The Zoom F8n Multi-Track Field Recorder is designed for professional and enthusiast recording applications on set and in the field, including music, filmmaking, and electronics news gathering (ENG). Designed to be carried by a shoulder strap or in a bag, the unit features eight analog input channels with XLR/TRS combo jacks that provide +75 dB maximum input gain, and support for line-level inputs. It can record up to 10 tracks simultaneously (channels 1 through 8 plus a stereo mix), or up to eight channels when recording at the A/D converter’s maximum 24-bit 192 kHz resolution.
The Zoom F8n boasts options like Zoom’s AutoMix, which automatically adjusts the levels to reduce ambient sound, ensuring a clean and well-captured sound. If you’re working on a one- to four-track project, you can utilize dual-channel recording to create safety tracks. Capture signal loudly with one, and have the other set to low gains as a backup should the louder mic feel over-saturated from too much level.
You’ll also note the advanced lookahead limiters, which add 1 ms of delay to the signal. This is imperceptible to the person listening and does not affect the final product, but this millisecond makes all the difference in the digital world, as it protects against clipping before it’s ever recording. For time code generation, the F8n makes use of a temperature-compensated crystal oscillator that generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy, making sure audio and video stay synced.
Power to the recorder can be supplied in one of three ways: via AA batteries, an AC adapter, or a 9 to 18 VDC external power pack. Two SD card slots can be used simultaneously for recording even longer sessions and can also be used as card readers when connected to a computer via USB.
When operating via USB, the unit can be used as an 8-in/4-out audio interface at sample rates up to 96 kHz. A built-in slate mic allows you to make voice memos and the unit’s slate tone can be used to confirm specific levels. Proprietary Zoom capsules can be plugged into the unit, so you can record stereo straight to the F8n.