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And now... the Zoom F6!

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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby IronFilm » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:38 am

The Elf wrote:Clever stuff! Really hope this idea drops down to an H4/5 format.

I'd imagine that Zoom will update their H series eventually. As their F series pre amps are MUCH better than in the H series.
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon May 27, 2019 10:37 am

A good first-look review. Worth viewing for it's explanation of gain-staging and the demo of the incredible dynamic range that the F6 can handle with ease.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4oNd1RgGL0
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 27, 2019 11:05 am

It's an ugly brick of a thing isn't it? And that power button looks both awkwardly and vulnerably placed -- although that's a complaint that's often levied at manufacturers and usually turns out to be unfounded... so I'll wait til I get my hands on a real one before forming a proper view.

The recording tech is clever, and will make life much easier -- and deliver more usable recordings -- for amateurs who don't understand gain staging. But it does make a lot more more work in post-production of course to wrangle sensible levels out of the 32-bit float file.

So in the pro-world it will be a great thing for assistant producers doing single-camera fly-on-the-wall doco-shoots without a proper crew....and it's another nail in the coffin of professional sound recordists. :-( Just have to hope they point the mic the right way...

Clearly very feature-rich, which is good, but it's tiny... tiny... tiny.... and looks pretty fiddly to use.
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby The Elf » Mon May 27, 2019 1:39 pm

I'm blown away by the A/D technology, but this looks more like a concept design than anything that would make it into production.

Half an hour up on the Yorkshire moors and there's not a set of fingers in the world that will be able to manage those knobs and buttons!

Watching with interest...
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 27, 2019 2:23 pm

Pretty sure that is as close as makes no difference to the full production unit.

Thankfully, the only buttons and knobs you need to fiddle with are the record and stop buttons. Assuming it's been set up sensibly, everything else will take care of itself.... or so they claim!

And clever though the tech is, I doubt the performance would be significantly different in practice from just recording with a generous headroom margin on a current 24 bit machine. The overwhelming element that defines the recorded noise floor will be the acoustic noise into the mic, not the preamp/converter noise -- and by a massive margin.

When recording live action stuff with very wide and unpredictable dynamic ranges and high peak SPLs, I often just set the preamp gain very low so that the ambient noise level is around -60dBFS or so on my Nagra VI (or even lower if the expected peak noise is nearing painfully loud), and then let whatever happens, happen... Seems to get the job done with no fuss, no overloads, and no noise problems in post-production.

Who needs 32-bit float? :D :wave:

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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby miN2 » Wed May 29, 2019 7:19 am

I'm still impressed by this thing, maybe that's down to my ignorance and lack of experience of hardware mind.

Would it be possible to isolate each converter individually to a seperate audio file? This would allow capturing the quiet sounds in a loud environment?
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed May 29, 2019 8:04 am

No.
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:23 pm

Hope you don't mind me resurrecting this thread, the reason being I'm seriously considering getting an F6. I think I've got how this no gain setting business works in recording and it could be very useful to me. I'm involved in a project at a folk festival next year to record substantial parts of it and my particular corner would likely be sessions. These can have quite large and unpredictable dynamic variations over quite short periods. What I'm wondering is what happens when you try and move your recording to a DAW for further editing. For a 24 bit file where I've got the preamp gain right it's just a simple file import, but for the 32 bit file how do you choose the level for the import? Am I even explaining that clearly??

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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:42 pm

Hi CC

Have you looked at the video I referenced above (Post date: 27 May)? Does that cover what you need to know? My impression is that you drag 'n' drop the file(s) from the recorder into your DAW and then use gain increase/normalise to 'see' the file audio level.
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:44 pm

I'll give it another shufty, it was months ago I viewed it. Other reasons for looking at the F6 include its size. Recording a session you need to be relatively inconspicuous and it occurs to me the combination of an ambisonic mic like my NT-SF1 and the F6 could make a pretty potent recording combination in a small package.

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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:07 pm

You should be able just to drag the 32-bit Float file into your DAW and carry on as normal...

But just in case the 32-bit Float format isn't compatible with a specific DAW, there is an option to record within the zoom to both 24-bit WAV and 32-bit Float at the same time -- a bit like a DSLR saving both JPG and RAW files simultaneously, so you have options!

Unfortunately, I can't find a list of 32-bit Float-compatible DAWs on the Zoom site... which seems a bit of an oversight!

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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:08 pm

Well that was interesting. I found a couple of short 32 bit float files online and tried importing them into Logic. In both cases Logic proceeded to create 24 bit versions of the files alongside the original files and then imported those (means your files for import have to be on writeable media with space for the intermediate files to be created). I need to do some more experimenting, I think, before I really understand how it will handle the Zoom files.

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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:13 pm

Or drop Zoom a note and ask the question?
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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:19 pm

If I can't dig up the answer for myself I will, but I shouldn't have thought Zoom are going to be huge experts in Logic. The ideal thing would be to get hold of a file or two that was recorded on an F6 (I got a long way with Logic when experimenting with example Ambisonic files) but that's unlikely as the beast is only now coming into the shops.

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Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:25 pm

Of course the Zoom H3-VR could be a ready made for this job IF the quality is up to snuff ...

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