Zoom H2 RTT Guide

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 Contributed by Mike Rueck.

First, make your original recording at archival quality (96kHz/24 bits).

With two H2s and a patch cord, you can copy the story into an empty folder on the second H2 one "track" at a time. (To save space on your memory card, just make the copy at CD quality (44.1 kHz/16 bits).) When you come to a pause in the story, just hit Pause on the playing machine and Stop on the recording machine. Then hit Record (twice) on the recording machine and Play on the other machine to begin recording the next segment of the story. Each of the new files will be named sequentially: STE-000.WAV, STE-001.WAV, STE-002.WAV, ....

Now, you have the story in small enough bits for transcription. Just play one file at a time for transcription (set the Play Mode to Play One), repeating it as often as necessary.

Next, formulate comprehension questions and decide which pauses they go in.

Make a new copy of the story now, broken into separate files only where you will be asking questions (unless you need some extra tracks to keep the story segments before the questions short). Write down a list of the file names of each story track.

Then, you can record the questions, one file per question, into the same folder as your latest copy of the text. Have a different person than your story-teller say the questions so the difference between the story and the questions is obvious. Write down the file names of the good recordings of each question. You may have files up to STE-100.WAV or so at this point, depending on how many mistakes you make along the way.

When you have all of the story segments and questions as separate WAV files, rename them, one at a time, so that they come in the desired order. All you need to change is the numbers. For example:

000 -> 201 016 -> 202 001 -> 203 017 -> 204 002 -> 205 018 -> 206 etc

Keep a list of the new file name/number for each question, so you’ll know where you are in the test during the testing process! To perform the test in Play All mode, just start playing from file STE-201.WAV. The rest will play sequentially until you hit Pause. If you need to replay a question or a section of the story, just use the (<<) button to jump back to the beginning of the relevant file.

Alternatively, you can perform the test in Play One mode so that the player stops automatically at the end of each file. Then you will need to manually advance to the next file (>>) before continuing.

The H2 automatically names files STE-000.WAV through STE-999.WAV in each of 10 folders, so there are automatic names for up to 10,000 WAV files, which is more than I can imagine using. However, I just found that there doesn't seem to be a problem with renaming them STA-001.WAV or STB-001.WAV, STB-002.WAV, and so on, which would be a convenient way of designating tests in different dialects. Presumably, you could rename them any 7 character name you wanted and they would replay in alpha-numeric order. (You trade off time spent renaming files versus the sufficiency of the names.) As with a minidisc, it cuts down on the use of the navigation buttons to put the different dialects in different folders.

If you're not actually recording the questions, then when you're making your "test tapes", after hitting Pause on the playing machine at the end of each "track", let the recording machine keep recording silence for another second or so before hitting Stop. Since there doesn't seem to be a way to make the H2 count down the time remaining on its files as it plays them, you'll need some audio signal that it's time to hit Pause and pose the next question when you're testing. A second of two or silence will be noticeable. Alternatively, you could do the testing in Play One mode, so that the player stops automatically at the end of each file.

See also Mike's review of the Zoom H2

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