Your Zoom H6 has a ton of different levels. It can be difficult to know what output you want.
It’s an excellent podcasting tool, but just what is it? And how do you use it? Let’s find out and turn you into a Zoom H6 master as soon as possible.
What is Zoom H6?
The Zoom H6 is like having a miniature recording studio right in your pocket. It works for stereo and multitrack audio to use with podcasting and video production, has a slot for internal storage, and multiple inputs to help with larger productions.
In short, if you have a podcast that you want to take to the next level, then you need to use the Zoom H6. It’s the most cost-effective way to immediately jump up to professional, high-end quality that many amateur podcasts are still trying to hit.
What Does it Contain?
The Zoom H6 has a ton of features built into it that make it a truly unique device. Here’s everything you need to know about what it contains, and what it can do.
- Directly Records to SD Cards: Slap in a micro SD card with an adapter, and just start recording. Once you have your settings the right way, you can just go nuts and record as much as you want, then switch the SD or micro SD card out. It’s really that simple, just be sure you label them so you know which recording is on which card. The only thing is, it maxes out at 128 GB, so you can buy some SD cards in this range (thankfully they’re extremely cheap in this range).
- Record in MP3 or WAV: WAV is superior for recording, but MP3 takes up less space and may be required by certain platforms anyway. Being able to natively record in these formats without having to reformat them later is a blessing that any podcaster will be able to use time and time again.
- Built-in LCD Screen: You can see all of your settings and preferences without the need for an external controller or monitor. It’s a small 320 x 240 screen, but it gets the job done and it’s bright, so you can select the right settings at the drop of a hat.
- Gain Knobs: Want to toy with the audio on the fly? You can use the gain knobs to adjust your gain level and get instant feedback so you know exactly how it sounds in your final recording. It takes a lot of the surprise out of recording. Nobody wants to review audio later and realize that they have to go back to the drawing board.
- 4 Separate XLR or TRS Inputs: Now we’re talking. Let’s say you have a table with your guests and they’re all sitting across from each other. Nobody is sharing a microphone. You can have four separate microphones hooked up to this one recorder all at the same time, and the tracks won’t overlap because of this next feature.
- 6-Track Recording: Record up to six separate tracks at the same time. That’s four for your XLR input, and another two for the built-in microphones on the top of the Zoom H6 to either capture room ambiance or background noise.
What Settings to Use for Making Podcasts
Zoom H6 settings will vary depending on which microphone(s) you’re using. However, it’s safe to say that you’ll need to use Phantom Power amid a host of other settings to really get your entire podcast recording space set up properly. Let’s talk about those.
- Phantom Power: This powers your microphones. Studio condenser microphones need power, but since they’re not being plugged into something attached to your PC like a Go XLR, they need Phantom Power to run. This setting isn’t very deep in your Zoom H6 and can be found in the initial menu. You can individually select which track you want to supply Phantom Power to.
- Individual Gain Knobs: These external knobs control the volume of each microphone as they come in. If you’re using different microphones in different inputs, you’ll want to monitor their levels with a pair of over-ear studio headphones to know which microphone is coming in louder than the others.
- Low Cut Filter: You can reduce background noise regardless of what microphone you’re using. This reduces pops and unwanted, abrupt sounds from tarnishing your recordings. You might still have some that come through, but it makes post-production insanely easy compared to what it could be.
- Compressor: Compressors help to turn low signals into high signals, which can help when you have a particularly quiet guest contrasting with a louder guest. This balances out the audio levels and keeps them as close together as possible so you don’t have to toy with every individual track in your audio editor later on.
Other Uses for Zoom H6
Beyond just recording your podcasts, you can use the Zoom H6 for a few other helpful audio-related things. Here’s a short list of some of them.
- Record Memos: You have an idea for a book, a movie, or a business and you don’t want to forget about it. Use this interface with a simple desktop or lapel microphone, and capture your ideas with vivid clarity so you don’t mishear anything during playback later on.
- Capture Music: Fancy yourself a musician on the side of being a podcast host and producer? You can capture your guitar and vocals with the Zoom H6. You can even use them with electric drums if that’s more your style.
- Interviews: If you freelance and need to capture interviews with experts for your work, or you’re trying to record interviews for work so you can listen back to them later, the Zoom H6 comes in handy.
You can get creative with all the different ways you can use this amazing device, it just all depends on what you can record with it.
Finding Your Best Solution
The Zoom H6 has plenty of different features for you to toy around with, just be sure to find the correct settings for your specific needs. It’s like having an entire recording studio that you can basically fit in your back pocket—don’t underestimate its power, and don’t underutilize all of its features. You can really make something extravagant with this seemingly small piece of tech.