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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:58 PM   #1
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Getting no signal with Zoom H4n and Shure Beta87 microphone

I just got the second Shure Beta87 mic in the mail today and this one doesn't work with my H4n either. I've tried turning phantom power on and off and tried the mic on a second h4n and h1. Any idea why I can't get sound? I don't see a on/off switch on this mic anywhere.

I want to use the mic to record guests well-wishes at weddings.

Thanks
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Old June 12th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Re: Getting no signal with Zoom H4n and Shure Beta87 microphone

Since I'm packing for an out of town project in a couple days, the H4n and SM86 (a very close relative of the Beta87) were both at hand. I did the following:

1) Selected inputs 1,2 with the big buttons on the front
2) Went into the input menu and selected 48v Phantom
3) Confirmed manual recording levels
4) turned on Monitor - this allows you to listen to the inputs even if not recording or record-pause

It worked right away, no problem, I was able to hear the mic.

This confirms no incompatibility between the Zoom and this class of microphone. Which lays it to a problem with the H4n, with the Beta87, with a connecting XLR cable, or bad settings.

Do you have another phantom-powered mic to test with the H4n, another mixer to test the Beta87 with, is there anything suspicious about the cable?

It's possible to have a mis-wired or broken cable or set of adaptors that will work with a dynamic mic but not supply phantom to a condensor mic. Note that the mini-input (3.5mm) on the H4n does not supply sufficient power for phantom - you must connect via xlr with a properly wired cable.
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Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; June 12th, 2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #3
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Re: Getting no signal with Zoom H4n and Shure Beta87 microphone

I was using xlr- 1/4".

I used xlr-xlr with no adapters and it works now. Pheww!
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Old June 12th, 2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Getting no signal with Zoom H4n and Shure Beta87 microphone

That's good news - hope it works out well!

For future readers: It's rare for any 1/4" input to pass phantom, for a couple of reasons. First, usually a 1/4" next to an XLR input on a mixer will be for a line level source, the XLR for mic level. The phantom won't be wired to the 1/4" The H4n is a little different - this recorder was designed (in part) for musician's recording projects, and the 1/4" is designed for instrument-in. That is, electric guitars and such. Slightly different signal level, different impedance than an XLR input, and, most importantly, only 2-conductors, not enough for phantom.

An instrument-level input isn't that useful for us sound-for-video types... but, this product design hits a wider market of musicians, IMO we're lucky to have the capability of the H4n at the price.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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Re: Getting no signal with Zoom H4n and Shure Beta87 microphone

Kelly, did you manage to solve this? Im having the same issue with the H4N and the Rode NTG3...
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 08:47 PM   #6
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Re: Getting no signal with Zoom H4n and Shure Beta87 microphone

Rafael:

Ummm... if you read post #3 above (June 12) you will find the answer. You will find a more detailed explanation in post #4 above.
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