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Zoom R16 16-track SD Recorder / Interface / Controller

16-track Portable SD Recorder, USB Audio Interface, and DAW Control Surface with 8 Microphone Inputs, Built-in Stereo Condenser Microphones, Built-in Effects, and USB - Mac/PC
Zoom R16 16-track SD Recorder / Interface / Controller image 1
Zoom R16 16-track SD Recorder / Interface / Controller image 1

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Zoom R16 16-track SD Recorder / Interface / Controller
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Gives You 3 for 1: Recorder, Interface, and Control Surface

With Zoom's R16 in tow, you've got a full mobile recording and studio recording solution! This affordable and portable device lets you record the whole band at once, thanks to its 16-track recording system with eight XLR microphone inputs. You've got your choice of recording straight to SD cards (up to huge 32GB SDHC cards!) — perfect for mobile recording. Or, you can connect the R16 to your computer via USB and use it as an audio interface to record to your DAW — very cool. But there's way more packed into the Zoom R16.

With the way-portable Zoom R16, you'll be ready to capture band practice, lessons, moments of inspiration, all-out gigs — whatever you want. Not only does this 16-track recorder give you eight XLR/line inputs, so you can plug in your own gear and get to recording — the R16 also features built-in stereo condenser microphones. All you have to do is press record, and you'll be capturing great-sounding audio (up to 24-bit/44.1kHz), straight to SD cards. And don't worry about running out of space: the Zoom R16 supports SDHC cards up to a whopping 32GB.

Want to connect your Zoom R16 to your computer? Use the USB connector in a couple of handy ways! First, you can connect it up to your computer and use it as a standard USB storage device, so you can quickly transfer your SD-recorded tracks straight to your computer for mixdown, archiving, e-mailing, or posting online. But the R16 also doubles as a USB audio interface — how cool is that? Just load up your favorite DAW and you can record eight tracks at time, using the R16's onboard inputs.

Once you've recorded the tracks, the R16 also gives you everything you need to polish them up — whether you're at your computer or out on the road. For starters, the R16 features over 100 built-in studio effects plus amazing guitar amplifier and effects models. You can shine up your tracks with reverb, delay, distortion — whatever sounds right for the mix. Plus, it's loaded with professional-grade mastering effects, so you can finalize your songs for publishing. Even slicker, though, when you have the R16 connected to your computer, you can use it as a hands-on control surface. The R16 uses Mackie's control emulation, which works with popular DAW software — including Cubase, Logic, Digital Performer, and more. You'll have the real mixing experience of riding faders, so you can get levels just where you want them.

If you're ready to get serious about recording, the R16 gives you the whole package: a USB audio interface, a hands-on control surface, and an included software package. It comes with Cubase LE DAW software for immediately getting to work laying down your ideas and building them into professional tracks.

Zoom R16 16-track Portable SD Recorder/USB Audio Interface Features:

  • Gives you everything you need for on-the-go 16-track SD recording (8 tracks simultaneously)
  • Built-in stereo condenser microphones for a one-button recording solution
  • USB connectivity for file transfer or for straight-to-computer recording
  • Eight XLR microphone inputs, so you can record an entire band
  • Tons of built-in effects and guitar amp/effects models for polishing tracks
  • Doubles as a hands-on control surface, so you can mix down tracks
  • Comes with Steinberg Cubase LE software so you can start right away

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide
Digital Workstation Buying Guide
R16 Compatible SD Cards
R16 User Manual

Tech Specs

  • Simultaneous Rec Tracks: 8
  • Simultaneous Play Tracks: 16
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz
  • Bit Depth: 24-bit
  • Effects: Yes
  • EQ: Yes
  • Compression: Yes
  • Phantom Power: Yes (2 Channels)
  • Number of Mic Preamps: 8
  • Audio Interface: Yes
  • Computer Connectivity: USB
  • Built-in Mics: 2
  • Analog Inputs: 8 x XLR Combo
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4"
  • Storage: SD/SDHC Card Slot (up to 32GB)
  • Faders: 8 + 1 Master (Fader/Encoder)
  • Fader Throw: Short-throw
  • Power: 6 x AA, USB Bus, AD-14 AC Adapter
  • Height: 2.05"
  • Depth: 9.33"
  • Width: 14.8"
  • Weight: 2.87 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Part Number: ZR16

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Customer Reviews

Rated 4/5
Based on 72 reviews
Write your review
Rated 5/5

Big Gem in a Little Package

Had my Zoom R16 for several weeks now. Better than expected and more useful than I hoped. Simple to use and excellent recording quality. Comes with Cubase software that I'm now exploring. Laying down tracks for my first self published CD. This little gem does it all!!!!!
Music background: 40+ years hobbyist
Rated 5/5

Zoom R16

It 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.
Music background: Played Bass for 47 years and played live the hole time, I love music.
Rated 5/5

The answer I've been looking for

I 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!
Music background: Recording Engineer/Professional Musician
Rated 5/5

Sweet and Versatile

I'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.
Music background: Musician, Student, Recording Engineer
Rated 5/5

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.
Music background: Hobbyist. Drummer, Barbershop chorus and quartet singer, School and Church Chiors.

Sweetwater Advice

Dontae Harris

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!
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