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NAB 2018 sneak peak: Zoom F8n

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2 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

 

The Marantz has 4 XLR and 2 1/4 jack... What's the point in having phantom power on 1/4 jacks?

 

They provide breakout cables with it that go from the 1/4" jacks to female XLRs with it so you can plug microphones in.

14 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Have anyone used the Marantz? Is it better than the Tascam 70?

I'm not sure if this is the Marantz one that @Grimor has.

If it is he can sell you a hand made remote for it!

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3 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I'm not in UK :) Holland is generally an expensive place. On The website you provided it's the F4 €525, and H6 with EXH6 is €350 still €175 difference (€200 if you go by my lowest price of £325 for H6 and EXH6)

175 euros is a minuscule leap forward for what the F4 is giving you extra, as only 3yrs ago prior to the F8/F4 you'd have to have spent not hundreds but thousands more pounds to get the same leap forward in features and performance. 

Holland is part of the EU, so couldn't you buy from say Germany or elsewhere in the EU without excessive import charges?!

 

1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

Have anyone used the Marantz? Is it better than the Tascam 70?

Not me personally, haven't used it, just I've been following it carefully since it was announced. At a guess I think the DR70D might have a small edge in performance, but the Marantz PMD-706 wins in terms of having six powered phantom inputs (something which doesn't exist under the F8) and wins for being the most "baggable" six channel recorder that is priced under the F4.

 

4 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

Wow didn't realise that. It does a safety track of the LR channels (I assume any capsule is LR) and the built-in XLRs all have phantom, but not the capsule ones... Shame.

Aye?!?! What does a safety track of the L/R mix?!
And yes, the EXH-6 doesn't supply phantom power, if that is what you're saying?

 

 

4 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

 The Marantz has 4 XLR and 2 1/4 jack... What's the point in having phantom power on 1/4 jacks?

Watch the videos of the Marantz, you'll see how they talk about supplying XLR to 1/4 cables with the purchase of the recorder. Thus you're getting a "six" XLR recorder with phantom power (but with 1/4 used to saved space, because it is so small). 



 

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6 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I think for what I do, a new folder for every time I push record will be great. Thanks for the info!

 Personally I'd much rather have nice orderly files ("S7" is my own shorthand for "Scene 7") like this (one per take) at the end of each day's recording than the mess Zoom's handheld recorders would create, it will make life a lot easier for post dealing with these files than something from an H6/H5/H4n:

 

image.thumb.png.94ae1af435889e8e90a53827245b6e9e.png

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26 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Aye?!?! What does a safety track of the L/R mix?!
And yes, the EXH-6 doesn't supply phantom power, if that is what you're saying?
 

The H6 has a safety track function but it's only for whatever is on the L/R input so that would be one of their plug on mics or whatever is on the EXH-6.

So, no safety track for phantom powered external mics basically 

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19 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

The H6 has a safety track function but it's only for whatever is on the L/R input so that would be one of their plug on mics or whatever is on the EXH-6.

Weird, seems half pointless to me. You want safeties of the ISOs, not the mix!

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19 hours ago, Kisaha said:

The F4 is 600euros here, the F8 900euros, the mixpre6 is 1400€(wtf?!) and the 10T amd F8n aren't here at all.

Can you buy a 633/688 in your country at all? Could be there is no Sound Devices dealer in the whole country (the few people who need it would just be sourcing it overseas, which when you are in europe almost already that is not too hard at all), which is why the MixPre10T is not being brought in. 

As for the F8n, well there is nowhere in the whole galaxy that it is being sold yet! Patience. :-)
 

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9 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Weird, seems half pointless to me. You want safeties of the ISOs, not the mix!

It is of the ISOs but only whatever is on what they call the LR input, be that one of their bolt on mics or the EXH-6.

None of the 4 XLR Mic inputs can have a safety track.

Electret condensors into the EXH-6 would of course let you have a safety track for external mics too.

Fiddly comes to mind. 

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5 hours ago, IronFilm said:

175 euros is a minuscule leap forward for what the F4 is giving you extra, as only 3yrs ago prior to the F8/F4 you'd have to have spent not hundreds but thousands more pounds to get the same leap forward in features and performance. 

Holland is part of the EU, so couldn't you buy from say Germany or elsewhere in the EU without excessive import charges?!

 

Watch the videos of the Marantz, you'll see how they talk about supplying XLR to 1/4 cables with the purchase of the recorder. Thus you're getting a "six" XLR recorder with phantom power (but with 1/4 used to saved space, because it is so small). 



 

Yes. But the real price difference is 200 euros, and the cheaper h6 is inside Holland so is easier on taxes (buying from Germany isn't much harder, but still worth considering when the tax man comes knocking)

I've been looking at that Marantz this afternoon and figure it would be better for many things. But since im only looking because I need to replace a USB interface, and trying to buy one device to do it all, I'm still swaying towards h6. I've read the Marantz CAN do usb interface, but nowhere official. there's no mention of it in the manual for example.

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8 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I've read the Marantz CAN do usb interface, but nowhere official. there's no mention of it in the manual for example.


If it can, that is news to me. 
 

8 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I've been looking at that Marantz this afternoon and figure it would be better for many things.

If you want 6x 48V phantom powered inputs then it is your only option at that price point, other than getting very lucky on a secondhand F8. (which who knows, maaaaaaybe night happen once the F8n ships?)

 

8 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

But since im only looking because I need to replace a USB interface, and trying to buy one device to do it all, I'm still swaying towards h6.

When a Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 2x2 USB Audio Interface costs less than thirty bucks, and Behringer U-PHORIA UMC22 2x2 USB Audio Interface (which has MIDAS designed pre amps) is ten bucks more (and even cheaper secondhand), then I think having a USB interface or not shouldn't be a deal breaker. 
 

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17 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Can you buy a 633/688 in your country at all? Could be there is no Sound Devices dealer in the whole country (the few people who need it would just be sourcing it overseas, which when you are in europe almost already that is not too hard at all), which is why the MixPre10T is not being brought in. 

As for the F8n, well there is nowhere in the whole galaxy that it is being sold yet! Patience. ?
 

Yes, there is an official representative and all, just happens to be one of the worst in terms of pricing for pro equipmemt. I get that with Rycote stuff as well, the representative here is extrememly expensive (they also represent Sanken, Sachtler, Arri, e.t.c).

AudioTechnica/Sennheiser/Rode/DPA/Zoom have the normal European prices here, the rest are extremely expensive.

For tax reasons, warranty and other studd, it is easier to buy localy, even if it is slightly more expensive, when the price difference is huge, I buy from EU.

Buying expensive equipment for other continents is prohibitive. North America is out of the question. Huge custom charges+taxes+bureaucracy (wasting days in the custom office which is outside the capital).

I am really tempted to go with the Marantz as a cheap intermediary solution for now, until I see the F8n release and compare with the 10T, but I need to know if it is "better" than the 60/70, or at least equal to the Tascam 70, or else there is no point, really!

What is improved in the F8n vs the F8?

Is the F8n(or F8) more preferable than the F4?

 

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2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

I am really tempted to go with the Marantz as a cheap intermediary solution for now, until I see the F8n release and compare with the 10T, but I need to know if it is "better" than the 60/70, or at least equal to the Tascam 70, or else there is no point, really!

Different league. 

Is like a 600D vs a C300

There are not only the better pre amps (and with the F8n, better limiters as well, hopefully on par with a 10T), but the timecode, extra outputs, accessories (tablet/phone/control surface), and metadata control lifts the F8n (and F8/F4) up into another league beyond all the consumer grade recorders like the DR70D etc. 

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On 6/4/2018 at 7:16 PM, IronFilm said:

Yes! Although could work with many more than just the F4. 


And all the "magic" that needs to be done is to open up both together, and close both together. Easy. And package it up in a nice little box which is robust, and looks well and works well. 

I should probably give this a test go myself. Would be a nice addition. (why on earth this hasn't been made already I have no idea, an aversion to external TC?!)

The £10 option is a throwback to when we used to switch Tascam DA88 TDIF connections between different consoles.

The TDIF interface carried 4 AES/EBU inputs and outputs via a 25 pin Dsub connector (aka a printer connector) so we used A/B printer switchers to switch them between consoles.

For your scenario, this means you could have up to 8 balanced connections on it and basically use the switch to bring them all into play simultaneously by switching to the A position to make the connection and the B connection to break it as that of course would be connected to fresh air.

You can pick up used TDIF to XLR snakes on ebay relatively cheap if you dont want to make up the loom yourself and obviously the switchers are £10 or less in most places.

You could also just pick up a 25 pin printer extension cable for a few quid and chop the end off and add your connectors.

It's not as sophisticated as having some automated relay based system (ie it's clunky) but it will work, it's cheap and available now.

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I wrote up quite a long comment on YT, and thought I'd share my thoughts here as well for wider consumption as it is relevant to this thread as to why I feel the F8n is the best choice in the marketplace right now for this niche (beating out the MixPre competitors): 

Quote

Haven't owned a MixPre recorder, but I've seen it a TradeShow and in the store. And I own a Sound Devices 552 (used in front of Tascam DR680 when I needed the extra channels recorded beyond the two of the 552), was my daily driver before I got a Zoom F4. (I own three more pieces of Sound Devices gear as well)

The Sound Devices 552 has even bigger knobs than the MixPre recorders have, and I know back then I might occasionally try to do adjustments during the take, but practically speaking I found that I just shouldn't do it because: a) you're doing it "blind" by feel (you're running a risk you'll grab the wrong knob or change it too much, or even not enough so why bother) & b) you're running a high risk of severely compromising your booming as you're diverting your attention and only doing it with one hand.  

Thus overall, adjusting gain during a take is something I believe should only rarely or even never be done. 

(the other option here is you're not booming at all, either because you're operating from a cart, or even perhaps you are booming but not for that take because it is a wide. And yes then you can adjust during a take, but because you've got your full attention and both hands then a few millimeters of size either way doesn't make a big difference. Or so she tells me...)

Which is why in the end I'm not as negative about the size of the knobs on my Zoom F4 as some other people are. 

Although yes, annoyingly the Zoom F8 has even smaller knobs. But I have used the F8 for a week once when I rented it for a VR shoot, and I found the knob size to still be acceptable, but cutting it fine, if it was say to lose another third of its size then I'd probably draw the line and say this is getting ridiculous! 

Headphones level however is something I might sometimes grab at during a take, for my own safety! Either that or knock the headphone cup on my head aside if it has got too loud. Although thankfully this kind of thing is rare. But the MixPre recorders also use theirs to navigate the menu, and that is something you need to frequently access during the day. So it is a pity they hide it away. 

The way I see it briefly, coming from a location sound recordist's perspective is:

MixPre3, unacceptably few inputs with only max 3 channels recorded. 
MixPre6, if you're running TC you're down to only four channels, which is one more... but basically barely acceptable, if that. 
MixPre10T, finally we get to a recorder which is appealing! But its price is now creeping up nearer to the 633/Maxx prices, so you have to stop and ask yourself why settle for a "prosumer" recorder when a professional one is now within reach? Plus the MixPre10T still has a random mixed bag of limitations, such as no pre-roll capabilities, and lacks the cool features of the F8n such as a F control panel accessory or AutoMix. 

So at each point along the MixPre series I find it tough to find them a compelling option as my main/only recorder. 

However, I am only talking about them from the perspective of someone who specializes in location sound recording, and how they make sense as your main/only recorder. 

If you have different needs then perhaps a stronger case can be made for the MixPre series. Maybe you're a location sound recordist who already owns a 688, then the MixPre6 might be a perfect fit for you as a back up  / travel / small job recorder. As you always have the 688 at hand for when more than four channels are needed, or more features are needed. 

Or maybe you regularly need more than 8 channels (!!!) so the F8 won't cut it and you *must* have ten channels, then sure the MixPr10T could be right for you (although, the MixPre10T like the F8 only has 8x XLR inputs). 

Or maybe you're a solo shooter who has to run sound as well, and you are 100% *SURE* you'll never ever need more than 3 channels of audio, and extremely portable size is very important to you then the MixPre3 might just be the ticket for you as the MixPre3 is super teeny tiny!


 

Something I didn't touch on is price, as it was fairly irrelevant to my points above (except how the MixPre10T creeps up near in price to what a 633 costs), but worthwhile considering if price matters to you:

MixPre3: more expensive than a Zoom F4 (but the MixPre3 records half as many inputs, and has less features). 
MixPre3 + TC: more expensive than a Zoom F8
MixPre6: more expensive than a Zoom F8
MixPre6 + TC: more expensive than the new Zoom F8n
MixPre10T: more expensive than the new Zoom F8n + Zoom FRC-8 + iPad Mini!!

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On 6/8/2018 at 8:03 AM, Kisaha said:

So, what are the differences between the F8n and the F8? And where do you put the F4 among them?(less ch. Obviously, but also worst screen, and what else?).

The F4 is 600euros here, the F8 900euros, the mixpre6 is 1400€(wtf?!) and the 10T amd F8n aren't here at all.

I am really tempted to go with the F4. The price difference is huge, and it is nit bad at all. The F8n has improved both the limiters and headphone amp I believe. What else?

There is also all the differences between the F4 and original F8, of course the F8n keeps the benefits as well. 
One drawback the the F8 had vs the F4 that the F8n loses, is that the F8n now can power the FRC-8 itself (the F4 could, but the original F8 couldn't). 

I feel a few key points you need to ask yourself are:
How often will I record more than 4 channels of audio? (thus will need the EXH-6)
How often will I record more than 5/6 channels? (thus even the EXH-6 will not be enough)
How many days a year am I getting use from my audio recorder? (as I assume you view this question more from a financial business decision than a hobbyist's question, so if you're working a hundred days a year then of course F4 vs F8n is no difference at all! On a per day basis. But if you're only doing 10 days of paid jobs a year then it becomes trickier as to if the extra cost of a F8n is worth it on a per day basis, I'd say it is, but on the flip side the F8n isn't gain you any extra work over what a F4 would)

All the extra points like improved headphone amp, automix, new hybrid limiters, etc are all just extra gravy on the top for the F8n (but I want that gravy! And I'm constantly working, so the cost for the F8n seems very very small to me. Arguably, I should be getting a 633 instead). Because at its core the F4/F8/F8n are more similar than they are different, and any of them are a rock solid recorder packed with features that makes an excellent heart to have at the center of a low budget recording kit setup. 

btw, on the point of the F4 vs F8 screen, I suspect the F4 screen is one the factors which helps the F4 get better battery life than the F8, and in my limited experience working with the F8 my gut feeling is the F4 screen has the edge in terms of sunlight visibility. So yes, while the F4 has the "worse screen", it isn't all bad news. (however, I'm still looking forward to that higher resolution screen of the F8n when I upgrade from F4)

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@IronFilm Loose knobs are of an issue for me than girth. And I concur: don't grab your knobs during a take boys, it can be very embarrassing.

I've been planning on upgrading to a Mixpre6, I've got a MixpreD/Sony PCM D50 combo ATM. 4 balanced inputs is OK, but 5 would be ideal for me. I'm gonna have a closer look at the F8n, look-ahead limiters sound cool.

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Sounds like Gotham Sound has only got the one dealer demo model at the moment, but more should be coming into stock soon:
 

 

4 hours ago, squig said:

I've been planning on upgrading to a Mixpre6

For roughly the same ish price the Zoom F8n instead with its better thought out design and all its extra features/capabilities seems like a no brainer choice to me. 

Unless you really really want the small size portability of the MixPre3/MixPre6, or their HDMI trigger. 

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