monitoring play back through Zoom H4N with Audacity 2.0.6

I’m using a Zoom H4n record as audio interface + Audacity 2.0.6 on my Asus ultrabook with WIN 10.

The multitrack recording works fine, but I need to monitor what I’m recording WITHOUT latency.
Enabling the playthrough into audacity brings much latency! On the other hand, enabling the monitor on the Zoom H4n, I can’t listen the backtrack (because I’m plugin the headphones into the zoom H4n).
A guy on this forum suggest to enabling the zoom H4n monitor and also set it as playing device into audacity settings, I’ve tried, but I can’t listen anything (maybe because the zoom H4n is plugged with an USB cable?).

Any suggestion is much appreciated,
many thanks!

Yes, I think that should work. Note that “Software Playthrough” must be OFF (not selected) in the Audacity Transport menu.

See section “6-5 Setting up: USB connection, H4n used as an Audio Interface” in your user manual (page 33

More and more machines are supporting that type of monitoring service and are being clear about it in the instructions. The key phrase is “zero latency monitoring.” Back when I did the first review, nobody knew what to call it and I had to throw dried chicken bones on the ground under a full moon to figure out how to use it.

Don’t need the bones any more.

I’m going to miss those bones.


I’ve tried, but I can listen only the monitor from the headphones, I can’t listen the tracks recorded into audacity :frowning:
Why ?

At the moment I’m using a relly messed up setup to achieve the goal of listening both monitor and backing track (using an old mixer as bridge between (audacity,zoom) and headphones… it’s really a strange solution I guess!

I would love to use only the Zoom recorder, pc+audacity, and headphones

Many thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

What’s set as the playback device in the device toolbar?

Speakers (ZOOM H Series Aud…)

If you just play a track from Audacity (choose a loud track), can you hear it via the Zoom H4 if you just play without recording?

Nothing, either with or without headphones plugged to the Zoom.
(output Volume of the zoom is at 100%)

I’ve just checked on the Zoom website and that should work, so I’m guessing that there is a setting wrong somewhere.

  1. Connect the Zoom to the computer as a USB interface.
  2. Open the Windows Sound Control Panel and set the Zoom as the default playback device.
  3. Play an audio file in Windows Media Player.
    Can you hear that through the Zoom?

I’ve done all the steps properly, but I can’t hear through the Zoom :frowning:
If I unplug the USB, the Zoom play properly as stand alone (either with/without headphones).

Really strange.

Check the monitor button.

You mean into the menu settings ? Monitor is ON there.

Hey man,
after reboot the PC, it suddently works! :slight_smile:

Many thanks again!

EDIT: I had to set Frequency 44.1kHz on the Zoom as Audio Interface (from its menu), and it works.
I was using 48kHz, and in this way the playback doesn’t work.

I don’t know why, but that was the reason!
I’d like to discover the reason.
Btw, many thanks again! :slight_smile:

Was the Audacity project rate 44100 Hz? USB interfaces usually expect sample rates to match with the computer recording or playback application and with any settings that Windows has for the interface’s sample rate.


There is also a note in the Zoom manual that the USB interface works differently when 48000 Hz is selected, but it is vague as to what the differences are.

Many thanks men!