Guide to using the Zoom H4 Digital Audio Recorder
Zoom Player Controls
Setting up your Recording Media
- Open the top battery compartment and insert batteries as indicated on the recorder. Also check to ensure an SD card is present and if it is not, insert one.
- POWER the H4 on.
- Format the card if necessary using the steps found later in this tutorial.
Setting your Inputs
- The H4 contains a built-in microphone and 2 XLR inputs. The XLR inputs are assigned as Input1 and Input 2.
- Ensure that you are in Stereo Mode by checking to see if the MODE indicator light is lit. If the MODE indicator is lit, you are in Stereo Mode. If it is not lit, you are in 4-track mode.
- If you are in 4-track mode, hit MENU and navigate to mode. Select “Mode” and then select “Stereo Mode”
- While at the top screen of the Stereo Mode, press bottom of the MENU button to enter the Input Menu where your inputs will be displayed.
- Use the toggle dial to make your selections. Ensure “Mic” is shown under source if you are recording using the H4’s built-in microphone. To use microphones you have attached to Inputs 1, 2, or both, select the source and toggle to “1&2.” Press down on the JOG DIAL to confirm your selection.
- If you are using a phantom powered device, which is any device that requires power through an XLR cable, use the JOG DIAL to navigate to phantom and select “on”.
Setting your Input Record Levels
- While at the top screen of the Stereo Mode, press bottom of the MENU button and your inputs will be displayed.
- Use the JOG DIAL to navigate to “Level” and then push down on the JOG DIAL to select.
- Speak into the microphone and adjust the levels by so that your voice is peaking at -12 dB. You can do this by pressing down on the JOG DIAL and then scrolling with it to adjust the levels.
- If you prefer Auto Gain, use the JOG DIAL while on the home screen of the Input Menu to navigate to Auto Gain and select “On” or “Off”.
- Locate your input selection on the right side of your zoom.
- Set Gain on Input 1 and Input 2 to L. Set Mic Gain to L or M based on your levels. Keeping the gain on low and adjusting your mic sensitivity through the audio input menu will provide you with the cleanest audio possible.
Preparing to Record and Recording:
- On the front left of the H4, you will see different sampling rate presents including an MP3 preset. Select 44.1 KHz. This will record the files in .wav format. You can see the record settings on the display. To conserve storage space, you can also select MP3.
- Press the menu button to display your recording levels.
- Press the REC button to put the H4 into record ready mode. The light will flash indicating that the H4 is ready to record, but it is not recording.
- Plug your headphones in and put them on. You will see the recording levels on the front display. The headphone volume can be adjusted to your liking on the left side of the recorder. Remember that headphone volume is not the same as the mic input level.
- Point the H4 or your microphone, depending on your input source, at the interview subject and hit the record button again.
- A solid red light on the record button indicates you’re recording. You should also look at the display to ensure the timecode/counter is active.
- Hit REC to stop.
- To listen to your file, use the controls to select your file and play it back.
Uploading your Clips
- If you have a memory card reader, open the memory card compartment and push down on the SD memory card to eject it. Place the SD memory card in a card reader.
- If you are connecting the H4 to the computer via the included USB cable, verify that the recorder is stopped. Then press the center of the [MENU] key and press the jog dial to select the menu option “USB”. Push down on the job dial to make the selection. Select Connect to PC and the H4 should mount on your computer as a device.
- Navigate to the folder called WAV or STEREO and you will see all your files contained in it. Play back the files to ensure they were transferred successfully. Copy the folder containing those files to your preferred location such as the Desktop or a USB Key.
- Unmount or eject the device.
Formatting the Memory Card
- Press the menu button. Use the jog dial to toggle down to “Card”. Press the jog dial button to make the selection.
- Use the jog dial to select “Format”
- Press the jog dial to format the card.