What a great day! I got my Zoom H4 handy recorder this morning at school and in no time flat (typical for me) I was mashing buttons recording my concert band (without reading the manual). Despite many reviews saying that this unit was awkward to use, I found it very easy to place the unit in record mode and begin recording (although it was in standard mode with no mic modeling). Without setting the levels or anything- I really mean I pushed the buttons and off I went- I got a surprisingly good recording of my wind ensemble class even though the unit was perched on top of an upright piano behind me!
The sound was full and open with great bass response, which surprised me. I was also happy that finally in a small recorder I did not have to put up with high levels of compression just to get convenience- no “tin can” sound!
After school I sat down and read some of the manual and look forward to recording my wife’s middle school band concert tomorrow with a 1gig sd card and some effects and mic modeling (hmmm…do I use the neumann U87’s or the AKG 414’s? Decisions, decisions…) I’ll let you know how it goes. Now for the best part- as I read the documentation, I found that there is also a chromatic tuner and a metronome built into this thing! Could this be the swiss army knife of the bandroom?