You might call Zoom’s new H8 a handheld recorder, but it’s actually rather more than that. Offering an app-based workflow, it can be used not only for making field recordings, but also as a multitrack recording device and podcasting studio.
With a heavy-duty sci-fi style look, the H8 offers 12 simultaneous recording tracks, interchangeable mic capsules and a touchscreen interface, which enables you to select the app you want to use.
Open the Music app and you’ve got an on-the-go multitrack recording studio that enables you to mix, overdub and add EQ and compression. You can also connect Zoom’s Guitar Lab via USB to access a multitude of amps and effects.
The Field app, meanwhile, can be used for location recording, sound design and more. There’s individual metering for each track, and you can adjust the input type, lo-cut, compression, limiter, noise gate and other settings.
Over in the Podcast app, meanwhile, you can use the dedicated Sound Pads to trigger sound effects, music beds and more. 13 are included and you can add your own via SD card.
The H8 comes with Zoom’s XYH-6 microphone, which provides two matched unidirectional mics for capturing signal directly in front of the recorder. However, the modular system means that you can easily switch this out for a different capsule. There’s the XAH-8, which is suitable for making stereo recordings, and the VRH-8, which has four condenser microphones and can be used to make 360 degree recordings.
Alternatively, you can plug in the EXH-8 expander capsule. This adds a further four XLR inputs, bringing the total number up to 10. Each one has a dedicated gain knob and power switch.
Other features include optional remote control from your iOS device (an additional dongle, sold separately, is required), and the option to use the H8 as a computer audio interface. Multiple audio formats and resolutions are supported, and we’re promised more than 15 hours of operation from four AA alkaline batteries.
Available in August, the H8 will cost £507/€521. Find out more on the Zoom website.