Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Christmas Gift to Me

Today is a snow day and somehow I've already finished my Christmas shopping. I even mailed it all to myself at my mother's PO Box in Virginia, to avoid carrying too much on the bus. So instead of running around the mall with the rest of the region's population, I am playing with my new toy.

I bought a Zoom H2 digital audio recorder after Thanos recorded Denise and me on the one he got at B&H when he was in town. It's known for excellent sound, portability, and all I have to do to move the sounds onto my laptop is plug in the USB cable, then drag-and-drop. Yee-haw.

We've come a long way from my days of dragging around a Marantz recorder and cutting tape with razor blades, back at school in the mid-80s.

Today I learned to use my Zoom by recording messages off my answering machine (Hello, Jessica Wolk-Stanley, thanks for cooperating with my experiment). There was ambient noise from 'fridge (oops, better turn that back on) and the neighbors, so I threw a blanket over the answering machine's speaker and the Zoom, and turned the Zoom on "Front Record" so it was directional.


My plan now is to take this down to Virginia, put it down on the dining room table, and sit my mother in one chair and my sister in the other. I am hoping we can straighten out exactly what happened in Del Ray in the early 80s. I put some of the story in my comic "Scorched Birth" (free for the asking) and some of it here on the multimedia project that Thanos helped Denise and I with. But this brought up all kinds of "It wasn't like this, it was like that" back-and-forth between the rest of my family.

And maybe, once we get that straight, maybe I'll take the Zoom to Bolivia with me. Along with my tiny flash video camera.

You've been warned.


Steve Buccellato said...

Well, you're way ahead of ME! I'm still one of those last-minute shopper types. I'm getting better, but still UNPREPARED! You are an inspiration to us all.

Marie Javins said...

I had incentive. I already have to carry my Bolivia backpack to Mom's, which means to the PATH then a few blocks to the bus. Then from the bus to the Metro on the DC end, then from the Metro to the rental car shuttle at the airport. I didn't want to be lugging shopping bags along with me too.

I know my limits. And how.

Ed Ward said...

Okay, that sounds like something I'm going to need. What was the tariff on that cute little thing? How much recording time? Broadcast quality?

Inquiring gadget freaks need to know!

Marie Javins said...

It's about $170. I looked around for something on sale but didn't find any. Perhaps right after Christmas, you'll find a coupon on one of those coupon sites. Do a search for

Zoom h2

and you'll see what you need to see about your own needs. When Thanos went to B&H, the salesperson told us there were better ones if we spent more money, but we didn't want to spend more money. The Zoom H4 reputedly isn't quite as good sound quality but you can put an external shotgun mic on it and have it be powered by the H4. The H2 needs separate power for a serious external mic.

But the mic that comes with it is better than any mic I've ever owned. Does that say more about the Zoom H2 or more about the secondhand and cheaper equipment I've owned over the years. Maybe a bit of both.

Oh, how much recording time depends on the card you put in it. It comes with 512 SD which holds about 45 minutes. I'll put in a 4 GB one instead.