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Sunday, May 19, 2013

4 the Musician in U, Zoom Q2 HD Video Recorder Rocks

One night last fall I participated in a guitar karaoke band jam. Used my first smartphone to record it. When I played it back, I was surprised how terrible it recorded live rock music video and sound. Could barely hear my rhythm guitar, singers vocals, bass or drums. All together it was a muddy sonic soup. The icing on the cake, or lack of it, was the video. The flashing lights and different colors of lighting from the ceiling and stage, blurred the video recording from the table I sat my old smartphone on to record the performance. I had to use sketch or cartoon mode to get anything that resembled a live band video with the lighting issues. Still the images were muddy from the changing lighting hues and distance. I had to find an alternative.

I remembered reading an ad in one of my guitar mags which featured a Steve Vai endorsed product. Went combing through latest issue of Guitar World, Guitar Player, Premier Guitar until I found the ad for the zoom Q2 HD video recorder. Read positive online viewpoints, so I decided to purchase it. Around $200. Got it online from ZZOUNDS.COM Customer service was perfect and it arrived couple of days later. Unit is very small, compact and can sit on a tripod. It has an easy user interface. Video frames you don't want out can be edited out on camera, saving disk recording space. In fact I had a mini tripod from the seventies that fit perfectly. Read manual, decided to use rechargeable batteries and tested it out. Recorded another performance. Sound quality was cd like. Was extremely pleased with video since I recorded at a lower resolution. Comes with 2gb card. Can take up to 64 gb card. XDSC  capability. Sound was so good, in mike surround recording, which I chose, I could hear the pool players making their shots and the band both clearly. If I chose to record just the band, the pool table sounds would be inaudible. Also, this video cam picks up those ever so slight playing mistakes that happen occassionally. That is a good thing! Back to the woodshed. This video cam helps you to become a better player, no matter what instrument you play.
Easy to transport. Very small and slim.

Recommend getting the Q2 HD apq-2HD Accessory Pack (windscreen, ac adapter, HDMI cable, USB cable, adjustable tripod stand and padded shell case) Around 35 dollars, can't remember exact amount.
This gizmo also streams video to You Tube or Ustream. Never done it, not interested , but you may be.
Anyway, until the smartphones can compete with these audio-video specific devices for band recording, and I'm sure they will one day, this is the one I am extremely happy with.
If Steve Vai's face and endorsement wasn't in the ad, I probably wouldn't have bought this specific product. He is a musical virtuoso,  perfectionist and highly admired. Think he was guitarist in David Lee Roth's post-Van Halen band.
Official Zoom Sound Laboratory Q2 HD website
Nice photos, description, in depth analysis.
Called customer service once and they were very professional and answered my camera questions. Article by Alison Richter "Zoom's Q2HD Camcorder Breaks Ground With New Features"

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