A multi-disciplinary journey in music, sound, and field recording.

The Gateway Drug: Samson Zoom H2

Posted: July 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, gear, sound design

(Part 1 of a 3-part series: Part 2 | Part 3)

The ultimate rule of gathering, be it audio, photography, video, or butterflies, is this: The best tool in the world is the one you have with you. (Not sure who came up with this first, but I heard it initally from Chase Jarvis.)

Zoom H2

The humble Zoom H2; even with higher-tech alternatives, still a viable tool.

My first dedicated audio recorder was the Samson Zoom H2, a cheap plastic box packed with four microphone capsules and a teensy screen. Its quirks and dull sound, however, are secondary to its pocket-sized form factor that lets you record stereo (or even semi-surround, using all four mics at once) literally anywhere. I’ve captured tons of sounds with the H2 that I’ve had missed if I carried more “serious” audio equipment with me (which I’ve since upgraded to, and you’ll read more about in the coming weeks).

One such example is this slice of urban ambience, replete with a heated street argument, shot out of a third-story window in San Francisco’s Mission District.


[Zoom H2, 120°-spread rear mic pair]

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