Sax on the Web Forum banner

Which recorder sounds better?

  • 1. Zoom H2N recorder

    Votes: 6 50.0%
  • 2. Samson CO3B condensor USB microphone

    Votes: 6 50.0%
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I recently borrowed a Zoom H2N recorder from a friend, who asked me to do some recording and playtesting with it. Not that I'm an expert on that, but I frequently make home recordings with my Samson CO3U condensor USB microphone (linked to a laptop and Audacity software). I think both recording devices are on the lower price range of the market.

Just recorded a 'Tenor Madness' take to compare the recording result from both devices. I used an Otto Link Four 10* mouthpiece (refaced from a 5* by Freddie Gregory) with a Plasticover 2 reed on my 1952 Selmer SBA tenor.

Here are the clips (recorded at the same time, without effects):
- 'Tenor Madness' (Zoom H2N recorder): http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11704884
- 'Tenor Madness' (Samson C03U condensor USB mic): http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11704883

Just curious which clip you guys prefer. In my ears the USB mic sounds a bit better (capturing more highs).
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
To be perfectly honest, I thought the Zoom sounded better. Captured most of the highs that the Samson didn't. You're sound on the Zoom is brighter where the Samson sounds a little dead.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
42,184 Posts
Ok, one for the Samson, I felt it gave a better and fuller dynamic range. I agree that the Zoom sounds brighter but , to me, the Samson sounded anything BUT dead.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for listening and commenting guys :).

Mark, I'm sure it was a H2n (it looked like >this<). I listened to the recordings on my laptop with cheap quality speakers and a low cost headphone. So besides having different ears that could be a part of why we hear things differently :mrgreen:!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
No worries Peter. I have the H2 Zoom but reversing it's polarity with an after-market AC adaptor, meant investing in the later H4n.
It appears that they've since up-graded the H2.
I still think you could produce a better sounding outcome by embarking on the learning curve to superior DAW's than Audacity.
cheers, Mark.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Mark. I have some Sonar intsallation CD here as received with the Samson condensor mic, but never got it up and running on my laptop. Have to find some time for that, would be nice to compare the end-results with Audacity :).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,242 Posts
To be perfectly honest, I thought the Zoom sounded better. Captured most of the highs that the Samson didn't. You're sound on the Zoom is brighter where the Samson sounds a little dead.
That's interesting.... because my reaction, listening to it on my MacBook, was the opposite for the middle part of your comment. I felt the Zoom actually picked up more overtones, particularly midrange and low overtones, thus making the sound darker.

I felt the Samson did a better job with the upper-end overtones, thus making the sax sound brighter....

I felt the Zoom indeed missed some of those high end overtones....BUT....the Samson ultimately sounded a bit thinner all around than the Zoom did, even though the Zoom missed the upper overtones.....

So I agree with you that the Zoom sounded fuller, rounder, and the Samson a bit 'flatter', as you put it.

All in all, however....I had to listen several times before I started writing something.....and BOTH recording apparatuses (is that a word ?) are actually pretty good, I think.

I have a Zoom H3 and a Samson GoMic (which I use in the USB port of my laptop).....and I like the heck out of 'em both.

Thanks for doing that comparison, PeeBee. Just FYI, I have heard that putting an additional mic filter in front of a Samson mic will sorta take away some of the harshness of it. These are basically just pieces of fabric, looks like.

You should add a third response to your poll...or maybe even four: 3) both sound pretty darn good. 4) both sound awful.

;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jaye, I think you describe exactly what I hear myself (but in better words than I did) :).

I could add that the Samson recorded a mono sax track (high resolution, in Audacity) and the Zoom a stereo (mp3!) track on it's own disk. I loaded the Zoom mp3 stereo recording into Audacity to mix it with the backing, after which I exported it to mp3. It could be that the Zoom track lost some of it's quality because of that process. Also SoundClick add's some stuff to the mp3, it sound different (fuller) than the tracks on my PC.

So maybe my quick experiment is completely BS anyway because of the file manipulation by software afterwards (which I tried to minimize as much as possible). On the other hand, I also think that both recording tools are good enough for what I intend to do with it (making simple home recordings for SOTW TOTM threads) :).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also recorded in the same session a take of 'Tenor Madness' with the Zoom and Samson on an Otto Link Florida no USA 10* mouthpiece (my main piece) with a Plasticover 2 reed on my 1952 Selmer SBA tenor.

Here are those clips (also recorded at the same time, without effects):
- 'Tenor Madness' (Zoom H2N recorder): http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11711974
- 'Tenor Madness' (Samson C03U condensor USB mic): http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11711973

For me about the same differences in sound between the recording devices as in the Four 10* clips.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top