updated 12:20 pm EDT, Thu October 5, 2006
Zoom H4 Digital Recorder
Recording audio professionally when away from a studio is not always a simple process, especially when the analog source needs to be converted to a digital format. The four-track Zoom H4 by Samson, by contrast, can meet many of the requirements musicians and reporters might have when in the field. It includes two condenser microphones for stereo recording, and also has two XLR inputs for capturing directly from instruments or other microphones. All sound is instantly converted to either 24-bit uncompressed audio or 320Kbps MP3s that are then stored on SD cards; a 128MB card is included. Up to 6.3 hours of the uncompressed audio can be stored on a 2GB card, according to Samson, though using the recommended pair of AA batteries will provide only four continuous hours of recording. The company is offering the Zoom H4 now at $299, which is unusually low for audio recording at this level.