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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:31 PM   #61
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Okay, thanks Steve
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 06:09 PM   #62
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Just ordered an H4 today.

Hoping it arrives Monday.

Does this thing need some kind of "special" SD card? Ativa seems popular, but will SanDisk work, too?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
Just got it. The 128mb card didn't work, but a replacement 2gb SD card from Ativa seems okay.

The Cubase software is daunting.
Tom, did your 128mb card get replaced?

Lastly, I agree; Cubase seems mainly for those schooled in sound engineering...which I'm not. (Is me woe? Or is it "Am I woe")?

I'm still learning Audition. Should I just stick w/that?
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Old June 27th, 2007, 08:46 AM   #63
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H4 Line input using TRS cables - Still Confused

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Originally Posted by Steve Leone View Post
TRS will send line in, the XLR will be mic level....I used XLR out of my mixer sending line out to TRS into the H-4 and the line in is perfect...thanx for the hot tip....all you need is a pair if TRS cables or adapters and youre all set..... I am all the more impressed by this thing now that I know you can send line into it.
Thanx for the hot tip!!....next time I'll have to try reading the user manual.....

Hi Steve, sorry I'm still a little confused on this issue, please forgive my amateur questions. I understand that your saying I need to use a TRS (balanced cable) and not a TS cable.

However, I'm trying to figure out what type of cables I would use for the right and left "Record Out " (line out) of a soundboard to the H4. I have 2 male RCA's to male XLR' cables, and using these cables with the H4 would required me to manualy set the input levels. But you are saying that if I use male RCA to TRS cables then the H4 accepts the signal as line in, and I don't have to be concerned with setting the input levels?

I'm having a hard time trying to find RCA males to TRS cables. I did find an RCA to TRS adapeer however.

Also, I've searched the manual and don't see any reference to this issue. Could you direct me to that information please?

Thanks for your help.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #64
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It seems that the H4's TRS inputs are padded to line level. Those pads are not available on the XLR inputs. This means that if you really wanted to use the xlr inputs for a true line level signal, you'd need to use external pads to bring it down close to mic level.

Even at line level, you'll be concerned with level setting.

Most feeds that you'll get from a mixer are at a nominal line level. "Nominal" because many live sound mixing engineers, especially the self-taught, especially in smaller venues, do not really care about their mixer putting out that much signal. *Usually*, such an operator will be more concerned about not overdriving the mic preamps, so, the mixer gain will be fairly low, and the gain will be made up by the amplifiers. For better or worse.

What this means to you is that depending on the style of the engineer, you might get anything between line level and 30db down from line level (which is approaching mic level).

If the mixer is indeed putting out line level it is best to adapt from RCA out to TRS. In all likelihood, you can use an ordinary RCA-TS cable, aka. RCA phono to 1/4" (mono). Sorry I'm on the road at this moment, but could easily test this with my H4 tomorrow. This is good for short cable lengths (under 6').
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Old June 27th, 2007, 01:32 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
It seems that the H4's TRS inputs are padded to line level. ...

Even at line level, you'll be concerned with level setting.

...If the mixer is indeed putting out line level it is best to adapt from RCA out to TRS. In all likelihood, you can use an ordinary RCA-TS cable, aka. RCA phono to 1/4" (mono). Sorry I'm on the road at this moment, but could easily test this with my H4 tomorrow. This is good for short cable lengths (under 6').

Thanks for the additional info Seth. I have been able to adapt the line level output from a male RCA to a TS, but it appeared that (as you stated) I still needed to monitor and adjust my input levels appropriately.

Steves's initial post had indicated that if one were to use a male RCA to male TSR cable that one wouldn't have to be concerned with monitoring and adjusting the input levels on the H4. At least that's how I understood his statement. So, I was just wanting some clarification on that. I guess I'm having a hard time picturing a male RCA cable (with only 2 conductors) being converted at the other end to a male TRS plug (3 conductors) plus I can't find such a cable from B&H or anywhere else to order it. It would be really cool to connect the output of the DJ's soundboard (i.e. RCA record out) to my H4 and walk away and not have to worry about the input levels the rest of the night.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #66
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Steve was talking about a different application with a mixer - he added an H4 to his Signvideo ENG44 mixer, which is a budget field mixer designed for video/film work. In that app, you would send tone from the mixer, probably at 0db on the mixer meters, and set recording level on the H4, probably at -18 or -12db. Then, the engineer no longer touches the recorder - he/she knows that when mixing program to 0 or even +3 peaks on the mixer, they have an established recording level on the H4 that will not be too loud or too quiet.

Steve needed XLR-TRS for the best connectivity, because his mixer was indeed putting out a 3-wire, balanced, line level signal.

The DJ is different. What you'll want to do for H4 levels is to ask the DJ to play his/her loudest song, the loudest they anticipate using it, set the H4 to peak somewhere between -18 and -6db. Sorry that's so unspecific, but the DJ's sense of their loudest may not be what the meter shows as the loudest. And they may turn it up once people are in the room. I'd start at -18 for the first shoot, and see how the levels worked.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #67
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I have the ZOOM H4 myself since a couple of months.

The two plugs (TRS and XLR) are going into the same analog circuit.
In order to change the analog signal level there are two sliders (one for each channel) with three mic gain settings: Low-Medium-High.
After that, everything else is done in the digital domain (for example "levels" and "auto levels" in the menus are operating after the A/D converter and are therefor pretty useless).
There is no line-input and you can not circumvent the mic amplifier (you can just reduce the amplification by selecting "Low").

Regarding the SD cards:
No, you don't need special cards in principle.
However the DC/DC converter is a little weak so if you have a very fast SD card with high current demand you will hear the card's access as a blip in your audio file! Using slow cards (with low current demand) and/or the supplied ac-adaptor can reduce or even entirely remove that problem.
So the most simple and cheap SanDisk 2 GB card will do nicely.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #68
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Thanks Seth and Martin for the additional explanation.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:28 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Doppelbauer View Post
I have the ZOOM H4 myself since a couple of months.

The two plugs (TRS and XLR) are going into the same analog circuit.
In order to change the analog signal level there are two sliders (one for each channel) with three mic gain settings: Low-Medium-High.
After that, everything else is done in the digital domain (for example "levels" and "auto levels" in the menus are operating after the A/D converter and are therefor pretty useless).
There is no line-input and you can not circumvent the mic amplifier (you can just reduce the amplification by selecting "Low").
I have been waiting on my H4 to arrive to do several tests. And I wil also try to get a service manual to see the actual circuit the H4 is implementing.

If it's so, it's a pity the mic and line connectors go to the same place. But the XLR must pass through a balancing input, so it does add some noise too.

The next thing is check if the level setting switching (low-medium-high) is done actively or passively, that is work on the audio chip gain or just attenuate it.
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