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Hi guys and girls,

I am looking to records some podcasts with my Zoom H4n. I have three XLR mics that I am trying to use.

I have plugged 2 of the mics into the XLR inputs.

For the third mic, I bought a .5mm TRS jack to XLR cable to plug into the back of the Zoom H4n. It records in 4 channel mode.

When I first connected the Zoom to my computer via USB, I was greeted with the two wav files "I" and "M". I then read in the manual on page 113 how to convert the 4 Channel to a stereo file. This created one file which essentially merged the tracks. The trouble is, when I listen to the recording, the two XLR mics play through their respective channel. I.e the "1" input plays in the left speaker/left headphone and the "2" input plays in the right headphone/speaker only. When you record in stereo mode, you can simply turn use mono-mix to fix this. But when you operate in 4 Channels, there is no mono-mix option. Incidentally, the mic which plays through the Jack plays through both headphones.

I really don't want to get an XLR splitter and record two mics on the one channel.

Can someone please advise me how best to go about this?



Sean G Fri, 09/11/2015 - 02:42

I'm not familiar with your Zoom H4n, but I would try a 1/4 inch stereo adapter, 1/4 inch female input to 1/4 inch male stereo TRS jack, maybe this may allow you to record in stereo??? Something like the image below may be a quick cost effective fix.
Again, not being familiar with your Zoom, but I would try something like this first if your Zoom does not allow you to change the setting to record in stereo.
Maybe someone else here could advise if this may work???

Attached files

Hayley Fri, 09/11/2015 - 02:58

pcrecord, post: 432319, member: 46460 wrote: As I see it, you can record in 4 channel mode and use a computer program to mix them as you need.
Any audio multichannel software will let you pan each track as wanted.

Sorry I am a real newbie. I have audacity. Is there a simple way of doing it in that and how do I do it? I have the "I" track and the "M" track, where do I go from there?

Boswell Fri, 09/11/2015 - 03:31

You have two 2-channel (stereo) files, the "M" file recorded from the built-in microphones (or from whatever is connected to the 3.5mm stereo input jack), and the "I" file recorded from the XLR inputs. From what you say, your third microphone will record as dual-mono in the M file. You can bring the two stereo files into Audacity one above the other, and they should line up in time since they will have been started at the same instant.

If all the microphones were independent (i.e. not a stereo pair), then you need to split both these stereo tracks into mono. You do this by clicking on the down-pointing triangle in the the name field in the track control panel on the left of each track and selecting the option for splitting the stereo track. You can probably then discard one of the M mono tracks as it will be a duplicate.

Once you have the 3 mono tracks, they will all play centred. This may be what you want for your podcasting, alternatively, you can pan each track anywhere in the stereo field using the L-R pan control in the left-hand box.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on!

Hayley Tue, 09/22/2015 - 23:37

Thank you Boswell, that was tremendously helpful. Sorry I forgot to respond until now!

I really enjoy creating podcasts and using the Zoom and my dynamic mics!

In your opinion, do you think a mixer would help improve the quality so that I can monitor the different sounds of the various mics? What sort of mixer would you recommend for podcasting and one that is easily connected to the Zoom H4N? We don't use headphones at the moment to hear ourselves as we record, but this might be something we'd want to do if we got a mixer I suppose!

Again, thanks for your help!


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