Cursor stuck using Zoom H4n

Greetings all!

After extensively searching the Internet for an answer to my problem, I have decided it would be best to immerse myself into some forums and express my concerns.

Please refer to the attached .txt document containing all of the specs for the laptop I am using.

Before connecting the device, I went ahead and found the correct driver. It was a slight mission as I am using Windows Vista and the latest drivers are for Windows 7. Regardless, I was successful and the computer recognized the H4 series as a device. My H4n came with a DAW software (I believe) called Cubase LE5. I was unable to install the software as my disc drive is…not functioning currently. That’s a problem for another day. Anyway, I mention it because I read that having a professional DAW interface is ideal for the H4n, which I will look into if necessary.

I wanted to just see if I could get it working with Audacity just as a test as many do not seem to have an issue connecting a USB audio interface. Audacity recognized the device and it is listed in each of the drop-boxes of select-able devices to use. The project rate is set to 44100Hz, same setting is applied to the device. All options are default such as latency correction, etc. Overdub is selected, Software playthrough is not selected, and Sound Activated Recording is also not selected. I will gladly provide any more information that is asked of me regarding individual settings.

When connecting the H4n it asks to select for it to either be used as a mass storage device or audio interface. I select audio interface. At this point, the device powers on and works through the laptop. With my headphones connected to the headphones/line jack on the H4n, the computer uses the H4n as a playback device. This works fine, it seems. When I select the recording device as the H4n it doesn’t seem to show any monitoring levels on the recording tab of sound preferences. Over in Audacity, when selecting “click to start monitoring” there is no response what-so-ever. When I click record, a track opens like normal but the cursor remains stuck and sort of flashing/twitching. I find it strange that the device works perfectly as a playback device, but not a recording device. I opened sound-recorder as an alternative and still nothing. Hitting record in sound recorder produces a file with no data.

My laptop has a built in microphone with a webcam. Switching to this microphone produces sound results. I can record and playback the file through my H4n with no issues. This leads me to think there is an issue with the device but there is no apparent solution. There is a monitoring feature within the H4n which allows me to hear what would potentially be recorded before recording. I thought turning this on would be the solution but the same issue remains only now I can hear myself through the H4n microphone.

I feel like I am so close to getting this to work. There is something I am missing and I’m hoping someone had some experience with this already. I hear that my issue is extensive and could have many possible reasons! It makes me sad…

My goal with this is to set up the H4n as a live-feed microphone for playing live sessions. If I can’t get it to work in Audacity, I assume it won’t work anywhere else, as Audacity has always been so versatile for me.

Hope this isn’t too long and would discourage users form helping me. I jus want to share as much info as I can on the topic, but alas, I am a newbie in the sound engineering world!

Looking forward to some replies! Thank you!
TEMPUS2.txt (48.1 KB)

As far as I can see you don’t say which Audacity version you are using. Please see the pink panel at the top of the page.

Have you rebooted the computer recently? If not, start with that.

If the recording cursor is still stuck, does Windows Sound Recorder record if you make the Zoom the default recording device in Windows Sound ?

Does using another USB cable make any difference?


And just to throw mud in the game, it is strongly recommended that you record on the H4n and then transfer the files to the computer with the USB connection.

Using a USB connection for live performances comes with many problems. You’re only experiencing the first of them.

After you do get it all working, there’s a good chance the quality of the sound isn’t going to be as good as stand-alone recording. USB connections sometimes add noise to the show in the form of data buzz or whine and it’s difficult to fix in post production. This is “frying mosquitoes” or “Yeti Curse” from the Blue Yeti microphone which frequently suffers from this problem. The Yeti is a pure USB microphone and there is no option, but you have the option of recording a pure, clean performance without the USB connection.

Is your computer dead quiet? If it’s not, then you will be required to separate the computer from the microphone so it doesn’t pick up fan noise. With non-USB recording, you can have the computer off while recording.

I used my older H4 at the airport to record jet noises and at a freeway to record traffic sounds, all stand-alone recording. I don’t have it, but I believe you can get a wall power supply for the H4 so you don’t have to run on batteries.


I have audacity 2.1.1 . I am having the same issue when I plug my H4n in. It won’t let me record any parts, the cursor gets stuck. If I switch back to my inbuilt computer mic it does work again, but the quality isn’t as good as I want to be able to record lots of parts. I have tried turning on and off the computer, checking h4n is the default mic but to no avail.

Any other suggestions?

What version of Windows? Do you have the latest drivers and firmware from

Have you turned off Transport > Software Playthrough in Audacity?

Have you rebooted the computer and changed the USB cable? Are you connecting Zoom to an empty USB port?

As previously suggested you do not need to use H4 as an interface. You can record directly to H4 then import the files into Audacity.


My first guess would be the Zoom driver…

I’ve had several Zoom devices and the drivers are not that great. It might take some experimenting and certainly some searching. When I had driver problems, the Japanese Zoom site didn’t have an update fi. The US site did, but it was fairly hidden. If a driver is for Windows 7, that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t work on Vista or Win8.

So, I’d take Koz’ advice and record on the Zoom. After all, that’s how these devices are intended to be used. And that works 100% of the time.

Owww… BTW there is a great Zoom forum out there. It’s not run by the company that makes the Zoom brand, but it’s filled with very knowledgeable people. It’s here: