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Better sound quality as Zoom H6 Audio Interfaces
Old 27th December 2014
Gear Maniac

Better sound quality as Zoom H6

Hello everybody.
I know that the Zoom H6 is the type of recorders used in video setups, but since it´s very good quality it´s been used aswell as audio interface.
I have bought mine on march of this year, later sold it because of getting another gear and needed the money.
Now have bought it again, second hand but I´m half satisfied.
For its size, and battery power its very good quality, but for recording clasical guitar, for example, is a drop down from my studio setup (BG1+stereo 192 Mytek).

I know that it´s difficult to find a portable sollution for this quality setup.
Have thought about the Usbpre2, and found a comparsion on Souncloud, where is the Babyface, what already have (for me, preamps a fat, round, colored and low detail for guitar).
But found outstanding sensitivity and clarity on the Motu Track16.
Issue here, is that forgeting the Zoom H6 should loose stand-alone handy recorder, so would sacrifice this, and instead use a laptop to get a better sound quality, more detailed and sensitive preamps and converter.
So the question is, exist something like this? Is the Motu track 16 a good option?

I have to say that I don´t need extreme portability, just I have my studio setup in a rack cabinet and should like some mobility even inside my home.
I´m open to suggestions.
Thanks in advance.
Old 28th December 2014
Gear Maniac

I have the SD Usb Pre 2 and I can say is a very good box for my needs: very good "transparent" preamps and good a/d, wonderful routing possibilities and d/a....
Couple with a pair of very good mics (Schoeps, Neumann, Dpa, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic) and you should make very good professional recordings.
I also have a Zoom H6 for archiving my live solo piano recitals when I don't want to deal with too many boxes and cables and I must say I'm very impressed with it: not as high quality as SD but it can record 6 inputs and for sure is good.
Preamps on the Zoom are a bit noisy if cranked up, but are transparent and perfectly usable for classical music. I must recommend it.
Another possibility is to run standalone preamps (for example SD Usb Pre 2) into the zoom line inputs (is not possible to bypass zoom preamps but if you set the gain to zero they should not interfere with your signal).
But I can't say if it's worth the hassle...
Old 28th December 2014
Gear Maniac

Thanks a lot for your reply, it helps a lot.

I also have a Rme Babyface that I have for monitoring, DA, headphones, for this purpose sounds very well, but I don´t like it´s preamps, they sound good but too round, colored, I even prefere the H6 with the Nt5 than the babyface preamps for guitar (flamenco guitar, that is quite brilliant instrument).

I was a little surprised about this comparison: Portable Audio Interface Comparison

The Babyface, as was my experience gives the more rounder sound.
I got surprised about the Motu track 16 sensitivity. Seems have more highs than the Usbpre. Both sound good, SD sounds natural but less detailed, and Motu track 16 more highs a a lo of detail, specially on the vocal, can hear clearly the breath on silence passages.
Thats makes me wonder, since I could sell my Babyface and buy the Motu, that is (here in EU) haft the price of the SD.
I don´t know if this test is really relevant or the behavior of those devices may be differnet without that split chain..

I´m looking for the best Audio inferface, if exists, one interface that´s gives the typical replies of the 1% of quality that doesn´t matter compared to studio setup, does it exist?

Have also found a comment on a forum telling the Audient Id22 was better sonically to both SD and Motu, but I don´t know
Maybe a Metric Halo? Does worth?
Or maybe the Usbpre2 is a very good replacement for my Babyface, regarding DA, aswell as very near of studio setup?
Still lot of doubts.
Old 5th January 2015
if you really do want the best quality for location sound recording in a stand along device, look at Sonosax, Nagra, Sound Devices, Zaxcom and one other name I can't think of right now. They have integrated mixer/ recorders with outstanding A/D conversion, fantastic dynamic range, beautiful mic preamps, are very portable, run reliably for long durations on batteries and will not be the weak link in your recording chain.

My Zaxcom A/D converters are as good or better than pretty much any 'studio' converters.

The preamps on the Sound Devices gear can be transformer balanced (552) or electronically balanced---so there are choices for different sorts of sounds if that matters to you. Typically the preamps are all very clean on these boxes.

These are high-end devices though, and may be more than what you are actually seeking. Good luck!
Old 5th January 2015
Gear Maniac

Thanks for the feedback. I think I´ll go for the Usbpre 2, seems good enough for any choice.
Old 5th July 2018
Here for the gear
I know the thread is old, but I just bought a DAV BG1u and hooked it into my Zoom H6 and the result is really good. Bringing down the gain on the Zoom to get rid of the noise and cranking it on the DAV somehow noise free preamps works well.
Old 6th July 2018
Originally Posted by lagoausente View Post
Hello everybody.
I know that the Zoom H6 is the type of recorders used in video setups, but since it´s very good quality
On both points:
And no.

All the handheld products from Zoom are neither used in video productions (except as a lowest of low budget choice, and even then it isn't the best choice) nor is it very good quality.
Old 11th July 2018
Gear Maniac

Originally Posted by IronFilm View Post
On both points:
And no.

All the handheld products from Zoom are neither used in video productions (except as a lowest of low budget choice, and even then it isn't the best choice) nor is it very good quality.
I should like to know your suggestions.
Old 11th July 2018
Lives for gear
just.sounds's Avatar
Sound Devices makes good recorders for video work and are considered the cheaper options. Nagra, Zaxcom, Sonosax and Aaton the more expensive brands. All offer very high quality but not taylored to a sound. Just clean and low noise.

If i had to go for a good bang for buck recorder i would try the new Sound Devices and the Tascam 8 track recorder. For the TS, why not slap the mytek and the BG in a mobile rack?
Old 11th July 2018
Originally Posted by lagoausente View Post
I should like to know your suggestions.
Well of course it depends a lot on the budget/needs/wants as to what is right for them for filming with.
But when it comes to field recorders I feel the Zoom F4 offers maximal bang for buck for only a teeny bit more than an H6 costs.

And options only expand more and more as the budget goes up.
Old 11th July 2018
Gear Maniac

This is a very old thread.
I now have also a portable Millennia that can attach with the Mytek, but for may purposes quick recording myself I bought a Rode Stereomic Pro that works quite decent (comparing to a smartphone) for quick recordings with a panasonic camera.
I was tempted aswell for the Sony Hdr-mv1.

I don´t record audio for films, so just was searching for portable quality recorders (with or without video), built-in mics, just sacrifice super-quality for something more day to day practical to play guitar and to a shootout.
Thank you for you inputs.
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