A few months ago I bought a portable sound recorder that I could take to groups and communities that weren’t able to get to the studio in the PLANED offices. On a recommendation I went for the Zoom H6 and, I must say, I don’t regret it at all. I can connect up to four separate microphones (with the option of using two further microphone inputs) and record very good quality audio which can later be edited on the computer. With the studio setup I record directly into my laptop via USB output from a small mixing desk. I like this as I can both see and hear the audio signal being recorded. It’s a real anxiety of mine to take up someone’s time for an interview only to find out that it didn’t record!
Then, of course, the Coronavirus hit and we all went into varying degrees of lockdown. At PLANED we followed the Government’s advice and supported colleagues to work from home.
I felt that the podcasts should continue though … but the problem was that I couldn’t meet anyone either at the studio or with the portable kit. So I decided to try my hand at linking a phone to the recorder.
The Zoom H6 has a 3.5mm socket tucked away on one of the modules that can be plugged into it. This is a stereo input so it should have been a simple case to just connect it to a phone. I used an adapter and connected the other end of the phono lead to the digital connector on my phone, put my headphones on and tried it.
It worked but there was a loud hum on the line which I strongly suspected was coming from the cable connecting the Zoom to the phone. Luckily I had a few different 3.5mm male-male cables and I found one (that came with some headphones) that cancelled out the noise altogether.
I’m really pleased with how adaptable this equipment is, I’m sure there’s more that can be done with it. But in the meantime I aim to continue with the podcasts … focusing in particular on how people are managing and coping in these peculiar times. I have also purchased some similar equipment for people to use in their own communities, I can’t wait to hear the results from around South West Wales.