Overview: The Zoom H5 Handy Recorder is a portable 4-track digital audio
recorder with an interchangeable mic system, a stereo mic/line input, and two
XLR/TRS combo jacks. The H5 can record in either WAV or MP3 formats onto an SD memory card. A 1.9"
backlit LCD screen (128 x 64 dots) shows the input levels of all four tracks, and lets you
maneuver through the menu with ease. The unit comes with a foam windscreen, a 2
GB memory card, a USB cable, and two "AA" alkaline batteries. The entire kit stores safely in the supplied
hard plastic carrying case.
Interchangeable Microphones (L/R Input): The H5 comes with the XYH-5 XY
Stereo Microphone capsule attached to the top, with two unidirectional condenser microphones in an X/Y
configuration (facing each other at a 90° angle). The
microphones use an integrated shock mount to minimize noise from external
vibrations, and can handle sounds up to 140dB SPL. In addition, a stereo 3.5mm input lets you connect an
external microphone or line-level source instead. A rotary Input Volume control lets you
change the level of the L/R input. You can remove the XYH-5 capsule and attach
other optional capsules, such as the
SGH-6 Shotgun Mic,
EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo, XYH-6 X/Y Mic, or the MSH-6 Mid-Side Mic.
XLR/TRS Combo (1/2 Input): On the bottom of the H5 are two combo connectors that can accept either XLR or
TRS balanced or unbalanced 1/4"
cables. The connectors use the industry
standard "Pin 2 hot" (XLR) or "Tip hot" (TRS) protocol on
the connectors. The inputs can handle both mic-level and line-level signals with
ease, with internal switching contacts automatically detecting the signal type.
If you are using high-quality
condenser (powered) microphones, a simple menu option provides Phantom Power
(+12V/+24V/+48V) to the Inputs 1/2. Two rotary volume controls below the H5's
display allow you to independently set the levels for Input 1 and 2.
Outputs: The H5 features a 3.5mm unbalanced line output,
located on the side of the recorder for sending a stereo signal to a
camcorder, digital camera, or other device. Below that, a 3.5mm headphone jack with a dedicated volume
control on the side lets you monitor your recordings in real time, or
privately listen to playback. A Mini-B USB port (2.0 Full Speed compatible) provides a digital output
in stereo mix or multi track to a computer or iPad.
File Types: The Zoom H5 can record in two different basic
- WAV: WAV files are uncompressed. In Stereo Mode, the
H5 can record in any of three sampling rates (44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz) and
two bit depths (16-bit, 24-bit). (In 4CH mode, only 44.1kHz/16-bit, 44.1kHz/24-bit, 48kHz/16-bit, 48kHz/24-bit
are available.) WAV files are automatically time-stamped, making
them compliant with the Broadcast Wave Format (BWF). This allows you to
precisely synchronize the audio with on-screen action in video post
- MP3: MP3 files are compressed to reduce file size,
making them easier to store, upload and download. You can record only stereo
files in MP3. Available bit rates for recording MP3 include: 48kbps, 56kbps, 64kbps,
80kbps, 96kbps, 112kbps, 128kbps, 160kbps, 192kbps, 224kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps
or VBR (variable bit rate).
Recording Modes: The H5 offers two recording modes:
- Multi File: In Multi File mode, the L/R inputs from the
XY mic (or other input capsule) are recorded to the L/R tracks, and Inputs
1/2 are recorded to tracks 1/2 as separate files. The signals are recorded
to separate files allowing you to adjust the playback volumes and positions
independently after recording. You can only record at 44.1/48kHz WAV formats
can be selected in Multi File mode.
- Stereo: In Stereo mode, the L/R inputs from the XY mic
(or other input capsule) and Inputs 1/2 are recorded together as a single
stereo file. You can freely choose the recording format to suit your needs.
This mode records the highest audio quality and result in smaller files.
Recording Media: The H5 Handy Recorder records audio directly to SD and SDHC memory cards up to
32 GB. A 2 GB MicroSD card with an SD card adapter is
included with the recorder.
Audio Interface: The H5 will allow you to send signals input
through the recorder directly to a computer or iPad. You can also output signals
from that device through the H5. You can set it up as Stereo for a 2-in/2-out
interface, or Multitrack for a 4-in/2-out interface. An iPad can only be used in
Power Requirements: The H5 is powered by two "AA" alkaline
batteries (supplied). You can also use Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. Battery
life with alkaline batteries in Stereo File mode (XY mic, 44.1kHz/16-bit stereo
x 1) is about 15 hours. In the Multi File mode, (XY mic, Inputs 1 and 2,
48kHz/24-bit stereo x 2), battery life is about 7 hours 10 minutes. You can also
operate the recorder on USB bus power or an optional AC adapter (AD-17).
Mounting Options: The H5 has a 1/4" threaded tripod mount
that allows you to place the recorder on a tripod or other mount with a 1/4"
screw. With an optional hot shoe adapter (HS-01), you can mount the recorder to the top of a DSLR or
shoe-equipped camcorder. You can also mount the recorder to a microphone stand
with the optional MA2 mic stand
Optional Remote Control: The Zoom H5 can be operated from a
distance by using the optional RCH-5 Remote Control (found in the
H5 Accessory Pack). The remote connects to the remote port on the side of
the H5. With the remote control, you can start and stop recording and playback,
skip to previous and next tracks, select the inputs, and adjust the volume.
Auto-Record: The H5 can detect when the input level
surpasses your pre-determined level, and can automatically start recording from
the recording standby position. You can independently set a start level and a
stop level. Likewise, you can set the recorder to stop recording automatically
once the input level goes below a pre-determined level.
Pre-Record: When Pre-Record is engaged, the H5 will
continuously record in the background while you wait for an event to begin.
When you hit the Record button, the recorder keeps the previous two seconds
and adds it to the beginning of the file.
Pre Count: You can set the H5 to begin recording after a
count in. The count can be set to 1 to 8 or Special.
Backup Recording: When using the L/R input, in addition to
recording at the set input level, the recorder can also record a separate file
at a level 12dB below. This backup recording can be used if the recording level
was set too high, causing distortion.
Overdubbing: You can add recordings later to an already
recorded project. This can only be done when recording in the Multi File mode
with 44.1/48kHz WAV files only.
Track Marks: You can place up to 99 track marks in a file to
mark specific portions of the track to easily locate that part of the track
Audio Processor: The H5 has a built-in processor that allows
you to control the input and output signals with the following tools:
- Low-Cut Filter: The Low-cut filter can be used to
reduce the effect of wind noise and vocal pops on your recording. You can
select the inputs to apply the filter (L/R, Input 1, Input 2, All), and the
cutoff frequency (80Hz, 98Hz, or 115Hz).
- Compressor/Limiter: The Compressor/Limiter can help
adjust the input signals to optimum levels. The compressor reduces high
levels and boosts low levels. You can choose a standard compressor, or one
for vocals or drums. The limiter reduces the levels when input signals
exceed a set level. You can choose a standard limiter, or one for live
performances or studio recording.
- Input Pad: When you're connecting a mixer with a
standard output level of +4dB, you can set the H5 to reduce the signal level
Variable Pitch/Playback Speed: You can adjust the playback
speed in a range from 50% to 150% of normal, in increments of 5%, without
changing the pitch. In addition, you can raise and lower the pitch of the
effecting the playback speed.
AB Repeat: The AB Repeat function allows you to continuously
and repeatedly play back a portion of the track. You can set marks at the
beginning and ending of the desired portion.
Editing Tracks: You can perform editing functions on
projects or individual tracks. These functions include renaming the file, add
voice memos to a project, divide a project or file into two, and trim
unnecessary beginnings and endings of recorded projects. To create space on the
memory card, you can delete individual or multiple files and projects.
Tuners: The recorder can be used as a standard chromatic
tuner to help keep everyone in tune. In addition to chromatic, there are other
tuning modes such as guitar, bass, and Open A. The tuner can be calibrated between 435 Hz to 445 Hz in
1 Hz intervals. The input source can come from the microphone or the line
Metronome: The built-in metronome provides audible cues
to help you set and keep the tempo. The metronome can provide a pre-count of
1 to 8 beats, or a special pre-count. The tempo can be set between 40 and
250 beats per minute by 0.1 bpm. You can also adjust the level (0-10),
pattern (0/4--no accent, 1/4 to 8/4, and 6/8 time signatures), and sound
(bell, click, stick, cowbell, or Hi-Q).
Downloadable Software: The H5 is bundled with free software
from Steinberg. You can download Cubase LE7 Music Production Software and
Wavelab LE8 Audio Editing and Monitoring Software. Both programs are compatible
with Windows 7 and 8 and Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, and 10.9.