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Zoom H6 Handy Recorder : Review

H6

Four interchangeable capsules

They allow the optimization of the audio retake, and constitute a very valid help to quickly adapt the hardware to the surrounding environment. Two are included, while the other two are optional and sold separately.

X/Y

The best solution for the live. The angle can be adjusted from 90 to 120 degrees with the frontal knob.

X/Y

Mid-Side

It consists of two mics. The first is unidirectional, the second is bi-directional. The result is a wide stereo image that is perfect for the retake in studio, but the main characteristic of this technology is the flexibility.

Mid-Side

Shotgun (optional)

It has 3 internal mics and can be used in many different situations, above all when is difficult to position the mic directly in front of the sound source.

Shotgun

Dual XLR/TRS Combo (optional)

It adds 2 additional inputs, but doesn't feature the Phantom Power.

Dual XLR/TRS Combo

Connections

Much flexibility. The USB port can handle a digital signal, so the H6 can be used also as an audio interface with 6 inputs and 2 outputs.

Inputs

4, more 2 that depend on the single capsule. They accept XLR or 1/4" cables and provide the Phantom Power. Each input is equipped with a dedicated control for the gain.
An important feature is that preamps use a 5 volts voltage, rather than 3, like on the common portable recorders. This feature allows a better result, even at high volumes.

Outputs

A Line Out (1/8"), the headphone (1/8"), with a dedicated volume control, and the USB port. In the menù the user can choose if the USB must be used for a stereo track or for the 6 individual tracks. In this case we have an audio interface with 6 channels at our disposal.

File types

When the MP3 is active it can be produced only a stereo file, so, for a multitrack work, the user must choose the WAV type.

WAV

Sampling Frequency44.1/48/96kHz
Bit Rate16/24-bit
Maximum Simultaneous Tracks6 (+ 2 for the backup)

MP3

Sampling Frequency44.1kHz
Bit Rate48–320 kbps
Maximum Simultaneous Tracks2

Features

  • Pre-Rec
  • It continuously works in background, and, when the user pushes the start button, it appends an empty 2-second file at the beginning.

  • Backup-Rec
  • During the audio retake it produces a copy with 12dB less gain. So, if the original file is distorted, the user has a version without distortion at his disposal.

  • Auto-Rec
  • It automatically starts when a signal is detected. The basic level of the signal can be set in the menù.

  • 99 marks and loop playback
  • The user can apply up to 99 marks on the file. These marks can be used for the internal looper too.

  • Normalize, Divide, Trim and Overdubbing
  • All these functions expand the editing possibilities. With the Overdubbing the user can apply up to 99 additions to the material.

  • Tuner, metronome, Variable Playback Speed, Variable Pitch
  • Useful to the musician.

Effects

Three compressor types and three limiter types that have been designed to optimize the final result. In addition, there is a Low Cut Filter as well.

Power supply and memory

4 batteries, also rechargeable (up to 20 hours). The optional AD-17 AC adapter is included in the Accessory Pack. The H6 can use various memory cards (SD, SDHC and SDXC) for a storage capability up to 128 GB.

Manual

The manual, more than 100 pages, is really complete and explains all the most important characteristics.

Accessories

In the box

Operation manual, X/Y and Mid-Side capsule, SD card (2GB), 4 AA batteries (LR6), Cubase LE Software, WSH-6S Foam Windscreen, USB Cable, Case.

Additional capsules and other

Shotgun, Dual XLR/TRS Combo, HS-1 Hot Shoe Mount.

APH-6 Accessory Pack

RCH-6 wired Remote Control, AD-17 USB-type AC adapter, WSH-6H Hairy Windscreen.

Really valid

With the H series Zoom produces some of the best products in the market. The H6 is the new device of the Japanese company for the portable recording, and it's a great device, really great. 6 tracks!. An incredible result, for a so compact device. In my opinion, also at a good price, considering the high quality and the extraordinary flexibility of this product. Approximately 410 euros, but only with the included accessories.

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