Zoom F8 Safety Tracks (vs. Limiters)

So as we discussed in the last episode, the limiters on the Zoom F8 are not as effective as you'd get on a Sound Devices recorder or mixer. This is because they're in the digital stage which can be too late if distortion results in the analogue stage. But there is another option on the F8 if you're recording 4 tracks or fewer: Safety Tracks.

The way this works is you set the gain on say input/track #1. Then a safety track of the same thing coming in on input #1 is recorded to track #5 but at a lower gain level.

I was afraid that this safety track might suffer from the same issue as the limiter but I am happy to report that the safety track feature works brilliantly with absolutely no clipping on the safety track!

Safety Track

And it works because it appears that the F8 routes the signal to two different preamps, with different gain levels. So there's an alternative to the limiters if you have a critical shoot that you can't afford to mess up due to unexpected volume from the sound source. It isn't as simple as a limiter, but its much, much better than nothing!