Compact and affordable ($199.99), the new Zoom PodTrak P4 makes it easy to capture professional audio anywhere, with all the features needed for a podcasting production already built-in. The PodTrak P4 features both an SD card memory slot for 16-bit/44.1kHz recording, as well as a USB-C audio interface to connect to a computer (2-in/2-out). And the unit features four microphone inputs, all using professional quality preamps with switchable +48 V phantom power, providing up to 70dB of gain, so that the P4 can be used with the most demanding microphones. On the opposite side of the microphone inputs, users will find four independent headphone outputs, each with a dedicated volume control, so everyone can hear it all.
As a recorder, the Zoom P4 captures a total of 8 tracks: All 4 mic inputs plus the built-in sound pads (stereo) and a stereo mix, all of which are recorded on separate tracks. So, everything is available later for further editing and mixing. And even though all channels are being recorded, the Zoom P4 also features all the requiring mixing features needed to create a stereo master output, while the host and up to three guests can all have their own personal monitoring with the P4’s built-in mix-minus feature, allowing users to hear themselves or not, as well as removing distracting echo and feedback automatically.
And because guests are not always together, Zoom designed the P4 to incorporate remote interviews as well, making it possible to connect a phone to the P4 with a TRRS cable. It is also possible to connect a computer via USB, using conferencing software, with two channels being sent via USB, and the audio being recorded in the P4. This makes the P4 also an ideal solution for anyone planning to record Skype or Zoom interviews.
When working as an USB-C audio interface, connected to a Mac, PC or even a tablet, the P4 works as a 2-input, 2-output solution, allowing users to record the whole production directly to the computer or sending the podcast stream as a live signal. When connected to a computer, the P4 can receive USB bus power for continuous operation, or it can be powered from an external 5V DC USB Type-C power adapter. For portability when recording, the P4 can operate up to 4 hours on 2 standard AA batteries, or up to about 9 hours when using rechargeable lithium batteries.
On the side of the P4 there are also two jacks that are designed to accommodate the optional Zoom BTA-2 Bluetooth Transmitter /Receiver (sold separately) that allows wirelessly connections to a smartphone to record remote guests. For production, the P4’s customizable Sound Pads can instantly trigger music, ads, jingles, and even pre-recorded interviews. The host can easily load its own sounds or choose from 11 pre-recorded presets.
ZDM-1 Podcast Mic Pack
Of course, no podcast production is possible without having at least a good quality microphone optimized for voice, and Zoom introduced the new ZDM-1PMP (Podcast Mic Pack) for just $129.99, which includes everything needed to create professional-quality podcasts. The pack includes the Zoom ZDM-1 broadcast-style dynamic mic, the ZHP-1 professional closed-back headphones, an adjustable tabletop mic stand, windscreen and a 3-meter microphone cable.
Featuring a large-diaphragm dynamic supercardioid capsule, the ZDM-1 captures voice with a smooth close-proximity broadcast character, while also supporting high SPL handling, which is ideal for interviews with loud guests. The ZDM-1 features an internal shockmount, making it ideal for tabletop use without inducing noise. The ZHP-1 headphones are a simple closed-back design that ensures adequate isolation, with a self-adjusting headband that makes for a super comfortable fit.
The package also includes a useful height-adjustable TPS-4 desk tripod with durable metal threading. A custom fitted, acoustically transparent windscreen protects the ZDM-1 microphone from breeze, breaths, and pops, giving users clean recordings without muffling your sound. Finally, the mic pack also includes a three-meter (9.9 foot) XLR microphone cable with shielding.
The Zoom ZDM-1 Podcast Mic Pack also comes with a free download license for Steinberg’s WaveLab Cast software, helping users to finalize projects with editing, mixing, and refinement tools. WaveLab Cast also connects users directly with podcast directories, such as Spreaker or Podbean, where they can upload episodes quickly, plus directly create and publish RSS feeds. Everything needed to capture broadcast-quality sound with the P4 recorder or any other Zoom products.