Zoom H5 Overview
Learn How to Record Audio for Video and Film
Ideal for documentaries, podcasting, audio for video, and professional sound design, the Zoom H5 portable handheld recorder lets you quickly record up to four input signals regardless of your audio experience. With a swappable stereo microphone capsule, versatile 2-channel inputs, and up to 4-track recording, the H5 is both user-friendly and easily expandable.
Like other H-Series Handy recorders such as the H4n Pro and H6, you can hold it in your hand, attach it to a mic stand or tripod, or mount it to a camera (shoe mount available separately); the H5 packs an impressive array of features into a rugged, rubberized body that’s more than ready to meet the varied demands of musicians, videographers, sound designers, content creators, and news shooters.
From the plentiful battery life to the powerful audio processing functions, the H5 is well equipped to handle anything from tracking live performances and podcasts to recording interviews, dialogue, and sound effects. It can supply phantom or plug-in power for condenser mics, or accept direct connections from synths, keyboards, drum machines, or +4 dB line-level mixers. No matter the source, selectable auto-recording and pre-recording ensure that you’ll never miss the start of a take, and stereo safety track recording provides duplicate tracks at a lower level to avoid distortion.
Equipped with two XLR-1/4″ combo inputs and a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input, the H5 can accommodate condenser microphones, +4 dB balanced line-level sources, or signals from unbalanced instruments with active electronics. Turn on 12, 24, or 48 VDC phantom power to the XLR jacks, or 2.5V plug-in power to the mini jack. Whether you plan on recording studio condenser mics, a stereo feed from a mixer or wireless receiver, or a lavalier mic for an interview, the H5’s preamps (identical to those found in the H6) are ready to deliver low-noise (-120 dB EIN) performance.
If you happen to setup external microphones in a mid-side configuration, the integrated MS decoder allows adjustment to the perceived width of the stereo image, which is beneficial for sound design, broadcasting, or general stereo-to-mono compatibility.
Maximize portability by recording directly to an SD card (up to 2GB capacity) or SDHC card (up to 32GB capacity). A 2GB SDHC card will yield approximately three hours of 16-bit / 44.1 kHz stereo recording time using the BWF-compliant WAV format for uncompressed audio quality and industry-standard file compatibility. Note that media cards are available separately, and larger capacity cards will increase startup times.
Alternatively, use the H5 as a 4-in/2-out USB 2.0 audio interface at up to 24-bit / 48 kHz. For audio interface operation with an iPad (Apple Camera Connection Kit required and available separately), select USB Stereo mode, which offers two channels in and out at up to 16-bit / 48 kHz. The USB port also enables fast file transfer and firmware updates.
The H5’s onboard effects allow you to add polish to your recordings. Compression and limiting compensate for fluctuations in input level, while a low-cut filter helps eliminate wind noise, blowing, and other kinds of low-frequency rumble. Normalize files for maximum gain, split them into smaller chunks, and even insert up to 99 marks per recording.
There’s an onboard metronome and tuner, and you can loop playback and adjust pitch and speed independently, making the H5 an ideal tool for phrase training.
The H5 offers selectable recording functions designed to prevent you from accidentally missing the start of a performance. By keeping the previous two seconds of audio whenever you press the record button, the pre-record option ensures that you’ll never cut off the beginning of a great take. Auto-record can automatically start recording when a user-set sound level is detected, making it great for voice-activated recording.
Backup record enables the H5 to automatically record a duplicate set of stereo tracks with 12 dB less input gain. Even if your original track is distorted, chances are the backup version will be fine!