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Need more than 4 tracks on Zoom h4n

Is it possible to record more than 4 tracks on the h4n in MTR mode?  I would think bouncing to on mono track would allow you to add 3 more overdubs, bounce again and add 3 more. I have a project due tomorrow that requires 4 violins, 4 violas, 1 piano and 1 vocalist. I cannot get the h4n to open the bounce file nor does it open when I change the name to trk1-00 (the default name for track 1).  I can do each 4 instrument group and combine  them in Logic on my Mac but I was hoping to avoid that. Doing the recording and not hearing all the parts is not ideal. 

Comments

paulears Thu, 04/22/2021 - 13:17

Surely they will all be playing at the same time - so you have plenty? If the room is nice then a stereo pair, then the vocalist and the piano.  Bouncing won't help will it? If you have 4 violins, then to do any bouncing means 4 Pairs of headphones for the 4 violas to play to - that's just not a practical solution as you will lose the ensemble effect. if the room is less than idea, then the four channels would be violins, violas, piano and vocalist - and try to group them with some space between - maybe spread them around in a circle - with the desks clustered into the sections to maximise separation.  What you are trying to do with a zoom with bouncing is a horrible idea and the monitoring complication would really mean a mixer, because of the need to hear. 

chunkermunker Thu, 04/22/2021 - 13:40

In reply to by paulears

Hi Paulears,

I wish I had access to that many talented musicians!  My son, the composer, (PhD Candidate at UO!) is also the musician on this  for all the parts except the vocal which is done by his wife!  I too am a big believer in "one mic" recording to capture the room sound, when you have an ensemble. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you feel about this) I have one musician doing it all- so it has to be overdubbed! 

Thanks for your advice.

chunkermunker Thu, 04/22/2021 - 13:46

In reply to by audiokid

Hi Audiokid,

Thanks much for the quick response. I had already read that thread and it does not answer my question.  From that thread I gathered that they came to the same conclusion I did, that i can do 4 tracks, bounce em  to one stereo wav file, and pull it into Logic (or any DAW) and compile each section that way.  It is a bit more time consuming and doesn't allow for the player to hear the completed tracks in their entirety (they would only hear what was currently recorded on the h4n-  up to tracks 1-3 while recording the 4th track).  

I was hoping to bounce the first 4 tracks into one track, then continue overdubbing tracks 3-4, then bounce again to one track and continue until i have all 10 tracks compiled.  

Anyone else have any ideas? I am recording tonight as the project is due tomorrow! 

You  didn't mention the fact the 8 strings were the same person, plus the piano and Vox? I think this is not something to do in a timescale so short, because this kind of overdubbing is horrible to do. It's of course absolutely perfect and so simple to do in a DAW, so you can do the balance afterwards. I'd hate to even contemplate what you are doing. Thank God I stopped doing this kind of thing in the 'good old days'. On my old 4 track reel to reel I did stuff like this, but so many times I got to the 50% stage and the balance had got totally out of touch, and worse - the timing was terrible. 

 

chunkermunker Sat, 04/24/2021 - 10:39

Well thanks to you folks who took the time to respond, especially Paulears, with your sage wisdom and knowledge. I too go back the day of the Teac 4 track reel to reel.  Overdubbing on THAT was a timing nightmare and mix downs were nigh impossible, so you are right on that.  However, digitally overdubbing has a lot less loss and the timing with click can be near perfect if not totally.  So our solution for this very short time line project was to record 4 strings (violins 1,2, and 3; and viola 1) on the Zoom H4n in MTR mode.  Since you cannot go beyond the 4 tracks overdubbed on that device, I simply copied the 4 tracks (without ever doing a bounce) to my Mac running Logic.  We then went back to the H4n and deleted tracks 3 and 4 (violin 3 and viola 1) and then recorded the piano on track 3 and the vocal on track 4 (the piano had violin 1 and 2 in his headset, the vocalist had violins 1 and 2 and the piano in her headset when recording their parts).  The resulting recording had very rich strings so we decided to forgo doubling the strings at the octave, so no longer required the additional overdubs.  The other piece of information that I didn't mention earlier (Sorry Paulears!) was that the piece was rather short- less than 5 minutes- so we were able to complete the overdubs on thursday and final production on friday.  Thanks to this community for helping with my questions.

paulears Fri, 04/30/2021 - 00:16

I'd be quite happy with that - I used my H4 yesterday and loading some files into cubase I noticed they were 44.1, not 48K that I normally originate in - so I went into the H4 menu and discovered it was 44.1 16 bit. I assume I set it to this sometime in the past for direct transfer to CD. I've recorded dozens of things on it and never noticed. I think I  could live with 16 bit resolution for a project of this kind and save all the bouncing effort. The mix issues with bouncing and levels you have to imagine would be well worth avoiding (well, for me)

cyrano Wed, 05/05/2021 - 09:02

We badly NEED a "report" link.

The post above looks dodgy. The link has a .ooo domain, which doesn't exist, afaik, but when clicked goes to 9apps.onl.

The download is for an Android app...

Kasey000's other posts seem dodgy too.

audiokid Wed, 05/05/2021 - 11:01

In reply to by cyrano

 

cyrano wrote: We badly NEED a "report" link. The post above looks dodgy. The link has a .ooo domain, which doesn't exist, afaik, but when clicked goes to 9apps.onl. The download is for an Android app... Kasey000's other posts seem dodgy too.

Good call! I have been thinking there was something off with that new member. Spammer playing us. Thanks for the heads up. He's gone after this reply.