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Old August 5th, 2011, 05:06 AM   #1
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Zoom H4N mono mix question

I'm going to be using a Zoom H4N to shoot a short film, and I'll have an ME66 plugged into one of the XLR inputs with nothing plugged into the other. Now, I know this thing records in stereo, so I can either split the track afterwards in post to take out the 'empty' channel. Or, I can use mono mix which will create 2 tracks of the same audio.

My question is, if I have 1 mic plugged in, does the mono mix blend the audio from that mic with the 'empty' channel, thus maybe creating a less than clean sound? Would it be better to just record in stereo to ensure I get at least 1 track of clean sound?

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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #2
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Re: Zoom H4N mono mix question

What I do is use a Y cable and record onto both channels. With the current firmware you can set the gain on each channel independently so I set one channel a few dB down from the other. Built in safety for a hot sound causing a channel to clip.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #3
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Re: Zoom H4N mono mix question

And if using a Y cable like Chris suggests, I would power the mic with the internal AA battery (hopefully you have the K6 and not the K6P) and leave phantom power OFF in the H4n settings.

Since the ME66 has a very hot output, it can still be possible to overload the mic inputs even if you've reduced the level on one channel. You might need an external 5db attenuator if you're recording in a loud environment to knock down the signal a little before it gets to the input.

If you're in a quiet environment then the ME66's hot output will help with the H4n's noisy preamps, but you should still test this ahead of time to see if you need an external preamp or mixer and go into the H4n with a -10db line level unbalanced output.

I usually feed my H4n with a Sound Devices MixPre's Tape Output and it sounds great regardless of which mics I'm using.

Be certain to accurately set the time-of-day clock and date on the H4n as well as on your camera. That will help you stay organized later when going through the clips.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Re: Zoom H4N mono mix question

Thanks for the replies guys!

I just did a test with the 1 XLR cable going in. The single stereo channel recording seemed to be a lot louder than the mono-mix recording. I'm guessing this is due to mixing a live channel with an empty one. I'll see what happens with a y splitter.

Thanks again.
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