Zoom H6 Digital Recorder + Rode ProCaster – First quick sample

First test with the new Zoom H6 portable audio recorder out of the box plugged into my Rode Procaster microphone Rode Procaster Vocal Microphone. (No EQ applied, so it might sound low or flat.) I was not able to use this mic directly with the Zoom H4n without adding at least a Cloud Lifter Cloud LIfter in between.

The Rode Procaster will sound better when used with the the Tascam DR-60D, but now it appears this Zoom H6 has become my favorite portable audio recorder. I'm sure people will complain about not being to lock the input gain dials on the H6, but compared to the H4n, I prefer the dials over the digital input adjustments on the H4n.

BTW, if you're in the Bay Area and looking for a Tascam DR-60D, i've got a barely used one for sale..

Samson Zoom H6 Portable Audio Modular Mic Shotgun Stereo XY TRS XLR
find-price-button Zoom H6 Modular Mic Digital Audio Recorder

Rode Procaster Microphone
find-price-button Rode Procaster Vocal Broadcast Dynamic Microphone

17 thoughts on “Zoom H6 Digital Recorder + Rode ProCaster – First quick sample

  1. r0mantik

    Hello! I was bougt Zoom H6 and Rode Procaster mic.

    What is your zoom setup (Low-cut filter, compressor, etc...etc...)? My mic level is very low... I'm speak normal voice, about 15-20 cm from mic.

    my setup:
    rode procaster
    zoom h6
    mic channel gain:
    0-6 too low
    7-8 ok, but little bit noisy
    8-10 ok, but very noisy

    I'm thinking replace Procaster to Rode NT2-A microphone. I did not experienced this problem with NT2-A.

    You doing post-production on the soundtrack (Noise removal, normalize, etc...etc...)?

    Thank you for answer!

  2. Johnny

    Just want to share this. I got the tascam dr-60D and the zoom h6. We have done 3 different tests. The latest with an audio engineer. And what we found is that Tascam DR-60D preamp noise is 30 db less than Zoom H6. Really low overall. Zoom H6 preamp is still better than the Zoom H4n. Video will be out this Thursday. Surprisingly the inboard mics (L/R) has less noise than the xlr inputs

  3. I'm a strictly amateur maker of "look at me play guitar" videos, along with occasional shots of my friends playing guitar. I got the H6 recently and in my comparisons it has been remarkable. To my ear the preamps are comparable to those in my RME UFX. The XY module sounds about as quiet and clean as the Sony PCM-D50. The MS module however is a noisy mess.

    I got 4+ hours from 4 fresh AAs running four phantom powered mics and the XY module.

    If you're looking for sample recordings from the H6, you can find some at Hombrewed Music.


  4. I don't feel you can make a proper comparison by using the cloud lifter in one scenario. You'll be testing the quality of the cloud lifter as well.
    When you use the ZOOM H4N in a studio set up I can understand you'll notice its limits. Background noise and the internal noise of the mic make it rare that you'll notice the limits in practical use.
    - dialog, about 60 dB absolute strength, less above background noise
    - self noise mic: 13 dB (already a good one!)
    - remaining: 60 -13 dB = 47dB
    Any recorder will be able to handle 47 dB of dynamic range.

  5. Johnny Wu

    So did a test with the Tascam and Zoom with audio recorded via mke600 and at8035. Setting both devices on basic run and gun filmmaking environment, sadly the Zoom renders louder house result compared to the Tascam.

  6. Johnny Wu

    So I got my H6 today and unboxing it, loving all the extras it came compared to the Tascam DR-60D. As I decided to do a practicality test, to see which is best for a one-man or two-men crew shoot, and by far, the Tascam is better simple because for a one man crew, you can see the settings/screen while hooking up a mic above it, whereas the Zoom, you can't even see any of the settings/dials when it is connected above the camera (unless you are using a magic arm), and you need another adapter to connect the mic either next to the Zoom or handheld. Making it a bit impractical for a run and gun or location shoot where less is ideal...

    I plan to keep both now as I find the need to use either one based on their needs and the environment.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @JTP - I think the Sound Devices will definitely sound better than the Zoom or Tascam, but I think it really depends on what type of projects you're working on to determine if it's the best for you. Unless you're a sound engineer, a major project might be better to hire someone with the gear and let them manage audio.

  8. Emm

    What about the difference between a Sound Devices 702 and the Zoom H6 and Tascam 60D? Anyone have experience with the 702? I know it's an industry standard for shows but wondering if the price tag of $1975 is worth the quality pre-amps to get the best sound for the price?


  9. Emm

    Post author

    @mister monkstrap - Not all mics require phantom or batteries. They don't require any external power at all. The Cloud Lifter also does not require power (and you should not use phantom power with it). You just plug it in to your Zoom H4n, and then plug the the mic into the Cloud Lifter and that's it. Here's a video that might help.

    One can support 1 mic, and another version for 2 mics.

    Cloud Microphone's CloudLifter Mic Activator -eBay

  10. Johnny Wu

    I ordered mine, will be doing my little testing with the tascam dr-60 in my real world environment. I did find out the h6 has non locking xlr. That may be an issue when out and about shooting outdoor plus the screen is hard to see as well, then the dials are sensitive and if you mount this right above the camera, you may not be able to use the dials easily... I probably will keep both as ach ha it's own use. Now I will ened to sell my tascam dr-40 lol

  11. mister monkstrap

    I've always been confused about phantom power. Do all mics that don't require Phantom Power need batteries? Or not necessarily. Does the Cloudlifter need batteries? The purpose of the Cloudlifter is to essentially raise gain, yes?

  12. Sean

    I'm very happy with my purchase, the preamp is so much better than H4N, The menu is so much better to navigate. So far the sound coming from it is great.

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @Tyrone - The Cloud Lifter works great to provide extra clean gain, but it can't be used with Phantom power. I've gone as far as using a JL preamp with the NTG-2 and output into an H4n. The NTG-2 can use a battery when working with a cloud lifter, but I doubt it will sound as clean as running it through this H6. I can try to set this up for a test also.

  14. Tyrone

    Hey Emm would the cloudlifter be a good choice for the H4n and a NTG-2. Don't know if the H6 is worth the upgrade not much reviews are on the H6 at the moment. In the video that audio sounds great to me, but yeah like JTP just waiting on the Tascam DR-60 comparison.

  15. NICE! thanks for the quick test... now just waiting for you to do the Tascam DR-60D vs the Zoom H6 with all other things being equal to hear the difference in the sound quality 🙂


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