Multi-track recording

This newbie has one more question. My new Zoom H6 can record up to 6 tracks. I probably won’t need to record six tracks but I will probably record four tracks (the regular stereo microphones that come with it and two more microphones.) Am I correct in assuming that Audacity can only handle two tracks?

A little searching and I was surprised to see a ton of free audio programs available. I really like Audacity but does anyone know of another free audio editor that can handle four to six tracks from one recording? That would be useful to know if and when I need it.

I don’t think I’ll ever figure out the Cubase LE or Wavelab LE programs that came with the Zoom. I must be getting old but my head hurt when I tried to figure those out. :frowning: Not being a pro, I need something simple and use-friendly like Audacity but I would also like to be able to record more than two tracks when I need to.

I must be getting old but my head hurt when I tried to figure those out.

Age is not a requirement for befuddlement. One of the world-class IT guys let me use one of his machines once with a well-known program on it. “I had trouble using it.” he said.

Since I kneel in his shadow, what chance do I have?

What form does the work present itself inside the H6? If they’re separate WAV files, or stereo pairs, you can transfer them and just plain open them in Audacity.

I should try this with my H4. I’ve never let it record all four at once. I’m going to have to go back to the instructions.


How many channels are offered in Device Toolbar? If there is a “multi” recording device for the Zoom, try choosing that and you may get a greater number of channels offered. If so, you will probably have to set Audacity to six channels even if you want to record only four, then close the two silent tracks.

If you only see two channels offered in Audacity, then you would need to compile Audacity with ASIO support to get all six channels:

Audacity can edit multiple tracks fine, it is just that it may not be able to record more than two channels at once without ASIO. You can always record two channels, then play the first two recorded tracks and record another two tracks while listening.

Kristal Audio Engine and Wavosaur are two Windows applications that can record multiple channels using ASIO.


Thanks for the info!

As I mentioned, I’m completely new to this but, after posting this question, I was thinking about it and realized something: For my usage, I really don’t have to worry about transferring more than two tracks to Audacity at one time because I will be recording tracks separately anyway. For example, I may record my 6-string guitar and then, add a track with my 12-string guitar and then maybe one with harmonica. In other words, they will be recorded separately. I’ve been doing that all along before I got my Zoom. So there’s no problem with that.

But my original question was really about recording multiple tracks at the same time and bringing them into Audacity. For example, say I am using four to six microphones or other inputs and recording a band. If I’m thinking correctly, I don’t think I can import all those tracks at once into Audacity. In fact, I read an Audacity article that said that you have to have a special sound card with that capability as well as possibly some other specialized stuff. It sounded too complicated for me but I got the general idea. But I do know that the Zoom can mix down the tracks into stereo after making volume adjustments to multiple tracks, etc. But now I’m wondering if I can bring multiple (more than 2) channels into Audacity two at a time. I think I’m going to test that later today if I can hook up a microphone that I have to make three tracks but I think I’ll have to run that microphone through an amplifier first. I’ve only recorded with the Zoom’s stereo mic so far. Again, this is all new to me.

I’m going to check out the ASIO link above. Thanks for that.

You can import multiple pre-recorded files into Audacity.

If none of the Zoom inputs in Device Toolbar are “multi” or show you more than 2 channels, then you can’t record more than 2 channels at once without ASIO.

Also Audacity cannot record from more than one device at a time (for example, Zoom and a mic connected to the computer). ASIO doesn’t change that. Kristal Audio Engine can record from multiple devices at once.