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Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5

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Gami Rosd
Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5
on Sep 11, 2016 at 7:58:27 pm

Please if anyone may help with my problem.

I've the Roland Tri-Capture usb interface (check this image to see the output http://i.imgur.com/5DW9ZuM.jpg ).

How to correctly connect the Output of the Roland Tri-Capture to H5 without getting any signal distortion?

I'm considering one of these 3 ways but do not know what would be the best settings for each, so I thought to post here to get a better idea.

1) Connect the output of Tri-Capture USB using 2 cables Stereo (one for Right, and one for Left), and then connect them to MIC 1 & 2 in H5 ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/175763-REG/Comprehensive_SPPS_P_6ST_... ) since the Output of the Tri-Capture is Balanced as shown in picture.

2) Connect the output of Tri-Capture USB using 2 cables Mono (one for Right, and one for Left), and then connect them to MIC 1 & 2 in H5 ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/846866-REG/Hosa_Technology_HGTR_005_... ).

3) Connect the output of Tri-Capture USB using 1 cable 2 Mono (one for Right, and one for Left) and the other end of the cable to be connected in the mic at the Line-IN of the H5 ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/160639-REG/Hosa_Technology_CMP_153_S... ).

Please advise :)

-
GR!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5
on Sep 12, 2016 at 4:18:34 am

#1 is the prefered method. As you say, your Roland Tri-Capture has a balanced, line-level output. And the Zoom H5 TRS inputs (part of the XLR/TRS "combo" input jacks) will accept LINE-LEVEL audio when the H5 is configured properly.

Note you are NOT connecting to the H5 "mic-input". You cannot connect ANY line-level audio signal to a mic-level input. Note also that whether a signal is balanced or not is quite independent on the signal level (mic-level, line-level, etc.)

#2 is neaarly the same as #1 except that it uses an UN-balanced signal. While that may work just fine in many cases, there may be some situations where the balanced connection's ability to reject ambient noise could be a big advantage. No particularly good reason to use unbalanced cable (TS) when you have a proper balanced source and a balanced destination. Of course, if you had an unbalanced source (which you DO NOT) and a balanced destination, then using an unbalanced TS cord would be preferable.

#3 is NOT likely to perform as well as #1 (or even #2). The headphone output of most gear is not designed to the same standards of quality as the main output.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Gami Rosd
Re: Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5
on Sep 12, 2016 at 6:54:01 pm

Thanks for your detailed reply.
If I am going with option #1, what is the settings for Zoom H5 I should use? as I am really very confused for how to adjust it.
Does the MIC 1 & 2 inputs for Zoom H5 TRS are balanced or not?

-
GR!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5
on Sep 13, 2016 at 2:27:51 am

I am confused, also. Somehow in 116 pages of English-language manual they never actually explained the TRS inputs of the combo "1/2 INPUTS". So it is not at all clear whether the 1/4 TRS inputs can be used as line-level, mic-level or instrument-level. This is a gross failure on their part, but unfortunately it is all too common for this pro-sumer gear to have documentation that is so "dumbed-down" it is practically useless.

Upon closer inspection of the (poor) documenation, it appears that the only input that is identified as "line-level" is the 3.5mm "MIC/LINE input jack" on the upper right side. That means you would need to use a "stereo break-out" cable like this to connect the outputs from your Roland Tri-Capture to the 3.5mm TRS "MIC/LINE input jack" on your H5.

http://hosatech.com/product/cmp-150/

This is just one example from Hosa. There are many other similar cables that would work exactly the same.

I found the manual here: https://www.zoom.co.jp/sites/default/files/products/downloads/pdfs/E_H5_0.p...
And on page 98 is the only information I found on configuring the H5 for line-level input.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Gami Rosd
Re: Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5
on Sep 13, 2016 at 5:43:41 am

Thanks a lot.
I will order this type of cable and try it and feed you back.
Note: When you typed this pro-sumer gear, you mean that Zoom is not a professional digital recorder? in that case, which brand and model considered a professional digital recorder?
Thanks

-
GR!


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Gami Rosd
Re: Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5
on Sep 13, 2016 at 7:04:51 am

Just another quick question before I place my order for the cable you recommended.
As far as I understand the Line-In input in the Zoom H5 is stereo and balanced and this is why we are using a Stereo Mini 3.5mm Male.
Regarding the USB interface out, according to my understanding it is Balanced which mean it should be a 2 Stereo 1/4" Male, right!?
So the right required cable should be a (Stereo Mini 3.5mm Male) =TO> (2 Stereo 1/4" Male) and not 2 Mono 1/4".
So did I understand it correctly or still confused :)

GR!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Connect USB interface balanced output to ZOOM H5
on Sep 13, 2016 at 4:18:57 pm

The Zoom "H" series is pro-sumer at best. However, recently Zoom have started making a couple of more professional-level products, the F4 and F8 recorders. They appear to have significantly improved performance and build quality compared to the little plastic "shaver" F-series recorders.

NO, The 3.5mm input is TRS and stereo. It is NOT balanced at all. You can't do balanced stereo with only 3 conductors (T, R, S) Stereo on any TRS plug is UN-balanced by definition. Always.

Because the input to the Zoom recorder is unbalanced, then you need UNbalanced, TS plugs at the source (the Roland Tri-Capture).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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