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Old April 19th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #1
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Zoom H1 to Mixer

We attempted this for the first time this weekend. We connected it to the output of the mixer with two 1/4 cables that went to a 1/4 to 1/8 jack for the H1 (I hope that made sense). We kept on having to push the sensitivity down because it was signal was going all the way up. I think it was set to 5 and not peaking. When we got home and listened to it, there was some distortion in the background.
This was our first attempt at this, but I wanted to know if there are any tips/tricks to doing this. Is the H4N any better for this?

Thanks,

Chad Dyle
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Old April 19th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #2
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Re: Zoom H1 to Mixer

While the Zoom H1 is claimed to have an input that can accept both mic and line level signals, there isn't much info around about the specifics of how to do this without overloading the input when feeding it from the line level output of a mixer.
If you can obtain an attenuator cable to go from the output of your mixer into the H1's input, you'll likely have more success at preventing distortion.
Which mixer are you trying to use? It may have RCA Tape Output connectors or 1/4-inch Aux Output connectors that can be adjusted to a lower output level independent of the hot Main Outputs.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 03:53 PM   #3
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Re: Zoom H1 to Mixer

As Jay pointed out, you were most likely over-driving the input stage of the H1. Like most budget portable DARs, the record volume only changes the digital level and does nothing to the fixed level analog input. An in-line pad or custom cable with some resistors to attenuate the signal are in order.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #4
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Re: Zoom H1 to Mixer

I've not had trouble with sending line signals to the H1; I just adjust the Input Level buttons to set a low input level and that attenuates the signal. Right now I am experimenting by feeding a 1.95Vrms 1kHz signal into the left channel of my H1. By turning the input level down to 8, the H1 meter shows a level of -12dbFS.

As for Chad's case, I'm surprised the signal was so hot that input level 5 wasn't low enough. Unless you are dealing with huge like 24dBu signals or thereabouts.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 01:57 AM   #5
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Re: Zoom H1 to Mixer

I'm not sure what kind of mixer it was, but I do know that there were 24 channels. It was one of most popular (and loudest) bands in the city. I found a cable (Sescom 3.5mm Line to Mic DSLR Cable with 25dB Attenuation and Headphone Monitoring Tap for Zoom H4N and Zoom H1) made by J-Rod that talks about reducing the input to the H1. That might be a start. Can anyone suggest another cable?

Thanks.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: Zoom H1 to Mixer

I don't know about the H1, but the H2's line-in will not handle anything over or approx. 0dBu without audible clips, adding 10dB of attenuation or using my Sound Devices mixer's 'tape-out' (-14dBu) works splendidly.
As I previously stated, most budget DARs have a 'fixed' analog front-end so lowering the record level would only prevent digital clips. When I get a chance I'll look at the H1 specs.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #7
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Re: Zoom H1 to Mixer

Rick,

Thanks for looking into that. I was hoping to get by with the H1. We also had an extra H1 attached to the 5D for audio , but it seemed clip as well. I had the sensitivity turned down and when I would look at the meters, they never were really peaking. The configuration was out of the H1 and into the 5D. The H1 was constantly recording and whenever we recorded on the 5D, it pulled from the H1. We are just starting to shoot with all DSLRs and I guess this is one of the growing pains.

Thank again,

Chad Dyle
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Old April 21st, 2011, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: Zoom H1 to Mixer

Those symptoms are a good clue that the input is being overdriven. If it sounds distorted but the recording levels aren't reaching full level, then it's likely the input is being overpowered. This happens before the recording level control and the meters, and it requires some reduction of the input signal coming to the recorder.
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