Zoom produces a wide array of recording devices, including a line of portable “handy” recorders as well as multi-effects processors, effects pedals, drum machines and samplers. Over the past 30 years, the company has established a solid reputation as a manufacturer of innovative yet affordable products which are based on original microchip designs.
Founded in 1983 and based in Tokyo, Japan, the Zoom Corporation spent its first years helping other manufacturers develop sound generator LSI, rhythm machines and MIDI synchroniser systems.
In 1989, the first Zoom product was unveiled: the 9002, an ultra-compact multi-effects processor designed to be attached to a guitar strap. It was a huge success.
This was followed by the rack-mountable 9010, which featured the world’s first 4-In/4-Out individual signal processing. In 1992, the high-end 9200 came to market and soon became a fixture in studios everywhere.
The popular Zoom Player series of guitar effects was launched in 1994, along with the Zoom Studio series, which continue to be found in the racks of many musicians today.
The following year, the Zoom 500 series of foot pedals was introduced, including the 506 bass pedal and the extraordinarily popular 505 guitar pedal, the best-selling multi-effects pedal ever.
But it was in 2006 that Zoom totally redefined the state of the art in audio for video with the release of the revolutionary H4 Handy Recorder. Small enough to be held in the palm of your hand, the battery-powered H4 offered an onboard X/Y stereo microphone, the ability to record up to four tracks of 96/24 audio directly to SD card in either WAV or MP3 format, built-in effects including a guitar tuner and metronome, and a USB port that allowed the H4 to be connected to a computer. A smaller Handy Recorder, the H2, was released in 2007, followed by the H4n in 2009. All became standards of the industry.
In 2013, the third-generation H6 Handy Recorder was announced—a six-track recorder which offers a slew of advanced features, including a system of interchangeable microphone capsules which can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera.
The Zoom H1, H5 and H6 Handy Recorders are available for sale or hire at Mic Hire.