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Microphone Month

Zoom R24 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 42 customer reviews
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  • Rodney Jacques
    from Hawkinsville Ga December 3, 2013Music Background:

    Zoom R24

    I have not had much time to try everything the Zoom has to offer due to the holiday season and family time. I will say that what I have gotten to try has been great. I did a little recording with the guitar & Harmonica and laid about 6 tracks and mixed them together and it came out good. I'm still in the learning curve of using this equipment. I will say that the unit is very user friendly and easy to navigate and great on portability. I can take this unit anywhere and setup and start recording real quick.

  • Orb Hearthstone
    from Sault Ste.Marie MI. U.S.A. October 30, 2012Music Background:
    Recording, Production, Live Entertainment, Live Original Showcasing...

    The Zoom R24

    Cannot believe everything that this thing does!
    More like what doesn't it do!!!???!!!
    24-track Portable SD Recorder, USB Audio Interface, Pad Sampler, and DAW Control Surface with 8 Microphone Inputs, Built-in Stereo Condenser Microphones, Built-in Effects, and USB - Mac/PC
    ......Oh that's all?????.................lol
    Can't believe all it does for it's size...
    Best Recorder I've seen for the price!

  • buzz taylor
    from worcester ma. usa December 13, 2011Music Background:
    prroducer/arranger acoustic writers.

    A whole lot of fun!

    I have a tascam neo 2488 which I love and I had a little extra cash( rare) so I decided to see what all the great reviews this gets and got one. Wow!! what a fun and very useful unit, it records great, the sampler is a blast, the interface and controller work great with the included cubase 5 le. what i found amazing is the 2 built in mics, alot of reviews say they are ok, but I find them more than ok, you have to place the unit just right for what your recording I fooled around recording my taylor acoustic guitar and I got some takes that were good enough to keep as songs! added a little reverb from the effects bank which as tons of very useful choices including guitar effects, vocal etc. overall this is a whole lot of fun im glad I got it.

  • Wayne Potash
    from Boston, MA August 24, 2011Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter, Pro Musician, Recording Engineer


    We have only scratched the surface of all the features, but so far so good. It's really fast and easy, light, dead quiet, and sounds great. We haven't even hooked it up to the computer yet. My son and I each have our own SD cards so we can share it with no reservations.

    If this unit was double the price I might have some minor issues like dealing with menus, more accurate metering, and not being able to reassign the drum pad buttons for other functions, but it's only $500 so I will not complain at all. What an affordable alternative to buying an interface, control surface, and a new computer that can handle it all! Use the money you save to buy a great mic and an outboard preamp! I swear to God that I will release an awesome sounding CD using this recorder.

  • CODE_D
    from Kent, WA July 20, 2011

    This is a must have!!!!!!!!

    Wow this is the best purchase I've made in a long time. Sweetwater your the best and your tech support is amazing. They were very helpful. The Zoom R24; simply put, great product great price!!

  • Doug
    from Simpsonville, SC April 30, 2011Music Background:
    Guitarist, Songwriter

    Just Buy It And See For Yourself!

    Amazing piece of equipment! I still haven't mastered all of the R24's capabilities, but what little I have learned so far has exceeded my expectations by far! I do recommend that you read the manual. It may be a little underwhelming, but it is informative.
    Like many, I can't say enough to show my thanks or appreciation of Sweetwater. Nick Shenkel has been a great help on numerous occasions. As a matter of fact, he recommended Zoom to me when I was thinking of purchasing a different product of higher cost. He explained the R24 would serve me better for my purposes. Thanks Nick!
    Go ahead and buy the R24, if portable high quality recording is what you're looking for. Of course it's not a fully packed recording studio, but it's much more than it looks to be.

  • Tony
    from Auburn, ME March 10, 2011Music Background:

    HOLY S***, Batman!!!

    This is a 1st for me. I've never given any product the highest rating. This unit is intuitive, LOADED, & has plenty of warmth (believe it or not). As with anything, if you start with crap, you end up with crap. I've done recordings with a decent acoustic/electric (Yamaha APX400) and played the distortion from the onboard Effects and I was amazed at the sound I was able to get from this in just a half hour! Super portable, too! I'm sure it doesn't last long on batteries but at least it can be used with them, right? And for so little Benjamins, comparatively!

  • Goran
    from Arizona February 20, 2011Music Background:

    Ridiculous bargain revision

    I mentioned in an earlier review that my only missgiving was that the monitor pre-amp was somewhat noisy, but I was wrong. It was only when I use it as an interface via USB that monitoring got a bit noisy, but that turned out to be caused by the PC. After having used this machine to produce a couple of CD's I feel compelled to increase the rating to five stars. I is, as I stated earlier, an amazing bargain. If you are reading these reviews you are probably considering buying one. Stop reading, and just buy it!

  • Victor Calise Blanchard
    from Houston, TX USA February 8, 2011Music Background:
    Padwan Learner, Sound Engineer, Singer/Songwriter, Hobbyist

    I'm In Love

    Being new to music-making and on a rather tight budget (I'm cheap and broke), I was hard-pressed to locate an item that could accomplish some of the tasks I had planned for my entry into music and audio production. I could not have hoped for a more brilliant piece of equipment. I am very much appreciative of the R24's many features and capacities that I most surely could not have found for this price anywhere else.
    I use the crap out of the Cubase software that was included - employing it for all of my vocal tracking and mixing projects. The interface does exactly what it is supposed to and can be relied upon to streamline my production. I was slightly confused at first regarding its range of function, but as I spend more time using the R24, it is becoming much more valuable to me and my projects.
    I have not had extensive exposure to the included USB drive and it's many drum loops, but you can never have too many thumb drives (free ones), or drum loops I suppose. But trust me when I say, “There’s A Lot”
    I have managed to get great use of the onboard stereo mics and have done some very creative things with them, which include making personal notes and recording ideas before they have a chance to fly away. And with those in mind if you look at the R24 you notice the darker grey pieces on the side. Those not only contain the stereo mics but the elevate the unit when turned on it’s face, completely eliminating the risk of damaging you knobs or sliders when replacing batteries or performing maintenance. F’n genius.
    Running the R24 on batteries is as easy as it sounds. I was quite surprised at the efficiency the unit is capable of, even when, and especially when using the onboard mics.
    About the only thing lacking is the drum machine capabilities (simply from a lack of onboard kits), but hey, if it could do any more somebody would probably go out of business. That said the pads are responsive and can be programmed to your preferred sensitivity. Sampling into the pads is easy as hell too!
    Speaking of easy, nothing beats being able to record straight into an SD card. The R24 also functions as an SD card reader.
    All in all, my rig is sooooooooooooo much better off because of this unit. Thanks ZOOM!
    I could write forever in the spirit of praising this small, inexpensive, wonder of a machine. Do yourself a favour and scope it out.

  • Steve
    from Colorado January 6, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Musician

    Must have for home studio

    I have been using the R24 for about a week now and I was compelled to write a review on it. Let me first dispell a few things you may have seen in other reviews.
    Some have said that the unit looks cheaply made but the fact of the matter is that the unit is so well designed that it comes off looking too "clean". When compared to another recorder like the Tascam 2488 you can really see how well defined each function is established. I realize the the 2488 has features that the R24 doesn"t, I'm simply dispelling the rumor of the visual aspect of the unit.
    Some have said that the screen could be better. In part I agree, the screen could be a little larger with better definition. But I have used other recorders that have far worse screens than this unit does. The screen on the R24 may lack some definition but you can clearly read all aspects of what is being displayed.
    I did a little test with this unit to get a real understanding of how easy Zoom made recording with the R24. I handed the unit to my Bassist (who has no prior experience with recording of any kind) to see exactly how difficult it is for the first time home recording artist to get their first track layed down, even if it is a scratch track. I was simply amazed to find that within one hour he not only had the basics of setting up a new project tracks, but he had one recorded as well. After listening to what he had recorded I was further amazed to find that the track sounded good, I mean real good. Sure it was lacking effects and subtle dynamics which take a little more time and experience to figure out but he could have easily fixed all of that with edditing software even if he couldn't figure it out on the R24 which I highly doubt.
    In my opinion Zoom has made the perfect tool for the DIY home recording artist. To get better sound quality or functionality you will have to spend tons more money and have real training as a recording engineer to surpass what you can do at home in a few hours with this unit.

  • Green Death Productions
    from Ocean County,N.J. August 13, 2010Music Background:
    Keyboard workstation & DAW composer

    Software-grade audio quality in a neat package!

    I was in dire need of a serious hardware upgrade...one that could preserve the clarity & depth of my source material.
    Since my Tascam 2488neo was murdering the audio quality of my Reason 4 & Korg M3 imports,I was extremely pleased that Zoom finally stepped up to 24 tracks of 24 bit,48kHz recording quality!

    Unlike my Tascam,the Zoom R24 preserves all of the sonic attributes of the source material,every step of the way,due to it's exceptional internal processing & clean & quiet audio inputs!

    By the way,SamsonTeach's technical support has been fantastic,as they are eager to help you in any way they can and it's extremely easy to get a hold of them over the phone.

    Although I did rate this product as a 5,it was due to the tremendous sound quality,but there is a serious issue with the effects,however.

    I've always liked the quality of Zoom's effects in their products,but unfortunately-in the 48kHz recording mode,ALL of the effects are disengaged.
    Trust me,this is not a case of operator error,as if you try to click on the effects button in the 48kHz mode,a message will pop up that reads; "only in 44.1 ! "

    My whole purpose in buying this product,was to upgrade,& not to downgrade,just to be able to utilize the effects!
    There's 100 effects to play with on this unit,& I cannot use a single one!
    I was so upset by this,that I contacted SamsonTech & complained....and what's really interesting,is that the tech guy I spoke to,was not aware of this issue at all!
    There is absolutely no way to rashionalize what Zoom as done...as there's no logic to it whatsoever.
    What's even worse,is that the purchaser has utterly no idea of this until he sits down with it and records(not something that Zoom would advertise on the box,as it just wouldn't sell to well).

    Being that my main purpose was to incorporate my Korg M3 & Reason 4 sounds to my Presonus DAW,I already have plenty of effects to work with,but I thought that Zoom might have some unique effects to sweeten my songs,so for that reason,I am deeply disappointed.
    As for other folks who are dependant of the Zoom built in effects,but don't want to downgrade their recording quality either,well....they're in for a real disaster!

    The tech guy I spoke with,speculated that Zoom may correct this issue with a firmware update,but I am not hopeful of this....since this unit also functions as a DAW controller & perhaps Zoom just expects people to use Cubase,for using effects in a higher quality recording mode-which begs the question; WHY EVEN BOTHER INCLUDING THE EFFECTS TO BEGIN WITH??!!

    It's still a great product though,as it gets the essentials done for my particular situation and does them well and all for a surprisingly low price.

    One of the nicest functions of media card-based recorders,is that unlike hard drive-based ones,the conversion process of audio to WAV files is lightening fast.

    Yet another one of my favorite features,is the ability to stereo link all of the 24 tracks into 12 stereo tracks,making it extremely convenient to import stereo audio files from my Reason 4 recordings!

  • Scott
    from Elk Garden July 28, 2016

    zoom r24

    Great piece of hardware, a slight down rating on the software's side. Lots of download time, and driver installs and updates. Unit in stand alone application is intuitive and easy to use with minimal manual time, if any when you're already familiar with zoom products. DAW mode with pc is less intuitive, tutorials help.

  • Nate
    from KY June 17, 2016Music Background:
    musician/bass player/track stacker


    Nice unit. Lots of features. I've tracked many projects with Zoom products and the r24 doesn't disappoint. The preamps are certainly usable and seem to be quiet even with the unit plugged into a wall outlet, but I've since started using a channel strip as a front end for the r24...results are that much more impressive (set the r24 trim knob to line level and control levels with the output stage of the channel strip). The r24's level meters could be a little better but that's a minor quibble. Using the r24's built in effects can be a little confusing at first but with a little patience you'll figure it out. I like being able to do multiple mixdowns within a single project in addition to the track swap and bounce features. I'm not sure about sequencing functions, I only use the unit for tracking.

    I wish the buttons were a little quieter. They make audible clicks which can be kind of bothersome when doing punch ins in close proximity to sensitive condenser microphones. -1/2 star only for this.

    If you like to sit around and stack tracks but don't want to spend a fortune on a computer based system, or if you're old school like me and like real faders, this unit is for you.

  • Adam T.
    from Wallington, NJ December 23, 2014Music Background:
    Ex- musician, now hobbyist. Overall 30+ years of musical background. Play and listen to blues, rock, jazz, ...

    Coolest recorder and mixer I have ever had

    I've been using this for a little over the year. It is amazing.
    I am non-professional musician. Music is my hobby. Zoom24 - I am starting every little project on it, then all finishes are done in my DAW. I don't use built in effects. Sometimes I use built in drums just to help start with project. Advice for a new users - get use to "markers" system. It will speed up your session. Forget about effects, buy decent quality dedicated effect. Also replace SD card with fast one. SD card have own speed classification, buy really fast one like a SDHC class 10.

    Another nice thing is, ZOOM24 is very mobile. You can record while it runs on the batteries. All 8 tracks same time, no latency problems! Pretty much cool.
    I used to use it on Snow Leo, now I am on Mavericks. Tested on Yosemite - works with no problems. For Windows users - I can confirm it works great with Win7 - 8.

  • Marc Hayes
    from Ormond Beach, Fl April 25, 2013Music Background:
    semi-pro muscian, been at it too long to be called Hobbyist any more.

    Zoom R24

    This is the simplest way to record a live band on individual tracks at once. I had tried the latest versions using my Mac but the latency and complexity was killing me. This is by far the easiest way and it records exactly what you put in it...CLEAN. I don't use any of the effect as I use my favorite DAW to mix so I can't say for anything else. The only disappointment was that it is plastic, but so far no RF bleed over. Best of all, Jon, my salesperson at Sweetwater was very helpful and a great guy. If you want to keep it simple and clean.. .this is it.

  • Steve Jay
    from December 1, 2012Music Background:
    Semi pro guitarist and bassist for 30+ years

    Rocking my socks off!

    Just to put this in context, I'm an audio pro in my day job and prefer Garage Band to Logic or ProTools for recording my music at home, so when I say this is the best home studio I've ever used, that's a pretty hot recommendation. As a recorder, it has great preamps, the effects are phenomenal, as an audio interface it's as easy as it gets and it aggregates, unlike some in its price range, as a control surface (while tricky to set up with Garage Band, where it loses the final half star, but easy with the included Cubase) it's so nice to have a human interface, mousing truly sucks, push faders, seriously, stop mousing audio on your computer and push faders for about as cheap as you're ever going to. It even works as a live 8x2 audio mixer with a built in 16 track playback deck, so your solo career can go truly solo (although you'll need to setup a separate foldback mix split from your live mics.)

  • Steve Sheckels
    from Stockbridge, GA 30281 September 3, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend gigger and home-recording engineer.

    Zoom R24 = bang 4 buck

    Fits in a laptop case with room to spare for all of the accessories. Runs for 4 hours on 4 AA batteries or indefinitely on the included AC adaptor. 8 in at once, 24 playback. EZ interface with most DAW's. Intuitive and as easy to use as the old-school analog port-a-studios. Records to SD cards or thumb-drives (no moving parts - awesomeness). 2 built-in condenser mics and phantom power on most inputs. Excellent on-board effects and amp simulators, as well as a very use-able drum machine and groove-builder, not to mention the bonus 1Gig thumb-drive that's included with some excellent groove and drum samples recorded by a top studio drummer.. Now....what else would you like in a unit about 1 1/2 times larger than an iPad?

  • David Jenkinson
    from July 6, 2011

    wav edits fixed

    I've had a really good experience with zoom support regarding my previous review, of having problems with wav editing. The beta firmware I received seems to fix this glitch and I am a completely satisfied customer. I wish there was a way to "edit" previous posts or I'd do that to update this latest information. This is one fun and versatile piece of equipment. I gave it 4.5 for the simple fact I don't believe anything is ever "perfect", but I can find no faults so far with this unit after receiving beta firmware.

  • Goran
    from AZ USA February 14, 2011Music Background:
    Professional composer

    A Ridiculous Bargain !

    Control surface, interface, and 24...YES .24 TRACK RECORDER!!! Everything worked perfectly right out of the box! No problems whatsoever. Effects, mic pre-amps (with fanthom power on six imputs?!) are all OK. My only complain is that the monitor pre-amp is rather noisy (only affects the monitoring though, not the recording). Don't turn it up more than 65-75% and you can probably live with it. $500.00 for the whole thing though..you got to be joking! I spend that on Starbucks in a month! Ten years ago this functionality would have set you back $25-50,000.00!!! If you want to get in to multi-track recording, and produce great sounding tracks on the cheap, this is the way to do it.

  • Tom
    from Austin, TX October 15, 2010Music Background:
    A little bit of everything.

    Portable jack of almost all trades.

    I purchased the R24 as a replacement to my trusty Zoom 1608CD mostly to lighten my load when remote recording which takes place fairly regularly. I also thought the smaller footprint might help tidy up my workspace. To those ends the R24 has fulfilled my requirements. For anyone wondering about sound quality, it is very clear and natural, at least to my ears. I record at 44.1/16bit and it sounds fine. In many ways it is an improvement on my older Zoom since it records direct to .wav files. I also appreciate the option to run on batteries as well as the ease of replacing the storage or using multiple SD cards.

    As a sound card it performs as expected and does a fairly good job of being a control surface with FL Studio and Ableton Live 8 by emulating a Mackie control surface. I haven't bothered with the included Cubase software. I'm not really big on control surfaces in general so if it did not perform well I probably wouldn't care.

    Using the R24 to record a 3 piece rock band live is very straightforward especially if you have prior Zoom experience. Setting up projects relatively easy. The portability to various locations is great but the downside is that the weight of the mic cables connected to it can easily pull if off a table especially if you connect 8 mics at once. Consider some better rubber feet from your local hardware store.

    When recording LOUD sources you may want to avoid using really hot mics. A deep snare played by an enthusiastic drummer with a neodymium mic will probably clip on every hit regardless of how little gain you use. I suspect the R24 soft clips some transients because the resulting recording from the clipping snare sounded just fine (and the .wav looked ok too)

    Why 4.5 stars? The one thing the R24 does not do that my 1608 does is let me change drum patterns while listening to previously recorded tracks. I got a lot of creative mileage out of laying down parts to one drum beat and then scrolling through various other beats later in real time to help jump start the creative process. Stopping the audio to change to a different pattern takes the life out of the process. I suppose it is a small price to pay in order to no longer have to convert audio files to .wav or lug a heavy recorder across town. Plus I get an additional computer interface out of the deal. Still, I have decided to keep my 1608 around for writing, at least for now. If you don't need the on-board drums, then I would say go for the R16 instead. Overall, this is a very useful recorder with a lot of applications.

  • Jim Saad
    from California September 9, 2010Music Background:
    Drummer, songwriter, producer, engineer, filmscore composer

    Incredible Tool!

    I was a recording engineer in the 70 and 80’s and built my own recording studio using a Fostex B16 ½” 16 channel recorder. I was a studio drummer for many years in Los Angeles. I also have been a song writer for many years and am now getting back into it. I just purchased the Zoom R24 and have used it now for a week. I was looking for a replacement sound card for my computer and stumbled across the Zoom. I did weeks of research, read all I could find on the R16 and saw most all of the videos offered online. Let me say that I am very pleased with my decision to own this incredible tool.

    After loading the software drivers and making sure the R24 was working with Sonar Cakewalk 8.5, I created my first song.

    I first selected a drum pattern to play to. I plugged in my 30 year-old Fender Strat and started laying down some chords. Next, I plugged in my Behringer B1 mic, cranked up the phantom power and recorded several tracks of vocals. I used onboard effects such a reverb to monitor by and used limiting and amp sims for the guitars. I used a pair of Koss headphones that did not demand a lot of power. After a couple hours of playing, I hooked up the R24 to my computer via USB and uploaded all the audio files from the R24 (now in USB mode) to my desktop. I launched Cakewalk Sonar 8.5, created a new project and imported all the audio files which only took a minute. I set the tempo to match the R24 and hit play. Everything was in perfect sync! I then used the R24 as a DAW interface to control Sonar. I recorded through the R24 more vocal and guitar tracks while running Sonar. No problems. I then added a drum part using Sonar’s Session Drummer 3. The sound was excellent and I was totally blown away with the functionality of this unit. The next day, I recorded a new song and this time, while I was on my porch watching the sun set, I had my R24 running on batteries while I played around with adding effects and listening to work.

    A few days ago, I purchased an HP laptop from Wal-Mart and am now using it for Sonar and the R24. I had to strip a lot of misc. software from the HP but finally got it to play back my tracks through Sonar without pops and clicks. The sound blows away many 24 track recorders from 20-30 years ago costing many tens of thousands of dollars more. I realize that what is most important is to have the ability to turn on a recorder in the field or at home and capture your ideas and then know that you have many possibilities for using the wave forms either to mix and master within the R24 or export effortlessly into a DAW program with professional results.

    By the way, I did not notice any sync issues when building up tracks as you might read online. This is not to say it doesn’t happen but just that I did not notice it. Also, I would like to see more headroom in the mic pres even though they sound very good. I would also like to see more headphone power for driving larger headphones.

    After many years in the music business, this product is so unique and functional that I had to have it. Thank you Zoom.

  • Andrew Van Es
    from Melbourne, Australia July 27, 2010Music Background:

    two thumbs up

    I did a bit of research on portable and digital recorders, hand held devices and decided to spend that extra bit of cash on the Zoom R24.
    I got my pre-order in and the minute the product came in my sales engineer Dennis Konicki had it shipped within hours.

    For my needs this unit was mainly purchased to use as a sketch pad to work out a few melodies with my hardware synths and to flesh out some lyric ideas. Sound is crystal clear with the front panel logically laid out. The built in mics sound fine and pick up everything.
    On the weekend I'll try out my channel strip/eq/compressor and I get a chance to warm up my vocalizer.

    USB/ batteries/ power/SD card. Now were really spoiled for chance.

    Use of a good quality set of headphones will enhance your listening experience.

    Highly recommended. Two thumbs up!!!

    Manual is well written and easy to understand.

  • Darin
    from southeast March 16, 2017Music Background:
    20+ year pro

    Good for the home and live shows

    I enjoyed this product. I have recorded hours and hours with mine. I understand that it is not a high end studio piece of equipment but with that said, the more I used it and familiarized myself with it, the better my recordings sounded. The last recording I made was a polished gem as far as the quality of the sound from the unit. I would love to have better "pres" on it though because the pres are the weak link of the unit. You have to be careful to avoid distorting the vocals with a decent condenser mic. All in all, I would say it`s worth the price.

  • Brian
    from Maryland April 18, 2016Music Background:
    Hobby player

    Easy to Learn and Use, Great Tool

    I only just recently picked one of these up. I have an old Tascam 414 4-track tape recorder and another old Tascam DP-01 8-track digital recorder. Both of these units were and still are great, but I wanted to upgrade to a newer multitrack recorder. I decided that I needed at least a 24-track recorder, and was looking into the Tascam units, but was very disappointed with the amount of "actual" tracks. I play the instruments myself and don't need a lot of stereo tracks that are automatically linked. I came across the Zoom R24 on the internet and began to research the reviews on it. I have used Zoom's guitar pedals for the past 19 years and have been very pleased with them. I was also interested in the drum machine and sequencer, as I can not play the drums myself, and had been looking into a stand-alone drum sequencing unit, but with this built-in unit, I don't need one now.

    After my research, I found an R24 for a great price, bought it, and as soon as it was in my hands was up and recording. I was able to find "How-to" videos on YouTube for things that I could not understand in the manual, and have been very pleased with the performance and sound of this unit. I was a little concerned when I received it, mainly because of how light the unit is. Compared to my DP-01, it must weigh about 5 pounds less, but the DP-01 has an internal hard drive for memory, while the R24 has an SD drive.

    With my past knowledge of the Tascam units, there was only a slight learning curve to begin with this. I recorded a whole song in about an hour, using a drum loop that I had already had. I decided to try to sequence a complete song's worth of drums, and after about 3 hours of compiling and re-working, I had a great-sounding drum part, exactly as I had imagined, that went completely with a song that I was in the process of writing. I was able to record the entire song in another hour, including 3 guitars, bass, and 3 vocals, and still had another 8 tracks to work with if I needed them.

    The effects on this unit seem to be great also, right in line with the guitar pedals I already have. I used 2 different distortions for recording 2 guitars, a bass effect, and different vocal effects, and even a mastering effect also. It is my understanding that most recordings are done dry, but I usually record with the effect on the track, mainly because that is what I'm used to doing. On this machine, you can record either way. If you record dry, then want add an effect other than reverb or chorus, you just bounce the track to another, with the effect on the new track's input, and you are left with both the wet and dry tracks.

    Some others have issue with swapping the tracks after recording, and this is done so you don't have to switch inputs, but it's so easy to do, it's not really an issue. The only time this becomes an issue is if after swapping you find that you're not happy with the track, but all you really need to do is swap back and fix what you don't like. The punch in and out works just as it should. I haven't fooled around with trimming tracks yet, mainly because I haven't needed to do so, but this is where the YouTube videos that I found will come in handy.

    The built-in mics work well for what they are, and I have used them to lay down ideas very quickly so I don't forget them. It only takes a few seconds to get everything set up and record with them. I have not used the built-in pre-amp yet, as I have an external unit. In my research, I read that the built-in unit needs more power, but I have not and will not confirm this because I like the way my external one sounds.

    I have not attempted to work with this on the computer, as I have no interest in it. My other recorders are standalone, and this can be also. I know other reviews state that there is no MIDI link, and this is true, but I don't need that anyway, and only mentioned it for the sake of others doing research. The SD memory is pretty quick (I used the maximum 32G SDHD card) and the USB drive (I copied the files from the included 1G drive to a 16G drive) makes converting the WAV files to MP3 on the computer a snap. It's pretty straightforward in the manual that you don't want to remove the SD card while the unit is powered on or you may lose what is on it.

    I am completely happy with the R24, and if someone is out there doing the same research I did, if you are on the fence, pick one of these up. I also want to give credit to topdazzle on YouTube for assisting me, and I'm sure countless others, with the features that this little machine has and actually explaining and showing how to use them.

  • Customer
    from October 13, 2015

    Zoom R24

    For the price you can't go wrong. The R24 packs abundant features into a very small foot print. No moving parts!!!
    As far as I know the Zoom R series is the only unit to double as stand alone multi-track recorder and audio interface.
    I prefer a stand alone recording solution for tracking as opposed to computer based (computer tracking creates too many variables and things to go wrong- creativity killer). I use the R24 just for tracking. Once raw tracks are recorded I transfer files to DAW for everything else. I would not recommend relying on R24 pre-amps for critical micing applications. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good outboard pre-amp, and microphones. In my opinion you can get good recording results on almost any recorder (analog or digital) as long as you have quality pre-amp and microphones.
    That being said the R24 will give you back exactly what you put into it. It is straight forward to start recording right out of the box. Many of the extra features take a small learning curve and the manual is useless.
    I can't comment on the rhythm tools or sampler at this point because as I mentioned, I have only used the R24 to record raw tracks. For this application it is all I expected and more.

  • Carlo Mercieri
    from New Smyrna Beach, Florida December 29, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Composer

    Za Za Zooom

    Nice tool, using it as an interface with a computer..

    .I would like to be able to use two of them connected to the computer for live 16 track recording but that seems to be a challenge...

    By itself, the flexibility of this device is fantastic...

  • David
    from Austin, TX September 6, 2013Music Background:
    Plays out weekly - Praise & Worship music

    Good solution for LIVE use (i.e. non-studio)

    Review of Zoom R24

    I actually reviewed the Zoom R24 before, and my comments were not so nice. However, I have had some more time to play and experiment with the device, so I’m adding this review so as to add/update/change a few things from last time.

    First of all, I now have 2 of these units. I bought a 2nd one so that I can gang them together to get 16 channels. I’ll say that I did test out how well the 2 units would sync-up. Note that the documentation says that due to limitations on USB, they units could be out of sync by as much as 2 milliseconds. My own testing showed that they could be out of sync by 16 milliseconds, if I recall correctly. This was most-noticeable if I took a microphone, split its output and sent a signal to each unit. Then, if I played a real percussive sound, like a drum hit, I could really notice the difference.

    However, I found that when I switched the units – I made the other unit the Master – the sync was better. I don’t have the numbers, but it is better. Also, I found that I can organize which instruments I put on which unit. So if there were an instrument with multiple outputs (like a keyboard or drum), I just make sure to put all of those outputs on 1 unit. By doing this, I cannot discern any latency problem in the final mix.

    In my last review I complained that the inputs to the units do not have enough of a “pad” so as to handle the “insert” jack “sends” of my Mackie board. This is still the case; the Mackie will overload the inputs, even with the trim control of the R24 on minimum position. I reasoned that I’d have to buy passive “pad” devices for each channel, and that the lowest possible price I could find anywhere was $40 each. Now multiply that by 16, and see why I was complaining.

    The solution I came up with is this: I bought two Behringer 8-channel active direct box units. I plug my Mackie’s insert-send jacks into the input of the Behringer direct boxes, and take the output of the direct boxes and plug them into the Zoom R24’s. Then, I press the “30 db attenuation” button on each channel of the Behringer. I also adjust each channel of the Zoom to a certain location (about 10:00) which I have fore-determined at home which works correctly.

    The end result is that I can now make perfect recordings on the R24 with no distortion.

    Now, I should also mention that I am using these units exclusively for LIVE work. That is the ONLY reason I use them. Their sound quality is *not* as good as my Presonus device, but they are self-contained and don’t require a PC. This is very important to me. They also appear to be crash-proof. As I’m playing outdoors, off a gas power generator, this also is important.

    Then I take the WAV files from the R24 and import them into Cubase and edit them from there. I do not use the R24’s for editing of the tracks. I don’t use the built-in effects. Besides, I’m creating the sound tracks for videos, and that requires 48K. The R24’s effects only work at 44K. (Don’t ask me why.)

    I also bought new speakers for my PC workstation. That, itself, made a significant difference in my perception of the sound quality of the R24 wav files. They still are not as good as a Presonus interface (definitely a difference) but they blow the doors off anything you could get from a video camera’s built-in “microphone”. Ha. The sound is “respectable”, IMO.

    Another thing about the R24: I am using Cubase (came with it), which I upgraded. I finally figured out how to use the R24 so as to act like a “control surface” for Cubase. In fact, I managed to make my 2 units to control 16 channels of Cubase! Now that is *nice*. It did take some fooling around to do it, and it’s not well documented. It was frustrating to figure out. And the documentation that is there does *not* tell you how to make 2 units to control 2 banks of 8 channels each in Cubase, but I guessed and played with it and got it working.

    So, this is another VERY USEFUL feature of the R24!!

    So that’s the updated review. Hope it helps you. :)

  • gerry gioia
    from NYC September 2, 2013Music Background:
    performer/composer/guitar tech

    Zoom R 24

    Am rebuilding my studio so not up and running yet. Reading the manual and it looks clear and easy. This unit seems the perfect go between into my laptop.

  • Ralph Russo
    from USA August 22, 2013Music Background:
    Lifelong amateur musician

    Great machine for the price

    I usually operate by recording on the hardware & editing/mixing on a DAW. The R24 is a terrific, clean recorder. I have recorded several vocals direct into the recorder with no compression & therefore recorded a relatively low signal. The fidelity turned out great and the noise level low. The guitar input worked surprisingly well too - you have the ability to record dry or wet with their amp/effect simulation. Many of the distortion presets are somewhat over the top but, you can tweak them & record dry (reapply effects and bounce to a wet track or apply effects elsewhere).

    Moving the WAV files to/from a DAW works great because the R24 starts the files at zero even if you start recording the track in the middle of a project.

    When doing tempo-based features (using built in drum machine/sample sequencer), one must decide whether to use the R24 or the DAW as the "master" because by the end of a few minutes there is inevitably a couple ms drift between the two. It's easier to use a computer as the master but not impossible to use the R24. If you use the sequencer to string together recorded samples into a tempo grid (samples can be a single drum hit or multiple measures of anything), you have to bounce the track all by itself to a "recording" track before you'll be able to work with it on the DAW. Bouncing happens in real time so, it can be a bit time consuming - BUT, it works.

    The portability aspect of the thing is great. It's easy to pick up the R24, and a few accessories and start recording anywhere.

    Transfer several files to/from a computer via USB or use a memory stick to transfer only a few.

    A couple of cons:

    The pads are velocity sensitive when using the built in drum kit but not when playing back your own samples - sometimes, you wouldn't want sample playback to be velocity sensitive but it would be nice to have the option.

    Of course, if you've read anything about this unit you'll know there no MIDI so, you can't sync to a sequencer or a LFO or whatever.

    The included 2GB memory card will record about 4 track-hours at 44.1K, 24bit. That's good for a few medium-sized projects - your mileage may vary - but, I bought a 32G card so there won't be any worries about space.

    I haven't used it as an audio interface/control surface yet so, I really can't comment.

  • Juan
    from Brentwood, CA October 25, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Pro Studio Owner

    About what I expected....

    Good little unit. Very simple to operate and easy to figure out. I used it to record a High School Choir concert (6 Mics). The preamps are pretty good but a little noisy. Would work great for louder situations.

  • Harry Hussey
    from Boston, MA June 17, 2011Music Background:
    Musician and home recordist

    Nice little interface/recorder

    I've only had this about a month and have not used it heavily yet. I think that the main thing with this machine is that you get a lot for your money. I've had Zoom stuff break on me before, so I have no illusions about that but after a month it's still intact, so that's something... The recording sound is good and the process of recording is quick, easy and relatively intuitive.
    The built in drums are handy but, as far as I can tell, making a whole drum track is probably more trouble than it's worth. I haven't done it yet and I may change my mind once I do it. However the drums sound good and it comes with a bunch of loops by Peter Erskine, so that's cool.
    Using it as an interface for Cubase is pretty handy and is implemented well. My only complaint is that since it gets power from the USB cord, the thing is always on unless you unplug the cord.
    I intend to mostly use it as a stand-alone recorder because I think it will make the recording process easier and more impulse-friendly.

  • Dan
    from South Central PA February 9, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Live Recording Engineer, Home Studio

    Nice Machine, but...

    Nice machine, lots of capability, great bang for the buck. Clean sounding preamps that add no noticeable color to the sound and represent the source material very well.

    My gripes:

    1. The input meters could use more segments. It's hard to tell when you're getting close to clipping.

    2. No peak hold on the input meters. Would be nice if the clip indicator at least held.

    3. While I've found it to be reliable overall, I recorded an hour long live event and the R24 hung while saving the take. Entire program lost! Thankfully, I use a redundant system on my laptop.

  • Randy Wilson
    from Laredo, TX December 6, 2016

    Pro Tools? Nope. Windows 10? Maybe.

    I bought the Zoom R24 so I could record some tracks live and then polish and add to them in Pro Tools on Windows 10. Sounded great on paper. First problem, the R24 does not support the protocol that Pro Tools uses - completely incompatible. As a backup, I tried a couple other budget DAWs that I had installed, and it turns out that the Zoom Windows 10 drivers are pretty flaky. I've heard that some people get it working, but seriously, after over 40 hours of trying to get it configured, it would not work. I didn't try the included Cubase LE software and I didn't try using it as a standalone multi-track recorder, so for the benefit of the doubt I'm generously giving it 3 stars. This might have been a good unit in 2011 or 2012, but it's seriously outdated. The unit is a total fail for me.

  • Luke Pinegar
    from FL November 26, 2016Music Background:
    Engineer, producer, musician

    Great Unit BUT!!

    Does what it says well, great to use as a transport with a DAW, BUT, the big problem is the drivers don't work in Windows 10!! AS FAR AS WINDOWS 10 only use is as a control surface.

  • B.
    from Wichita, Ks. September 7, 2010Music Background:
    band member

    instructional manual is very poor

    I found the manual very hard to read. Very small print and errors in some instructions. Needs to be proof-read again by zoom. $500.00 and the most important part of the recorder is very poor, of course it is the display screen. Very hard color to read and very small in size. Should be at least twice the size. How about a bigger sd card, at least a 4 gb.

  • Jake
    from Brooklyn, NY May 26, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Person

    A Warning

    The ZOOM R24 worked very well when I used it as a self contained multi-track recorder. When I tried to then import the data from the SD card onto my Mac, I had inexplicable problems with syncing between tracks, in other words, track one did not sync properly with track 2, and I had to slide the waveforms around in Logic in order to get them to correspond correctly with each other. This doesn't make any sense, as everything was imported at the same time at the same sample rate in the Logic session and the ZOOM files that were being imported.

    Additionally, when using the unit as a control surface/audio interface, I also experienced inexplicable problems, noisy interference that shouldn't have been there which there was no way around after hours of troubleshooting. Investigating online turned up numerous posts on tech talk rooms of people having similar problems, and ZOOM's customer service being unresponsive and unhelpful.

    It is easy to use, but for $500 the unit is pretty chinsy looking, the meters are very unimpressive, the tuner is practically useless, and it looks like the cheap plastic enclosure could be damaged very easily, although all of that was the least of my problems. It comes with a 1GB SD card and a 1GB flash drive, which are both essentially useless at this day in age; what the heck can you do with 1GB? The flash drive has some drum patterns on it, which were of no use to me personally.

    So the unit works well on it's own, so if you just want to use it to make demos that no one else will hear and that even you can only plan on the unit itself, and if you're willing to pay $500 for that, it's perfect for you.

  • David Jenkinson
    from Seattle, WA May 3, 2011Music Background:

    Everything but wav edits works for me

    I bought this unit and spent the first few months using it as an interface 99% of the time, and it worked great in the regard with pretty good sound quality. I didn't use the dedicated recorder mode much, including track trimming and splitting. I should have run it through it's paces much more thoroughly before the 30 day return window, as I've recently had a lot of problems with it's dedicated recorder functionality. I get white noise under some circumstances when recording, and I continually run into crashes when using the built in wav edit functions (trim/split). I mean it hangs on "please wait..." overnight, had to unplug to reset. This was on a simple project I had recorded 2 tracks on. So, while the audio quality, and it's functionality as an audio interface and controller are great, if you buy this unit I would recommend you use it heavily in dedicated record mode to try and flush out any issues. Since the main reason I bought it was to record song ideas and make simple backing tracks for later import into a daw, it's useless in this regard for me, I do not want to go through the continual wait issues which kills any musical inspiration.

  • Michael Joly
    from Cape Cod February 19, 2011Music Background:
    Professional microphone design / modification engineer

    Zoom R24 - Defective, has constant tone generator

    I love the idea of this box. But the one I got generates a 1kHz tone when in "record standby". Sent it back to Sweetwater who sent it to Zoom. Got it back and it still generates a tone with no mics or other sources connected.

  • Jerry
    from Pennsylvania October 7, 2016

    Reliability issues....

    The R24 started behaving erratically for no reason after a few months, tracks started to play back part way through with white noise/static, USB connections stopped working rendering it useless as an interface/control surface & occasionally the R24 wouldn't power on at all. Which was a shame as it was a great recorder while it worked properly.

  • Customer
    from September 30, 2016

    zoom r 24 accessories

    sad thing is , the zoom r 24, dosen,t come with accessories

  • Matt Faccenda
    from NYC USA December 28, 2014Music Background:
    Active musician.


    Unless you're sitting right on top of it, you can't see what the hell you're doing. I'm pretty sure you're getting this thing back very soon.

  • Bowie70
    from August 30, 2014

    Doesn't Support Mac os x 10.9

    Zoom stopt supporting this product for use with mac os x. Latest update is february 2012 of there drivers. They don't react on questions which been asked on there own forum.
    Dot't buy it! they already stopt supporting it 2 years ago.

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