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Shaun R Walker October 17th, 2011 06:11 PM

Can you use the headphone out on a Zoom H4n and plug it into a 600D for top mic audio
 
I am heading off to India next week to shoot some docos, but my budget for gear is extremely limited. I am about to purchase a 600D, but cannot afford to buy a top mic for the camera. Can I use my Zoom H4n (which arrivesin a few days time) as a top mic and utilize the headphone output to plug into the 600D for live audio? Alternatively, is there any way to use my Rode NTG-1 without the need for a pre-amp?

Brian Maurer October 17th, 2011 09:13 PM

Re: Can you use the headphone out on a Zoom H4n and plug it into a 600D for top mic a
 
Shaun -

I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about here, so let me just clarify: are you wanting to use the headphone jack out to plug into the 600D so that audio is recorded directly onto the camera? If that's the case, then no, I don't believe that will work. The Zoom functions as a stand along phantom power source, and as an audio pre-amp and recorder. Your best bet is to record audio via the Zoom, then while in post, look at the wave form and sync audio. It's a painfully slow process, but that'll get you the audio you're looking for, over the in-camera audio. Alternatively, and most likely better, you should consider using that NTG-1, phantom powered by the Zoom, and mount that sucker on the top of the camera. Still record audio to the Zoom, but use the NTG-1 as the primary capture. Hope this helps!

Murray Christian October 17th, 2011 10:02 PM

Re: Can you use the headphone out on a Zoom H4n and plug it into a 600D for top mic a
 
Yeah, I don't know about the H4n specifically but unit headphone outs are designed for monitoring only and not especially buff usually. You'd be using a decent recorder to directly output lesser sound into a lesser recorder. It's like digging a hole with a spade in one hand and a spork in the other. The specialty tool will do the job better by itself.

Resynching audio isn't so bad and using double system means you're a proper filmmaker*

(*personal bugbear of sometime audio recordist having seen enough people try and tie themselves in cabling and audio quality knots to avoid unsynched sound, shouldn't be taken personally by anyone)

James Donnelly October 18th, 2011 08:51 AM

Re: Can you use the headphone out on a Zoom H4n and plug it into a 600D for top mic a
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Shaun R Walker (Post 1689466)
I am heading off to India next week to shoot some docos, but my budget for gear is extremely limited. I am about to purchase a 600D, but cannot afford to buy a top mic for the camera. Can I use my Zoom H4n (which arrivesin a few days time) as a top mic and utilize the headphone output to plug into the 600D for live audio? Alternatively, is there any way to use my Rode NTG-1 without the need for a pre-amp?

I have used this approach myself and it does actually work. You have to bear in mind that the headphone output is too hot for the camera's mic in, and adjust the Zoom's output volume accordingly.

You can work this way, but it's not recommended, as you will lose some dynamic range on your signal.

The best way to achieve what you are trying is to use a pad cable to attenuate the signal from the headphone output. You can make these yourself if you are reasonably skilled with a soldering iron, or you can buy one for about 25.


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