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zoom F4 - SD card question

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zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby avivabuh » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:59 am

Hi,
By using the zoom F4 with 2 SD cards, the recording is saved (by default) on both of the memory cards simultaneously (like "backup").
i want to use the full capacity of the field recorder (2 SD cards of 512 GB), and i cant find how to make the recorder save the records on the 1st SD card and when it runs out of space continuing saving on the 2nd SD card.

hope that i explained it right.
thanks for any help,
Aviv
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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:47 am

avivabuh wrote:By using the zoom F4 with 2 SD cards, the recording is saved (by default) on both of the memory cards simultaneously (like "backup").

Yes, this is the standard way of working because the assumption is that SD cards occasionally fail, and no one wants to lose their precious recordings... so recording simultaneously to two cards at the same time is a sensible precaution.

I want to use the full capacity of the field recorder (2 SD cards of 512 GB), and i cant find how to make the recorder save the records on the 1st SD card and when it runs out of space continuing saving on the 2nd SD card.

I'm not sure you can... although you can select which card the recording is stored on manually.

There are several experienced Zoom users here who may be able to offer more insight...

Can I ask what you are trying to do that requires 1TB of continuous recording capacity?

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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:07 am

I have an F4...

... I haven't yet found a way of establishing an auto switch between Card A and Card B.

The only reason I can think you'd want to do this is if you're going to be on location for an extended period with no ability to transfer files from the recorder. Even then, by checking usage at end-of day you can easily switch to record to 'B' rather than 'A'.
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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby avivabuh » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:14 am

Hi Hugh,
thanks for the info, but i hope there is an solution for continuous recording.
I want to make a continuous recording for over 2-3 days, for an experiment i do - "noise exploration" to understand what noise is in a particular area where I'm doing the experiment.

have a nice day,
aviv
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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:30 pm

avivabuh wrote:I want to make a continuous recording for over 2-3 days...

An unusual requirement!

I don't think you're going to be able to achieve that with the Zoom. Or most other portable location recorders, for that matter.

You're probably going to need something that can record directly to a very large hard-drive. In which case the obvious solution is a laptop with a USB interface and an external USB drive.

Or you could hire one of the older portable machines with the capability of recording to an external drive. A Nagra VI would do it, for example, or a Sound Devices 970, or a JoeCo recorder.... (there are others).

How many recording channels do you need, and do you require mic preamps? Does it need to be battery-powered or is mains power available? Does it need to be weatherproof?

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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby avivabuh » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:13 am

thanks guys!
I will handle that with the zoom F4, your support was very helpful.
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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby ef37a » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:47 am

I thought I read somewhere that there was a limit, albeit a big one, to the length of a single continuous recording to a hard drive?

This limit was about "G bits" so you could double the time by halving the sampling frequency....Or am I still stuck back with 32 bit XP and the 2 and bit gig limit?

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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:15 pm

.wav files are limited to a maximum of 4GB, though some recording devices set a limit of 2GB themselves. But other file formats have different maximum file sizes/recording lengths. I believe mp3 files can be a lot longer, so that would be a better format to record in (plus the file size is smaller).

Audacity stores the recordings (or it used to) as a number of sequential smaller files (saves info being lost if power is lost), so it is only limited to the amount of storage capacity.

But ultimately it comes down to the limitations on file size imposed by the recording equipment manufacturer, some of which may not be obvious or even documented.
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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:52 pm

FWIW, a single 256GB card should record for over a 8 days at 16/44.1 stereo, or nearly 6 days at 24/44.1 (my battered old Marrantz PMD620 pocket recorder can record nearly 49 hours of 16/44.1 stereo to a 32 GB SD card). Even recording to 4 tracks would get you nearly 3 days of 24/44.1. The recorder will split the files up into manageable sizes (mine does 30 mins but the cards are FAT32, I don't know how the F4 cards are formatted so it may manage file sizes differently).

If you could use .mp3 the you could probably record for several weeks continuously to a single SD card.
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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:57 pm

ef37a wrote:I thought I read somewhere that there was a limit, albeit a big one, to the length of a single continuous recording to a hard drive?

There is, and it's a function of the audio file format, the data storage structure, and the computer's addressing system.

As Wonks says, some disk systems and audio file formats restrict maximum file sizes to 2GB, but most (eg. FAT32 and standard WAVs) are 4GB.

However, the more modern file systems like NFTS and RF64 can cope with much, much larger single file sizes (as well as larger drive capacities).

Regardless, the majority of audio recording applications will simply close the file when the maximum format size is reached and simultaneously open a new one in a seamless way so that no audio samples are lost. The two sequentially named files can then simply be butted against one another in the DAW for seamless bit-perfect replay.

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Re: zoom F4 - SD card question

Postby The Flick Guy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:28 pm

The compatibility list published on the Zoom website is about 3 years old and most cards aren't even available anymore. I called their customer service and they said that any class 10 card would perform well, and they recommended SanDisk.
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