Zoom F8 Recorder Overview
The Zoom F8 is made for serious filmmakers and sound designers. With 8-input/10-track recording, super low-noise preamps, and support for 24-bit/192 kHz audio, the F8 captures the highest-quality audio.
The F8 is the first field recorder to come with wireless Bluetooth control. The Zoom F8 Control App for iOS provides extensive wireless remote control of the F8 from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (5th Gen) using Bluetooth LE protocol. Functions include Record, Play, Stop, Fast-Forward, and Rewind, plus mixer pan and fader level. You can also monitor input levels, current time code, and battery status. With Zoom F8 Control, you can rename files, enter metadata, and set date/time information directly from your iOS device.
Zoom F8 Highlights
Outfitted with our finest mic preamps to date, the F8 features an extremely low noise floor (−127 dBu EIN) and high gain (up to 75 dB), with +4 dB line inputs.
High-resolution audio and advanced limiters
The F8 can record at 24-bit/192 kHz resolution and is equipped with onboard limiters designed to provide overload protection. Limiting can be applied to all 8 channels simultaneously at full resolution, with 10 dB of headroom and controls for setting threshold, attack, and release.
Time code with pinpoint accuracy
The F8’s time code is state-of-the-art. It utilizes a Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) that generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy, enabling rock-solid syncing of audio and video.
The F8 supports all standard dropframe and non-drop formats, and can jam sync to time code being provided by external devices. An input and output are provided on standard BNC connectors, enabling easy integration into any rig.
Weight and build
The F8 is not only versatile and feature rich, it is the smallest field recorder with eight XLR combo preamps ever made. Weighing just 2.1 pounds (without batteries), its aluminum chassis is both rugged and durable.
Sound professionals sometimes work in dusty, hard-to-see environments. Level meters with adjustable brightness and its 2.4 inch full-color backlit LCD (which can be set to monochrome mode), make the F8 easy to use in any environment — from low-light to direct sunlight.
File formats, resolution, and sample rates
The F8 records in BWF-compatible WAV format at 16 or 24-bit resolution, and at any standard sample rate up to 192 kHz. When recording files in MP3 format, you can choose bit rates of 128, 192, or 320 kbps.
Dual SD card recording
Record on two SD/SDHC/SDXC cards*, up to 512 GB each, simultaneously, allowing you to instantly backup or split recordings (for example, save eight tracks onto one card and a stereo mix onto another).
Three power sources
A 4-pin Hirose connector allows the use of external 9-16 volt DC battery packs. Internal power is provided by 8 AA batteries. The F8 can switch power sources from a DC battery pack to the AA batteries at a user-defined voltage level for uninterrupted recording. You can also use the supplied 12 volt AC adapter when not on the go.
Files are saved periodically during recording. This provides an extra level of protection in the event of unexpected file interruption, for example, power loss or the removal of an SD card.
The F8’s dual-channel recording mode allows you to create safety tracks on inputs 1-4, each with independent level, limiting, delay, phase inversion, and high-pass filtering.
The pre-record function allows you to capture up to 6 seconds of audio before you hit the RECORD button.
Zoom F8 Hardware
The F8 provides 8 discrete inputs with locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors. Each preamp has a dedicated gain control knob, a 6-segment LED level meter, and Record Ready and PFL switch. A 10-pin connector on the rear panel enables the use of Zoom mic capsules, with an optional extension cable that allows for remote positioning. There’s also a built-in slate mic and a variable frequency slate tone generator to confirm levels.
In addition to its ¼” headphone jack with dedicated volume control, the F8 provides four outputs: two Main Outs (on balanced TA3 mini-XLR jacks) for connection to external mixers and processing devices; and two Sub Outs (on a single unbalanced ⅛” stereo mini-jack) for connection to a camera.
Time code and USB
Time code I/O is provided on BNC connectors. A USB port enables firmware updates, file transfer, and allows the F8 to be used as an 8-in/4-out USB audio interface operating at sample rates up to 96 kHz.
Zoom F8 Software
The F8’s menu is easy to navigate and has a simple file structure. Cataloging is straightforward, with extensive metadata (both BEXT and iXML), which can be entered directly on the F8 or with the Zoom F8 Control App.
The F8’s onboard mixer enables flexible signal routing from all inputs to all outputs, either pre- or post-fader, with user-adjustable level, pan, and input/output delay. In addition to advanced onboard limiters (which can be applied to all channels and tracks simultaneously), the F8 also provides high-pass filtering to reduce the sound of wind and other noise, plus phase inversion and Mid-Side decoding.