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Old July 20th, 2020, 06:53 PM   #1
also known as Ryan Wray
 
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The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

The Zoom F8, which I am using for a project does list the numbers on the volume fader. I usually like to start out with the fader at zero, and then turn up the gain accordingly. However, it doesn't say where zero is on the fader.

The instructions manual, does not say where zero is either, so do I assume it's in the middle then, or is that incorrect?

Last edited by Ryan Elder; July 20th, 2020 at 07:25 PM.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Why do you want to start with the fader at zero? The important part is the level on your audio meter. the position of the fader will vary depending on the sensitivity of the microphone and how loud the source is. The way level control are marked varies, sometimes it just numbers, with zero being the fader closed, others have a different arrangement with dB markings.

My Nagra 4.2 1/4" tape recorder had dB markings on the level knobs, but you didn't really pay too much attention to these, the level was usually 2/3 to 3/4 open.

Usually you just close a fader down if you're not using it, that's easy to work out because you can hear which way to go when you've got a microphone plugged in.

Why has this come up? I assume you've had the recorder for some time?
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Old July 21st, 2020, 10:11 AM   #3
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

You mean zero as in nothing, or 0dB as in a lot? Other zooms just have 0-10 on the gain knob. The F8 just has indicators that change colour, so you wind it up till it goes red, and then back it off - like we've done for years on practically every recorder. The point of distortion then down a bit - the amount depends on your knowledge of what is happening next!
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Old July 21st, 2020, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Oh okay, yes I know not to go over red, it's just I was always taught to start with the fader at 0 db, and then turn up the gain as needed until you have hit the levels are good. Unless this is wrong way of doing it?

Yes I have the F8 for sometime because I am renting it for a project.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

That sounds like you're starting with the fader closed and then opening it up.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 11:42 AM   #6
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Oh okay, well I was always taught to start with it at zero, and then turn up the gain first, but is this incorrect?
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Old July 21st, 2020, 11:57 AM   #7
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Some people do it. Not me. I power up without thought. What reason did they give for this rather quaint process. It's like the power amp power up. Here, I can see a point, but again, I don't bother. It's also pointless from the labelling point. fully anticlockwise is off. Working level is usually around half to three quarters on my zooms.

Ryan - when people tell you these 'rules', query them, ask why, and if you find the answer sensible, do it. I happen to reject it as rather pointless.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 12:32 PM   #8
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

On the F8n's 'Home' peak meter 'normal' view, the 'fader' has a infinity to 0db scale With the fader knob @12 O'clock it is -6.0dB. In the same meter view. the 'Trim' (preamp gain) goes from +10 to +75 in 'mic' level
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Old July 21st, 2020, 12:57 PM   #9
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Oh okay. Well the reason is, if that if the gain is turned up really high, but the fader is turned down low, then the gain will sound too heavy, if that makes sense. Not sure what other word to describe it but it sounds heavy, like there is too much background noise being picked up if the gain is raised too high, compared to the fader.

But if turning up the fader to 0 db first, is not correct, which should be turned up first, the gain or the fader?
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Old July 21st, 2020, 01:19 PM   #10
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

This sounds like nonsense. You're going to use the level control to set the correct level using the meter. You set the the gain as appropriate for the microphone being used, it's not something you change all the time. Especially since you seem to only have one mic.

As mentioned by Paul, as long as the fader/control knob is open half way to 3/4 everything will be fine for normal levels.

If you start applying excess gain you will get noise.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 01:54 PM   #11
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Yes, usually (I'm no expert) gain/trim -- the setting for the signal coming INTO the mixer/recorder from the mic, is used to set a level based on each individual mic's sensitivity...you basically set it and forget it unless changing to a different mic in the same input. The fader -- the setting for the level going OUT OF the mixer into the recorder (if they're the same piece of gear) or camera, is the one you'll be tweaking regularly.

So with fader at unity (neither subtracting or adding volume), you set the gain first, based on your particular mic's sensitivity.

At least this is how it is with the desktop mixers I've used and my old SD 302 mixer.

All this should be in the manual (probably in PDF form online if no paper one came with your rental) or numerous youtube videos.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 02:48 PM   #12
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Oh okay, when you say 'unity', what does that mean exactly? I've read this term before, but couldn't find what they meant by unity in this context. Does that mean the fader is halfway turned?
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Old July 21st, 2020, 03:02 PM   #13
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Ryan's specialty is audio :-)

While Zoom mixers are feature rich, I find their interface tricky to use. Of course if Ryan took the time to actually read the manual carefully or watch setup videos he should understand how to use it.

Why are there no numbers on the dial? Two reasons, first anyone who knows what they're doing understands faders and gain start in the 12 o'clock position and adjusted based on what the meters are reading. The second reason, on the zoom the fader and gain are set in the menu, meaning the physical gain dial doesn't denote a fixed level like a volume knob on your stereo. To complicate things further the zoom uses the same physical dial to adjust the gain and fader, depending on what mode you are in. I'm sure everything I said will fly right over Ryan's head.

Curtis Judd has a very detailed series of videos.This one touches on working with fader and gain.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 03:06 PM   #14
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Oh yes I understand that you choose the fader or gain in the menu yes. And I assumed it was the 12 o'clock position but just wanted to make absolutely sure.

But then manual did not say where the zero position was on the fader. The youtube video posted there explains some things for sure, but it also does not say where on the fader that zero is at, unless the middle is zero, when he talks about starting out in the middle.
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Old July 21st, 2020, 03:12 PM   #15
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Re: The fader on my field recorder does not have numbers, does anyone know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
This sounds like nonsense. You're going to use the level control to set the correct level using the meter. You set the the gain as appropriate for the microphone being used, it's not something you change all the time. Especially since you seem to only have one mic.

As mentioned by Paul, as long as the fader/control knob is open half way to 3/4 everything will be fine for normal levels.

If you start applying excess gain you will get noise.
I don't understand this part, because I thought that the fader was suppose to be open half way, but half is 1/2, so why do you say 3/4? Isn't that 3 quarters of the way and not half therefore?
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