I just installed new drivers for the Zoom F4 field recorder on my Win 11 laptop and now Audacity can’t see the Zoom F4 at all. Before I installed the new F4 drivers on my laptop, Audacity would recognize the F4, but only two channels (the F4 is a six channel recorder), and only with the Windows DIrectSound drivers; using WASAPI caused Audacity to fail to recognize the F4 at all. So even before I installed the new F4 drivers, Audacity couldn’t recognize more than two channels of the F4. Note: Audacity works fine with the Zoom H4n Pro, which is only two tracks.
Can anybody advise on how to get Audacity to work with the Zoom F4 recorder? I’d like to record three (3) channels of audio into Audacity. Thanks in advance.
FWIW: I’m getting tired of “new” software making things worse; that’s something that’s happening more and more.
So unfortunately, you may not be able to do this using Audacity under Windows. Some (many) multi-track recording devices require the use of the ASIO protocol under Windows. This is a professional protocol and faster than MME, DirectSound, and ASIO. Most professional($) DAWs support ASIO protocol, including one (Cubase?) that was likely shipped with your recorder. There are some free DAWs that support ASIO (I am thinking Cakewalk and others). Audacity does not ship with ASIO purely for licensing issues. It works but you you have to compile your own private copy - which can be quite nasty.
On page 120 of your F4 manual, you will find
This is a 6-in/4-out connection mode for Mac/Windows
and sends tracks 1–6 as separate signals (cannot be
used with iOS devices).
A driver is necessary for use with Windows. Download
the driver from the ZOOM website (www.zoom.co.jp/).
Which is probably what you did. This driver is an ASIO driver so it won’t work with Audacity, but you can always hope that maybe they included another driver with the package. After you plug in your Zoom, be sure to do Transport > Rescan Audio Devices, then Audio Setup. Check each of the three hosts to see if the F4 appears as a recording device and if you can get more that 2 recording channels, if it doesn’t appear, you will have to uninstall the driver to get back to the two channels that did work.
Fortunately, the F4 has a built-in recording mode which you may find easier to use and more reliable than recording via a computer anyway.
Thanks for responding. Your answer confirms what I’ve suspected for sometime: Audacity doesn’t support ASIO drivers. So much for trying to use free software to save the world.
I’m aware that I can use the F4 as a recorder; that’s the way I normally use it. But in 2020 Zoom added firmware to the F4 that allows it to simultaneously record internally AND serve as an audio interface. I’ve always wanted to use that capability because DAWs usually present a much better visual of the waveforms that are being recorded.
The F4 has a small screen that’s hard to see so I was really hoping that Audacity would provide that better display of the waveforms. The fact that Audacity records the audio would just be a bonus; the audio that Audacity records would be a backup to the F4’s recording to SD cards.
I do have access to other DAWs, e.g. Cubase and Studio One but I’ve never been willing to suffer the learning curve(s); I already know Audacity. That’s why I’m trying to get blood out of a turnip. Thanks again.
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