The Zoom H4N has no timecode generator build in (although the files it produces seem to have timecode - but this pseudo timecode that comes from the internal and very imprecise Real Time Clock). Therefore we need to make use of Tentacles Audio Timecode feature which makes it possible to record the timecode information onto one unused audio track. The Zoom H4N is capable to record 4 channels simultaneously. These are divided into 2 stereo tracks. One stereo track from the internal microphones and one form the XLR Jacks at the bottom of the device. If you are using the H4N together with Tentacle you are able to record one stereo track with the wanted audio signal and the other stereo track will be used for recording timecode.
Setting up your Zoom H4N:
- Start your Tentacle in Green Mode
- Open the Setup App and set your Tentacle to Output Volume > Mic
- Set your frame rate
- Connect the Tentacle to the Zoom H4N with the included cable > Ext. Mic
- Switch Zoom H4N to 4CH-Mode and adjust incoming timecode signal so that it's not clipping
On your headphones you will hear both the signal coming from the XLR inputs and the annoying audio timecode signal together. We want to record the timecode, but we don't want to hear it during monitoring.
- Go to Menu > Mixer > Mic > Mute, now you can record both stereo tracks, but only monitor the track with the wanted signal.
Unfortunately the Zoom H4N does not show the level of the track anymore on the Level-Meter (during recording) when muted in the monitoring mixer. Although it will still be recorded.
Make sure to start new files for every take. This is done by pressing the „Stop“ Button after recording. Pressing „Pause“ would result in losing sync.
Please note that the Zoom H4N does record single files for each channel. That's why some NLEs cannot assign the audio timecode to the additional channels that got recorded simultaneously. You would need to embed the audio timecode into the file before importing it into the NLE.