Now it may seem odd to review something so minor as after market faders for the Zoom FRC-8, but this is also kinda a review of the quality that EFK can do. EFK 3D prints a lot of odd ball products that fill in the gaps that are missing on a lot of field audio equipment. From Zaxcom Micro SD card covers to Tentacle Sync 1/8″ locks; EFK really makes some inventive products that makes you say “man, why didn’t it just come that way, thats genius.”
From Left to Right: 3D printed multi colored Lectrosonic 211/411 bevels, Cos-11D Button Hole mount, REAN TA-connector cap, Numbered XLR cables for a Sennheiser Ambeo Snake.
So today we will be looking at EFK Sound’s FRC-8 Multicolor Fader set.
The set came in a simple baggy with a label on it. Nothing fancy, but doesn’t need to be anything fancy really. I was shocked the first time I saw how Senneheiser packages replacement ME2 in a baggy and a stapled folded cardboard. I took some macro photos of what the quality looks like. Here are a few for you to examine.
If you aren’t familiar with 3D printed projects these faders may look rough… but honestly, they look on par with ever 3D printed object I’ve ever seen. You can smooth out 3D printers with what’s called an Acidtone bath, but given that these are meant to fit snuggly on my faders, I wouldn’t want to do anything that may cause the fader hole to expand and make them loose. Also in later photos you’ll see how that rough surface will come in handy.
The FRC-8 is a solid device that really expands the options of the Zoom F4/F8, but the FRC-8 does have one glaring mistake… it is to small to add board tape too to label your channels. And that is where EFK again fills the gaps. Now on face value this may just appear to be a VW Beetle kit car with a Porshe bonnet slide over top… but it’s really not.
I mean if multicolor faders are good enough for the Cantar X3, why not the Zoom FRC-8? The Cantar X3 uses multicolor faders to help the user identify which fader matches with different wireless recievers. The idea of color matching little dot stickers on your faders to your wireless is build in to Sound Devices knobs after all. It just wasn’t when Zoom designed the F8 or the FRC-8… and now it is. We originally posted about the EFK multicolor knob extensions in our first Buyers Guide to the F8, theses faders just finish the job.
There is also one more noticeable improvement that the new faders offer users. I have fat chubby sausage fingers… I do… and the new faders have a more gentle slope for resting my Jimmy Dean pigs in a blanket on. This also is where the rougher texture from the 3D prints actually comes in handy. Its very grippy!
Now theses faders won’t win you Oscars automatically. They won’t make people fall in love with you at first sight (but they may fall in love with your faders.) They won’t cause all your wireless headaches to go away…. but they will help you be more organized and who couldn’t use more organization onset.
If you are interested in a set of multicolor faders for your Zoom FRC8 or any other of the awesome 3D printed products check out the Facebook.
Andrew Jones is a location sound mixer based in Los Angeles. He started in the TV and Film industry in 2004. You can email him at Andrew@HoldForSound.com