PodTrak P4 & P8: Will Zoom unlock them, free or for a fee? 5
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Anthony Burokas

In as much as I agree that audio recorders shouldn’t be limited, I have to say that the P4 and P8 are pretty budget minded units.
Really Need 48k? get a device that has it.
If an audio professional knowing chooses a device that records at 44.1, then that’s on them. A video professional is more worried about the picture because any video edit tool will take 44.1 and handle it on the timeline just fine.

Also, I can’t agree that getting a recorder that only does 44.1 and not 48k is anything like a video camera that only records at 60Hz and not 50. If filming in a 50 Hz country, the lights are gonna flicker. If distributing to a 50Hz country, it’s best to use the native frame rate- but then, this leads me to my next point…

INTERPOLATION has occurred in all aspects of media since, like forever. Got a 35mm neg, but a 12″ cover? Enlarge it. Got a 720p cam but a 1080p project, resize it. And got a 44.1 audio clip but a 48k timeline, drop it in. I’ve been editing video non linearly since 1994 and I have never had an issue with 44.1 except when Final Cut Pro had issues with it, in which case, you just render (interpolate) before hitting the space bar to play the timeline.

Interpolation is not bad. Interpolation of a 44.1k clean recording file to 48k is going to be invisible. to 99% percent of the audience. Most likely even 100%. It’s like arguing that a GoPro is not a professional camera, while every action film for at least a decade has had GoPro shots in it, intercut with the $100,000 Alexa footage. Looks fine. Works great.

I get clients that send me a video to incorporate into a new video- the send me a low bitrate MP4 video with an AAC soundtrack. Do I care what bitrate it is? No- because I can’t change what they gave me. I drop it into the timeline and keep going. So arguing that 44.1k is intolerable versus 48k is like arguing that 720p is intolerable versus 1080p, Or 24p is intolerable versus 30p, again, out of my hands because that’s what the client gave me and I’m able to drop it on the timeline and move on.

As an audio professional I understand your desire to acquire with higher resolution, but then I’d expect the argument to be 96K or higher, over 44.1 and 48k – not the modest difference between 44.1 versus 48k which is invisible to most people, especially video people. We need a low noise floor, clean audio, free from companding and other distortions. Give us that, even at 44.1, and the vast majority of video professionals will be very happy with it.

“damaging upsampling … since you must create non-existent samples out of thin air. This process also consumes additional time”

Unless someone is filming Cinema DNG, which no one is, every image is compressed- even lightly. Which means that a group of pixels in the frame that look similar are going to be smooshed together and represented with one number, as opposed to separate data for every pixel. All over the frame. How do we get it back? How do we edit? The edit system must create non-existent samples out of thin air (interpolation). That’s how things work.

As for adding additional time… My system is able to ingest 8 HD streams, color correct, crop, reposition, re-frame, and put them all on screen over a moving video background, in 10-20 milliseconds.
It’s also compressing that main program frame, and sending it to the internet for the live stream,
it’s also compressing that main program at a much higher bitrate and recording it internally,
it’s also building and recompressing a completely different multiview to send back to each of the remote guests,
it’s also displaying full screen program on one HD monitor, multiview on a second HD monitor, and the App screen on a third HD monitor,
while doing all that “interpolation” … in 10-20 milliseconds.
How much additional time do you think it takes for today’s computers to upsample – an audio clip – from 44.1 to 48k – on the fly? Half of zero?

“Its use will cause incompatibility with the video world and rejection from all
on-air & cable TV stations”

I honestly do not think that will ever be the case because the audio coming out of these devices is either analog and being fed to a video camera that will compress it internally, or the internally recorded 44.1 audio files will be ingested into editing apps that will render out programs that have absolutely zero resemblance or dependence on the bitrate any of the content was acquired at. Zero. None.

Again, I appreciate your diligence in insisting these devices ought to record at 48k. More power to you.
But the reasoning you give is inaccurate.
The possible results you portend are false.

Alex Ampiaw

Excellent points. I am evaluating whether I should buy the P8 or Rodecaster Pro, and your response helped to set my mind at ease. I am leaning on the P8 due to some of the extras it offers over the Rode unit (None of the advantages of the Rode matters to me particularly). But I got concerned about the sampling rate of 44.1K, even though I did not know enough to understand the risk that posed for my streaming and podcasting work. So I am grateful, again, for clarifying the impact of the 44K vs 48K sampling rate choice for the P8.

Memo Sauceda

Why do some manufactures don’t do things right the first time?

Alejandro Becerra

I support the 48 kHz Alliance; we need to ask the manufactures to do the products in a professional way from the start. If you want to do audio in the right way you need to capture your content at the highest quality possible.

dusty morrow

Zoom P4 POdtrak released a firmware update in February 2021 but IDK if it fixes the issue , please let me know if it does .

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