Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: Zoom F8N  (Read 372 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline aysvideo

  • Trade Count: (12)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Zoom F8N
« on: October 07, 2019, 06:19:36 AM »
I’m thinking of buying the F8N, to downsize from a Tascam HS-P82, which I think is an excellent recorder, but I’m getting tired of its large size.  The thing that concerns me, however, with the Zoom, is that to my knowledge, there’s no attenuation available on the inputs, so when recording live music, I wonder if i’m going to encounter issues with my mics overmodulating.  The Tascam has 25db attenuation switches on every input, which I keep engaged, and still have to be careful if a guitarist or drummer get very loud.  Has anyone found this to be a problem when recording music with the F8N?  I’d prefer to not have to buy attenuation adaptors for all 8 inputs if I can avoid it, and would like to avoid keeping the limiters engaged on every track while recording.

Offline dogmusic

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 778
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2019, 06:28:44 AM »
I’m thinking of buying the F8N, to downsize from a Tascam HS-P82, which I think is an excellent recorder, but I’m getting tired of its large size.  The thing that concerns me, however, with the Zoom, is that to my knowledge, there’s no attenuation available on the inputs, so when recording live music, I wonder if i’m going to encounter issues with my mics overmodulating.  The Tascam has 25db attenuation switches on every input, which I keep engaged, and still have to be careful if a guitarist or drummer get very loud.  Has anyone found this to be a problem when recording music with the F8N?  I’d prefer to not have to buy attenuation adaptors for all 8 inputs if I can avoid it, and would like to avoid keeping the limiters engaged on every track while recording.

You might want to check out the new Sound Devices MixPre 10 II (2nd generation) with 32 bit float. Apparently you won’t need to worry about your input levels. There’s a lot of information on these forums about that.
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline aysvideo

  • Trade Count: (12)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2019, 09:13:38 AM »
Thanks.

Offline EmRR

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
    • ElectroMagnetic Radiation Recorders
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 10:19:57 AM »
The thing that concerns me, however, with the Zoom, is that to my knowledge, there’s no attenuation available on the inputs, so when recording live music, I wonder if i’m going to encounter issues with my mics overmodulating.  The Tascam has 25db attenuation switches on every input, which I keep engaged, and still have to be careful if a guitarist or drummer get very loud.  Has anyone found this to be a problem when recording music with the F8N?  I’d prefer to not have to buy attenuation adaptors for all 8 inputs if I can avoid it, and would like to avoid keeping the limiters engaged on every track while recording.

You can use the line input with phantom power, and set levels -10 to +10.  You might only need a pad with board feeds. 
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

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 13316
  • Gender: Male
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2019, 11:26:53 AM »
aysvideo, we've been discussing this here on the board and share your concern. 

The highest signal level that any recorder is capable of passing or recording without clipping or a exceeding a certain level of distortion is determined by the available analog input headroom of the recorder.  It is this maximum input level spec that is of interest in regards to your question. 

Referring to dogmusic's comment- Any particular recorder may be or may not be designed so that one needn't worry about setting input levels as long as the input does not exceed the maximum input level, but the signal needs to "get into the box" without overloading the input before that can happen.  Mixpre-II series and all other 32bit floating point storage recorders are no different in this regard. 

I encounter the problem you ask about when using hot output condenser microphones when recording loud amplified material into an F8 (not N).  I am using phantom power from the recorder to power the microphones with no external attenuation, and find I need to engage the advanced look-ahead limiter to avoid clipping.   Unlike the F8, the F8n is capable of providing phantom power in line-input mode, and line-input mode reduces minimum input sensitivity a further -10dB over that of the mic-input.  I speculate that would take care of the problem for me, however it would be better if the mic-inputs of both units were capable of accepting hotter inputs without the limiter engaged.

Here are the specs quoted from the manuals (Zoom) and website (SD)-

F8 mic maximum input level (XLR, phantom available): +14 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
F8 line maximum input level: (TRS, no phantom available) +34 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)

F8n mic maximum input level (XLR/TRS combo-jack, phantom available): +14 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
F8n line maximum input level (XLR/TRS combo-jack, phantom available): +24 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)

SD MixPre-II mic maximum input (XLR, phantom available): +14 dBu (limiters on or off)
SD MixPre-II line maximum input (XLR, phantom available): +28 dBu (limiters on or off)

It appears the SD mixpre II series is able to handle similar mic-input levels as F8/F8n, yet without the limiter engaged, and somewhat higher line-input levels (with phantom) without the limiter engaged.

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

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
    • ElectroMagnetic Radiation Recorders
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2019, 12:52:04 PM »
Unlike the F8, the F8n is capable of providing phantom power in line-input mode, and line-input mode reduces minimum input sensitivity a further -10dB over that of the mic-input.

Actually 20 dB less is possible in line mode compared to mic mode, it'll attenuate 10dB where mic mode minimum gain is +10. 

I don't know it for fact, but technically it would make sense that line mode is a variable pad.   
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

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 13316
  • Gender: Male
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2019, 04:10:19 PM »
I've had your comment from the other thread about the F8n mic/line 20dB sensitivity difference in mind.. and then noted the difference between the line in specs for the F8 and F8n this morning upon looking them up to quote here.  I wonder if the 10dB difference between mic-in and line-in for the F8n as stated in it's manual is a misprint.   I'd previously assumed the maximum line-input level spec was unchanged between F8 and F8n.  However these specs seem to indicate a 20dB difference for F8 but only 10dB for F8n (see bold below).

Note that all specs for F8 and F8n are stated as being with the limiter ON, and the -10dB attenuation applied prior to ADC in that mode should wash out when comparing F8 against F8n.  That -10dB attenuation should increase overload point by that amount compared to not using the limiter, unless the analog input stage itself clips first (which may be what was happening in EmRR's test that showed a squarewave-ish waveform at -5.5 dBFS).   What is not explicitly stated in the Zoom specs is what the maximum input levels are without the limiter engaged (and perhaps EmRR's test indicates why they don't publish that spec). (/speculation)

F8 mic maximum input level (XLR, phantom available): +14 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
F8 line maximum input level: (TRS, no phantom available) +34 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)

F8n mic maximum input level (XLR/TRS combo-jack, phantom available): +14 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
F8n line maximum input level (XLR/TRS combo-jack, phantom available): +24 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)

SD MixPre-II mic maximum input (XLR, phantom available): +14 dBu (limiters on or off)
SD MixPre-II line maximum input (XLR, phantom available): +28 dBu (limiters on or off)

Without more testing, SD is presumably a somewhat safer bet.
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

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
    • ElectroMagnetic Radiation Recorders
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 04:31:21 PM »
Yeah, the published specs are suspect when only quoted with limiter on, and then not really explaining the limiter in a clear technical manner. 

The gain ranges in the F8n menu look the same as published:

Line -10 –> +55 dB
Mic +10 – +75 dB

I should do some comparative tests of mic versus line for the same gain. 

My point about the 20dB difference is that, with pre gain minimum being +10, line is probably a 20dB pad into the same preamp circuit to account for -10.  That's how it is/was done on countless analog mixers. 
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

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 13316
  • Gender: Male
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2019, 04:49:10 PM »
My point about the 20dB difference is that, with pre gain minimum being +10, line is probably a 20dB pad into the same preamp circuit to account for -10.  That's how it is/was done on countless analog mixers.

I agree.  In which case EIN should increase by the same amount.

Wondering what is up with the difference in published Zoom specs.
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

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
    • ElectroMagnetic Radiation Recorders
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2019, 05:34:21 PM »
Looking at my unit, last show about 40 feet out from stacks at FOH, enclosed space, I ran:

Sennheiser MKH 800 Twin ---- line input +3, max peak -13.45dBFS on front, -18.84dBFS on rear
Sennheiser MKH 30 for the S in MS ---- mic input +16, max peak -15.56dBFS
Oktava MK-012 omni pair ---- mic input +12, max peaks -12.37dBFS/-16.85dBFS
board feed ---- line input -10, level went up to clipping as the show went on so I turned on the standard limiter (hard / -3dBFS / Attack 1mS / Release 50mS)

Show volume was moderate, felt no need to wear earplugs.   Most of the energy was from the subs.

I am just as likely to be running a close mic multitrack session with a rock band where input levels are much hotter due to proximity.  A ribbon mic directly on a guitar amp might be set +10 to +20 in mic mode. 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 09:33:28 PM by EmRR »
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 aysvideo

  • Trade Count: (12)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: Zoom F8N
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2019, 11:57:09 PM »
Thanks for all the comments.  As always, there’s no shortage of things to consider when dropping a thousand dollars or more on a piece of equipment. 

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.117 seconds with 53 queries.
© 2002-2019 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF