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Connect Aux output from Sig 10 to Zoom H2?

What connector from the Aux 1 of the Signature 10 mixer to a Zoom H2 recorder?
I read in the manual that it is a balanced 1/4" TRS connector in the Aux output...
The Zoom H2 ought to take analog input straight from the board, but I haven't figured
out my mistake yet.

The H2 has a 3.5 mm stereo jack. It is intended for a stereo mic.
The specs in the manual read:
"Line/mic stereo mini-jack can supply plug-in power.
2 k-ohm impedance at input levels of 0 to -39 dBm"

I tried a mono plug with the mono signal split to the stereo mini-jack.
I got a bad hum. Perhaps I have wired it wrong...
I don't understand how to wire a TRS output to to a stereo mini-jack input, obviously.
Do I have to wire two mono jacks to the stereo mini and take output from both Aux 1 and 2?

The Zoom recorder does not take USB input.
(I am also soliciting suggestions for a portable recorder that will take USB output from
the Signature 10. I don't want to drag the computer around... there ought to be a machine.
That's a separate issue. The Zoom H2 has been pretty good for recording direct from its
internal mic, but i want to record from the mixing board.)

Thanks a lot for any advice, my friends.

Best Answers

  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14
    Accepted Answer

    SOLVED: The noise was coming from the usb power plug on the mixer, which it appears has some fault in the shielding or wiring. When I powered the Zoom H2n from an AC > USB adapter plug in the multibox, the noise went away. I will test it live tomorrow night, but I think I have it. No fault to the Zoom, and little fault to the Sig 10 since the USB power port is a minor accessory, which works just fine when everybody and his brother plugs a cell phone into it during a gig.

  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14
    Accepted Answer

    Further experiments led to the accidental discovery that the noise was generated by using the USB power plug on the Signature 10 to power the Zoom H2n. Once I powered the Zoom from an AC > USB converter plugged into the multibox, the noise went away and I had a clean signal. Hoping that this is really it with no further glitches. Something is not shielded correctly in the USB power circuit on either the Sig 10 or the Zoom, but probably the Zoom. The Sig 10's USB power works fine, for instance, when used to power a Zoom A3 piezo preamp and signal processor, and since we didn't have an issue with that for several years of daily use, it didn't occur to me at all that the Zoom H2n might have any issue with the USB. I just happened to be testing another device, an old laptop, while the Zoom was still plugged into the Sig 10's USB power, and I could hear the noise through the earphones on the laptop.

    That is not completely the end of the story. The Aux outs on the Signature 10, according to the manual, are TRS balanced outs. Yet, no balanced cable that I have wired up in my several experiments has worked. At present, I am getting a stereo signal using standard off-the shelf adapters: a 1/4" mono TS male phone jack goes into each of Aux 1 and Aux 2, each of these is an adapter to a single RCA jack, and into the two adapters I plug a standard Radio Shack RCA stereo cable which has a stereo 3.5 mini-plug prewired on the other end, which goes into the input on the Zoom. I am not completely clear why this works and the balanced cable doesn't. I spent quite a while on the Shure website studying wiring diagrams for XLR, RCA and 3.5 mini plugs and how to wire one to the other. Anyway, it seems to be working now, and if you don't hear anything more from me, then it's solved.

    The support tech who helped me turned up a video of a guy who had a problem with the Zoom H2n with another mixer, but the sound artefacts he was getting were different than mine, and it was another mixer. His solution was to get an attenuator to put inline on the input cable. I have not yet tried this, but I think at this writing that I don't need to, the immediate problem being apparently solved, unless I discover more issues.

  • HARMAN_TderHARMAN_Tder Posts: 184
    Accepted Answer

    Definitely an issue with the wiring that said... I would suspect that you also would have some impedance and level matching issues as well. You would like still have a signal with this but it wouldn't sound very good. Let me do a bit of research and i'll get back to you.


  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14

    I will add that I have successfully used the aux 1 output a number of times to send a signal to a wireless transmitter to remote speakers. I can't remember at this moment how I wired the connection, because I haven't
    been gigging for most of the last year and the wireless transmitter is in storage, but there was no problem with the wired connection, other than the usual skips in the wireless transmission itself.

  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14

    I tried wiring up another connector - balanced phone jack to stereo 3.5 - using specs that I adduced from info on the Shure website - and it doesn't work either... I have a support ticket open with Soundcraft and have high hopes for some better info. However! It appears that the fault lies with the Zoom H2: a machine to fill the role I am asking of it should have separate balanced inputs for both channels, and that would solve the problem there.
    Considering the little activity on this board, and that most musicians have moved on to the multitrack mixers, I have little hope of any help here, but thanks all the same to anyone who reads this and has a helpful comment.


  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14

    Thanks Harman_Tder! I have resolved the issue, which was not with the wiring of the signal connection at all.
    The noise was coming from the USB power connection on the Signature 10 mixer, which I was using to power the Zoom H2n. This afternoon I did another definitive test and was able to record a clean signal to the Zoom Hn2
    after powering it from an AC-to-USB power converter. The signal wiring this time was with two mono jacks coming from both Aux 1 and Aux 2, connected to a stereo RCA cable and then to a 3.5 mm stereo mini plug. Why this works I am not sure, but it is working, and tomorrow I do another live test.

    The fault with the USB noise cannot be blamed on either Zoom or Soundcraft exactly. Another Zoom box, the A2 piezo preamp and signal processor, has worked well for several years in the past powered from that same USB power plug on the mixer, with nary a whisper. Right now I'm using a different box, the BBE Acoustimax, and that frees up the USB plug. There is some leakage or ground loop which occurs when the Zoom H2n, but not the Zoom A2, is plugged into that USB power.

    Anyway, I am doing another live test tomorrow and will report my results.

  • HARMAN_TderHARMAN_Tder Posts: 184

    Glad to hear... The right answer is for a stereo input/1/8' Stereo mini jack to be fed from the two Auxes on the Signature. Some of the issues you had with no signal were certainly from wiring errors.

    Theoretically you might also have an issue from and the +4 ouput level of the mixer and -10dB input of the Zoom. In a perfect world you shoudl really be looking fora level matching box like the Whirlwind LM2U http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/black-boxes-effects-and-dis/specialty-interface-solutions/lm2u-and-lm2b

    However if it seems to be working and sounds good enough for you then don't worry about.

  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14

    Thanks for the solution for the level matching. This puts the last piece in place. I am not going to have that particular magic box for my live test later this morning, and will find out how big that problem is later when I go to edit the tracks - I haven't gotten that far yet, one obstacle at a time. Thanks for your help!

  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14

    Is that Whirlwind LM2U box a Harman product?

  • HARMAN_TderHARMAN_Tder Posts: 184

    Nope- Whirlwind is an indpendent cable and direct box etc.. company with no affiliation to Harman.

    @jack_cat said:
    Is that Whirlwind LM2U box a Harman product?

  • jack_catjack_cat Posts: 14

    All the same, the LM2U or similar processor going to cost $100 - $200 USD,
    and for that amount I would do better to upgrade the Zoom H2n,
    because there are now several new model portable digital recorders
    in that price range and functional niche that have balanced XLR inputs.
    I was almost ready to buy one the other day.

    I did an extensive live band recording and video yesterday and the sound that the Zoom H2n
    is getting, taken directly from the board, is far cleaner than the sound coming from the
    mic on the separate video camera (a relic also). I have some things to work out with
    getting the fattest signal the next time, I couldn't really tell how much headroom
    I was leaving on the little tiny Zoom screen. But what I have from yesterday is good
    enough to work with for present purposes. In principle the thing is solved.
    I would like to also thank the Harman tech V. who helped out with advice by email.

    Thanks a lot.

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