The Zoom H4N has no timecode generator build in (although the files it produces seem to have timecode – this pseudo timecode comes from the internal and very imprecise Real Time Clock). Therefore, you need a Tentacle SYNC E or ORIGINAL Timecode generator to record the Timecode information onto one of the audio tracks of the H4N recorder. The Zoom H4N is capable to record four channels simultaneously. They are divided into two stereo tracks. One stereo track is recording the internal microphones and one is recording the XLR Jacks at the bottom of the device. If you are using the H4N together with Tentacle device, 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 device to Output Volume > Mic
- Set your frame rate
- Connect the Tentacle device 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. But since we don't want to hear the timecode while monitoring your recording, please adjust the Zoom as follows:
- 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.
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. You can either use the Tentacle Sync Studio for macOS or use our Timecode Tool for Windows.