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Synchronizing Tascam HS-P82 with Zoom F8/n during recording
Old 7th December 2018
  #1
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rojaros's Avatar
Synchronizing Tascam HS-P82 with Zoom F8/n during recording

Hello, I'm still thinking of expanding the channel count on my mobile setup. Adding a Mixpre 10 would be a bit over my budget. As yet I have a Tascam HS-P82. I know it is possible to snychronize two of them, so that would one option, but as muc as like the pres on it, they are heavy.

So I thought of a Zoom F8/F8n. Bying totally new to synchronizing I ask myself if I could make one of them being slave to the other and also being both started from the master recorder?

Advice much appreciated!
Old 7th December 2018
  #2
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Yes you can. Both of those machines offer the ability to start and stop recording from an external timecode signal.

So you just need to decide which you want to be the master and feed timecode out from that machine into the other one.

-Mike
Old 8th December 2018
  #3
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rojaros's Avatar
Thanks, that_s a good news.

Maybe a stupid question, but Zoom says on the Homepage for the F8n just 'timecode' without specifying the format. Is it to be understood as 'Wordclock' or is it some other time code format?
Old 8th December 2018
  #4
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

No, timecode and wordclock are two different things. Ideally you need both to lock two recorders together.

Even if two recorders share the same timecode (also known as LTC), their internal clocks may start to drift apart. Word clock will prevent them from drifting apart.

-Mike
Old 11th December 2018
  #5
But with modern recorders with accurate timecode then you shouldn't need to worry about any substantial drift over moderate recording lengths
Old 11th December 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronFilm View Post
But with modern recorders with accurate timecode then you shouldn't need to worry about any substantial drift over moderate recording lengths
How long back was timecode 'inaccurate' ? Can you please quantify 'modern...accurate...substantial...moderate' ?
Old 11th December 2018
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
How long back was timecode 'inaccurate' ? Can you please quantify 'modern...accurate...substantial...moderate' ?
I imagine to a certain extent it is "subjective" (as what is an "ok ish" drift for one person over 15 minutes, is not for someone else)

And it highly depends on what particular cameras (or recorders) we're talking about. As some are much worse than others.

Key point to remember is that timecode is just simply a very very VERY accurate date stamp right at the start of a file.


But after that very first moment at the start? You're at the mercy of the machine itself as to how fast or slow it counts through time. (unless you're using genlock, which then takes over the camera and controls every moment as to when the shutter is open/closed etc for how quickly the frames will now be counted though)
Old 25th April 2019
  #8
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I'm in a similar position, hsp82 owner looking to add another 8 channel recorder, specifically the Zoom f8n for 16 channels, mostly for live jazz recordings. Did you end up making a purchase, and how did it work out for you?
Old 26th April 2019
  #9
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I send an aes stereo feed out of one recorder into the other, clock the recorder receiving the aes to it and then record that aes also. Those tracks can be used to sample accurate align both machines tracks in the daw.
Old 26th April 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emenelton View Post
I send an aes stereo feed out of one recorder into the other, clock the recorder receiving the aes to it and then record that aes also. Those tracks can be used to sample accurate align both machines tracks in the daw.
How often do you find that you have to adjust the tracks in your DAW beyond the timecode matching up? I'm thinking that most recordings will be 15 minutes, then I'll cut in between songs and start again, so it shouldn't be that much time to drift. Plus I wouldn't put stereo pairs, or even drum channels, across the two recorders. It doesn't seem like drift would be that big of an issue in that case, but I've never tried this before.
Old 26th April 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
How often do you find that you have to adjust the tracks in your DAW beyond the timecode matching up? I'm thinking that most recordings will be 15 minutes, then I'll cut in between songs and start again, so it shouldn't be that much time to drift. Plus I wouldn't put stereo pairs, or even drum channels, across the two recorders. It doesn't seem like drift would be that big of an issue in that case, but I've never tried this before.
The thing about this is there is no drift. The word clock is your sample clock. The common tracks allow you to zoom in and align all the tracks.

If you record an hour or a two hour show, there is no drift.

I am uncertain if the Zoom works with my description; two Tascams would though.

Last edited by emenelton; 26th April 2019 at 03:34 AM..
Old 26th April 2019
  #12
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Yeah, I just don't want to buy another hsp82 since it would be $500-1000 more than the f8n, and I figured there's a good chance it sounds better than the much older hsp82. The ability to use it as an interface would help out in a few situations I'm in as well. But, the f8n doesn't have AES. I may just give it a try and see how it goes.
Old 26th April 2019
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
Yeah, I just don't want to buy another hsp82 since it would be $500-1000 more than the f8n, and I figured there's a good chance it sounds better than the much older hsp82. The ability to use it as an interface would help out in a few situations I'm in as well. But, the f8n doesn't have AES. I may just give it a try and see how it goes.
Not having WC or AES is why it won’t work. I would not try to combine two machines if I couldn’t lock them to the same clock. I used a 788t and edirol R4.
Old 26th April 2019
  #14
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I think you're right; I'm not going to get the results I want without wordclock or AES. I'm looking into a second hs-p82. While it's a lot more than an f8n, it'll lock with mine, I like the sound, and it's been 100% reliable for over 5 years on hundreds of jobs. Sometimes reliability is better than the latest shiny thing anyway!
Old 26th April 2019
  #15
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So while the Zoom F8/F8n can clearly send out time code (see YouTube video) the Tascam can't do so, is that right ?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lI4m9PbaUXA
Old 26th April 2019
  #16
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The Tascam hsp-82 has timecode in / out, wordclock in / out, AES / EBU, but it's the Zoom f8n that's lacking true sync features. I could use the timecode on either device so they start at the same time, but since the clocks are different and they aren't truly synced, it's going to create issues. I spent a lot of time again last night reading different people's impressions of the various recorders, and there are several people, including Plush, who still think the hs-p82 is a great recorder, at least on par with Sound Devices, with several people preferring the Tascam. When I did side by side tests to a 788 years ago, I too preferred the hs-p82. Besides, I think they'll look great stacked on top of each other, I'm familiar with the unit, and it's just rock solid and easy to use.
Old 27th April 2019
  #17
AB3
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I remember seeing some photos of a concert in Japan where they were multitracking were about 4 HS-P82s. An underrated recorder!


Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
The Tascam hsp-82 has timecode in / out, wordclock in / out, AES / EBU, but it's the Zoom f8n that's lacking true sync features. I could use the timecode on either device so they start at the same time, but since the clocks are different and they aren't truly synced, it's going to create issues. I spent a lot of time again last night reading different people's impressions of the various recorders, and there are several people, including Plush, who still think the hs-p82 is a great recorder, at least on par with Sound Devices, with several people preferring the Tascam. When I did side by side tests to a 788 years ago, I too preferred the hs-p82. Besides, I think they'll look great stacked on top of each other, I'm familiar with the unit, and it's just rock solid and easy to use.
Old 27th April 2019
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
I remember seeing some photos of a concert in Japan where they were multitracking were about 4 HS-P82s. An underrated recorder!
That's cool, I'll have to look for those pictures! I think the hs-p82 is a lot like the Alesis HD24XR, which I also own. The brand doesn't carry the cachet of the "big boys", but they are rock solid devices that sound great and are rarely the weakest link in a chain. Just last week there was a discussion of the unit compared to Sound Devices on a Facebook classical recording group, and everyone dismissed the Tascam right away as not being serious and at the level of SD...I doubt many have compared side by side, and I seriously doubt they'd be able to tell consistently in a double blind test.

I've been doing live jazz recordings one night a week for the past three weeks, and will do so for a while, and again it just reminds me how much I love the Tascam and how I have *ZERO* interest in running a live recording setup based on a computer right now.
Old 27th April 2019
  #19
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Here's a picture with 7 hs-p82s!

There's a thread in English on JWsoundgroup, here:

https://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/...ert-recording/

And more pictures, plus a diagram of 6 hs-p82s running into a DM-3200 then a DA-3000, but this page is in Japanese. It looks like they needed that many for 192k, which I hardly ever use.

https://www.e-onkyo.com/news/302/
Attached Thumbnails
Synchronizing Tascam HS-P82 with Zoom F8/n during recording-hsp82s.jpg  
Old 27th April 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
The Tascam hsp-82 has timecode in / out, wordclock in / out, AES / EBU, but it's the Zoom f8n that's lacking true sync features. I could use the timecode on either device so they start at the same time, but since the clocks are different and they aren't truly synced, it's going to create issues
In the German video, it shows the F8 sending out word clock to the Atomos Shogun....and I would have thought that would be sufficient to clock the pair of devices together ? Assuming the Tascam and Zoom were paired, and the Zoom supplied the clock data (as master), wouldn't they be locked ?

That should work for recording purposes, and in the case of the YouTube German video it would have synchronized video and audio. However the question remains as to whether 2 audio recorders would encode and share that timecode in the recorded files ? If this didn't work, what sort of shared clock data would suffice for the 2 machines to lock together ?

At worst, the 2 pairs of 8 tracks would be locked together internally i.e. Tascam's 8 tracks would all be locked together, and Zoom's 8 tracks similarly locked...so if there was insufficient or lost sync between the 2 machines, you'd only have to re-sync the 2 blocks, rather than 16 individual 'wild' tracks ?
Old 27th April 2019
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
Here's a picture with 7 hs-p82s!

There's a thread in English on JWsoundgroup, here:

https://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/...ert-recording/

And more pictures, plus a diagram of 6 hs-p82s running into a DM-3200 then a DA-3000. It looks like they needed that many for 192k, which I hardly ever use.
yx

Last edited by emenelton; 27th April 2019 at 03:18 PM..
Old 27th April 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
In the German video, it shows the F8 sending out word clock to the Atomos Shogun....and I would have thought that would be sufficient to clock the pair of devices together ? Assuming the Tascam and Zoom were paired, and the Zoom supplied the clock data (as master), wouldn't they be locked ?
Honestly, I'm not 100% sure how the Timecode in / out works on that Zoom. It sounds like some people think it has the capability to lock clocks via TC, but most recorders do not, as far as I understand. I have seen several people mention that two F8n's can be locked together for sample accurate recordings, but I don't know how this would work with two different devices.

Regardless, I've loved the hs-p82 for years and decided to get a 2nd one. I talked to my sales rep, got a nice discount and 36 months no interest, so it was hard to say no! Also ordered a Merging Anubis
Old 27th April 2019
  #23
AB3
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If i remember correctly, the Tascam HS-P82 was originally intended to retail for $5000. It is much less expensive now. I imagine a lot of R&D went into it. There is not reason to believe that Tascam is a slouch company as they did make some really great tape decks at one point and other great equipment. I cannot comment on the Alesis. But let the sound be the guide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
That's cool, I'll have to look for those pictures! I think the hs-p82 is a lot like the Alesis HD24XR, which I also own. The brand doesn't carry the cachet of the "big boys", but they are rock solid devices that sound great and are rarely the weakest link in a chain. Just last week there was a discussion of the unit compared to Sound Devices on a Facebook classical recording group, and everyone dismissed the Tascam right away as not being serious and at the level of SD...I doubt many have compared side by side, and I seriously doubt they'd be able to tell consistently in a double blind test.

I've been doing live jazz recordings one night a week for the past three weeks, and will do so for a while, and again it just reminds me how much I love the Tascam and how I have *ZERO* interest in running a live recording setup based on a computer right now.
Old 27th April 2019
  #24
AB3
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Thank you. WOW. The photo I saw was also from Japan, but was at a live concert. Your picture demonstrates the point though

Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
Here's a picture with 7 hs-p82s!

There's a thread in English on JWsoundgroup, here:

https://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/...ert-recording/

And more pictures, plus a diagram of 6 hs-p82s running into a DM-3200 then a DA-3000, but this page is in Japanese. It looks like they needed that many for 192k, which I hardly ever use.

https://www.e-onkyo.com/news/302/
Old 27th April 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
If i remember correctly, the Tascam HS-P82 was originally intended to retail for $5000. It is much less expensive now.
I think you're correct on the pricing. Right now it's going for $2k new, used for around $1500, and I paid about $3k new about 5 years ago. The weight and bulk are the only complaints I've had, but not enough to stop me from lugging it around the Amazon, 100 miles offshore in the Atlantic, in a tree at a tiger sanctuary, etc. It even got doused with salt water pretty good when our boat almost capsized and never missed a beat. It's a beast in every sense
Old 27th April 2019
  #26
AB3
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I always believe in having a heavy recorder if I am in a tiger sanctuary, at least for self defense. Seriously, your post is very interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
I think you're correct on the pricing. Right now it's going for $2k new, used for around $1500, and I paid about $3k new about 5 years ago. The weight and bulk are the only complaints I've had, but not enough to stop me from lugging it around the Amazon, 100 miles offshore in the Atlantic, in a tree at a tiger sanctuary, etc. It even got doused with salt water pretty good when our boat almost capsized and never missed a beat. It's a beast in every sense
Old 27th April 2019
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rojaros View Post
Hello, I'm still thinking of expanding the channel count on my mobile setup. Adding a Mixpre 10 would be a bit over my budget. As yet I have a Tascam HS-P82. I know it is possible to snychronize two of them, so that would one option, but as muc as like the pres on it, they are heavy.

So I thought of a Zoom F8/F8n. Bying totally new to synchronizing I ask myself if I could make one of them being slave to the other and also being both started from the master recorder?

Advice much appreciated!
Easy. Just make both set to the same timecode.

You could even feed the timecode from one to the other, and use trigger, so that you record on one and the other starts automatically!

Personally I'd probably recommend the F8n (or 10T) is the master, as I think they hold TC better than the HS-P82
Old 27th April 2019
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
Honestly, I'm not 100% sure how the Timecode in / out works on that Zoom. It sounds like some people think it has the capability to lock clocks via TC, but most recorders do not, as far as I understand. I have seen several people mention that two F8n's can be locked together for sample accurate recordings, but I don't know how this would work with two different devices.

Regardless, I've loved the hs-p82 for years and decided to get a 2nd one. I talked to my sales rep, got a nice discount and 36 months no interest, so it was hard to say no! Also ordered a Merging Anubis
The F8n/F8 can lock clocks when using two together.

But when using one from another brand, then you're just having timecode in sync
Old 27th April 2019
  #29
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emrr's Avatar
The best it gets (which MAY be good enough for some) is the F8n chasing time code and set for 'external audio clock sync'. I sent TC from a MOTU 16A, dual mono source fed to the 16A and the F8n. This works pretty well. I recorded an hour and ten minutes at 88.2kHz using 30ND LTC, set for ‘External Auto Record’ with ‘External Audio Clock Sync’ on. The F8n started recording when I hit record in the DAW. I found initial offset appeared to be low, in the order of a few samples, much better than all other sync attempts. After correcting the initial offset on the imported file in the DAW, by the end of the recording the offset appeared to be 1.6mS, fine for any mono source, probably fine across a typical multitrack recording, but fails the dual mono remix to mono test with phasing artifacts in mono, or side to side shift with files hard panned opposite. Phase scope looks very weird, with non-linearities all the way down into low frequencies.

PS: time code input and output are not available in interface multitrack mode.

Other tests:

F8n sending TC to the MOTU 16A, significant latency difference and drift within minutes. Instant phase shifter. The whole system had been warmed up several hours. The imported WAV file from the F8n did drop into the correct initial time spot.

Free sync, no connection between devices, pretty much the same as F8n sending LTC after manual lining up of initial waveform.

Sync tangent, F8n audio interface mode, no TC:
Mac ‘aggregate device’ without drift correction checked, significant latency offset and timing drift within minutes.

Mac ‘aggregate device’ with drift correction checked, I found a moment where there was an instantaneous shift in phase linearity, so I wouldn't trust an initial correction to maintain for any amount of time. This happened about 6 minutes into the experiment, then timing maintained for the next 14 minutes. You can watch the treble content swim around on a phase scope as drift correction resamples incoming audio.

All sync tests fail for a dual mono source, remixed to mono afterwards, so any mix with related inter-channel timing or ambient bleed will not come out the same at points compared along the overall timeline. May or may not matter for what you are doing.

Two F8n’s or two HS-P82’s may do much better.
Old 27th April 2019
  #30
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Thanks for the information Doug! Your testing makes me feel even better about spending a bit more to buy a 2nd hs-p82 rather than trying two different devices without a proper sync. I'll be using them mostly for live jazz and some classical recordings, so avoiding things like phase shift is pretty important.
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