Getting Multi-track with a zoom H5 and Audacity

I have a zoom h5 and will use the audio interface. But the only way I get audacity to pick up the mics is if it is in stereo. Really would like to be able to do it multitrack. HELP PLEASE!!!

Disconnect the zoom from the computer and use the menu on the H5 to set it to multitrack. It’s on stereo by default. See page 72 of the manual.

After that, reconnect the Zoom and it will appear with 4 channels in Audacity. You will need to “rescan for audio devices” under the Transport menu in Audacity, unless you have closed Audacity in between.

Then, use the input channels selection, to the right of the input device selection to select four channels in Audacity.

Does that work on Windows though, without compiling an ASIO-enabled version of Audacity? I don’t know, I am asking. It would be useful to know.


I have no idea, Gale. It’s a good thing you asked, as I had completely forgotten about ASIO in Audacity. And I suppose the driver for the Zoom is an ASIO driver?

I’ve only experienced Zoom drivers on the Mac, a while ago, for an R16, and wasn’t too overwhelmed by their quality. It took the manufacturer months to come up with a stable, working driver. And when they were released, I had to learn about it on the Zoom forum. The driver only appeared on the Japanese Zoom site at first, not on the US site. And since my Japanese isn’t too good, it meant I missed the updates. I hope things are better these days.

It’s also why I used my Zoom mostly as a recorder. And why I ultimately sold it. That, and the fairly weak preamps.

On there are downloads for firmware and for an “H/F Series ASIO Driver” and “H/F Series Multi-Track ASIO Driver” (with 32- and 64-bit versions of each driver).

If the ASIO driver is mandatory it should still work with Audacity as shipped if it also includes a WDM driver, but it would be open to question if Audacity would see four recording channels or would see two independent stereo devices instead. The PDF that comes with the driver does not say anything about what is actually installed.

It would be very helpful if Termi1 could try it out and report back.


Hello Termi1, you managed to use the Zoom H5 in Multitrack mode?
I have the same problem, it only works in Stereo mode.
I really appreciate it if you can help me.

I don’t have any idea if you can get it to work as a multi-channel interface for Audacity. but… Computers are the least reliable gadgets we own! Mostly, that’s related to multitasking and all of the variations & configuration options. (Your operating system is always multitasking even when you’re only running one application.)

But in any case, a stand-alone recorder is usually much more reliable than a computer and you should be able to transfer the multi-track recordings to Audacity for editing. At that point if you have a “computer problem” you’ve usually got time to fix it and your recording doesn’t get ruined. (But of course you should make a back-up of anything “critical”.

So I was looking at the ZOOM site and only see one Multi-track driver for Windows and it is an ASIO driver. I believe you would need this to record in Multi-track with ANY Windows software. (I think Cakewalk is free and may support Mult-track, but I am not sure).

Solely for licensing reasons, Audacity does NOT ship with ASIO support. However, you can create your own private version of Audacity that DOES support ASIO. See here: ASIO support in Audacity 2.4.2 - #13 by jademan

I don’t have a Zoom H5, but if you post the “Audio Device Info” from Audacity (with the Zoom H5 connected) I’ll be able to tell you if 4 channel recording is possible with the Windows version of Audacity. (see: Help Menu: Diagnostics - Audacity Manual)

The desperation method is using the H5 as a stand-alone recorder and transfer sound files for editing later. Have you tried that? It’s one way to avoid the Stop Dead process of trying to record on the computer.

You can be cranking out musical entertainment while we’re figuring out a way around the ASIO software conundrum.

A word about the four channels. Last I looked, that was true only in Advertising and Promotion Speak. It won’t record four matching XLR microphones. It will record two microphones and the two on-board built-in microphones. Is your job OK with that?


Not sure how much that helps, but as you plug the H5 on audio interface mode, you can select stereo or multitrack.

If you select multitrack, Audacity will only pickup the signal coming from the L/R H5 input. (other software that work with ASIO drivers will pickup the full 4 H5 inputs).

BUT, if you select stereo, H5 lets you choose which stereo inputs you will use. You can enable L/R or the 1/2 XLR inputs, although not at the same time. Audacity will then record the signal from the inputs you have selected.

On another note, were there earlier versions of Audacity that shipped with ASIO support enabled? I have a recollection of having the 4 inputs on my H5 enabled, but I’ve never compiled my own build with ASIO support. Is it possible that earlier versions supported ASIO or is this just my memory failing me.

There have never been official releases of Audacity with ASIO support enabled. That has never been possible due to licensing restrictions.

Even if the current H5 drivers do not support multi-channel with MME, DirectSound or WASAPI, it is possible that older drivers may have supported multi-channel with MME, DirectSound or WASAPI.

Even if the current H5 drivers do not support multi-channel with MME, DirectSound or WASAPI, it is possible that older drivers may have supported multi-channel with MME, DirectSound or WASAPI.

Brilliant, genius, you are absolutely right!

So I’ve unplugged my H5, went into my Device Manager, selected ‘show hidden devices’, and deleted everything related to my Zoom H5.

Then, I’ve uninstalled Zoom ASIO drivers. Reboot.

In the H5, I’ve selected USB – Audio Interface – Multitrack – BusPowered. Then connected it to the computer. Windows 10 natively recognized the H5 and when I went into Audacity, there it was, all the four tracks and inputs!

I hope this helps!