Advantage of 32 bitfloat zoom f3 over 24 bit zoom H6

Good Afternoon guys,

for those who own devices- Zoom F3 and H6, are there any major difference on the final audio quality? is it worth it to jump into 32 bit float? Thank You

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Has been mentioned here at least once…

A little skimming, and I think this article is a good answer too…

I think the tl;dr is: Clipping happens in the gear when the “top” of the how-load-is-it for a sample is reached. So 32-bit lifts that “top” insanely high… instead of clipping, you get the quality of an over-driven mic. It’s still “too hot” but at least isn’t not completely missing.

Also, Rob and I mentioned it briefly in…

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thank you for that reply. looks like it will benefit most on noisier environment- not so much for voiceover/podcast applications.

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Hi @TALKACTIVE and @craig
I haven’t used the H6 but it should be really good for multiple uses. I use a Mix Pre 6 which works really well for me. There is a cost element to Mix Pre but I feel it is a good investment and I do find the audio quality is much better for me.
Best wishes
Rob

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$1060 big cost element heheheh. wow, i cant imagine the quality difference. i was contemplating of selling the h6 if i were to get the f3 this year - or wait till next year to get the f3 and keep both. hehehe as far as your workflow goes, 32 bit big change on audio quality?

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32 bit float with a wide dynamic range is best for field recordings where more things can go wrong than studio/remote recordings.

You don’t need 32bit float if you set up your levels correctly. By that I mean you build headroom to accommodate the chance of sudden spikes. And as I recall you also have a limiter in your signal chain to take care of this. And since you are using a P8 you can increase your gain so that takes care of low levels.

In terms of sound quality, your podcast is going to end up as a 128kbs mp3 so the difference between 24 and 32 is negligible.

I think the F3 has some sort of loopback feature that will let you record your computer audio which, if I’m correct, makes it the only 32bit float recorder with a wide dynamic range that can record the output of a computer. I think all the other recorders are designed for in-person interviews and not remote interviews.

If you are looking to upgrade then I think it’s a better bang for your buck to invest in recorders with analogue convertors (24 bit is fine) like the Mix-pre range. Analogue converters limit the signal before it hits the tape. Digital converters (used by Zoom) record onto tape before the limiter kicks in. So you get better live limiting/compression. But this is very pricy and again building headroom will take care of most eventualities.

And just to be clear for those who are not familiar with 32bit - just because a recorder records in 32 bit does not mean it has a wide dynamic range so check before you buy.

Let us know what you end up doing.

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Not that your listeners will be able to tell.

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Not exactly no. It does nothing to remove noise. The benefit is being easily able to reduce spikes that would normally cause distortion. Or on the opposite end - increasing gain of low signals without increasing the levels of background noise.

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awesome- thank you for your insight. sounds like no need to upgrade at all. truely appreciate it!

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No worries @TALKACTIVE. And check out

He’s also done separate reviews of many of the 32bit float units with a wide dynamic range. Curtis is a tech GOD!

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