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Author Topic: Zoom F2 for board feeds - will PiP damage the soundboard?  (Read 1027 times)

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Offline Chanher

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Zoom F2 for board feeds - will PiP damage the soundboard?
« on: October 09, 2023, 12:41:15 PM »
So I snagged a used Zoom F2 for board feeds- so often the soundguy is running mono so I figured the F2 is perfect- but I was reading more about it and discovered that the 2.5v PiP CANNOT be shut off. I've read on here before about all modern soundboards should have a safeguard against this, but can anyone speak definitively that the 2.5v coming out of the F2 1/8 jack will NOT damage anyone's pro or consumer level soundboard? Fyi, I routinely accept mono XLR, 1/4, and RCA soundboard feeds (plus the rare headphone 1/8 feed). The last thing I would ever want to do is jeopardize someone's equipment.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Zoom F2 for board feeds - will PiP damage the soundboard?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2023, 02:06:39 PM »
So I snagged a used Zoom F2 for board feeds- so often the soundguy is running mono so I figured the F2 is perfect- but I was reading more about it and discovered that the 2.5v PiP CANNOT be shut off. I've read on here before about all modern soundboards should have a safeguard against this, but can anyone speak definitively that the 2.5v coming out of the F2 1/8 jack will NOT damage anyone's pro or consumer level soundboard? Fyi, I routinely accept mono XLR, 1/4, and RCA soundboard feeds (plus the rare headphone 1/8 feed). The last thing I would ever want to do is jeopardize someone's equipment.

You cannot be 100% sure that plug in power being received by an output will not have problems. Most gear will have DC blocking capacitors on the outputs but there's really no way to roll up to the FOH and find out without testing it. It's unlikely that someone's board is going to get smoked from 2.5V PIP into an output but it's not worth it find out. Some gear will have outputs that are tied via DC to the summing or aux busses, meters or other parts of the circuit and DC voltage may not get blocked by the blocking capacitors present on the inputs.

Here's an article from Sound On Sound that has a couple different scenarios where this could be an issue - https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17114 - it's kinda old but a lot of this same gear they describe is still in use today.

You can build a cable with blocking capacitors if you are dead set on using it. Shouldn't be that hard. There may be something off the shelf or Soundpros could maybe build something custom.
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Offline Chanher

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Re: Zoom F2 for board feeds - will PiP damage the soundboard?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2023, 02:44:21 PM »
That’s an excellent article on the subject, thanks for the link.

To summarize, while most modern equipment has DC blocking capacitors built in for the “important” parts, it simply depends on the design and which parts have them. There’s plenty of instances of meters and such being disrupted etc while PiP is (wrongfully) being sent to them and there’s always the possibility of noise being introduced to other parts of the board. Even if the risk of damaging equipment is relatively low (I still wouldn’t want to risk it), the mere possibility of disrupting features or adding noise also makes it not worth the risk.

I’m going to look into either buying or building a cable with DC blocking capacitors, or just scrapping the idea.

Fortunately I bought this to also record our older relatives when they talk about family history etc and this should be perfect for that; obviously stereo recordings or directly mic’ing them is preferred but some of our older  relatives are shy and prefer not to be filmed and such so a discrete mic when they are telling family stories is ideal.
Line Audio CM4 / AT853Rx (c,h) / Studio Projects C4 MKII (c,h,o)
Sound Devices MP-2 / bm2p+ Edirol UA-5
Zoom F3 / F6 / Marantz Oade Warm Mod PMD661 / Tascam DR-70D

 

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