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Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

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Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:22 pm
by Matthew F
Hi all,

I'm poised to buy a Zoom H6 with the optional EXH-6 for a total of six XLR mic inputs:

My question is, can the LR tracks (which are fed from the extra input module) be un-linked for dual mono operation when using the EXH-6?

Page 26 of the manual suggests not, however this Youtube video clearly shows six mono tracks on the project mixer view, rather than the four mono and one stereo pictured in Zoom's literature.

Can anyone with experience of this kit clarify how it works in this regard? Due to my intended application, if the EXH-6 cannot record to two mono tracks then the H6 is not a viable option for me.

Thanks in advance for any help!


Re: Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:50 pm
by Wonks
From the manual, it does look like the L/R input only creates a stereo file. However, any good audio file editing software or DAW (Logic, Cubase, Reaper etc.) should be able to split a stereo file into two mono files when importing the file (don't think the free Audacity editor can).

Re: Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:42 pm
by Matthew F
Thanks for the input Wonks, I agree the manual seems pretty cut and dried. You're absolutely right about working around it on a Mac/PC, but I really need to be able to create a basic mix of my multitracks while on location, with no laptop to hand.

Ironically, my track lineup will actually consist of a stereo pair and four mono tracks, but the stereo material will be sourced from condenser mics which require 48v phantom, so they need to plug into inputs 1+2 or 3+4 (as the EXH-6 doesn't supply phantom) :headbang:

I'm just about ready to give up on the H6, the only thing that bugs me is that there are actually several Youtube videos showing the project mixer configured with six mono tracks. Maybe they're all using old firmware?

Also, why would Zoom provide two sets of gain and pad controls on the EXH-6 inputs if it can only record to a stereo track? Surely it would have been better (and probably cheaper) to gang the controls (like on the mic modules)?

If anyone has access to an H6 (and especially an EXH-6) then I'd love to hear from you!



Re: Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:37 pm
by Mike Stranks
I have one of the Zoom 'extra mic' units which I've previously used with an H5 and now with an F4.

Yup! 5/6 is ALWAYS a stereo file... :( It can either be two discrete inputs to one file or an M/S linked pair. If you select that, it'll automatically do the decoding for you.

It's not an issue for me as I simply do all the mixing and processing on the computer when I get home, so split-off the tracks then if I need to.

The add-on works well and I'm pleased with it; I have no hesitation using it for good-quality recordings.

If that's going to be a game-changer for you, check-out the Tascam DR 680. I've had one of those... good machine and 6 genuine separate tracks...

Re: Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:10 pm
by Matthew F
Thanks for the info Mike (and happy new year)!

The DR680 looks like a good option, although it's a shame it doesn't feature an overdub function like the H6. (I'd hoped my new recorder could double as a song writing tool).

I suspect I may end up with two devices - a DR680 for location multitrack recording and perhaps a Zoom H4n or Tascam DR44 for overdub and composition work. Can't have your cake and eat it I guess!

Re: Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:48 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
I remain completely baffled as to why so few modern digital hardware recorders omit the facility to overdub tracks. It seems such a basic and simple facility to incorporate, and it can obviously be done because there are still a few machines that can. I used to own a Genex HD recorder in the 90s that managed it quite happily, but none of my current hardware recorders can do it! :-(


Re: Zoom H6 and EXH-6 - dual mono?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:03 pm
by Matthew F
I agree completely Hugh, especially given that most manufacturers include overdub functionality in their smaller handheld recorders (e.g. Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-44WL). It seems really odd that they don't include the same features in their more expensive units like the Zoom F4, F8 or Tascam DR680!

One piece of good news however, Zoom have replied with an answer to my question regarding the H6 with EXH-6:

You can have it set up as 6 mono inputs, the EXH-6 is the only module that can do this. The other microphone attachments cannot be stereo unlinked, but the EXH-6 can.

Seems odd that this isn't documented anywhere, and that the user manual contradicts this!