Almost a year and a half after Zoom introduced its first affordable multitrack field recorder the F8 at last year’s NAB, the leading Japanese maker of affordable professional audio gear now unveils another exciting product. Based on the excellent Zoom F8, the brand new Zoom F4 field recorder offers 6-input/8-track recording, four super-low-noise mic preamps, and advanced timecode functionality. On top, the unit provides recording and playback resolutions up to 24-bit/192 kHz with impressive audio specs including an extremely low noise floor (-127 dBu EIN) and high gain (up to +75 dB), with +4 dB line-level inputs. In the video ahead, Rob Rives from B&H explores the brand-new Zoom F4 Field Recorder along with all enticing features it has to offer.
The latest multitrack recorder from Zoom features four locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors, where each XLR input provides a dedicated preamp with gain control, switchable 24/48V phantom power, a six-segment LED level meter, plus a Record Ready and PFL switch. There is also a 3.5mm stereo input, and a Zoom mic capsule input for a total of six discrete inputs, all of which enable the unit to record up to eight tracks. The F4 also provides two main balanced XLR outputs and two Sub Outs as well as a 1/4” headphone jack with dedicated volume control.
The Zoom F4’s onboard mixer, on the other hand, offers adjustable level, pan, and input/output delay along with high-pass filtering for noise and wind reduction, phase inversion, and Mid-Side decoding. The unit records BWF-compliant WAV files at 16-bit or 24-bit resolution at any standard sample rate up to 192 kHz on dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots capable of handling up to 512GB each. Additionally, users can also opt for compressed audio recording by selecting MP3 file format at 128, 192, or 320 kbps. The unit also supports extensive metadata such as BWF and iXML files, input time, date, project, scene number, etc.
Furthermore, the advanced onboard limiters provide overload protection for all inputs and outputs, which lets you capture audio in a wide range of environments. Limiting can be applied simultaneously at full resolution with 10 dB of headroom and features controls for setting threshold, attack, and release. In a dual-channel recording mode, audio professionals can also create safety tracks with independent levels, delay, high-pass filtering, limiting, and phase inversion. For precise audio/video syncing, the F4 utilises a Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) that generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy, an advanced feature available for the first time at this price point.
Weighing just 2.27 pounds without batteries, the Zoom F4 sports a durable metal chassis and can be powered by 8 AA batteries or an external DC battery pack with a converter cable connector. The F4 ships with a camera mount adapter, AC power adapter, and download codes for Cubase LE and Wavelab LE. The compact multitrack audio recorder is expected to hit the shelves in October 2016 with a retail price of $649.99.