Zoom SGH-6 Stream Test

Last weekend I spent a little bit of time getting to know my new stereo shotgun from Zoom, the SGH-6. It’s designed to work with a few of their portable recorders (in my case the H5) and is fairly reasonably priced as you can grab one for less than £100.00. It also includes a windshield which is a necessity if you’re going to be near even the faintest of breezes!

I spent the day recording various outdoor sounds, ambiences and random things I found but wanted to provide a quick test of the microphones mid / side capabilities whilst I had a few minutes today. In this example I’ve used a recording from May Beck, a small rocky stream that winds its way through a rather picturesque Yorkshire valley.

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I tried recording from a number of microphone positions but the examples below use this close riverbank location.

 

I downloaded the mid / side decoder that Zoom make to accompany their range of portable recorders and microphones, which is available for free from their site here and used this inside Adobe Audition to decode the recordings afterwards. As you can hear above I provided three examples exporting mid / side, mid and side mixes.

 

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It’s free, it’s easy, it’s effective… and I like the block diagram!

It’s a simple tool to use, and if you have one of their recorders then it certainly makes sense although there are obviously plenty of other plugins and ways of decoding mid / side recordings.

For less than £100.00 I’ve been really impressed so far with the SGH-6 – both using it in stereo, mono and mid / side modes (it’s worth pointing out you have to specially select this mode prior to recording using the menu function rocker switch). The windshield is well made and really makes a difference, although for stronger gusts you’d need something a bit heftier!  With all things considered it has definitely been a most welcome, inexpensive addition to my kit. I’ll try and post some more examples over the next few weeks.

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