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Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller 

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Zoom revolutionizes recording with the first digital recorder with 16-track playback and 8-track simultaneous recording that uses Secure Digital (SD)...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

8-track simultaneous recording, audio interface with 8 in/2 out, and DAW controller in one.

Zoom revolutionizes recording with the first digital recorder with 16-track playback and 8-track simultaneous recording that uses Secure Digital (SD) memory. The R16 recorder is three production tools in one incredibly versatile device. It's a digital multi-track recorder, an audio interface and a control surface, providing you with all the tools necessary to create studio-quality recordings anywhere.

The R16 combines a remarkable level of functionality with intuitive design. For recording purposes, the unit supports up to 32GB SD cards (includes 2GB card), allowing over 100 track hours of recording. The flexibility of SD recording not only makes the R16 lighter and more portable, it also ensures increased reliability with no concern for a crashing hard drive. You can even have respective SD cards dedicated to specific recording sessions. Back up your project on a USB memory stick.

With the ability to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously, it's easy to capture a live band or even a complete drum kit. The R16 features built-in stereo condenser microphones for field recording or quick, convenient "sketch-pad" capturing of ideas and rehearsals. It also provides 8 combination XLR-1/4-inch inputs along with one Hi-Z input for direct connection of guitar or bass. And the R16 also runs on 6 AA batteries for the ultimate in multi-track portability.

USB operation means you can control each function of your favorite DAW software from the R16 for easy mixing with fine-tuned control. Incorporate any of the 100+ built-in studio effects to enhance your recording and use the pro-quality mastering effects to complete that studio sound. You can even connect two R16s via USB for synchronized operation and 16 tracks of simultaneous recording.

With the Zoom R16, versatility, control and comprehensive features come together in a single device that puts the power to produce professional recordings right at your fingertips.

FEATURES
  • Multitrack Recorder
  • Over 100 studio-quality effects including guitar amp models and mastering effects
  • Records on up to 32GB SDHC cards for maximum recording time
  • 8 balanced XLR-1/4-inch combination inputs
  • Records in WAV 48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit
  • Easily viewable 4-segment LED meter bridge
  • 2-channel simultaneous 48V phantom power supply capability
  • Over 4 hours of operation using 6 AA alkaline batteries (AC adapter included)
  • Sync two R16s via USB for 16 tracks of simultaneous recording
  • Audio Interface
  • High-definition 24-bit/96kHz recording capability using digital audio software
  • 8 in / 2 out (8 x 2) via USB
  • Control Surface
  • Full mixing and transport controls for Cubase, Logic, Sonar and more!
  • USB Control Surface uses Mackie Control emulation
  • Included Accessories
SPECIFICATIONS

R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller

  • Recorder
    Physical Tracks: 16
    Simultaneous Recording Tracks: 8
    Simultaneous Playback Tracks: 16
    Recording Data Format: 44.1kHz, 16/24-bit WAV
    Maximum Recordable Time: 200 min. / GB (referred to mono tracks)
    Projects: 1,000
    Markers: 100 / Project
    Locator: Min./Sec./ msec. or Meas./Beat/Tick
    File Editing: Divide
    Other functions : Punch-In / Out (Manual, Automatic), Bounce, A-B Repeat, UNDO / REDO

    Audio interface
    Input Channels: 8
    Output Channels: 2
    Quantization: 24-bit
    Sampling Frequency: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96kHz

    Mixer
    Faders: 9
    Level Meters: 4-Segment LED
    Track Parameters: 3-Band Equalizer, Pan (Balance), Effect Send x 2, Invert Stereo Links Track pairs: 1/2 to 15/16 selectable

    Effects
    Algorithms: 9 (CLEAN, DISTORTION, ACO / BASS SIM, BASS, MIC, DUAL MIC, STEREO, 8 x COMP EQ, MASTERING)
    Types: 135
    Modules: 7 for Insert, 2 for Send / Return
    Patches: 330 for Insert, 60 for Send / Return
    Tuner: Chromatic, Guitar, Bass, Open A/D/E/G, D modal

    Metronome
    Sounds: 5
    Beat: 1/4-8/4, 6/8, Unaccented
    Tempo: 40.0-250.0BPM

    Hardware
    Recorder
    Recording Media: SD Card (16MB-2GB), SDHC Card (4-32GB)
    A/D Conversion: 96kHz 24-bit delta-sigma ADC
    D/A Conversion: 96kHz 24-bit delta-sigma DAC
    Display: 20-digit 2-line custom LCD (with backlight)
    Inputs: 8 x XLR-1/4" Phone Combo Jack / Input Impedance: (Balanced input) 1kÎ balanced, 2nd hot, (Unbalanced input) 50kÎ unbalanced, (Hi-Z Input) 470kÎ / Input Level: -50dBm to +4dBm continuously variable
    Built-in microphones: Omnidirectional condenser microphones Gain: -50dBm to +4dBm continuously variable
    Phantom Power Supply: 48V (with On/Off switch)
    Master Output: 1/4"TRS Phone (balanced)/Output Impedance: 1kÎ / Rated Output Level: +4dBm
    Headphones Output: 1/4" Stereo Phone Jack, 20mW x 2 (at 32&Omega: load) USB: [B type (USB2.0 High-Speed compatible)] Audio Interface / Control Surface or Mass Storage Class operation [A type (USB2.0 High-Speed compatible)] USB Host capability
    Power Requirements: AC adaptor (DC5V/1A/center positive) or AA size (LR6) battery x 6
    Battery Life: 4.5 hours (with backlight on and phantom power off) Dimensions (mm): 376(W) x 237.1(D) x 52.2(H)
    Weight: 1.3kg (without batteries)

    Audio Interface System Requirements
    Windows:
    Windows XP SP2 or later / Windows Vista SP1 or later / Windows 7
    Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz or better
    1GB RAM or more
    Intel Mac
    OS X 10.4.11 or later / 10.5 / 10.6
    Intel Core Duo processor 1.83GHz or better
    1GB RAM or more
    * USB 2.0 compatible port
    * 64-bit operating system is not supported
    * USB hub is not supported
    * Intel Chipset is recommended
    Cubase 5LE System Requirements
    Windows
    OS: Windows XP (SP2 or later) / Vista / 7
    CPU: 2GHz or higher (Dual Core CPU recommended)
    RAM: 1GB or higher (1GB or higher recommended)
    HDD: 4GB of free disk space
    DVD-ROM drive
    Internet access required for license activation

    Macintosh
    OS: OS X 10.5.5 or later / 10.6
    CPU: PowerPC G5 or higher (Intel Core Duo CPU recommended)
    RAM: 1GB or higher
    HDD: 4GB of free disk space
    DVD-ROM drive
    Internet access required for license activation
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ZoomR16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller
 
4.5

(based on 56 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (39)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (23)
  • Versatile (19)
  • Easy to use (18)
  • Excellent sound (18)
  • Low distortion (10)

Cons

  • Poor quality construction (6)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (24)
  • Home studio (21)
  • Performances (11)
  • Professional recording (7)
  • Outdoor events / games (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (16), Professional musician (11), Novice (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Zoom is the word for this device!

There are a few short comings with the R16 such as it not having 1 thousand dollar ADA's (lolz!) and less than 48 inputs~ but for the average music fan trying to get...Read complete review

There are a few short comings with the R16 such as it not having 1 thousand dollar ADA's (lolz!) and less than 48 inputs~ but for the average music fan trying to get tracks down with a minimum of wasted time,cash and maximum results, this is the answer I was looking for. With the Musician's Friend fast delivery and guarantee I felt confident buying this. I like the solid feel of the control surface, the flexible design and the look of this machine.
I got my R16 from Musician's Friend a few days ago and discovered that setting it up was pretty easy. I bought several sound cards and break out recording devices over the last few years and some of them never really worked well. Cash has been an issue for myself but I do know what quality is about, having recorded on every thing from a Fostex 4 track cassette, Otari 4 track reel to reel and on up to to a Trident 48 Channel mixer. (I was just helping with the Trident, it was pretty intense to even look at!) For about the cost of a half day in a pro studio you can buy a full stereo Zoom R16 that has a built in Controller and audio interface. (Maybe a laptop too)

I have been a Cubase fan since the days of the Atari st 1040, so using the included Cubase LE 5 was not very hard at all. I know that with gear lust the temptation is always there to have the latest and greatest but for the "average" real world user such as myself having ANY digital recording is satisfying. The R16 controls the Cubase LE 5 in a direct manner and was easy to install and operate. I easily spent dozens of hours trying to get various sound cards and break out boxes to sync up, one of these I bought here on Amazon. I gave it a really bad review after the stupid thing turned out to be pretty worthless. A Yamaha model was almost 200$ and it was such a hassle, the included effects were very difficult to program, utilize and sort out. The Zoom effects are very nice IMHO and get to the point.

When I first took recording and synthesizer classes at LCC's lab back in about 1984 when MIDI was quite new, instructor Ed McManus told us that keeping things simple was a real objective. Over the years I have become interested in results, not in tedious sample tweaking and fiddling with numerous settings, or of saving up for the day I could get state of the art gear. This recorder is easy to set up, easy to use and makes no sound. A battery? Nice. Built in mics? Convenient for grabbing stuff. You can sample in the field with this or do great recordings. Boot leg albums have been recorded on far less.

If you are considering this machine you probably realize that this is the result of a mature digital technology. It offers a lot of features and value. I would compare it to the early 4 track cassette machines in ease of use but add that it sounds very. very nice and goes far beyond being a simple recorder. Instead of dreaming of an effective mini/MIDI home studio- make it a reality.The R16 has NO MIDI but you can be creative about using MIDI with it. I am very glad I sometimes have the chance to use high end gear but even happier to afford something useful, powerful and nice sounding. I use sequencers, synthesis of different types, drum machines and a computer. This is one of my best additions in years!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good machine, if you're not old school!!

Got this unit a year ago (along with a separate 3rd party instruction DVD) and am still having a heck of a time recording much. The initial recording end isn't THAT bad, but...Read complete review

Got this unit a year ago (along with a separate 3rd party instruction DVD) and am still having a heck of a time recording much. The initial recording end isn't THAT bad, but mixing and mastering are just TOO COMPLICATED with the layers and layers of menus in this thing. I guess I wasn't aware that this machine requires a basic knowledge of digital recording to even being to understand how to use it. As hard as it is to believe, there are a LOT of us folks out there who don't get menus and never will, who basically grew up with analogue 4-track machines and are comfortable in that form of recording with real knobs, buttons, and meters that you can feel, see, and control. DAW's are not in my vocabulary, either, other than Audacity, so that's where I'm coming from here with this review. So it's fair to say that I'm a novice when it comes to digital recording and it's techno-speak.

However, I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person, but being from that old school of simple analogue recording, this unit is about as far from simple as it gets. The manual that comes with the R16 is very complex and incredibly confusing, and in fact is even somewhat contradictory in a place or two, especially in when, how, and why you add effects. After finally going on the internet (believe it or not) to find out how to add effects on this thing, there were several different answers from user forums and people who had the same problem, but still no simple explanation!! Are you kidding?? And the separate instructional DVD I bought to help learn this machine's many functions was straight-forward enough in the beginning, but it, too fell short when explaining simple, step-by-step mixing and mastering techniques on the ZOOM R16 - - it quickly jumped all around and went much too fast for the novice. It just assumed too much about the previous digital recording experience of the user, a common trait of instructional videos.

Like I said, this thing would be totally awesome for younger, more tech-savvy folks who instinctively "get" the newer digital terminology and language, but for us older, simpler 4-track folks it's just too darn complicated - - listen, I've been a pro musician for over 30 years and have had lots of experience in the studio, produced and recorded my own music for decades, but on analogue equipment with real faders, buttons, and switches - - this ZOOM unit is just too complicated for me - - there, I admit it. I've used it to record a few songs, but the time it takes just to put them down is ridiculous and you constantly have to go back through the many different levels of the menu for different effects, eq's, and they are often over-lapping to the point you can screw up your initial idea and have to start over - - just too confusing. Lightweight, powerful, compact, and feature-laden, YES. Easy to use and intuitive for the novice to digital recording, NO!! Oh for the days of just pushing a button and recording - - is that too much to ask??

I'm not sure how the thing will hold up physically, either - - very lightweight plastic housing, cheap faders, and fragile-feeling controls just don't seem very study to me. The included Cubase LE software is useless, too, so I'm just totally fed up and am going with something more user-friendly and familiar like the Tascam DP-02 - - that thing is awesome, and at least it's much more intuitive and even I can use it without much trouble. It's not like I'm going to do a whole cd on the thing at once - - just simple acoustic arrangements and a few tracks at a time to take to my studio guy to mixdown - - without jumping through all the endless hoops in the tiny, menu-driven display of the ZOOM R16 - - which is a great, feature-rich unit no doubt for the experienced techno-head, but for old-school folks I wouldn't recommend it. It's just not right for my use, period. Life's too short for all this stuff, and recording should be easy, quick, and above all FUN, like in the old days. At least with the Tascam, it's a lot closer than trying to figure out the ZOOM menus.

Reviewed by 56 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

You'll be surprised

By Eli

from Sacramento, Ca

See all my reviews

Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

This machine is worth the price for the multitracking capabilities alone.
So, let me start with a warning. To use this machine as an DAW controller, you need to use Cubase. It works with Logic but not smoothly. It does not work with Adobe Audition. It will work as an interface with everything I tried but the controller piece is, in my experience, limited to Cubase. Which is fine because that's a great interface.

Next, as a stand alone recorder, it's fantastic. No machine sound, transparent, and easy to get a hang of. It records in WAV format and doubles as a card reader for easy back up and transfer. It creates full audio tracks that start at the beginning for easy syncing.

The onboard effects are junk for recording but that's to be expected. It's nice to here them in quick playback though.

My band uses this to record demos. We'll probably use it as an interface and controller to record our full album. It's worth the dough, if you're a fan of Cubase (I've also heard it works well with Sonic) or you're willing to learn.
It's kind thin. I wish Zoom had thrown a little weight at this thing but it's build seem solid enough and it does not effect it's performance. It'd be plenty light for field recording, which is, I'm guessing, what they were thinking. Regardless, I got a hard case for it because it's an invaluable tool but I'm afraid of it breaking in a soft case. That should give you a good idea.
Best value on the market. I've owned them all (Tascams, Boss, Fostex) in regards to multritracks. This has them all beat. The price is a little silly.

(12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Zoom R16

By michael baggett

from Alabama

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

I was really looking forward to all the guitar presets in particular - this was the only let-down. I do not play with a lot of distortion, and this unit goes from really clean to really washed out with very little in between, and the presets aren't adjustable enough for my taste. For leads they are fine, but in my styles they aren't cutting it on rhythm tracks. Back to micing a tube amp. If you play the heavier styles you should find presets to suit you. The bass, accoustic and mic effects work fine for me. The mastering effects are good, the unit is dead quiet and full-featured enough to put out some quality tracks. Very portable if the situation arises, and it can be powered by batteries. The built-in stereo mics do a good job on accoustic guitar and drum ambience. The menu-driven interface requires a lot of button pressing and jog-wheel action, but once you get used to it, it's not so bad. The SD card is convenient, and the unit boots up and is ready to record much quicker than a PC. I gave up on the Cubase altogether, loaded Reaper and haven't used software at all since I made friends with the R16.
Lots of features, pretty much everything I can ask for in this unit. Not crazy about the guitar presets though.
The plastic housing seems to be a point of contention, but it doesn't affect the performance of the unit. I always hear comments about how some equipment 'won't stand up to years of abuse on the road.' Any one who actually abuses their gear shouldn't expect it to last two minutes. Also, having been involved in professional shows by top-name artists, I can speak from experience that no one I have ever seen abused the gear they needed for their next show. I have a Zoom 505 that was predicted not to last- I have used it continuosly since 1998.
This is my 5th studio machine since the mid-80's. I am finishing my first project with the R16, still in the learning curve but very happy with the results. I would spend the money again without hesitation.

(12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Zoom is the word for this device!

By Myst Fan232

from Northern California

See all my reviews

Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

There are a few short comings with the R16 such as it not having 1 thousand dollar ADA's (lolz!) and less than 48 inputs~ but for the average music fan trying to get tracks down with a minimum of wasted time,cash and maximum results, this is the answer I was looking for. With the Musician's Friend fast delivery and guarantee I felt confident buying this. I like the solid feel of the control surface, the flexible design and the look of this machine.
I got my R16 from Musician's Friend a few days ago and discovered that setting it up was pretty easy. I bought several sound cards and break out recording devices over the last few years and some of them never really worked well. Cash has been an issue for myself but I do know what quality is about, having recorded on every thing from a Fostex 4 track cassette, Otari 4 track reel to reel and on up to to a Trident 48 Channel mixer. (I was just helping with the Trident, it was pretty intense to even look at!) For about the cost of a half day in a pro studio you can buy a full stereo Zoom R16 that has a built in Controller and audio interface. (Maybe a laptop too)

I have been a Cubase fan since the days of the Atari st 1040, so using the included Cubase LE 5 was not very hard at all. I know that with gear lust the temptation is always there to have the latest and greatest but for the "average" real world user such as myself having ANY digital recording is satisfying. The R16 controls the Cubase LE 5 in a direct manner and was easy to install and operate. I easily spent dozens of hours trying to get various sound cards and break out boxes to sync up, one of these I bought here on Amazon. I gave it a really bad review after the stupid thing turned out to be pretty worthless. A Yamaha model was almost 200$ and it was such a hassle, the included effects were very difficult to program, utilize and sort out. The Zoom effects are very nice IMHO and get to the point.

When I first took recording and synthesizer classes at LCC's lab back in about 1984 when MIDI was quite new, instructor Ed McManus told us that keeping things simple was a real objective. Over the years I have become interested in results, not in tedious sample tweaking and fiddling with numerous settings, or of saving up for the day I could get state of the art gear. This recorder is easy to set up, easy to use and makes no sound. A battery? Nice. Built in mics? Convenient for grabbing stuff. You can sample in the field with this or do great recordings. Boot leg albums have been recorded on far less.

If you are considering this machine you probably realize that this is the result of a mature digital technology. It offers a lot of features and value. I would compare it to the early 4 track cassette machines in ease of use but add that it sounds very. very nice and goes far beyond being a simple recorder. Instead of dreaming of an effective mini/MIDI home studio- make it a reality.The R16 has NO MIDI but you can be creative about using MIDI with it. I am very glad I sometimes have the chance to use high end gear but even happier to afford something useful, powerful and nice sounding. I use sequencers, synthesis of different types, drum machines and a computer. This is one of my best additions in years!

(8 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Depends on what you want to do with it

By G-lenn

from Ithaca, NY

See all my reviews

Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

I have used the unit for 3 weeks and have recorded 2 gigs and a few practice sessions. The R16 itself is pretty basic and I was able to figure it out pretty quickly without referring much to the manual. A DAW, however, can have a pretty steep learning curve. I got going quickly in reaper (cubase is easy too) but to get really good results you could spend years getting a good sense of proper effects and eqing. That's not a fault of the R16, but it's something to consider when you want to record and produce simply. As I mentioned, I was very concerned about the effects quality but I've found the reverb and compressors to be more than adequate for live sound.
Production:
They call this a "mobile production studio." If you are trying to produce, I'd have to say it's a terrible choice. As a stand-alone unit for editing you cannot record to the master track then go back and make small adjustments to that track. Every time the master track is armed for recording it will create a NEW master track. There is a workaround that allows you to bounce your tracks to another pair of tracks. I have not bothered to do that because I find it to be more trouble than it's worth. The much better option is to take what you've recorded and edit in a DAQ where you can really see what you're doing.

Effects:
I heard a lot of criticism of the effects before I purchased the unit and it was my biggest concern. All I really cared about was reverb and compressors and I've been 100% pleased. I use this unit with by band to play live and it sounds good. I can't comment too much on instrument effects, but the mastering effects and reverb is good. You can adjust reverb/chorus on each track and then put a second effect on everything or certain tracks using insert effect. You can even make the track record dry but play wet so that you have the original signal to use in your DAW later.

Interface:
The R16 comes with cubase which I had used some in the past with another recorder but I wasn't very impressed. I have, so far, used the R16 with Sonar X1 and Reaper. Sonar setup was problematic but Reaper works great. My main complaint is that what is labeled as 0dB on the unit's faders actually maps to around +5dB. Also, the channel LEDs are disabled when in interface mode with reaper. Overall, I think it's fantastic that it is usable as an interface and you can record at 24bit 96kHz if you use the unit with a DAW.

Storage and power:
You can record on batteries! That's pretty sweet if you feel like playing with it on the go. The SD card is convenient as it transfers very quickly to your PC if you have a card reader. It's also silent and wont' fail as hard drives eventually will. You can get 32Gb SDHC cards for a great price now, so it's not much additional expense.

The one feature I really really wish it had was MIDI recording. I'm a keyboardist by default and would rather record my keys or drum machine using MIDI. In the studio it's not an issue because I have a separate interface for that, but if I was able to use MIDI at gigs or practice I could open up a couple tracks that could be use for more drum mics.
When I purchased this unit I was comparing it to much bigger/heavier portable studios and was concerned that it would feel cheesy. It actually feels surprisingly sturdy and all the buttons have a nice tactile feel.

Preamp quality is acceptable but not great. It would be nice if they were a little better but I feel that the other features outweigh the less-than-stellar preamps. Get a separate preamp unit if it's really an issue for you. If you care that much, you probably want a separate unit anyway.
This recorder is one of the cheapest 8 track recorders available. Add to that:
portability (moreso than other recorders)
usable as an interface (mackie emulation)
Able to record at 96kHz, 24bit (with a DAW)
and I think it'd be tough to beat. There are even a couple phantom powered inputs if you have drum overheads or something like that.

(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Good machine, if you're not old school!!

By Guitar/Fiddle Man

from Mars Hill, NC USA

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact
  • Excellent Sound
  • Low Distortion
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Difficult To Use
  • Menu-driven Operation
  • Poor Quality Construction

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Home Studio

Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

Got this unit a year ago (along with a separate 3rd party instruction DVD) and am still having a heck of a time recording much. The initial recording end isn't THAT bad, but mixing and mastering are just TOO COMPLICATED with the layers and layers of menus in this thing. I guess I wasn't aware that this machine requires a basic knowledge of digital recording to even being to understand how to use it. As hard as it is to believe, there are a LOT of us folks out there who don't get menus and never will, who basically grew up with analogue 4-track machines and are comfortable in that form of recording with real knobs, buttons, and meters that you can feel, see, and control. DAW's are not in my vocabulary, either, other than Audacity, so that's where I'm coming from here with this review. So it's fair to say that I'm a novice when it comes to digital recording and it's techno-speak.

However, I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person, but being from that old school of simple analogue recording, this unit is about as far from simple as it gets. The manual that comes with the R16 is very complex and incredibly confusing, and in fact is even somewhat contradictory in a place or two, especially in when, how, and why you add effects. After finally going on the internet (believe it or not) to find out how to add effects on this thing, there were several different answers from user forums and people who had the same problem, but still no simple explanation!! Are you kidding?? And the separate instructional DVD I bought to help learn this machine's many functions was straight-forward enough in the beginning, but it, too fell short when explaining simple, step-by-step mixing and mastering techniques on the ZOOM R16 - - it quickly jumped all around and went much too fast for the novice. It just assumed too much about the previous digital recording experience of the user, a common trait of instructional videos.

Like I said, this thing would be totally awesome for younger, more tech-savvy folks who instinctively "get" the newer digital terminology and language, but for us older, simpler 4-track folks it's just too darn complicated - - listen, I've been a pro musician for over 30 years and have had lots of experience in the studio, produced and recorded my own music for decades, but on analogue equipment with real faders, buttons, and switches - - this ZOOM unit is just too complicated for me - - there, I admit it. I've used it to record a few songs, but the time it takes just to put them down is ridiculous and you constantly have to go back through the many different levels of the menu for different effects, eq's, and they are often over-lapping to the point you can screw up your initial idea and have to start over - - just too confusing. Lightweight, powerful, compact, and feature-laden, YES. Easy to use and intuitive for the novice to digital recording, NO!! Oh for the days of just pushing a button and recording - - is that too much to ask??

I'm not sure how the thing will hold up physically, either - - very lightweight plastic housing, cheap faders, and fragile-feeling controls just don't seem very study to me. The included Cubase LE software is useless, too, so I'm just totally fed up and am going with something more user-friendly and familiar like the Tascam DP-02 - - that thing is awesome, and at least it's much more intuitive and even I can use it without much trouble. It's not like I'm going to do a whole cd on the thing at once - - just simple acoustic arrangements and a few tracks at a time to take to my studio guy to mixdown - - without jumping through all the endless hoops in the tiny, menu-driven display of the ZOOM R16 - - which is a great, feature-rich unit no doubt for the experienced techno-head, but for old-school folks I wouldn't recommend it. It's just not right for my use, period. Life's too short for all this stuff, and recording should be easy, quick, and above all FUN, like in the old days. At least with the Tascam, it's a lot closer than trying to figure out the ZOOM menus.

(6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

I would not but this product again

By Smitty

from Monroe Mi.

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

    • Difficult To Use

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording

    Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

    I've been recording close to 20 yrs. now in my home studio, my Korg D1600 would not burn cd's anymore so after much research I bought the R16 (i own the Zoom Q2 Handy Cam & love it) the R16, wish I'd never bought it! It comes with Cubase 6LE which is way over complicated, (to register it is such a pain that there are youtube tutorials showing how) the Cubase 6 and the R16 software & drivers come on a CD so if U wanna run the program threw a laptop (which I did ) the R16 only comes with Cd's, no SMD card which means you have to upoad the programs in your PC then transfer them to the laptop. I found it odd that the R16 itself doesn't have a CD input but it comes with the program on a CD as opposed to SMD (both would be nice). I play out from March -September so when I got it last spring I didn't have the time to really work with it. When I got down to serious recording 2 months ago the phantom 48 was inop so a condenser mic could not B used without a mic pre-amp. I contacted Zoom about the phantom 48 problem & their response was did i have the 48 switch in the on posistion (duh ya, after research I found others who said the Zoom technical support was suspect @ best) I was thrilled with the prospect of recording on an SMD card & not having to mess with CD's unless someone requested one (which I could burn on my PC after uploading the SMD). My studio is in a office attached to my garage therefore my PC is not available. Bottom line until it comes with the programs & drivers on an SMD card & with a more user friendly program than Cubase, I'd look for something else.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Awesome!

    By James Covington

    from Indiana

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

    I could only afford a single one to start out but I will eventually buy a second one to cross-link for 16 channel capability. It does everything it says it does, and does it with excellent sound quality! If you're using good mics and amps, this will make your recordings sound like they were mastered at a professional studio!
    Highly functional and versitile... each input plug can accept either phone plug or 3 prong plug. EQ, pan, feature packed menu, and the recording is truly professional studio quality!
    Well built and durable... perfect for home studio or gig mixing/recording!
    For what its capable of, and how well built it is, its well worth the price!

    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Just amazing

    By dbag extra good

    from 18015

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

    The Zoom R16 is simply amazing for its price. Everything, and I mean everything you need for complete recordings is here. 16 independent tracks and 8 similtaneous recordable tracks for less than $400 is unheard of.

    The DAW ability and built-in mastering effects on top of that, make this unit a steal. The preset effects are okay, but with proper tweeking, they are as good as most. I miss using physical knobs to adjust pan/EQ, etc. but you soon get used to that.

    The menus are a little confusing at first to navigate, but once you fool around with it, it becomes second nature.

    Be warned, the unit comes with Cubase LE5, NOT 4 as is stated which requires you to have a computer running a little faster than is advertised on the site (MFs AND Zooms) I requested a "downgrade" to LE4 and Zoom gladly provided it for me.

    I guarantee, you won't find a better unit anywhere near this price.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Hardware with software bells and whistles.

    By Rainy daze

    from PDX, OR

    About Me Novice

    See all my reviews

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording

      Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

      Having never made the jump to full on P.C. recording, I am so glad this came along. After limited success and cosiderable frustration trying to record on a computer, this is so easy, intuitive, and instantly gratifying, that now I am recording music instead of struggling to do so.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Everything I thought it would be

      By Jazzzimp

      from Indiana, PA

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Excellent Sound
      • Great price
      • Low Distortion
      • Powerful
      • Quality Product
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • Limited Phantom Power
      • Phantom Power
      • Poor User Manual

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller:

      I'm amazed at the quality of the R16 for such a reasonable price. I've used in the studio and in the field for live performances. It's everything you hope for and more. I suggest someone offer more online tutorials because the manual is very poor. This unit can be confusing at times and the manual makes it worse.

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