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I'm not very familiar with sound engineering, so this may be a stupid question!

I use a Zoom H5 for video production work. I plug microphones into the H5, and then plug the Line Out from it into the Mic In on my camera (Canon 600D).

My problem is that the camera amplifies the signal that I send out from the H5, meaning that the audio peaks in the camera much lower than the recorder. The H5 also has a headphone monitoring jack, with its own volume control.

Basically, would there be any downsides in using the audio from the headphone jack to feed into the camera (with the volume turned down), and using the Line Out jack for audio headphone monitoring?

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It's not a good idea, because the levels on both the line output and the headphone output are much too high for the camera mic input. If you were to turn the volume down on the headphone output, you'd probably end up with a lot of noise on the camera recording.

What you really need here is a line-mic attenuator cable. This is a cable (or adapter) that reduces the level coming out of the line input so that it's suitable for a mic input.

For example:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/746651-REG/Sescom_LN2MIC_ZOOMH4N_6_LN2MIC_ZMH4N_6_Line_to.html

These can be purchased from a lot of sources.. I'm sure you could find one for much less money.. and that's fine. As long as it has 1/8 inch stereo input and output, and at least 25-35dB of attenuation, it should work for you.

Then you would just want to adjust the input level on the camera so that when you are getting maximum acceptable level on the recorder, you are also getting maximum acceptable level on the camera. Now you don't have to touch the camera input level at all.. just make sure it's right on the recorder and it'll be right on both. And you'll be able to use the headphone jack as normal.

  • I am new to Zoom H5 but if I am not mistaken Zoom has means to attenuate the output, so you don't need that attenuation cable. see here – SpaceDog Feb 21 '18 at 23:34
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The H5 has an option to have the DB cut down from the line out out to the Camera, you can find this in the manual or on the Zoom YouTube channel for the H5

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