Old 10-24-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
Jason Brian Merrill
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Default need a better attenuator/converter from rec in to zoom h4n

hello,

the recorder output from my mixer for gigs is far too hot for the inputs on the h2n.

it seems that these inputs are microphone only - so when a line level signal goes in, it totally distorts.

what can I put inbetween? I need it by saturday.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #2
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hello,

the recorder output from my mixer for gigs is far too hot for the inputs on the h2n.

it seems that these inputs are microphone only - so when a line level signal goes in, it totally distorts.

what can I put inbetween? I need it by saturday.
Are you using the 1/4" guitar plug inputs instead of the mic inputs? Ooops sorry, I'm thinking h4n not sure if they both have the dual type connector on the bottom of the unit. Otherwise a couple of whirlwind 20db inline pads except those are XLR though.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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I am using the guitar plug inputs - so what exactly do I need to convert? Everything I seem to do comes out distorted and I'm sick and can hardly think today

it's a dual connector, has XLR or 1/4 inch - but the level does not seem to be compatible with line level signals.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:33 PM   #4
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I am using the guitar plug inputs - so what exactly do I need to convert? Everything I seem to do comes out distorted and I'm sick and can hardly think today

it's a dual connector, has XLR or 1/4 inch - but the level does not seem to be compatible with line level signals.
Ah OK. So, do the input level meters show clipping even with the input level turned all the way down to minimum? Lastly, what outs are you using from the mixer and do you have any control on that end to adjust that doesn't affect the mix listeners here. I'm assuming there isn't, just checking. While awaiting those answers....

If it actually is too hot a signal and you have no other way to control it you could use an inline pad or pads (2 for stereo).

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/sear...erm=inline_pad

This is what I used to keep around for that snare or instrument when my preamps didn't have built in pads and turning the level all the way down wasn't down enough. They just attenuate the signal by ~n dB. However, you'd need suitable connector types. I'm sure someone else here has the latest on this, I haven't kept up with it lately. Just remember, these are only going to work if the incoming signal is clean but too loud and overloading the zoom inputs, if the distortion is coming from the mixer, these won't help.

Last edited by karbomusic; 10-24-2012 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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a d.I box Should help afaik. Or a mini mixer to simply reduce level, volume pedal too .etc. stuff u prob have handy.

I Remember reading that the Zooms can need a reduced level not to clip on those mic inputs with line source.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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I have a 60db attenuating cable from radioshack and it's way too much.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:36 PM   #7
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I have a 60db attenuating cable from radioshack and it's way too much.
Yea, I was thinking more like 10 or 20.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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If you Google zoom line level attenuator etc there are a few posts and field recorder guys arrive at 18-20db reduction as the ideal for the zooms Fyi.

Can you not come out of a gain variable output on your mixer instead of fixed level out? If only as a test?
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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I use an attenuator I got here: http://www.electronicplus.com/prodSe...&Submit=Search

but I don't know if you'll be able to get it by Saturday.

Can you use the headphone out of your mixer, or some other output that has a level control?

As you've noted, the 1/4" inputs are "instrument" level rather than true line level.

If you can solder you can build an attenuator out of a few resistors or an adjustable one using a couple of pots. I've also used a cheap(ly made) $15 headphone volume control from Radioshack, but it will need a bunch of adapters to get from the mixer out to the H4n 1/4" in.

The lack of real input attenuation is my nomination for the biggest flaw in all the Zoom recorders I've tried, and I've used a bunch of them.

Fran
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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I think my girlfriends performance space needs a DI anyway, will a dual channel DI work for this?
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:54 AM   #11
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I use an attenuator I got here:


The lack of real input attenuation is my nomination for the biggest flaw in all the Zoom recorders I've tried, and I've used a bunch of them.

Fran
On my old old H2 I've got 3 switchable input levels and a internal digital one, or am I getting confused?

Maybe the mix itself could be made using the the Zoom as the master output level?

Bob M.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:56 AM   #12
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And just how is a DI going to attenuate 20dB unless it is has a pad itself?
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:18 AM   #13
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On my old old H2 I've got 3 switchable input levels and a internal digital one, or am I getting confused?

Maybe the mix itself could be made using the the Zoom as the master output level?

Bob M.
I just realised that the inputs levels may be for mic's only..
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:37 AM   #14
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And just how is a DI going to attenuate 20dB unless it is has a pad itself?
well if the inputs are instrument level - ?

Im obviously a bit confused here.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
And just how is a DI going to attenuate 20dB unless it is has a pad itself?
Part of how they work apparently,
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun0...es/diboxes.asp
Have Read it elsewhere too.

See 2nd paragraph, also the 'di boxes for guitars' section.
Output is traditionally at mic level.
Plus most have in built pads too.
Case of suck it and see really,

Or as I Fran mentioned come out of a gain adjustable output on mixer.

Got all u need.. run free! ;-)
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:59 AM   #16
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there is no adjustable gain output on the mixer for anything except the monitor (being used already) and the mains.

if I order it within a couple hours time I can get it here tomorrow.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:18 AM   #17
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One of those little Mini mixers would do also depends what's most useful to you.
Not performing voodoo on the signal just killing it a bit. Anyways enough from me..
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:24 AM   #18
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this one looks great:

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/DI20.aspx

but how does it apply phantom power????

the zoom has phantom power, but how would it send it to the box?

the mixer has phantom power but how would it send it through the rec in RCA output? lol.

guess I better stock up on 9v batteries.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #19
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ahh if I just use the XLR connection I could send phantom power to it from the zoom.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:31 AM   #20
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Part of how they work apparently,
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun0...es/diboxes.asp
Have Read it elsewhere too.

See 2nd paragraph, also the 'di boxes for guitars' section.
Output is traditionally at mic level.
Plus most have in built pads too.
Case of suck it and see really,
That section doesn't address loss of 10-20dB per se. Outside of a gross impedance mismatch, I don't see a passive DI fixing this issue. I have plenty of them and have never seen the input signal drop by that significant of an amount just because I'm passing a signal through it (maybe I wasn't paying attention ). An active DI with a built in pad surely but I still think a real pad or an inline mixer like you mentioned would be the most likely to work. I suppose if he had a passive DI lying around he could try it to see though and if it gave him just enough, problem solved but not sure I would order them without testing first.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:31 AM   #21
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I have a use for this anyway - although I HATED beri's passive DI, hopefully this active one does well.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:34 AM   #22
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ahh if I just use the XLR connection I could send phantom power to it from the zoom.
That one should work, its active and has a built-in pad.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:37 AM   #23
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What type of mixer are you using? I can't understand why you can't just reduce the instruments level through the mixer, and adjust the final output with the zoom in "record ready" mode.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #24
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its a yamaha EMX 512 C head - it's a mixer/poweramp combo thingy..

it's great but the recorder in does not have a pot.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:04 AM   #25
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its a yamaha EMX 512 C head - it's a mixer/poweramp combo thingy..

it's great but the recorder in does not have a pot.
I have an EMX512 IIRC. I think you are right, are you using the record outs or whatever they call them on the front? That is just a line out taken off the master if I remember.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:11 AM   #26
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I have an EMX512 IIRC. I think you are right, are you using the record outs or whatever they call them on the front? That is just a line out taken off the master if I remember.
yes, that's the one. The DI box is coming tomorrow.

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Old 10-25-2012, 11:13 AM   #27
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yes, that's the one. The DI box is coming tomorrow.

That's a nice little head. Yamaha has always done well on those EMX heads which they have made for years and years.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:19 AM   #28
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That's a nice little head. Yamaha has always done well on those EMX heads which they have made for years and years.
yeah, this thing has really worked out great, so far. No issues with it at all, and it's been used at least twice a week for over a year.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:57 PM   #29
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its a yamaha EMX 512 C head - it's a mixer/poweramp combo thingy..

it's great but the recorder in does not have a pot.
All right, I was thinking that you could have maybe turned the mixer down to the ideal Zoom level, and turned the PA amp up to compensate..
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