Zoom has launched the MicTrak M2, M3, & M4, a new series of portable 32-bit field recorders with built-in microphones, inputs, and recording.
The field recorders from the Japanese company Zoom are very popular among electronic musicians. Many people in particular use the small, inexpensive recorders that you can take with you everywhere and record sound. Like the H1n or H4n, two very recommendable recorders for little money.
Without much bang, Zoom has now introduced a new series of affordable field recorders called MicTrak. These join the H series but with some very exciting new features. It looks like the next generation.
Zoom MicTrak M2, M3, and M4
Zoom has released three new field recorders. Very quietly. But they deserve more because they have installed some exciting things. Design, yes, is always a matter of taste at Zoom, and that is also very daring here. Instead of going wide like on the H4N, these are now very narrow and are reminiscent of a classic microphone.
The big highlight of this new series is the all-new capsule design and the 32-bit float technology which can be found in all three devices. The advantage of this is the ability to record exceeding 0 dBFS. This gives you more headroom for post-editing.
Also neat is that you can use the new M series as a USB-C audio interface with 24-bit/32-bit float and 48 kHz. Plus, they all have a built-in speaker. But it would not be a big disadvantage if this were not built in.
Let’s start with the new MicTrak M2. It’s a new 32-bit field recorder (135dB SPL) providing two tracks of high-quality, distortion-free audio. You can capture audio using the new cardioid X/Y capsule and monitor it using the headphone output. Too bad that the audio input of the H1N is missing here. That was one of the very useful features especially for capturing live performances.
M2 allows you to record at up to 96kHz/32-bit resolution. It has dual AD converters ad supports BWF and iXML files. Sounds can be recorded on a microSDXC card wth up to 1TB of capacity. It also comes with a backlit LCD display for instant feedback on your signals.
The unit can be powered either with 2 AA batteries for up to 11 hours of runtime, with an AC adapter, or with USB power.
The bigger brother is the M4 which offers everything from the M2 but also a good selection of extra features. It’s also a field recorder with the same new X/Y capsule that supports high 135 dB SPL to capture the loudest sounds. Unlike the M2, you get here two XLR-1/4″ TRS combo mic/line inputs with 48V phantom power giving you a total of 4 tracks of clip-free audio.
The M4 also comes with a 3.5mm TRS external mic input for lavalier mics. Exactly this input I would rather see this on the new M2 field recorder. Also different is the resolution. The M4 supports recordings up to 192 kHz/32-bit resolution. Additionally, you get a 3.5mm timecode generator giving you 23.976ND to 30D frame rates, ±0.2 ppm precision
Then, it also supports BWF and iXML files, and can be used as a 4-in/2-out USB-C audio interface with 24-bit/32-bit float, 48 kHz. Like the M2, you can power it with either 4 AA batteries (up to 18 hours), an AC adapter, or USB power. Also handy, it comes with a 1.54″ full-color, backlit LCD makes the M4 easy to operate, even under bright sunlight.
Last but not least we have the MicTrak M3 which is an on-camera, shotgun 32-bit float microphone/recorder. The M3 features a super-cardioid capsule and has a selectable mono/mid-side stereo pickup pattern that allows you to control the precision and ambiance of your recording It has four tracks (stereo + MS RAW) and it is equipped with a line out to send audio directly to your camera’s 3.5mm input.
A downer, it only records at up to 48 kHz/32-bit resolution on a max 1 TB on a microSDXC card. It also supports BWF files and can be used as a 2-in/2-out USB-C audio interface with 24-bit/48 kHz resolution. Power is available via 2 AA batteries (up t 12 hours), an AC adapter, or USB power. Zoom ships the M3 with a shock mount and a foam windscreen.
The news really surprised me. Zoom has not yet published any press releases for this product. I only became aware of it when it was mentioned in the SequencerTalk videocast. The three MicTrak look like interesting new field recorders.
I especially like that you get 32-bit float recording on all devices at a fair price. It is a pity that the M2 has no input and so you don’t have the option to record external jams or so.
The new Zoom MicTrak is available soon. M2 will be available for $199 USD, M3 also for $199 USD, and M4 for $399,99 USD.
More information here: Zoom