Zoom H2 modification; now with 4 line inputs - diyAudio
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Old 15th September 2008, 03:11 PM   #1
Bertoa is offline Bertoa  Netherlands
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Default Zoom H2 modification; now with 4 line inputs

One year ago I bought the Zoom H2 as a tool for recording ambient sound. I like the 4 channel "surround" mode. After splitting the 2 stereo files I import the 4 WAV's in Apple Soundtrack Pro and in the "real surround mode" I mix all to an AC3 File.
Lately I was working with 2 softsynth's. I could monitor them on the 4 channels of my audio interface, but recording was impossible. Looking to the zoom H2 it is possible to record with the 4 build-in microphones on 4 tracks but not via a line input. So I wanted to experiment with my H2 to get that job done. I bought for 10 euro parts in the local electronic parts shop and started the modification.
After all it is possible (I don't say easy) and it was successfull. The microphones are working as usual; the line inputs are doing the job well. I made a movie of the modification: http://www.vimeo.com/1725654

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. When you don't succeed, you can always go back to the original state of the device. 6 holes in the back is all you have to cover up. By the way; you can keep the RCA plugs on the back. You can connect them to the line in and output of th H2.
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Old 15th September 2008, 05:14 PM   #2
lohk is offline lohk  Europe
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Interesting.
But you forgot to put in capacitors to block the capsules supply DC voltage. Your inputs now carry some voltage with undefined effects on your sources. Maybe harmful, but definitely deteriorating sound quality by shifting overload characteristics due to high DC offset.
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Old 15th September 2008, 09:34 PM   #3
cuibono is offline cuibono  United States
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Wow! Good job - I really like it when people bend commercial stuff - kind of a 'se si puede' thing.

But doesn't your h2 have too much noise to record ambient sound with? I bought one and sent it back because the noise was way too high.. I recently bought a microtrack because of the almost nonexistant noise levels (see sonic studios reviews). Maybe the line in is quiet?
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Old 15th September 2008, 09:43 PM   #4
Bertoa is offline Bertoa  Netherlands
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You are very right; it needs a capacitor to avoid hiss. Listening once again to the line recording there was a hiss in the recording by louder volume. I opened the H2 and put an elco in. See the diagram. Thanks for your reaction. By the way; the 4 condensors on the table where to big to
put in the H2....
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Old 17th September 2008, 04:13 PM   #5
Bertoa is offline Bertoa  Netherlands
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He Lohk and Cuibono, thanks for your comment. This is only the beginning of an open source hardware hackers dream on the Zoom H2.
I work now on the version3 modification video that will be soon published on Vimeo and You Tube.Search for > Zoom H2 modification.
Besides an optimalisation in reducing unwanted signals (the line inputs have to be as clean as possible!) I have a surprice.
Version2 on you tube brings in a tantalium capacitor of 3,3 mF 35V to keep a DC component from the line input therefore from the source.
I post on several fora and hope to help many audiophile's to uncover the hidden potentialities of this device. Keep in touch with this thread!
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Old 14th June 2013, 01:18 AM   #6
kc7fys is offline kc7fys  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertoa View Post
He Lohk and Cuibono, thanks for your comment. This is only the beginning of an open source hardware hackers dream on the Zoom H2.
I work now on the version3 modification video that will be soon published on Vimeo and You Tube.Search for > Zoom H2 modification.
Besides an optimalisation in reducing unwanted signals (the line inputs have to be as clean as possible!) I have a surprice.
Version2 on you tube brings in a tantalium capacitor of 3,3 mF 35V to keep a DC component from the line input therefore from the source.
I post on several fora and hope to help many audiophile's to uncover the hidden potentialities of this device. Keep in touch with this thread!

...Still keeping in touch with this thread. Was there ever an ultimate 4-track mod that emerged?
Thanks!
Jonathan
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Old 15th June 2013, 10:22 PM   #7
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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I came across a Zoom H4N for a good price locally, but got suspicious when I couldn't find any specs in the literature other than bit rate and depth. What kind of audio product doesn't come with performance specifications? Googling turned up some actual test results... It seems Zoom didn't do a very good job providing clean power to the analog stages, so noise and distortion isn't worthy of 16 bits let alone 24 bits. If the price had been REALLY low I might have bought it anyway to see if it could be modified for cleaner recording, but in the end I decided to just steer clear and save my money.
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