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The Sound Studio

This is a collection of resources, instructions, and policies regarding the recording studio in the Olin College of Engineering Library.

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Part 1: Turn on the recorder and connect to the controller



Turn on the ZOOM F8 MultiTrack Field Recorder.


It’s a tiny button on the bottom right of the face of the recorder. It will light up green when the recorder is on. You will need to press and hold for 2-3 seconds.








Power on the ZOOM F-Control.


The power button is right below the logo in the upper right side of the panel.










Press the Menu button on the ZOOM F8 Field Recorder. It is immediately to the right of the screen.








Use the circular knob above the menu button to navigate the menu.

Twist knob to scroll all the way to the bottom of this list to highlight USB.

Press the knob in towards the recorder to “select” the USB.

Scroll to the bottom option - FRC-8. Select this.

Select Connect on the field recorder.






Your controller is now connected to the field recorder and can use the menu button and other controls on the controller to navigate the field recorder menu.



Part 2: Verify input/output formats and levels



Put on headphones if you haven't already.


If you don't hear any noise in the headphones at this point, there are two places to check: cables and volume control.






Both of the Shure microphones should be plugged into the microphone amplifier by default.


The amplifier is the small blue box with XLR cables plugged in on either side.








Verify which channel (the numbers 1-8 on the recorder and controller) that each microphone is plugged into.

The default should be channels 1 and 2.

Follow the XLR cables from the left side of the amp, to the left side of the recorder. 










There is a way to change the volume in a lot of places: the controller headphone level, grey sliders, red master volume slider, field recorder headphone levels, and headphone amplifier levels.



Part 3: Set Levels




On the F-Control, press the buttons that correspond with the XLR inputs on the recorder.

They will turn red. This is called ‘arming’ your input channel.









Above the red slider is a button that toggles between "Trim" and "Pan."


Verify that the "Trim" light is red.








You now want to adjust microphone levels. When doing the following adjustments, aim for the level indicator lights to fall within the -12 to -17 decibel range




Talk into your mic and use the grey fader (the sliding button) to find a level that comfortably sits around the -12 dB mark









Use the trim knob to make more fine tuned settings. You want your voice to sound clear, but to minimize noise’ in the background. Speak clearly into the microphone, at a variety of pitch and loudness, to make adjustments to the fader and trim settings to find a nice sounding range.




Repeat this process of setting levels for each input that you have.


It's important to note that the volume that you hear in the headphones is not necessarily the volume that’s being recorded. If your headphones sound 'noisy' at this stage there are two places to adjust:

  • The F-Control: there is a headphone knob, do not turn this up past 3/4 of the way!

  • The Headphone Amplifier: each headphone has their own volume control. Turn up your volume to a comfortable place. Start around 3 or 4 and work your way up to a comfortable level.



Part 4: Recording & Playback







When you’re ready to start, hit the red record button!










When finished recording, press the stop button (note, pressing the record button again does not stop the recording)








To playback the most recent recording, press the play/pause button.










If you want to listen to a recording from further back in time, click Menu -- Finder -- SD1


Click the folder you are recording in, denoted by a blue check mark, and then the recording you want to listen to. This will take you back to the recording screen, at which point pressing the play/pause button will play your selected audio.


If you are unable to hear any sound in the headphones, the best course of action is to make sure that all the cords and cables (there are a lot of them) are plugged into the right locations.

  • Verify that the headphone amplifier, controller and recorder are all plugged into the power strip.
  • Have a seat in front of one of the microphones and put on headphones. Follow the cord to verify that it is plugged into the headphone amplifier (ARTcessories HeadAmp 4)
  • From the back of the headphone amplifier, ensure the cord plugged into the “STEREO IN” plugs runs to the headphone jack on right side (labeled 6-8) of the F8 Recorder.
  • There is a USB cord connecting the F-CONTROL to the F8 Recorder. Verify that both sides are plugged in (on the left side of each)
  • There is a microphone amplifier under the recorder. Follow all cords and cables to ensure it is all plugged in.

After you check that all cables are plugged in, make sure that you have armed the correct channel on the F-Control. The highlighted channels on the F-Control should match the XLR cables plugged into the F-8 Recorder.

If you have verified all the cables and channels and you still don't have sound, move on to the headphone settings in the F-8 menu. Refer to the routing diagram in the manual, and test different routing configurations until you hear sound.