Zoom H4n Pro question

Leftydrummer82

New member
I’ve just rented a Zoom H4n pro recorder from a music store and tried recording myself playing drums. I played it back and it sounds terrible! Are there certain settings I’m missing in the way I set it up? Brand new to the Zoom world so any advice is appreciated!
 

OSDrums

Active member
Make sure you set it to Wave and 24bit. Other than that it‘s all about placement and room acoustics. Try to position it over your right shoulder frombehind the kit. If you add a kick and snare mic to track 3&4 you get a much better sound!
Sidenote: Proper tuning is an absolute prerequisite. Anyway you will not get the typical studio sound we are all used from records. This can only be achieved with multi mic recording of the drumset.
 

Leftydrummer82

New member
Thank you for the tips. I was hoping to start off with getting away with using just the zoom as I need time to budget for more mics. I will try those settings, and different placements of the mic. I have a MAC, should I record with a line going into Garageband? Or just have the Zoom recording unconnected on it's own, then import the drums via the SD card? Thank you.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
  • Turn off the limiters.
  • Turn down the mic gain so the signal never clips.
  • Place the unit directly over the snare about 8’ high, pointed down, with the mics aimed left & right.
  • If you can’t suspend the unit, place it about 6’ in front of the kit, 4’ off the ground, aimed at the snare, with the mic facing left & right.
Once you get a decent recording, then work on importing into GarageBand and fussing with the software.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
I have used one of those for years, and I have never gotten anything but great results. My guess is you have the recording level too hot, or the positioning is whacked.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Definitely check the mic levels. I've have mine set super low. Out of 100 max, mine are at like 0.6. Otherwise it will sound terrible.
 

OSDrums

Active member
Or just have the Zoom recording unconnected on it's own, then import the drums via the SD card? Thank you.
This is what I do all the time. Fast and almost no effort...
Cbphotos tip to turn off any limiter and compressor/autogain is essential, forgot this to mention. If you record with 24bit you can go down to -20dB with the peaks of your playing. you can normalize the recording later in the DAW with one click...
I have to check if I have RAW and processed examples of one of my recordings with the zoom...
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I saw an ad today with a video of Steve Gadd playing into an H4N. Have a search and you can see his setup. (Just - its fairly dark).

Placement and setting levels are important as suggested above. Also the tuning of the drums and the room they’re in. If its echo-y or a harsh sounding room, that will be recorded.
 

Leftydrummer82

New member
Thank so much for all the tips! My drums are at another house than my own so I will try this advice tomorrow when I go. I have the H4n for a month so I'll figure this out and decide if I'd like to buy one. Thanks again.
 
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