Thread: Ask A Zoom Rep

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    #11
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    Your right about there on how they work

    When the limiter is activate the preamp gain is reduced 10 dB. On top of the high dynamic range of the preamps they are pretty hard to clip (in normal situations), and even when clipped it doesn't go instantly to harsh digital distortion.

    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    F4 Limiter Question:

    I find the limiters on my F4 entirely adequate, but I have a question about how they are implemented. Going by the circuit diagram in the manual, it looks like the whole 4 mic pre's, A/D converters, and limiters are all in one IC. The question I have is do the limiters adjust the pre-amplifier gain? My experiments tend to indicate they do, but I would like to know for sure.

    If is is of any importance, how I set my F4 is 16bit/48K, -12db gain level, with the limiters set to -6db, soft knee. I have not seen any clipping with those settings.

    Actually, there is a long dumb argument over on gearslutz.com about just this issue, in which we who have F series recorders say the limiters work fine, and the "experts" say no way.


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    #12
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    Hello, I am curious about the XLR/TRS option, coming from a Sennheiser wireless lav, is it better to go to the XLR or connect to the TRS? Or are they the same either way? This would be on a F8 and H6 both. Also on the H6 is there any way to 1)record one input to 2 tracks at different volumes and 2) any way to get the wav files to be linked like I can on the F8?

    Thanks for any help.


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    #13
    Senior Member graywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoomOfficial View Post
    Your right about there on how they work

    When the limiter is activate the preamp gain is reduced 10 dB. On top of the high dynamic range of the preamps they are pretty hard to clip (in normal situations), and even when clipped it doesn't go instantly to harsh digital distortion.
    Thank you for confirming that I was more or less correct about how the limiters work. Considering that the F series are mainly intended as film dialogue recorders, I do not think the limiters used intelligently are any limit at all. I have been unable to get my F4 to clip on vocals when set up as I previously described.

    I find it interesting that the "experts"* don't have to have used, touched, or even seen the gear to have an "expert" opinion of it.


    * "experts" are nothing like experts


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    #14
    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    The G2/3's EK 100 portable receiver's AF out set to maximum is usually adequate for a -10dB input, but would be a bit anemic on a +4dB inputs, though some devices have more gain than others (Tascam 680 for instance). I would run a G2/3 to mic level input if you have the preamps.

    I really have very little hands-on experience with Zoom gear but read the manuals/specs ect. (I wouldn't be caught dead with a H series recorder)
    I believe the F4/8 inputs are like the other Zoom recorders, the XLR is mic level, the 1/4" TRS is line. The TRS input can easily handle a +4dB sources and has a maximum level of over +22dBu like most other pro gear.

    According to the H6 manual: [Page 34] "When using the L/R input, in addition to the recording at the set input level, the recorder can also record a separate file at a level 12dB below. This backup can be used if the recording level was set too high, causing distortion, for example." But AFWIK, the H6 does not have the poly file option. (more than two channels per file)

    I'm sure Samuel will confirm or correct the above.


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    #15
    Senior Member graywolf's Avatar
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    Rick, as far as I know nothing is set up for dbU on the F-series. dbFS and dbVU are the choices offered. So to figure out dbU you are going to have to dig out your nomograph.

    Gain staging is what we are really talking about when we talk about line levels. That is the gain a 1KC 1-volt sine wave is set to in the equipment. Zero dbVU is the equivalent of -20dbFS with a 24 bit signal, and -12dbFS with a 16 bit signal. -10b means that sine wave will measure -10dbVU on amateur equipment and +4 dbVU on professional equipment. Very simple really, you set every thing throug the audio chain to show those readings and your gain staging is setup, then the only thing you nomally have to change is the input gain to set audio levels. This is just calibrating your equipment.

    Now for what ever reason, Zoom has chosen -10 dbVU as as the default input gain, and +4 dbVU as the default output gain on the F-series. I think I understand why it was done that way, but am not 100% sure. You can change those defaults in the menu system if you like. So much for those "experts" who think things are set in stone.

    Once again, this is all about calibrating your signal chain. It has little to do with anything else. It is an interconnect level, and applies to line level signals, not to your microphone level signals. The preamps are there to bring the mic level signals up to line level.

    Jumping to radio mic's, mine has output levels of -10db, -20db, and -30db. Guess which I set it to for use with the F4? If you guessed -10 you got it right. However, I can use it as a mic input at -30db, which give me the option of using the preamp's gain control. My experience is that I do not get quite as clean a signal as I do at -10 into the line level inputs. Oh, and there is a hint there as to why they have the inputs set to -10db if you think about it for a bit.

    An aside, most of the above is more about electronics than it is about audio. Which is why some get confused. Cherries and oranges (to avoid using someone tradename).


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    #16
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    Thank you, so stay G2/3 to XLR and set the AF out fairly high to let them do most of the work, sounds like what I have been doing.


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    Hi, and thanks for doing this! I have both an h6 and an h4n - is it possible to use the A/C power source for the h4 with the h6? They have the same electric rating. Also, do you have any videos to recommend for setting up/maximizing usage and workflow with the h6? Thanks!


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    #18
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    @ZoomOfficial: I love my F8. It is a great unit at a nice price point...

    My only issue is the clicking noise when making trim adjustments. IMO it's a significant issue on this recorder. Others have noted it as well. I know analog pots were not a possibility at this price, but some technically knowledgeable people (including on this forum) have suggested that it can be fixed in a firmware update.

    Is this something Zoom is working on?

    Thanks


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    #19
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    Thanks for reaching out ZoomOfficial!

    For future updates, I'd love to have the ability to 1) name the tracks, not only in metadata but in the actual file names instead of TR1, etc. and 2) be able to trim link the dual recording tracks with a custom lower DB level, say a constant -20db relative to the main track.

    Thanks!


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    #20
    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    "is it possible to use the A/C power source for the h4 with the h6? They have the same electric rating."
    - Yes and no. If it's within 9–16 volts and has at least 1000 mA or so. The F4/8 needs a Hirose HR10A-7R-4S plug (about $15). Warning: that 4 pin Hirose plug is a real PITA to solder, even for someone with experience, good eyesight and a magnifier light....


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