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Old September 29th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #1
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zoom h4 is dying

After my iriver died some time ago now my zoom h4 (first generation) is starting to act up, last year out of nowhere one channel recorded at 6db less, don't know why, it just did one day. It is handy sometimes when you are not sure about your levels and have no way to check while recording, I always have one channel that records at 6bd less which I can use when the other clips.

Anyway, last week I did a one hour continous recording of some people singing and the h4 was standing on a very small mini tripod, when I wanted to pick up my recorder I accidently bumped it and it fell on it's side, no big deal, I thought, as it was maybe a 10cm fall. I picked it up to see the recorder was starting up again? And then the horror, nothing from the recording had been saved. Luckily I had 2 videocamera running alongside but that ofcourse is not that good in sound quality.

Yesterday I had it recording several times but some recordings are missing, not that big deal as I had back up but very worrying if I need to do a important sound recording again.

So I think it's time to put the recorder to rest as it's not reliable anymore, I have heared good thing about the Tascam DR-40, would anyone prefer it over the zoom h4n? The dr40 is cheaper then the h4n here and seems to have somewhat the same functions. I film weddings and need something I can hook up into the dj sound table so I can records speeches but I also record live singing (in church with it).

The zoom h4 has served me well but I need a similar device that has xlr connectivity, any other suggestions anyone?
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Old September 29th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #2
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Re: zoom h4 is dying

Have you tried a different memory card? A friend of mine was having similar intermittent problems with a Sony Compact Flash recorder for his camcorder and the problems went away with a different CF card. Maybe something is wrong with the SD card.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #3
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Re: zoom h4 is dying

Doh! As stupid as it may sound, did not give that a thought and it is still the original card, i"ll see if a new card helps but i"ll do some testing before I take it into the field, The h4 also has a problem connecting to a pc with the usb cable. If I take the sd card out and put it in a cardreader it connects immediately. I"ll try a new card first and see what that does.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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Re: zoom h4 is dying

If the card is OK, it still may be possible to recover the files. IF.. there were actually recorded but with no TOC. Try a recovery app like 'Recuva' and deep scan the card. If they were not overwritten, they would likely have cryptic file names. Look by size and/or date.
IMO, the DR-40 is a better recorder, though some of the features are different. Neither has premium quality preamps, (you get what you pay for) so an external front-end is recommended. The DR40 has actual +4dB inputs, whereas the Zoom does not as it is 'compromised' for instrument level.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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Re: zoom h4 is dying

I"m checking some recordings I did today at a town hall, I had a zoom h1, a yamaha c24 and the zoom h4 with me as I didn't know what to expect to record voices properly. As I had very little set up time I put all 3 recorders in record mode so I only had to worry about placement once I entered the room. When I did I saw best choices where the Yamaha and the zoom h1. The H4 was left recording in my pocket and I turned it of after the ceremony so it was a recording that was going to be deleted anyway.

Only now I see there is a file present on the zoom h4 SD card (from sandisc) but it is 0kb. Now I can copy data to and from the card without a problem so I don't think it's a card issue but one thing I"m sure off, it works maybe 50% of the time. Later this week I"ll try one of my other cards and if they display the same problem, even only once, my kids can use the recorder to capture their sing along songs. :) They won't mind singing a song a second time.

Anyone experience with the tascam dr100, maybe overkill for my purpose?
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Old October 5th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #6
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Re: zoom h4 is dying

Decided to order the Tascam dr40 which was about 25% cheaper then the zoom h4n, received it today and will be using it tommorow at a wedding, will see how it does.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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Re: zoom h4 is dying

"Anyone experience with the Tascam dr100, maybe overkill for my purpose?"
-- The DR-40 should work fine for you. The 100 is larger, has more internal mics, input / output options, a rechargeable battery, ect. . All things being equal, it should sound about the same
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