Audio Recording

Zoom H2 Recording with Two External Microphones

The Samson Zoom H2 digital recorder allows 2 channel recording from external sources but uses a consumer 1/8" stereo jack for input. Even though it has those independent channels the standard microphone cabling options only allow for connection of a single device. It makes one envious of those Zoom H4 owners and their two individual input jacks. Fortunately there's a simple non-standard cable option for dual mono channel recording!

Supposed stereo/mono adaptor
Alleged stereo/mono adaptor. Didn't work.

This is purely an electrical problem, we need a cable or adaptor that splits the 1/8" stereo jack's connections into 2 - 1/8" mono jacks. Those of you comfortable with a soldering iron could put together a cable like this in 15 minutes. It's been around 15 years since I've done any component soldering so I opted for a purchased solution.

A stereo to dual-mono adaptor seems like a no-brainer, but be careful. I thought I'd found one fitting the description at a local electronics supply store, but in spite of the correct textual description the adaptor wasn't wired the way I though it was (They really need to include schematic diagrams).

My solution was slightly different. Using a stereo 1/8" plug to dual RCA connector cable as a starting point I knew I had the left and right audio channels properly separated. To complete the cable all I needed was RCA to 1/8" jack adaptors. An additional advantage of this cable over an adaptor plug is the cable doesn't stick out as far from the side.

Zoom H2 with dual mono cable

This cable is field tested and works like a charm with my Zoom H2. I've recorded "two microphone" interviews with great results.

Geoff Hankerson's 10 Tips for Better Sounding Podcasts


A "new" Drupal blogger with audio expertise has appeared on the Planet Drupal scene. Geoff Hankerson's blog has a mix of Drupal and technical audio pieces. Excellent! There are very few people with a solid foot in both worlds.

Audio Investigation

Finding out intermediate level audio recording information is time consuming and a little daunting! Having recently entered the world of podcasting for Mad About Movies I'm researching the gear needed for great audio. There's lots of basic information out there that goes something like: plug any old microphone into your computer and record with GarageBand or Audacity. And this works, to a point.

If you want to go to the next level, information gets a little harder to find. Take microphones. You can spend anywhere from $10 to $5000. How does a person with no experience know the appropriate amount to spend? If you have more than one person on your podcast you quickly conclude multiple microphones would be very nice. Again, options for mixing microphones start at $40 and go over $10,000. And when you've finally made a decision on the gear you think you want, where the heck is the best place to buy it in Canada?

What follows are my research results, so far. Turns out one of best sites, Transom, comes from the world of radio. If there's one thing I've learned after following Todd Maffin, radio people are just short of fanatical about sound!

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