Zoom F8

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F8/F8n Basic Settings

What are the basic things you need to setup to get recording quickly with the Zoom F8 or F8n? We cover them here!

This is an excerpt from my upcoming course, Getting the Most From Your Zoom F8/F8n. Please consider my sound for film classes available over at the school.

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone (used to record this segment)

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Zoom F8n iPad/iPhone App

If you use a Zoom F8 or F8n to record audio, there’s an iPad/iPhone app that allows you to wirelessly control your audio recorder. In this episode, we run through the features and settings available on the app to make setting up and operating your Zoom F8 and F8n easier and more convenient.

This is an segment from my upcoming course on the Zoom F8 & F8n which will be released in the next few weeks. 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 the school, including one that focuses on processing dialogue audio!

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder

Zoom F8 The older version released in 2015. Still great! (While supplies last) - This episode was recorded with the Zoom F8

Panasonic GH5s Camera - my favorite small camera for video

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Boom Microphone

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA - Copyright 2017 by Cary Judd, used with permission

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F8 Firmware Update - Most of the F8n Features!

In this week's live Sound for Video Session, we covered the new firmware 5.0 for the Zoom F8 that was announced just this morning!

Now, many of the software features in the new F8n are available to owners of the original F8:

  • Advanced Look-Ahead Hybrid Limiters

  • Zoom AutoMix™ function

  • Improved TC accuracy when powered off

  • Digital Boost for headphone monitor (up to +24dB)

  • Selectable headphone Volume Curve

  • New "Fader Mode" view for home screen

  • Maximum fader level increased from +12dB to +24dB

  • F8 Control iOS app can now work together with FRC-8

  • Ability to record to SD card and USB Audio Interface simultaneously

This is great news! Not only is Zoom taking good care of their existing customers by providing all of these new features for free, this gives potential buyers of their new F8n confidence that Zoom will continue to take care of them into the future.

See our initial impressions of the F8n video:

Gear Discussed/Used in this episode:

Zoom F8 Audio Field Recorder - This one is no longer being manufactured, but some retailers still have some and then you can probably pick up a used copy at a nice price.

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder - The updated version of the F8 with all of these features plus some new hardware features.

Zoom F-Control - Hardware mixing control surface

Zoom F4 Audio Field Recorder - The "little brother" of the F8

Panasonic GH5s - my favorite small camera

Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 OIS II Lens - one of the most versatile lenses I've ever owned

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F8/F8n Setting Gain Trim

In this week’s session, we share an excerpt from the upcoming online course, “Getting the Most From Your Zoom F8/F8n Recorder.” In this particular segment, we cover how to set the gain trim, the various track knob modes, and demonstrate how to optimize your gain in relation to the limiters. Lots of fun!

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder (2018)

Zoom F8 Audio Field Recorder (2015):

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

Sound for Video Session: Line Level Inputs, Zoom F8, Limiters, and Brighter Sound

In this week's sound for video session, we talked through several questions:

- How do you feed a microphone into the line level inputs on the Sound Devices 633?

- Zoom F8 - file naming issues, limiters

- Which mics can you use outdoors? Sanken CS3e

- Do you blend lav and boom mics?

- How do I make sound "Brighter" in post?

- Recommendations for starter boom mic and recorder kit?

- How do I send audio from my recorder to my camera?

- Can an Orca OR-30 sound bag hold a Zoom F4 or F8 plus three or four microphones?

Links:

Small preamps to feed line level inputs on your recorder: http://mozegear.com

RODE NT5 Microphone

My recent meta-review of several audio recorders:

Zoom F8 Firmware Update & Production Bag NAB 2016

At NAB 2016, we talked with Samuel Greene at the Zoom booth about the Zoom F8. The F8 was actually introduced at NAB 2015, but the last 12 months have seen some interesting improvements to the firmware, with a major release back in December. We cover some of the details here.

Then Samuel also gives us a quick look at the production bag they have created for the Zoom F8 which is custom fitted and keeps the overall package very compact.

Special thanks to Scott Vanderbilt who was kind enough to bring his brand new Sony FS5 camera to film this series, and haul it around most of the Las Vegas convention center.

Zoom F8 Noise Performance: One Simple Test

Jim Braly asked a good question about the Zoom F8 field recorder:

A question about how quiet the preamps are -- I'm impressed that the Zoom has 75db of gain (compared to 66 on the Sound Devices 7-series recorders). I found that the last 6db on a 722 SD recorder was not very usable, as it got pretty noisy above +60db of gain. And that last bit of db helps for quiet dialogue, or on wider shots when the boom mic cannot get as close to the actors.

How about the F8? What is the noise floor like if you crank it to +75 with the mic in a quiet room? (No recording of dialogue, just the room tone and the self-noise.) Do you hear a lot of hiss? At what level would this hiss be? Louder than, say, -50db if you are measuring the audio file in iZotope RX? If the F8 does get noisy at high gain settings, at what point does it become unusable? Maybe above 70db of gain? But would, say, 66db of gain sound good?

Of course, I'm wondering how the F8 specifically compares to Sound Devices in the noise floor department, as I think of their recorders as the gold standard.

I ran a Shure SM58 into the Zoom F8 via a 25' ProCo XLR cable with Neutrik connectors, set the gain at +75dB and recorded my basement studio. This room is not perfectly silent and not perfectly treated in an acoustical sense. But I do have a sound blanket hanging to one side, exposed batt insulation in the ceiling and an old duvet on the floor.

Looking at the silent section, I measured the noise floor (this is the sound of the room + the self noise of the mic and the F8 recorder) at -63dB RMS. In my final produced audio, I usually aim for the "silent passages" to sit at -60dB or lower. This seems acceptable and is a rather impressive result for the Zoom F8.

Looking at the spectral chart, it appears that of the noise that is present, the majority of it is in the 100Hz and lower range which should be reasonably straightforward to reduce with a simple high-pass filter. There is some spread throughout the entire spectrum, but very little. (in the screenshot above, I measured the section from 35 to 39 seconds. Just prior to that, the mic was able to pick up a few notes from my wife's violin upstairs.)