Zoom Launches New F6 32-bit MultiTrack Field Recorder

May 23 2019, 02:10
First unveiled at the NAB 2019 show in Las Vegas, Zoom confirmed the final specifications and shipping schedule for its new F6 multitrack field recorder and mixer. In this compact but extremely powerful design, Zoom combined the latest 32-bit recording technology with the most popular features of its pro-grade Zoom F8n recorder. This allows incredible possibilities for any production that needs a very compact solution in the field and recording audio with very high quality.

The Zoom F6 is the first professional field recorder from the Japanese company to feature both 32-bit float recording and dual AD converters, providing an unprecedented amount of dynamic range. What this means in practice is that, in the field, users will be well prepared to deal with fluctuating dynamics that can prove challenging. The F6 uses the increased dynamics of 32-bit float recording with dual A/D converters to capture both very loud and subtle sounds at full audio quality. This means recording at 24-bit and up to 192 kHz, and 32-bit float up to 96 kHz, or both simultaneously in BWF-compatible WAV formats.

With 6 inputs and 6-channel mixing, built-in time code generator, multiple power options and wireless control, the F6 becomes a powerful partner for location and even many production tasks. The F6’s Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy.

The six analog inputs use ultra-low noise and independently adjustable professional-grade preamps with up to 75 dB gain. The six inputs all have selectable mic/line levels for each input, with selectable 24/48 VDC phantom power. When using 24-bit recording, the F6 is equipped with advanced look-ahead hybrid limiters that provide overload protection. By adding a 1-millisecond delay, the limiters are able to anticipate clipping before it’s recorded.

And while the Zoom F6 is a compact unit, it was designed to be rugged enough to withstand the most demanding scenarios, including in terms of power options, which include four AA batteries, Sony L-Series batteries, USB bus power, or a Zoom AD-17 AC adapter.

While recording, the user is able to monitor everything on headphones, listening to tracks pre- or post-fader and adjust levels. The recorder supports clever features like AutoMix, allowing the operator to keep the eyes on the action while the recorder adjusts automatically the levels of the mix to reduce ambient sound. Cataloging files with the F6 is also quick and easy. For each recording, the user can enter track name, scene names, notes, and more, in both BWF and iXML. This is done using the F6 Control App for iOS, which not only monitor signals, but allows adjusting levels, trigger transport controls, enter metadata and more, all wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Sold separately, there's also the Zoom F-Control (FRC-8) unit, which includes 60 mm faders and controls for trim, pan and track-arming.

And like other Zoom field recorders, the F6 also offers Ambisonics recording. The user just needs to select Ambisonics mode to access precision A-to-B decoding and balanced gain linking features. The free Zoom Ambisonics Player software, supports decoding and editing the resulting audio.

The new Zoom F6 MultiTrack Field Recorder will start shipping in July 2019, with a retail price of US $649.
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