The Best Digital Recorder for Recording Band Practice and Live Concerts I’ve Heard–But Your Recordings Might Get Accidentally Erased–the Zoom H2


*Update– of course after writing this, I recorded a jam session, which sounded great, but it was on a 4 GB SDHC card which came with the recorder, when I hooked it up for the first time to the computer by USB it did not recognize it, then when I tried to disconnect from the computer the Zoom display read “Do you want to format the SD card” or something and of course I selected “No” so it wouldn’t erase the recorded jam session, then there was a progress bar and then the Zoom wouldn’t recognize the SD card anymore and the jam session recordings are inaccessible, no card readers will read the card, and so far none of those SD card data recovery programs have been able to recover the data! Wow. So, the sound quality is really good, but your recordings can be erased instantaneously and accidentally, the first time you try to transfer the data to your computer. Hmm. I probably should have hooked up the Zoom to the computer before recording, just to see if the USB transfer functions were working correctly, which I didn’t. Boo. I tried again with a 2GB SD card. My PC never is able to access the Zoom SD card if I have the Zoom powered on, connect it by USB, then in the Zoom menu scroll down to the USB–>Storage option. I can only access the card through a card reader, or plug my powered-down Zoom into my computer via USB. Weird. Also dumb is that if I had it powered on and chose USB->storage, if I think press Menu to exit, it displays “Please wait” forever and hangs like that, I have to unplug the power cord or take out the batteries, which seems unsafe for the data.*

I’ve been looking for a good recording device/digital recorder to record live gigs and band practices etc for a really long time. I’ve tried MiniDiscs, 4 tracks, and the Belkin Tune Talk for the iPod, but it was lacking in essential features like a gain/input meter, limiters and condensers, etc. In comparison, the Zoom H2 is just amazing. It has a gain/input meter, it has four mics so you can record in 2 track and 4 track surround sound–the stereo imaging is fantastic. It has auto gain controls with condensing and limiting settings so that you can when you record live with drums and amps etc for band practice or live concerts it will prevent clipping or distorting. You can fine-tune the input levels, etc. If you ever want to record band practices, concerts, etc, the Zoom H2 is definitely worth buying.

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