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Author Topic: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3  (Read 2422 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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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."
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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 »
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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.
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2016, 07:55:24 AM »
If you want a true comparison wouldn't running a single pair of mics with a pair of XLR splitters afterwards in the 2 different recorders be a good enough comparison

I have done this before to compare pre amps and found it pretty easy to setup and provide good results.

As long as only one of the preamps/decks supplies phantom you should be good to go
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2016, 06:46:25 PM »
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.

While you may be right that as listeners we gravitate towards the quality of the performance first, I think you're grossly over-generalizing, especially in the bold sections above.

I have great respect for people like you who do ambient recording, but to say "music is relatively easy to record"... seriously???  Also, for the type of quiet acoustic music in quiet spaces that some of us do, self noise of a recorder and/or microphone can definitely come into play and be audible.  For your recordings you may need a recorder to have lower noise at high gain levels, but some of us record music that has very similar requirements.  It wasn't until I was able to get my current equipment that I've been somewhat satisfied with the gain vs noise.

Also I'm not sure what professional music recording engineers you know that use handheld recorders, but all of the ones I've encountered use Sound Devices, Nagra, JoeCo on location gigs - definitely not cheap handheld recorders.

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!

Thanks for the clarification - I wasn't commenting on the recordings on that German site, but all of the other demo videos I've seen of the F8 which are using a single lav or boom mic and was just expressing frustration that no one seems to think it's worthwhile to demonstrate how these units perform with music.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 07:01:04 PM by voltronic »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2016, 06:59:31 PM »
If you want a true comparison wouldn't running a single pair of mics with a pair of XLR splitters afterwards in the 2 different recorders be a good enough comparison

I have done this before to compare pre amps and found it pretty easy to setup and provide good results.

As long as only one of the preamps/decks supplies phantom you should be good to go

That's pretty much what I'm waiting for someone to do.  Either that or 4 matched mics, 2 identical arrays stacked directly on top as is done for mic shootouts.

Something I've wondered about for a while with a splitter setup is if having only one preamp supplying P48 could influence the comparison.  I'm thinking about if one unit had an iffy / off-spec phantom supply, or one that leaked noise into the signal path where you obviously wouldn't hear it when phantom was disabled.  I think I remember reading here that some of the older cheap Zoom handhelds had phantom issues, though I'm sure they have sorted that out on the F8.  My OCD self would want to run two takes, with a different deck supplying phantom for each take.
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2016, 08:30:54 PM »
I have only done this with high quality pre-amps that have adequate protection and provide solid 48v phantom


I know Mark Nutter of Sonic Sense also did this a lot back in the late 90's - early 00's when he ran comparisons of preamps and to experiment with various mic/pre-amp combos

Others have done this as well

« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 08:33:48 PM by H₂O »
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Offline pohaku

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2016, 11:10:13 PM »
Hey, does someone here have the email address for efksound3d who makes the extended knobs for the F8?  I don't see it on his Facebook page (of course I could have missed it) and I need it for PayPal.

Thanks!
Mics: akg c460 (ck61, ck63), c414buls, c568eb; at4049a, 4051a, 4053a, at853; josephson c42; neumann U87, km84i; beyer m130, m160, m500; aea r84; gefell m71, mt711s, m200, m201; sony c38; schoeps cmc6, CMBI (mk4, mk21, mk41, mk4v); sennheiser mkh40, md421, md431, md541
Pres: API, a-designs, pendulum, purple, millennia, gt, littlebox, tinybox, usbpre2, CA 9200, pipsqueak, pueblo pending
Cables: KCY, CMR, Naiant AKG actives, PFAs, asst.  GAKables and Darktrain
Recorders/converters: dr680, m10, dr-2d, d50, dr70d, zoom f8, lynx aurora 8


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Offline rippleish20

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2016, 09:59:13 AM »
Hey, does someone here have the email address for efksound3d who makes the extended knobs for the F8?  I don't see it on his Facebook page (of course I could have missed it) and I need it for PayPal.

Thanks!

Please contact ekfsound3d via Facebook.

Edited by BSkalinder to remove email address at the request of efksound3d.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 11:05:51 AM by Brian Skalinder »
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Offline pohaku

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2016, 05:00:14 PM »
Hey, does someone here have the email address for efksound3d who makes the extended knobs for the F8?  I don't see it on his Facebook page (of course I could have missed it) and I need it for PayPal.

Thanks!

Please contact ekfsound3d via Facebook.

Edited by BSkalinder to remove email address at the request of efksound3d.

Thank you!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 11:06:04 AM by Brian Skalinder »
Mics: akg c460 (ck61, ck63), c414buls, c568eb; at4049a, 4051a, 4053a, at853; josephson c42; neumann U87, km84i; beyer m130, m160, m500; aea r84; gefell m71, mt711s, m200, m201; sony c38; schoeps cmc6, CMBI (mk4, mk21, mk41, mk4v); sennheiser mkh40, md421, md431, md541
Pres: API, a-designs, pendulum, purple, millennia, gt, littlebox, tinybox, usbpre2, CA 9200, pipsqueak, pueblo pending
Cables: KCY, CMR, Naiant AKG actives, PFAs, asst.  GAKables and Darktrain
Recorders/converters: dr680, m10, dr-2d, d50, dr70d, zoom f8, lynx aurora 8


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Offline caymanreview

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2016, 06:55:56 PM »
B&h sent out the daily deals email and it has a unique code in it for 100$ off

If anyone is looking to buy one id be happy to give you my code, not sure it works like that as it says "my individual code"

Offline vwmule

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2016, 11:59:51 AM »
I have a code, too, if anyone wants to try.
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Offline pohaku

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2016, 12:24:33 PM »
New knobs for the F8.  Service was really quick.  He printed them on a Friday, shipped them on a Monday (from Spain) and I received them the following Monday.  They fit on well.  I used a silver sharpie to highlight the edge of the position marker on each knob.  We will have to see how they work in operation.  I have small hands, so the original knobs were not really a problem for me.  These do look nicer however.
Mics: akg c460 (ck61, ck63), c414buls, c568eb; at4049a, 4051a, 4053a, at853; josephson c42; neumann U87, km84i; beyer m130, m160, m500; aea r84; gefell m71, mt711s, m200, m201; sony c38; schoeps cmc6, CMBI (mk4, mk21, mk41, mk4v); sennheiser mkh40, md421, md431, md541
Pres: API, a-designs, pendulum, purple, millennia, gt, littlebox, tinybox, usbpre2, CA 9200, pipsqueak, pueblo pending
Cables: KCY, CMR, Naiant AKG actives, PFAs, asst.  GAKables and Darktrain
Recorders/converters: dr680, m10, dr-2d, d50, dr70d, zoom f8, lynx aurora 8


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Offline rippleish20

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2016, 01:52:51 PM »
I also have the knobs. My suggestion is to use the two sided sticky tape the guy who prints these suggests (or something similar). I love the knobs but they can come off while rustling around in your bag etc. Mine have been reliable with the tape...
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Zoom F8 / Zoom F4 / Sony M-10 /  SD 702

Offline pohaku

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2016, 02:11:08 PM »
I was wondering whether there was a more reliable means of attaching the knobs, besides friction.

Thanks!
Mics: akg c460 (ck61, ck63), c414buls, c568eb; at4049a, 4051a, 4053a, at853; josephson c42; neumann U87, km84i; beyer m130, m160, m500; aea r84; gefell m71, mt711s, m200, m201; sony c38; schoeps cmc6, CMBI (mk4, mk21, mk41, mk4v); sennheiser mkh40, md421, md431, md541
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Recorders/converters: dr680, m10, dr-2d, d50, dr70d, zoom f8, lynx aurora 8


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Offline OS_Taper

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2017, 03:20:25 PM »
Didn't see it in the thread, Firmware version 3.0 is now available for download and installation.

Functions added in Version 3.0
Monitoring input signals of specific tracks without recording
Saving multiple settings for signals sent to headphone output (Headphone Routing)
Setting the keys held (Key Hold Target)
Backing up and loading settings (Backup/Load Settings)
Setting the level meter reference (Reference Level)
Showing total recording time during long recording periods (Time Counter)
Using an FRC-8 as a controller (Connect)
Setting the type of keyboard connected to FRC-8  (Keyboard Type)
Setting user keys used by FRC-8 (User Keys)
Setting the power supply used by the FRC-8 (Power Source)
Setting the FRC-8LED brightness (LED Brightness)
Updating the FRC-8 firmware


https://zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-f8-multitrack-field-recorder#downloads



Mics: Neumann KM150s, KM140s, Rode NT2-A (x2), AKG 460 (3) , CK1 (2), CK3 (2), CK69 (1)
Recorder: Zoom F8, Tascam DR-70D

Offline caymanreview

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2017, 04:12:01 PM »
i like the total recordng time feature!

Offline OS_Taper

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2017, 04:19:43 PM »
i like the total recordng time feature!


Agreed!   That freaked me out the first time I used it and noticed towards the end of the show the counter was in the single digits...
Mics: Neumann KM150s, KM140s, Rode NT2-A (x2), AKG 460 (3) , CK1 (2), CK3 (2), CK69 (1)
Recorder: Zoom F8, Tascam DR-70D

 

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