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Old May 6th, 2009, 07:43 AM   #1
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How to choose a PAD?

Hi guys. I got a Zoom H4n lately and understand that it cant handle hot signals from a mixer. May I know how do I choose a PAD for the situation? I understand there are different types of antennuation levels so I'm pretty confused what to do. Thanks!
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Old May 6th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #2
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Sean,
You have to match the output of the mixer to the input of the recorder and a pad can help but different inputs might need different levels of pad. I tend to buy the switchable -15, -20,-25 kind so I have a little bit of room to play. If you are going from +4DB line output(Ie XLR) to consumer -10 line input (IE RCA) a -15DB should work well. If you are trying to go from +4DB to Mic Level then the -25DB gets you in the ball park but you might need another -15DB to be really safe. The Zoom H4 seems to use XLR 1/4 phone combos for inputs but not sure what level each of those is capable of. Different mixers also have different Line output levels so it helps to know what mixer, what connector and what input you are using. HTH
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Old May 6th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #3
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that is very useful info. Thanks Daniel! I will have to go thru the manuals to find out what it is capable of thou. One more question. Am I right to say I will hear the difference once the PAD is in place? Because the H4n allows a headphone for monitoring so I guess I should hear the diff, rite?

I will go find out what PADs are available in my country.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #4
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Sean,
Yes ff you can hear distortion without the pad from overload of the circuit and it goes away with the pad you should be able to tell it is working. If you use too much pad the signal may be very low or noisy as you have to adjust the input levels to compensate for the lower signal. If you don't hear much of a difference after adjusting the levels than the issue may not be the impedance.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #5
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The original H4's had an undocumented feature - the 1/4" input was capable of accepting line-level input without an external pad. I've not had a chance to test this on the H4n.

Switchable pads are indeed very flexible, a good suggestion. If you sometimes run into boards that don't have low-impedance balanced outs available, a direct box aka. DI is a very handy way to both take an unbalanced output to balanced for a long cable run, and to pad it down to mic-level.

Wow, there's a lot of variation in how different house engineers run their board. Many (most?) will run at a level significantly lower than the +4 outputs their boards are capable of.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 11:03 PM   #6
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Does the H4n have such a function? That would be interesting to hear. I didnt know that. looks like i have to read the thick manual.

I gotta go have a look at the PAD offerings as well. Thks!
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