How to edit ZOOM Q4 Video

Update: Feb. 3, 2014
Feb. 1, 2014

I have been used ZOOM Q3HD for some years and I bought Q4 too. In case of Q3HD, basic editing can be made only with ZOOM HandyShare. I thought Q4 is the same. But it is not. So, I need to process Q4 video files without HandyShare. The following editing process should be OK for Q3HD too.

I am a Linux guy and use Windows for applications available only on Windows, such as Internet banking, online indivisual tax return, ZOOM HandyShare. But I tried Windows applications this time for general interest.

There may be fewer issues if PCM 16bit or compressed AAC recording mode is used but I insists on PCM 24bit because 24bit allows much margin for recording gain adjustment.

0. Example files

Audio: PCM 24bit, 48kHz
Drum and music sounds are recorded by ZOOM Q4 built-in mics at manual low gain position
Music was played very loudly on the 15 inch PA speakers.
  1. ZOOM0001.MOV(Auto mode, built-in mics) (784,343,264 bytes, 6min)
  2. ZOOM0002.MOV(Concert Lighting mode, built-in mics, quite dark) (404,733,288 bytes, 3min)
Right click the link for download. Copyrighted songs are not included. Feel free to use for test or practice.
File details
ffprobe ZOOM0001.MOV 
avprobe version 0.8.9-4:0.8.9-0ubuntu0.12.04.1, Copyright (c) 2007-2013 the Libav developers
  built on Nov  9 2013 19:08:00 with gcc 4.6.3
Input #0, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from 'ZOOM0001.MOV':
    major_brand     : qt  
    minor_version   : 0
    compatible_brands: qt  
    creation_time   : 2014-01-19 13:32:32
  Duration: 00:06:02.69, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 17300 kb/s
    Stream #0.0(eng): Video: h264 (Main), yuv420p, 1920x1080 [PAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 14990 kb/s, 29.97 fps, 29.97 tbr, 30k tbn, 59.94 tbc
      creation_time   : 2014-01-19 13:32:32
    Stream #0.1(eng): Audio: pcm_s24le, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, s32, 2304 kb/s
      creation_time   : 2014-01-19 13:32:32

1. Initial Status (Windows 7)

  1. ZOOM HandyShare does NOT work with Q4 video. The video freezes. It messes up video/audio synchronization if trimmed. (It still can be used for WAV audio only files.)
  2. QuickTime can play this video/audio format but video freezes or plays slow.
  3. Windows Media Player -- good video but no audio. It can play PCM 24bit audio in nature but only play 24bit wav file of specific header information. (It worked fine for PCM 24bit after K-lite codec pack was installed.)

My computer spec:
lenovo ThinkPad Edge
Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)
CPU: AMD Athlon II Neo K345 Dual-Core 1.4GHz
Memory: 4GB

2. Application Software Added (Windows 7)


  1. Windows Essentials 2012 -- includes Windows Live Movie Maker
  2. K-lite codec pack (full) -- for PCM 24bit audio

Advanced audio editing

  1. 7-zip -- compress/uncompress (install before ffmpeg)
  2. ffmpeg (windows binary build) -- command line mpeg editing tool, which many applications internally use. code), binaries, current version N-60274-gdce9321)
  3. (optional)Audacity -- audio track editing tool (I have not yet used this)
  4. (optional)ZOOM HandyShare -- easy audio effect for WAV files (do NOT use for video)

3. Windows Live Movie Maker (on Windows 7)

  1. Download ans install "Windows Live Movie Maker" from the MS site.
  2. It did not handle PCM 24bit audio.
  3. Then I added K-lite codec pack (full) and yeah MLMM works fine.
Movie Maker is a part of Windows Essentials 2012. I chose Movie Maker(and Photo Gallary, no choice) only but it failed. Then I installed all of "Windows Essentials 2012".

4. ffmpeg installation

  1. Download the packed archive file (Choose 32bit or 64bit according to your OS. Static compilation is bigger but easier to maintain.)
  2. In the file browser (in Download?) -- click the file with right mouse button and choose extract.
  3. move extracted directory(folder) to C:\ffmpeg\ (or your choice)
  4. Edit path environment variable of your account in Control Panel -- this is the difficult part
    add "PATH C:\ffmpeg\bin" in User variables of your account.
  5. Open "Command Prompt" window and type the command.

5. Simple Edit (trimming only) with WLMM(Windows Live Movie Maker)

Goal: Make 3 files for each song (the file consists of 3 songs) from ZOOM0001.MOV
  1. Audio volume max (still not enough)
  2. Trim, save each part in recommended setting, and reload the original file again.
  3. Result (part1) 001-part1.mp4(45,302,739 bytes, 1:37, 3.7MB/s, audio aac 48kHz, stereo, 131 kb/s(default))


  1. Is the volume saved? -- yes
  2. Is undo button for trim/split? -- ctrl-Z or return icon on the top toolbar
  3. Is no-video-reencoding option? (no reencoding is faster) -- No?
  4. Save in multiple files as splitted? -- No. Saved all.
  5. The video bit rate of the saved file is much lower than recommended setting suggesttion (20MB/s HD).
  6. PCM audio output? -- No.

6. Brightness Control in WLMM

Goal: Make ZOOM002.MOV(taken in Concert Lighting mode) brighter
  1. Max brightness -- too bright?
  2. Max audio volume
  3. Trim
  4. Save in recommended setting
  5. Result 002.mp4 (71,505,234 bytes, 1:37) (drum play is rather out of sync:-))


  1. Q4's Concert Lighting mode is much darker than that of Q3HD. Is auto mode better for amature gig with low cost lighting system?

7. Making it louder (from trimmed video file by MLMM)

In PCM 24bit recording, audio gain should be set to rather low to give much dynamic range margin.

This method is easier.

Input file: 001-part1.mp4

MP4 file ------> video only MP4 file      -------------->

      (split with ffmpeg)                    process audio   
         ------> audio only MP4(m4a) file -------------->

(join with ffmpeg or MLMM)
========================> MP4 file

Fig 1. Processing Flow
  1. Split video and audio with ffmpeg command
    ffmpeg -i 001-part1.mp4 -vcodec copy -an 001-part1-video.mp4
    ffmpeg -i 001-part1.mp4 -vn -acodec copy 001-part1-audio.mp4
    (-an denotes "no audio", -vn denotes "no video"
    (Correct file extension for audio file may be ".m4a") 
  2. Normalize/Maximize audio
  3. Join video and audio(AAC)
other options -- first normalize at -3 or -6dBFS and maximize or ultramaximize (to be tested later)

8. Making it louder from original file (high quality but not easy)

Not finished the test. This is to make video files for Blu-ray at highest quality. No video re-encoding and best quality compressed audio. Best quality audio is AAC(Advanced Audio Compression) at 192kbps. For Dolby AC3, 384kbps might be good enough.
Input file: ZOOMXXX.MOV

MOV file ------> video only MP4 file      -------------->

      (split with ffmpeg)                process audio      convert to AAC
         ------> audio only WAV  file --------------> ---->

(join with ffmpeg or MLMM, audio conversion to AAC(MLMM or NeroAAC) or AC3(ffmpeg))
========================> MP4 file

No video re-encoding (highest quality)
Audio format conversion is only once (highest quality)
Fig 2. Processing from the original file

Additional Software

  1. NeroAAC (AAC codec, Win32 or Linux)
    Copy *.exe to \FFMPEG\bin\ or other directory and add path.
  2. MP4Box (Installation at C:\ProgramFiles(x86) failed. I used c:\GPAC instead and add the command search path.


  1. Split audio and video with ffmpeg
    ffmpeg -i INPUT.MOV -an -vcodec copy VIDEO-ONLY.mp4
    ffmpeg -i INPUT.MOV -vn -acodec copy AUDIO-ONLY.wav
  2. Process OUTPUT.wav (normalize, maximize, ultramaximize, equalization etc.) with HandyShare, ffmpeg, Audacity etc.
  3. Join audio and video
  4. Trim with MP4Box (Play and record begin/end timestamps with Windows Media Player before using this command)
    mp4box -splitx beginsec:endsec INPUT.mp4 -out OUTPUT.mp4
    (NG -- did NOT work correctly)
    ffmpeg -ss hh:mm:ss -t hh:mm:ss -i INPUT.mp4 -codec copy OUTPUT.mp4
    (may not work correctly)
    -ss : begining -- in sec.frac or hh:mm:ss.frac
    -t : duration  =  end - begin in sec.frac or hh:mm:ss.frac
    (OK with reencoding according to google search results)
    ffmpeg -i INPUT.mp4 -ss hh:mm:ss -t hh:mm:ss -i INPUT.mp4 -acodec copy -sameq OUTPUT.mp4

9. Uploading to YouTube, Making Blu-ray R or DVD-R


Simply upload the mp4 file with any WWW browser that YouTube supports. As far as I know, no 24bit wav, other formats may be OK. Since audio track of YouTube mp4 stream is 44.1kHz AAC, best quality audio will be available by posting in the YouTube format (to let YouTube not re-encode audio).

Blu-ray (using TV program recorder (VCR with HDD and Blu-ray drive))

  1. multiAVCHD -- prepare files for Blu-ray or TV recorder
    Input: mp4 or mpeg2 TS files etc.
    Output: SDHC card (I have not succeeded in writing to Blu-ray disc on PC)
  2. Insert SDHC card into TV program recorder (I use Panasonic.) and import video files to HDD.
  3. Modify titles for each video clip and write to Blu-ray disc.
  4. Burn many discs. It takes just a 10 to 15 minutes per disc.

DVD-R (using VCR and PC)

In case of my VCR, DVD video writing is also easy.
  1. Choose video clips(AVCHD) on the HDD and write to DVD-R in DVD video format (not in TV program dubbing format).
  2. Automatically, menus are created.
  3. But the writing speed is 1x (total play time of all video files). So, burn only one DVD-R.
  4. Then, duplicate the master DVD-R disc to many DVD-R on a PC in 4x or more.

10. Overray


  1. Review
  2. Video Pad version)
  4. MoviePlus Starter Edition
  5. ffmpeg

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