While planning out our talk show and Lockhart’s Hot Off The Press music series, a good friend and confidante, Somsy Vejsiri came to me, offering to let me take his recording device, the ZOOM H5, for a test drive. This thing looks SO much like a Star Trek Tricorder that I’m probably going to have to get a Spock shirt for doing interviews. On top of looking super cool, it also has some insanely great capabilities for optimal audio recording. We showed my boss, Dana Garrett, owner and publisher of Lockhart Post-Register, what it could do, and he immediately went on Amazon and nabbed us one, but the newly updated version- the ZOOM H6. With all of the needs that one has when starting up a talk show, and the various sounds that we work to capture while recording musicians like ALASH, the throat singers of Tuva that we so graciously hosted last month, we were able to encapsulate all of the audio, without missing a beat. Footage of our time with them coming soon. Back to the Zoom- This thing is dubbed the “ultimate chameleon of the audio world” by Google, “It’s advanced preamps make it the best-sounding one too. Whatever your application – live recording, professional film/video work, live broadcast or electronic news gathering – the H6 can handle it with ease.”
Electronic news gathering, indeed, ya’ll. Whenever I find out that our editor has an interview close by, I hop on my bike and bring this baby.
I just used it last week to record an interview with the director of the upcoming filmed-in-Lockhart feature film, Jerry Alden Deal and the audio was so clear that, when I listen to it, I’m thrown right back into the moment I did it. For this one, I used the Left Right mic capsule, which was perfect for a two way conversation.
Not to mention the music… I took my little electronic friend with me to the Old Settler’s Music Festival and caught something quite astounding while staying up for camp SHHHTimes- the incredible powerhouse and schoolteacher, Possessed by Paul James, and his ever stomping foot-drumming.
Possessed By Paul James is a loud dude, and he’s not messing around. He belts out every bit of emotion he feels so, since I was working alone, I had to set the volume on 6 and leave my little recording buddy on the stage while I took in the visuals with my Canon EOS 6D. The results are still a video that even I can’t stop watching and listening to. If I had been able to control the Zoom, or had an assistant to run audio, I’m quite sure that the sound could have been even better, with more control over the peaks.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the Zoom H6. My only complaint is that the screen scratches really easily. I’ve barely used it and the “M” in “ZOOM” is already scratched off halfway. But you know what, the screen and the logo have nothing to do with it’s actual function, so I’ll be keeping it.