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I just purchased the Zoom H5 sound recorder, with the intention of using it both as a sound recorder, and also as a audio interface under Linux. My OS is Debian stable. Currently 9/stretch.

Unfortunately, there is hardly any documentation on how to use it under Linux. I managed, by looking at the manual, to get my OS (Debian stable/stretch) to at least recognize the device.

However, right now I'm not sure how to go with either Stereo or 4 Track. In both cases I end up with a screen that shows USB AUDIO I/F XY5, along with L, R, 1, and 2. But I see no motion in any of these.

However, right now I'm not sure how to go with either Stereo or Multitrack. In both cases, it is clear that I need to go with the Bus Powered option. As mentioned in various places, if I choose Stereo, Debian thinks it is the H4, but with Multitrack correctly identifies it as the H5.

In both cases I end up with a screen that shows USB AUDIO I/F, along with L, R, 1, and 2. But I see no motion in any of these.

lsusb is showing the following:

Bus 006 Device 006: ID 1686:01c5 ZOOM Corporation

The syslog is printing a bunch of complaints:

May 28 21:38:01 orwell kernel: [1505026.660071] usb 11-1: Warning! Unlikely big volume range (=4294967295), cval->res is probably wrong.
 May 28 21:38:01 orwell kernel: [1505026.660076] usb 11-1: [2] FU [Mic Capture Volume] ch = 2, val = 1/0/1
 May 28 21:38:01 orwell mtp-probe: checking bus 11, device 3: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.0/usb11/11-1"
 May 28 21:38:01 orwell mtp-probe: bus: 11, device: 3 was not an MTP device
 May 28 21:38:01 orwell systemd-udevd[28202]: Process '/usr/sbin/alsactl -E HOME=/run/alsa restore 2' failed with exit code 99.
 May 28 21:38:02 orwell pulseaudio[6363]: [pulseaudio] alsa-mixer.c: Your kernel driver is broken: it reports a volume range from 0 to -1 which makes no sense.

The H5 is also showing up in pavucontrol. The configuration section offers various options. I'm not sure which one to choose - the options are:

Analog Stereo Output + Multichannel Input
Analog Stereo Output
Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output + Multichannel Input
Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output
Multichannel Input
Off

If I choose Multichannel Input, then it shows up in pavucontrol under Input Devices, but the volume level (or whatever it is called) for that device stays at zero. As it happens, I have another, regular mic plugged into my main (PCI Express) sound card (Xonar DX) right now, and that is responding fine. Also, I assume a working mic makes some noise, and the mics on the H5 are completely silent.

I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, so help would be much appreciated, bearing in mind my knowledge of things sound-related is very limited.

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It turns on that the main problem is that I had to turn on the mics to get anything to work. In this case, the buttons labelled L and R, which control the default 2 XY mics mounted at the top. If I had thought about it, I would have realised that was the case, but it seems to not have registered with me. Though even turned on, the mics generate almost no noise.

Additionally, I comment in my question that there is no activity in pavucontrol. But of course this wouldn't be the case unless I was actually try to record something, which most of the time, I wasn't.

The bottom line is that this device is working with Debian, at least to a first approximation, regardless of the disturbing error messages. I haven't tried all the different options available.

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