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Author Topic: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3  (Read 28099 times)

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Offline rippleish20

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #195 on: January 17, 2019, 02:00:54 PM »
If you are concerned about draining the battery, one of the Tekkeons has a power switch and can be turned off until its needed
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 03:32:20 PM by rippleish20 »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #196 on: January 17, 2019, 03:11:44 PM »
^ If that's the case here then that eliminates the potential scenario I described above.

I had a couple Energizer branded Li-Ions with momentary power switches that would shut-off automatically without a load after a while.  I also remember discussions at TS years ago concerning problems with "output voltage sensing" Tekkeon's which would sometimes output the incorrect voltage, but don't remember the details.  And I may have mixed them up in my mind.

The Talentcell batteries are in the category of those I was speaking of with a mechanical on/off rocker power switch.  I'm using the largest capacity version, which I think most others at TS are also using and honestly is overkill for other than a full day session at a fest or whatever.  However I prefer a comfortable excess of capacity over optimally sufficient capacity to extend usable life in two ways- less deep discharging required each cycle which should reduce loss of capacity as it ages, and less problem with insufficient capacity once capacity is reduced.    That said, talentcell makes numerous smaller capacity models which would be fine for most sessions, especially with only a few channels of phantom in use, and are easier to fly with if that's a concern.  The next smaller capacity is in the same size housing.  I think you need to go 2 models down to get a size reduction, and I believe there are two or three capacity ranges using that size housing.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #197 on: January 18, 2019, 01:00:35 PM »
I've got an F8n coming. 

Very attracted to the ability to use it as an input interface with a DAW since I do a lot of that.  Hopefully no problems using it as part of an aggregate device combo under macOS.  I found one recording studio guy using a pair of linked F8 for 16 track capture, but he's not used them paired as interfaces with a DAW.    EDIT:  aggregate device works but is a little weird, and time code is not supported in interface mode.  Later post gets into details.

Playback and monitoring options vastly better than my DR-701D, which really only gives INPUT monitoring options.   

Being able to using arrays bigger than 4 is also very attractive. 

I do a fair amount of day job meeting webcast work, and I'm curious to see if the auto mix function works well.  I'm used to Yamaha mixers with the Dugan auto-mixer built in.  EDIT: seems to work fine, not as smooth as Dugan but respectable enough. 

Gotta decide on the battery approach.  I see the Talentcell guts have been redesigned so it's not as easy to modify the connector and power switch.  Wonder if anyone have sorted out a new path for that.  Likewise, not sure what the best option is in a battery that already has locking power switch and connector, surely much more expensive.  I may be overthinking that as a problem.  EDIT: the Talentcell still looks easy enough to modify, just have to cut part of a new circuit board off.  The controller PCB on the battery pack is still the same, they just added another PCB for the switch and jacks that's partially in the way.

Anyone used these 'slightly oversized' Ikea LADDA / Panasonic Eneloop rechargeables in an F8n?  I'd like to know they fit before ordering a pile of them. 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 04:47:39 PM by EmRR »
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Tascam DR-701D, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline heathen

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #198 on: January 20, 2019, 12:15:43 AM »
Anyone used these 'slightly oversized' Ikea LADDA / Panasonic Eneloop rechargeables in an F8n?  I'd like to know they fit before ordering a pile of them.

The Ikea AAs fit in my F8...can't speak to the F8n though.  I'd be shocked if the battery compartments aren't the same size in both though.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #199 on: January 20, 2019, 12:36:09 AM »
Thanks! 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Tascam DR-701D, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline EmRR

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #200 on: January 27, 2019, 06:32:53 PM »
F8n test reports:

Line input set to -10 will still clip at about -5.5dBFS with a line source; I was using the TRS input but it should make no difference which.  I know this because I was running tests with the F8n run in audio interface mode as an aggregate device with a MOTU 16A, feeding the same mono track to both devices to check sync stability.  -10 setting gives a level that matches roughly across the 2 devices, and if I turn up the source to that level the F8n goes flatline.  You can get more headroom with a phantom powered high output mic switching to line, but you don't get an additional 20dB as implied, this looks like an additional 15dB.  Still useful.  The quoted +24 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON) is not true with the limiter off!

the rest of this won't be of interest to most people here:

Aggregate Device and audio interface mode:  I wrote Zoom and the official response was:
Quote
This type of functionality may be possible, but is not officially supported.
Unfortunately, time code input and output are not available in audio interface mode.

I fired back a request to add word clock on the same BNC connectors as an option and/or allow time code in interface mode.  I have no idea what practical obstacles exist there. 
Lack of time code means it's free-sync, you can use 'drift correction' in the aggregate device, but there are latency differences to correct for AND 'drift correction' is a resampling of the input to compensate for clock drift.  I found you could 'sorta' correct it but the top end waves around in the breeze on a phase scope and there's an occasional outright skip in the phase response so it doesn't seem like something you'd want to really run with.   What does that all mean?  You’d definitely not get away with putting half a stereo image into one device and the other half into another, nor would a pair of stereo captures brought in via different interfaces maintain their relationship to one another.

I ran the same test again without 'drift correction' checked:  sounds like a phase shifter as the clocks work against each other.  No hiccups, just audible drift. 

I ran another dual mono test with the F8n sending time code to the MOTU 16A, and this was worse than I expected with significant drift within minutes, and the whole system had been warmed up several hours.  The imported WAV file from the F8n did drop into the correct time spot, but that was the extent of the 'success'.  This is a totally common problem with TV/film sync; every device is chasing the same start point from time code but the individual clocks are all doing their own thing and drift.  There was also a latency difference to correct.

If a word clock option was added, these drift problems would disappear.   

I ran another dual mono test with the F8n and 16A free synced, no time reference connection.  Practically the same result, pretty significant drift in about the same amount. 

I don't yet have a way to test with the F8n chasing time code from the 16A, and set for 'external audio clock sync' which is supposed to sync clock to time code.  This is the closest apparent thing to a word clock sync.   EDIT:  see next post for results


The auto-mixer function works pretty well, not as well as a Dugan auto-mix, but pretty good.  It can be a bit chattery sounding on headphones if several people are between words and breathing loudly.  I'd still be fine running a webcast with one.

Related to the above, the slate mic is useful in a pinch for some extra ambience, but ignores any auto-mix setting for the respective channel.  Just assign it to a single channel.  The only problem is when it's enabled, it ALWAYS goes to the headphones and blows up all monitoring choices.  If you monitor off the main or sub outs you get a proper mix, and can set the slate at some lower fade level. 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 08:19:22 AM by EmRR »
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Tascam DR-701D, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #201 on: January 28, 2019, 09:03:58 AM »
Thanks for the report.

Anyone used these 'slightly oversized' Ikea LADDA / Panasonic Eneloop rechargeables in an F8n?  I'd like to know they fit before ordering a pile of them.

I've Eneloops in the F8.  Too be clear, they are not Ikea brand and this is not the F8n.
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 #202 on: January 30, 2019, 08:18:32 AM »
F8n chasing time code from the MOTU 16A, and set for 'external audio clock sync' which is supposed to sync clock to time code.  This is the closest apparent thing to a word clock sync.  This works pretty well.  I recorded an hour and ten minutes at 88.2kHz using 30ND LTC, set for ‘External Auto Record’ with ‘External Audio Clock Sync’ on.    The F8n did indeed start recording when I hit record in the DAW.  I found initial offset appeared to be low, in the order of a few samples.   After correcting the initial offset, by the end of the recording the offset appeared to be 1.6mS, fine for any mono source, probably fine across a typical multitrack recording, but fails the dual mono remix to mono test.  Now if this was only available in interface multitrack mode…..
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Tascam DR-701D, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline EmRR

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #203 on: February 04, 2019, 03:25:28 PM »
Thanks for the report.

Anyone used these 'slightly oversized' Ikea LADDA / Panasonic Eneloop rechargeables in an F8n?  I'd like to know they fit before ordering a pile of them.

I've Eneloops in the F8.  Too be clear, they are not Ikea brand and this is not the F8n.

Powerex Pro's are a tight fit in the F8n, definitely need the ribbon underneath to pull them back out. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Tascam DR-701D, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F8 Recorder Part 3
« Reply #204 on: Yesterday at 05:00:13 PM »
Had my first serious multi-day outing with the F8 (not F8n) at a small festival weekend before last, with mics into all 8 channels.

After making an earlier onstage recording last month setup close to a drum kit, which clipped with mic-input trim turned all the way down, I figured the only way to ensure no overs with the sensitive mics I'm using was to engage the limiters.  If I was using an F8n I could switch to line-input sensitivity while retaining XLR input and phantom powering and gain 15dB or so more headroom which would've been sufficient.

I engaged the advanced limiter across all channels, set for a 0dB target level.  Note that with the advanced limiter one sets a "do not exceed target level" rather than a traditional "when it starts working threshold level".  I noticed this changes the on-screen metering to something that looks more like a VU or K-scale type meter with 0dB about mid-screen, negative dB values left of that and values up to +20dB to the right. 

The limiters worked. Content never clipped, peaking below +20dB.  Listening back directly from the recorder on headphones each evening after returning home it sounded good and I did not hear obvious limiter engagement, but I've yet to explore it more thoroughly. Presumably the effective threshold of the advanced limiter shifts based on what the 1ms look-ahead detects.  My concern is that a majority of content other than the relatively quiet sections had the meters bouncing above 0dB, leading me to believe the limiter is at least potentially working to some degree if not actively working most of the time for amplified content.  This little fest was not excessively loud.

I've searched but have been unable to find any discussion on-line that sheds more light on the actual workings of the advanced limiter and its practical application for music recording.
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 #205 on: Yesterday at 10:58:48 PM »
I'd swear I saw one more in depth account of what the advanced limiter does, but I can't find it again.  Guessing it was either the Zoom site or a film related forum. 

I just ran an F8n life test with new Powerex Pro 2700mAh batteries that have been through break-in on a MH-C9000.
8 phantom powered mics at 88K2, outputs turned off, no headphones, time code off. 
3hrs 41.5 minutes
FWIW!
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Tascam DR-701D, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

 

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