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Old 07-30-2018, 03:58 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Default Zoom recorders vs traditional route?

I would like to step up my recording of voice and acoustic guitar and was wondering if the Zoom devices would be sufficient? Anyone have any experience with these? How is the sound quality for recording live guitar and vocals at the same time? I am guessing you would need to place the recorder somewhere in the middle so volume levels are equal? Or could you use one external mic for the vocals (plugged into the zoom) plus the zoom internal mic for the guitar?

Of course the traditional setup of mics, interface, headphones and DAW is much more versatile, but I just like simple recordings of sound with video from my phone.

Thanks
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:30 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Using a Zoom would be a step up from phone recording. Using external mics would help isolate guitar and vocal more than using the built-in mics, of course. But the best way is to record the guitar and vocals in separate takes.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
Using a Zoom would be a step up from phone recording. Using external mics would help isolate guitar and vocal more than using the built-in mics, of course. But the best way is to record the guitar and vocals in separate takes.
But if you are going to purchase additional external mics, doesn't that take away the purpose of the "all in one" zoom? So now the Zoom is just replacing your laptop and DAW...correct?

Trying to figure out why people choose a Zoom setup as opposed to
a USB interface and external mics?
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:57 AM
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DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
...Using external mics would help isolate guitar and vocal more than using the built-in mics, of course. But the best way is to record the guitar and vocals in separate takes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
But if you are going to purchase additional external mics, doesn't that take away the purpose of the "all in one" zoom? So now the Zoom is just replacing your laptop and DAW...correct?

Trying to figure out why people choose a Zoom setup as opposed to
a USB interface and external mics?
Well, a DAW (with a USB interface and external mics) turns your computer into a multitrack recording studio with editing capabiities. A Zoom is a one-shot recorder with no multitracking or editing capabilities. Of course, you can download a Zoom track into a DAW and then edit, add effects, or whatever. But as Mike says, the best way is to record the guitar and vocals in separate takes, and for that you'll want a DAW setup. This is best for recording since if you flub the vocals, you don't have to redo the whole guitar part.

That said, those little zoom recorders certainly capture and digitize your playing fairly well. You'd have to use trial and error to position the zoom for a good guitar-vocal mix. (If they were on separate tracks, you'd have total control over how they're mixed.)

I got Cubase Elements on sale for 80 bucks. It's got much more capability than I need. Add a Scarlett interface and a mic or two - Home Studio!
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:51 AM
RedJoker RedJoker is offline
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When I record, I'm usually doing new songs that I don't know yet or that I'm trying different tracks so I use an interface and DAW. However, I've recorded for friends and if it's just a song that they play all the time, we used a Zoom H4n with the internal mics, plus the guitar plugged into one of the external ports and a condenser mic for vocals. That gave us three tracks to mix, all in one shot. Worked out extremely well to adjust relative levels of vocal, guitar, and a more 'live' feel.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
But if you are going to purchase additional external mics, doesn't that take away the purpose of the "all in one" zoom? So now the Zoom is just replacing your laptop and DAW...correct?

Trying to figure out why people choose a Zoom setup as opposed to
a USB interface and external mics?
I'd say factors in the decision between a Zoom and a audio interface / computer / DAW are:
How portable does your recording system need to be?
How simple does your recording/editing system need to be?
How much time are you willing to put into learning the system?
How well featured does your recording/editing system need to be?
What quality level of recordings are desired?
What's your budget?
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:06 AM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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I got confused by all the options, so when moving up from iphone recordings I bought a used zoom h4n for low dollars here on AGF.

It is nice that it is portable and you can get it out of the room where your computer (and its noise) is located. You can also plug it straight into your computer and use it as a DI box into your DAW. I edit in Audacity, but this model does have some internal editing and I believe overdubbing capability.

There a lots of good quality recordings in our show and tell section made on zooms. Check out TBman, islandguitar and j-doug for examples. Fred and Barry may also use external mics, but I don't believe Doug does.

As a starting point in home recording I'm very happy with the zoom. It records better than I play
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:50 PM
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Using a Zoom H5 to record instead of my USB interface allows me to go to the quietest room in my house. It takes a couple of minutes to set up my two external mics.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
…I just like simple recordings of sound with video from my phone.

Thanks
HI JackB1…

I use a dated Zoom H4n to record instruments, vocals, and video tracks.

Sometimes I use the built-in mics and other times I use expensive condenser mics (whichever the situation demands) and the Zoom does a great job.

It's a great way to get one's feet wet learning recording, and is substantially easier to work with than DAWs plugged into computers.

Zoom is the king of reasonably priced, prosumer portable field recorders these days.



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Old 08-01-2018, 11:11 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
But if you are going to purchase additional external mics, doesn't that take away the purpose of the "all in one" zoom? So now the Zoom is just replacing your laptop and DAW...correct?

Trying to figure out why people choose a Zoom setup as opposed to
a USB interface and external mics?
The Zoom is more portable - take it anywhere, so you can find the best sounding room you have access to, or just enjoy the ability to record anywhere you want, even the beach. It's also simpler - push the record button and play. Dealing with a DAW, mics, interfaces, wires, etc, offers more flexibility, but also more chances to mess up. Using an external mic with the zoom adds a bit more complexity, but not much. I've been using a single stereo mic, so one stand, one cable. The external mic(s) will likely be an upgrade in sound, but the built-in mics are adequate for all but very serious recording needs. It's likely that the built-in mics won't be the weak point in your recordings, unless you have a very good sounding room. BTW, you can also use the Zoom as a USB interface, so it's not exactly and either-or situation.
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:28 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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I have a Zoom H6 which I really like for recording, both using the zoom mics and external condensers. I've also got a H2N which can sound remarkably good as well.

I would draw the line at editing and processing on the Zoom. I find that a bit fiddly and inflexible. By all means import your files into your DAW and you will have a much better time of it. There are some pretty good DAWs for free these days.
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Old 08-02-2018, 04:25 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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It just struck me. As an old man the term traditional route for recording on computers just hit me a little odd. But then I guess so because tape wouldn't really be traditional would it?
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:54 AM
MikeMcKee MikeMcKee is offline
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I would say the answer to your question is yes. Place the Zoom where it best records the guitar, and then place another mic going into one of the external inputs appropriately for vocals. Set it up for multitrack recording. The external inputs have 48v phantom power, so that's nice. I have an H5 and it's really quite nice. I know it doesn't help with the portability issue, but Zoom does offer an optional piece that provides two additional external inputs. It mounts on top of the unit...just take off the built in mics and put on this attachment. So you can multi track record with up to four external mics if you want. I've done it, and its pretty cool. Only issue with this attachment is it doesn't provide phantom power.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:08 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
But if you are going to purchase additional external mics, doesn't that take away the purpose of the "all in one" zoom? So now the Zoom is just replacing your laptop and DAW...correct?

Trying to figure out why people choose a Zoom setup as opposed to
a USB interface and external mics?
I use a Zoom R24 to capture 24 bit audio with up to 8 condenser mics for field recordings. I can record on location, which makes a small band really comfortable, then do all the edits on my computer using a DAW and reasonable monitoring speakers.

An individual can use a lower cost R8 to do the same thing. Totally quiet, record anywhere you want (including under a shade tree in the park if you want to use the battery option).

The Zoom R series are almost as easy to use as an old style cassette recorder, and it's simple to do overdubs, re-takes, etc. without being tied to a computer.

The other HUGE advantage is it WORKS. I can't tell you how many times using a laptop or desktop computer has fouled up the process, and when you're recording yourself you want to only deal with inspiration and leave the perspiration for something else.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:01 PM
DavidE DavidE is offline
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Anybody use a Zoom Q8 for audio and video?
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