This is another entry from memory as it dates from before I started keeping a regular log.
I have only owned the Zoom H4 for a short while now. I bought it from my favorite audio shop when I was down in Tokyo for a few days. Now I am back up in Sannohe I have the time to do some tests with it and see what it can do. I am still slightly limited on gear currently, one of the main things I need to pickup is a wind jammer I can use for recording outdoors, but today is quite still so I'll see what I can record.
I really love wandering around Sannohe, it is such a beautiful little town. The buildings and houses are all drab and gray and functional, so they are not very nice to look at, but the town is surrounded by mountains and full of rice fields and orchards so it always looks alive. I thought one of the best ways of comparing the two recorders (The Zoom H4 and Edirol R09) would be to record a passing train and some ambient bird sounds around town. For the ambience both units performs pretty well and very similarly, it was the train that really illustrated the difference.
I stood right next to the level crossing on one of the back lanes in the farming area and activated both recorders as a train approached. I also wanted to take a picture so I placed both recorders on a fence, this would also remove any handling noise. The train passing was quite loud, especially as I was only about 4 feet away from it. Listening back to the two different recordings it showed one main difference. The R09 actually did a better job of recording the fast moving train because its microphones could cope better with the wind generated by the trains movements. I think this might be because the R09's diaphragms do not point straight out and so did take the full force of the wind, whereas the Zoom H4 mics are far more exposed and its recording was very badly effected by the wind.
Normally I would never record without a wind cover, but it is still interesting to see what each unit can handle and which one is better to use should a fluffy cover not be available. I think that in general the Zoom H4 has better and more sensitive microphones, but the R09 is more capable of coping with some wind, so it’s probably a better unit to carry around in case of emergencies.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences