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Author Topic: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float  (Read 10503 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2023, 12:17:15 PM »
The stuff covered in the thread already.. for me that's the stuff mentioned higher up on this page, re: Channel input trim linking and Mid/Side monitoring; also a reminder to add sufficient digital gain to the headphone amp.

Will be curious to hear about syncing with other F-series recorders.  I haven't done that.
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Offline Datfly

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2023, 08:53:16 AM »
I just completed the family, adding this to my Zoom f3 and f6 collection. It seems a little gratuitous but I can see scenarios where I'd be using at least two out of the 3.

Any quirks I should be aware of? I think I'm most interested in what battery life I can get out of 8 lithium AA batteries (which I intend on using as a backup) along with having a l-series sony battery connected via the hirose connector.

Anyone have experience time syncing one of these with the Zoom F6? I can see a few circumstances where I'd have access to multitracks and may be useful to use both recorders to capture everything.

This video shows how to time code sync two F6 recorders. He also mentions he just bought a F8n Pro & will look into syncing that with the F6.
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Offline grawk

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2023, 09:24:21 AM »
I was interested in using timecode to make sure multiple recorders were in sync for multitrack, but apparently it's not precise enough for that.  You'll still have to time align them in post, and potentially stretch/retime to match.  But it will probably at least help.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2023, 03:29:51 PM »
It sounds like there's a bit of disagreement in the comments about how the test in that video was done. But it seems like a better way to sync multiple recorders would be to feed them from the same digital master clock. One commenter addresses this:

Quote
@bernard8ulrich        1 year ago
Interesting BUT : but from a purist point of view this setup isn't correct to avoid phase problem between the tracks on each recorder. It's only Time-Code Sync not Word Clock sharing. If you want to preserve phase you need to be synchronized on sample rate that is far more that 1/25 second. That is the purpose of Word Clock and the connection for this standard is BNC.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2023, 05:22:12 PM »
Quote
@bernard8ulrich        1 year ago
[snip..]That is the purpose of Word Clock and the connection for this standard is BNC.

True, although the other standard Word Clock connection frequently found on the gear commonly used by tapers is RCA.  I've also seen it over mini-plug on a few smaller recorders, but that's not common.

With more accurate modern clocks that drift less I do wonder if time-code sync might be close enough.   On the face of it, sync at the level of each frame around 1/24 to 1/30th of a second is not nearly close enough for acoustic phase synchronization by an couple orders of magnitude, however if the separate clocks are accurate enough to stay sufficiently in sync between those force-sync points (which they should), it might work out fine. 

Manually syncing two R-09s back in the day (which I can only imagine used far less accurate clocks) I could get away with at least 15-20 mins of sufficiently accurate synchronization, sometimes an hour or more - although I had a bit more leeway as I wasn't splitting coincident phase-critical pairs between separate recorders.  Maintaing phase-accurate sync between 1/24-1/30th of a second sync points isn't a big ask.
^
If so it may be that timecode sync'd clocks can retain sync sufficient for phase-accurate audio over the the entire recording, but the alignment of the files may need to be nudged into sync at the start (within that single frame 1/24-1/30th of a second increment), and maybe again after a file-split.

This needs some bench testing.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2023, 05:25:49 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Chanher

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2023, 06:09:01 PM »
Funny you guys are discussing this.

Last week was the 2nd time in a row that a F6 multitrack and an F3 audience recording did NOT drift apart after lining up them at the start using snare hits. I did not use the timecode feature (I don’t think the F3 has it).

Back in October I was running multitrack with the F6 (using all 6 channels) when they added a last minute instrument so I hastily used my F2 mono recorder to capture it and to my surprise that also remained in sync after getting it initially lined up in Reaper.

I BELIEVE I have one instance where I ran my F6 and F3 and iirc they did NOT stay in sync. I did not check this one closely, I only added the F3 audience recording into the mix just to quickly confirm that the ambience mic sounded better in the overall multitrack mix (it did). I quickly scrolled to the end of the show and remember hearing that they were grossly out of sync.

I remember reading about random occasions where completely separate recorders would stay in sync so I wasn’t completely surprised. I’d love to know how often this will happen with Zoom recorders, I’ll TRY to get some bench tests going but I’m behind on multiple projects as well as some cable building that needs finishing (just learned to solder).
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2023, 05:10:51 PM »
The deck is stacked in your favor.  It's more likely to happen with more modern machines using more accurate clocks, but also more likely to happen when the separate recorders were made by the same manufacturer, particularly recorders in the same category (F series), as they are likely to use the identical clock component in both machines.

Also, there is significant leeway in how close sync needs to be for an ambience mic or pair, and somewhat more for a wide spaced pair, than there is for a near-spaced pair or especially a coincident pair where much smaller phase differences can be problematic.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline roffels

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2023, 01:16:12 AM »
I've run the f8n pro for 3 gigs now, and just had a failure. I suspect it was something to do with my Sony-L series battery connected via hirose, but I also had lithium AA batteries inside the unit in case there was any issue. I got most of the set I was recording, but missed the last 3 songs. I'm a little annoyed because I'm not sure where the failure point was - if there was an issue with the external battery, the AAs should have carried things just fine, and both the external battery and internal have plenty of charge.

I was running 4 mics phantom and line-in on 2 channels. I'm mostly just sharing frustration. The f6 has been rock-solid so having an issue with this during my first week with it is pretty frustrating.

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2023, 08:13:56 AM »
Bummer. I suspect the internal lithium AA's get discharged somewhat even when an external battery is in use.  I use fresh ones in combination with a Talentcell external at multi-day festivals as backup / UPS and to allow Tallentcell swapping if necessary (a holdover from DVD battery days, I don't think I've ever needed to hot-swap the big Talentcells).  I don't intentionally use the internal batteries, but may occasionally do so when listening back and not really paying close attention to the external. At some point following a fest I'll notice that the internals have run down completely.  The Talencell is reliable and I frequently rely on it alone for non-festival recording, so I typically don't end up changing the internals  until the next fest.  So.. very non-rigorous test, but the internals seem to run down at some point regardless.

I do notice that the external supply voltage indicated on the F8 screen drops over time somewhat as the Talentcell is depleted.  Not sure the Talentcell discharge curve or how a steady its voltage regulator.  It could be that there is some threshold voltage under which the recorder begins to draw some current from the internals along with the external.

Lots of speculation on my part, but possibly helpful.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2023, 07:12:06 PM »
It's not the same unit, but I can confirm that the internal AA's on my F6 definitely drain when it's turned off.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2023, 09:57:58 PM »
Ahhh, that very well could be it!  Didn't think of that. I might start popping the AA tray out between recording sessions to see if that counters the discharging.

..unless it keeps the date and clock battery from running down.
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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline voltronic

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2023, 10:21:14 PM »
Ahhh, that very well could be it!  Didn't think of that. I might start popping the AA tray out between recording sessions to see if that counters the discharging.

..unless it keeps the date and clock battery from running down.

Again, not owning an F8, but speaking for the F6:

The internal AA's do not prevent the time of day battery from discharging, nor do the L-Mount batteries. You need to have it on USB power for a significant amount of time to charge the clock battery. I recall reading a post from Zoom tech support somewhere that stated this
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Offline roffels

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2023, 10:55:27 AM »
I'm 99% certain my problem has to do with the barrel plug on my external battery adapter coming loose/being unreliable. The F8n pro has a setting to shut down if the voltage dips to 8 volts.

That said, the internal batteries have plenty of charge so it SHOULD have switched to the internals. The other possibility is someone messed with my recorder, but I think that's unlikely. I was not monitoring it though. In any event, it appears to be a controlled power down, because the last file was less than the 2 gigabyte file limit and not corrupted.

The sound engineer last night let me plug in to DC last night so that was one less thing to worry about.

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2023, 04:59:46 PM »
Looks useful...
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Offline pohaku

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Re: ZOOM F8n PRO Multitrack Field Recorder - Dual ADC and 32-bit Float
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2023, 12:41:40 AM »
Looks useful...
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