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Headphone output OK ??

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Blayde Stone
Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 5, 2015 at 6:40:14 pm

Hello Ty, just needed to run this by you, we videoing a three person interview coming up next week, we are using 3 Polson OLM – 10 Lavaliers being input into a Behringer Xenyx 1202 mixer via the XLR connectors(using Mono adapters to XLR) the final mix( Tape Out) is being output to a Tascam DR-05 recorder, to be later synced with the video. However as I was doing a test run on this set up, the mixer output seemed to be too hot for the Tascam recorder, I tried decreasing the input on the Tascam via the internal control settings, it was still peaking quite a bit even with the lowest setting, so now I am now using mixer's headphone output to go to the Tascam Recorder I use the headphone control knob to get just the right amount of signal to the recorder without overwhelming it. My question is, will I be taking a hit on audio quality coming from the headphone source??? I did a test recording with the new set up using headphones... audibly it sounds okay, please let me know your thoughts on this.... thank you!


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Bill Davis
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 6, 2015 at 12:49:09 am

At first blush, check the input stage on the recorder and see if you have it set to mic input level (NOT where it should be) rather than LINE level input. (WHERE it should be) most modern portable devices let you switch to either. If not the headphone output will work fine, but you lose that monitor point, which can be a problem. NEVER record anything important without monitoring the recording. NEVER!!!!!!!

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Blayde Stone
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 6, 2015 at 1:41:27 am

Thank you for your prompt response, yes I verified it is in "line in" mode and not Mic, so glad to hear I can use the headphone output without taking a hit on the audio quality, BTW I always use headphones to monitor any type of audio project we are doing. Never trusting volume displays only. The Tascam DR-05 has its own headphone jack which I am connected..... to monitor the downstream audio. Life is good thank you Bill!!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 6, 2015 at 1:01:35 pm

Note that the "MIC/EXT IN" appears to be mic-level ONLY. There is no mention in any of the Tascam documents that it can be switched to line-level. The DR-05 manual suggests using a headphone output and turning it down to "mic-level". While this works, it is not optimal for getting a good audio recording.

Headphone outputs are typically not equal in quality to the main outputs. And turning it down to mic level is really operating somewhat below the range of "normal operation". And it can make for a rather "fiddly" adjustment to keep the level correct down at the bottom of the control range.

It would be better to use an attenuating cable to reduce the line-level down to mic-level. The one that is most available to people in the US is the Radio Shack Model: 42-2461 6-FT. RCA TO 1/8" ATTENUATING CABLE
http://comingsoon.radioshack.com/radioshack-6-ft-rca-to-1-8-attenuating-cab...


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Blayde Stone
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 6, 2015 at 1:45:18 pm

That's Correct Richard, there is only an input control for the mic/ext. not a dedicated line or Mic, today I will attempt to contact RadioShack(a lot of them are going out of business in the area) to find an ATTENUATING CABLE. Thanks for the link!! Question ..What kind of hit will I be taking if I still use the headphone jack output?? Is it frequencies that will be compromised?
Please let us know your "input" on this... No pun intended! Thanks!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 6, 2015 at 2:33:22 pm
Last Edited By Richard Crowley on Jun 6, 2015 at 2:36:24 pm

My concerns using the headphone output are...
1) More difficult to set/adjust proper levels
2) Reduced signal-to-noise performance both because of low signal levels and because headphone outputs are designed to lower standards.
3) Increased distortion from headphone outputs for the same reason as (2)
4) Removes the headphone output from its normal and desirable use, namely to MONITOR the audio you are recording.

Note that cable is monaural, so you will record only to the left channel. If you want to record both channels, you will need a custom-made cable. I make my own cables, and it is not terribly difficult to DIY. But there are probably custom cable vendors who could make one to your specifications. My favorite dealer of wire and connectors also makes custom cables: http://www.redco.com


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Blayde Stone
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 6, 2015 at 5:56:13 pm

Not much luck with Radio Shack, do these look useable?? Thanks
http://www.amazon.com/Harrison-Labs-Line-Level-Attenuator/dp/B0006N41B0/ref...


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Richard Crowley
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 6, 2015 at 11:31:19 pm

Yes those would probably do it. You may need BOTH of them in series (for a total of 24dB attenuation).

Radio Shack is still in business, so your local store-front should be able to order it for you. Dunno if you can buy stuff online anymore??

There are a pair of those attenuating cables up for auction on Ebay at the moment.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Attenuating-Dubbing-Cable-2-6-ft-long-42-2461-NEW-/...


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Blayde Stone
Re: Headphone output OK ??
on Jun 9, 2015 at 3:13:51 pm

Thank you so much...this has been helpful!!


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