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Zoom R16 for Film?


13 posts in this topic

Posted

Hey Guys, I know you all with cringe at the site of this on jwsound, but I'm CURIOUS if anyone has tried out the Zoom R16 as a recorder for low budget film making? (Ether On It's Own or with Boom Recorder?).

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R16/

I realize it's a plastic piece of cheap recorder but it would have it's uses.

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Posted

Don't think it does 48K... just 44.1

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Posted

Yes, it only does 44.1, however the R24 does 48.

I'm not sure if either can take a professional line level signal.

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Posted

Are you OMB with it?

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Posted

I'm not anything with it lol Like I said was just curious, and ya the 44.1 only wouldn't work. R24 is not much more and does do 48 though. I'm thinking it would be a handy little piece to have if you every do something like a musical recording whilst doing the sound, or something, who knows aha.

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Posted

(ahem) it *depends* (of the film)

I own and use a R24 for personal projects. Fine machine (disclaimer) for the price (although i'm using maybe a tenth, at best, of what the machine can do, it's actually unbelievable what it delivers for two peanuts and a half).

But I'll not use it in my usual (paid) professional duties. Too much drawbacks to deal with.

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Posted

Why wouldn't 44.1k work?

It makes no difference to the sound quality. I don't know of any manufacturer that switches filter frequencies between 44 and 48, and even if they did, a Nyquist difference between 22k and 24k won't make any difference to dialog that has practically nothing above 12k.

Yes, the files would have to be s/r converted before ingesting, but we've been doing super-high-multiplier conversions - with no loss of sync - for at least a decade. Or you could even redigitize... one generation of good quality d/a and then a/d isn't going to kill a track.

Assuming the box has good analog preamps and a/d, recording at 44.1 is going to be less of a quality hit than the 2-generation analog (1/4" in the field, then mag) that used to be the gold standard.

Of course this is not an endorsement of that particular Zoom box. I haven't tested it.

(I _have_ tested alleged low-cost pro recorders, costing 4x more, that were substandard even at 48k 24b with mic inputs. As well as some that were pretty darned good.)

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Posted

try the Tascam Dr680 6 posible channels with 2 being TRS no TC but does everything else for about the same price. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/673541-REG/Tascam_DR_680_DR_680_8_Track_Portable_Field.html

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Posted

" the 44.1 only wouldn't work. "

it works fine!

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Posted

I think recording at 44.1 on purpose is a bad idea. Yes there are fixes for it, but it's not what is expected at all, and when the tracks from the R16 get conformed (because you are using for multitrack, right?) the tracks will come into the DAW at the wrong SR for the project, a hassle. The other issue w/ something like the R16 is that it isn't externally clockable and can't deal w/ TC.

philp

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Posted

... recording at 44.1 on purpose is a bad idea.

When 48k is available on the same machine? Yes, it's a bad idea (unless the workflow is primarily audio CD or web-only...)

I'll go you one further: if you're doing dialog for film, and the machine gives you a choice of only 44.1k or 32k, the non-intuitive choice might be the best one. Assuming good filters, the loss of audio between 15k and 20k might be insignificant... and assuming only basic s/r converters in post, the s/r conversion from 32k to 48k is a lot more benign for both audio and sync!

...at least the theory says, in such conditions it's worth a careful test of both s/r.

(Are there any digital recorders around that'll do only 32k and 44.1k, but not 48k? Among the Zoom-using crowd, possibly. Until about a decade ago, 32k was still very common for broadcast equipment*. And those boxes are still around, somewhere.)

(* - and why not, since US analog stereo FM and TV cut their main audio channel off at 15kHz?)

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Posted

If your NLE supports mixed sample rates, it should not be a problem... a second is a second. Drift can and usually does occur with cheap unlocked recorders regardless of sample rate. I don't know about that particular recorder, but others like it have horrendous noisy preamps and if it does have line level, it likely just pads it to mic level through the mic pre anyway. The Tascam 680 would be a better choice, except for overdubbing and MI type functions.

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Posted

I owned an R24 and eventually sold it as the preamps inside we're garbage, causing my signal to have a ton of noise just to get dialog at a decent level. I own an H4N and love it, but it seems Zoom dropped the ball on the R24. Ended up buying a Zaxcom Nomad and love it!

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