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The Zoom H6 is one of two recorders include the Zoom H5 which was released to replace the H4n. With the H6, Zoom has added two more native XLR inputs with the ability to extend the H6 to 6 XLR inputs while placing each input on its own audio track. This is a great upgrade for videographers and podcasters alike.
But, there was only one improvement that mattered most to me…the preamps. Could this new device supply whatever microphone I’m using (Sennheiser lav mics, Rode NTG series shotguns or other) with enough clean power to impress? This was the H4n’s fatal flaw, noise.
Good news, the H6 passed the test! The preamps are very clean and I’m extremely happy with what Zoom has done with both the H6 and the H5 which are essentially the same recorders on the inside.
The big benefit of the H6 is the additional channels. But this is only a benefit if you actually need them. If you are shooting video that is mainly just one microphone or just one person and a guest, the H5 is enough. It’s important to note that the H5 can also be upgraded to the additional two extra XLR inputs for a total of four. But on both devices the additional add-on XLR piece does not provide phantom power.
So why buy the H6 over another device. Channels. With up to six channels of XLR input you can mic just about any situation and still run with a very small setup.
Other features I love of the H6 are the analog dial controls for gain on each channel, the color screen with audio meters, the separate line out and headphone outputs, battery capacity upgrade, interchangeable capsules though I wasn’t impressed with the shotgun mic and I would buy a separate mic like a Rode.
What I thought was a negative at first turned out to be one of it’s biggest assets. The ability to power the H6 via USB. Not only does this device act as an audio interface to your computer but it can be powered by your computer via the USB bus so that you don’t have to waste batteries. But the huge advantage is the ability to run it off of a USB power brick. This will save you tons of money and lots of waste. And to top it off, in my test, when I disconnected the device from USB power while recording, it didn’t miss a beat, still being powered by AA batteries as a backup and not affecting the recording.
So overall I love the H6. It’s the recorder that I would personally upgrade to at this time. If I only needed a max of 2-4 channels of XLR audio, I would opt for the H5.
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Believe In Yourself by: Olive Musique
Tutorial mentioned in this video: How I process my video’s audio:
Note: I also now use the Denoiser effect in Premiere on most videos, light processing in addition to those effects seen in this video
*Gear used to make this video:
Linco Flora Easy Softbox kit:
Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Transcend SD card 16 and 32GB Class 10
Manfrotto 701 HDV Tripod
Rode VideoMic Pro
Impact Multiboom Light Stand and Reflector Holder – 13′
F&V LED Ring Light:
Sigma 30mm 1.4
Sennheiser ew100 G2 Wireless Lapel Microphone
Manfrotto 394 Quick Release Plate and Base
Manfrotto 701 HDV Tripod
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