Until recently each episode was recorded on two devices. The first device was my workstation, where I recorded the audio into audacity. The Second Device was my Zoom H2N. The H2N recently took a tumble when I rolled my Jeep and it has discovered that it likes to eat batteries. With a new digital recorder in the cards it was decided that a new and improved system was needed for recording, preferably something that would provide better multichannel recording. That solution came in the form of either the Zoom’s H5 or the Zoom H6 recorders. After some consideration the best solution appeared to be the more expensive H6.
The key to recording four channels is the mixer. I use a Mackie ProFX16 mixer which has a built in USB interface, but it is limited to two channels in and two channels out. The ProFX16 is a four bus mixer, meaning you have four sub-out channels. With a four track recorder the sub-out channels can be used for multichannel recording. An ideal solution would be to acquire a mixer with USB 2.0 or Firewire in order to record each channel individually. For my needs a four channel solution using the current mixer is a better option for the money.
To connect the Zoom H6 with the ProFX16 is a simple affair. You need four cables with TRS connectors on one end and either TRS or XLR connectors on the other, this will allow you to bring the balanced output from the ProFX16 to the H6. I found a snake with four cables in it and TRS connectors on each end which makes things easier to route and keep together. Keep in mind that you want to enable the -20db pad on each channel of the H6.
Once the physical connection is made you need to figure out how to route the signal. First lets address the channel strips. On each channel strip next to the slider there are four buttons, three are all we concerned with. We want to ensure that the L/R button is up while either the 1-2 or 3-4 button is down. Finally we turn the PAN knob to the left or the right. Turning it to the left routes the signal to the left channel, sub-out number one, and/or sub-out number three. Turning it to the right routes the signal to the right channel, sub-out number two, and/or sub-out number four. To achieve four channel recording with four inputs you want to ensure only one of the buttons are depressed and that the pan knob is turned all the way to one direction so that each input goes to it’s own sub-out. Once the channel strip configured it’s time to look at the sliders for the sub-outs. Above each slider you will find two buttons. One is labeled “L” and the other “R” Depressing these will route the signal to the main output group. I depressed both on all four channels so that I hear a mono signal representing a blend of all signals. You should depress at least one on each sub-out to ensure you can hear the signal in your headphones.