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Zoom H5 as audio interface creates audio artifacts Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 28th August 2015
Gear Head

Zoom H5 as audio interface creates audio artifacts


I'm using my Zoom H5 in audio interface mode with a 2012 MacBook Pro and Logic Pro 9 to record opera singing with the built-in mikes. This is just for me to listen to myself sing during practice sessions. I notice that any bright sounds I make result in a strange period clicking, as if samples are being lost. I can hear it on sssss sounds and also very bright nasal singing.

Zoom sent me a new device to try (which came with a cracked mic mount, which they said wouldn't affect the sound and refused to take back), and the new device had the same problem. Zoom said this must be some issue with the audio interface and that they couldn't help me.

What could be causing this issue and how can I fix it?

Old 29th August 2015
Gear Guru
Tui's Avatar
This seems to me like a clock syncing issue. It produces pops and clicks noticeable in particular with mid and higher frequencies.

What are your settings in Audio MIDI Setup (you'll find that in your Applications/Utilities folder)?

Could you post screenshots of your settings?
Old 29th August 2015
Gear Head

Ah, that would be a great solution! Here are my settings.
Attached Thumbnails
Zoom H5 as audio interface creates audio artifacts-screen-shot-2015-08-28-9.38.51-pm.jpg  
Old 29th August 2015
Gear Guru
Tui's Avatar
As you can see, it says "Clock source: Default". I believe it should say "Device".

If you take a look at the screenshot further down, you see that, when I connect my Zoom R8, it says "Device" and I have not problems with audio artefacts.

Confusingly, when I use my RME Hammerfall Digiface, it says "Default" and there are no problems either.

It used to be that one could freely choose the clock source in OS X, but Apple seems to have removed that option... Can you choose clock source somewhere in a drop-down menu?

If not, it might be that there is a H5 driver issue which only Zoom could resolve.
Attached Thumbnails
Zoom H5 as audio interface creates audio artifacts-ams.jpg  
Old 29th August 2015
Just a chime in...

I have an earlier model Zoom H-4 in which after I heard it could be used as an audio interface, I was considering using it for that purpose with my laptop. During my research, in various forums etc, I've read many other people having similar issues using their Zoom 'H' series units as an interface. So this is definitely not a new kind of problem. This tells me that Zoom is dropping the ball in their support department. From what I recall, others were leaning to the driver as the problem.

I never actually got around to trying my Zoom H-4 as an interface for my laptop, so this is all hear say. But if several others are facing the same problem, that tells you a little something. However, I would not give up on trying solutions.
Old 30th August 2015
Gear Guru
Tui's Avatar
I also have a Zoom H4n, newer model I guess. I've used it successfully for an interface and was surprised how stable it was. That was on OS X.

But, yeah... Driver stability is not a given with many brands, so it seems.

I'm currently looking at getting a Zoom UAC-2 for small live gigs. It's supposed to sound good, with low latencies. Stability... Who knows.
Old 30th August 2015
Gear Guru
Tui's Avatar
bkazez, I noticed you also have Soundflower installed. You could try the following:

Create a new Aggregate Device (+ sign at the bottom) and add 2-ch Soundflower and H5 to it. Disable "Drift Correction".

Can you choose the Clock Source now?
Old 17th May 2016
Here for the gear


I've recently bought a H5 and I am having exactly the same audio problems as an audio interface. The reason that I have bought it was to be able to record an acoustic album on the way. So I needed something portable and really good. And the Zoom H5 it addresses all those requisites. But in the end it turned out a pain in the ass because of this big issue as defective audio interface and also by Zoom not being clear about some features as a multitrack recorder.

I've been contacting Zoome NA support, and until now they couldn't present me any solution... Which is sad!

I don't understand a company like Zoom, knowing that they have their units defective out in the market, why they don't take actions to solve it?
The recorder it is superb as an audio recorder but the reason I bought it was for the ability to use it as an audio interface and a multitrack recorder, which by the way it is a very weak multitrack recorder, it doesn't allow you to overdub in serious way Why? Because it doesn't allow you to overdub from a specific part of the song! You need to start recording all from the beginning of the track, which is very not productive. And this is a very simple thing to correct with a firmware or software update.

I've heard h6 doesn't have this issue as an audio interface. But giving 100€ I don't like it. I want a perfect H5 working unit and not a H6 one.

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