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Two new pro sound recorders announced: Zaxcom Nova ($5K) & Sound Devices Scorpio ($9K)

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https://www.sounddevices.com/scorpio/

 

 

 

You can use it with the Icon Control Surface.

https://www.gothamsound.com/product/scorpio-recorder-kit-control-surface-pre-order-deposit

 

And now for the Zaxcom Nova which just got announced today (the name comes from the combo of: NOmad + deVA, as the Nova combines features of both! In a way the Nova is the successor of the Nomad, like Scorpio is with the 688, but adding in many newer generation features).

https://zaxcom.com/products/nova/

https://www.gothamsound.com/product/nova-recorder-pre-order-deposit

https://www.gothamsound.com/news/be-zaxcellent-each-other

 

 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

There is also a Zoom F6 in the works, not much info at all has been leaked. But it is a recorder with 6x XLR inputs, and seems it will have "Neverclip" (although of course it is not called that, because of Zaxcom's patents/trademarks, but will be like Sonosax's implementation. The "same", except can't be sold in the USA). 

Looks like Zoom could be making more leaps and bounds ahead once again in the sound game. We're already pretty spoiled by Zoom, the F8n I'd say is already a "better" than say the Zaxcom Maxx and knocking right on the door of the Sound Devices 633 (in same ways the F8n is "better", in other ways the 633 is better). And the Zoom F8n is already better than many popular pro recorder options of the past such as Roland R88 / Sound Devices 744T / Tascam HS-P82 / etc (and all of these were thousands and thousands of dollars each only a few short years ago). 

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I don't know much about the more expensive audio toolset and most of those better features would be wasted on the small sets I've been on anyway, to be honest. I'll have to look more into ZaxNet and thr way the Nova has builtin slots for wireless receivers.

The zoom F6 is an odd looking thing for sure. Almost cube shaped. Any idea why they would depart from the F4/F8 shape?

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We have an estimated date now for the Zoom F6, mid June 2019.

Interestingly can record to 32 bit files, I wonder how post production will feel about that?

https://www.gothamsound.com/product/f6-recorder

 

10 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

I don't know much about the more expensive audio toolset and most of those better features would be wasted on the small sets I've been on anyway, to be honest.

Yeah, if you're not getting a good size chunk of your yearly income from work as a sound recordist then you're not buying a $5K+ recorder. Unless you're a production or rental house, or a very rich hobbyist. 
 

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1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

The zoom F6 is an odd looking thing for sure. Almost cube shaped. Any idea why they would depart from the F4/F8 shape?

The only thing I was jealous about the Sound Devices MixPre series (aside from their brand name....) was their ultra compact size. Glad to see this Zoom F series recorder is their smallest yet. Just I wish it was even smaller! Imagine a miniature "Zoom F2" with 2x XLR inputs plus 2x stereo AES on TA5F? That would be the dream!

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Mixpres are too small for their own good. Personally I find them too small, and more suited for the dSLR crowd.

Even friends that own MixPre 6, prefer the more professional approach of F8, and F8 is tiny, considering it has 8 XLR inputs. You have to pay a lot of money for 8 XLR inputs on other brands.

F6 is certainly interesting, but it is a bit overkill for recording voices for a small production, because that's why we are using our F8s and MixPres, or else you use a Sonosax, Zaxcom or the expensive SDs. 

Edit: the FPN battery is a great thing also. That is how I power my F8.

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After reading up a bit, the whole ZaxNet concept is brilliant. Really a phenomenal feature.

Adding an npf battery plate for the f6 is a nice addition. It also says it can be powered by USB c, so I assume that you can use it as an audio interface with a single cable for power and data. Speaking of which, my biggest annoyance with the F4 is that it doesn't boot back into interface mode. It lives on my desk as an audio intetface between shoots, and it's an extra 10 button pushes every time I turn it on.

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1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

After reading up a bit, the whole ZaxNet concept is brilliant. Really a phenomenal feature.

Audio Limited (bought about by Sound Devices last year) and Deity Connect Wireless also has some similar features to parts of Zaxnet (what isn't locked away behind patents).

 

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7 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Mixpres are too small for their own good. Personally I find them too small, and more suited for the dSLR crowd.

A MixPre3 is indeed ideal for living under a DSLR, but it is also handy for if you want an ultra portable sound bag, maybe you're going bashing through the bush for a few days on a doco?

7 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Edit: the FPN battery is a great thing also. That is how I power my F8.

I really hope your battery doesn't give you Fine Pattern Noise! :-o :-P 😉

 

7 hours ago, Kisaha said:

F6 is certainly interesting, but it is a bit overkill for recording voices for a small production, because that's why we are using our F8s and MixPres, or else you use a Sonosax, Zaxcom or the expensive SDs. 

If the F6 comes out cheaper than the F8, then is it really "overkill"?
 

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

A MixPre3 is indeed ideal for living under a DSLR, but it is also handy for if you want an ultra portable sound bag, maybe you're going bashing through the bush for a few days on a doco?

I really hope your battery doesn't give you Fine Pattern Noise! :-o :-P 😉

 

If the F6 comes out cheaper than the F8, then is it really "overkill"?
 

F8 is extremely small and light, and seems and feels more sturdy/rough than the mixpres. To be honest, sometimes I feel the F8 is too small!

Mixpre is an ergonomic nightmare, the button/selector at the right is very incovinient for bag work, the touch screen is tiny and can't press anything right with my fingers!

I have added the Spanish 3D printed knobs to make them slightly bigger.

Haha! Seems to work fine!

"Overkill" in terms of audio quality, maybe it will render the F4 obsolete..do not know, I have to see the official facts/specs first!

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, norliss said:

First vid on the forthcoming F6 from the ever-reliable Curtis Judd:

 

Interesting. It is a completely different concept it seems. It should have a completely different naming. It is like Zoom raw.

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28 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Interesting. It is a completely different concept it seems. It should have a completely different naming. It is like Zoom raw.

Yeah it is. I was waiting for an F4n since I'd figured that if they'd made the same improvements to the F4 as they'd done with F8 -> F8n that would likely be good for me. 

As for this F6: personally I'd rather they hadn't taken the backwards step of dispensing with the XLR outputs and the dual SD slots as 4 XLR inputs were ok for me. That said, this 32-bit float "raw" style of sound recording is potentially a game changer.

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34 minutes ago, norliss said:

As for this F6: personally I'd rather they hadn't taken the backwards step of dispensing with the XLR outputs and the dual SD slots as 4 XLR inputs were ok for me. That said, this 32-bit float "raw" style of sound recording is potentially a game changer.

Probably they didn't want to hurt F8n sales, but pragmatically, they should have gone for an even better and more ptofessional design. A better and more expensive flagship device.

The new F1 and F6 design isn't to my liking either.

The real question is how the clients/production houses will see something like this, what is really the workflow? Usually they want to do as little as possible with sound, it won't be easy to add them an additional step!

 

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My guess is it will be priced higher than the F4 but lower than the F8 (and I don't see the F6 as a replacement for either)

So US$700ish?

But once it has been on the market 18 months it will drop below US$500 ish

1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

The real question is how the clients/production houses will see something like this, what is really the workflow? Usually they want to do as little as possible with sound, it won't be easy to add them an additional step!


The F6 is in my opinion not targeted at the freelancer soundie (not even the beginner freelancer, they'd be better off with a cheaper Zoom F4) but at hobbyists / cameramen / producers who'd be doing it all in house themselves rather than just handing over the files at the end of the day. 

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Just now, IronFilm said:

My guess is it will be priced higher than the F4 but lower than the F8 (and I don't see the F6 as a replacement for either)

So US$700ish?

But once it has been on the market 18 months it will drop below US$500 ish

I am not really sure whos exactly the target group here.

Maybe they didn't know what to do with the idea.

I am expecting a full on "bigger" thing from Zoom until this time, next year.

It is time for Zoom to play with the big boys in their field, a Scorpio competitor for 45% of the money!

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6 hours ago, Kisaha said:

F8 is extremely small and light, and seems and feels more sturdy/rough than the mixpres. To be honest, sometimes I feel the F8 is too small!

 Mixpre is an ergonomic nightmare, the button/selector at the right is very incovinient for bag work, the touch screen is tiny and can't press anything right with my fingers!


I feel the same about my F8n as I do about my Orca OR30

Sometimes I feel it is "too big" other times I feel it is "too small"

Which must mean they got it just right!

The other alternative would be to own every size ever made.....  a MixPre3 & Sonosax SX-R4+ & Scorpio anybody? That would be the dream!

 

2 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

 It is time for Zoom to play with the big boys in their field, a Scorpio competitor for 45% of the money!

Zoom has made themselves very popular at the low end, but they still struggle to have any wide acceptance at all in the mid tier and above. Too much negativity from their H series era. 

I expect if Zoom released a recorder at half the price of Scorpio it would be a big flop. 

Zoom just needs to keep on improving their sub $1K recorders, getting better and better. 

Maaaaaaybe toy with a recorder in the sub $2K category. But if they push too high into a $3K recorder category then I expect their base will not be able to afford it, and the people who play with $3K+ recorders daily wouldn't want to risk $3K on Zoom either

 

 

6 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

I am expecting a full on "bigger" thing from Zoom until this time, next year.


Their F8 was out for 3yrs before the F8n came out. 

How long will the F8n last, 3yrs?  My guess is the same, give or take a year either side. 
 

2 hours ago, norliss said:

Yeah it is. I was waiting for an F4n since I'd figured that if they'd made the same improvements to the F4 as they'd done with F8 -> F8n that would likely be good for me. 


Don't wait. Just buy the F4

Many of the improvements of the F8 to F8n are things the F4 had already improved over the F8!

And as for the rest, the OG F8 got that via a firmware update, which the F4 has got now as well. 

The F4 as it is today in 2019 is very much like what I'd have predicted a F4n would be like prior to the F8n shipping. 

 

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I'm glad someone finally went to 32 bit audio recording. A lot of software processes audio in 32 bit for essentially infinite dynamic range, it was only a matter of time before people started recording in that format. It would certainly help on a lot of sets I'm on, where we have students/less experienced people running sound who are more likely to clip audio. Or any time I'm the solo audio guy, I can concentrate 100% on the boom without worrying about gain. Currently, I use dual track recording, but then I've got to patch things together in post manually.

However, without having used it obviously, I think the F6 looks a lot less ergonomic than the F4/8. One thing I like about the F4 is having an immediate button to turn tracks on or off, and to solo a track. It looks to me a though you probably have to menu dive to do those actions on the F6, which would really suck. I also like the headphone knob on front on the F4.

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