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audio sound stories

Solved: H6 interface and DAW on a Mac

So I’d been having trouble getting separate tracks into Garageband, Reaper and the like when using the Zoom H6 . When the H6 was in Multi-track mode as an interface, I’d select input 1 and get nothing. Same on input 2.

When I switched to setero mix I got level through – but only one track. This was not ideal – separate tracks make life much easier for error-prone musicians like me. I couldn’t figure it out – the software could see the h6 – but I couldn’t get a level through.

The answer lies in the way the DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) treat the combined L R inputs on the H6. Essentially, even though there isn’t a mic capsule in use, they count as inputs 1 and 2, they are not ignored.

So the XLR input labelled 1 on the H6 is actually input 3 in the DAW software even though it’s labelled 1 on the recorder. Input 2 is channel 4, 3 is 5 and 4 is 6.

The solve is described by Jen Edds in this video – it’s something no-one else on the internet has mentioned (that I could find, at least).

Input 1 on the h6 = input 3 in the software, as Jen Edds explains in this video. Although this is for Garageband it worked for me in Reaper as well when using a zoom h6 as an interface.

The moral of the story is: don’t trust your eyes … it might be labelled input 1, but that doesn’t make it channel 1. Ain’t that a trap for young players!