Zoom H6 and Audacity - Basic Question

i am trying to use my Zoom H6 as an audio interface to record directly into audacity. i am connecting the computer and zoom with USB, going to the menu and selecting Audio Interface, and either Stereo Mix or Multi track after that, I have tried both.

on audacity, I can change the microphone input to “H6” so i guess it recognizes it. however pushing record no sound is captured. mic input level is set all the way up… can’t think where else there would be a problem.

the zoom works fine on its own, but i want to do some recording where i don’t have to transfer files.

what am i doing wrong ?

Did the Zoom instructions have anything to say about this? My Zoom “Natural” USB connection sets itself up for transferring files, not live production.

You don’t need Audacity, either. Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Sound > Input. That should show you a Zoom connection and a bouncing sound meter if everything is working OK.

The other place to go look is Go > Utilities > Audio MIDI setup. That one’s a little less handy because it doesn’t have the meter, but that’s what the Mac is thinking about.

After you get it into the Mac, then launch Audacity.


thanks fr the reply. the manual gave steps on how to set it up as audio interface, but no troubleshooting.

i figured it out and the solution was silly. when the zoom is operating on its own there are two red lights lit up on the device, above L/R. i didn’t notice that when connecting to computer via USB and settnig up as audio interface, those lights went out, ie the mic was automatically muted. so i just pushed that button and it was unmuted. the manual didn’t say that would happen!

I’m glad you got it to work but I haven’t and the X/Y mic is turned on with my Zoom 6. The funny thing is that I used to use the interface all the time but I haven’t recorded that way in quite a while. Hmmmm!

Both Windows and Macs have a device selector and volume meter. You should get that to work before you even open Audacity. Audacity gets its sound from the Operating System not the device.


From what I understand (also a new Zoom H6 owner), due to the ASIO drivers not being open, and Audacity being open source, it’s impossible to use it to record multitrack.

You can still record 2 tracks, with L and R, but you won’t be able to use 1-4.

Thats the reason that in the INPUT drop down menu the ASIO drivers are missing.

My $0.02

PS You can still use the zoom H6 to record each track separately and then EDIT using Audacity, just not record using the H6 as an audio interface.

You’re right that the ability to record multi-track depends on the drivers, but it would be worth checking which channels are available with different “host” options in the device toolbar. The WASAPI host is capable of multi-channels, so it depends on whether Zoom has implemented that or not.

With portable recorders (such as the H6), one of the big advantages are that they produce none of the fan noise that is common from (most) computers. Also, many computers have built-in card readers (or USB card readers may be purchased very cheaply), so the other option is to record from the device in stand-alone mode, then read the files off the flash card into the computer for editing.

record from the device in stand-alone mode

That’s recommended if you have enough trouble recording with the computer on. And no, that won’t do you a bit of good if you’re overdubbing. Still, the idea behind overdubbing is to create the song yourself one instrument at a time. Isn’t it a little rough to balance two built-in microphones and two externals? If you’re the performer, you need a mirror or two people.

Stand-alone is highly recommended if you’re reading for audiobooks. Those people are extraordinarily sensitive to background, computer, fan, air conditioning and other noises.

due to the ASIO drivers not being open, and Audacity being open source, it’s impossible to use it to record multitrack.

Or as we put it, it’s difficult to use Audacity with ASIO, not impossible. You can create your own ASIO-compliant Audacity through recompiling the program with ASIO support.