Zoom F4

Zoom F4 Special Pricing

If you’re in the market for an audio recorder with great preamps, timecode, and a rugged build, the Zoom F4 has special pricing over at B&H in August. Check the Zoom F4’s details over at B&H.

I’ll be wrapping up my work on our Zoom F4 course at the end of this month so you can learn how to use your new F4!

Send Audio from Zoom F4 to Camera 3.5mm Mic Input

This is one segment from the upcoming Zoom F4 course which will be available soon at our school.

In this episode, I run through the process of feeding audio out of the Zoom F4 into the 3.5mm microphone input on your hybrid, mirrorless, or DSLR camera. Some cameras make this a little more difficult because their microphone inputs can only be “turned down” so far (lookin’ at your Panasonic), which is not enough. But we also show you how to work around this issue.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at https://school.learnlightandsound.com including processing dialogue audio in Adobe Audition and DaVinci Resolve/Fairlight, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Zoom F4 (Amazon) - Audio Recorder and Mixer. Course on how to get the most of your Zoom F4 coming soon!

Juicebox 95Wh Cine Battery (Amazon) - I use this to power my F4 for 8 hours. Need the cable below as well.

And you’ll need this cable:

D-Tap to Hirose 4-pin cable (Amazon) to power the F4 with Cine Batteries

TalentCell 22,400mAh Battery (Amazon) - a less expensive rechargeable battery to power the F4 for many hours

And you’ll also need this cable:

DC Barrel to Hirose Cable (Amazon)

Aputure COB 120DII LED Light (Amazon) - this is my main workhorse light for 90% of my video work.

Nikon Z6 & 24 - 70 f/4 Lens - used in this video to demonstrate how to feed sound from the F4 to camera

Panasonic GH5

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens - wow, super sharp, fast lens. Love this for product shots like this video

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2019 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F4 Firmware, Fairlight, & Sennheiser XSW-D Wireless

In our first audio-only Sound for Video Session, we cover the new features Zoom added to the F4 recorder in the 3.0 firmware update. Now F4 users have AutoMix an the Advanced Hybrid Look-Ahead limiters that were previously only on the F8 and F8n.

We also cover my impressions of the Fairlight digital audio workstation page in DaVinci Resolve 15.2.4. It is getting pretty close to the point where I can move to Fairlight and away from Adobe Audition. There are still some minor issues. In fact, in mixing this episode, I learned that Resolve has issues exporting audio only projects. Sigh.

And finally, we talk about a new wireless lavalier microphone I just received in for review: Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set. I have yet to do the review, but cover some of its features here. This is a consumer/prosumer grade wireless system that is made to be as easy to use as possible. The review should appear on my YouTube channel in the next few weeks.

Gear used/discussed in this episode:

Zoom F4 (Amazon) audio recorder

DaVinci Resolve - Free video editing, coloring, and audio mixing

Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set - Wireless microphone system for those who need wireless to be as simple as possible

RODECaster Pro - Mixer and recorder used to record this session

Golden Age Project R1 Active mkIII (Amazon) - Affordable ribbon microphone which I used to record this session.

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Outro music from Artlist: Call on Me by Kick Lee. You can receive a 2 month discount on a subscription to Artlist, a subscription service for stock music you can use with your videos.

Sound for Video Session: Q&A Stretch Time & Pitch, Poly Wav, Balanced vs Unbalanced, Zoom F4n

In this week’s Sound for Video Session, we cover the following topics:

0:11 Retime & Pitch Shift to fix an old recording

1:35 Resompling

3:00 Poly Wav Files

6:40 Unbalanced vs Balanced Cables/Interconnects

9:03 Zoom F4n?

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Difference between balanced and unbalanced cables/interconnects

Wave Agent application from Sound Devices:

Zoom F8 Audio Recorder

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone - used to record this session

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Keep an Eye by Back to Dream. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F4/F8 Scenes, Metadata, and Sound Reports

In this week’s Sound for Video Session, we have a high level look at setting up scenes, metadata, and creating sound reports on the Zoom F4 and F8.

This episode shot/recorded with:

RODE Reporter Microphone
Sound Devices 633 Audio Field Recorder
Nikon D750 (wow, haven’t shot video with this guy for a while!)
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D Lens

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Sunscape by Oliver Michael on One Moment. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link: https://www.artlist.io/Curtis-54452/?utm_source=Curtis_Judd&utm_medium=Affiliate_99&utm_campaign=December

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F4/F8 Limiters & Packing Checklist for Location Sound Job

In this week's episode, I discuss how the limiters in the Zoom F4 and F8 recorders work (not just simply digital limiters) and walk through the location sound job packing checklist I use before each job.

Sound Samples of Digital and Analogue Limiters:

Checklist for gear you need on location sound jobs: https://drive.google.com/open?id=13sI0mGplMC5p2VZHXotDdg9mSdvJVspP2H9_6qyn4Pw

Gear In my Kit - see all the details with links over at https://kit.com/curtisjudd/on-location-audio-kit

Sound Devices 633 Recorder
Sound Devices MixPre-10T Recorder
K-Tek Avalon Carbon Boom Pole
Orca OR-30 Sound Bag
Orca OR-40 Audio Harness
Rycote Cyclone Wind Shield
Schoeps CMC641 Super Cardioid Boom Microphone
Sennheiser 8050 Super Cardioid Boom Microphone
Voice Technologies VT500 Lavalier Microphone
Sanken COS-11D Lavalier Microphone
Rycote Stickies (for concealing lavalier microphones)
Sony MDR-7506 Closed Back Headphones
Comtek Audio Feed Kit
Sennheiser EW112 G3 Wireless Microphone Kit (be sure to check which frequencies you are legally allowed to use in your country)
RODELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Mixing Sound for 2 People While Recording

Last week we covered microphone placement for situations where you’re recording 2 or more people at the same time. Placing the microphones strategically can help to reduce two issues: Microphone bleed and phase issues (comb filtering). In this episode we talk about how mixing the sound of two or more people can further reduce these two issues and result in a cleaner recording with less reverberation and noise.

In an upcoming episode we’ll also talk about mixing in post production in Adobe Audition. 

Gear used to record and featured in this episode:

Blackmagicdesign Ursa Mini Pro Digital Film Camera (talking head shots)

Panasonic GH5 4K Camera (for product shots and B roll)

DPA 4017B Shotgun Microphone (Interviewer)

Audio Technica AT4053b Hyper Cardioid Boom Microphone (Interview-ee)

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder

Zoom F-Control FRC-8 (mixing control surface for Zoom F4 and F8)

Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder (with automix)

Sanken CSS-50 Stereo Shotgun Microphone (Talking head shots)

Aputure Light Storm COB120t LED Light (Key Light)

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box (for COB120t key light)

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder Final Review

Last year Zoom took their first step into more professional filmmaker field recorders with the Zoom F8. And now they have just released a younger sibling, the Zoom F4. The F4, at the time of release, sells for $650 USD, has 4 microphone/line inputs, and records 8 tracks simultaneously. The preamplifiers are impressive in my tests and there’s a lot more to cover so grab your favorite beverage and let’s have a look at the Zoom F4 in this wrap-up review!

Summary: The Zoom F4 is the best audio recorder I have used in the $650 USD price range.

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder First Impressions

Last year Zoom took their first step into more professional filmmaker field recorders with the Zoom F8. And now they have just released a younger sibling, the Zoom F4. The F4, at the time of release, sells for $650 USD, has 4 microphone/line inputs, and records 8 tracks simultaneously. The preamplifiers seem very, very impressive in my first tests and there’s a lot more to cover so grab your favorite beverage and let’s have a look at the Zoom F4!

Zoom F4: Coming Soon

Zoom has been coming on strongly for the last few years and their pace only seems to be picking up.

I'm a fan of their Zoom F8 recorder which they released in late 2015. The quality of the recorder is top notch both in terms of build and in terms of the audio quality it records. The preamplifiers are powerful and clean with a nice neutral sound. The screen is great. The main encoder/dial is great and the menus are good. Overall ergonomics are good though the overall unit is quite small which makes for very small channel potentiometers/knobs. Since the knobs serve double duty as gain trim and faders and as mentioned, are quite small, mixing can be tricky. There's a bluetooth iOS app which allows you to enter metadata and mix, but the mixing capabilities are still a little rough because the on-screen fader is a little too jumpy. But for the price, the F8 is a GREAT recorder. This is accessible to some enthusiast filmmakers and with it, they can produce sound every bit as good as professional productions.

Once Zoom begins shipping the F4, there will be an even lower cost recorder ($650 vs the F8 at $999) which makes this audio quality even more accessible.

Several have asked and yes, I plan to review this as soon as I am able to get my hands on one. I'm very excited about the F4.

From the specs, it looks like the F4 has the same great preamplifiers as the F8. That's a very good start. Also, the F4 looks to have the same form-factor and solid metal build. Same battery configuration and hirose input for external batteries. Dual SD cards which allow backup or recording to different formats simultaneously.

But there are some changes, some look very good and some which are sacrifices which come with a lower priced unit:

  • Gain/Fader knobs (potentiometers) are larger on the F4 simply because there's more room for them. This is good!
  • The screen looks to be similar to the lower resolution screen on the H4n Pro or perhaps the H5. This is not nearly as nice as the F8, but still potentially workable. It should be viewable in direct sunlight.
  • Main outputs are full size XLR. This is an improvement over the F8's TA3 connectors which will generally need to be adapted for monitors, outs to camera, or wireless hops to camera or director.
  • Bluetooth: F4 does not appear to be Bluetooth enabled so there's no iOS app for metadata entry or mixing
  • SD Card slots have moved from the left side to the battery compartment on the back.

Overall, this looks like it may be a great choice for those who want very good quality audio at a price well under $1000. Should have an initial impressions piece up in October and a final review in November if the units ship on schedule in October.