Zoom has annouced the F6 multitrack field recorder. The Zoom F6 records six tracks of audio at up to 32-bit float / 96 kHz or 24-bit / 192 kHz. It features six XLR microphone inputs with preamps, and can also serve as a 6-in, 4-out audio interface. With camera tripod mounting, iOS wireless control, and flexible monitoring options, it looks like an interesting new option for filmmakers and all field recording applications.
Zoom says that the new F6 delivers the professional features of its flagship Zoom F8n in a more compact format. The Zoom F6 has six microphone inputs with XLR jacks, each of which in equipped with a professional-grade preamp. The company states a low noise floor of -127 dBu EIN and a high gain of up to 75 dB. The inputs also feature individual mic/line switches, so you can record a variety of sources simultaneously.
32-bit float recording
Dynamic range is always critical in field recording. The Zoom F6 records with a 32-bit float resolution at up to 96 kHz, which Zoom claims provides “an unprecedented amount of dynamic range”. At 24 bits, the maximum sample rate increases to 192 kHz. Both resolutions can be used simultaneously. Dual A/D converters per channel ensure that the F6 can capture both loud and quiet signals at optimum audio quality, Zoom says. For overload protection at 24 bits, the F6 comes with look-ahead hybrid limiters. It also features a temperature compensated crystal oscillator, which generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy, according to Zoom.
The connectivity seems to be up to spec. There’s a USB port for backups, which also lets you live stream while recording. It also turns the F6 into a USB audio interface, if needed. The SD card slot takes cards up to 512 GB. Furthermore, the F6 features a stereo line output (3.5mm stereo jack), and a headphone output with a 100mW amp. Zoom says that the F6 has flexible monitoring options, that let you audition signals in a variety of ways. For syncing external audio and video devices, the recorder has a time code input and output.
The optional BTA-1 bluetooth adapter allows for wireless control of the F6 from an iOS app. The F6 is also compatible with the Zoom F-Control remote mixer, which provides physical faders, buttons, and LED meters. Not bad at all! With an optional camera mounting bracket (Zoom CMF-6), the F6 can be mounted on a tripod underneath a camera.
With the F6, it seems that Zoom has added an attractive new option between its F4 and F8n. Zoom says that the F6 will arrive in the shops in July 2019. We don’t have an official price yet, but it’s already listed at some online stores for around USD 650.