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Newbie needs help in recording audio from a mixer using zoom h1 portable recorder

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
There is a live music event happening in my locality. I need to capture the best possible audio.

I went to the location and got the permission as well as took a look at the their audio system.

They use this mixer (ahuja amx1412) : http://www.ahujaradios.com/Productdetail.asp?prd_id=79&id=3&sc_id=13

Bigger image >> http://www.ahujaradios.com/LargeView.asp?image=AMX-1412_L.jpg

I am really a newbie when it comes to recording audio. I have a zoom h1 with me with a pair of rca to stereo cables and 1/4inch to 1/8 inch y splitter cables.

I have never handled a mixer before, never done any dj stuff myself.

All i need is to get a clean feed from this mixer and put the feed into the zoom h1 line in port and record it.

Can some1 guide me how to go about doing the recording like which cables to use and where to put them. A marking on the image will be very helpful and appreciated smile.gif

I also need to know if i need to play around with the levels or anything or just put the cables in the mixer and zoom h1 and i m ready to go ???

I really don't want to mess it up - if there is any online tutorial or guide that i should read, i will b more than willing to do so.

The sound will b loud and i don't want it to clip or distort in the recording.

All replies will be appreciated. Cheers!
post #2 of 12
Quote:
I have never handled a mixer before, never done any dj stuff myself.

Are you going to be operating it? It's not a DJ mixer, so I wouldn't worry about that part.

You need to connect a line output from the mixer to a line input on your recorder, set levels and press record.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Are you going to be operating it? It's not a DJ mixer, so I wouldn't worry about that part.

You need to connect a line output from the mixer to a line input on your recorder, set levels and press record.

No - actually no one is going to operate it. Its pre-set. There are 4-5 mics and all are working at the same time and the sound from those mics is spread across the room through the wall speakers. I hope this makes sense.

Basically , the mics are there, the wall speakers are there and the mixer is there . Everything works just as is - so no one is at the mixer or controlling anything.

I just need to put rca or other cables to the mixer and put the other end of the cable to the 3.5mm line in port of my zoom h1 and hit the record button to record. Just not sure which ports i hv to use on the mixer, whether i need to manage sound levels or anything else. I js need stereo sound and dont want the sound to clip smile.gif
post #4 of 12
Is this mixer going to be mixing the music for the room, too? If so, there's really no way around having a human being at the mixer throughout to change relative volumes if necessary, if only becuase the setup (multiple mics with speakers surrounding them so you can't take advantage of the feedback rejection of typical cardioid microphones) sounds like a recipe for feedback.

Also, you can try to set recording levels ahead of time, but once musicians/singers are performing for real, they tend to play and sing louder than they did when you set levels, and it might be necessary to reduce the input level to the recorder midstream if you're overloading it.
post #5 of 12
On the right side of the mixer faceplate you will see two RCA jacks marked as REC. These are the recording outputs from the mixer. On this system, the output level at the record jacks is controlled by the same master level controls that handle the MAIN outputs to the power amplifier. The level at these jacks must NOT be adjusted by you if this is not your system. Chances are the level will be fine for you to patch into your recorder's LINE level input with no problem. You MUST use the LINE or AUX input jacks on your recorder. If the signal is too hot, adjust YOUR recorder's input level NOT the miser output.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
On the right side of the mixer faceplate you will see two RCA jacks marked as REC. These are the recording outputs from the mixer. On this system, the output level at the record jacks is controlled by the same master level controls that handle the MAIN outputs to the power amplifier. The level at these jacks must NOT be adjusted by you if this is not your system. Chances are the level will be fine for you to patch into your recorder's LINE level input with no problem. You MUST use the LINE or AUX input jacks on your recorder. If the signal is too hot, adjust YOUR recorder's input level NOT the miser output.

Thank you - that's exactly what i was looking for.

I found this image from the mixer's manual - can you confirm if the ports marked in red are the ones that i need to use. Do i need to adjust the knob below or no ?



I have this cable with me

My recorder (zoom h1) has a 3.5mm line input port.

So all i need to do is put the rca end of the above cord to the mixer's rec ports and connect the 3.5mm side into the zoom h1's line in port and i will be good to go ??

Also, do i plug in the cord in the rca rec ports directly while the mixer is on or should i turn off d mixer and then put in ??
Edited by techspark - 10/30/12 at 6:44am
post #7 of 12
The system is likely already adjusted for the best level feeding the mixer signal to the power amp for the room speakers. I suggest you do NOT touch the master volume pots at all.The signal feeding your recorder will likely be sufficient. You should run a couple test recordings with someone talking into the mic(s) the same way and level as they would during a show. If the lvel is too low or too hot you should be able to adjust the record IN gain on your recorder.

The RCA to stereo mini cable can be connected between the mixer output and your recorder's input while the system is on. It makes no difference.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you !!
I will do some tests tomorrow and let you know.

Also, does the quality of the rca cables and the length affect the quality?
post #9 of 12
The SQ is not an issue really. I always try to limit RCA cables to about 30 ft max. That distance is not locked in concrete but in the pro world we like short Hi-Z runs.

BTW, you can use extension cables if need be but I strongly advise you use some tape the secure all the male/female connections. If you use electrical tape, Don't use the cheap store brands; the glue comes off easy. The very best tape to use is Scotch (3M) # 33 found in any hardware store.

Glad to be of help.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you again!

So i have been recording for 2 days now and getting pretty good quality from the tape out ports although the sound is quite low and there is slight hiss (not audible if i increase the volume while playing back)

Is there any other port on the mixer that i can use other than the rca ports. I looked at the mixer more closely , other than tape out there is only one other pair of ports which is aux return - does this port output sound too that i can feed to my recorder ???

Regarding the cable, currently using a $1 rca to 3.5mm cable and its ok - maybe the cable is the culprit for the hiss sound. Planning to buy a 5m belkin cable.
post #11 of 12
The cable is fine. The hiss comes from the audio out of the mixer. Does your recorder have a level control for adjusting the INPUT during recording? If so, turn it up a little so you record a hotter signal.
The RETURN you mentioned is NOT an output. It is a INPUT from an external effects module like an equalizer, chorus modulator, echo systems etc. There should be a SEND jack close by but there are controls on the console to assign what channel is sent to that output and also a separate level adjust. Most mixers in the lower price range will have SEND/RETURN on the same jack. They are actually a stereo connection where the SEND (output) signal is the tip of the stereo plug and the return is the ring on the same plug. The sleeve is the common ground. For your purpose and MONO 1/4" phone cable to MINI should be used. The MONO plug will complete the loop from the SEND to the RETURN loop in the jack so the mixer will operate correctly and still feed the PA system.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

The cable is fine. The hiss comes from the audio out of the mixer. Does your recorder have a level control for adjusting the INPUT during recording? If so, turn it up a little so you record a hotter signal.
The RETURN you mentioned is NOT an output. It is a INPUT from an external effects module like an equalizer, chorus modulator, echo systems etc. There should be a SEND jack close by but there are controls on the console to assign what channel is sent to that output and also a separate level adjust. Most mixers in the lower price range will have SEND/RETURN on the same jack. They are actually a stereo connection where the SEND (output) signal is the tip of the stereo plug and the return is the ring on the same plug. The sleeve is the common ground. For your purpose and MONO 1/4" phone cable to MINI should be used. The MONO plug will complete the loop from the SEND to the RETURN loop in the jack so the mixer will operate correctly and still feed the PA system.

+1. Note also, as implied in Gizmologists's post, that if you use the aux sends to go to the recorder, the mix that goes to the recorder will be determined by the settings of the aux send control for each channel on the mixer, and not affected at all by the position of the sliders for the main mix of the individual mics, Aux out may be mono, too, which isn't necessarily the end of the world, but you'd need a Y cable to go from the aux out to both channels of your recorder.
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