Friday, 29 April 2011

Zoom R16 impressions

I've been wanting a simultaneous multitrack recording solution for a long while now, and these zoom R16 seemed like a good option for my needs. Its an interesting bit of kit..I don't know of anything else quite like it. Standalone it's a 16 track recorder with the capability to record 8 tracks at once to an SD card at either 16 or 24 bit at 44.1khz using either a mains adapter or 6 AA batteries. It has mic and line preamps on all 8 inputs and they are pretty good, a bit noisy and edgy if you crank the gain but certainly workable for the kind of sounds I'm recording.

On top of recording it has a rake of effects and amp simulators, phantom power for 2 inputs, a hi Z input for guitar or bass and also has 2 built in condensor mics.

Recording aside it also can act as both a soundcard/interface and again can record 8 inputs to whatever DAW you're using, in this mode you can record at up to 96khz. It's 3rd function is as a midi controller, it's compatable with the mackie control protocols which most DAW packages support (I use Reaper and this worked flawlessly)...although it acts as a midi controller there is no way of midi synching the recorder to any midi time code which is one drawback.

You can, of course, use the recorder standalone and then transfer the uncompressed wavs off the SD card and load them up in your PC, the R16 can act as a SD reader but a very cool feature IMO is it can also act as a USB host meaning if I create a track on either my phone, PDA, micro br etc I can import it to the R16 without turning on a PC..also you can back up audio files onto a USB device this way.

All in all I'm pleased with it and it supplies and awful amount of functionality at this pricepoint. It's not a bit of kit for everyone but certainly useful for me.


Anonymous said...

sounds great! this is what you mentioned to me before? its way different to a mixer-with-soundcard that i've got, its got good standalone functions, i do like my 16 tracks tho, i might get 2 of them! are they stackable like that dyou know? how much did you get it for? and is it portable enough dyou think?


concretedog said...

eh up ow...long time no speak. Yeah I think we chatted about this before..I got mine new for 270. They are stackable via usb for 16track do realise they are 16 track playback it's just they only record 8 at once. There's another one the R24 which has more functions like a sampler/drum machine in it that might be worth checking out. They're pretty portable..I have a laptop sleeve that fits mine so I can just chuck it in a smallish backpack. I'll bring it out to play if you wanna check it out in the flesh! said...

Does Zoom R16 have internal clock problems as do my old Zoom H4? I have to stretch audio a bit every time before overdubbing it with video from a camera that have stable internal clock. For a one-hour recording the difference can be as big as 15-20 seconds!

concretedog said...

Thanks for reading my blogpost, I haven't noticed any timing issues with the internal clock or read about them anywhere online, however the longest project I have multitracked on this has been about 12mins so I can't comment on long tracks like an hour that you mention. I can confirm though that the tracks I recorded and overdubbed that where around 12mins in lengh all synched perfectly with the tempo markers when I transported the audio into reaper the DAW I use on my computers.