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.

Accessories

Mentioned in posts

6 comments on “Podcasters, Podcasting Equipment, and Podcasting Software that I’m Thankful For – TAP022

  1. Hey this was a really fun episode, Daniel. Great job. It always feels good to be thankful! I need to do more of that in my life–there's a lot to be thankful for, especially in podcasting. I'm thankful for your show because you gave me the guts back in July to finally start doing this podcasting thing for real! Thank you thank you thank you!
    -Derrick

  2. Awesome! I suggest my feature episodes–I have some cool interviews that Pixar fans will really enjoy. Thank you for following me on Twitter! And I'd be happy to hear any feedback you have to make my podcast better–you really are the inspiration for me to get going! Thanks!

  3. @bouffordr says:

    Daniel, Great episode and very helpful. Thanks for your thankful episode (even though my Thanksgiving Day was in October).

    When you have some time, can you do a quick episode, maybe video, on how you have your equipment set up (like Cliff R's webinar from a few weeks ago, http://podcastanswerman.com/studiosetup/). Nothing as extensive, more curious about how you have the Zoom H4N connected to your mixer and computer. From what I can see, the H4N doesn't have a line in jack like my Zoom H2. A few photographs or images will be fine.

    1. Thanks, Bob!

      Yes, when I get a decent camera again, I'll post a video or blog with pictures.

      The Zoom H4n can accept audio input via two 1/4" phone jacks or two XLR jacks, and a stereo 3.5 mm. However, it's not true "line input" because it is not line-level, but I am using the XLRs and stereo 3.5 when I record.

  4. Mary says:

    Hi Daniel,
    I'm new to podcasting, web/blogging and techno things in general, but when I bought an IPOD touch a year ago and started listening to podcasts like Stuff you Should Know, the Buddhist Geek and the newly named Being from APM, I recognized the incredible value of the medium. I did jump right in this past month with both a blog/website and two extremely rough podcasts about one of my passions-poker. I'm not OCD and I do believe that being a perfectionist slows one down, so I'm on my way. However, I think my listeners will really appreciate if I get better quickly. So, I'm delighted to have found your podcasts and now your website and additionally, your gratitude list. Thanks for everything. I hope you want for nothing! THANKS so very much for sharing.
    Mary <a href="http:// (www.ponderingpoker.com)” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(www.ponderingpoker.com)” target=”_blank”>(www.ponderingpoker.com)

    1. Thanks, Mary! I'm so happy to help!

      I love that you found something you're passionate about and are podcasting about it. I often enjoy a good game of poker (albeit without real money at stake). Sometimes, my cohost of the Ramen Noodle (my clean-comedy podcast) and I will play a Texas Hold'em game. Fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

50%

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

This form collects information we will use to send you podcasting-related updates with tips, offers, and news. We will not share or sell your personal information. You can unsubscribe at any time.