Zoom H6 tips & tricks

Good tools don't always have to be expensive. But one has to know their limitations very well to use them in a professional environment. When I got the ZOOM H6 field recorder I had to learn the hard way (but never without a reliable backup solution). I have encountered some problems and had to find solutions and workarounds. Sharing them here with other users might save you some time. Enjoy!

- The internal mics of the H6 pick up lots of DECT phone noise, probably also other RF noises. Be warned. External mic inputs are ok.

- 48V phantom power is only active when red light of input-channel is on. If the track is unarmed (red light off) the phantom power slowly drops to zero.

input volume fader: there seems to be a switching-point around number 3. A slight click is audible and the noise drops. This probably means that the fader is digital (which doesn't have to be a bad thing).

-random audible clicks on headphone output and in the files, while recording in 24/48 and 16/48 format. It seems that 16 samples are skipped at every click. Other formats seem to be ok (perfect). The clicks seem to disappear when the 2GB SD card that came with the H6 is used.

I reported his problem to Zoom and it was (mostly) solved by firmware v.1.10.  Now there is only a single click at the very beginning (ms) of a file, but the rest is clean. It apparently had to do with the 64GB SDXC card and they must have found a workaround.

-The screen is unreadable in full sunlight

-Mixers: there are 2 mixer setups

PROJECT MIXER (in the PROJECT menu), used for play back

MONITOR MIXER (in the INPUT&OUTPUT menu), used for input and recording. Apparently both are stored in H6-memory (not on the SC card).

SD card unusable after mount on Mac OS (easy to fix).

I mounted the Zoom SD on a Mac (OS 10.6.8) and terminated by pressing "MENU" on the Zoom and not "eject" on the Mac. After that the SD card was no longer recognized by Zoom ("Invalid SD Card!"). Don't panic and don't re-format, the audio is still there.

Solution: re-activate "SD Card Reader", mount it on the Mac and then use "eject" on the Mac. This should make the SD readable again for the Zoom. My guess is that Mac OS stores temporary hidden files on the SD that only get removed after "eject".