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Author Topic: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)  (Read 33553 times)

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Offline mepaca

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #240 on: February 08, 2020, 08:55:15 AM »
theres some 'refurbs' up on ebay for $549/best offer.

same seller has one for $508 on reverb

https://reverb.com/item/31892595-zoom-f6-multitrack-field-recorder

There are some on Amazon too.

Offline SMsound

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #241 on: March 29, 2020, 10:45:02 PM »
Has anyone heard more info re:whether Zoom is releasing a firmware update to let you adjust gain via the knobs when recording in 24bit mode? I heard rumors several months ago, including one that said Zoom had confirmed that they would do this (though I don't see this anywhere official) but don't see this listed in the January firmware update.

Offline carpa

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #242 on: May 10, 2020, 11:25:15 AM »
Have read all this long thread, very interesting...still need to understand wether this Zoom f6 would work for my needs.
I have read all posts, with particular interest to @Voltronic, as he seems to be a colleague of mine being himself a pianist, thus sharing some common necessities. I'll try to summarize my needs ( maybe too many)and hope to solve my questions...

1) Recording my own piano recitals ( solo or chamber music). 32 bit seems interesting as most of the times I am concerned with my playing or rehearsing on stages with colleagues asking for my presence at the piano instead of playing around with  setting levels etc.
Question is: does the "automatic" setting in 32 bit mode  always result in a clipped file to be reduced in post? What happens if we set the same 32 bit with Line level instead of Mic setting? Will it be safer? My lack of skill scares me a bit: I've been used to link my recorder to a pc, transfer a file and being done.  I know that also a parallel "traditional" 24 bit track can be recorded so that nothing different from past habits comes into play....

2) Easy "record-listen-cancel" work at home. I often work at new pieces I'm learning just by recording a few bars and listen right after in order to figure out every detail of my playing, then go on and at the end of a working session cancel everything.
How easy is Zoom f6 in being used in that way also, just like I've been doing with my Edirol up till now?

3) Powering. Apart from powering via AAA, L-batteries and usb C battery packs it can also work plugged into a wall AC: does it perform ok or there might be any noise or unwanted hum? Will a common 5v plug ( like an iPhone charger) fit the need or the specified item has to be bought?

4) Switched to an iMac and can no more run my firewire interface, so I'd use Zoom f6 also as usb powered audio interface. Didn't really understand what limitations there will be: I've heard that only 48 KHZ is allowed in the interface mode but it seems strange to me, maybe I misunderstood?   I understand that there is probably no need to record directly into a PC, but it could help me to know in which aspects a dedicate usb interface could be preferable ( don't need instrument input or midi).

5) Last question, also related to usb interface mode. In this COVID era I'm listening to my students via streaming platforms like Streamyard or Voip like Skype and don't own an USB mic, so I just rely on my Mac internal microphone. Would like to know wether I could easily plug a mic into the Zoom in USB interface mode and use it for interacting with my students through my pc or it would turn to be a pain in the ass setting things.

Overall it seems that choosing something like a Zoom H6 or Tascam DR-40 would be a cheaper downgrade, but maybe an easier- to deal-with machine? Just concerns about my abilities.....
thank you very much
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 11:29:05 AM by carpa »

Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #243 on: May 11, 2020, 12:52:59 PM »
carpa,

1) With 32-bit float on the F6, "clipped" really is NOT.  In other words, you might record a piece and the resulting file has peaks of +20 dB.  In any app that handles this file format (most anything nowadays), you simply lower the level and nothing is clipped.  Or if you set levels very low, you might have average levels of -60 dB.  Same thing; you just raise it in post and it sounds just fine.  You can set the faders really high, or really low - it makes no difference because you are just adjusting the post-ADC level.  With this file format and with the dual ADCs, your dynamic range is enormous.  It's a bit difficult to conceptualize until you try if for yourself.

Keep in mind that the preamp level (pre-ADC) is fixed on the F6 if set to 32-bit float mode.  Again, you can only adjust the fader level (post-ADC) in this mode.

The only thing you need to worry about is overloading the analog input stage, which has been discussed at length here before.  That would be the only reason to use LINE+PHANTOM, which pads the input down.  I would note that WiFiJeff done classical piano recordings with the Josephson c617set, an exceptionally sensitive mic with a very hot output.  If that didn't overload the F6 input stage, then I would think you would have a lot of leeway.

Bottom line - 32-bit float on the F6 is THE way to go for the way you and I are both performing and recording, as long as you plan to do some basic post work.


2) I haven't used it this way, but you can quickly play back anything you recorded.  I would say that for this use, you should set it to 24-bit fixed mode so you can adjust the preamp to a normal conservative level.  If you used 32-bit float mode with the fixed gain, you could easily wind up with levels way beyond 0 dBFS, and that would definitely clip your headphone out when listening back. 


3)  I haven't tried AC powering.  If you do this, just make sure you are matching the specified input requirements.  I still recommend that you go with the Dracast 6600 mAh batteries I am using, as they last a VERY long time, and you would never need to worry about external power supply noise.

4) USB interface mode supports up to 24-bit/96 kHz.  It would be very nice if a firmware update could allow 32-bit float recording over USB, but I wonder if it is a limitation of the USB 2.0 bus speed, since 192 kHz is supported when recording internally but not over USB.

5) I know this would work on Windows, and can't see why it wouldn't on a Mac.  You just select your F6 as the external mic.

6) The F6 is in a completely different class than the H6 in every possible way.  It is more than worth the extra $200.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
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Offline carpa

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #244 on: May 11, 2020, 03:38:12 PM »
Voltronic,

thank you so much. I appreciated  your detailed answer, without leaving any point out. As for the AC powering, I would just use it during my "homework" or Skype calls so that I don't have to worry about quality; of course I would think about batteries in case of performances or consistent work.
It really seems the best price/performance gear out there, especially given the need of a fast setting.
Luckily my Edirol R09 HR, whose inputs broke down a couple days ago, started working again; what I thought it's fault was -unluckily- the defeat of my Naiant Littlebox instead , which began outputting only noise and no sound at all and - who knows why - for a while even the recorder sounded messed up even unplugged from the preamp.   So, R09 is till usable with some self powered electrets, though I cannot power my Naiant mics nor plan to buy a pair of really decent mics. No concerts now in this sad CODIV times, but soon I hope we'll take life back and I'll pull the trigger and get one of this Zoom.
Thank you again

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #245 on: May 11, 2020, 03:48:57 PM »
Voltronic,

thank you so much. I appreciated  your detailed answer, without leaving any point out. As for the AC powering, I would just use it during my "homework" or Skype calls so that I don't have to worry about quality; of course I would think about batteries in case of performances or consistent work.

for 2 channels any generic phone charger with a usb-c charging cable would be fine

if youre rocking 6ch+phantom you might want one of the more burly USB-C wall plugs like Anker that can power a macbook
https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Charger-Delivery-PowerPort-MateBook/dp/B06Y427WT7

the unit is insanely efficient tho
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #246 on: May 11, 2020, 10:25:41 PM »
But in the end it's a big gimmick and just digital fuckery, so why bother with a more efficient power source?

Offline Walstib62

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #247 on: May 11, 2020, 10:32:11 PM »
But it all comes down to the actual implementation. If that is as good as it possibly can be, then we'll have a recorder with no gain control, that by definition can't have a wider dynamic range than the best previous recorder that has a gain control. So before you fall too far in love with this design concept, I suggest that you imagine epoxying the gain control on your best existing recorder to a setting that you know will never allow overload. Do you think that it would always make recordings that are as quiet as you could have made if you'd set your levels specifically for each occasion? I don't think so. And in that case you shouldn't expect more from this recorder.
a much more technical way of saying what many of us have been saying... its a gimmick that offers no real advantage for our application, as any input has a fixed maximum headroom between noise floor, and maximum input level, and any attempts to skirt this with digital fuckery are in the end... digital fuckery.


Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #248 on: May 11, 2020, 10:35:57 PM »
That's still correct, which is why I agreed with Mr. Satz. Their application (micing instruments at wide SPL ranges, without easy ability to control levels on the fly) is not our* application (live concert taping, where 32-bit offers zero advantage in sound vs. 24-bit recording at proper levels)

*our=most people here

In fact, as he suggests, if they are using the same microphones all the time they could very fix the gain on any 24-bit recorder and achieve the same results

doesnt mean its not a great recorder. I love my F6
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 10:56:56 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #249 on: May 11, 2020, 10:47:53 PM »
That's still correct, which is why I agreed with Mr. Satz. Their application (micing instruments at wide SPL ranges, without easy ability to control levels on the fly) is not our* application (live concert taping, where 32-bit offers zero advantage in sound vs. 24-bit recording at proper levels)

*our=most people here

doesnt mean its not a great recorder. I love my F6


So it is simultaneously a gimmick, nothing more than digital fuckery, and a great recorder that is useful for pretty much any application you could throw at it. Thanks for clarifying that.  Rocket Surgeon!! :facepalm:

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #250 on: May 11, 2020, 10:54:09 PM »
yes both of those are mutually exclusive

why dont you leave your trolly BS over in the PZ instead of cluttering up actual serious threads?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 10:58:21 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #251 on: May 11, 2020, 11:07:47 PM »
hey man, why dont you leave your trolly BS over in the PZ instead of cluttering up actual serious threads?


My professional expertise is electronics. You've made a number of incorrect statements on this subject. I'm concerned about others being misled by your posts. 

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #252 on: May 11, 2020, 11:14:22 PM »
ok then list the "incorrect statements" ive made. im not aware of any concert tapers that are recording concerts peaking at -60dB for shits and giggles, which again means that 32bit float offers *zero* advantage compared with properly set levels ( peaks > -20 dB) for the purpose of concert taping

Very telling that the subject had literally sat for close to a year, until , just coincidentally after you develop a habit of trolling me in the PZ board (The majority of your posts in the last 10 days have been directed at me, into double digits), you feel the need to follow me over here and "correct the record".
 
so make with your highfalutin' electronics knowledge, then. No need to be coy and make there be (7 so far) extra posts. There is still time to save a bunch of people from misleading info, instead of wasting your time making the majority of your posts on political issues. I'm sure we'd all be happy to hear about your hands-on experience with the F6.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 11:23:37 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #253 on: May 12, 2020, 12:00:18 AM »
ok then list the "incorrect statements" ive made. im not aware of any concert tapers that are recording concerts peaking at -60dB for shits and giggles, which again means that 32bit float offers *zero* advantage compared with properly set levels ( peaks > -20 dB) for the purpose of concert taping

Very telling that the subject had literally sat for close to a year, until , just coincidentally after you develop a habit of trolling me in the PZ board, you feel the need to follow me and "correct the record" over here

so make with your highfalutin' electronics knowledge, then. No need to be coy and make there be (7 so far) extra posts. There is still time to save a bunch of people from misleading info, instead of wasting your time making the majority of your posts on political issues. I'm sure we'd all be happy to hear about your hands-on experience with the F6.


Digital fuckery. It took a team of engineers and millions of dollars to perform the feat of this fuckery. LOL. 


Offline voltronic

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Re: Zoom F6 (32-bit float equipped)
« Reply #254 on: May 12, 2020, 09:57:40 AM »
ok then list the "incorrect statements" ive made. im not aware of any concert tapers that are recording concerts peaking at -60dB for shits and giggles, which again means that 32bit float offers *zero* advantage compared with properly set levels ( peaks > -20 dB) for the purpose of concert taping

Very telling that the subject had literally sat for close to a year, until , just coincidentally after you develop a habit of trolling me in the PZ board, you feel the need to follow me and "correct the record" over here

so make with your highfalutin' electronics knowledge, then. No need to be coy and make there be (7 so far) extra posts. There is still time to save a bunch of people from misleading info, instead of wasting your time making the majority of your posts on political issues. I'm sure we'd all be happy to hear about your hands-on experience with the F6.


Digital fuckery. It took a team of engineers and millions of dollars to perform the feat of this fuckery. LOL.

This is getting tiresome.

Here is what I know.

The F6, with its implementation of dual ADCs and 32-bit float point recording have made it much easier for me to capture the performances I am recording (and often also performing in) without having to use safety tracks.  I often don't have the ability to do a sound check, and the things I record often have unpredictable levels.  I have spoken about this numerous times; no need to repeat it all here.

The F6 with 32-bit FP recording has been a game changer for me, and I have yet to encounter any negatives to recording this way.  It works; period.

Theoretical criticisms are one thing; direct experience and evidence are another.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 | KRK Rokit RP5 | Sennheiser HD 650

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