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.
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.