hi everyone,

i'm currently using a sennheiser mkh-416 to record audio for an independent film.

the microphone is housed within a blimp, and is connected to a zoom h4n. i'm currently using the phantom power +48V, but the audio levels seem to be quite low... am i doing something wrong?

currently, i can think of two possibilities: 1. we are not placing the microphone in the correct location/distance from the actors. 2. the zoom h4n is not sufficient in powering the microphone, or there is a problem with the settings.

what are some of your thoughts? thanks for the help!

5 Answers 5


Ideally you should have your input gain set somewhere between 70-80 on the zoom for dialogue, there's a bit of a noise floor but that's the limitations of the gear. If your levels are still too low then it's likely you're not close enough to the action with your mic.
Make sure the mic is seated reasonably far forward in the blimp, I've found that when you're fighting the zoom's inherent noise every inch counts. And get your hands on a mixer when you can, running line level into the zoom gives you a lot more to play with.


Well the first and most obvious solution would be to move it closer, as you mentioned. The 48v will drain the zoom much faster, but i don't think that will affect the volume that soon. The other thing is to check your gain on the zoom. select the input with the mic on the front, and use the side volume buttons while in record mode to increase the gain.


What was your Distance? And what was your dB FS? And what was your inputgain?

That might help to give you an answer!

Moreover did you adjust the direction on the mouth?


alternately you could try another pre/recorder and see if it makes a diff. it's possible the gain isn't high enough for the 416


The zoom should be fine for powering the 416. I've used the zoom with my 418 (stereo shotgun)many times, with no problem level wise.

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