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Author Topic: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)  (Read 17621 times)

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Offline aaronji

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #165 on: October 15, 2019, 12:41:05 PM »
You may be right, but I look at this a different way. At first I choose the dual 32 and 24bit option, but then thinking about it, I thought, now I'd have to keep the gain back to the more conservative levels because I do not want my 24 bit to clip. So then what is the point? Yes, maybe 32 then is just a backup if I misjudge the 24bit recording gain level, but why even bother with the 24bit option, as it is not allowing me to take advantage of the entire point or at least a very main point of using 32bit float, so I switched it to 32 bit float only. We are just not ready to automatically think in terms of the differences the technology brings us. it is so much counter to what we've been doing and following for all of our recording lives. I think SD was smart to not waste their time with the dual option, it serves no purpose really except to make someone feel safe while trying out something new, but as it would be quite hard to accidentally mess up and clip, it just is not necessary.

I get where you are coming from, but your sentence I emphasized is exactly the reason why I think these first portable 32-bit float point recorders also have 24-bit modes.  A secondary reason may be that there are still some DAWs or other audio apps that do not support 32-bit float files, such as Logic while Paul pointed out.

A third (but maybe not tertiary) reason is that 24-bit potentially produces a better recording in some cases (see this post from DSatz).


Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #166 on: October 15, 2019, 06:13:45 PM »
You may be right, but I look at this a different way. At first I choose the dual 32 and 24bit option, but then thinking about it, I thought, now I'd have to keep the gain back to the more conservative levels because I do not want my 24 bit to clip. So then what is the point? Yes, maybe 32 then is just a backup if I misjudge the 24bit recording gain level, but why even bother with the 24bit option, as it is not allowing me to take advantage of the entire point or at least a very main point of using 32bit float, so I switched it to 32 bit float only. We are just not ready to automatically think in terms of the differences the technology brings us. it is so much counter to what we've been doing and following for all of our recording lives. I think SD was smart to not waste their time with the dual option, it serves no purpose really except to make someone feel safe while trying out something new, but as it would be quite hard to accidentally mess up and clip, it just is not necessary.

I get where you are coming from, but your sentence I emphasized is exactly the reason why I think these first portable 32-bit float point recorders also have 24-bit modes.  A secondary reason may be that there are still some DAWs or other audio apps that do not support 32-bit float files, such as Logic while Paul pointed out.

A third (but maybe not tertiary) reason is that 24-bit potentially produces a better recording in some cases (see this post from DSatz).

So far, to my ears there are zero drawbacks to 32-bit float recording as it is implemented in the F6.  I listened very critically to the two concerts I recorded this past weekend (marching band show; 20-voice chamber choir) and there are no artifacts, modulated noise floor with wide dynamic swings, or anything else that calls attention to itself in a negative way.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #167 on: October 16, 2019, 10:46:14 AM »
^ As DSatz implies in his post, it is probably a pretty rare event ("As long as that noise floor is so low that you can't hear it (always, 100%, money-back guaranteed under all circumstances)" and "If the noise floor is ever audible--if any possible type of signal, or combination of settings and signals, can coax it out of hiding") so a sample of two isn't exactly dispositive (I guess it wouldn't be even if it was fairly common). Hopefully, Zoom's implementation is such that it will rarely, if ever, be an issue.

I am intrigued by this technology, but I will let others be the early adopters. My current recorder has a broad enough dynamic range that I can already set it so it will never clip before my microphones and still capture the whole dynamic range of a show. It requires a little math, but I don't mind that. If the F6 or the MixPre IIs prove to offer a major benefit (beyond saving me the math), I may give one a go at some point... 

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #168 on: October 16, 2019, 11:20:38 AM »
I am intrigued by this technology, but I will let others be the early adopters. My current recorder has a broad enough dynamic range that I can already set it so it will never clip before my microphones and still capture the whole dynamic range of a show. It requires a little math, but I don't mind that. If the F6 or the MixPre IIs prove to offer a major benefit (beyond saving me the math), I may give one a go at some point...

I'm in this boat.  I ran at an Americana festival all last weekend which included acts ranging from quiet solo singer/songwriters to more rowdy amplified acts with drum kits and subwoofers (definite ear-plug level material, but not crazy loud). Using an F8 @ 24/48 to record 8ch's, I was tempted to just record all acts at the same input trim level (minimum +10dB mic-input sensitivity) but bumped up all channels by +10dB to +15dB for the really quiet stuff just so I could more easily confirm on-going activity of all 8 channel meters at a glance.

I plan to listen critically to the segments where I made those trim adjustments to reconfirm that either approach remains well within the dynamic-envelope-range of the recorder without any difference other than
the amount of gain which needs to be applied afterward.
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Offline dallman

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #169 on: October 16, 2019, 11:32:38 AM »
In recording a wide range of live music, the only real variable for me is the first few notes. Sometimes it is way (way way) louder than I anticipate. Sometimes it is way (probably not way way) softer than anticipated, so quick adjustments are made and occasionally (but rarely) there is a note or two of distortion. Additionally because the adjustment needs to be swift, leveling out the sound takes a little work to get it right . The idea that the Zoom F6 (and SD MixPre6II) will eliminate that problem is my motivation. Even if it is infrequent, it is a very nice development in recording.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #170 on: October 16, 2019, 11:54:26 AM »
Spot on. "Less stuff to correct for later" is real a practical advantage.  Afterwards it's far faster to just adjust level of the entire recording than to have to carefully draw in an envelop gain adjustment leveling out a trim adjustment in addition to making an overall level adjustment.  I almost didn't make the +10 or 15dB  trim adjustments I mentioned above due to this consideration, as I essentially did it only as a way of effecting a meter sensitivity adjustment!  It was more important to me to confirm ongoing correct operation than to avoid having to make a level compensation later.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #171 on: October 27, 2019, 12:31:19 PM »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #172 on: November 01, 2019, 07:45:09 PM »
Here's a new video review of the F6 from the perspective of someone who does video and dialog.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12_T4Ek4Y_c

Especially interesting bits are:
- 5:50, where he describes a "better" way to use the F6 as an interface while preserving 32-bit float recording to the SD card.
- 8:34, where a "quirk" of the TC output is described.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #173 on: November 04, 2019, 07:15:26 PM »
Thought I'd share the batteries I am using.  So far, I haven't had occasion to run more than 2 channels, but the life on these are certainly great.  After several concerts, they still show about 90% full.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1373127-REG/dracast_drbk2npf2ch6600_2_x_np_f_6600mah.html
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Online jerryfreak

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #174 on: November 18, 2019, 06:12:45 AM »
have you run it on NiMH AAs?
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #175 on: November 18, 2019, 05:54:20 PM »
have you run it on NiMH AAs?

Yes, but only just browsing the menus.  The NiMh AAs are only my backup power.  I have the external battery attached at all times when actually running the thing.

Speaking of, I still haven't had to charge it.  Maybe after running for another couple hours this weekend.  At some point, I'll have to do a real battery drain test with 6 mics powered.  I'll need a bigger memory card first...

In a couple weeks, I will have a stage / pit setup with CM3s and AT853s, so that will at least be slightly more taxing.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #176 on: November 20, 2019, 06:44:41 PM »
I just ordered the much smaller 2200 mAh version of that Dracast battery, because I think it will be plenty for the 2-channel, under 2-hour gigs I do most often.  I'll do a runtime test with 6 mics, and if it does decently at all, one of the two 6600 mAh batteries and accompanying charger will show up soon on the YS.

Speaking of, I'm doing a runtime test on that big sucker of a battery now with my CM3s, X-Qs, and AT853s.  None are current hogs at all, but it's what I have.  Topping off the other battery to full and will repeat.

In order to do the test (and to have the space for long 4+ channel gigs), I just picked up this 128GB card, on Zoom's approved media list.  Shockingly cheap for the capacity in a name brand:
https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Canvas-128GB-UHS-I100MB-SDR/dp/B079H4ZVWY/
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Online jerryfreak

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #177 on: November 20, 2019, 08:01:06 PM »
In order to do the test (and to have the space for long 4+ channel gigs), I just picked up this 128GB card, on Zoom's approved media list.  Shockingly cheap for the capacity in a name brand:
https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Canvas-128GB-UHS-I100MB-SDR/dp/B079H4ZVWY/

check out this thread, not your device, but there are some good benchmark apps in the first post that you can use to qualify the card.
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=191314.msg2316282#new


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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #178 on: November 21, 2019, 05:46:37 AM »
In order to do the test (and to have the space for long 4+ channel gigs), I just picked up this 128GB card, on Zoom's approved media list.  Shockingly cheap for the capacity in a name brand:
https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Canvas-128GB-UHS-I100MB-SDR/dp/B079H4ZVWY/

check out this thread, not your device, but there are some good benchmark apps in the first post that you can use to qualify the card.
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=191314.msg2316282#new

Did you see where I mentioned this card is on Zoom's approved media list?  Otherwise, yes, those are helpful utilities I have used before.  There's also the on-board test routine on the F6.

EDIT: I just realized you probably want to see the performance data on it.  I'll run it through CPDT at some point after I have finished my battery runtime tests.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 05:51:41 AM by voltronic »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #179 on: November 21, 2019, 09:02:34 PM »
Runtime test complete on the 6600 mAh Dracast battery, Zoom F6 set to 6 channels recording 32-bit FP / 48kHz.  Mics were Line Audio CM3, AT853, Naiant X-Q.

Kingston Canvas Select 128GB SDHC Class 10 SD Memory Card model SDS/128GB, freshly formatted.

Runtime with this battery was 14 hours, 25 minutes, 4 seconds.  I don't have high-draw mics, but that is still impressive.

No, I have no interest in testing again at 96 kHz, as I will never use that.


Next up is a runtime test with the same settings on the 2200 mAh battery.

Image attached for jerryfreak with test results on the card.
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I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

 

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