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Old September 6th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

I know this is probably basic audio stuff, but I never got around to learn it. So far I've been playing it by ear when it comes to recording the mixer's output at events to my Zoom H2 recorder, and after trying a couple of outputs that seemed to be line outs but nothing came out, I just connected the cable to the headphones jack, but I know there's gotta be a better way to get the pure signal in the path right before it goes out to the amplifier. The problem is I don't know much about mixers and I don't have a chance to play with one for several days to learn.

Can anyone tell me what's the output I should look for, and what switches to move and buttons to press, or a website with some tutorial to learn without having a mixer at hand?

Thanks,

Sebastian
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Old September 6th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Use the H2's 1/8" 'Line in' mini jack..preferably get a feed from a mixing board's RCA out if it has one. (you will want a 'dual RCA to stereo 1/8" ' adapter cable, which is pretty common these days
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Old September 6th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

RCA? Don't mixers have a line output using a 1/4 jack as well as the RCAs? I'm asking because I have a cable that is 1/4 male on both ends that I paid like $20 at Radio Shack because I was in a hurry and couldn't get it from Monoprice and I would like to use it if possible.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoome out H2?

Yes Seb, but.. the boards (-10dB) RCAs are less likely to overload the H2's (delicate) input stage if the board is being pushed to the max. A pro board's 1/4" and XLR line outs are normally +4dB. The H2's line input wants to see -10dB.
Regardless, even with your current 1/4 to 1/4 cable, you would still need an adapter and it would not feed both channels of the recorder... stereo or dual-mono..
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Old September 6th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Oh I see. But what do you mean by not feeding both channels? I do have the adapter, but you mean the 1/4 jacks in mixers don't output stereo?
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Old September 6th, 2011, 08:23 PM   #6
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Not though a single 1/4" jack... unlike a 1/4" headphone output, there's normally separate Left and Right connections.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 07:17 AM   #7
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

"Mixer" covers a wide spectrum, from 2 to 4 channel field mixers for film and video production sound to multi-channel mixing consoles used for venue and recording studio sound boards. So before we get too far, please clarify just what sort of mixer and situation are you are asking about?

Different manufacturers setup their boards different and to a certain extent may label the controls differently as well, so what button to push, dial to set, or switch to throw doesn't always have a tidy pat answer. There're more variations in the way mixing consoles are set up than there are in field mixers.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 07:33 AM   #8
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
RCA? Don't mixers have a line output using a 1/4 jack as well as the RCAs? I'm asking because I have a cable that is 1/4 male on both ends that I paid like $20 at Radio Shack because I was in a hurry and couldn't get it from Monoprice and I would like to use it if possible.
Just saying a connector is a 1/4 plug doesn't go far enough. 1/4 plugs can be either TS (tip/sleeve) used for unbalanced mono lines or TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) used for both unbalanced stereo and balanced mono lines. (Then there's the oddball "insert" wired TRS plug, carrying an unbalanced output send on its tip and an unbalanced return on its ring.) So when you see a 1/4 hole on the mixer, you need to know if it is stereo or mono, balanced or unbalanced.

Mixer outputs are typically one of two levels ... professional "studio" line levels, a nominal +4dBu, or the lower "consumer" line level, nominally -10dBv. The 1/4" outputs on most consoles would typically be +4, the RCA or "Tape" outputs -10. Your Zoom line input is rated for and expects to see a -10dBv level signal.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #9
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
"Mixer" covers a wide spectrum, from 2 to 4 channel field mixers for film and video production sound to multi-channel mixing consoles used for venue and recording studio sound boards. So before we get too far, please clarify just what sort of mixer and situation are you are asking about?
You're right, I should've clarified. I refer mostly to the kind found in hotels, or maybe even the ones DJs have for social events like weddings, or the ones in schools, so I'm guessing they're not the most basic but are far below the most complex ones found in studios. I would say probably four to eight channels at the most.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
You're right, I should've clarified. I refer mostly to the kind found in hotels, or maybe even the ones DJs have for social events like weddings, or the ones in schools, so I'm guessing they're not the most basic but are far below the most complex ones found in studios. I would say probably four to eight channels at the most.
For that sort, perhaps the most common output that's a match to your Zoom would be labeled "Tape" or "Tape Out." These are usually on RCA or "Phono" pin jacks, white for the left channel and red for the right. You'd send this to the Zoom's line input using a "Y" cable like this one ... 3-Ft. 1/8" Stereo to Dual Phono (RCA) Plug Y-cable - RadioShack.com

The Tape output usually parallels the main mix that is going to the PA speakers so a drawback of this arrangement is that as the DJ adjusts the volume your recording level is also going to change.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
You'd send this to the Zoom's line input using a "Y" cable like this one ... 3-Ft. 1/8" Stereo to Dual Phono (RCA) Plug Y-cable - RadioShack.com
I do have that cable, but do you buy cables from Radio Shack, or did you just use it as an example? I'm asking because Radio Shack stuff is overpriced and usually lower quality that Monoprice. This very same cable, for example, is $10 at Radioshack, but $2.14 at Monoprice:

For only $1.79 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 3ft Premium 3.5mm Stereo Male to 2RCA Male 22AWG Cable (Gold Plated) - Black | 3.5mm & RCA Audio Cables

I buy all my cables from them and I saved hundreds, especially on those ridiculously overpriced HDMI cables sold at stores. I have a 25 ft HDMI cable that would cost me over $100 at Best Buy or similar stores, and lots of A/V cables that would've cost me about $500 all together, maybe more.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #12
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Don't routinely buy from Radio Shack either, just was showing that as an example of the type you need. Sometimes in a pinch I do buy at the Shack, they';re okay if you watch what you're getting and don't go for the cheapest. I also don't bother with 'audiofool' products like Monster Cable - way overpriced and no better than mainstream professional cables. Not familar with Monoprice.

My preferred sources are Trew Audio in Toronto and I also order from Full Compass.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 11:42 AM   #13
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Full Compass is a good retailer, very nice people too, I got my AX2000 from them. But for cables, nothing beats Monoprice, both in quality and prices. Normally for those prices you would get the worst quality cables if that much, but all the cables I bought from them since 6 years ago are top quality and the prices are unreal. The only time they disappointed me was with some speaker brackets that were supposed to hold 10 lbs max and they were good for 3 lbs at best, and of course I returned them. But for cables they are the best.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #14
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Re: Which output in the mixer to Zoom H2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
You're right, I should've clarified. I refer mostly to the kind found in hotels, or maybe even the ones DJs have for social events like weddings, or the ones in schools, so I'm guessing they're not the most basic but are far below the most complex ones found in studios. I would say probably four to eight channels at the most.
I don't know the popular mixers for social events, DJs schools and such, but on the NYC area hotel circuit, (so to speak) ninety percent of the time I encounter the 4-8 channel Mackies . Occasionally I'll see a Berhinger, Phonic, Samson, A&H or other Mackie VLZ type design, and all of those have RCA outs. I almost never encounter the once popular Shure 'M' series or even the newer SCM series Shure mic mixers anymore.

Not to confuse you but there number of ways get sound from a 'house' system, via splitters, aux sends, direct outs, matrix's and sub masters. My preferred set-up for educational seminars was to run all the mics though my mixer and feed the house PA via a pre-fader aux send. I used the main faders for the recording mix.

I hear ya Seb, the Shack o' Shame (Radio Shack) sucks, but in a pinch, there are few options.
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