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Old 01-14-2021, 11:51 AM
abelville abelville is online now
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Default inexpensive studio

Zoom H4n any good for creating a 4 track song? Do any of you have better suggestions for something easy to work with just to make simple arrangements with acoustic guitar and vocals?

Thanks Much!

Al
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:57 AM
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I have a H4n pro and the sound quality ist definitely good. I don’t know if the ‚pro‘ is any different to the non ‚pro‘.
Of course it helps to import the files into a DAW after recording and add some EQ and/or compression.
Take a look into the videos of Reina del Cid in youtube. Many of their remote recordings ate made with a Zoom recorder and sound fantastic.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:18 PM
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Audacity, an interface, and any decent mic. Overdub to your heart's content with the free software.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:18 PM
pagedr pagedr is offline
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I would highly recommend the Spire Studio if you're able to find one. They've had some pretty major supply issues over the last year or so because of everything going on, but it's a great recording device and super easy to use with the accompanying app. I bought both a Zoom and Spire to test against each other, ended up keeping the Spire. The Zoom's are really nice too though, nothing against them, just like the Spire better.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by pagedr View Post
I would highly recommend the Spire Studio if you're able to find one. They've had some pretty major supply issues over the last year or so because of everything going on, but it's a great recording device and super easy to use with the accompanying app. I bought both a Zoom and Spire to test against each other, ended up keeping the Spire. The Zoom's are really nice too though, nothing against them, just like the Spire better.
And if you have a smart phone and want a *really* simple way to just get arrangement ideas down, the Spire app can record off of your phone's mic.
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagedr View Post
I would highly recommend the Spire Studio if you're able to find one. They've had some pretty major supply issues over the last year or so because of everything going on, but it's a great recording device and super easy to use with the accompanying app. I bought both a Zoom and Spire to test against each other, ended up keeping the Spire. The Zoom's are really nice too though, nothing against them, just like the Spire better.
+1 on the Spire. I've been really happy with mine.
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:24 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abelville View Post
Zoom H4n any good for creating a 4 track song? Do any of you have better suggestions for something easy to work with just to make simple arrangements with acoustic guitar and vocals?

Thanks Much!

Al
Consider getting a Zoom R8 and a good set of headphones. You can do everything you want to do easily with it and it's only slightly more complex than the old cassette recorder format. You can throw some batteries in and record under a shade tree at the park.
Add a external condenser mic (or two...) for even better recordings. The R8 has phantom power to accommodate them.

Many are using the Spire, but it wouldn't be the direction I'd choose. The manufacturer has some odd stuff going on and there's some uncertainty about what's going on with them. You'll get recommendations to use your computer, but then you're chained to the location and all the problems that might entail.

I use a Zoom R24 and have done several full band recordings, using it to capture remote recordings and then editing the audio on my PC within a DAW environment.

All of this can get as complex as you want it to, or you can choose to start out with simple recordings. What direction you choose should be based on evaluating what you want to accomplish for an end result.

Last edited by Rudy4; 01-14-2021 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:19 AM
abelville abelville is online now
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Default Thanks much!

I'm reading up on all of your suggestions! Sounds great
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:21 AM
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Another thumbs up for the Spire from me. Really simple. Really good quality sound.
Nick
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:45 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I have an H4n Pro and the Spire Studio... the Spire gets regular use, the Zoom does not. Both are very functional, with built-in mic(s), but the Spire is SO much more user friendly; 8 tracks instead of 4. The Spire does require a device (I use an iPad Pro) to be fully functional, but it is that graphic interface with the iOS device that makes it so simple to use.

The Zoom can be used as a computer interface (to record to a DAW) where the Spire cannot. Realistically, when using the H4n Pro, I would download to the computer to a DAW to get more tracks and make basic edits... that isn't necessary with the Spire.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:23 AM
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Another plus for the Spire is that I can download individual (or all,)unmixed tracks to my computer and play with the effects on tracks there.So it's easy to get a simple thing going on the spire and also easy to get much more sophisticated with the tracks if you want to, through whatever digital program you prefer.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:17 AM
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Is the Spire Studio going to be updated by iZotope? Their website says it “may not be available in your area” but that’s been for some months. One site I saw said it had been discontinued?
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:24 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Is the Spire Studio going to be updated by iZotope? Their website says it “may not be available in your area” but that’s been for some months. One site I saw said it had been discontinued?
I don't know if anyone knows the status of the Spire product. I got a survey request late last year and the survey was a fairly extensive what you like/don't like/want to see thing.

My limited experience with the Spire is that it's good hardware, and the idea of using a tablet (or even a phone) for the user interface is a good idea, but that for me (though significantly, not for some other users here!) I found it didn't fit too well into my needs. YMMV.

Here's why the Spire could be what you're looking for:

Unlike the small handheld Zoom devices I've used you could do a good sounding multitrack mix entirely within the Spire app on the tablet/phone. Izotope uses its experience with mixing and mastering software to take a good performance reasonably well recorded and polish it up to sound more like a "professional" job. That's the "secret sauce" in the product. I'm no golden ear, but I think the internal mic is fine and the preamp for another mic or instrument direct in is good.

One could seek out one used on Ebay or Reverb or wherever. Of one could hope that Izotope puts out another batch of them or brings out a Spire 2.0.

For what I do, I find it easier and more flexible to work within a regular computer DAW, even one I know maybe 10% of how to use. Though that's me, it could become you too.
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