Now With Enhanced Audio Capability

So I’m starting to get excited about World Fantasy. Held in Toronto this year, and migrating to a new city every year, this is the first time it’s been within reasonable driving distance from me since I’ve been into my writing enough to feel like it might be worthwhile for me to attend.

I’m checking the website daily to see if the program guide has been released yet (promised for the middle of October and tomorrow is the 15th) since it will provide hours of fun and aggravation as I try to figure out how to maximize my time while still being able to spend a little time in the dealer room and meet some people I only know virtually.

I haven’t booked a hotel yet (and really should), but I have started to get ready, making sure all of my electronics are in order, and the last big piece of that was some decent portable audio recording capability.

The iPhone did surprisingly well at FanExpo and Montreal Comic Con, but I wanted something more for the amount of audio I expect to collect the first weekend of November. Hence the Zoom H1. Mine is from Steve’s Music Store. Since I’m north of the Canada/US border, I spent a couple of bucks more for the assurance that it wouldn’t get held up at customs.

Without going into a lot of detail, the H1 edged out the Tascam DR-05, more or less due to getting it with the accessory kit for about $9 more than just the Tascam. There are certainly differences between the two but from everything I watched and read, the audio quality they produce is very comparable. In fact, in a lot of the head to head comparisons I watched, I couldn’t tell them apart easily.

At any rate, I thought it would be fun to film myself unboxing my new toy, as well as getting me used to talking off the cuff about something when it’s not part of a conversation. It’s a skill I’m planning to need for a podcast in the (hopefully) relatively near future.

Since I was filming it anyway, I thought I might share it, too. It was recorded in my dining room, not really an audio friendly environment and you can really tell in the first half of the video where I just use the camera audio. When I switch to the Zoom for the back half, it’s still not exactly beautiful sound, but it’s pretty good, and awesome by comparison.

It is, however, almost eight minutes long. You’ve been warned. If you just want to hear the audio difference, listen to a few seconds at the beginning then skip ahead four or five minutes to see what it’s like from the Zoom. Night and day.

The video quality is amusing. My dining room table is obviously not as stable as I thought so we get some jiggly cam here and there and then the camera will try to refocus. Plus I didn’t think to check the camera alignment before I started filming for real, so the top of my head is cut off. Next time.

Here’s the video. Enjoy, and be well everyone.