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Author Topic: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3  (Read 36931 times)

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Offline Cobiwan

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #165 on: January 14, 2019, 05:01:55 PM »
I just picked up an F8 and have a couple of questions since I haven't taken it out in the field yet. First, can someone explain the difference between Poly Wav and Mono/Stereo Wav? Which one is better for our live recording applications. Second, I generally run 4-6 channels and gang the pairs on my 680 for easier trim control while recording, doing my post work in Audacity. What is the difference between stereo linking pairs versus ganging pairs for trim control? Thanks for the help.
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Mics:
2 matched pairs of Oktava MK-012 MSP6 with Bill Sitler mod + cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omni capsules
Church Audio CA-14 omni/UBB
Sonic Studios DSM-6S
Recorders:
Tascam HD-P2, Tascam DR-680, Zoom F-8
Cables:
Gakables XLR, S/PDIF, battery and umbrella, DigiGal AES > S/PDIF, Darktrain hot swap battery

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Offline heathen

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #166 on: January 14, 2019, 05:46:12 PM »
I just picked up an F8 and have a couple of questions since I haven't taken it out in the field yet. First, can someone explain the difference between Poly Wav and Mono/Stereo Wav? Which one is better for our live recording applications. Second, I generally run 4-6 channels and gang the pairs on my 680 for easier trim control while recording, doing my post work in Audacity. What is the difference between stereo linking pairs versus ganging pairs for trim control? Thanks for the help.

When you stereo link channels, it automatically makes one of them the left and the other the right (for example, if you stereo link 1/2 it makes 1 the left and 2 the right).  Note that you can stereo link without diving into any menus (again using 1/2 as an example, while pressing track key 1 on the face of the unit, press track key 2).  For trim link, you can group as many tracks as you want and it doesn't impact which are assigned left, right, or mono.

I do poly wav because then I can just open the one file into Audacity, and then mess with individual tracks from there.  Poly wav puts all your tracks in one file.  So, for example, if you're recording using tracks 1-4, you'll get one wav file.  When you open that wav file, you'll see each of the individual tracks.  Note that the more tracks you're recording to a poly wav, the sooner you'll hit the 2 GB file split (you don't lose any music, obviously).  If you do mono/stereo "A single mono file is created for each mono track and a single stereo file is created for each stereo track."  Which is better for what we do is a question I can't answer...I started with poly and haven't seen a reason to change.

Note that if you have free channels you can engage dual channel record to make "safety" tracks.  Also note that the F8 has pre-record, which I find handy.  You may already know about these, but I figured I'd throw them out there.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Cobiwan

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #167 on: January 14, 2019, 06:06:26 PM »
Thank you for the explanation. That was extremely helpful. I haven't gone through all of the F8 threads yet and am wondering if it's possible to gang pairs for trim control, like a 680, or do you have to adjust gain on each track individually. If 1 and 2 are stereo linked, can you use one knob, say channel 1, to adjust levels for both channels?

****Edit****
I found the trim link function. So I am assuming that I can link 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, and 7&8 and control gain for each pair, or assign all 8 together if I wanted. Need to do some more playing around with it before taking it out in the field.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 06:39:56 PM by Cobiwan »
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Mics:
2 matched pairs of Oktava MK-012 MSP6 with Bill Sitler mod + cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omni capsules
Church Audio CA-14 omni/UBB
Sonic Studios DSM-6S
Recorders:
Tascam HD-P2, Tascam DR-680, Zoom F-8
Cables:
Gakables XLR, S/PDIF, battery and umbrella, DigiGal AES > S/PDIF, Darktrain hot swap battery

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Offline heathen

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #168 on: January 14, 2019, 07:15:27 PM »
Thank you for the explanation. That was extremely helpful. I haven't gone through all of the F8 threads yet and am wondering if it's possible to gang pairs for trim control, like a 680, or do you have to adjust gain on each track individually. If 1 and 2 are stereo linked, can you use one knob, say channel 1, to adjust levels for both channels?

****Edit****
I found the trim link function. So I am assuming that I can link 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, and 7&8 and control gain for each pair, or assign all 8 together if I wanted. Need to do some more playing around with it before taking it out in the field.

You can definitely link 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8 and then you'd control the levels of each by just using the 1, 3, 5, and 7 knobs.  That's what I do (other than when I'm running the ambisonic mic).  I've never tried to group the channels otherwise, so I'm not sure about the answer to that.  I prefer to keep my stereo pairs linked, rather than adjusting the level of each mic individually, so that's how I set it up originally and I haven't changed that.  I'd say mess around with it at home...you could always reset the settings if find yourself way down a rabbit hole with no way out :)
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #169 on: January 14, 2019, 07:53:12 PM »
Unlike the 680 you can gang any combination of channels (they needn't be adjacent channel numbers like on the 680), adjusting trim for all using the lowest numbered channel in the group.

But the 680 makes it faster and easier to un-gang channels to modify the relative input balances between channels when necessary, re-ganging quickly again for global control, as no menu diving is required.  Its also much faster to make and break multiple groups.  680 wins out in this regard for me as I never need non-sequential channels ganged, but I typically balance each channel against each other in a stereo pair, then gang channels in pairs to balance each pair against each other, then gang all channels for global control.

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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Cobiwan

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #170 on: January 14, 2019, 09:22:31 PM »
I'm on F8 thread 2 now and have not come across the answer yet. With all the updates with Firmware over the years, can TRS/line in carry phantom power now or not? Thanks for your help.
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Mics:
2 matched pairs of Oktava MK-012 MSP6 with Bill Sitler mod + cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omni capsules
Church Audio CA-14 omni/UBB
Sonic Studios DSM-6S
Recorders:
Tascam HD-P2, Tascam DR-680, Zoom F-8
Cables:
Gakables XLR, S/PDIF, battery and umbrella, DigiGal AES > S/PDIF, Darktrain hot swap battery

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Offline Cobiwan

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #171 on: January 14, 2019, 10:42:18 PM »
So after getting through all 3 F8 threads, it looks like it can supply phantom power via either XLR or TRS connects but the difference is in input levels? XLR running much hotter than TRS? I just want to make sure phantom can be supplied regardless of the input type. Guess maybe I should bust out some gear and try it out for myself
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 12:04:07 AM by Cobiwan »
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Mics:
2 matched pairs of Oktava MK-012 MSP6 with Bill Sitler mod + cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omni capsules
Church Audio CA-14 omni/UBB
Sonic Studios DSM-6S
Recorders:
Tascam HD-P2, Tascam DR-680, Zoom F-8
Cables:
Gakables XLR, S/PDIF, battery and umbrella, DigiGal AES > S/PDIF, Darktrain hot swap battery

Member of DiGiHoArDeRs

Offline EmRR

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #172 on: January 14, 2019, 10:52:53 PM »
Did a speed read, didn't see anything: 

Has anyone used this in 'interface' mode? 
With a Mac? 
In aggregate device mode, combining several different interfaces into a parallel input path? 

Love to hear any experiences. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline Cobiwan

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #173 on: January 15, 2019, 12:04:44 AM »
After hooking up my mics, I couldn't get TRS inputs to get phantom power. Am I doing something wrong, or am I correct in that only XLR inputs can receive phantom?
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Mics:
2 matched pairs of Oktava MK-012 MSP6 with Bill Sitler mod + cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omni capsules
Church Audio CA-14 omni/UBB
Sonic Studios DSM-6S
Recorders:
Tascam HD-P2, Tascam DR-680, Zoom F-8
Cables:
Gakables XLR, S/PDIF, battery and umbrella, DigiGal AES > S/PDIF, Darktrain hot swap battery

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Offline heathen

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #174 on: January 15, 2019, 12:08:37 AM »
I seem to remember that it can't provide phantom to TRS, but the F8n can.  Don't quote me on that though.


I've used the F8 as a USB interface a little bit.  See my eight channel bit bucket thread.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Cobiwan

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #175 on: January 15, 2019, 12:13:01 AM »
I seem to remember that it can't provide phantom to TRS, but the F8n can.  Don't quote me on that though.


I've used the F8 as a USB interface a little bit.  See my eight channel bit bucket thread.

Thanks for the reply. I checked it all multiple times and just wanted to make sure it wasn't possible. Not a big deal but just wanted to know the limitations of the recorder's inputs.
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Mics:
2 matched pairs of Oktava MK-012 MSP6 with Bill Sitler mod + cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omni capsules
Church Audio CA-14 omni/UBB
Sonic Studios DSM-6S
Recorders:
Tascam HD-P2, Tascam DR-680, Zoom F-8
Cables:
Gakables XLR, S/PDIF, battery and umbrella, DigiGal AES > S/PDIF, Darktrain hot swap battery

Member of DiGiHoArDeRs

Offline EmRR

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #176 on: January 15, 2019, 12:18:53 AM »
I've used the F8 as a USB interface a little bit.  See my eight channel bit bucket thread.

Thanks for the reminder, I had seen that and missed the F8 part. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #177 on: January 15, 2019, 01:44:50 PM »
I seem to remember that it can't provide phantom to TRS, but the F8n can.  Don't quote me on that though.

Thanks for the reply. I checked it all multiple times and just wanted to make sure it wasn't possible. Not a big deal but just wanted to know the limitations of the recorder's inputs.

^I've  been intending to search for this, as it is a big deal for me. +10dB minimum input trim gain through the XLR mic-inputs is overly hot for some material given the sensitivity of my microphones.  I've assumed that if necessary I could switch to the TRS-inputs to achieve line-level sensitivity while retaining phantom powering.  That would be rather inconvenient in requiring adapters, yet doable.  However, if phantom powering is not possible via the TRS inputs this is a deal killer. 

This was not an issue on my first outing with this recorder a week and a half ago, setup by the board in a rather nice small club, although I did notice that I didn't have a whole lot of trim range left.  Afterwards I updated to the latest firmware which includes "advanced limiter mode", among other updates. 

Then, last friday I was running onstage just in front of a drum kit and was clipped a few channels at times even though the input trims were all the way down.   At the conclusion of the first set I realized this and engaged the advanced limiter across all channels.  This worked, but I do not want to have to rely on limiting in such cases. 

I'll certainly check this to confirm.  I'll also search for confirmation that the newer F8n will still provide phantom through the XLRs when input sensitivity has been switched to line-level if I switch to that recorder to solve the issue.

[edit- Zoom's F8n vs F8 Comparison Chart PDF seems to indicate that F8n will provide phantom through the XLRs when switched to line-level input.  The chart doesn't indicate phantom is available over the TRS inputs for either model, although it does not specifically indicate that it is not]
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 01:56:15 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #178 on: January 15, 2019, 02:28:27 PM »
Anyone have insight into the workings of the Advanced Limiter? 

The standard limiter is familiar, with 20:1 ratio and user selectable threshold, knee, attack and release controls.

The manual states the following with regards to the Advanced limiter:
By detecting the maximum level in advance, this optimized
limiter prevents distortion even more than ordinary limiter
operation. The ratio is ∞:1, providing increased internal
headroom.

When set to On (Advanced), the input latency of the
increases 1 ms.


So it appears to be a "look ahead" limiter with a look ahead range of up to ~1ms.  The only user settings are on/off and Target Level.  It would seem that "target level" indicates a not-to-exceed ceiling (brickwall limiter) rather than an activation threshold, which the drawings on page 84 of the manual seem to confirm. 

Questions:
If Target Level is a brickwall ceiling, of what use is setting that to anything less than 0dBFS? (available user selectable value is from -16 to 0dBFS)
What is the effective threshold?  Is it variable?
What is the effective ratio? Is it variable?  Perhaps increasing above the effective threshold to ∞:1 at Target Level?
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline EmRR

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #179 on: January 15, 2019, 02:57:56 PM »
Yeah I take it to be a  "look ahead" brickwall limiter.  I suppose the variable target level allows -1 setting in case of any stray overshoot, or for gainstaging a mix at lower levels with active transient limiting.  That would make sense combined with the automixer for webcasting meetings. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

 

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