Zoom H1 Recorder

Ken Stone's FCP by Steve Douglas

Quality audio is one part of the editing equation that no one should forget. And yet, too many do just that and put aside audio concerns until it is too late. For those filming with the newer DSLRs on the market that provide high quality HD video on top of their photo capabilities, the need for a good microphone or recording device like the Zoom H1 is mandatory.

Recently produced, the Zoom H1, for the entry level shooter, does a very credible job of recording narration or music in stereo mode.
The Zoom H1 comes supplied with a 2 GB micro SD card, a AA battery, which can power the H1 for up to 10 hours, and pamphlet manual so you are ready to record as soon as you open the box. The USB cable, AC adaptor, windscreen and various other options are just that, optional. At the least, I would advise purchasing the USB cable, which can also power the Zoom H1, but is necessary for downloading your recordings to your computer and the windscreen.

Like its bigger brother, the Zoom H1 uses a stereo X/Y mic configuration and several features that really impressed. In tests, I found the stereo separation to be excellent. With the microphone centered in front of my television, I walked from the left side of the room to center to right and when the recording was ingested in the Mac Pro, my panning voice was clearly denoted moving from left to right with the television's audio clearly centered between the 2 speakers.

The microphones are a bit smaller than the H4n's and while the Zoom H1 can also record at 96khz/48khz and 44.1khz at either 16 or 24 bit, the recording on the Zoom H1 was a bit muddier on the bottom end as I listened to myself on the drums and compared it to a similar recording done on the H4n. In both cases, the recorders were placed at the same distance from the drums themselves. The high end of the H1 was quite good though transients seemed sharper on the H4n. read more...

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