Zoom H4n Pro digital audio recorder

For portability and feature-rich audio recording, the Zoom H4n Pro portable digital audio recorder works great for podcasting and DSLR video.

I used to record my podcasts directly into my computer with Audacity. That worked fine until I did something stupid: running too many CPU-intensive apps while recording. I decided to buy an external recorder for the reliability and new features. After a lot of research, I settled on the Zoom H4n Portable Digital Recorder for the following reasons.

  • The H4n Pro has a better stereo separation so you can hear left and right better when recording with it.
  • The H4n Pro has XLR inputs and built-in preamps that are better than the H4n and good enough to power most microphones.
  • The H4n Pro records in four channels (two via XLR-1/4″ combo jacks, two via stereo 3.5 mm).

Of these features, the most important to me was the four-channel recording. I use this to separate our voices from the sounds (music, voicemail, sound clips, etc.). This separation makes it much easier to edit things later, if I need to.

For example, if I mess up my timing on the outro, I can simply reposition the background music because it’s separate from the vocal track. Or I can also run dynamic compression on my vocal track without it messing up my fades on the music.

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Before you go! Don’t miss this FREE checklist, “20 things you should do before recording every podcast episode”!

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