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Zoom H4n Portable Digital Recorder

Zoom H4n Digital Recorder Review

The Zoom H4n represents the next generation of portable digital recorders. 96khz/24bit recording in the palm of your hand, with available multi-channel and multi-track recording capabilities. Guitar players will enjoy the host of instrument friendly features including a metronome, tuner, and effects with programmable presets.

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Zoom H4n Storage Case

The storage case is a clear plastic container with a latch and side hinge unit that holds the H4n snugly. Really a nice extra ZOOM has provided. Great for tucking the device into a back pack or gig-bag. The case only holds the H4n itself and none of the other accessories.

The AC Adapter is a I.T.E. model LTE05W-S1, it’s rated for 5Vdc/1A with a max of 5 watts with a 4.47mm plug with the inner connection being positive. The adapter is fairly small and has a 6ft cord. In our studio tests we used an extension cord in most situations.

The wind screen is a simple foam half ball that can be placed over the mics when recording outside or where there is a breeze. t can also act as avocal recording pop filter to some extent.

The printed manual is fairly extensive and covers all of the ZOOM H4n features. It’s also fairly long. Many of the diagrams are confusing, though in practice after one glance through I was able to use all of the H4n features without needing to go back to it.

The Bundled Cubase LE 4 software is easy to install and comes with instructions for use. I’m used to using Ableton Live, Logic and ProTools but it’s nice to have a capable DAW bundled.

At the time of purchase the included SD Card was an unknown brand to me, but seemed to be fine and was apparently pre-formatted and worked fine for all our recording tests including 96khz/24bit .wav recordings. There is a list of compatible SD/SDHC cards on the Zoom web site. This card was 1gb and can record about 28 minutes at the highest quality setting, and over a dozen hours on the .mp3 format settings. You can switch quality settings freely between recordings.

The included USB Cable is 3ft long. When powered on and then connecting the USB cable as either a storage device or interface, you must use the menu option under USB to manually connect and disconnect the H4n. This is in edition to whatever you need to do on the computer to “put away” the USB connection. However when powered off the H4N can still be connected and will boot under USB bus power, a nice feature for long sessions or when batteries are scarce. On bus power there is no menu option for disconnecting the H4n – so only “putting away” the USB device on the computer is necessary. This was a little confusing at first. When operating on USB bus power as an interface the pre-amp settings are limited to 44.1khz or 48khz. When connected as a storage device the computer has access to the contents of the SD/SDHC memory card in the device. The USB connector is a mini USB. The file transfer over USB is pretty fast and presented no problems in my tests.

H4n Review continued…>

By ModGuitar Senior Editor

I have been building and modding guitars for 20+ years. My goal is to share my knowledge with readers, as well as offer affordable learning and do-it-yourself resources.

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