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Author Topic: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)  (Read 24891 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #120 on: October 03, 2019, 09:48:47 AM »
Just kidding on the belt buckle.  'Though they do grow large in Texas.

Jeff- have you experienced any problems or concerns running the Josephson's into the F8n with loud sources?  They are quite sensitive, no?
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #121 on: October 03, 2019, 06:33:42 PM »
I will likely run dual, and compare the float files to the 24 bit fixed (and the L/R mix).  I use Josephson C617 omnis (with the optional LD caps) on a Jecklin Disc near the foot of the Steinway.

To my ears, the Zoom F8n preamps are preferable to the SD722 and 633, and even (so far) to the MixPre 6 II, but that's rank heresy I know.  I want to see how the F6 stacks up, but I'm not really sure at this point why it even HAS preamps.

Jeff

Oh, now I'm really jealous.  Those mics are ones I've lusted after for quite some time, after hearing apotheosis's recordings done with them on GS.

Is your Jecklin setup generally at the Decca Tail position?  Every time I hear a recording made that way with good instrument, good mics, and in a good hall, it sounds great.  Never seen it done baffled though.  Clearly you get more stereo separation that way.
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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #122 on: October 03, 2019, 09:47:34 PM »


Jeff- have you experienced any problems or concerns running the Josephson's into the F8n with loud sources?  They are quite sensitive, no?

The Josephson 617s are indeed very hot running mics.  With them about 6' up and maybe 2 feet from the piano I have been running gain of 13-16 dB on the F8n (Schoeps mics on string groups generally take 35-40 dB gain), depending on the pieces played and the aggressiveness of the pianist.  This leaves plenty of headroom (aiming for ~4 dB boost in post).  Pianos up that close are loud, but an orchestra with brass might stress the input limits.

Jeff

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #123 on: October 04, 2019, 06:10:57 AM »


Jeff- have you experienced any problems or concerns running the Josephson's into the F8n with loud sources?  They are quite sensitive, no?

The Josephson 617s are indeed very hot running mics.  With them about 6' up and maybe 2 feet from the piano I have been running gain of 13-16 dB on the F8n (Schoeps mics on string groups generally take 35-40 dB gain), depending on the pieces played and the aggressiveness of the pianist.  This leaves plenty of headroom (aiming for ~4 dB boost in post).  Pianos up that close are loud, but an orchestra with brass might stress the input limits.

Jeff

Looking at the C617set specs...

They are truly one of the most sensitive mics around, at 66 mV/Pa, and the max output level for <1 % THD is +7 dBV, which comes out to +9.2 dBu.  So, yeah, these things run HOT, and are definitely capable of clipping the F6.  I think you have a good torture-test scenario for the F6 mic inputs.

Maybe if you get the chance to do a large orchestra and choir performing Carmina Burana or the Verdi Requiem that would be even more stressful.  Lots of active percussion and brass.
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #124 on: October 04, 2019, 08:16:29 AM »
I've said before that in my classical recording days, I gradually came to the conclusion that there is only one level.  By that I mean that when using my normal Sennheiser MKH MS rig into my Sennheiser MS preamp, the gain on the preamp always seemed set the same - I put a small red mark on the magic position.  This was due to the phenomenon that a solo guitar recorded at the sort of distance you'd record a solo guitar at, tended to be as loud as a symphony orchestra at a rather greater distance.  OK, there were exceptions, but I had a reputation of spending virtually no time before sessions with messing around with levels, though it was of course necessary to ensure the actual balance was correct.  So maybe they need chiefly to think in terms of gain being preset to allow for the gamut of mic sensitivities, rather than for sound sources.

As for the size of the little chap - looks like a big brother of the humble F1, but indeed not that big a brother.

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #125 on: October 04, 2019, 08:34:53 AM »
That makes sense to me assuming you are doing the same general type of capture all the time.  I expect differences when i move from that type to close distance multitrack work, drums versus strings, etc.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #126 on: October 04, 2019, 08:38:30 PM »
My F6 came today.  No mics connected yet; I just tested my SD card and played with the functions.

First impressions:

1. So much smaller than I expected.  I mounted a 6800 mAh L-mount battery, and it's almost half the depth of the F6!
2. Timecode Free Run is the default on first boot, which may make you think you pressed REC until you realize it's the TC running.
3. Build and finish quality appears to be excellent.  Quite a heft to it, even without the internal batteries installed.
4. Buttons and knobs are indeed tiny, but easy to use.  Menu system is intuitive, more so than any other recorder I have used.
5. Channel Link and Trim Link are two separate menu items.  Not sure why, but they are easy to set.
6. Hooray for NO touch screen!!!  The screen itself is bright and easy to read, even though it is very small.
7. It has a HOLD function (push in & hold volume knob) for which you can set what it does and does not lock.  This is a killer feature.
8. The form factor is so different than anything else, especially with the L-mount battery.  Expect to totally reconfigure your recording bag.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #127 on: October 04, 2019, 09:42:51 PM »


Jeff- have you experienced any problems or concerns running the Josephson's into the F8n with loud sources?  They are quite sensitive, no?

The Josephson 617s are indeed very hot running mics.  With them about 6' up and maybe 2 feet from the piano I have been running gain of 13-16 dB on the F8n (Schoeps mics on string groups generally take 35-40 dB gain), depending on the pieces played and the aggressiveness of the pianist.  This leaves plenty of headroom (aiming for ~4 dB boost in post).  Pianos up that close are loud, but an orchestra with brass might stress the input limits.

Jeff

Jeff, I've just been playing around with my F6 and discovered...

You CAN adjust recording levels when set to 32-bit float point!


MENU > REC > MODE > set to Float (32bit)*

MENU > INPUT > TRACK KNOB > change to REC LEVEL

The default is Reference Level, which does not allow you to adjust the ISO track level with the trim pots; just the L/R downmix as you described.

Changing this setting to REC LEVEL allows you to adjust from -60 to +60 dB.

I verified that I was set to 32-bit float mode only, and NOT dual 24/32.

Also verified in post - I recorded a quick speech test with a pair of CM3s at close range, alternating with max and min trim setting.  In iZotope RX, the portions recorded at max were peaking at +6 dB; those recorded at minimum were so low they didn't even register on the meters or waveform view.  The portions recorded at max I lowered -12 dB, and the portion recorded at minimum needed a boost of +110 dB to match.  See screenshots.

EDIT: I can't say for sure if this is adjusting mic preamp gain or the level at some other point in the chain.  Yes I can: According to the block diagrams in the menu, all level adjustments in 32-bit float mode are happening post-ADC.  That makes this whole discussion about level adjustment in this mode largely irrelevant, because preamp gain is fixed in that mode.What I can say is that it does so without any change in background noise level.  If it is adjusting the preamps, then these preamps are dead quiet.  The sample I recorded with the level setting alternating between -60 and +60 sounded totally even and consistent once the levels of the different sections were raised and lowered to match.

*EDIT2: Note that the trim pot setting is grayed out in all REC modes except Float(32bit).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 07:31:55 PM by voltronic »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #128 on: October 04, 2019, 10:18:24 PM »
I found an explanation for the setting I discovered above, buried on the block diagram on pg. 191 in the manual.
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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #129 on: October 04, 2019, 11:33:24 PM »
My recording session was at noon today, but thanks for the attempt to get through to me before I recorded.

I recorded dual 32 bit float/24 bit fixed files at 96kHz, with a L/R "mix" track at 24 bits.  This allowed me to set trim levels in the menu.  I panned ISO tracks 1 and 2 left and right 100% respectively.  At about 31 minutes the F6 split the recording, since it splits at 2GB (the mixpre II splits at 4 GB) I figured I was getting a 4 track 24/96 poly file, and that was the case.  The poly file split with 1-2 being the R/L mix and 3-4 being ISO 1-2.  Since I left the fader knobs at 0, the L/R came in exactly 3 dB higher than the ISO 1-2 (the F8 also has to be faded -3 dB to get the levels of the L/R and ISO the same in this stereo setup).  I set the trim at +16 dB, which is about the highest of what I use for piano on the F8 with the Josephson C617s up close.  The 32 bit float files were exactly the same levels as the ISO 24 bit files, so setting the trim in the menu had the same impact on 24 bit and 32 bit float versions.  Piano again next week (Liszt Etudes so maybe I'll get clipping) so I'll try the swap on trim-fader and only record 32 bit float.

I still don't get why the trim option is disabled in the menu for 32 bit float alone.

Jeff

ps recording came out very nice.  I'm not prepared to say better than the mixpre II, but definitely not worse.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #130 on: October 05, 2019, 08:36:16 AM »
Piano again next week (Liszt Etudes so maybe I'll get clipping) so I'll try the swap on trim-fader and only record 32 bit float.

I still don't get why the trim option is disabled in the menu for 32 bit float alone.


A couple things:

1. The trim pot option I described in the above posts is only available if your Rec Mode is set to 32-bit float.  It is disabled in 16, 24, and dual modes.

2. You don't need to adjust panning off center if you stereo-link the channels and set your track format as "mono/stereo" as opposed to poly.
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #131 on: October 05, 2019, 08:41:16 AM »
I don’t know if this has already been mentioned, but are the preamps in the Zoom f6 exactly the same as the f8n?
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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #132 on: October 05, 2019, 01:06:13 PM »
Two more questions for Voltronic:

1) How do you fade ISO tracks for the L/R mix with Rec Level engaged?

2) I note that when turning the knobs with Rec Level engaged it still says "Fader" not "Trim" on the menu when you go from -60 up to +60 dB.  ???

I suspect the answers are connected.

Jeff

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #133 on: October 05, 2019, 02:33:56 PM »
Two more questions for Voltronic:

1) How do you fade ISO tracks for the L/R mix with Rec Level engaged?

Good question.  I never thought of that, because the first thing I did was deactivate the L/R mix as it serves no purpose for me aside from taking up space.  I'm actually curious to know what you use the L/R mix for in your application.  That always seems more of a TV/film sound function, so you can dump out rough mixes to the client right away.

2) I note that when turning the knobs with Rec Level engaged it still says "Fader" not "Trim" on the menu when you go from -60 up to +60 dB.  ???

I suspect the answers are connected.

It could be a mis-labeling in the software.  Or, it could be functioning as a trim for the ISO and simultaneously as a fader for the L/R downmix.

Maybe this is an either/or scenario, as you are implying.  In 32-bit float mode, you can either control the ISO trim or track fades for the L/R downmix, but not both.  We need more testing.
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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #134 on: October 05, 2019, 04:51:48 PM »
I got in the habit recording the L/R mix on the F8 and F8n, putting the ISO tracks on one of the SD cards and the L/R mix on the other.  When dealing with string plus piano groups (usually piano trios or quartets) I use a main stereo pair (usually ORTF) and spot the piano with the Josephsons or sometimes other omnis.  If I have time to set the balances correctly before the recital, the L/R pair is good to go, saves a lot of work in post; if not, I go back to the ISO tracks.  On the F8 I can do my best to optimize levels for the ISO tracks with trim and then use the faders to get the piano sound and balance correct in the mix.  I suppose with 32 bit float I can just try to get the mix right and let magic floating point take care of the ISO levels, but it will take getting used to.

Jeff

 

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