Here are some instructions for making high quality recordings directly onto your computer. It took me a while to figure out all the steps needed, and Tim Mathes provided the key by suggesting the ZoomH4n as an audio interface.
Recording onto your Computer Field Methods
Recording directly onto your computer is an alternative to recording onto the Marantz. The advantages are: (a) you can play back the individual sound files in Praat several times (and compare different sound files), which may help you transcribe the utterance, (b) you can open and edit the sound files in Praat, to inspect phonetic properties, (c) you label each file after you record it in Praat (so you do not have to label it later which saves time).
You must download Praat onto your computer. You can find Praat at the following URL:
In order to obtain a high quality sound, we will use the Zoom H4n as an audio-interface to the computer. Here are the steps:
1. Attach the Zoom H4n recorder to its stand, and set it up in front of consultant.
2. Connect the recorder to your computer using a USB cable.
3. Using the scroll wheel go to Audio I/F. Press the scroll wheel in to select.
4. Using the scroll wheel go to Connect. Press the scroll wheel in to select.
(the frequency is set to 44.1khz).
5. Open up Praat on your computer, and open the New menu, and select
Record mono Sound.
6. The following settings should be selected in the SoundRecorder window. Under Channels, Mono should be selected. Under Sampling Frequency, 44100Hz should be selected. Under Input source, H4 should be selected.
7. Make sure the MIC input button is red on the H4n.
8. Adjust the recording level on your computer.
9. The H4n recording level is set to 60. This may have to be adjusted.
10. Every time you record an utterance, label it in the Name window. If you record the sentence: “I see John”, then label your file: S_I_see_John (where S is the first letter of the name of the language or consultant). Click Save to list.
11. At the end of your session, save the Praat Object files to your computer. To do this, go to the Save menu, and choose Save as WAV file. Each individual file needs to be saved in this way.
12. When the recording session is finished, disconnect the H4n. Press the menu button, scroll down to DISCONNECT and push the scroll wheel in to select it, then scroll to and select YES when the 'Are You Sure?' prompt comes up.