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Zoom F8 - 8 track audio recorder
  • 62 Replies sorted by
  • Timecode, dual SD cards and 8 inputs, color screen. Looks good. Wish it took a monster battery.

  • Would be nice to know where it's noise floor is at and dynamic range. Zoom has always been super affordable, but from the point of view of sound - well, just adequate at best.

  • 8 channels is overkill IMO. Better to do 4 with larger knobs and maybe a few switch on each channel. I wouldn't want to run 8 xlr cables into a tiny unit like that especially if it was shoulder slung.

  • 8 channels is perfect. If you don't need all eight, you can get a smaller unit, but I find that it is handy to simply use four or six channels and have the extra two as a backup, mixdown, or for the times you really need all eight.

  • Timecode on the base? That's not going to work too well in a bag, and power in on the base?

  • Probably cheaper than SD, but is it as good? Not that I can afford either.....

  • @wordsofpeace the Fostex sorry Tascam DR 680 is cheap and sounds as good as anything on the market. Lots of cheap and easy choices now.

  • Fostex DR 680

    What is this?

  • I hope it hasn't all the issues with those strange noises probably made by a not so stellar design of the audio buffer. I've had those issues with the H4, first edition, and with the H1, replaced at no cost by the manufacturer.

  • strange noises probably made by a not so stellar design of the audio buffer

    What you mean here? And that exactly is "audio buffer"?

  • Sorry Tascam DR 680 not Fostex. Re buffer: I never had buffer issues with Zoom products, but this looks like a completely new design anyway.

  • Aside from the battery, which should really be a monster battery like Sony, it looks good. We will have to see what it sounds like :). Neutrik connectors is a good sign that they did not try to save a few pennies on the parts. I don't see easy to reach P48 controls, which is something I like about the Tascam DR 680.

    If you look at the front panel, there is what looks like an "over" light above the PFL switch. On the left screen you can see there is some numerical info for the battery. Each channel has a "lim" which must be a limiter, and there is a flash type icon which must be for P48. Each SD card has its own display. The power button looks really cheesy and you can see it is flickering in the video.

    In the middle is a switch for line level, a menu dial and headphone control. Not good the have the HP control near the menu dial for obvious reasons.

  • Any more news about this? Zoom had said they'd release more info "this summer" including pricing.

  • There was a tweet about it implying a working model, but not what I would call a release date

  • image

    Presented officially

    • Phantom power (+24V/+48V) can be turned on and off for each preamp individually.
    • Plug in any Zoom mic capsule.
    • 10 tracks—8 input channels, plus a stereo mix track*—allow you to simultaneously record stereo and surround sound.
    • An onboard mixer with flexible routing of all inputs and outputs (pre- and post-fader). Each channel has controls for pan, input/output delay, filtering, and limiting.
    • The F8 can be mounted to a tripod and attached to your camera using the included mounting bracket.
    • $999

    800 x 405 - 52K
  • Looks like SD :)

  • claims the following: "However, unlike some more expensive recorders or standalone audio interfaces, the Zoom provides only mixed analogue outputs, rather than iso-channels for each audio input. It can, though, pass four audio to a computer or iPad over USB, or to other devices by combining the two sets of output sockets."

    How limiting this would be (namely, the lack of individual iso-channels) in a "normal" production?

  • How limiting this would be (namely, the lack of individual iso-channels) in a "normal" production?

    If you have something that can accept all this channels it can affect :-)

  • I don't think it would be limiting in production. The recorder still records isolated channels. Usually the output is sent to a camera and it's fairly common to be sent mixed. (Though often one or more channels are panned full Left and others are panned full Right to effectively create iso channels within a mixed stereo output.)

  • Good review

    Input limiters and high pass filters are after the analog to digital conversion stage, and much after the microphone pre-amplification stage, rendering them pretty much useless for analog inputs. Any overloading signal and/or low frequency energy will be amplified at the mic pre stage, before it is converted to digital and processed through either the limiter or the HPF.

    Tracks 1 through 8 are the ISO tracks, and tracks 9 and 10 are the stereo mix. For anyone who’s ever dealt with or knows about double-system sound, dailies syncing and editing, you know the huge issue this can be in post. Editors expect for the first one or two tracks to be the mix track(s). This is what they use for dailies and for editing, and sometimes even for syncing when using tools such as Plural Eyes. If the first tracks are ISOs instead of mix tracks, can you imagine the phone calls you’ll be receiving in the middle of the night asking what happened to the mix tracks? This is only made worse by the fact that the tracks are unlabeled, since there is no ability to name tracks. HUGE issue in my opinion.

    During the recording at Gotham, as I monitored both the Zoom F8 and the Sound Devices 744T, I was under the impression that the 744T had a lot more transparency and that the F8 had a lot of coloration. It wasn’t bad, but it definitely made me doubt how good the F8 pre amps could be. I didn’t want to make any final judgments then, though. I wanted to get back home, and playback the files to make sure of what I was listening to.

    And hold and behold, after playing back the files on my computer, I realized that it was not the recordings, but rather the headphone amp on the F8 that was coloring the sound. I have to be honest and say that I am completely blown away by how incredibly good the Zoom F8 mic pre’s sound. I can hear very little difference against the Sound Devices 744T, playing back from my laptop’s DAC using ATH-M50X to monitor. There’s no audible self-noise, unlike its siblings. There seems to be a good amount of dynamic range too.