With the new Zoom F6, a new portable audio recorder has been added to the Zoom F8 product line from Zoom, which has been available for some time. According to the NAB presentation, it is still in the prototype stage, but will be delivered in two months. Here's what you already know:
It has six inputs and is supposed to last a whole day with one battery charge (Sony L-Dock). On the front of the device there are six manual level controls for six XLR inputs, three on the left and three on the right. The unit is Time Code capable.
It becomes interesting with the preamplifiers. These are designed as dual AD components, i.e. they always record audio with two different sensitivities. The dynamics of both sensitivities overlap. If the sensitive channel is overloaded, the insensitive channel can be used at this point. Similar procedures are already known with other workflows. What is new, however, is that the Zoom F6 automatically merges the two AD signals for recording and is completely transparent to the user.
Since an extremely high dynamic range can also be recorded by merging the two A/D signals, an optional extension of the quantization from 24 to 32 bit floating point was integrated at the same time. In this format it is not even necessary to adjust the audio level before recording. You can normalize the audio signal from the depths of the dynamic range with practically no loss of quality. It should be acoustically indistinguishable from a correctly controlled signal. In addition, most audio programs should be able to read the 32-bit Floating Point (FP) format used for some time without an update.
All of this sounds a lot like "RAW for audio" and is likely to be considered a gamechanger in this area by many sound managers. If the promises of Zoom are fulfilled. A price Zoom wants to betray only in the middle of May. So only shortly before the delivery in June.
A quite good explanation can be found in this video: