November 15, 2014 at 2:03AM


How do I make N number of audio sources each go into a separate audio track if I have the following setup?

How do I make N number of audio sources each go into a separate audio track if I have the following setup?

1) A shotgun mic on a boom pole. The XLR cable from this goes into the L (left) channel of my H4n Zoom recorder.

2) 3 actors, each with a lapel mic (as a backup audio). The ouput of each wireless lav goes into a field mixer (hardware). Now, I have only one R (right) channel left on my H4n Zoom. If I have the output from my mixer go into as the H4n Zoom as the R channel input, will it mix all the tracks into one mono track or preserve all the separate channels?

Now, you might be tempted to answer -- why don't you try it out yourself? The thing is: I don't have this set up. I am planning on buying all this and want to consider different options within my budget. My goal is to:

a) Have a shotgun into an audio recorder

b) Lav mics for each actor going into some sort of a recorder as separate tracks.

I know that the WAV format (or any raw PCM / AAC) format supports recording data from multiple channels and preserves those channels separately. But I want to know from people who have experience with recording. Will this set up give me separate audio tracks?


What audio gear do you own right now ?

What's your budget for new audio gear ?

November 15, 2014 at 9:46PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Assuming the Zoom works like the Tascam I own, then yes I'm afraid the three lav mics will be recorded as one track if you're channelling them via one XLR cable.

If you had this set up I would be inclined to record the lav mics using something else - laptop, phone, tablet. Set the Zoom up between the actors, hidden behind a vase on a table or something, then use the onboard mics to get back-up sound. Then use the boom mic as your main source.

Once you've finished shooting the scene, switch off the cameras but get each actor to do a full pass of the scene with a mic right in front of them - just in case.

November 18, 2014 at 1:23AM

Jon Mills

You best bet would be to buy a 4 channel recorder in place of the H4n instead of investing in the field mixer. The Zoom H6 has 4 built in mic preamps and can also attach a shotgun to the top of the unit. I own and use the Tascam DR680 which has a total of 6 channels of recording. It really will defeat the purpose if you can't individually control your lavaliere mics in post. Each actor will have different tonal qualities in their voice that you will want to EQ for - as well as adjusting volume for balance. There is also the ability to turn off certain mics when the actor isn't speaking to help lower background noise and isolate cleaner dialogue. Hope this helps!

November 19, 2014 at 8:44PM, Edited November 19, 8:44PM

Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer

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