 performs somewhat better (for certain things sony is too good), where less is needed; and I’m thinking about upgrading it into h2n.

    14. James Voos said in post # 14,

      on September 29th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      Can you describe the components of your mic mounts in the photo above? I am new to recording, and looking to get some basic mic stands and accessories like this for mounting multiple mic’s for binaural, etc.

    15. Fran Guidry said in post # 15,

      on September 29th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      Hi, James,

      This is the stereo bar I’m using: AKG KM235/1 Adjustable Stereo Microphone Bar

      It’s my favorite stereo mic mount, it’s quite flexible but also very solid.

      Binaural, however is quite a different approach, since it relies on a “stereo head” with omni mics mounted in the “ears.” My usual use for this bar is XY or ORTF with directional mics.

      The rest of the configuration uses a pair of Beyer butterfly clips and the “stick” mic mount from Zoom. The bar is then mounted on a normal straight mic stand with a circular base.

      The Rode NT4 is being held by a small tripod boom by DR. I really like this little stand for my acoustic guitar recording.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. It’s amazing how much one can spend on these little bits of hardware when recording.


    16. James N said in post # 16,

      on October 1st, 2011 at 6:29 am

      Thanks so much for the review. I listened to all three (love your playing). The H2 stood up exceptionally well. And as far as price/performance I think the H2 is what I would recommend to people on a budget. I have the H2, H4n (I really like them both) and apogee duet with stereo pair of rode nt5s. The Zooms get used the most, basically the zooms are 90% of the audio quality with 25% of the set up hassle and price.

      If people really want to see what makes a difference in sound they should check out your post from a number of months ago regarding room treatment.

      James N

    17. on March 23rd, 2012 at 7:30 am

      […] 5,185 ^^^^That thing has four mics…..midside and mono. It seperates the mono from the mid/side for further processing in the DAW. You can cancel out background noise and keep the mono. Check this out. First Look at the Zoom H2n | Homebrewed Music […]

    18. Matthew said in post # 18,

      on March 25th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you for the info, your music and videos- I especially like your take on “Maori Brown Eyes”!Recently, I was in the middle of recording some more solo acoustic 12 string slack key guitar tracks for my next album, when I dropped my Zoom H4n on the floor damaging one of the mics beyond repair. (But the rest of the H4n seems to work OK.) I just bought a Zoom H2n and I’m wondering what would be the best way for me to do multi-track recording (MTR) with the H2n- I want to overdub ukulele, second guitar or maybe vocal tracks over my acoustic 12 string for a Duke-and-Jay sound. Can I somehow use the H2n for MTR overdubbing? Could I transfer tracks from the H2n to the H4n and use the MTR mode? Could I transfer the soundcard? Or must I use the Steinberg Wavelab software program that I’ve already downloaded from the disc that came with the H4n? (I’m intimidated by the complexity of Wavelab and have not used it yet.) Or can I play guitar tracks as CDs on my home strereo system and then do a live overdub with the second guitar or ukulele and record it with the H2n? Mahalo in advance, Matthew

    19. Fran Guidry said in post # 19,

      on March 25th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Sounds like a bummer all right. My first thought would be to connect the headphone output of the H2n to the 1/8″ input of the H4n. This input replaces the built in mics do you could use the H4n overdub features just as you do with the internal mics.


    20. Fran Guidry said in post # 20,

      on March 26th, 2012 at 1:10 am

      Sorry, Matthew, that last post should have said “This input replaces the built in mics _so_ you could use the H4n overdub features”


    21. Matthew said in post # 21,

      on March 26th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Thanks Fran! By the way, I just noticed that there are tiny screws at the base of both of the mics on my H4n, so my latest idea is to see if I can remove the old mics, and replace them with some new ones. Hope this works… But in the meantime, if I want to record any new songs, I’ll try your idea first. aloha, M

    22. andre in california said in post # 22,

      on June 4th, 2012 at 9:39 am

      I enjoyed this. The Rode’s sound isn’t as quiet and it appears in my humble opinion. Nor are
      the Zoom’s as noisy.

      I suspect if noise subtraction / reduction were used here’s what we’d hear..
      the Zooms are nearly identical but the h2n is a bit duller or the same with respect to
      Timbre and the appearance of range. That is I suspect we’d hear more ‘sense’ of
      compression with the h2n. Why? well quieter mics may compress sound based on their
      voltage levels (for condenser) and size and ‘compliance’ of the diaphram (how well it
      tracks sound)

      The Rode had more Bass and Low-Mid sound in the recording and in the noise.
      When that is removed the ‘hiss’ noise is probably lower than the zooms but who knows..
      In my opinion the zooms are more accurate and thus ‘sound better’. If one wants to
      recreate the Rode sound from Zooms it can be done with EQ..
      The other way ’round and I think you’d despise the sound of Rode with EQ to remove
      the ‘bass and mid-bass’ ..

      anyway it’s an opinion. I preferred the Zoom sound and felt I could do more with it.

    23. Fran Guidry said in post # 23,

      on June 4th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Andre, thanks for your very interesting observations. Many of these ideas are new to me, like the compression related to quieter mics. It’s my understanding that compression (and the accompanying THD) is not a significant distortion in microphones.

      I’m also curious why you feel EQ can be used to make the H2n more like the Rode, but not the other way around.


    24. AR said in post # 24,

      on June 24th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      I got this thing for 150 on Craigslist. I was instantly blown away. The quality and functionality was uncanny… very 2012ish.

      I finally got to bringing it into a live practice space and the thing started clipping horribly, even with the gain settings all the way down to zero. We play very loud.

      After about an hour or so of googling this problem, I’m afraid that there may be no way to remedy this, other than putting the recorder behind some sort of noise filter. Its really too bad because it sounds so good on the dynamics.. but there are spots all over the recording.

      i have a link if anyone is interested:

    25. Fran Guidry said in post # 25,

      on June 25th, 2012 at 12:24 am

      These Zoom recorders do a lot of things well. What they don’t do well is handle loud or hot inputs. It adds a lot of complication, but the only solution I’ve thought of is an external stereo mic with attenuation. Probably better off finding a pocket recorder that handles loud sources. Since I don’t play loud I’ve never done the research, so I can’t offer any suggestions.


    26. Tony said in post # 26,

      on September 17th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      For the people who claim unavoidable distortion when recording a live band, have you tried using external dynamic mics instead of the built in condensers? Is it even possible to fashion 2 SM57s as a stereo pair with XLR to mini adapters and connect them to the 3.5 jack?

    27. Fran Guidry said in post # 27,

      on September 17th, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Tony, I think you have an excellent idea here if the recordist has an opportunity to set up a pair of mics and stand and cables and adapters. The lesser sensitivity of the SM57 would do a lot to allow louder source levels without clipping.

      If I were doing this I would be inclined to make or have made a custom cable, because recording live events is tough enough under ideal circumstances, but one could prototype the setup using adapters. I have some XLR to RCA cables that could then connect to a dual RCA to 1/4″ TRS (stereo) phone plug and from there it’s easy to get to a 3.5mm TRS plug.

      But I think many folks are looking for a “no setup” recording capability, and in that case it appears that the Tascam recorders have an advantage in very loud situations.


    28. Tom said in post # 28,

      on January 12th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      I’ve heard great things about it from from both reporters and jazz instrumentalists. Listened to an awesome recorded set at Small’s in NYC and it sounded fabulous with little tweaking.

      Curious to know how it handles jazz/soul vocals. Also, how well does it perform at home as a USB mic? Trying to decide between this or something like the Apogee MiC.

    29. Fran Guidry said in post # 29,

      on January 13th, 2013 at 8:31 am

      I don’t Mac so I don’t use Apogee products, but there are several obvious differences between the H2n and the Mic. Most significantly, the H2n requires a powered USB hub in order to connect to an iOS device and the H2n is stereo while the Mic is mono.

      When I’ve used the H2n as a USB mic it works just like it does as a recorder, except that the data is stored on the hard disk instead of the flash card.

      As far as suitability for different sources, the more I record the less significance I find in matching the mic to the source.


    30. Vincent said in post # 30,

      on March 29th, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      hi Fran,

      i read your site when i was looking for a nice recorder and try to learn a bit more in computer music.
      you helped me so much with your videos and explanations.
      its just a “thanks you” message 🙂

      cheer from France.


    31. scotty said in post # 31,

      on December 26th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      not good. terrible sound.. sd card did not click into slot

    32. Tom said in post # 32,

      on February 18th, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Hi Fran,
      Your tests and write-ups are a great help to sorting through the portable recording options. Thank you! BTW, been to Hawaii a bunch of times and love slack key guitar, but have yet to try my hand at it.

      I’m coming in late to this field but like you, I am focused on acoustic guitar and vocals with secondary interest to record live choir and amped band sessions. For my budget, I’m comparing the Zoom H2n and Zoom H4n and wondered about 1) internal mic sound quality of each and 2) ability to playback to headphones while recording a second track. I understand combining the H2n tracks would have to be done on a PC using Reaper (or other suitable app), but I’m not sure if the H4n provides the playback of a MTR track while adding a new track – I’m guessing no, but want to confirm. If there’s little difference in mic quality I might lean toward the H2n since I’d need a PC to edit in either case.

      Appreciate your thoughts.

    33. Fran Guidry said in post # 33,

      on March 22nd, 2015 at 10:49 am

      I never used an H4n for overdubbing, I only owned one briefly then returned it. It is my understanding that the H4n has comprehensive but complex to use overdubbing capability. I prefer to answer from personal experience if at all possible, and in this case I lack the necessary experience. Perhaps you can puzzle out the capabilities from the h4n online manual:


    34. Sobhan from middle east said in post # 34,

      on June 1st, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Hey Fran…
      whenever i watching your videos, you make me some peaceful because your heartfelt face. be happy every where you are Man…
      I have a Rode NT4 like you and its amazing stereo mic with really true imaging and very very low noise floor as you know. Now i want to buy a handheld recorder that i’d can: 1- save my music’s etudes and ideas… and 2- it would have been high quality and low floor noise Line-In or Mic-In to connect my Rode NT4 to it for field or music band recording. after couple of weeks of crazy searching and watching videos on youtube, i finally found Zoom H2 and H2n good for my purpose and my budget of course! because of their(H2)low noise floor in these samples:
      and i saw in your shootout that H2 and H2n is so similar in noise floor. but in my ears, H2 sounds better that H2n! just i want to know:
      -Does can H2 be a USB mic like H2n??
      -Is there really huge difference between H2 and H2n except large screen and mid-side mode???specially of sound quality?
      -Is there any other suggestion for Recorders for my job with high quality Ext Mic or Line-in in nearly same budget??
      Thank you man and sorry for my long text mixed to my bad english!!
      Be happy

    35. Sobhan from Middle east said in post # 35,

      on June 1st, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Hi again! I forgot a thing. i have ask to you Fran. can you record samples of Rode NT4 connected to both Zoom H2 and H2n mic-in and Line-in and upload audio files here???
      many thanks to you

    36. Fran Guidry said in post # 36,

      on June 1st, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      I’m sorry to say that I no longer have an H2 or an H2n. I passed both of them along since I found myself not using them since I got my H6.

      I can say that a mic into the H2 Line In will almost certainly give no usable result. And the H2n has no separate inputs for mic and line, they both use the same input.


    37. Sobhan said in post # 37,

      on June 1st, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      thanks for your reply Fran.
      Be Happy ever

    38. Fran Guidry said in post # 38,

      on June 4th, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Hello, so sorry I missed this comment. Google mail keeps hiding my comment notifications for Homebrewed Music!

      In any case, I found the H2n to be much superior to the H2. It has more flexible gain control, better line input, better user interface, and much better battery life.

      I’m not familiar with other recorders, so I don’t have any suggestions for alternatives.

      Good luck with your recordings.


    39. sobhan said in post # 39,

      on June 6th, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you very much

    40. Dylon Martinez said in post # 40,

      on August 14th, 2015 at 9:17 am

      Does the H2n have a noise cancellation feature to it, or is there any way of reducing background noise? i know it’s a bit late since a already purchased one, but i think it will overall benefit me in the long run. I am asking this because i want to recorded some phrases and words my pasture says at church, but i want to avoid the excitement and yelling of the crowd as much as possible. I am going to use some of this in later music i want to create, but i just don’t know if its possible to record his voice in all the excitement that takes place. If not is there a good way to reduce background noise when editing samples? Any special programs to do so or techniques? I usually sit in the front so I’m pretty close but not always. Please help me, for this question is eating at my mind.

      Thank you


    41. Fran Guidry said in post # 41,

      on September 10th, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      It’s very nearly impossible to do what you want, that is, reduce random loud sounds near the mic to hear a simultaneous sound more clearly. Noise cancellation systems cannot tell the difference between your pastor’s phrases and the comments of your audience.

      If the background noise is constant, like a hum, hiss or buzz, you can use a program like Audacity to reduce that kind of noise. For non-constant sound you might be able to edit around the phrases you need, but it is incredibly tedious and might not work at all.

      A specialized kind of mic can offer a very slight improvement, but the best solution is to get the mic as close to the source as possible and collect a lot of material so you have lots of choices.


    Leave a reply

    About the Blog

      Howdy, my name is Fran Guidry and this is my Homebrewed Music blog.

      I play Hawaiian slack key guitar and recorded my solo acoustic CD at home. Most of the recording information I find on the internet seems focused on bands, drums, multitracking, and so on but my main focus is recording solo acoustic guitar. Lately I’ve been enjoying video recording along with audio, so that shows up in the blog as well.

      I’m also a guitar nut. I love big ones and little ones, handmades and factory guitars, cheap ones and expensive ones. So I’ll be sharing the fun of exploring guitars as well, along with the challenges of amplifying acoustic guitars for live performance.



      My recording philosophy is pragmatic, skeptical, not super critical. After all, the performance is by far the most important component of a track, and every aspect of any recording is a matter of taste.

      But I do like to know “about stuff.” Back in hifi days I learned about double blind testing. I learned that we humans can easily hear differences that don’t really exist. The more I’ve learned about our human auditory system, the more I’m skeptical of what people say they hear, especially if they claim that a particular microphone or preamp or cable has some magical property.

      I’ve only been recording since 2001, and when I started I found the usual places on the internet. I sought advice and accepted it, thought I would improve my recordings by using more expensive equipment. It didn’t work.

      Two things that did seem to lead to better recordings were experience and room treatment. Getting an appealing sound is the combination of many small details, and learning those details only comes from experience. Amd the sound of the recording space is obviously a big factor.

      I’ve only recorded seriously using digital technology, but I remember trying to record rehearsals and gigs back in analog days. I don’t have any nostalgia for analog recording and playback systems at all. I think even low end digital systems can capture marvelous recordings. So when I look at gear, I look for good specs: low noise, broad flat frequency response, wide dynamic range, low distortion. I’m not interested in colorful components, mics and preamps with a sound, I want the sound to be the sound of my guitar.

      But the last word is that I’m just learning and I hope you find something useful in my posts.