Hello Audio Pros,

I have a Zoom H4n & a NTG2 & the levels are low - i have previously asked for help regarding this & someone suggested to go with Dan McComb way with the SD mix pre.

I have been thinking of getting an SD MM1 mic pre to use with my zoom h4n - im not an electronics guy & noob when it comes to field recording.

Would the connectivity be complicated with this set up? or can i directly connect these two?

Please give me your opinion.

Best Regards,

  • @swelltoe77, I have the same set up as you except my mic is the Rode NTG-2. What do you suggest for settings on the H4n such as gain levels and the input settings section of the menu. Thanks
    – user3693
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 4:11

7 Answers 7


Very simple - mic into the preamp, line out to your H4N.

Also - before you drop money on a pre-amp, try powering your mic with a battery instead of the H4N phantom power and make sure you've upped the input gain on your H4N. Sometimes it's the little things...

  • 1
    There's known line-level issues with the H4n, so unfortunately it's not quite that simple (thanks to Samson's/Zoom's fault here). It's a Hi-Z (unbalanced, high-impedance) which still feeds thru the preamp instead of being a direct, true professional line level. Leads to distortion problems even with the input on the Zoom set at below 1.0. Word is that an inline attenuator of 10-20dB is needed between an out-board preamp and the H4n line-in if you want to get the most robust gain stage. Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 8:12
  • glad you mentioned, I had no idea!
    – aross001
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 20:02
  • thanks for the information boss, Do u recommend this inline attenuator shure.com/americas/products/accessories/microphone-accessories/….
    – Bala
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 21:45

This is how I learnt to connect a MixPre with an H4n. (It works, and gives really nice quality audio)



I actually did something like this, picture link below. I followed Dan McComb's rig using the MM1 instead of the SD mix pre because it is true the H4n has terrible mic pre's. I chose a switchable pad attenuator with 20, 30, 40db of attenuation because I wanted options. The result is a big step up towards broadcast quality. Only downfall is having to figure out how to carry this rig and still have access to all the needed functions.

ZoomH4n + SD MM1 + MKH 416

  • Cool buddy, Im gonna try this one out - thanks very much
    – Bala
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 19:33

Unfortunately, the H4n has no line input. So to properly get signal from line level in, you do have to attenuate the signal by about 30dB. The problem is, then youll be using the H4n's preamps to bring that signal back up. There is no high quality way to do this. I believe the H2 has line input from an 1/8" trs. The Sony d50 also has a line input that would accept a tape out from your MixPre. Though the d50 is $450-$500.

  • The H4n does have a line input, but it is at consumer line level (-10 dBv) rather than pro line level (+4 dBm). Hit it with a consumer level signal and it is OK, but the hotter pro-level signal overloads the input. The solution, as noted above, is to pad down the pro level source by about 15-20 dB. Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 5:27
  • Interesting! My mistake. Ill try that next time for mine. Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 9:28

I also recommend against using this combo of equipment ( zoom H4n + ntg2 + MM1 ) the results sound bad and yes I have tried this exact setup. the fault is the mic/line input on the zoom but the NTG-2 is also junk. My advice is don't waste your money on an external mic pre to try and improve this setup. Keep the zoom for convenience and portablilty then just save up for better quality shotgun/pre/recorder. Ditch the NTG-2

  • If we're just talking about the input levels and stuff, though, the problem is hardly the NTG-2; it's clearly about the input capacity of the H4n, love it or hate it (for other reasons). Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 14:08

I have an NTG2 and an H4N. I have never had problems with it being overly quiet. I have noticed a new battery in the NTG2 tends to give it some life. What are you recording specifically? If you're trying to do quiet foley then yeah the whole rig is going to have it's limitations due the preamps and microphone.


@Bala This video should help you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRNd9DT0_is

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