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Author Topic: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3  (Read 9278 times)

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Offline goodcooker

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Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« on: September 20, 2016, 02:40:00 PM »
The second thread is out to 27 pages so...


Zoom F8 thread part 1
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=172643.0

Part 2
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=175697.0

In depth review of Zoom F8 by tonedeaf
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=175264.0

Product page from Zoom with marketing speak and links to additional info
https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/handy-recorder/zoom-f8-multitrack-field-recorder

You can download the Zoom F8 Firmware v2.00 here: https://zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-f8-multitrack-field-recorder#downloads



Features at a glance -

 •8-channel/10-track field audio recorder/mixer
 •8 discrete inputs with locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors
 •Compact and lightweight aluminum chassis, weighing just 2 pounds (without batteries)
 •High quality mic preamps with up to 75 dB gain, less than -127 dBu EIN, and +4 dB line inputs
 •Support for up to 24-bit/192 kHz recording as well as 96 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 48 kHz, and 44.1 kHz, plus 47.952 kHz/48.048 kHz for HD video compatibility; 16-/24-bit resolution
 •Accurate Time Code (0.2 ppm) I/O on standard BNC connectors; dropframe/non-drop formats with Jam Sync
 •Three different power supply options: 8x AA batteries, external DC battery pack with Hirose connector, or 12V AC adapter (AA’s and DC battery pack not included)
 •Automatic switching of power source from DC to batteries at user-defined voltage levels
 •Dedicated gain control knob, 6-segment LED level meter, and PFL/Solo switch for each channel
 •Phantom power (+48V/+24V) on every input
 •Advanced onboard limiters for input and output
 •High pass filter, phase invert, and Mid-Side decoder
 •Input delay of up to 30 msec per channel / output delay of up to 10 frames per output
 •Compatible with Zoom microphone capsules; optional extender cable enables remote positioning
 •Dual mini-XLR (TA3) balanced Main Outs plus ⅛" stereo mini-jack Sub Out
 •Dedicated headphone output (100mW) with front panel volume control
 •2.4" full-color backlit LCD with monochrome mode
 •Dedicated PFL display with viewable trim settings
 •Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots, up to 512 GB each
 •Records in BWF-compliant WAV or MP3 file formats
 •Support for extensive metadata (BWF and iXML); input time, date, project, scene number, etc.
 •Built-in slate mic/slate tone with front panel switch
 •Built-in tripod mount; camera mount adapter also included
 •Use as an 8-in/4-out USB audio interface (@ 96 kHz)
 •Free Zoom F8 Control App for iOS allows wireless remote control, file renaming, and metadata entry


Firmware 2.0 update

1.   Added Trim Knob option that enables adjusting fader/pan settings with input trim knobs.
2.   Added the function of moving the previously recorded take to the new FALSE TAKE folder.
3.   Expanded Function Shortcuts as well as Shortcut List Menu.
4.   Added the function of selecting alphabet letters for the scene number.
5.   Added Trim Link function for adjusting the input levels of multiple tracks simultaneously.
6.   Added the function of editing track name in Meta data.
7.   Added the function of showing track names on the level meters.
8.   Added the function that enables selecting “Scene_***” for the format of take name.
9.   Added the function of adjusting L/R track volume.
10.   Added SOLO function that enables monitoring signals of specific tracks only during playback.
11.   Added sound report function for exporting CSV format file including recorded take information, etc.
12.   Changed the location of Next Take menu on MENU>REC>Next Take to MENU>META DATA (for next take).
13.   Added the function of applying edits of the selected card to the other card when two SD cards are inserted.
14.   Changed the track order of Poly WAV recorded files from Tr1, Tr2, …, Tr8, L, R to L, R, Tr1, Tr2, …, Tr8.

You can download the Zoom F8 Firmware v2.00 here: https://zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-f8-multitrack-field-recorder#downloads
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 02:42:56 PM »
Still haven't pulled the trigger on one of these yet but I am still interested. Mainly for the track count, preamp sound and remote control.

Most of my taping opportunities are 4 tracks or less so a deck like this would be sort of overkill for me but I see myself getting one this year.
MK41 > PFA > Aerco MP2/RAD MS2 > DR60d/DR2d
MBHO KA300 > Naiant PFA > SD MixPre6 (currently under construction)

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/goodcooker

"Are you the Zman?" - fan at Panic 10-08-10 Kansas City

"I don't know who left this perfectly good inflatable wook doll here, but if I'm blowing her up, I'm keeping her." -  hoppedup

Offline robin746

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 03:11:01 PM »
If you read back through the Audio stream on my blog, I have quite a few articles now on the F8. A bit late for early adopters, but then again I am not one!

In particular I cover powering options in some detail. I also have a list of firmware suggestions and a list of improvements that could come with a new F8 Pro model. (This has been noted by Zoom themselves, and so... fingers are crossed.)

Check it out:
http://www.theatreofnoise.com/search/label/audio
Theatre of Noise contains info on recorders and mics. Plus rants about film, observations on politics, and other stuff.

Offline IronFilm

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 08:35:19 PM »
Most of my taping opportunities are 4 tracks or less so a deck like this would be sort of overkill for me but I see myself getting one this year.

Then the cheaper Zoom F4 is right for you?

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 11:04:47 PM »
Most of my taping opportunities are 4 tracks or less so a deck like this would be sort of overkill for me but I see myself getting one this year.

Then the cheaper Zoom F4 is right for you?

Not at all really. Why plunk down 650 for a four channel deck when I can do basically the same functions with my current $150 four channel recorder. For another $350 you get a color screen, twice the channels and remote operation. I plan to wire up an 8 channel insert snake and make a few bucks doing multitrack live recordings for the locals...you know for spare change and a few drinks and whatnot.
MK41 > PFA > Aerco MP2/RAD MS2 > DR60d/DR2d
MBHO KA300 > Naiant PFA > SD MixPre6 (currently under construction)

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/goodcooker

"Are you the Zman?" - fan at Panic 10-08-10 Kansas City

"I don't know who left this perfectly good inflatable wook doll here, but if I'm blowing her up, I'm keeping her." -  hoppedup

stevetoney

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 11:26:46 PM »
For what it costs and with its small form factor I kinda think of the extra channels as bonus channels rather than overkill channels. Semantics perhaps but not really.  :hmmm:

Offline robin746

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2016, 10:18:14 AM »
The value proposition will be different for everyone. Had the F4 been released first, I would no doubt have bought it instead, since the savings are significant. I don't need to mix on the recorder and don't own anything with the Apple name on it, so the Bluetooth app connectivity is useless... to me. Most of the time 4 channels is plenty, and the improved physical interface would be very welcome.

All depends, really, on what you need a recorder for.
Theatre of Noise contains info on recorders and mics. Plus rants about film, observations on politics, and other stuff.

Offline spyder9

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 10:40:34 AM »
How's does this thing compare to a R-44, sound-wise?

Offline mepaca

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2016, 11:53:49 AM »
How's does this thing compare to a R-44, sound-wise?
My F8 preamps are much cleaner and quieter than my r-44. No comparison really.

Offline robin746

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2016, 01:38:16 PM »
The R-44 always had quite poor pre-amps. EIN is measured at -113 dBu (A weighted). Zoom F4/F8 are measured at -127 dBu.

Zoom needs to be compared to Sound Devices, Zaxcom, Sonosax, and Nagra. Unfortunately I don't have the resources myself to do that. Anyone?
Theatre of Noise contains info on recorders and mics. Plus rants about film, observations on politics, and other stuff.

Offline dogmusic

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Offline robin746

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2016, 07:41:55 PM »
To save people the bother of clicking through, that discussion is about the following comparison, originally in German, here translated. You'll need to check out the German page for the embedded sounds.

Stephan Lembke concludes:

"As hoped, the sound difference between the Zoom F8 and the Sound Devices 722 is quite marginal and aspects such as the choice of microphones and their placement have a bigger factor for the final result sound recording."
Theatre of Noise contains info on recorders and mics. Plus rants about film, observations on politics, and other stuff.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2016, 08:51:26 PM »
To save people the bother of clicking through, that discussion is about the following comparison, originally in German, here translated. You'll need to check out the German page for the embedded sounds.

Stephan Lembke concludes:

"As hoped, the sound difference between the Zoom F8 and the Sound Devices 722 is quite marginal and aspects such as the choice of microphones and their placement have a bigger factor for the final result sound recording."

The film / TV sound tests like one you linked can be fun, but don't give those of us who record music much to go on.  I'm waiting for someone to do a true comparison like you're suggesting in an actual concert situation, using a matched pair of mics and in [gasp!] stereo.  Why is it that mic manufacturers always put out lots of music samples, but you almost never see that with recorders, even at the professional level?  Maybe it's because of the bold part of your quote above.
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Offline robin746

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2016, 06:52:41 AM »
The film / TV sound tests like one you linked can be fun, but don't give those of us who record music much to go on.  I'm waiting for someone to do a true comparison like you're suggesting in an actual concert situation, using a matched pair of mics and in [gasp!] stereo.  Why is it that mic manufacturers always put out lots of music samples, but you almost never see that with recorders, even at the professional level?  Maybe it's because of the bold part of your quote above.

Your point is well taken; sample music recordings would be useful. Since that is not my area, I will have to pass on to other readers.

But music is relatively easy to record and is a lot more forgiving than trying to capture nature sounds, ambiance, and so on. For one thing, music can tell us nothing about the self-noise of a microphone or recorder, since that is well masked. For another, the quality of a music recording is determined largely by the quality of the music. Our natural tendency to judge that first -- on aesthetics, performance, and so on. So sometimes even poor fidelity concert recordings are lauded.

This is why even professionals were happy using previous generation hand-held recorders which would be completely unusable for my applications. But for dialogue, music etc. they were adequate.

Finally, a point of fact: the recordings linked to are certainly in stereo. The author used a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040 mics in ORTF configuration. In fact, it seems he had two pairs, one for each recorder. Not many people have four 8040s on hand!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 06:54:14 AM by robin746 »
Theatre of Noise contains info on recorders and mics. Plus rants about film, observations on politics, and other stuff.

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2016, 07:05:16 AM »

Not many people have four 8040s on hand!


Lots of members here have multiple pairs of high end microphones.
MK41 > PFA > Aerco MP2/RAD MS2 > DR60d/DR2d
MBHO KA300 > Naiant PFA > SD MixPre6 (currently under construction)

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/goodcooker

"Are you the Zman?" - fan at Panic 10-08-10 Kansas City

"I don't know who left this perfectly good inflatable wook doll here, but if I'm blowing her up, I'm keeping her." -  hoppedup

 

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