The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Sound card feature in Zoom H4n? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 3rd October 2011
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Sound card feature in Zoom H4n?

Hey everyone,

I am very new to recording anything, and have struggled to find a clear answer to this:

I have recorded a bunch of dialogue (for a podcast of sorts/radio play), and am putting some music into it between scenes. I captured all of my audio on the Zoom H4n: mostly voices, but some piano as well, and then I'm making use of existing music from CDs/iTunes.

It so happens that tomorrow I plan to buy a new computer running Windows 7 64 bit, with an Intel i5 processor.

Several posts elsewhere have led me to believe that the Zoom H4n can effectively replace the the built-in sound card in my (new) computer, though others disagree. Some people discuss audio interfaces and sound cards and AD/DA converters all somewhat interchangeably, which is... confusing.

So, help me out here: for simple dialogue and music editing & exporting (probably in Reaper) with my Zoom H4n and a decent, new computer running Windows 7 on 4+ GB of RAM--what else do I need? I'll be mixing down probably no more than 8 tracks at a time - and usually less than that. Feel free to recommend specific products as needed.
Many thanks,

Old 3rd October 2011
Lives for gear

If you want to use the H4 as an external soundcard you can do that--I used it for that exact purpose a couple weeks ago.

However, considering you aren't using it to connect any mic's or instruments (since you just recorded your stuff directly into the H4) using it in this manner is not necessary. You can just connect it to your laptop and transfer the audio files into your computer. Then you can import those H4 files, along with your CD files, into Reaper and do all your editing through Reaper.

Around here an "external soundcard" is the same as an "audio interface" and "AD/DA converter" refers to the process of converting from analog to digital or vice versa, which all soundcards/interfaces do.
Old 3rd October 2011
Gear interested

Thread Starter
So helpful. Thank you.

Now, once I've done all my editing in Reaper and am ready to export it to .wav or what have you, doesn't that process require the aforementioned sound card? Ie, one superior my PC's internal one?

Perhaps it doesn't come into the equation there either. Thanks for helping me cover the basics.

Old 3rd October 2011
Gear Guru
Tui's Avatar
To be clear, you can use the H4n for an audio *interface*, via USB. In this way, you can record audio straight into your computer. This works really well, and latency is low.

However, for exporting .wav files, no sound card is required. You can do this entirely in Reaper.
Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump