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Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

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Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby george_vel » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:04 am

Do you think that soon there will be a new F8x edition with 32-bit float and dual A/D converters?

It’s interesting to see will Zoom try to respond to SD who put this feature on all MixPre II models, while Zoom has it only in F6.
Or F8n is still quite young on the market and Zoom will avoid self-sabotaging it, relying on the assumption the 6 inputs of F6 are quite competitive to SD versions and no need to hurry and upgrade F8x line.

Will be great to share your professional intuition :-)
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:40 am

Probably not. I suspect that Zoom has the reasonable expectation that anyone buying an 8 channel recorder will be experienced enough to get the levels right! And the F8n has a dual channel recording facility at -12dB below the 'regular' recording to cope with those whose natural instincts are to set the gain knob at 11.

I am a bit au fait with the Mix-Pre series and Zoom F8n at the moment as I am about to buy a new multi channel recorder, (well the old one is over 20 years old). Obviously I shall start recording by testing with the acoustics generated by tapping my glass trifle bowl!
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:12 am

:D :thumbup:
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby george_vel » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:04 pm

Trevor Johnson wrote:Probably not. I suspect that Zoom has the reasonable expectation that anyone buying an 8 channel recorder will be experienced enough to get the levels right! And the F8n has a dual channel recording facility at -12dB below the 'regular' recording to cope with those whose natural instincts are to set the gain knob at 11.

I am a bit au fait with the Mix-Pre series and Zoom F8n at the moment as I am about to buy a new multi channel recorder, (well the old one is over 20 years old). Obviously I shall start recording by testing with the acoustics generated by tapping my glass trifle bowl!

What you’re saying sounds reasonable, although SD are usually considered more pro-oriented and they’ve implemented it even on MixPre-10... :-)
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:41 pm

george_vel wrote:Do you think that soon there will be a new F8x edition with 32-bit float and dual A/D converters?

I'm sure it will happen, but probably not for a couple of years yet. It's a very expensive business to re-engineer another new model.

H
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby george_vel » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:31 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
george_vel wrote:Do you think that soon there will be a new F8x edition with 32-bit float and dual A/D converters?

I'm sure it will happen, but probably not for a couple of years yet. It's a very expensive business to re-engineer another new model.

H

Fully agree with you - it’s an expensive business.
But they actually released F6 pretty soon after F8n, and it seems to me like trying to compete and steal some market share :-)

I think it depends on their strategy and if it targets to compete with MixPre series somehow.
This might put some pressure on them to speed up new releases (at the moment SD has definitely an advantage), or more likely not, when considering their much lower cost per input.

We’ll see. :-)
Thanks for your thoughts!
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:00 pm

george_vel wrote:But they actually released F6 pretty soon after F8n, and it seems to me like trying to compete and steal some market share :-)

Zoom's floating point technology is new and unproven on the market, so it probably makes good sense to launch it in a separate product alongside the more traditional zoom f8 to test the waters. As has been discussed in other threads, the floating point tech has some useful benefits in some situations, but it isnt necessary in most and so wont appeal to everyone... And meanwhile the f8 is a popular seller, so why risk affecting that.

Sound Devices' decision to launch the MixPre II series was very bold and brave, but their approach to the floating point tech appears to be more sophisticated and innovative than Zoom's, so maybe they have more confidence to march boldly down that road.

I've tested SD's system and was very impressed but I've not yet had the chance to test Zoom's.
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby george_vel » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:09 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:...but their approach to the floating point tech appears to be more sophisticated and innovative than Zoom's, so maybe they have more confidence to march boldly down that road...

Well, now you have to elaborate on this... What’s exactly the difference between the two approaches?
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Kwackman » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:05 pm

george_vel wrote:Well, now you have to elaborate on this... What’s exactly the difference between the two approaches?

Not a comparison between the 2, but these might come close...

The SD system is covered in a box in this review.
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/so ... ixpre-6-ii

Also touched on in this thread, esp second page.
https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 6&start=20

From Sound Devices site...
https://www.sounddevices.com/32-bit-flo ... explained/
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:54 pm

george_vel wrote:Well, now you have to elaborate on this... What’s exactly the difference between the two approaches?

It's difficult to know the inner details becuase they are closely guarded commercial secrets... but Sound Devices have taken out a patent on their own arrangements which must therefore be fundamentally different to the approach taken by Zoom, Neumann, Merging and others who all claim to have 32-bit (fixed or floating point) conversion and correspondingly massive dynamic range.

From the little that's been said, SD's system appears to use multiple fixed-gain preamps feeding multiple converters, the outputs of which are combined in DSP. It seems it's the multiplicity of input paths and the way the data is combined that is the unique approach.

Other manufacturers use dual A-Ds with combined outputs, and some also use dual preamp stages with different gain structures to extend the dynamic range (which is what I think (such Zoom and Merging are doing).
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby george_vel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:39 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
george_vel wrote:Well, now you have to elaborate on this... What’s exactly the difference between the two approaches?

It's difficult to know the inner details becuase they are closely guarded commercial secrets... but Sound Devices have taken out a patent on their own arrangements which must therefore be fundamentally different to the approach taken by Zoom, Neumann, Merging and others who all claim to have 32-bit (fixed or floating point) conversion and correspondingly massive dynamic range.

From the little that's been said, SD's system appears to use multiple fixed-gain preamps feeding multiple converters, the outputs of which are combined in DSP. It seems it's the multiplicity of input paths and the way the data is combined that is the unique approach.

Other manufacturers use dual A-Ds with combined outputs, and some also use dual preamp stages with different gain structures to extend the dynamic range (which is what I think (such Zoom and Merging are doing).

Thanks for this info!
:thumbup:
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby george_vel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:05 pm

Ok, let me tell you why I actually asked this question originally here.

I’ve noticed that recently Thomann have started to decrease the price of Zoom F6 - it went from EUR 644 down to EUR 604 and now it is listed at EUR 612 on their website, at least for my country (for UK it might be different).

And I was thinking - ok, seems like these guys try to clear some stock availability at lower prices and boost F6 sales before a new flagship model is announced by Zoom - something like trying to reply to the fact that all models of SD mark II line have 32-bit float approach... And because Thomann are big retailer, they might have some inside information from their Zoom’s relationships...

But what Hugh have said here sounds like most likely this is not the case (who knows actually...) and it just might appear some temp Thomann promotion... at the end, I’ve bought Neumann KH 80 from Thomann for EUR 374 each and currently the price per speaker is EUR 447 per speaker, so obviously it was a promotion (again, applicable to my country only)...
;)
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:52 pm

I looked at the F6, but it simply looks awful, (at least to me), and the ergonomics look similarly flawed.

I had two essential requirements, as small as possible so that it fits into my traditional music case, (you know the design), and with timecode for my increasing use of video - much of it work related.

So I have just bought the MixPre-3 II from Pink Noise, timecode is very well implemented. I was concerned that the 3.5mm minijack is a 'jack of all trades', but at the times I need to, I can squirt two more channels from my Mico into it, as I won't be using timecode at that point.

At first I dismissed the 32 bit float, but thinking about it, it is perfect for my recordings, as a classical organist, where the dynamic range can be considerable! And I have been asked to record the works of Johann Ludwig Krebs, absolutely wonderful, music, so that will keep me out of mischief for a while.
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:02 pm

Trevor Johnson wrote:At first I dismissed the 32 bit float, but thinking about it, it is perfect for my recordings, as a classical organist, where the dynamic range can be considerable!

Not so considerable that it would cause the slightest problem for a standard 24-bit converter set up with a sensible gain structure... But if you're working on your own 32-bit float will get you out of trouble if you mis-set your headroom margins!
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:50 pm

Not so considerable that it would cause the slightest problem for a standard 24-bit converter set up with a sensible gain structure.

I agree, absolutely. And I come from the world of tape....... On many of the instruments I play, the console is a long way from the pipework, which itself can be at various differences from the others, e.g. choir, swell, great, solo. I am very used to latencies of well over 100ms! So, I am often divorced from the levels being recorded, depending on where my recorder is positioned.

Unfortunately, many of the instruments I play are in very public buildings. Once, I was about to launch the First Symphonic Chorale, Karg-Elert, Ach blieb mit deiner Gnade, when I group on a guided tour entered. I deferred for a while.

It's the 'on--the-fly' recordings where the 32 bit float may be useful: for the Krebs, there will be tuning, soundchecks, etc..
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby george_vel » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:51 am

Trevor Johnson wrote:I looked at the F6, but it simply looks awful, (at least to me), and the ergonomics look similarly flawed...
Agree - ergonomics looks flaw.

But I have a similar situation like yours with the organ.
I sing in the choir I usually record and I am not available all the time to monitor the levels, so I need some clip-proof solution available, at least to have some peace of mind.

F6 seems good for my intentions, although I’d prefer mixpre-ii - but they don’t have 6 input version (there’s a gap in SD recorders’ inputs from 4 directly to 8...) and are more expensive, so I am following master experts’ advice here to get better mics before going for a better recorder, hence I am looking at F6 device instead of SD stuff... :D
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:20 am

george_vel wrote:I sing in the choir I usually record and I am not available all the time to monitor the levels, so I need some clip-proof solution available, at least to have some peace of mind.

That's really easy... just set a 24-bit recorder up with plenty of headroom.

I set the levels during the choir warm-up to leave 20-25dB headroom. Never clipped yet during a performance!

F6 seems good for my intentions, although I’d prefer mixpre-ii - but they don’t have 6 input version

Sound Devices have the 633 six-channel mixer/recorder... or you could get a two-channel portable mic preamp and connect it to the MixPre-6 ii's line input.

...there’s a gap in SD recorders’ inputs from 4 directly to 8...

To be honest, if four channels aren't enough, six won't be either and eight is a logical and convenient next step. In my experience, everything I do falls into two, four, eight, or lots of channels (16+).

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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:11 pm

george_vel wrote:I sing in the choir I usually record and I am not available all the time to monitor the levels, so I need some clip-proof solution available, at least to have some peace of mind.

I'm sometimes in this situation. The remote control app for my Zoom F8n that runs on an ipad is quite invaluable here since although I'm not clever enough to sing and juggle levels at the same time I can at least see what they're doing.

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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Wonks » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:46 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote: In my experience, everything I do falls into two, four, eight..
Tom Robinson would disagree. :D

https://youtu.be/kGrnEc_3mYo
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Re: Anytime soon a new F8x edition by Zoom with 32-bit float?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:52 pm

I used to play this, maybe time for a revival :clap: :clap: :clap:
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