Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Budget remote control for Zoom H4n

I've been shooting a documentary over the last 6 months using the Zoom H4n quite a bit for interviews. I do camera as well as audio and I noticed it was sometimes very hard to position the Zoom in such a way that I could control the functions and monitor recording.
I used the Zoom H4n in combination with the Sennheiser wireless ENG series plugged into XLR port 1 but I also wanted to record general audio on the internal mic. I would place the Zoom on a flat surface nearby like a coffee-table or a window sill but obviously that would often be out of my 'glancing sight'. I monitor my sound with a set of headphones but that's no guarantee against screwing up: with the Zoom H4n you have to press the REC button twice: once for standby and level-check, and the second time for actual recording. I am sure I am not the first person to incidentally forget to push the button for the second time...
The remote control greatly reduces the risk of missing audio because you can stick this little bugger to your tripod with velcro, for instance. Now you always have a visual clue whether or not you're recording audio! The remote blinks a red indicator when you're on standby and stays red when you're recording. Furthermore you can adjust recording and monitoring levels and control playback. All in all, a very nifty little device that makes your shoot a much more relaxing experience.
The original Zoom H4n remote control will run anywhere from $35,- to $20,- The best deal I could find for Europeans was €12 incl shipping for the Chinese (JJC) version. Little money well spent.


  1. Great TIP!!!! I've been caught without the second tap as well. I'll be getting one of these. Thank you so much for the heads up!