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    Distorted audio feed from mixer, solution (attenuator pad or wireless)??
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    Hi all,
    I am using Zoom H1 to record audio feed from most of my wedding/corporate jobs.
    Untill last month I had a audio feed from a mixer, the signal is too hot for the H1.
    even i set the input level to lowest the sound is still distorted.

    I found some solution online by using some attenuator pad (-10 to -30db)

    But I got an interesting reply last week, I asked another local sound guy.
    he came up with another solution, he told me that using a Sennheiser G3 wireless transmitter will able to lower the input level without using pads?
    he said stacking the pad is usually a bad idea, only use it on the last choice.

    Is is true or he is just trolling me?

    Actually I am considering a wireless lav mic kit between Rode Link and Sennheiser G3.
    If this is true will the Rode Link also can do the same?

    Thanks!


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    #2
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    A pad is transparent, and 100% reliable. The best wireless will be nearly as good, and mostly reliable. A pad is pennies, wireless is many pounds - using wireless to deal with level mismatches is a crude and wildly unreliable way of doing things. Buy a variety of pads in -10dB to -30dB versions, and have enough spare for a holiday.


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    #3
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    The G3 system can take a line level input without having to have a pad, but you really have to have a need for a wireless system, not just for having proper level. If you want to just stick with a recorder then either use pads with what you are using, or get a recorder that can take a proper line level input.

    For wedding and corporate gigs, I'd recommend getting wireless system so you can properly monitor the audio anyway. Putting a recorder one someone and walking away is pretty risky, and I don't recommend it. I'd also recommend a boom mic, since that will sound the best, but I realize for wedding stuff you probably don't want to have a boom op running around and the people at the wedding probably wouldn't like that either. For corporate gigs, though, a boom mic should be your go-to microphone.


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    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    Distortion from a house console is a common complaint/query. Most consoles have a +4dB XLR and/or 1/4" TRS outputs, and unbalanced -10dB via RCA connectors. Either will overload a Microphone level input (common to budget recorders) and will distort (the input stage) regardless of the record level setting.
    As Dave stated, the G2/3 body pack Tx. has a line level input (wiring configuration), which is -10dB, so a +4 console feed so that 'could' even distort that as well (depending on how hot it's driven). A DI with multiple or variable attenuation is one of the best solutions IMO. Most have a ground lift as a bonus.


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    Senior Member graywolf's Avatar
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    A wireless, as others have indicated, is an awful expensive attenuator. Cheaper to buy a better recorder. I would think a pad would add less noise than that wireless unit.


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    Make sure you buy a pad in a metal container to help prevent RFI. These were always very nice http://vintageking.com/shure-a15as-i...FRtWDQodaSUFug , but a line to mic pad will need to be at least 30db but possibly more like 50db depending on the mic input. Also you may want a 600 ohm to 150 ohm version (150 on the mic side).


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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2003 View Post
    He said stacking the pad is usually a bad idea, only use it on the last choice.

    Is is true or he is just trolling me?
    Not true in my experience. If you're going to be getting audio feeds from random house panels, you should be carrying with you a few pads (attenuators). At least one -40 dB, for when your feed is professional line level (+4 dB) to get the feed down to a manageable mic level for your H1. A -30 dB for when feed is consumer line level (-10 dB). I'm not sure what you'd do with a -20 dB or a -10 dB, but they might come in handy. Better to have them and not need them....

    Wireless is a last resort. Not a first. Last. Wireless costs way more, is considerably less reliable, and sounds worse than your standard $20 XLR cable.


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    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    A Hosa AT-448 is affordable and offers 20, 30 & 40 db of attenuation. Otherwise pads can be made DYI with a few dirt cheap resistors. I have a variety of 6 to -50dB pads.. I also never leave home w/o some 1:1 isolation transformers. I have Sescom IL-19s. Recently Tower Products/Sescom intro'd a lower cost version that's half the price of the venerable IL-19. The Sescom SES-XLR-ISO Inline XLR Line Matching Transformer needs to be plugged into a cable were the IL-19 can plugged directly into any XLR input or output. Tower products (Markertek.com) also has a four pack of IL-19s for $150. They normally sell for around $45-50 ea.


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    #9
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    Thanks guys for the valueable info!

    I am about to order this Hosa AT-448 attenuator
    I think I will try the pad for now.

    @Greg_E what is the "600 ohm to 150 ohm" thing? will the Hosa AT-448 attenuator also have these feature too?

    Btw which recorders do have proper line input can take any level from a board?
    Zoom H5? or Tascam DR-60D MKII?


    Thanks a tons guys! saved me alot of pounds


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    #10
    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    "what is the "600 ohm to 150 ohm" thing? will the Hosa AT-448 attenuator also have these feature too?"
    - You don't need to worry about impedance much these days, unless your dealing with a high-Z instrument. An electric guitar pickup for instance.

    "Which recorders do have proper line input can take any level from a board? Zoom H5? or Tascam DR-60D MKII?"
    - The Zoom H4n line input is -10dB. The H5 and most of the later models Zoom w/ the XLR combo jack are +4dB line in. Most (if not all) of the DR series Tascams (w/ XLRs) are +4dB as well, except the 1st generation DR-100. A -10dB feed from a board would be low for a +4 input. In that case, a DI is recommended which has a mic level output. You can get a unbalanced -10 to balanced +4 converter, but they require power and are a lot more $$ than a passive DI.
    Last edited by Rick R; 03-22-2017 at 11:25 AM.


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