The Zoom H4n line input is -10dbV and the Sound Devices MixPre output is a pro +4dbU. The signal from these two directly, overloads the recorder. I'm trying to figure out what kind of pads I can get to decrease the signal. I've tried that AT adjustable 15-30 db pads and the PSC 50 db pads. With the Audiotechnica 15-30 db adjustable pads, I could get a signal that was acceptable to the zoom but it would overload the recorder at -6 db on the recorder. So I sent them back and returned them for the PSC which when I use these pads, I have to crank up my SD Pres and the zoom record level. What pad's should I get? I'm looking at a 40 db Whirlwind or a 40 db Hosa at this point.
Another question though--customer service advised me that If I turn down the Zoom Record level all the way, I will be bypassing the Zoom's hissy preamps. I notice that If I do that with the PSC 50db pads, the signal is way to quiet to record ambience. If I run without a Pad, I can keep the recording on the Zoom amazingly low and possibly bypassing the Zoom's Preamps.
Whats a good way to run this combo?

EDIT: Also, does the unbalanced line input on the zoom give a more clean, clear signal than the Balanced XLRs? As I understand now, the preamps on the zoom crank the line input as well as the XLR inputs so it would seem that the Balanced XLR Inputs will be more clean and clear if you turn them down and only use the MixPre's input gain.

2 Answers 2



  • Yea, I know about that but it doesn't answer all my questions. One guy said he needed a higher pad, among other questions.
    – ChrisSound
    Oct 11, 2011 at 19:42

btw...connecting mm1 to zoom is the same thing as mixpre?

  • The MM-1 and the MixPre have the same output level, so you'll have identical issues with both.
    – Si Charles
    Oct 12, 2011 at 10:40

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