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  #16  
Old 08-08-2018, 06:16 AM
cdikland cdikland is offline
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While comparing Zoom H4n Pro to the Zoom H6 clearly indicates that the H6 has a much "richer" features list, what I can not determine through any of my research is the actual quality of the sound when recording an acoustic guitar. Straight out of the box(es), does the H6 reproduce the acoustic sound better than the H4n? Is the extra cost of the H6 worth it when my main goal is to use it for recording acoustic guitar??
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  #17  
Old 08-08-2018, 06:57 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Capturing sound digitally, the main factors are the microphone and the A-D converters. I'm guessing that the A-D converters are the same in all the Zoom models. So if you use external mics, the sound captured will be exactly the same.
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2018, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdikland View Post
While comparing Zoom H4n Pro to the Zoom H6 clearly indicates that the H6 has a much "richer" features list, what I can not determine through any of my research is the actual quality of the sound when recording an acoustic guitar. Straight out of the box(es), does the H6 reproduce the acoustic sound better than the H4n? Is the extra cost of the H6 worth it when my main goal is to use it for recording acoustic guitar??
I use an H5. My understanding is the after the H6 and H5 were introduced Zoom updated the H4n to Pro spec so that the 3 all share the same electronics and therefore noise level. Differences are about other features, including mics, particularly number of inputs and display.
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  #19  
Old 08-08-2018, 08:14 AM
MikeMcKee MikeMcKee is offline
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I personally prefer the H5 over the H4n pro. I like the mounted individual level controls, and the ability to use the optional attachments...although the pre amps are supposed to be the same.
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  #20  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdikland View Post
While comparing Zoom H4n Pro to the Zoom H6 clearly indicates that the H6 has a much "richer" features list, what I can not determine through any of my research is the actual quality of the sound when recording an acoustic guitar. Straight out of the box(es), does the H6 reproduce the acoustic sound better than the H4n? Is the extra cost of the H6 worth it when my main goal is to use it for recording acoustic guitar??
The H6 was noticeably quieter than the H4n, not sure about the newer H4n Pro, perhaps it has been upgraded to the same as the H5/H6. Those extra inputs do come in handy sometimes, you never know - maybe you'll want to try more than two mics, or record a duet with a friend, etc.
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  #21  
Old 08-08-2018, 11:58 AM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
Capturing sound digitally, the main factors are the microphone and the A-D converters.

Perhaps this is true for a handheld digital recorder, but a lot of us capture sound digitally using microphones, a mic preamp, and converters into a DAW. IMO the mic preamp plays a major role in the sound.

Last edited by DukeX; 08-08-2018 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  #22  
Old 08-08-2018, 02:30 PM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Originally Posted by reeve21 View Post
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.
I use the internal mid side mics. You can check out sample recordings by clicking the link in my signature.
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  #23  
Old 08-08-2018, 02:53 PM
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Here's a solo guitar example that I posted here quite a while back as a blind test. I know that take B is the Zoom H6 with the internal XY mics (obvious because the mic placement is different). The other 2 (a or c) are 1) the Zoom with external mics, and 2) the same mics thru a Great River preamp/Cranesong HEDD A/D, and RME AES-32 interface, so a significant difference in the preamp and A/D converter quality. I'd have to look up which is which, (a or c). It's not obvious to me from listening now. Three different performances, of course, so there are minor variations in sound due to that.





This is just guitar, recording vocals at the same time as the guitar is a whole different topic, and not so much specific to the Zoom, more of a question of mic placement and other techniques for balancing the two. Fran Guidry has a nice demo or two on his homebrew music page.
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  #24  
Old 08-09-2018, 06:28 AM
cdikland cdikland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Here's a solo guitar example that I posted here quite a while back as a blind test. I know that take B is the Zoom H6 with the internal XY mics (obvious because the mic placement is different). The other 2 (a or c) are 1) the Zoom with external mics, and 2) the same mics thru a Great River preamp/Cranesong HEDD A/D, and RME AES-32 interface, .
Listening to your examples got me thinking. None of my recordings ever sound anything close to what you posted above. Regardless of the guitar (Larrivee, Martin or Bourgeois) I record, which room I setup in my house or what equipment I use the results are always the same. The recording sounds like a guitar played through a cheap pickup and amp. I don't know how many videos I watched on the proper way to setup and record an acoustic guitar and while I can get quite a variety in the quality of sound that acoustic sound is mostly lost. Some of the equipment I have used is:

Rode Nt1a connected to m-Audio Duo Pre-amp (at least 10 years old)
Apogee Mic connected to iPad
Edirol by Roland.


I can setup all 3 to record at the same time and you'd be hard pressed to tell which was record using what equipment. Not that there isn't a difference but none stand out as a good acoustic recording.
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  #25  
Old 08-09-2018, 07:37 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeX View Post
Perhaps this is true for a handheld digital recorder, but a lot of us capture sound digitally using microphones, a mic preamp, and converters into a DAW. IMO the mic preamp plays a major role in the sound.
You're correct, of course. I would assume the Zooms all have the same preamps as well as converters.
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  #26  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:54 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Here's a solo guitar example that I posted here quite a while back as a blind test. I know that take B is the Zoom H6 with the internal XY mics (obvious because the mic placement is different). The other 2 (a or c) are 1) the Zoom with external mics, and 2) the same mics thru a Great River preamp/Cranesong HEDD A/D, and RME AES-32 interface, so a significant difference in the preamp and A/D converter quality. I'd have to look up which is which, (a or c). It's not obvious to me from listening now. Three different performances, of course, so there are minor variations in sound due to that...
Those all really do sound good, Doug. I prefer Take A but would be happy with any of them. Much respect for the Zoom.
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  #27  
Old 08-09-2018, 01:00 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
You're correct, of course. I would assume the Zooms all have the same preamps as well as converters.
I must admit, in the right hands, these Zooms are very impressive for recording acoustic guitar.
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  #28  
Old 08-09-2018, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DukeX View Post
Those all really do sound good, Doug. I prefer Take A but would be happy with any of them. Much respect for the Zoom.
I found the original thread with guesses and reveal:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=359079

A is the Zoom with external mics, C is Great River+Cranesong+RME, so you preferred the preamp and converters in the Zoom to the pricey chain.
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Last edited by Doug Young; 08-09-2018 at 02:51 PM.
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  #29  
Old 08-09-2018, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdikland View Post
Listening to your examples got me thinking. None of my recordings ever sound anything close to what you posted above. Regardless of the guitar (Larrivee, Martin or Bourgeois) I record, which room I setup in my house or what equipment I use the results are always the same. The recording sounds like a guitar played through a cheap pickup and amp.
You might post something, and maybe people can help. It's hard to diagnose issues without being there in person, but we've had a number of people make great progress on AGF by posting examples, and getting suggestions from the various people into recording.
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  #30  
Old 08-09-2018, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Three different performances, of course, so there are minor variations in sound due to that.
BTW, I just read the original thread I posted, and I was remembering wrong about this. These 3 recordings were done simultaneously, so all three are the same performance. Any differences, therefore are presumably due to the gear or mic placement - even with the spaced pairs (A and C) the mics are necessarily moved by an inch or so, in order to have two pairs of mics setup.
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