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Microphone Month 3

Cymatic Audio LR-16 Live Recorder Reviews

4.0 stars based on 7 customer reviews
Questions about the Cymatic Audio LR-16 Live Recorder?

Questions about the Cymatic Audio LR-16 Live Recorder?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • John Wilson
    from Bellingham, WA February 12, 2015Music Background:
    Serious Hobbyist, Bandleader

    Very Cool Multi Track Recorder

    First of all, it did take a bit of trial and error to get the hard drive I have working. It's about a 5 year old 250GB Western Digital USB hard drive,. I ended up reformatting it from the LR-16. Once that was done I ran TRS cables from the insert jacks (and group out jacks for stereo channels) from my 16 track Yamaha analog mixing board. Then I balanced the mixer levels as best I could for all the band instruments (guitars, bass, drums, keys, sax, vocals) and hit the record button on the LR-16. We played and it recorded. Then I brought the hard drive over to my laptop, fired up Cubase (DAW), and imported the tracks into Cubase. They show up on the hard drive as 16 separate .wav files which import nicely into Cubase. I adjusted mix levels, EQ'd and added a few effects in the mixdown and ended up with a decent recording. That was my first use of this thing. It worked!!

    The only negatives I see with this is the housing is kind of a cheap plastic box and the display is primitive. However the menus are intuitive and well layed out.

    It works great for what our band needs. A quick way to record live multitrack at our practices. We can then hear what we sound like collectively and individually and make improvements. We can also do overdubs and make demo recordings.

  • Mike
    from July 18, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Radio DJ, Musician

    Basic, and basically EVERYTHING you want/need

    Let's start with the negative... It feels a little bit light and would have liked to see a more sturdy structure. The power cord is cheap and flimsy. The USB cable that comes with it is short and nearly useless.

    Positive... Recording Quality is PERFECT, this is a bare bones thing that strips away all the gear you should already have before you're ready to start recording, why should you pay for MORE pre-amps when your bands mixer already has them (and probably better ones too)... there are no effects on it because if you're using a stand alone recorder to mix down your own tracks instead of a DAW you probably don't know a good effect if you hear one. It was a quick instal of the drivers for my DAW's to recognize the 16 inputs for high quality recording, but I was even able to do 48k 24bit on my external SSD hard drive (a few errors on the USB key, but at 16bit it was error free).

    If all you're missing is the recorder or the I/O... THIS is your thing

  • Customer
    from May 18, 2015

    very easy to use

    I have been looking for a system like this for a number of years. Either they weren't affordable or, when I read the fine print, they could record only 4 or 8 tracks simultaneously. This is the one I have been looking for!

  • Tom Costello
    from April 27, 2015

    Put it in your briefcase !

    I used to carry a Tascam DA 88 and a DA 38 to record live gigs. They were quite the pain in the butt.
    I recently purchased the Cymatic LR-16. The unit, external hard drive and all the cables fit in my briefcase !
    The recording quality is pretty good. The one touch record function is great for when you are playing a song and suddenly remember that you need to record the song you are butchering at that very moment.
    You won't miss a beat starting the record sequence. Once the machine is set to the record mode all you need is the Start and Stop buttons. It is also VERY easy to drop your audio into Pro Tools. In fact, I was worried because it worked flawlessly the first time I transferred audio to Pro Tools.
    I highly recommend this product ..... just remember that I also recommended buying PAN AM stock years ago ! That one I got quite WRONG ...... this one I know I got RIGHT !

  • Jeff
    from Boston, MA March 27, 2013Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Great product!

    amazed by the simplicity of the product.
    I recorded a live-gig the same day, imported and mixed in Sonar the next.
    All without a hitch.

  • Customer
    from NYC November 6, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Decent

    This is a handy recorder. For the price, its functionality is hard to beat. I've used mine many times and it's a very stable recorder. I've only had one session where it reported several drop outs. The quality is decent, but not stellar. This is compared to several other live recorders being fed the same source at the same time, including a Mackie Onyx 1640i (better) and a Tascam X48 (best). My main complaint is the metering, which is totally unusable: it lags and is so slow to display that it's useless. Also, the implementation of the monitoring function controls is very poor. I would gladly pay another $50 or $100 to have usable metering and an ergonomic way to adjust the monitoring.

  • GM
    from January 6, 2014Music Background:
    weekend warrior

    Good but could be better

    The LR-16 works very well for a quick and easy 16 track recording but the connections are restrictive and could be a big problem. You must use TRS snakes (1/4" stereo lines) from the inserts on the mixing board to the LR-16 and this can cause problems (the LR-16 takes the signal from the insert, records it, then returns it to the inserts via the TRS lines). The first time we recorded a performance the house soundman could not fully click the I/4 inch jacks into the inserts of his board without losing the signal to the FOH. His work around was to set the jacks into the 1/4 " insert ports with only the tip making contact - strangely this enabled the LR-16 to record without disrupting the FOH signal. The recording had good quality and was a mile better than throwing a digital recorder up in the rafters. (You'll enjoy the freedom of remixing a live band and adding effects on a DAW...Reaper worked great)

    Good luck if you are already using some of the mixing board inserts for effects as you will need to rig up a "bastardized" TRS jack to split the signal. Not a great solution and clear as mud on what to do at the Cymatic website! When I emailed Cymatic Audio tech support for some clarification on the problem I received absolutely no reply what so ever...nice support! Big thanks to Mike Rivers at his site for helping to enlighten us on the convoluted wiring modifications to the TRS snake ends that would be required. Cymatic needs to rethink this and make a wiring harness available that can split the insert signal if required.

    In summary a good easy to use16 track recorder (4.5. stars) if your board inserts are all available and work - if not then 1.0 star and get out the soldering gun and start scratching your head!

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