Zoom R16 Reviews4.1/5.0 based on 43 customer reviews
Zoom has done it. They've found a way for a home studio owner to get eight simultaneous inputs, a portable recorder, and a controller for your DAW...and they've put it all in one box! I love the R16 - it's a great solution for getting eight simultaneous inputs into your computer as an audio interface - and that alone is worth the cost of it. When you throw in that it works as a control surface, AND a standalone portable recorder as well?! Zoom has really knocked it out of the park with this unit. Along with Zoom's famous guitar effects and overall effects on the whole recorder, this is an affordable way to get your home studio up and going!
Inspiration comes at random and you can't always count on being near your studio when it hits. The Zoom R16 gives you quick access to field recording or capturing that hook without having to wait for your computer to boot, your DAW and plug-ins to load, and having to set up your gear to lay down that one riff. You turn on the R16, plug in your guitar or keyboard, or use the built-in condenser mics and hit record. Then, plug in the USB cable to your computer and export your track into your DAW, use the R16 as your audio interface to record additional tracks, and mix it down with the R16 as your control surface. PLUS! It comes with Cubase LE so you have all that you need to start your own personal studio!
March 31, 2013Music Background:
Zoom R16I'm a multi talented musician and my experience with recorders have always ended with disappointment, not with this baby, with 16 channels i have more than enough to record horns, bass,guitar,keyboard,drums ,you name it, this has plenty of headroom so it's impossible to tell if it's recording or on playback.
This is exactally what i was looking for, so for anyone looking for a multichannel recorder this is the one you're looking for, I'm extremely happy, Thanks Zoom & Marl at Sweetwater.
David Alan flaherty
from Creswell, Or,
March 26, 2013Music Background:
I'm Irish and my soul needs music to survive.
Zoom R 16David wills, Pro Audio DVDs and the Zoom R16 and absolutely no knowledge of mixing or even recording; I was not too hopeful about my success. With the extremely helpful advice (to the point of helping load the DAW software from Swseetwater and an hour looking at the teaching tape (bought separately) and I was up and running. Two weeks later, I have concurred most of the effects and while I don't require more complex skills, now, This machine runs itself. Again the tape translated computer speak into everyday language and demonstration and made things a lot easier. I rate this product with 5 stars for fun, quality and ease of use. David
March 15, 2013Music Background:
Played Bass for 47 years and played live the hole time, I love music.
Zoom R16It is a lot more than I was expecting for the price. It's easy to use and records with quality. I am very impressed and that does not happen a lot. I am very happy with the Zoom R16. The guys at Sweet Water is also great to deal with and they will go the extra mile to make sure that all of your questions are answered, no matter how long it takes.
from Reno NV
March 12, 2013Music Background:
Pro Musician.. Keyboards
Great little machineBought this last year, really hadn't had time to do more than basic 8 track recording of rehearsals.. (which really you can do from the quick start manual)... Here recently I needed to do some vocal/keyboard demos and multi-tracked myself adding each part as I went. Very easy and intuitive... only need to hit the manual to add in effects & such.
I also have the little Zoom 2, and this, like the 2 takes some SERIOUS overloading without clipping... Not much to look at, built like a cheap Casio keyboard... but so far is holding up really well... no problems.
B. Jean Rose
from Huntington Beach, Ca 92646
February 27, 2013Music Background:
PERFECT FOR MEI'm not a technical person. I wanted something easy to use with high quality output. I found it right here! Had an earlier model Zoom that was more complex but still was happy even though I had some difficulty getting the max from it because of my technical limitations. Not so with this one. I will definitely stay with Zoom!
Jim Turner I I I
from Macon, GA
February 11, 2013Music Background:
A Great Buy!!You will not be disappointed with this baby. I've used it many times to record live with drums through a seperate mixing board and everyone else direct in the recorder. With the DAW software it makes it easy for us amateurs to mix sound.
from Macon, GA
August 28, 2012Music Background:
Ex-Pro now just for fun
This rocks!!I glanced through the manual online prior to receiving my Zoom R16. I opened it and recorded that night using a mixer (on drums) and seven other inputs. Then I used the INCLUDED CuBase software to mix it down and everyone was blown away with the results.
from SW Florida
May 28, 2012Music Background:
Guitar and Keyboards Studio Musician
Zoom R16I purchased my R16 a few weeks ago and I'm so happy I got it. I've been having a ball composing and trying different styles track by track. It's a amazing mixer/recorder. I love the idea of no tape. My old mixer was a Tascam with cassette tape and very limiting (older technology).
The Zoom R16 is perfect for what I'm doing and has allowed me to do things I could never do before.
Thank You Zoom for such a great product. !
from Seattle WA
March 31, 2012Music Background:
Musician, Producer, Independent Label
This is the one that you wantMost reviews bill this as an add-on for your studio. The R16 IS my studio. I do all my tracking on the R16. Preamps are quiet and sound good, monitoring is flexible. For simple pan-eq-reverb mixes, I do quick mixes to the R16's master track. For serious final mixes I pull the tracks into Pro Tools over USB.
With 8 inputs at a time and 16 total tracks, plus the option of non-destructive bounces (you keep your original tracks when mixing down), there's nothing the R16 can't do. This is the best money I have ever spent on pro audio gear.
January 23, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Hobbyist
Perfect PurchaseMy brother and I are setting up a recording studio at his house and the interface we had was freaking horrid; just absolutely god awful. I got this and I could not be happier. The A/D in it sounds surprisingly good, the preamps are clean, and it has great head room. The unity markers and peak lights help a lot with gain structure but some products in this price range dont mark out unity on all the parameters, so that's definitely a plus. I recommend this if it's your first interface. You could get a cheaper one or you could save a few extra $ and get this. It's worth it.
from Downingtown, PA
August 23, 2011Music Background:
Pro Bassist and hobbyist recording engineer
Zoom R16 - great featuresThis recorder has very clear recording capability, is intuitive to use and has great features. I use this recorder to record live gigs and practices and have gotten fabulously clean tracks and been able to manage while playing the bass. I like the SD flash drive compared to a hard drive, fewer things to go wrong. The mixing and mastering are easy to use and produce a high quality track. Reports were that it was a little flimsy, but I have not found it to bed so. I carry mine in a computer bag with all the supplies with no real risk to damage.
from Minneapolis, MN
July 1, 2011Music Background:
Zoom R16 is wonderful!Moving from a sub-par 2 channel AI to this was the right move. Not only are recordings easier, the pure quality of the audio that this thing captures is amazing.
from Gainesville, FL
December 11, 2010Music Background:
Gator RockI bought this unit earlier this year. I love it!! I use it as an interface for Logic. I am able to plug in my guitar and get fantastic sounds through Logic. In addition, I use this at every band practice to capture our work. The sound is great and very easy to use. Very portable unit.
January 10, 2010Music Background:
Can't find better at this PriceLet me just start by saying that you wont find better value for money as far as multi track recorders go, than the ZOOMR16. i really can't think of anything bad to say about it. The only thing i would say is to read the manual thoroughly, it is very easy to follow and will help you use the unit to it's full potential. Ease of use is very good, the sound is perfect, preamp's are "alright" but i use seperate ones anyway. Overall for the money, this unit is great for any songwriter looking to record their material using the Zoom r16 either as a stand alone recorder or as an interface for PC recording. Go buy it, you wont be disappointed!
from Amery WI
December 9, 2009Music Background:
Hobbyist. Drummer, Barbershop chorus and quartet singer, School and Church Chiors.
Perfect so far.I am not a professional by any means and I don't have any experience with other products like this....but so far this ZOOM R16 is doing exactly what we needed it to do.
I am a member of a Barbershop Chorus and we put together learning CDs for the members. In the past we would get the music over a few months and introduce them one at a time to the chorus. But the recording didn't happen until our main guy had time for us..sometimes...weeks or months after are last song was introduced. We would go to his house on a Saturday and sometimes the people singing on the learning CD were not in the original learning/presenting quartet. Now with the Zoom R16 I am able to bring this to practice...set it up in two minutes....and record the original learning/presenting quartet before we even sing in front of the chorus. We are excited about the ease of use and the ability to travel with it. By the time we introduce the last song I should have learning a CD for every member of the chorus.
We are not using the Zoom R16 to its full potential. I am amazed at the options it has.
Sweetwater has been a pleasure to work with on this and other purchases. They have a fantastic group of people working for them.
from Houston, TX
November 15, 2009Music Background:
Musician, Student, Recording Engineer
Sweet and VersatileI've had my r16 for a couple of weeks now and it is really amazing. It's so versatile and easy to use. I wasted a lot of time reading the manual because as I was reading i was doing stuff physically and kept thinking "well that was obvious." This is one of those things that you use now and read about later. I love it as an interface because I can get great cue mixes without affecting the recording audio. Anyway, get one. And talk your friend into getting one too so you can borrow it to gang together and half 16 tracks simultaneously.
from Lancaster, OH
August 28, 2009Music Background:
Recording Engineer/Professional Musician
The answer I've been looking forI wanted a solid state recorder, but I really didn't want just a 2-track. Obviously they're everywhere, and made by everyone, although Zoom certainly was one of the early adopters out of the gate with the H4, H2, and H4N. I almost bought an H4N at Gearfest...somehow, I missed the Winter NAMM report saying this unit was on the horizon. Thank goodness I waited! I'm actually surprised that it's taken this long for someone to bring a unit like this to market.
Having only had the R16 for about a month, I've hardly touched all of its abilities - but for one who often drug out the HD24 in its rack case, accompanying headphone amp, mixer, and assorted goodies to do a quickie 8 track recording, this thing's a dream! It weighs next to nothing, no moving parts!, and with a $1.98 SD card reader I purchased from my local computer seller, I can transfer tracks very quickly to the computer for mixdown. I never tried transferring directly from the unit via USB, so I can't say it's slower or faster than the external card reader - your mileage may vary.
I've done three recent multitrack sessions that went flawlessly, and a live 2-track reference recording with the built-in mics was incredible...it's done all I wanted and more, and for the price, it's totally insane! I bought a 4GB and an 8 GB card right after I got it, from different manufacturers, and have had no problems with media at all. As usual, terminology vs. translation is a bit different (we now divide tracks rather than splitting or editing them), but that's always an issue - learn the terms, and it's no problem at all. It's an easy to use unit, and your back will thank you!
from Dallas, TX USA
October 26, 2012Music Background:
Music Student and Recordist
Sweet simplicityNot getting a 5 due to some klutzy user interface issues. That being said, if you have ever wanted the simplest way to track on the go, this is it. Sound quality is great, no spinning disk, battery powered, built-in mics. If you are like me and have ever used a 4-track cassette... you will consider this one of the best little recorders ever actualized.
from Mosheim, TN
April 26, 2012Music Background:
Southern Gospel Musician
Zoom R16After calling Tech Support, I was able to use the effects. I mostly use effects that are not onboard to record. I now make CD's from my recliner since I make all my music from a laptop. It is almost too easy to get almost the same quality as you can from a real studio. There should have been a way to erase the master track without using a computer and maybe there is, but it is no trouble to erase just the master track from a card reader. You still have the other tracks to redo the master mix-down. Overall, I am well pleased with the quality.
from Pasadena, CA
July 27, 2011Music Background:
A Beautiful Piece of EquipmentI would have given this five stars, but the manual is so poorly written, so badly organzied, so confusingly laid out, that I had to knock my rating down just a notch. What I found amid incredible frustration trying to go through the manual is that this is actually a simple, beautifully designed recorder that does an awful lot for the price and is actually organized very thoughtfully and in most cases, logically. You wouldn't know this from trying to go throught the manual. Anyway, so far I've mostly been transferring old cassette tapes to the R16 for preservation and hoping to add tracks and master for possible future release and it has been a pleasure to use. Also, after a bit of hair pulling, I did manage to install Cubase LE 5.0 on my conputer and get the R16 connected and configured to use as an audio interface and DAW controller and I must say it works very well. I would definitely recommend this machine to anyone who wants a simple, portable recorder for a small project studio or for location recording. Just having 8 simultaneous inputs puts it way above the other devices in its league. And the fact that it records on SD cards makes it a dream to save and organize multiple projects. So, to sum up, I love the machine - hate the documentation. Oh, and Sweetwater has been very helpful with support. Kudos to them.
from Central Illinois
November 12, 2010Music Background:
Professional Musician, Recording Hobbyist
Finally, I can focus on the Music!Multi-track recording can be a big pain. Especially for a musician who just wants to play the music and avoid the headaches. I've owned this unit for 8 months and it has actually made multi-track recording fun for me. I only needed to spend a short time with the owner's manual to get up and running. I don't need a degree in computer science to operate it. In fact, you don't need a computer at all to use this thing. The only time I plug it into the computer is to transfer the final master to a CD.
July 21, 2010
sweet!pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it it's really fun to play around with. mosly b/c im a solo acoustic kinda guy but with this i can lay down 4-5 diff. tracks and make it sound like a whole band. the FX are easy to use and are ok more fun then good the only reason it gotta 4.5...I would tell ppl to buy this. it's kinda basic but thats what i like about it. you get good sound good fx and a sweet combo recorder/soundboard for live shows its really light and the onboard mics work really nice to....if you into recoarding your stuff and dont have a whole bunch of money this is the way to go....buy from sweetwater as well love this site.
June 28, 2010Music Background:
Zoom R16 Lives Up to ReputationJust a few days in to owning the Zoom R16, I am very pleased with its performance. I have recorded a multi-track project using the on-board microphones for multiple acoustic guitar and vocal tracks, and the HiZ capability to record electric bass. I'm very impressed with the sound, and the owner's manual and directions.
March 7, 2013Music Background:
Very cool combo that works, but you might need an exernal preampIf I had known about this device before, that it is also an audio interface into DAWs, I wouldn't have gotten my Scarlett 8i6 because the Scarlett doesn't feel as portable as this, nor does it have as many inputs, nor does it on USB or battery power, nor is it a standalone recording device, nor is it a DAW controller. This little system is really cool. And, it works great with Ableton 8.
My one complaint is that the built in 2 preamp inputs only created weak and thin voice recording. (Scarlett wins in the builtin preamp category.) However, when I used my own mic preamp on my condenser mic (Behringer MiniMIC MIC800) I got a really nice sound. I will also say that I can't stand the complexity and lack of good doc on the Scarlett mixer software. Zoom's software is super-simple; just set the bit rate and sample rate, and let the DAW manage the rest.
The two builtin stereo mics are just okay, not at all studio, but not horrible, just a little better than a Tascam handheld, and sufficient for quick mobile recording and quick ideas when you're not packing around other gear.
My suggestions on improving this would be better builtin preamps (although I don't mind using my own), and perhaps make the stereo mics rotate up to help test with different positions.
Also, my fault that I didn't see the model above this, the R24, which adds another 8 tracks, drums, and sampling. (I'm going to assume the additional preamps on that one are the same as this one though).
from NH, USA
January 21, 2013Music Background:
Drums and Bass
USB - DAW software - CD productionConnect USB, set the channels and record. Its a very nice system. I found the comunication between the R16 and my computer difficult to enable. Registration of the DAW was also difficult for me. But once I got it figured out, Man, the R16 is GREAT. Don't let the "Upgrade of the DAW" bug you ... just use 8 MOMO in and one STEREO out.... get ready to record school and local rock groups, wind and birds :-)
from san francisco, ca
June 8, 2011Music Background:
filmmaker, home studio recording engineer, composer
Good things in small packagesThis replaces my previous 16 track recorder, VF160.
It is remarkably small and light weight - great for my use since i have to carey it between recording studio and home editing computer.
Has a small footprint and is fairly easy to use. The menu is not totally intuitive. So you might have to glance at the manual.
THe best device for recording 8 simultaneous tracks for its size!
May 27, 2010Music Background:
Band member, studio hobbiest
LOVE THISThis box had exactly the specs i was looking for. Small, low cost and could flexibly record to digital media or direct to a DAW --- 8 tracks at a time.
Standalone - this was so simple to set up and use. I inserted the SD card, hooked up some instruments and was off and running. I pressed the usb button and the SD card contents showed up in Windows 7. Copied them to Sonar and viola - edit time.
Connecting directly to the DAW took a bit of messing around with the driver. First, they just released the windows 7 64 bit driver. As usual with Sonar it took some research and monkey business to configure it but once i did --- 8 tracks in. NICE!!! Still working on configuring the controller parameters. I tested this in Cubase and it was awesome but as usual Sonar is fighting me.
All in all I think this unit hits the nail on the head. for $400 you are set up. Its not the highest quality sound but for cutting demos, composing, and DAW control you would have to pay much more.
PS - Sweetwater was great. Great price and AMAZING support. Patrick in customer service - YOU ROCK!!!
Danny R Mayle
from Clarksburg West Virginia
May 25, 2010Music Background:
40 years as a club musician
Buy this product!If you're looking for a good sounding product that you can afford, stop looking. This is an excellent record.
The SB card works flawlessly. However, I have never been a big fan of cue base le4.
The main reasons I would definitely buy another product through Sweetwater is because of the service after the sale.
When I had a problem with my Cubase software, I just contacted Sweetwater, (Mikey Seltzer) and you would not believe how helpful he was. I am disabled and can only use one hand. I had to keep going down the phone in order to type something on my computer so you can imagine how slow I was. Mikey spent at least an hour on the phone with me.
You will not find a more dedicated company or employee.
Whatever your musical needs are, trust Sweetwater!
from Northlands, New Zealand
May 11, 2010Music Background:
Recording Engineer for music, film and web.
A Great RecorderLet's get over the price point first - it's built to one, so there are compromises...it's not made of steel, the preamps are ordinary, and that darned lack of phantom power on 6 out of 8 ch...
It works very well, is fast to learn (do read the instructions, at least the first 2 pages) and does what it does very well.
The included copy of Cubase is (as usual) very picky about how you install - make sure you have the R16 drivers installed FIRST, then keep the R16 connected, and Cubase will install smoothly - the instructions are a little vague here.
The R16 is very quiet - no self noise in recording or playback. I used a pair of SDC tube mics for ambience in a hall and got a very clean recording at high gain.
The pres sound very like most cheap chinese mixers - not a great dynamic range, a little rounded - kinda sleepy - but they are up with the Roland VS gear (at least) and clean.
Everything I recorded (AKG + Sennheiser dynamics) a pair of tube mics, and even the built in mics (usable for ambience, conference table catchall) take Eq well.
I got mine with the free bag which I found to be very good quality and I actually keep the R16 in it - better than you could hope for in a freebie.
Most importantly, this gets you a way better quality recording than any video camera I've used (broadcast). For location sound for films or video work, it's a big step up in quality and flexibility.
And it's killer for multi mic podcast recording. Use dynamics, they work wonders with the R16
Thanks to Richard Whittington, my rep for helping out.
from Springboro, OH
February 28, 2010Music Background:
Songwriter, guitar, bass, home recording
Zoom R16 FIXED DRIVERS!!! USB Interface Review.I originally gave this product 3.5 stars before the device was Windows 7 compatible... but now that they've fixed the issue (in a timely manner! great looking out for the customer!) I can update my review.
This R16 is great at simultaneously multi-tracking @ 44.1k via USB.
Recordings are coming out fairly well, except anything over 48.8k is pushing my computer fairly hard. I lose some data every 30 seconds or so (ACER Aspire 5600 piece of junk). But it just sounds so much better at 96k!
Minor, yet annoying, interface issues: Locks up Cubase if you shut down the R16 before exiting, having to reselect ASIO drivers, loss of input bus presets...
After 2 months of use, I still can say you don't want to use the built-in effects for recording. I used some voice effect for a song, but that's about it.
Someone said Cubase was a different animal... but it's more like what the animal left in your yard. However, it's much more R16 friendly than my DAW of choice, Sonar 7, and has become the most used program on my computer.
The price isn't bad for all the use and quality I'm getting out of it.
from DFW, TX
December 14, 2009Music Background:
Hobbyist with pro background.
Cheap but effective!I spent over a month considering USB interfaces before I settled on the Zoom R16. For the money, is simply cannot be beat.
Sonically, the pres are servicable...not great, but not horrible...certainly usable. The drivers are unbelievably poor. I preparing to box the unit up for return but I decided to give the ASIO4ALL drivers a shot. Downloaded them and it works flawlessly now.
Overall functionality is very good. Menu architecture is a bit wonky, but not distractingly so. The control surface option was a nice bonus and it works very well, but it is limited compared to other, dedicated surfaces. Again, for the money, it's quite a bargain.
from Cypress, Ca USA
August 2, 2009Music Background:
Sweet unitNice unit - finally something truly portable...but watch that battery life... With NEW batteries - I only got 45 minutes recording time (granted I had the backlight on) - but that shouldn't change the recording time from advertized 4.5 hours to .75 hours.
Overall this unit is slick... once you've thrown away the 1Gb card (200min/8ch = 25 min record time) and gotten something more substantial (I chose 16Gb SD - but you can go upto 32Gb) My 45 min recording session = 466Mb - using 2 ch in stereo.
Linking to computer is fairly easy - but could be frustrating to someone whose life doesn't revolve around the things.
Cubase software... now that's another animal... pretty rough start, but once you get used to it - it'll do the job... being able to link the R16 as a controller certainly helps.
from Springboro, Ohio
December 30, 2009Music Background:
Songwriter, guitar, bass, home recording.
Great for price, low compatabilityAs advertised, the 8-in XLR-1/4" sound just peachy at 44.1k, 24-bit recording. It's great as a stand alone unit. Even the built in condenser mics sound good.
It's built in effects are fun, but low quality. I wouldn't buy this unit if you're relying on this unit to do good compression or reverb. (Personal favorite: 'Jet Riff'. Think flanged distortion from the song "Barracuda").
However, the biggest let down is it's lack of audio inteface compatability with Windows 7, or 64 bit Vista. It just plain does not work. Rumors say they are working on a fix for 2010.
Even on my XP system (P4 2.4g, 1gig RAM) I've only gotten a single track to record at a time at 48.8k with 'clicks'. It won't let me up to the specs advertised. It may be my crappy computer, but it won't even give me the option.
SD Card support helps overcome its interface problems, as long as you have a card reader.
Control surface function takes some setup and will not match your DAW programs commands exactly, but I really like it.
I'm not regretting my purchase of the R16, in fact I'm enjoying it alot. Just realise what it does and does not do well.
September 14, 2009Music Background:
field recordingsI love the unit and the idea, I have waited for something that meets my long list of demands for a portable device thats not a handheld piece, the zoom r16 pleased me EXCEPT the main reason I got it, portability. I needed something that was battery powered and truly portable since I recored in remote areas with no electricity, this unit worked for just about 60min on Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries running on a full charge, then died, then developed some type of system problem where it repeatedly crashed, upon close examination of the manual it suggest 1.5v AA batteries which mine was 1.2v AA, I guess this is a major hurdle most overlook, myself included.
Other than that I love it and what it can do.
from Antwerp Ohio
December 11, 2012Music Background:
Musician. Keyboard, bass, guitar, banjo
Zoom R16Haven't had it long enough to really tell. Only used it as a recorder so far. Will know more in a couple of months
March 25, 2010Music Background:
GOOD VALUEThe only reason i am giving this unit 3 starts is because the trim pots are noisy on mine, and it sounds like there is a noise gate on the inputs which pumps on/off during recording.
from Clarksburg West Virginia
December 15, 2009Music Background:
40 years as a musician
On second thoughtYou may have read my review on the R16 and I would like to update it. I've had it now for a couple of weeks and am learning more about the unit. Although I'm still having problems trying to use R16 as a control surface/interface, I am getting a much better sound than I originally did.
Even though this is not a "professional" unit, for $400 you can't go wrong. If I could get the R. 16 to work probably as a control surface so I could record directly into my computer I would be Completely Satisfied! The SD chip however works flawlessly.
More important to me however is the support that I received from Sweetwater representative Andrew stryffelen. He is a true professional. I would definitely deal with Sweetwater again because of him. I am reconsidering whether or not I would buy another zoom product. Upon further reflection, I probably would. This would make a great Christmas gift for the price. Good luck Big Dan.
from Normal, IL USA
July 23, 2009Music Background:
Cheap & SexyIt does what it says it will do! It is built so incredibly cheap, I was almost afraid to plug anything metal into it. It weighs nothing. As a recorder, it slams eight tracks onto it's miniscule 1gb SD card with ease. (I bought a 32gb card withing hours) Transfering these files to DAW has been easy. The manual is abrupt, but accurate. The USB interface is the slowest I've used, and quite dodgey getting recognized by XP. Some of my programs refuse to use it's driver at all. It works well with Sonar, but seems to really attack my CPU. I WAS hoping to record onto a laptop with this and use it for a front end to Guitar Rig. Not gonna happen. But the SD card thingy works pretty well and only adds a couple extra steps. It's the cheapest way I've found to digitally record 8 simultaneous tracks. The manual is good about helping you set up DAW control for your favorite software. I had sliders moving in Sonar within minutes.
I do wish they had allowed controlle
r messages from the gain pots, making this a "controller only" option. The thing that baffled me was the knob that pans back and forth between R16 output and computer output which actually allows you to "mix" the two signals.
I'd have to say I'm mostly dissapointed with the USB drivers which hopefully will improve with software updates.
from Georgia, USA
May 2, 2012Music Background:
Evangelistic Blues Write & Perform
ZOOM BamaLamThe recording aspect of the Zoom R16 is as advertized. However, the Cube Base LE6 interfacing with it is far from accpetable! In fact myself nor 370 Indians in Dehli have gotten it to interface with my DELL which I also bought for the recording deal. Dell says it should work, The Universtity in Savannha Ga says it requires a 32 bit and a 64 bit will not work. So I have attemtped to reach someone to help everywhere for this problem. While the Zoom records well you can forget the Cube Base LE6..I've spent more money on instructions videos etc...what a bummer !
from Billings, MT
November 17, 2010Music Background:
Not ImpressedI'll say right off that at best, this unit works okay as a stand alone recorder, it's not great, it looks, feels and sounds cheap... like it would break if you farted on it. Now the bad part, (my personal experience) with this unit... I could not get this unit to work on my PC with XP as a control interface, I even tried it on other PC's at my work and had the same errors come up. So I thought maybe I had a bad unit, so I returned it and got another unit but had the same problems. I would get my DAW software to recognize it for one start of the application but none of the control commands from the unit would take in the software then I'd quit the software and I'd get a USB error saying that the device could not be recognized. So I'd reinstall the drivers and start over and this process went round and round a few times before I finally gave up... tech support from Zoom was mostly useless. I finally got rid of the Zoom and bought the Boss BR-800... I installed the drivers & software on my PC and bam! the Boss worked right out of the gate with no issues thus far... It doesn't have as many inputs as the Zoom but the Zoom didn't work, for me...
from Clarksburg West Virginia
November 25, 2009Music Background:
Club musician for 40 years
You get what you pay for!I purchased the R. 16 about a week ago.
It's made of plastic and weighs about 3 pounds. Although the recorder itself works okay, the sound quality is just fair.
I have worked with Cubase LE4 before, and it is wracked with problems.
I had to call tech support let them take control my computer and it took them about 40 minutes to correct the problems with the software. If you just want a recorder to play around with and put your ideas down
then this recorder would probably work fine for you. The sd chip seems to work well.
If however, you want to do some serious recording I would pass this one up.
Keep in mind you get what you pay for!
Good luck, Big Dan.
August 28, 2010Music Background:
Hobbyist Recording Engineer/Singer-Songwriter
Super low HeadroomI bought this little peice of gear in an attempt to fix a problem I was having with a lack of preamps and mixer at the same time. To be honest, it looks nice, but it just didn't turn out that way for me.
First thing, it is extremely light. I don't know if that is good or not, but i would be a little bit afraid to break this little guy. In my two day experience with it before i returned it, i didn't have any problems with the thing breaking. The main problem I had was that when i plugged any mic into it, even at the lowest gain, it immediately caused feedback. This happened on every channel, so I assume there was something really wrong with this unit. I replaced it with a mackie 24.8 from ebay, and it's done a good job since.
from New York City, NY, USA
November 13, 2012Music Background:
Full time, lifelong professional musician
There's no foot control punch-in/out!If you intend to perform and record your own music, this is not the right recorder for you-unless you can confidently do perfect takes in one pass. Yes, there is a way to manually pre-program a punch-in, but the reality? You want to fix a note? Ok, first put down your instrument and find the exact punch in point -get the magnifying glass to read the tiny LCD print, then push the button once for punch-in. Next you need to find the exact punch out point (you can't just play out to the end) push the same button again -make sure the tiny LCD says "punch out." Next rewind to a point before the punch in point, get your instrument back on-by now you'll need to check your tuning and try to remember what it was that you wanted to fix.. OK press play and record make sure the red light is blinking-you don't want to accidentally record over the wrong part. Still feel inspired? The sad part is that in all other ways it's an easily usable machine at an amazing price. I would have gladly paid twice as much for this machine with a foot controller-but without it, it's useless to me. I would not buy it again.
Once getting this out of the box, it was difficult to be impressed by the low profile Zoom R16 at first glance. I found, however, the more I looked it over and read through the manual, the more I found myself saying, "Oh wow, that's pretty cool."
After reading about what the R16 was capable of, I just had to see it for myself. I first pulled out my acoustic and started recording through the built-in condenser microphones. To be honest, I was skeptical of these mics being, at best, sub-par. After testing levels, I threw on my Extreme EX-29 headphones, set the metronome and hit record. I belted it out pretty loud and figured I'd test out how high of a tolerance they had. Wow, they held up nicely and they are incredibly sensitive! At one point between takes, I heard my neighbor approaching my door and thought it was something that I tracked by mistake. At another time, I could hear the slow drip of run-off after a short rain, which happened to be in time with my metronome and thought my headphones bled into the mix.
Next, I tried running a bass guitar and an electric direct in to test the Hi-Z inputs and played around with the built-in effects. I was surprised to find the number of effects available for a unit such as this. It's not a modeler or anything extravagant. But it does have simple effects-based signal processing that modifies the tone and allows you to get a rough idea with on-the-fly recording to determine what the finished product could sound like. I had fun playing around with the various bass and guitar effects as well as the vocal delays and reverbs. Plus the built-in tuner and metronome saved me from having to search out additional hardware and makes life more convenient if I'm wanting to do field recording or have an idea I need to get down quick.
I found it real simple to be able to mix down, master and bounce tracks to audio and import them into a DAW on my computer. A lot of the controls are pretty intuitive, which is nice for someone like myself who might not get as far as opening the manual before getting so anxious that I have to put it down and get to work.
So, you have all of this, plus, you can use it as an audio interface through USB in any DAW. While doing this it can also function as a control surface. Having the ability to multi-track directly into the unit is pretty awesome as it is but this is an added value in consolidating a lot of gear into a single device, which is great for anyone just breaking into the idea of starting a studio.
With all that this is capable of, I have to say that impressive would be an understatement in describing the Zoom R16. You have a multi-track recorder, audio interface and control surface all in one little device about the size of your average laptop computer. What more could you ask for?