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Zoom H4n! Recording 4 tracks simultaneously!
Old 26th February 2009
  #1
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esaias's Avatar
Zoom H4n! Recording 4 tracks simultaneously!

Yippee!

H4n Handy Recorder

a perfect tool for doing dirty sketches / songwriting, recording live gigs (line from mixer and take audience/hall via internal mics) etc.
and it does BWF too!

This is very high up on my shopping list

-Tomi
Old 26th February 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 

That was possible also with the original H4. This facelifted version does have some other useful improvements though, such as the speaker and integrated tripod mount among others.

I have the original one, think it's a great utility recorder, and this looks even better.

/K
Old 26th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Bartos View Post
That was possible also with the original H4. This facelifted version does have some other useful improvements though, such as the speaker and integrated tripod mount among others.

I have the original one, think it's a great utility recorder, and this looks even better.

/K

Can you really record 4 tracks at once? I have one and thought it was either or! But I agree, it is a great recorder. [ yep, even in 4 track mode, it's only 2 inputs with another two tracks playing back ]
Old 26th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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esaias's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by K Bartos View Post
That was possible also with the original H4. This facelifted version does have some other useful improvements though, such as the speaker and integrated tripod mount among others.

I have the original one, think it's a great utility recorder, and this looks even better.

/K
I don't have the original H4 but I'm quite certain that it could record only tracks 2 at once.

Anyways, this H4n is going to exactly the thing I need, can't affort 744T yet :P

-Tomi
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Guy's you are right. My sole use for it is recording atmosphere sounds and foley type sound effects in stereo, but I was under the impression that it was possible to use the onboard stereo microphone together with two external microphones to record all 4 sources simultaneously, albeit mixed down to stereo.
Recording 4 tracks simultaneously is a whole different ballgame tought. Thats a really cool update in the H4n for musicians using it as a small portastudio kinda solution.

But saying "It's a 4-track recorder" kinda make you think it can record 4 tracks doesn't it ?
They do spell it out when reading the detailed specs, though.
Anyway, slightly fuzzy marketing lingo on Zoom's behalf I think.

Thanks for clarifying and I apologise if I misled anyone.

Have great weekend.

/K

Last edited by K Bartos; 27th February 2009 at 01:43 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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esaias's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by K Bartos View Post
Guy's you are right. My sole use for it is recording atmosphere sounds and foley type sound effects in stereo, but I was under the impression that it was possible to use the onboard stereo microphone together with two external microphones to record all 4 sources simultaneously, albeit mixed down to stereo.
Recording 4 tracks simultaneously is a whole different ballgame tought. Thats a really cool update in the H4n for musicians using it as a small portastudio kinda solution.

But saying "It's a 4-track recorder" kinda make you think it can record 4 tracks doesn't it ?
They do spell it out when reading the detailed specs, though.
Anyway, slightly fuzzy marketing lingo on Zoom's behalf I think.

Thanks for clarifying and I apologise if I misled anyone.

Have great weekend.

/K
I have bee looking for a small 4-tracker for some time and it is higly annoying when most of the trackers are advertised as multritrackers and then you can only record 2 tracks at the time. this is the case with almost all of the small multitrackers :/

This is going to been very good since this is just perfect live gig recording device for lie acts and DJ's who want to capture the live show and can now have the audience/abience recorded too!

-Tomi
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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eskay's Avatar
 

This really sucks!!!!!!! I have the original H4 and emailed them many times about having the ability to record 4 tracks at once. They replied that they are working on it....but it seems it's for a new unit......


fuuck
Old 22nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Here for the gear
 

The H4n definitely claims to be able to record 4 channels simultaneously. This is from the product web site:

Quote:
The H4n is the only handheld recorder that allows recording on four channels simultaneously by using your own external mics with its onboard mics.
Here's my question. Will plugging a mono mic into the small mic input on the back, override the XY onboard mics? I hope so. I would like to use this baby to record guitar in stereo via the XLRs, and simultaneously record a mono vocal using an external mic. So record three channels at once. My fear is that the plug-in mic will map to the same bus as the XLRs (channels 3 and 4). I want it to override channel 1 or 2.

I'm referring to that little jack called External Mic Input (plug-in power) in this screenshot of the product:
Old 6th August 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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skiltrip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by latenightsavoy View Post
The H4n definitely claims to be able to record 4 channels simultaneously. This is from the product web site:

Here's my question. Will plugging a mono mic into the small mic input on the back, override the XY onboard mics? I hope so. I would like to use this baby to record guitar in stereo via the XLRs, and simultaneously record a mono vocal using an external mic. So record three channels at once. My fear is that the plug-in mic will map to the same bus as the XLRs (channels 3 and 4). I want it to override channel 1 or 2.

I'm referring to that little jack called External Mic Input (plug-in power) in this screenshot of the product:
The mini jack takes over the onboard mics place when you use it. So you can use this along with the XLR inputs.
Old 19th August 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by latenightsavoy View Post
The H4n definitely claims to be able to record 4 channels simultaneously. This is from the product web site:

Here's my question. Will plugging a mono mic into the small mic input on the back, override the XY onboard mics? I hope so. I would like to use this baby to record guitar in stereo via the XLRs, and simultaneously record a mono vocal using an external mic. So record three channels at once. My fear is that the plug-in mic will map to the same bus as the XLRs (channels 3 and 4). I want it to override channel 1 or 2.

I'm referring to that little jack called External Mic Input (plug-in power) in this screenshot of the product:
skiltrip is right, you can override the onboard mics while recording from the two xlrs to record 4 channels with your own mics. However, as I think was mentioned above, you may only be able to record two at a time in multitrack mode. I picked this up recently and haven't had much time to mess around with multitrack mode. The way the product works is that it has three different modes: stereo, 4 channel, and multi-track.
Old 21st August 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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skiltrip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by caotico View Post
skiltrip is right, you can override the onboard mics while recording from the two xlrs to record 4 channels with your own mics. However, as I think was mentioned above, you may only be able to record two at a time in multitrack mode. I picked this up recently and haven't had much time to mess around with multitrack mode. The way the product works is that it has three different modes: stereo, 4 channel, and multi-track.
You are correct.

MTR mode is 2 channels at a time max.
Stereo mode is also 2 channels at once max (one stereo pair).
4-Channel mode however, is obviously capable of all 4 channels at once.

They really have given you one way or another to do whatever you can imagine with this thing.
Old 26th August 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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fhames's Avatar
The H4n is a great sketch pad. I recorded loops on one track of dozens of projects and have been having great fun from my easy chair with my guitars.



Bryant - Hames Music
Old 16th June 2010 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiltrip View Post
You are correct.

MTR mode is 2 channels at a time max.
Stereo mode is also 2 channels at once max (one stereo pair).
4-Channel mode however, is obviously capable of all 4 channels at once.
4 - Channel Mode DOES record 4 channels simultaneously, BUT only down to 2 Stereo tracks, NOT 4 separate mono tracks, and Not 1 (the X-Y) Stereo track plus 2 separate Mono tracks either. Which is the only thing that pisses me off about the H4n. So you'll have to separate it yourself if you have the where-with-all. It just adds an unneeded step for the user that I wish they thought about before putting it out there. And when you're recording 4+ hours of music, this extra step can add up. Otherwise, this thing is one of the greatest pieces of gear I have. Honestly.

P.S. Maybe a WIRELESS remote would've been the way to go too. But then I would have to think the cost would start at $600 instead of $300.
Old 16th June 2010 | Show parent
  #14
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chrisj's Avatar
Zoom H2 records in quad with four internal mics. I've done it

Dunno how well that works with the minijack input, though...
Old 16th June 2010 | Show parent
  #15
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Alécio Costa's Avatar
 

I did a huge project for Petrobras and lots of stuff was tracked in the streets with this little gizmo.
Old 14th July 2010 | Show parent
  #16
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eskay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric045757 View Post
4 - Channel Mode DOES record 4 channels simultaneously, BUT only down to 2 Stereo tracks, NOT 4 separate mono tracks, and Not 1 (the X-Y) Stereo track plus 2 separate Mono tracks either. Which is the only thing that pisses me off about the H4n. So you'll have to separate it yourself if you have the where-with-all. It just adds an unneeded step for the user that I wish they thought about before putting it out there. And when you're recording 4+ hours of music, this extra step can add up. Otherwise, this thing is one of the greatest pieces of gear I have. Honestly.

P.S. Maybe a WIRELESS remote would've been the way to go too. But then I would have to think the cost would start at $600 instead of $300.
What do you mean? You don't get 2 stereo channels of the recording? How do you seperate it with only one stereo?
Old 14th July 2010 | Show parent
  #17
What bugs me is when you use it as interface you are back to 2track only
Old 15th July 2010 | Show parent
  #18
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SoundUniverse's Avatar
 

H4n in action!

I had just written this little tune in my living room and wanted to capture the idea so I placed the H4n on a stack of coasters (in stereo mode) on my coffee table hit record and played my Gibson acoustic and sang it. Here it is raw and blemished but it was so easy and fairly articulate for the built in mics.
Attached Files

Dont tell the DR.mp3 (3.73 MB, 11396 views)

Old 15th July 2010 | Show parent
  #19
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ISedlacek's Avatar
I bought it one week ago ... so far very nice ...
Old 4th August 2010 | Show parent
  #20
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Did any one of you try using the H4n with some external preamps?
If so, did it affect the quality of the recording?
I did notice a nice step up in quality when using external mics (via XLR), but am curious to see if there is a way of bypassing the pres on H4n, and whether that is even worth trying...
p.
Old 4th August 2010 | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr View Post
Did any one of you try using the H4n with some external preamps?
If so, did it affect the quality of the recording?
I did notice a nice step up in quality when using external mics (via XLR), but am curious to see if there is a way of bypassing the pres on H4n, and whether that is even worth trying...
p.
This is exactly what I have been trying to figure out. I can't really find much through research telling me if it will bypass the h4n pres.
Old 4th August 2010 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btmish View Post
This is exactly what I have been trying to figure out. I can't really find much through research telling me if it will bypass the h4n pres.
I think you set the mic gain to 1.
Old 5th August 2010 | Show parent
  #23
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piotr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by voidar View Post
I think you set the mic gain to 1.
So, no real bypass?

In the manual they mention "line input", but there isn't a very detailed information on this.

Did anyone actually try using the H4n with external preamp?

I wonder how it would play with the Sound Devices MixPre...

p.
Old 23rd August 2010 | Show parent
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr View Post
So, no real bypass?

In the manual they mention "line input", but there isn't a very detailed information on this.

Did anyone actually try using the H4n with external preamp?

I wonder how it would play with the Sound Devices MixPre...

p.
Heh, I'm researching this unit and is my own single unanswered question too! Would love to be able to use it with a DAV or even a lunchbox stike

Hope someone can chime in if they've tried it with external pres.
Old 23rd August 2010 | Show parent
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.S.Vega III View Post
Heh, I'm researching this unit and is my own single unanswered question too! Would love to be able to use it with a DAV or even a lunchbox stike

Hope someone can chime in if they've tried it with external pres.
yes, you can go line into it with no problem.
i have used mine to take my mix console out at line level while simultaneously using the Zoom mics to record the room PA for balancing at a later time (4 track mode)....... works well.

Also i have found the auto record level for the Zoom mics to work very well, fast to adjust gain with minimal to no artifacts while doing it.
Its a very good recorder for its price!
Old 23rd August 2010 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMoshay View Post
yes, you can go line into it with no problem.
i have used mine to take my mix console out at line level while simultaneously using the Zoom mics to record the room PA for balancing at a later time (4 track mode)....... works well.

Also i have found the auto record level for the Zoom mics to work very well, fast to adjust gain with minimal to no artifacts while doing it.
Its a very good recorder for its price!
Cool, thanks Peter! Ordered one from Amazon. thumbsup
Old 23rd August 2010 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr View Post
Did any one of you try using the H4n with some external preamps?
If so, did it affect the quality of the recording?
I did notice a nice step up in quality when using external mics (via XLR), but am curious to see if there is a way of bypassing the pres on H4n, and whether that is even worth trying...
p.
Couple of notes, I don't think there is a way to bypass the mic pre. A firmware update will add some gain notches below 1 (0.1, 0.2...0.9, 1). This is very handy for high SPL situations and would be a step closer to bypassing the mic pre.

With this said, this is NOT a pro level audio interface. Using ASIO or Mac drivers both results in a varying level of being out of sync when doing overdubs.

And lastly, I love this little recorder. I've got near 100GB of recordings from this recorder between using it as a sketchpad, recording acoustic jams/practices, as well as recording live gigs.
Old 23rd August 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric045757 View Post
4 - Channel Mode DOES record 4 channels simultaneously, BUT only down to 2 Stereo tracks, NOT 4 separate mono tracks, and Not 1 (the X-Y) Stereo track plus 2 separate Mono tracks either. Which is the only thing that pisses me off about the H4n. So you'll have to separate it yourself if you have the where-with-all. It just adds an unneeded step for the user that I wish they thought about before putting it out there. And when you're recording 4+ hours of music, this extra step can add up. Otherwise, this thing is one of the greatest pieces of gear I have. Honestly.

P.S. Maybe a WIRELESS remote would've been the way to go too. But then I would have to think the cost would start at $600 instead of $300.
I too haven't found a way around this. It sucks because I'm often recording a gig with the onboard X-Y mics plus a mono soundboard mix to clarify the vocals/electric guitar. Unfortunately with this setup, I end up with 2 stereo tracks including a track of silence for the 4th input.
Old 24th August 2010 | Show parent
  #29
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Denny C's Avatar
My personal studio has some other needs right now. However, I am saving up for one of these.
Old 24th August 2010 | Show parent
  #30
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piotr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cartrouble View Post
Couple of notes, I don't think there is a way to bypass the mic pre. A firmware update will add some gain notches below 1 (0.1, 0.2...0.9, 1). This is very handy for high SPL situations and would be a step closer to bypassing the mic pre.

With this said, this is NOT a pro level audio interface. Using ASIO or Mac drivers both results in a varying level of being out of sync when doing overdubs.

And lastly, I love this little recorder. I've got near 100GB of recordings from this recorder between using it as a sketchpad, recording acoustic jams/practices, as well as recording live gigs.
Hi cartrouble,

Can you clarify:

How do you go about updating the firmware?
And more precisely: which version has the additional gain settings?

Sincerely,
p.
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