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Fred: On a FB group page for mixers, one of the members said that he had been working with Zoom for months, giving them feedback on what pros are looking for.  Let's hope you are right and the manage

You sure it was the recorder and not the battery? I used the f8 a couple of years ago without problems in worse conditions.

Once we (I) realized the problem, everything was changed, even units on the shelf, theory be Damned. Units that come in for repair are also updated. This is a mandatory, no charge, no time limit updat

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Ok its time for my review for Zoom F8. I have it since 1 month and used it in the last documentary show. What can I say. Its really nice and stable. Works perfect and have all the necessary things / settings that we all need both for feature or documentary films. And as all the others I want to share some thoughts about some imperfections and possible future settings updates. First about the pre-amps. They are really high sensitive so using an additional mixer is mandatory. Second its will be good if alphabetic letters like "I" and "O" do not appears in the character's scene increment mode. Third there should be a way to set a take number manually , not just take reset mode. 

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6 hours ago, chrismedr said:

for what it's worth, the F4 and F8 probably get an extra fader interface:

http://cinescopophilia.com/zoom-frc-8-control-panel-8-faders-f4-f8-leaked/

What is especially interesting is it mentions a USB keyboard can be used with the Zoom FRC-8!
Hopefully an option will come out soon so you can use a mini USB keyboard with your F4/F8 but without the bulk of the Zoom FRC-8.

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I can see some tidy 'nano-cart'™ designs heading our way soon : ).

Looking at the percentages, the ratio of price difference between this Zoom (bottom of the market) cart based set-up and a (middle of the market) SD 688 with CL-12 is greater than the difference between the SD set-up and the (top of the market) Cantar X3. Of course you 'get what you pay for', so if you apply this adage to the following:

F4*+F8+FRC8 = 2000usd   vs   688+CL12 = 8000usd   vs   X3+Cantarem2 = 17000usd.   * I threw the F4 in as a back up to the F8 to mitigate against Zoom's short history and to narrow the ratio in SD's favour.

Is the middle now looking a bit more expensive or the top now looking a bit cheaper (especially considering another adage regarding diminishing returns)? 

Perhaps SD will work out how to give 633 owners automix (and/or a cedar like NR) option (I know - wishful thinking of a 633 owner :)

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Adding a real Cedar option to a recorder like 633 is very likely beyond the available DSP, and in any case would be a very expensive option (Cedar stuff is not cheap.)  Maybe there will be a 633 MkII, with what's been asked for, since it is so popular.  But the only "Mark II" anything I've ever seen from SD is the MixPre--they sort of don't do that?   In any case I look forward so seeing the Zoom fader box, it looks well thought out.

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There are issues with the Zoom, eg Line I/P, limiters, LPF, etc but maybe people use the money they save and buy a cedar box for their mix balance of those issues with a 'quiet' (location fix) mix for picture editorial. I think it fair to say, the cheaper something like this is, the shorter the life expectancy. Eg. You buy a Cantar X3 you can be confident it'll be good for 10 years. But I don't think many folk buying a zoom will be under any illusions about this, but will they care? They can have, an 8 I/P recorder, control surface and DNS2 for the similar money as 633 and CL12. 

Yes,I guessed 633 DSP not enough to do NR. Maybe a way of using the aux tracks and O/Ps as a DNS send and return (insert?) so you don't loose I/Ps trying to do this.

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1 hour ago, daniel said:

I think it fair to say, the cheaper something like this is, the shorter the life expectancy. Eg. You buy a Cantar X3 you can be confident it'll be good for 10 years. But I don't think many folk buying a zoom will be under any illusions about this, but will they care?

I think the reality of most people interested in a F8 simply don't have the money for a X3, so it's not zoom or cantar, but zoom or nothing.

also, I think shorter life expectancy at a lower price is not necessary bad. Like, if the F8 holds up 6 years (which I strongly expect it will) it has easily made its money back and then you can see what new thing is on the market and how it fits into the current job situation. It's also a nice light backup recorder.

that said, buying and selling used high quality gear might be the better plan if one is short on money but wants to get decent jobs.

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1 hour ago, chrismedr said:

I think the reality of most people interested in a F8 simply don't have the money for a X3, so it's not zoom or cantar, but zoom or nothing.

also, I think shorter life expectancy at a lower price is not necessary bad. Like, if the F8 holds up 6 years (which I strongly expect it will) it has easily made its money back and then you can see what new thing is on the market and how it fits into the current job situation. It's also a nice light backup recorder.

that said, buying and selling used high quality gear might be the better plan if one is short on money but wants to get decent jobs.

I think it represents good value if it holds up for 3 years. It's not like many of us going to be using a 6 series in 20 years time and in 3-6 years time I imagine there will some other innovations we may want to switch move to (eg a recorder-mixer with decent NR : ). A higher value machine has better resale value, which I guess the Zooms wont have have much of, if at all. But resale values are impacted by innovations too. Not sure I agree Zoom buyers are only people who can't afford anything else, although an X3 is probably out of reach (it maybe just not appropriate for their needs either, eg. I could, but really don't need 1 : ). The great thing about the Zoom it is affordable for people before, during and straight after college (or indeed, if they do college at all), whereas I had to work in the industry for a few years before I could even contemplate owning much pro kit and that was partly because some manufacturers came forward with decent enough kit at a fraction of the cost, Eg SQN vs SD302/442, 2020 RMs vs Lectro/Sennheiser RMs etc. I'm sure my mentions of DNS may irritate a few, but having some money available for something like this at the beginning of a career in scripted drama or new media production, when you will be recording in noisy locations will help make 'friends' with Producers, DPs, PMs etc also near the start of their careers I see as potentially the most interesting angle. Nothing proven in this respect but lets see. I was talking to a post friend the other night and he couldn't hide his horror at the thought of a DNS being used in production (he's not much keen on the super cmit either) but he's not hiring the PSM and he works from the isos anyway.

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Looks like a great kit for someone starting out or a great backup recorder for just about anyone.

 

Its timecode spec is on-par with ambient and beats the pants off a Nomad. Also has auto rec via timecode feature that would make it a good backup machine.

 

Also, if your main recorder goes down you could re patch to the F8 and finish the day with most of the same functionality, tracks, etc.

 

I would be interested to read a real comparison review that looked closely at the audio quality of the preamps and a/d. 

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Snarky time.....  Only for fun...  It seems kinda cool in ways...

 

I don't know about you guys, but I like the idea of mixing with the wires hanging off and the unit balancing on top of my bag... or on the ground on my hands and knees buried in cables...   LOL

Great for those gigs where they call and say they have $100 for gear...  

Maybe good for schools or in house situations..  don't know if I'd like to be out there with this kit... but who knows... It is I must say awesome if everything else I use has failed ..

Hey, at least they hit the price point...

 If they can just get to $99...  I can buy a starter kit for my Toddler...

 

If my main recorder goes down, I will bring out another main recorder..  

For now, the producers are paying for that service..  (in most cases).... Until they get wind of how low "hyper inexpensive gear "is becoming...then, their gear budget goes down... again.. Why should they pay a fair working rate to us when they know the gear costs the Sound mixer next to nothing...?   And DNS,  (if that ever happens here) wow, now they can simply (in their minds)  record in any situation, anywhere, for pennies on the dollar... Am I the only one who sees trouble with this situation? I feel like I'm on a rocket heading straight for planet earth... without the proper landing on a barge...

This is and has been a race to reduce our gear rates in the eyes of those doing the departmental hiring and budget making... now with even more ammo..

Cheap (not inexpensive) is not always ...better... at least the known cost of our gear to Producers helped to stabilize in sorts our package rates... this most likely will not help that cause..

 

wires jp.jpg

wires 3.jpg

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I agree with you on some of that.. There are certain producers who will figure out how cheap this is and try to cut down on kit fees but I think that mostly this will happen to people who are already working on low/no budget stuff. I think it will push the bad rates into an even worse rate..

 

Until zoom starts making really good quality wireless mics that rival Lectro or Zax for like $300 I think we'll be alright. Also, the kit an experienced mixer brings to a job cannot be compared to what a producer can put in a shopping cart on B&H in 10 minutes time. A smart producer will realize that and not try to play that game. I hope.

 

I thought those pictures were kind of funny too but then I realized she is a SFX recordist and sound designer not a production sound mixer. So I'd say she gets a pass with all that cable mess! Not really sure how the fader panel helps in that situation but maybe she's mixing mics on the fly to create SFX or ambience 'live'. Interesting idea. I would love to get paid to record SFX so more power to her!

Also agree about using Cedar DNS in production. I'm not a fan of that concept and can't imagine too many post folks would us dipping into their sandbox but maybe I'll come around eventually. If bad locations for sound continues to be the industry standard then perhaps it would be useful, even if it's just to make me less grumpy on set. ;)

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54 minutes ago, afewmoreyears said:

Snarky time.....  Only for fun...  It seems kinda cool in ways...

I don't know about you guys, but I like the idea of mixing with the wires hanging off and the unit balancing on top of my bag... or on the ground on my hands and knees buried in cables...   LOL

Ya, that's a weird picture of Paula Fairfield. You know, sound designer for Lost, Game of Thrones, etc.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0265584/

Don't know if she uses Zoom stuff at work, if the photo shoot's art director just handed her the bag and mic with cables akimbo, or what.  

The Zoom will get used, some will be happy, some won't.

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22 minutes ago, Jim Feeley said:

Ya, that's a weird picture of Paula Fairfield. You know, sound designer for Lost, Game of Thrones, etc.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0265584/

Don't know if she uses Zoom stuff at work, if the photo shoot's art director just handed her the bag and mic with cables akimbo, or what.  

The Zoom will get used, some will be happy, some won't.

She's laughing in one of the shots, maybe thats why..

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OK cats--here's the thing: that sloppy looking setup seen in the Zoom ad? That IS how newbs will work, since they don't know any better and assume their intelligence, energy and luck will prevail in any situation....until they are disabused of all those concepts, which they certainly will be, eventually.   The mess in the pics is calculated--the newbs often think that the whole uptight/Bristol-fashion/ship-shape side of filmmaking and filmmaking gear is so much BS meant to keep them out and down--this tells them they are right!  Cheap recorder and do it however you want.  I see movie sets as being like the deck of a sailing ship.  The reason to obsessively keep everything very together is so you are ready when the unexpected comes and you need to move decisively and fast.  This lesson is usually learned the hard way.
 

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I don't know if the messy-cable photo was that deliberate, but I hear you Philip. Just last week, we were setting up in a funky start-up office, making things secure, client wants us to rush and right then someone who'd had too much caffeine (and who wasn't part of the shoot) runs through our space and knocks into a c-stand. But thanks to the sandbag (and the glancing blow + some dumb luck) nothing fell over. Client chilled after that. And we got great pix and sound. :-)

The Zoom will find its place. Seems pretty cool to me...

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