You are here

And now... the Zoom F6!

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:16 am

Mike Stranks wrote:Nor mine... Back in the early 70's the News crews for 'Points West' had four people: reporter, cameraman/director, soundman, lightsman.

These days more often than not for BBC local news the reporter does it all...

Yep... or sometimes the reporter works with a single camera operator who also does the sound and lighting (although lighting is rare these days, partly because the cameras are more capable of coping with different lighting conditions).

In the mid-90s I was asked to deliver a series of training courses at Granada TV in Manchester who wanted to reduce their news crews from three to two for cost reasons (obviously). But the lighting union was much stronger than the sound union, and so the existing soundies got the heave ho, and I had to retrain a bunch of recalcitrant lighting riggers in the complexities and subtleties of sound... can you imagine what fun that was? ...or how successful the results were? :lol:

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23487
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:17 am

The Elf wrote:Maybe penny is falling...

That knob is an 'offset' (or multiplier?) to the mantissa, and that offset is stored along with the data?

Precissement! :lol:

By jove, I think he's got it! :bouncy: :thumbup: Clever eh?
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23487
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Wonks » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:19 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:By jove, I think he's got it! :bouncy: :thumbup: Clever eh?

I believe that you'll have to marry him now, Mr Higgins.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8627
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby The Korff » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:21 am

That's how I understand it — it's (a bit) analogous to a digital camera that stores JPG and RAW formats of every photo you take (the JPG here is the file with level data embedded, the RAW is the unaltered wide-dynamic-range version, which you can then render to show data within the required 'window').

(...I think...?)

Cheers!

Chris
The Korff
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2120
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: The Wrong Precinct

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:46 am

The Korff wrote:That's how I understand it — it's (a bit) analogous to a digital camera that stores JPG and RAW formats of every photo you take (the JPG here is the file with level data embedded, the RAW is the unaltered wide-dynamic-range version, which you can then render to show data within the required 'window').

(...I think...?)

Cheers!

Chris

Yup! That's actually mentioned in the video...
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6472
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:48 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
The Elf wrote:Maybe penny is falling...

That knob is an 'offset' (or multiplier?) to the mantissa, and that offset is stored along with the data?

Precissement! :lol:

By jove, I think he's got it! :bouncy: :thumbup: Clever eh?
Ah dun thank I got mah mind right naw bowss!
Image
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12313
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:52 am

Thinking about it... it might have been easier if I'd said it was much like your DAW fader.

If you close a fader on a track in one mix pass and save the project, you can always go back and set the fader to some other value in a later mix pass if you want without affecting the actual stored audio.

Same thing in the F6 because it's using the same idea and technology.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23487
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby jimjazzdad » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:25 pm

Hugh:
Is this dual AD approach used for the F6 any different than the dual AD designs of the Sonosax SX-R4+ or the Zaxcom recorders with "Neverclip"?
jimjazzdad
Poster
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:00 am
Halifax, NS, CANADA

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:16 pm

Yes, as I said earlier, there are other systems that do very similar things. The R4 is certainly one. I've not examined the Zaxcom design yet.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23487
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby wireman » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:30 pm

The Korff wrote:That's how I understand it — it's (a bit) analogous to a digital camera that stores JPG and RAW formats of every photo you take (the JPG here is the file with level data embedded, the RAW is the unaltered wide-dynamic-range version, which you can then render to show data within the required 'window').

(...I think...?)

Cheers!

Chris

More like the standard HDR workflow of taking multiple images at different exposures.

I presume that Zoom are aware of Zaxconn patents (8,878,708)

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly stated, in one aspect of the present invention, a method of extending the dynamic range of a system analog-to-digital conversion system is provided. This method includes the steps of: receiving an analog signal; amplifying the analog signal via at least one amplifier; converting the analog signal amplified by a first of the at least one amplifiers into a first digital signal via a first analog-to-digital conversion system; converting the analog signal unamplified, or amplified via a second of the at least one amplifiers, into a second digital signal via a second analog-to-digital conversion system; receiving a first sample from the first digital signal; receiving a second sample from the second digital signal; applying a current calculated gain value to the first sample to create a calculated sample; outputting the calculated sample as an output; automatically switching the output from the calculated sample to the second sample if the calculated sample exceeds a first setpoint; activating a timer to countdown from a maximum value; and automatically switching the output from the second sample to the calculated sample upon the expiration of the timer.
wireman
Regular
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:00 am

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:55 pm

Image
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12313
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:06 pm

wireman wrote: I presume that Zoom are aware of Zaxconn patents ...

I presume Zaxcom are aware of Neumann's patents... ;-)

https://patents.justia.com/patent/6707402

Method for converting an analog signal to a digital signal
Patent number: 6707402
Abstract: With a method for converting an analog input signal (S1) to a digital output signal (S7), the analog input signal (S1) is amplified in a first signal path (2, 3, 5) and is subjected to an analog-to-digital conversion (5). In a second signal path (4, 6), another analog signal (S4) is obtained for transmitting larger signal amplitudes and is subjected to an analog-to-digital conversion (6). The signal (S5) digitized in the first signal path (2, 3, 5) and the signal (S6) that is digitized in the second signal path (4, 6) are fed to a digital signal processor (7), which generates the digital output signal (S7). To avoid an abrupt reduction in the signal resolution and achieve the highest possible dynamic scope, it is suggested that the analog signal fed to the second signal path (4, 5) be distorted non-linear and counter to the amplified analog signal (S2) in the first signal path (2, 3, 5).
Type: Grant
Filed: August 6, 2002
Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
Assignee: Georg Neumann GmbH
Inventor: Otmar Kern
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23487
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:24 pm

As you know, the Chinese are aware of everybody's patents... and couldn't care less!
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6472
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:31 pm

... back to the F6...

I did have a mental question mark about what's obviously a mock-up in a glass case at NAB, but with more info due in May and product launch in June. I would have thought that at least some pre-production prototypes should have been available for 'show and tell' at something as prestigious as NAB.

I recall the significant 'oops' that Zoom had with the original H2. All the prepub said that it would be a 5.1 recorder, but the execution proved more difficult than the aspiration. In the end, after a few months of delay, it hit the streets in a simplified form. 5.1 recording had to wait a year or so for the Mk2... Let us hope that Zoom have not hit similar issues with the tech in the F6...

[fingers-crossed]
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6472
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:39 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:I would have thought that at least some pre-production prototypes should have been available for 'show and tell' at something as prestigious as NAB.

It might have been the marketing/manufacturing target, but R&D can be a fickle thing, and maybe they just couldn't reach a pre-production working prototype In time. It happens.

But NAB is such an important show in that market sector that they would definitely have felt the need to announce the product there, even if it takes another year to bring the thing to market.

I've just reviewed the Radial kL-8 keyboard mixer which was announced and shown as an empty case at NAMM 2018, but didn't fall off the production line as a working it until January 2019 a whole year later!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23487
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby awjoe » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:16 am

"If you're recording in 32-bit, you don't need to set gain at all."

My experience until now has been that Zoom satisfy. Now Zoom amaze.
User avatar
awjoe
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2342
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:00 am

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby wireman » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:01 am

awjoe wrote:"If you're recording in 32-bit, you don't need to set gain at all."

My experience until now has been that Zoom satisfy. Now Zoom amaze.

I couldn't resist a segue to Fat Larry on Youtuble...
wireman
Regular
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:00 am

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:15 am

awjoe wrote:"If you're recording in 32-bit, you don't need to set gain at all."

The whole reason that modern, stock, digital audio interfaces operate at 24 bit was for the exact same reason. A 24 bit digital system has a theoretical dynamic range of 141dB which is more than the human ear. In other words the dither noise floor can be set below the threshold of hearing, with the clipping level still well above the pain threshold. So it should be possible to have replay systems that don't need a volume control, and just reproduce everything at the same SPL as the original source.

In practice this is, of course, completely unworkable in a domestic context, but the idea is still valid for situations where an accurate calibrated replay level is desirable.

For high-end post-production it is necessary to have a wider dynamic range to allow some wriggle room -- in the same way that pro studios in the 70s and 80s used half-inch master tapes while the consumer used cassettes... Hence the attractiveness of a 32-bit float format in next-generation recorders.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23487
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby Jadoube » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:19 pm

Good Thread! I learned a few interesting bits. Bravo :clap:
User avatar
Jadoube
Regular
Posts: 341
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Calgary, Canada
David

Re: And now... the Zoom F6!

Postby wireman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:40 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Hence the attractiveness of a 32-bit float format in next-generation recorders.

I always assumed (no evidence) that audio software would be using 32-bit types to hold the 24 bit samples in any case so not much of a step to go to a 32-bit float. This should be faster as well.
wireman
Regular
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:00 am

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users