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Author Topic: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)  (Read 14541 times)

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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #90 on: July 22, 2019, 05:41:11 PM »

^ Just got off the phone with Trew Nashville and they said that it would not surprise them at all if it got pushed back even farther than October. He mentioned Zoom and Rode as the worst offenders when it came to the time difference between showing a product at NAB and getting them on the shelf.

I canceled my order. I may get one when it's not a pain to have one in hand but I need something to replace my Marantz like yesterday.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #91 on: August 23, 2019, 06:45:37 AM »
Finally, an explanation on the delay from Zoom:

https://zoom.co.jp/news/F6_production-delay

Quote
ZOOM F6 PRODUCTION DELAY

During our initial production for the F6 Field Recorder, we discovered a mechanical component that needed modification to assure consistent, overall durability. As a result, delivery of the F6 Field Recorder has been rescheduled for later in the Fall/Winter of 2019.

At Zoom we have always been committed to providing the highest quality products possible. We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience and understanding.


This item was posted July 30, but only to the Zoom Japan site.  The news feed on Zoom North America does not include this.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #92 on: August 29, 2019, 04:35:59 PM »
Sound Devices has just announced a series II of their "MixPre" 3/6/10 recorders, also featuring 32-bit float data storage, and unfortunately, publicized in the same misleading way as Zoom. See https://www.sounddevices.com/32-bit-float-files-explained/ .

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. They've taken the strongest link and made it much, much stronger. (Hooray!)

Now if only their recorders' inputs could just have a slightly lower noise floor--a mere 600 dB improvement would nearly suffice--and headroom that's correspondingly on the high side, then we could take advantage of these improvements. Just be sure to refrigerate your less-than-one-Ohm quantum microphones to less than 1 Kelvin (0 Kelvins being absolute zero temperature) from now on--this should add very little bulk to a hat for stealth recording. Also, if your microphones can take a direct lightning strike and the recorder's inputs still don't come close to clipping, then you're good to go.

Withering sarcasm aside, the example that they give of a recorded peak that's above 0 dBFS and is still preserved unclipped in the floating-point sound file, is possible only to the extent that the recorder's input circuitry (mike or line preamps) and a/d converters don't overload and clip. And good recorders do overload "gracefully" up to a point.

But defining that point is a critical engineering decision. If the circuit designer allows (say) 6 dB of overload without producing ugly-sounding output, that is not for free--it comes at the expense of the lower noise floor that the recorder could otherwise have had. It's a "be careful what you ask for--you may get it" type of situation.

Executive summary: This may be considered progress of a kind, but it still matters what levels you set when you record, for the same reasons as ever.

--best regards
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 04:42:04 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #93 on: August 29, 2019, 05:51:39 PM »
DSatz,

I appreciate your insights into this (and your withering sarcasm).  I, and some others, may have been grossly inaccurate in saying "levels don't matter" with 32-bit float recording.  It might be better to say that 32-bit float might (we shall see) be better at saving your bacon where you have set levels somewhat too high (with peaks going above 0 dBFS) or too low.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #94 on: August 29, 2019, 05:54:35 PM »
I also find it extremely ironic that Paul Issacs from from Sound Devices was openly critical on this board of the Zoom F6 and its 32-bit float recording, yet here we are now with a product from them that does the same exact thing.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #95 on: August 29, 2019, 08:27:32 PM »
> It might be better to say that 32-bit float might (we shall see) be better at saving your bacon where you have set levels somewhat too high (with peaks going above 0 dBFS) ...

Among the design choices that they could make, the first part of your statement could indeed come true; it would be rather foolish of them to choose otherwise, after all the hype. But whenever you can push above the nominal 0 level and still preserve the input waveform, that extra headroom above 0 (as I said before) can't be cost-free.

> ... or too low.

I don't believe that can be true, since 24-bit linear PCM encoding has never, in itself, determined the noise floor of any converter.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #96 on: August 29, 2019, 09:12:15 PM »
> ... or too low.

I don't believe that can be true, since 24-bit linear PCM encoding has never, in itself, determined the noise floor of any converter.

Well, I am curious what you have to say about the assertion the Zoom rep makes at the marked section of this video.  This has nothing to do with noisefloor, but available resolution when recording very low levels in fixed vs. floating point files.  I don't fully understand the math behind it; perhaps you do.
https://youtu.be/VR-kvI7Gbl0?t=140
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Online jerryfreak

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #97 on: August 29, 2019, 10:08:17 PM »
if you know your gear, you can do that with any mic by setting the levels properly

for example, lets say that you are recording a concert with peaks at 110 dB with a CMC64

we want to be conservative so 120 dB corresponds to -6dBU

nay, lets be extra conservative, and set it to 110 dB = -12 dBU

lets be REALLY REALLY conservative and set levels so 110 dB = -20 dBU

the 15 dB self noise of the mic (which is well below crowd noise) would be at the -115 dB level on your recorder, which is still 15 dB above the 130 dB EIN of that input, and 5 dB above the noise of the converter

so lets assume that we achieve nirvana on that evening. For a brief moment, the crowd (normally around -70 dBU) is absolutely silent for a moment, AND the venue HVAC system (normally -85 dbU) shuts down. that fly farting at 15 db sound level (which you MIGHT hear if you have the non-tinnitus'd ears of a child), will be captured on your recording

please note that this scenario leaves an extra 20 dB of headroom for the drunk biker that pulls your mic stand down to sing vocals directly into your mics during the encore. its crazy but we are already insanely blessed with modern tech for our purpose. everything else is diminishing returns to an extent
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 10:11:34 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline Paul Isaacs

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #98 on: August 29, 2019, 11:16:32 PM »
I also find it extremely ironic that Paul Issacs from from Sound Devices was openly critical on this board of the Zoom F6 and its 32-bit float recording, yet here we are now with a product from them that does the same exact thing.

Rather than copy my response, I'm linking to this other thread ...
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=191640.msg2309438#msg2309438

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #99 on: August 30, 2019, 07:16:25 AM »
"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. They've taken the strongest link and made it much, much stronger."

That to me seems to be the nub of the thing.

A 16 bit recording doesn't have the dynamic range of a very high quality mic & preamp (I'm open to correction).  Therefore we needed 24 bits.  That still doesn't have the dynamic range of that mic/preamp (really?).  Therefore we need more bits, and 32 bits floating point is as good as it will ever get and exceeds the dynamic range of any mic/preamp.  And it may mean that setting digital levels becomes non-critical.  We still need to get the analog side correctly set.

Is that an accurate summary of the whole deal, in as few words as possible?

Having said all that, when I listen back to the digital classical recordings I made over a great many years - from I think 1983 onwards - I don't ever think to myself, "That would have been better with more bits."  While there's something to be said for obtaining the very best fidelity technically possible in a recording, maybe that's of interest to only a small group of engineers and audiophiles, and 99% of the audience of the recording (which in the case of almost any classical recording is a pretty small group of people anyway) won't actually give a damn.

Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #100 on: August 30, 2019, 08:57:28 AM »
I also find it extremely ironic that Paul Issacs from from Sound Devices was openly critical on this board of the Zoom F6 and its 32-bit float recording, yet here we are now with a product from them that does the same exact thing.

Rather than copy my response, I'm linking to this other thread ...
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=191640.msg2309438#msg2309438

This:

"3) 32-bit float offers precision representation equally across the entire dynamic range. With traditional 24-bit fixed-point, super quiet signals may typically be just loud enough to have the lowest 4-8 bits (of the 24 available) be active - not great resolution at all. With floating point, even those super low level signals are represented by a full array of bits, thus maintaining accuracy at all levels. When you now normalize this low level signal back to 0dBFS, the precision is still there."

Yes.   This is why I have an F6 on order and am about to switch to mixpre II.

Jeff

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #101 on: August 30, 2019, 01:08:30 PM »
I don't want to double-post, but to paraphrase what I just posted in that other thread-

How does that square with the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem? Doesn't that contradict basic digital signal theory?
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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #102 on: August 30, 2019, 02:06:38 PM »
I don't want to double-post, but to paraphrase what I just posted in that other thread-
How does that square with the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem? Doesn't that contradict basic digital signal theory?
double posting to echo my reply in the other thread.


Nyquist says it is a perfect representation and that's good enough for me. A quiet signal should not require many bits to represent accurately.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #103 on: September 23, 2019, 06:29:31 PM »
We might finally have an actual release date in the near future.

B&H says "Beginning of October 2019".
Amazon says "In stock on October 21, 2019".
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Offline IronFilm

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #104 on: September 26, 2019, 12:12:01 AM »
Interesting to read.
It do have some analog/digital hybrid limiters to handle the inputs in 24 bit mode.

Advanced Look-Ahead Hybrid Limiters
When recording in 24-bit, the F6 uses advanced look-ahead hybrid limiters to provide overload protection. By adding a 1-millisecond delay, the limiters “look ahead” anticipating clipping before it’s recorded.


I could imagine this would be a two channel dream if they slashed the height with 2/3. 😃

Zoom F8n does this as well!

I would've liked it to support dual SD cards like the F4 and F8, but seeing how small it is I guess they wouldn't fit.

Wish they had a MicroSD there as well with the SD, the MicroSD could be used as a back up

 

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