The Zoom H6 Handy Recorder is a versatile and robust device known for its field recording capabilities. But what is often underappreciated about the H6 is its potential as a digital audio interface, a crucial role it can fulfill well for musicians, podcasters, videographers, and audio engineers.
As a digital audio interface, the Zoom H6 serves as the go-between for your microphone and your computer, converting the analog audio signal into digital information that your computer can interpret and process. It is here that the H6 really stands out.
The Zoom H6 can record multiple tracks simultaneously, which means you can connect up to six microphones or line level devices and record them at once. This feature is extremely beneficial for podcasters hosting multiple guests, bands recording live, or even for recording surround sound ambiances for film. The H6's swappable capsules can also come in handy for different recording situations, providing extra flexibility.
Interface and Compatibility
As a USB interface, the H6 is compatible with both Mac and PC, and works seamlessly with most digital audio workstations (DAWs). I use it with Adobe Audition. It can be set to work as a stereo or multitrack device, but I find most of the time that it is best left in stereo mode. This versatility makes it easier for users to choose the best setup based on their specific needs, from podcasting and music production to live streaming and broadcasting.
Quality is a key characteristic of any good audio interface, and the Zoom H6 delivers in this regard. With the ability to record up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in WAV and various MP3 formats, it's clear that the H6 doesn't compromise on quality. Its preamps are clean and low-noise for a device in its price range, meaning your recordings will have a clarity and depth that rivals more expensive interfaces.
Portability and Durability
A crucial advantage of the Zoom H6 as a digital audio interface is its portability and ruggedness. Its compact size allows you to take it virtually anywhere, which is especially useful for mobile recording setups. Its robust design also ensures that it can handle the rigors of field recording.
The Zoom H6 can be powered via USB, batteries, or an AC adapter, which adds to its versatility. When using it as an audio interface, powering it through USB is an excellent option that reduces cable clutter. The unit stays powered through USB and only if it gets powered off do you need to reset the connection.
The H6 also features onboard controls for each of its inputs, including gain knobs and pads, allowing for quick and easy adjustments on the fly. This can be crucial during recording sessions, allowing for immediate correction of audio levels without needing to dive into your computer settings.
The Zoom H6 is a versatile piece of equipment that can readily serve as an effective digital audio interface. Its versatility, sound quality, and ease of use make it an attractive option for any audio professional seeking a reliable and portable solution.