Zoom F8

8-Channel 10-Track Field-Audiorecorder/Mixer

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Manual

For Filmmaking and Sound Design

Advances in video have made filmmaking accessible to creators everywhere. But the accessibility of professional audio devices has not kept pace. Field recorders, with essential features such as time code, have been unobtainable for most. Until now.

The 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 Facts

Mic pre’s
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 10dB 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.

Weight and build
The F8 is not only versatile and feature rich, it is the smallest field recorder with eight XLR combo inputs ever made. Weighing just 2.1 pounds (without batteries), its aluminum chassis is both rugged and durable.

Display
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.

The Features

The F8 provides every option you need to create professional field recordings:

Phantom power (+24V/+48V) can be turned on and off for each input individually.

Plug in any Zoom mic capsule.

10 tracks—8 input channels, plus a stereo mix track*—allow you to simultaneously record stereo and surround sound.

An onboard mixer with flexible routing of all inputs and outputs (pre- and post-fader). Each channel has controls for pan, input/output delay, filtering, and limiting.

The F8 can be mounted to a tripod and attached to your camera using the included mounting bracket.

* Stereo mix track not recorded when 192 kHz sampling rate is selected

Redundancy is always good… Always.

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).
* View list of confirmed compatible SD cards.

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.

File protection
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.

Dual-channel recording
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.

Pre-record
The pre-record function allows you to capture up to 6 seconds of audio before you hit the RECORD button.

Comprehensive Headphone Monitoring

Out in the field, it’s important to be able to quickly check levels as you’re recording. With the F8, it’s simple. A single display lets you monitor single or multiple tracks, as well as any of the Main or Sub outputs, via a dedicated ¼” headphone jack with a front panel volume control.

Signals can be freely routed to the left and/or right headphone channels, pre- or post-fader, and the headphone output can be switched to mono.

You can set headphone alert tones for low battery, recording start/stop, or recording errors.

The F8 comes equipped with a built-in 100 mW headphone amplifier, allowing you to monitor in the noisiest of environments.

A First in the Field

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.

Get free “F8 Control” app from App Store

The Hardware

Inputs
The F8 provides 8 discrete inputs with locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors. Each input 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.

Outputs
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.

The Software

The F8’s menu is easy to navigate and has a simple file structure. Cataloging is straightforward, with extensive metadata (both BWF and iXML), which can be entered directly on the F8 or with the Zoom F8 Control App.

Onboard Mixer
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.

Features at a Glance

 

8-channel/10-track field audio recorder/mixer

8 discrete inputs with locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors

Compact and lightweight aluminum chassis, weighing just 2 pounds (without batteries)

High quality mic preamps with up to 75 dB gain, less than -127 dBu EIN, and +4 dB line inputs

Support for up to 24-bit/192 kHz recording as well as 96 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 48 kHz, and 44.1 kHz, plus 47.952 kHz/48.048 kHz for HD video compatibility; 16-/24-bit resolution

Accurate Time Code (0.2 ppm) I/O on standard BNC connectors; dropframe/non-drop formats with Jam Sync

Three different power supply options: 8x AA batteries, external DC battery pack with Hirose connector, or 12V AC adapter (AA’s and DC battery pack not included)

Automatic switching of power source from DC to batteries at user-defined voltage levels

Dedicated gain control knob, 6-segment LED level meter, and PFL/Solo switch for each channel

Phantom power (+48V/+24V) on every input

Advanced onboard limiters for input and output

High pass filter, phase invert, and Mid-Side decoder

 

 

Input delay of up to 30 msec per channel / output delay of up to 10 frames per output

Compatible with Zoom microphone capsules; optional extender cable enables remote positioning

Dual mini-XLR (TA3) balanced Main Outs plus ⅛” stereo mini-jack Sub Out

Dedicated headphone output (100mW) with front panel volume control

2.4″ full-color backlit LCD with monochrome mode

Dedicated PFL display with viewable trim settings

Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots, up to 512 GB each

Records in BWF-compliant WAV or MP3 file formats

Support for extensive metadata (BWF and iXML); input time, date, project, scene number, etc.

Built-in slate mic/slate tone with front panel switch

Built-in tripod mount; camera mount adapter also included

Use as an 8-in/4-out USB audio interface (@ 96 kHz)

Free Zoom F8 Control App for iOS allows wireless remote control, file renaming, and metadata entry

 

Media
Purchased Parts Package
Technical Details
RECORDING MEDIA
Dual SD card slot supports: 16 MB–2 GB SD cards | 4 GB–32 GB SDHC cards | 64 GB–512 GB SDXC cards
INPUTS: 1-8
Connectors: XLR/TRS combo jacks (XLR: 2 hot, TRS: TIP hot)
INPUTS: XLR (MIC)
Input gain: +10 – +75 dB
Input impedance: 3.3 kΩ
Maximum input level: +14 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
Phantom power: +24/+48V 10 mA maximum for each channel
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): 0.009% max (1kHz, 22Hz-22kHz BW, Input Gain min, -10dBu input)
INPUTS: TRS (LINE)
Input gain: −10 – +55 dB
Input impedance: 28 kΩ
Maximum input level: +34 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): 0.010% max (1kHz, 22Hz-22kHz BW, Input Gain min +10dBu input)
INPUTS: Additional Info
Equivalent input noise: −127 dBu or less
(A-weighted, +75 dB input gain, 150Ω input)
Frequency characteristics: 10 Hz – 80 kHz +0.5 dB/−1 dB (192 kHz sampling rate)
A/D dynamic range: 120 dB typ (−60 dBFS input, A-weighted)
Crosstalk: −90 dB or less (between adjacent channels, 1 kHz)
MIC IN: ZOOM mic capsule input (use disables Inputs 1/2)
SLATE MIC: Built-in mic for voice memos can freely be assigned to tracks
OUTPUTS: MAIN OUT 1/2
Connectors: TA3 connectors, balanced output (2: hot)
Output impedance: 150 Ω or less
Reference output level: −10 dBV (Normal Output Type), −40 dBV (Mic Output Type), 1 kHz, 600Ω load
Maximum output level: +10 dBV (Normal Output Type), −20 dBV (Mic Output Type), 1 kHz, 600Ω load
OUTPUTS: SUB OUT 1/2
Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini unbalanced output jack
Output impedance: 100 Ω or less
Reference output level: −10 dBV (Normal Output Type), −40 dBV (Mic Output Type), 1 kHz, 10kΩ load
Maximum output level: +10 dBV (Normal Output Type), −20 dBV (Mic Output Type), 1 kHz, 10kΩ load
HEADPHONE
Connector: 1/4" unbalanced stereo output jack
Output impedance: 15 Ω or less
Maximum output level: 100 mW + 100 mW (32Ω load)
D/A
D/A dynamic range: 106 dB typical (−60 dBFS input, A-weighted)
Recording formats: When WAV selected
Supported formats: 44.1/47.952/48/48.048/88.2/96/192 kHz, 16/24-bit, mono/stereo/2-10 ch poly, BWF and iXML
Maximum simultaneous recording tracks: 10 (8 inputs + stereo mix)
8 (with 192 kHz sampling rate)
Recording formats: When MP3 selected
Supported formats: 128/192/320 kbps, 44.1/48 kHz, ID3v1 tags
Maximum simultaneous recording tracks: 2
Recording time
Using a 32GB card: 30:51:00 (48 kHz/24-bit stereo WAV)
7:42:00 (192 kHz/24-bit stereo WAV)
TIMECODE
Connector: BNC
Modes: Off, Int Free Run, Int Record Run, Int RTC Run, Ext, Ext Auto Rec (audio clock can be synchronized to timecode)
Frame rates: 23.976ND, 24ND, 25ND, 29.97ND, 29.97D, 30ND, 30D
Precision: ±0.2 ppm
Supported input levels: 0.2 – 5.0 Vpp
Input impedance: 4.6 kΩ
Output level: 3.3 Vpp
Output impedance: 50 ? or less
POWER SUPPLIES
Batteries: 8 AA
AC adapter: AD-19 DC12V 2A (center plus)
External DC power supply: HIROSE HR10A-7R-4S 4-pin connector (1 pin: −, 4 pin: +), 9–16 V
Continuous recording time: When recording 2 channels at 48kHz/16-bit without headphones
Alkaline batteries: 8.5 hours or more
NiMH (2450mAh): 10 hours or more
Lithium batteries: 12.5 hours or more
Continuous recording time: When recording 8 channels at 48kHz/24-bit with headphones
Alkaline batteries: 4.5 hours or more
NiMH (2450mAh): 6 hours or more
Lithium batteries: 8.5 hours or more
Continuous recording time: When recording 8 channels at 192kHz/24-bit with headphones, phantom power and display backlighting
Alkaline batteries: 1 hour or more
NiMH (2450mAh): 2 hours or more
Lithium batteries: 3 hours or more
DISPLAY
2.4" full-color LCD: 320x240
USB: Mass storage operation
Class: USB 2.0 High Speed
USB: Multitrack audio interface operation (driver required for Windows, not required for Mac)
Class: USB 2.0 High Speed
Specifications: 44.1/48/96 kHz, 16/24-bit, 8-in/4-out
USB: Stereo Mix audio interface operation (no driver required)
Class: USB 2.0 Full Speed
Specifications: 44.1/48 kHz, 16-bit, 2-in/2-out
Note: iPad audio interface operation supported (Stereo Mix mode only)
EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS
Main unit: 7.0 in. (W) × 5.5 in. (D) × 2.1 in. (H)
178.2 mm (W) × 140.3 mm (D) × 54.3 mm (H)
WEIGHT
Main unit only: 2.1 pounds (960 g)