Mid-Side and Blumlein recording with the Zoom H4n

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I was surprised to find that a Mid-Side decoder function is included in the H4n, this is usually a feature of high end field recorders but it’s easy to do in the digital realm so the Zoom engineers could “throw it in” without much added cost. I love fooling with different mic arrangements so I had to set up a couple of figure 8 mics and do some recordings. (more…)


And more on the Zoom H4n

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

The H4n has made quite a splash, with its terrific feature set and dramatic appearance. Brad Linder has posted some clips at his blog comparing the H4n to the Sony PCM-D50. He seems to think the Zoom is disappointing, but I’m not sure I’m hearing the same problems he describes.

I got a long and interesting email from Mark McPherson of Portland, describing his evaluation of the H4n:



First look at the Zoom H4n

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The previews of the Zoom H4n have generated a lot of excitement so I added a few airline miles to the family account and ordered one of these new hand held recorders.



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.