I've been using a Macbook Pro with Audacity, via USB, to record DJ set's for a few years, but it's very cumbersome being the laptop is slow and old and frankly, I'm tired of lugging that thing around. Last night, for some unknown reason, half my set suddenly sounded garbled and that's never happened before and this worries me. I'd like to use an external recording device going forward. I use the Pioneer DJM 900 Nexus and it has quit a few options at the back. I also connect the CDJ's via digital coax. So far I've looked into a Zoom H4N recorder, and I'd like to use the XLR inputs from the mixer (if that's practical), to the Zoom, but the bottom line is I don't know which inputs would record the truest sound. I've used 1/8" line-in, in the past and that method really seemed to bottleneck the recordings. From what I understand, TLR would be the same as XLR, as long as the TLR cables don't go past a certain length. But that's why I'm here, because I'm not sure if this is accurate.

Here are my questions: What's the best (and most practical) piece of hardware to use just for recording DJ sets?

Will there be a difference in audio quality between using the 1/8 line in, XLR or TLR (given the cable length is appropriate)?

Are there any devices that support recording from a digital coax in, since the mixer has a digital master out?

And is the Neutrik NSB1A-8/4 Stage Box with 8 Inputs and 4 Outputs Style A a good junction box? Because if XLR is viable, then I'll need a way to connect my monitors as well. Or is there a better option?

Thanks in Advance!


  • It could be worth asking this on Hardware Recommendations Stack Exchange
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


I'm no expert on portable recording devices, but I'd say your best choice for quality is to buy a portable recorder with a S/PDIF coax input. That way, there's no D/A-A/D conversion.

I just did a search and found a few. The price seems to rise when digital input is a feature. These are the cheapest:

I can't see any advantages in using the XLR outs when there is a digital master out.

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