I'm shooting one of my buddy's band's shows coming up and I was thinking of trying to use my H4N to record the audio straight out of the show's mixer. I tested it out once night at a different show and even with the H4N's levels turned right down the sound was still hot coming into the H4, I have done a little reading around and it seems that no matter what you do the H4 is always going to sound crappy if theres an output running right out of a venues mixer. I was just looking to see if anyone had any tips or if there is someway of making it work or what would be the best way to do it.
Thanks so much, I'm looking to cut together a little show video with a few angles and would love to get some good audio to match it up to... If worse comes to worse I'm thinking of just setting up the H4 somewhere and trying to record on its internal mic, anything would be better than sound from the camera (7D+5D+EX1)
The H4n's 1/4" jacks are unbalanced and Hi-Z and are meant for direct connection with guitars, keyboards, and other similar electronic instruments. The XLR jacks feed microphone preamps, which will clip when fed with too high a voltage (like that from a line level output on a mixer).
I recommend using a 30dB barrel pad on each XLR input to drop the voltage down to something that the internal mic preamps can handle without distorting.