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Summer NAMM 2015: Zoom F8 (Video)

Multi-track field recorder for filmmaking and sound design

Designed for filmmakers, sound designers and location recording, the new Zoom F8 is an extremely compact 10-track audio recorder and eight-channel digital mixer with a number of interesting features, including wireless control via Bluetooth. Using the Zoom F8 Control companion iOS app, users can remotely operate the transport controls, monitor levels and edit metadata using an iPhone or iPad.

Built into a rugged aluminium chassis but weighing only a little over 2lbs (just under 1kg), the Zoom F8 provides eight XLR/TRS combi jack inputs, with four on each end of the unit. The mic preamps provide up to 75dB of gain with an impressive quoted noise floor of -127dBu. In addition to these eight inputs, the F8 can record a stereo mix simultaneously, allowing you record in stereo and surround at the same time. This is just one of many features aimed at those recording sound for picture, and the F8 offers accurate time code sync in multiple formats. A headphone out is joined by stereo balanced main outputs and an unbalanced stereo sub out. A USB port lets you update firmware, transfer files to a computer or even use the F8 as an eight-in, four-out USB audio interface.

The F8 records in WAV format at 16- or 24-bit resolution and sample rates up to 192kHz. You can also record in MP3 format at 128, 192 or 320 kbps. Dual SD Card slots, each accommodating memory cards up to 512GB in size, provide ample recording time via a convenient format. An adjustable on-board limiter with threshold, attack and release controls provides overload protection, while the backlit, 2.4-inch LCD with full-colour and monochrome modes is designed to make viewing and adjusting these and many other settings easy no matter the light conditions. The onboard mixer allows flexible signal routing from any input to any output, pre- or post-fader, with adjustable levels, pan and input/output delays. Other features found on this truly feature-packed device include flexible headphone monitoring options, Mid-Side decoding, automatic power switching from mains to batteries if the mains supply falters and a face-saving pre-record function which captures the last six seconds before you hit the record button. The Zoom F8 looks like a serious contender in the field of field recording. It’s available now, priced £798$999.99.

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