H6 Line Out Mini Jack Developed Loud Short Sound

Discuss the Zoom H6, H5, H4, H4n, H2, H2n, and H1. Please don't "post and run". Participate in the discussion. Thanks.
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H6 Line Out Mini Jack Developed Loud Short Sound

Post by Coupe633 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:36 pm

I have been using my H6 to record audio to my camera for over 4 years flawlessly, but now it has developed noise from the Line Out Mini Jack that sounds like a bad connection. I have the H6 plugged into a power stripe along with various other electronics including a Sony Video Camera. I have usually 4 lav mics connected to the H6 via XLR cables (all phantom power) and sending the audio to my camera using a stereo mini jack coming out of the H6 Line Out, splitting into two XLR's which go into the camera. I have changed no settings on the camera or the H6 but lately there is a very loud static or what sounds like a bad cable. I have replaced and tried multiple cables and still have the noise. If I jiggle the end of the cable where it enters the H6 (Line Out) there is a sweet spot that I have to work at to achieve where there is no static. It is as if inside the H6 where the mini enters there is a short or loose wire that if I can get the mini jack just right it works fine but I don't dare touch it anymore, otherwise the static comes back very loud and I only hear the static and no mic audio. I am monitoring the sound via my camera so I hear this coming into the camera but I don't see any affect on the H6 levels. The recorded audio on the H6 is not affected by this short so I get good audio on the H6 but the audio recorded to the camera gets the static. I have heard this same static or short sound when I have had a bad XLR Mic cable or bad mic with bad XLR jacks, which was caused by two wires touching in the XLR end. I suspect that where the mini Jack goes into the H6 something is bent or touching where it is not supposed to touch causing a short. At this point I cannot use my H6 because I can't spend the time to jiggle the mini jack enough to get clear sound but any movement will cause it to go static again. I could not find another example of this on this forum by searching so if anyone else has a remedy it would be greatly appreciated. My H6 is out of warranty I am sure so I would be up for opening it up but can't figure out how to get it apart even after removing the obvious screws. I had thought there could be some lint or other foreign object in the jack but would need to open it to inspect or clean it.
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Re: H6 Line Out Mini Jack Developed Loud Short Sound

Post by Wulfraed » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:48 am

More likely -- the strain of holding up the cable along with repeated insert/remove actions (I'm guessing you don't leave the camera/recorder connected full-time) has just worn out the contacts (which are also the spring that locks into the groove of the plug).

I'd probably just use the in-camera audio as a marker track, and post-process in video editing software to add the recorder track, align* it with the in-camera audio, and then delete the in-camera audio track before rendering the output file.

* Many years ago I ran a test -- I forget exactly which recorders I used, believe it was the H2 [not the H2n], BOSS BR-600, HD16 [don't recall if I also had the R16 at the time], the Marantz/SuperScope CD-recorder, along with a Canon Optima-40 and Canon XH-A1 video recorders.

I started all units recording, then did a hand-clap to mark the start. 30 minutes later I did another hand-clap to give a mark for the end, and shut down the units.

I pulled the camera files into (then Sony) Vegas Pro, and then imported the audio recorder tracks. After lining up the starting hand claps I scrolled to the ending point and zoomed in so I could get down to video frame level.

Both cameras were in alignment (not surprised -- video signals need more exacting timing that most audio signals). The SuperScope CD track was off by about three video frames (also not too surprising -- the unit is not considered consumer level gear, and part of the cost was to include capability to duplicate copy-protected CDs without having to go through a DAC [create audio] and ADC [recreate digital]). The BOSS and Zoom products were the least precise, the worst being up to 15 video frames off after 30 minutes. Don't recall which device was on which side, but BOSS was, as I recall, on one side, and the Zoom stuff was on the other side. Audio that ran short means the recorder has a slow clock (and hence did not record as many samples as it should have), conversely devices that run long have a fast clock and recorded more samples than it should have.

So proper syncing requires applying a stretch/compress algorithm. This does assume the recorder does not have a hysteresis wobble in the clock during the recording.
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Baron Wulfraed
IISS Elusive Unicorn (detached)

Superscope PSD-300; BOSS BR-600, Zoom HD16cd, Zoom R16, BOSS BR-800, Zoom H2n
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