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Zoom H4n into Panasonic GH2

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David Bartz
Zoom H4n into Panasonic GH2
on Jun 29, 2014 at 12:27:52 am

Gentlepeople -

My interview audio setup was this: Sony ECM-55B condenser mic into channel 1 of the h4n. Phantom power was supplied by the h4n. I had no audio connection to my GH2. I used a clapboard to sync them. Everything worked great, but on one interview, I neglected to hit the record button a second time on the h4n, and had to use the audio from the stereo mic onboard the GH2. A friend who has the same camera, pointed me to this cable ( http://tinyurl.com/6o3mvj3 ) and this adapter ( http://tinyurl.com/nexwutz ). I got those and hooked them up. Unfortunately, the GH2 didn't recognize the input (no mic symbol on the gh2 screen) unless I pulled the jack out slightly from the camera, and even then, it only registered one channel.

After searching these wonderful forums, I learned that not all (3.5mm->2.5mm) adapters are alike (very odd!). I also discovered this cable ( http://tinyurl.com/l8tc7u7 ) from another member here. Rather than try and waste time trying to find the appropriate adapter, I went for this new cable that already had the 2.5mm soldered onto it.

I again plugged in the Sony mic into channel 1 of the h4n. I adjusted the input level on the h4n to 80. On the h4n I have the (INPUT/COMP LIMITER / INPUT) set to COMP1. Testing input sources from soft to loud, this was the best setting. I had the output setting set to 80. This was an appropriate level for me to monitor with my headphones. Everything was great.

Next, I pulled out the headphones out of the h4n headphone jack, and inserted the new Sescom cable to the headphone output of the h4n and inserted the 2.5mm end into the GH2. I then plugged my headphones into the monitor jack on the Sescom cable. I turned on the audio input meters on the GH2 and the audio was pegging into the red, even with just the faintest of whispers into the mic. With just room tone in the mic, it registered 3 bars on the meter. I checked the Mic Level Adj on the GH2 and it was at level 1 (lowest).

I started lowering the output on the h4n. For the meters on the GH2 to match the meters on the h4n, I had to reduce the level on h4n output to 45 (from 80). This was great for recording, but I could hear nothing on the headphones.

What could be wrong? Is the -25db pad not working? I've been studying the Sescom site and found a couple of solutions. Put an attenuator ( http://www.sescom.com/product.asp?item=SES-MKP-27 ) between the h4n and the gh2, or put an amplifier ( http://www.sescom.com/product.asp?item=SES-HDPHNA ) between the Sescom cable monitor jack and the headphones. While this might solve my problem, it's kind of kludgy, and I'll have to get 3.5->2.5mm adapters again (if going with the pad solution rather than the headphone amplifier solution.)

Please let the solution be that there's a switch I'm missing on either the h4n or the gh2. ;)

I'm going to cross-post this on the DSLR Video forum. I hope that's OK, and forgive me if that's where this post should have gone originally.

Thank you so much for any and all advice you can give me.

David Bartz
La Honda, CA


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