Zoom expands its offering for podcasters with the PodTrak P4 podcasting recorder. And on paper this thing looks like it’s going to be an enticing proposition. Four microphone inputs, phone call recording and pads for triggering sound effects: the PodTrak P4 looks like it can provide all the essential features you need for podcasting in a compact package. Pair it with the new Zoom ZDM-1 Podcast Mic Pack, and you’ve got a complete podcasting bundle with a mic, headphones and accessories. Yup, the people at Zoom have really thought this thing through.
Zoom PodTrak P4
Podcasting is more popular than ever. Zoom already offers a larger multi-channel recorder with features aimed at podcasters: the LiveTrak L8. But what if you’d like a more compact, portable solution? That’s where the new PodTrak P4 comes in.
The P4 offers four XLR microphone inputs with phantom power, individual gain controls and mutes. Zoom says that the preamps provide up to 70 dB of gain. For a discussion group of four people, you also need four headphone outputs, which are located at the front of the device and offer individual volume controls.
If your guests cannot be with you for your podcasting session, you can add them in remotely over the phone. The P4 lets you connect a smartphone via a TRRS connection or wirelessly via Bluetooth (this requires the optional BTA-2 Bluetooth transmitter/receiver). Zoom says that the integrated mix-minus feature eliminates echo and feedback while recording phone calls.
Four pads for sound effects and music
To mix things up, you can trigger sound effects and music using the four assignable pads. The P4 comes with 11 sound presets, but you can also load your own from an SD card.
According to Zoom, all four microphone inputs, the stereo sound pad mix and the overall stereo mix can be recorded simultaneously onto separate tracks. The P4 records onto an SD, SDHC or SDXC card in 44.1 kHz / 16 bit WAV. It also works as a USB audio interface with two inputs and two outputs.
The recorder runs on USB power or two AA batteries, which last for up to four hours, according to Zoom.
It looks like the PodTrak P4 offers much of the functionality of larger solutions like the RODECaster Pro in a compact, portable format. With more podcast-friendly features than Zoom’s other handy recorders, it’s an interesting new option for taping podcasts on the go or at home.
Zoom ZDM-1 Podcast Mic Pack
If you’re new to podcasting, you’ll not only need a recorder, but also a microphone, headphones and accessories. Zoom’s new ZDM-1 Podcast Mic Pack includes the ZDM-1 dynamic microphone and ZHP-1 closed-back headphones, as well as a tabletop tripod, windscreen and cable.
Price and availability
The Zoom PodTrak P4 will be available in September 2020 for EUR 254.04, which is about GBP 229 / USD 301.
The ZDM-1 Podcast Mic Pack will also ship in September for EUR 138.04 (GBP 125 / USD 164).