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Zoom F8 Multi-Track Field Recorder

BH #ZOF8 • MFR #ZF8
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Zoom F8 Multi-Track Field Recorder
Key Features
  • 8x XLR/TRS Combo Jacks with +75 dB Gain
  • Up to 192 kHz/ 24-Bit PCM Recording
  • Record Up to 10 Tracks Simultaneously
  • Dual Channel Recordings at Two Levels
The Zoom F8 Multi-Track Field Recorder is designed for professional and enthusiast recording applications on set and in the field, including music, filmmaking, and electronics news gathering (ENG). Designed to be carried by a shoulder strap or in a bag, the unit features eight analog input channels with lockable XLR/TRS combo jacks that provide +75 dB maximum input gain, and support for +4 dB inputs with an EIN of -127 dBu or less. It can record up to 10 tracks simultaneously (channels 1-8 plus a stereo mix), or up to eight channels when recording at the A/D converter's maximum 24-bit 192 kHz resolution.
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Zoom F8 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Analog Inputs
  • 3Audio Resolution
  • 4Simultaneous Recording
  • 5Dual-Channel Recording of Separate Files at Lower Levels
  • 6Limiter
  • 7Supports SMPTE Timecode I/O
  • 8Outputs
  • 9Mixer Functionality
  • 10Phantom Power
  • 11Three Possible Power Supplies
  • 12Two SDXC Card Slots
  • 13USB Audio Interface Capabilities with up to 8 Ins and 4 Outs
  • 14Built-In Microphone
  • 15Zoom Mic Capsule Functionality

The Zoom F8 Multi-Track Field Recorder is designed for professional and enthusiast recording applications on set and in the field, including music, filmmaking, and electronics news gathering (ENG). Designed to be carried by a shoulder strap or in a bag, the unit features eight analog input channels with lockable XLR/TRS combo jacks that provide +75 dB maximum input gain, and support for +4 dB inputs with an EIN of -127 dBu or less. It can record up to 10 tracks simultaneously (channels 1-8 plus a stereo mix), or up to eight channels when recording at the A/D converter's maximum 24-bit 192 kHz resolution.

Alternatively, you can perform dual-channel recording of separate files at lower volume levels to ensure you have backup recordings to use when unexpected loud noises distort the primary recording. A newly designed limiter provides up to 10 dB of headroom. The unit supports SMPTE time code input and output. Included in the outputs is a powerful 100 mW + 100 mW headphone jack, as well as the MAIN OUT 1/2 and SUB OUT 1/2 jacks so you can send the audio signal to a video camera or other device while monitoring with headphones.

The unit's internal mixing capability enables flexible routing, and the inclusion of individually selectable +24V/+48V phantom power ensures you can use your favorite condenser microphones.

Power to the recorder can be supplied in one of three ways: via AA batteries, an AC adapter, or a 9 to 16V external DC power supply. Two SDXC card slots can be used simultaneously for recording even longer sessions, and can also be used as card readers when connected to a computer via USB.

When operating via USB, the unit can be used in a 2-in/2-out configuration as well as an 8-in/4-out audio interface (driver required for windows). A built-in slate mic allows you to make voice memos and the unit's slate tone can be used to confirm specific levels.

Among the most innovative features of the recorder is support for the company's interchangeable microphone capsules.

Analog Inputs

Provides two sets of lockable XLR/TRS combo jacks with EIN of -127 dBu or less, +75 dB maximum input gain and support for +4 dB input

Audio Resolution

Records up to 192 kHz at 24-bit resolution

Simultaneous Recording

Records up to 10 tracks simultaneously with channels 1-8 and a stereo mix (left and right). Up to eight tracks can be recorded at a sampling rate of 192 kHz

Dual-Channel Recording of Separate Files at Lower Levels

Records backup recordings at a lower input level to help prevent unexpected loud noises from distorting the recording

Limiter

Provides 10 dB of headroom with a threshold that can be set by the user

Supports SMPTE Timecode I/O

Uses a high-precision oscillator that enables the generation of accurate time code with a discrepancy of less than 0.2 frames per 24 hours

Outputs

Allows you to send the audio signal to a video camera or other device while simultaneously monitoring

Mixer Functionality

Allows for inputs 1-8 to be routed to outputs freely

Phantom Power

Supports +24V and +48V phantom power

Three Possible Power Supplies

Can operate on AA batteries, an AC adaptor, or a 9 to 16 V external DC power supply (not included) with automatic switching between power supplies

Two SDXC Card Slots

Allows for SD card recording, and the use of SDXC cards enables extended recording capability. The unit can also be used as a card reader by connecting it to a computer via USB

USB Audio Interface Capabilities with up to 8 Ins and 4 Outs

Allows the unit to be used as a 2-in/2-out audio interface as well as an 8-in/4-out audio interface (driver required for Windows, not required for Mac)

Built-In Microphone

Works as both a slate mic as well as a tool for voice memos

Zoom Mic Capsule Functionality

Supports the company's line of interchangeable mic capsules that can be used instead of inputs 1/2

Zoom F8 Specs

Inputs
Connectors8x XLR/TRS combo jacks
XLR Inputs
Input Gain+10 to +75 dB
Input Impedance3.3 kOhms
Maximum Input Level+14 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
Phantom Power+24/+48 V 10 mA maximum for each channel
Line Inputs
Input Gain-10 to 55 dB
Input Impedance22 kOhms
Maximum Input Level+34 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter on)
Equivalent Input Noise-127 dBu or less (A-weighted, +75 dB input gain, 150 ohms)
Frequency Response10 Hz to 80 kHz
Dynamic Range120 dB typ (-60 dBFS input, A-weighted)
Crosstalk-69 dB or less (between adjacent channels, 1 kHz)
MicCapsule: Zoom mic capsule input (use disables inputs 1/2)
Slate Mic: Built-in mic for voice memos can be assigned to tracks freely
Main Outputs
ConnectorsMain Out 1/2: TA-3 Connectors, balanced output (2: hot)
Sub Out 1/2: 3.5 mm stereo mini unbalanced output jack
Headphone: 1/4" unbalanced stereo output jack
Output ImpedanceMain Out 1/2: 150 ohms or less
Sub Out 1/2: 150 ohms or less
Headphones: 15 ohms or less
Reference OutputMain Out 1/2: -10 dBV (normal output types), -40 dBV (mic output type, 1 kHz, 600 ohms load
Sub Out 1/2: -10 dBV (normal output types), -40 dBV (mic output type, 1 kHz, 10 kOhms load
Maximum Output LevelMain Out 1/2: +10 dBV (normal output type), -20 dBV (mic output type), 1 kHz, 600 ohms load
Sub Out 1/2: +10 dBV (normal output type), -20 dBV (mic output type), 1 kHz, 600 ohms load
Headphone: 100 mW + 100 mW (1% or lower THD+N, 32 ohm load)
Dynamic RangeD/A: 106 dB typ (-60 dBFS input, A-weighted)
Recording Formats
Supported FormatsWAV: 44.1/47.952/48/48.048/88.2/96/192 kHz, 16/24-bit, mono/stereo//2-10 ch poly, BWF and iXML
MP3: 128/192/320 kbps, 44.1/48 kHz, ID3v1 tags
# Of Simultaneous Record TracksWAV: 10 (8 inputs + stereo mix)
MP3: 2
Recording
TimeUsing a 32 GB card: 30:51:00 (48 kHz/24-bit stereo WAV), 7:42:00 (192 kHz/24-bit stereo WAV)
Time Code
ConnectorBNC
ModesOff, Int Free Run, Int Record Run, Int RTC Run, Ext, Ext Auto Rec (audio clock can be synchronized to Timecode)
Frame Rates23.976ND, 24ND, 25ND, 29.97ND, 29.97D, 30ND, 30D
Precision±0.2 ppm
Input Level0.2 - 5.0 Vpp
Input Impedance4.6 kOhms
Output Level3.3 Vpp
Output Impedance50 ohms or less
Power
Batteries8x AA
AC AdapterAD-19 DC12V 2A (center plus)
External DC SourceHIROSE HR10A-7R-4S 4-pin connector (1 pin: −, 4 pin: +), 9-16 V
Battery / RuntimeWhen recording 2 channels at 48 kHz/16-bit
Alkaline Batteries: 7 hours or more
NiMH (2450 mAh): 9.5 hours or more

When recording 8 channels at 48 kHz/24-bit
Alkaline batteries: 2.5 hours or more
NiMH: 7 hours or more

When recording 8 channels at 192 kHz/24-bit with headphones, phantom power and display backlighting
NiMH (2450 mAH): 1.5 hours or more
Display2.4" full-color LCD (320 x 240)
USBClass: USB 2.0 high speed
InterfaceAs multi-track audio interface operation
Class: USB 2.0 high speed
Specifications: 44.1/48/96 kHz sampling rate, 16/24-bit bit rate, 8 in/4 out

Stereo Mix audio interface operation (no driver required)
Class: USB 2.0 full speed
Specification: 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate, 16-bit rate, 2 in/2 out
Dimensions7.02 x 5.50 x 2.16" (178.2 x 139.8 x 54.8 mm)
Weight2.1 lb (0.95 kg)
Packaging Info
Package Weight5.3 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)11.575 x 10.394 x 4.882"

Zoom F8 Reviews

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question

If I input a stereo signal(ie: the mic output from a dual channel receiver) and activate the stereo link function does this separate the signal into L and R over two channels or just duplicate the mixed signal over two channels?
Asked by: Anonymous
When two channels are stereo linked, the F8n will create a stereo file wherein the first input will be recorded to the left channel and the second input will be recorded to the right channel.
Answered by: Zoom Customer Support
Date published: 2018-11-09

question

Are there -20 db pads like the h6 when connecting to a live mixing board, or does it require in-line attenuators?
Asked by: Joe C.
XLR inputs are received at mic level and 1/4 TRS are at line level (-20dB). This is actually one of the most annoying features when using the F8 as a field recorder because you cannot choose a line level signal input when connecting via XLR (like when recording from a wireless receiver that outputs line-level).
Answered by: Zachary T.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

I own both f4 and f8. when my f4 is in standby mode, the units screen goes into standby, which is great. On my f8 when in standby it doesn't do that. I've checked a feature set on the f8 which has a settings for a low light setting but it doesn't work.
Asked by: terry m.
when the F8 is running on batteries , those backlit functions work as they should. But when running on Dc they don't again in as it should
Answered by: terry m.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

I have the zoom H6 and use it to stream xlr audio during my live shows on YouTube via usb. Can the F8 be used the same way? And is it worth the upgrade? I just want to get the most out of my Electrovoice RE20. It sounds good with the H6. But Im looking for better quality audio. Is the F8 a good choice?
Asked by: Jacob Q.
I also started with the H6 and upgraded to the F8, primarily because I wanted more inputs and more of a console rather than a handheld in my studio. Both still get a lot of work. I think the F8 arguably has quieter preamps, something important if you record classical music, or possibly very intimate film dialog. But if you think it will be better quality audio than the H6, that's just not reasonable. With a mic like the RE20, if it sounds deficient to you on the H6, I'd look elsewhere. Maybe the mic has been damaged, or you just need some eq to get that fat sound you want. Bottom line, I love both my H6 and F8, but I don't think in your case the F8 is going to make a difference.
Answered by: David C.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

Can you record to both cards at the same time? So theres a backup if one of your cards die?
Asked by: shawn
Yes, I have been told that you can. Just purchased mine so not up to speed on the procedure. See Brian K's reply below.
Answered by: DOUGLAS T.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

Can it record simultaneously output usb interface ?
Asked by: Jeremie
I would recommend that you download the PDF users manual,read pg. 105-106 and answer the question yourself.I have never used this feature myself, however, you can only use the USB connection to connect the F8 to a computer.
Answered by: David H.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

the recorder comes with the bcf8 battery case? or i have to buy it separately?
Asked by: esteban b.
It comes with the recorder but I would impress that you use it as a backup power supply and use an external spice for the main supply.
Answered by: Sharoll J.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

When recording to SD cards, can each input record to separate tracks? For example, if I have 4 mics in a panel discussion, can this device record 4 separate tracks I can manipulate later when editing, or are they all baked into one stereo or mono mix?
Asked by: Johnathon
You have the option to record up to 8 tracks or 8 tracks plus the stereo mix. The 8 tracks are recorded as wav files based on the sample rate and bit settings that you choose. For example you can do 44.1k at 16 bits for CD or 48k at 24 bits for video projects. The stereo is a compressed file and you can choose several compression values like 192 or 256. The SD card will have the files for each track that you recorded in a folder named as the date you recorded it. Each recording is then given a sequential number. You can drag the group of files into something like ProTools or Nuendo and mix them accordingly since each track is separate. You can setup each of the two SD card slots separately and you can have either a card in one of the slots or a card in both slots.
Answered by: Jimbo
Date published: 2018-08-26
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