Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hacking the Zoom H2

The Zoom H2 digital audio recorder has a lot of things going for it. For under $200, you get a near-broadcast quality built in microphone, mic and line inputs, and a USB audio interface that you can plug into your computer. It's a great little machine for podcasters on a budget (although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for radio producers, as you will notice a bit of hiss in recordings with an external microphone.

But for those not satisfied with a stock Zoom H2, there's hope. Hardware hacker Berto Aussems has sent two videos to Hackszine showing two fascinating modifications to the H2 hardware. First up is a modification that replaces the built in mics with 4 separate line inputs.

This hack will let you record from 4 separate sources simultaneously. You can use external microphones (with the proper line level adapters) or direct audio sources. The cost of this modification? About $10. You know, assuming you know your way around a soldering iron and tiny electrical components.

It should be noted that the modified H2 will be able to record from 4 different sources, but the audio will likely be mixed down to a single stereo track.

Aussems also submitted another modification that keeps the original microphones intact, but adjusts them to improve their directional sensitivity.

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