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blommer
08-11-2015, 10:16 PM
https://zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-f8-multitrack-field-recorder#features

This thing looks amazing. 8 XLR mic inputs + preamps, low noise floor (−127 dBu EIN) and high gain (up to 75 dB). And timecode. And record and monitor from an iOS device! And you can even hook it up to your computer and use it as 8-in/4-out USB audio interface! My DR-70D is a great value but I may have to spring for this when it comes out next month.

DPStewart
08-11-2015, 10:42 PM
https://zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-f8-multitrack-field-recorder#features

This thing looks amazing. 8 XLR mic inputs + preamps, low noise floor (−127 dBu EIN) and high gain (up to 75 dB). And timecode. And record and monitor from an iOS device! And you can even hook it up to your computer and use it as 8-in/4-out USB audio interface! My DR-70D is a great value but I may have to spring for this when it comes out next month.

It looks great...but it's a Thousand dollars.
At that price there are more than a few pro options.

blommer
08-11-2015, 11:19 PM
I haven't seen anything that has anywhere near all those features. What comparable new pro field mixer/recorder is under $1000? A Mixpre-D alone is over $900.

rick.lang
08-11-2015, 11:31 PM
Thanks, Blommer. Surely this more than I'll ever need but sure has a lot of features. As DPStewart mentioned, there are excellent choices if want pro quality.

DPStewart
08-11-2015, 11:47 PM
ALL the exact same features for the same price as this Zoom?

No.

But in the past Zoom has been a big disappointment with quality and reliability issues. Despite what the numbers are on paper.

Even the lowly Tascam 680MkII for HALF that price gets you most of the features of this new Zoom. And that thing has proven itself pretty well over the past few years.
I know some cats who do some darn serious location sound and 8 separate mic ins just happens so infrequently that I would not trust input count as prime selling point.

Zoom has let me down in the past so I can't bring myself to trust the real-world usefulness of this new one... If they prove us wrong then GREAT, everyone wins.

I would have been more interested in a more professionally featured 4 or 6 input version with fewer teeny-tiny knobs and switches and fewer MENUS. That's much of what has killed Zoom for me in the past.

It will be interesting to see if this one pans out...

scorsesefan
08-12-2015, 12:03 AM
Yeah, like DPstewart I am remaining cautiously optimistic, especially given the fact that Zoom has no track record at all in the "high end" recorder market. I really hope this one is a winner because the specs look sweet...

Note Suwanchote
08-20-2015, 05:30 PM
This arrived today
http://i.imgur.com/QekBxyRl.jpg (http://imgur.com/QekBxyR)

Howie Roll
08-20-2015, 06:12 PM
Hey Note,

You still have the Marantz? Could be a nice comparison.

Note Suwanchote
08-20-2015, 06:25 PM
Hey Note,

You still have the Marantz? Could be a nice comparison.
I do and I'll post it soon. Marantz + Mix Pre D combo

blommer
08-20-2015, 07:15 PM
I'm interested especially in how you find the headphone amp and its use as a USB Audio interface as well!

KenCooper
08-23-2015, 05:55 PM
Hey Note - how did you get the unit - so quick...?

***

I ordered mine from B&H on Tuesday Aug-18.

Ken Cooper

jimbee
08-25-2015, 10:52 AM
A question, Note, how is the noise floor on the "low-noise" pre-amps? The specs look great, but is the gain usable all the way up to +75db. Even the 7 series Sound Devices recorders have only +66db of gain. In my experience with a 722, a reliably great recorder, I never went above +60db because it got noisy. If the F8 can compete with Sound Devices, that would be an amazing piece of gear for poor people. Another question, are the tiny "fader" knobs actually trim controls, not true faders, and do you have to go into menus to make small digital "fader" adjustments? The schematic in the manual seems to indicate they're for setting the trim.

scorsesefan
08-25-2015, 09:13 PM
Jose Frias from Mixelius did a nice review of the F8 recently: http://mixeli.us/technology/zoom-f8/

Howie Roll
08-25-2015, 10:22 PM
Note did a quick review here http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?14735-Zoom-F8-first-impression

Jose's review is thorough, but I believed the unit performed better than his 3/5 rating would indicate. He deducted big points for a few minor weaknesses. Essentially digital limiters, consumer line output, and a poor headphone amp. From the review "Boy do those pre’s sound good, definitely professional level quality in my opinion, and there are eight of them, and at that price point. This is the only reason I’ll give the Zoom F8 3 out of 5 stars. Otherwise I think it’d be a 2 or 2.5." I'd think the quality of the preamps would carry a little more weight.

DPStewart
08-25-2015, 10:39 PM
Note did a quick review here http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?14735-Zoom-F8-first-impression

Jose's review is thorough, but I believed the unit performed better than his 3/5 rating would indicate. He deducted big points for a few minor weaknesses. Essentially digital limiters, consumer line output, and a poor headphone amp. From the review "Boy do those pre’s sound good, definitely professional level quality in my opinion, and there are eight of them, and at that price point. This is the only reason I’ll give the Zoom F8 3 out of 5 stars. Otherwise I think it’d be a 2 or 2.5." I'd think the quality of the preamps would carry a little more weight.

While the quality of the input is what the device is for in the first place...the line out and headphone outs are CRITICAL to getting good results in daily use.

Howie Roll
08-25-2015, 11:07 PM
While surely it would be nice if the Zoom had the same headphone amps as the $4000 744t, -10db line out is no big deal as the line out will only be used for on set monitoring and sending a scratch track to the camera. Unless there is a CRITICAL usage for the 2 CH out that perhaps I've overlooked.

scorsesefan
08-26-2015, 09:02 AM
If you scroll to the bottom of Jose's review, there is a Zoom rep who responds to/clarifies a few things...

blommer
08-26-2015, 09:16 AM
Food for thought...the headphone amp in the Sound Devices USB Pre 2 is horrible. It's one of the noisiest monitoring amps I have ever used. It's amazing how clean the recordings you get are but the headphone amp is terrible.

If the Zoom F8 "colors" the sound a bit through headphones I probably won't care. As long as I can discern when there is preamp/microphone/environmental noise and align for the sweet spot when setting up the mic I don't think it's going to be a big deal.

scorsesefan
08-26-2015, 09:57 AM
BTW it would be nice if Zoom made a non-TC version of the F8 and priced it in the $600-700 range. I don't need TC and the DR-680 MKII is pretty much on par with the listed specs on the preamps in the F8 at $499.

DPStewart
08-26-2015, 10:02 AM
While surely it would be nice if the Zoom had the same headphone amps as the $4000 744t, -10db line out is no big deal as the line out will only be used for on set monitoring and sending a scratch track to the camera. Unless there is a CRITICAL usage for the 2 CH out that perhaps I've overlooked.

Just meant that those 2 outputs are the primary source of the monitoring that gets done while using it.
Hour after hour of on set usage and the risks of operator error get higher if there's anything compromising the monitoring.
The best recorder can end up giving poor results if there's any impairment of the monitoring situation.

josefrias
09-06-2015, 12:58 PM
Note did a quick review here http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?14735-Zoom-F8-first-impression

Jose's review is thorough, but I believed the unit performed better than his 3/5 rating would indicate. He deducted big points for a few minor weaknesses. Essentially digital limiters, consumer line output, and a poor headphone amp. From the review "Boy do those preís sound good, definitely professional level quality in my opinion, and there are eight of them, and at that price point. This is the only reason Iíll give the Zoom F8 3 out of 5 stars. Otherwise I think itíd be a 2 or 2.5." I'd think the quality of the preamps would carry a little more weight.

Hi Howie Roll,

Thanks for your input, however, the main reason why I deducted big points and gave the unit a 3/5 rating was not because of the digital limiters, consumer line level output or poor headphone amps, but rather because of its lack of a tactile mixing interface. That is the F8's biggest flaw in my opinion. For me to consider the unit a truly professional mixer / recorder, it needs physical means of affecting the post fader level of each input for the mix track, not via virtual faders or an iOS app, but actual physical potentiometers or linear faders, as any working professional will attest to.

Had this unit come with physical faders, I would've easily consider giving it a 4/5 rating, however, the unit would've probably been bigger as the tiny trim knobs would've actually still been a bit harder to operate as actual faders (they do work great as trim knobs though). As a dedicated recorder, this unit would probably outshine everything at its price level, but if a job requires you to do a mix track (which most location sound work does), then you will either need to use a front end mixer before the F8, or succumb to using the virtual faders on the recorder or iOS app. The app can be a useful tool for certain jobs, such as those that require you to be inconspicuous, and hide all your gear in a backpack, allowing you to use your phone to do basic level setting and recording. But these jobs are the exception, not the norm.

Future software updates will easily fix metadata issues, and potentially improve the algorithms used for digital limiting, and when that happens, I'm happy to improve my score (though likely not by a whole number). I still think that a 3/5 score is good, and that Zoom has made a product that bests its previous offerings for location sound use, and that is priced to sell, and sell lots of them. They can be a great backup unit for the professional sound mixer, an excellent first recorder for the up-and-coming sound mixer, or just a great tool for specific jobs (anything multi-tracking job that requires up to 8 good pre-amps?). Hope that helps clarify.

Cheers,
Josť

innerspark
09-07-2015, 09:36 AM
Curious how accurate the TC is. I could use a flexible backup or b recorder to the 702t.

josefrias
09-07-2015, 12:03 PM
Curious how accurate the TC is. I could use a flexible backup or b recorder to the 702t.

Zoom reached out to me to confirm that the F8 does in fact use a temperature compensated crystal oscillator for its timecode generator, and Gotham Sound did a neat extreme temperature test to verify how it holds up:
https://www.facebook.com/gothamsound/photos/a.10150095906345814.269734.244567435813/10153036301430814/

Results are very promising, and show that the F8's TC is extremely accurate, to say the least.