Instructions for using the H4N Zoom audio recorder

Accessing the MENU and Formatting the card.

  1. Press the MENU button on the right hand side of the recorder.
  2. Use the toggle wheel to scroll down to the SD card menu.
  3. Use the toggle wheel to scroll down to the Format menu.
  4. Are you sure? press the toggle wheel to accept.
  5. Your SD card should now be formatted and erased of all material.
  6. Remember to format the card before turning it back in.


MENU options

  1. Press the MENU button. Use the Toggle wheel to scroll and press to select.
  2. Folder: you have 10 folders available in which to save your work.
  3. File: this allows you to access specific files in order to edit or playback.
  4. Input:
    • Low-cut: cuts out low frequencies. Good for getting rid of handling noise.
    • Compresser: reduces the dynamic range. Good for overall leveling of volume.
    • Monitor: allows you to monitor your input.
    • Level auto: Turn off.
    • Mono mix: blends the left and right signals down to mono then records dual-mono to each left and right channel.
    • MS mix: advanced Mid Side stereo recording technique. You need an additional microphone to do this.
    • Phantom: Turn ON to provide power to condenser microphones. If your microphone already has a working battery in it then you don't need phantom power.
    • Plug in:
  5. Record
    • Record Format:
    • Wav files have no compression and are used for high quality sound recording. The file size however is increased which may be an issue with small SD cards.
    • MP3 files have a lower sound quality because of data compression but is useful when you have a smaller SD card or stuck in the woods for long periods of time.
    • Auto Record: Turn OFF as the H4N can detect when the input level surpasses your predetermined level and automatically starts recording.
    • Pre Record: automatically adds 2 seconds to the recording after pressing the record button.
  6. Tool
    • Tuner, Metronome, Effects, and Karaoke are some of the tools in this menu that are geared towards musicians.
  7. Play Mode
    • Aside from general playback, you can select 1.) one file only playback 2.) repeat playback of one file, and 3.) all files repeat playback.
  8. System
    • Date and Time: allows you edit the date and time.
    • Light: allows you to adjust the display back light. ON, OFF, 15 sec, or 30 sec
    • Contrast: allows you to set the display contrast to make it lighter or darker.
    • Battery: select alkaline for regular batteries. Select Ni-MH for rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries won't work otherwise.
    • Factory reset: returns all the settings back to the original default condition.
  9. SD Card:
    • Remain: confirms the capacity for the SD card.
    • Format: formats the SD card for use with the H4N and erases everything on it.