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Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface 

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There are times when you don't want to get bogged down with computers, software and other creative roadblocks, when all you really want to do is reco...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 03-02-2017

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OVERVIEW

8-track recorder, audio interface, DAW control surface, and sampler all-in-one.

There are times when you don't want to get bogged down with computers, software and other creative roadblocks, when all you really want to do is record and mix a quick demo for promotional or personal reference. That's where scaled-down, ultra-portable music production systems like the Zoom R8 make the most impact in your studio or on the road. Not only does the R8 offer 2-track recording with 8-track simultaneous playback, but you also get an 8-voice/8-pad sampler, 500MB of drum loops, built-in rhythm machine, built-in stereo microphones, DSP effects, and a built-in audio interface with control surface capabilities for the times that you do want to sync the R8 with your computer and host DAW.

Recorder
With 2-track simultaneous recording and 8-track playback, the R8 is the perfect tool for capturing audio on-the-go. Record live music performances, rehearsals, songwriting sessions or even audio for film and video. Playback up to eight tracks of audio at up to 24-bit/48kHz resolution as WAV files. If you make a mistake, use the Undo/Redo function to cancel the last recording operation and restore the previous state. You can even mix down completed songs inside the R8 and save a mix for each project.

Audio interface
When combined with your computer, the R8 becomes a powerful audio interface. Connect the R8 to your computer via USB, launch your favorite DAW or use the included Cubase LE software and start laying down your tracks. Simultaneous 2-in/2-out capability allows you to record up to 24-bit/96kHz high definition audio. If you use the 44.1kHz sampling rate, the internal DSP effects of the R8 are also available for your computer tracks. A dedicated control lets you adjust the mixing balance between the DAW playback sound and the direct sound for monitoring.

Control surface
The R8 can be used as a control surface for DAW transport functions (play, record, stop) and mixing operations. Through a USB connection, you can control the transport and mixing functions of major DAWs such as Cubase, Logic, and Sonar from the R8. In addition, you can easily move multiple faders at the same time. No more mixing with a mouse! The R8 makes mixing a pleasure.

Sampler
The built-in, 8-voice/8 pad sampler functions allow you to loop audio data on any track. You can play the pads in realtime and combine loops to create a performance for an entire song. When setting loop intervals, you can see the waveforms for visual confirmation. Time-stretching, which allows you to change the tempo without changing the pitch, and trimming the unneeded parts of loops, is also possible. You can use the sampler and recorder functions together seamlessly to play back loop tracks while recording instrumental performances on other tracks.

500 MB of drum loops inside
The included 2GB SD card contains 500 MB of drum loops from Big Fish Audio, one of the top producers of sample libraries. With an emphasis on rock, the collection of standard drum phrases can be used to create professional-sounding rhythm tracks just by lining them up.

Create your own beats with the powerful rhythm machine
The R8's rhythm machine includes 10 types of drum kits that use linear PCM audio samples. Use the touch-sensitive drum pads to program up to 511 of your own beats, and use the rhythm patterns that you create just like audio loops. Use the R8's pads to start playback of patterns and use the R8's sequencer to arrange them into songs. You can start fast with the 472 preset patterns, which include intros, fills, endings, and other phrase variations.

Built-in stereo microphones
The built-in high-sensitivity stereo microphones are convenient for recording sketches of musical phrases and melodies as they come to mind. Use these mics for clear recordings of vocals and acoustic instruments.

Supports SDHC cards with capacities of up to 32GB
The R8 uses compact and readily available SD and SDHC memory cards as recording media. Unlike tape and disk recorders, this unit has no motor, making it more resistant to physical interference and concerns about mechanical noise.

Locate functions make editing easier
Set up to 100 markers and directly move to them whenever you want. Also, use the A-B repeat function to play or re-record a designated interval and use auto punch-in and punch-out for efficient editing.

Rapid file transfer with Hi-Speed USB 2.0
The R8's Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port allows WAV-format audio files recorded on the R8 to be sent to a computer smoothly and rapidly. Use the R8 with a computer for additional music production, including editing with DAW software, creating original CDs and importing WAV files.

Tuner and metronome functions
The R8's built-in tuner is great for quickly tuning instruments and checking vocal pitch. The metronome can provide a click track for a drummer during recording and is also useful in practice settings. The metronome can also be sent to just the headphones. This allows you to play along to backing tracks previously recorded on the R8.

Powered by an AC adapter, batteries or USB bus power
Power options provide flexibility for different situations. Power the R8 on its own in one of two ways-with the included AC adapter or four alkaline AA batteries (not included). The R8 operates for over 5 hours on batteries, plenty of time for most field recordings. When using the audio interface or control surface functions, the R8 can be powered by the computer's USB bus.

Easy hands-free operation
Using a ZOOM FS01 footswitch (sold separately), you can control the recorder transport (play, stop, rewind), punch-in for recording and change effect patches with your foot. With the R8, you can easily record without ever taking your hands off your guitar.

Steinberg Cubase LE DAW software included
Cubase LE is powerful music production software for recording, editing, and mixing both audio and MIDI tracks. Cubase LE uses an audio engine that is equivalent to software that has received numerous awards and is an ideal introduction to computer-based music production.

FEATURES
  • Simultaneous 2-track recording and 8-track playback
  • 2x2 USB audio interface
  • Control surface compatible with most DAW software
  • 8-voice sampler with 8 pads
  • 500MB of drum loops from Big Fish Audio
  • Built-in rhythm machine lets you create you own beats
  • Built-in, high-sensitivity stereo microphones
  • Over 140 DSP effects including guitar and amp models
  • Supports SDHC cards up to 32GB
  • Locate function with 100 markers to make editing easier
  • Rapid file transfer with high-speed USB
  • Versatile inputs for guitars, mics, and line sources
  • Tuner and metronome functions
  • Powered by AC adapter, batteries (not included), or USB
  • Easy hands-free operation with optional ZOOM FS01 footswitch (sold separately)
  • Includes Cubase LE DAW software

Get all the recording functions and DAW control you need in one compact unit. Order your Zoom R8 today!

SPECIFICATIONS

R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface

  • R8 Audio Interface System Requirements:

    Windows:
    Windows XP SP3 or later/Vista SP1 or later/7
    Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz or better
    RAM1GB or more
    USB2.0 compatible port

    Intel Mac:
    OS X 10.5.8/10.6.5 or later
    Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or better
    RAM1GB or more
    USB2.0 compatible port

    * USB hub is not supported. * Intel Chipset is recommended.

    Recorder
    Physical tracks: 8
    Simultaneous recording tracks: 2
    Simultaneous playback tracks: 8
    Recording data format: 16-24bit/44.1-48kHz WAV
    Maximum recordable time: 200 minutes / GB (44.1kHz 16-bit, mono tracks)
    Projects: 1,000
    Markers: 100 / Project
    Locator: Hours / Min. / Sec. / msec or Bars / Beats / Ticks
    File editing: Divide, trim
    Other Functions: Punch-in/out (manual, automatic), bounce, marker, A-B repeat, undo / redo, metronome

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

    Mixer
    Faders: 9
    Level Meters: 19-step LCD, post-fader
    Track Parameters: 3-band equalizer, pan (balance), effect send x 2, invert
    Stereo links track pairs: 1/2 to 7/8 selectable

    Effects
    Algorithms: 8 (clean, distortion, acoustic/bass sim, bass, mic, dual mic stereo, mastering)
    Types: 146
    Modules: 7 for Insert, 2 for Send / Return
    Patches: 310 for Insert, 60 for Send / Return
    Tuner: Chromatic, guitar, bass, open A/D/E/G, D modal
    Playback Data Format: 16-24bit/44.1-48kHz WAV

    Sampler
    Voices: 8
    Editing functions: Trim, time-stretch
    Rhythm voices: 8
    Sound format: 16-bit Linear PCM
    Drum kits: 10
    Pads: 8 (velocity-sensitive)
    Precision: 48PPQN
    Rhythm patterns: 511/project
    Patterns: 511 (472 factory, 39 blank) / Project
    Beat: 1/4-8/4
    Tempo: 40.0 - 250.0 BPM

    Hardware
    Recording media: SD card (16MB-2GB), SDHC card (4-32GB)
    A/D conversion: 24-bit/96kHz, delta-sigma ADC
    D/A conversion: 24-bit/96kHz, delta-sigma DAC
    Display: 128 x 64 pixel LCD (with backlight)
    Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4'' phone combo jack / Input impedance: (balanced input) 1k ohm balanced, 2nd hot, (unbalanced input) 50k ohm unbalanced, (Hi-Z input) 470k ohm / Input level: -50dBm to +4dBm continuously variable
    Built-in microphones: Omnidirectional condenser microphones / Gain: -50dBm to +4dBm continuously variable
    Phantom power supply: 48V, 24V
    Master output: 1/4" TRS phone (balanced) / Output impedance: 1k ohm / Rated output level: +4dBm
    Headphone output: 1/4'' stereo phone jack, 20mW x 2 (at 32 ohm load)
    USB: Mini-B type (USB2.0 high-speed compatible) audio interface / control surface or mass storage class operation
    Power requirements: AC adapter (DC5V/1A/center positive) or 4 AA size (LR6) batteries (not included)
    Battery life: 5.5 hours (with backlight on and phantom power off)
    Dimensions: 10-1/8"(W) x 2"(H) x 7-1/2"(D) (257 x 190 x 51 mm)
    Weight: 1.7 lb. (780g) without batteries

    *0dBm=0.775Vrms

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ZoomR8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface
 
4.6

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Versatile (15)
  • Compact (14)
  • Excellent sound (14)
  • Easy to use (13)
  • Good power output (10)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (16)
  • Amateur recording (13)
  • Performances (7)
  • Outdoor events / games (6)
  • Pro audio / DJ / mixing (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10), Professional musician (5), Novice (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Value!

This is one of the few pieces of gear I've bought that not only met, but exceeded, the expectations I had from reading the description.

This unit is kind of a...Read complete review

This is one of the few pieces of gear I've bought that not only met, but exceeded, the expectations I had from reading the description.

This unit is kind of a bridge for folks who are used to stand-alone recorders, but want to go digital. It's almost as simple to use as the old 4-track cassette units. After you start getting used to it, you realize just how many more features there are in the R8.

Although you can use it as an audio interface to record your tracks straight to your computer, I prefer to use the R8 as a stand-alone unit and then use it in "card reader" mode to transfer tracks back and forth to the computer. As long as you don't change the length of individual tracks, you can edit them on your computer and then plug them back into the project. You also have some editing abilities in the R8 itself.

PROs There are way too many pros for me to list, but, here are some highlights: The effects are great, and can also be edited, the sequencer and looper are nice, and I am blown away at the sound of the on-board mics. It's easy to use, and loaded with features that won't be found on other recorders in this price range, or even recorders costing much more. The sound quality is great. The auto punch in/out is one of the easiest I've used. The only limitation to how many "virtual tracks" you can record is how much space is remaining on your SD card. This is a great value!

CONs: Not many. The drum sounds could be better, but you're not going to find any other recorders in this price range that even have drums. The biggest con for me would be that it only records two tracks at a time, but, once again, no other recorder in this price range will be able to record more than two at a time. One weird thing did happen once when I recorded a track too loud, and it bled onto another track, which should be impossible with a digital recorder. That was not too long after I got it, and could only hear it in the headphones, while the monitor signal was fine. I think that I must have had a setting wrong, because I was still learning.

SUMMARY- The R8 is a great sounding, easy to use recorder/interface/sequencer/looper/drum machine that has no competition in its price range. Buy it before ZOOM realizes it's worth more.

P.S. I've read reviews that say the R8 is fragile. I have found the opposite. My R8 has spent quite a bit of time in the pockets of gig bags, and it works and looks just like it did when I got it. I also read a review that said it was ugly and looked like something from the 90s. Who cares about how it looks?

P.P.S. If you have problems getting started, watch the videos about the R8 on Youtube. The ones by "bobritsky" are especially useful. After you've watched them, the user's manual becomes just a handy quick reference guide.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

R8 Is acceptable, however the sofware Cubase LE5 is terrible long installation process and it does not work

I really dislike the long installation process for Cubase LE5 and the poor instructions almost none it actually does not have an instruction manual. At the end of hours of installation the program still...Read complete review

I really dislike the long installation process for Cubase LE5 and the poor instructions almost none it actually does not have an instruction manual. At the end of hours of installation the program still does not work with the Zoom R8. Contacting the manufactor is impossible and they never repond. Zoom R8 i thought it will be better.

Reviewed by 27 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

1st Time recording

By Lewy

from So. Cal

About Me Novice

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Excellent Sound
  • Lots of FX

Cons

  • Bit of a learning cruve for beginners

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Home Studio

Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

Mint as promised

(13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Total Package Even For Full Blown Pro Production

By Marky Mark

from Pittsburgh PA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Low Distortion
  • Powerful
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

    The Zoom R8 is unbelievable. I was expecting an easy and portable solution to record quick song ideas down on tape before I would lose them. But I found myself actually getting far more than I bargained for and the ideas were much more than a reference and in many instances the flavor of the mini takes became the heart and soul of the song ideas. Since sound plays a very important role in what draws a listener into a song, the production level begins to take on a life of its own. Even cooler is how you can have many virtual takes which run in a parallel sub track. In other words you can have for instance 8 different vocal tracks under track 2, serving as sub takes and play back any instance of them or bounce them around with no quality loss whatsoever. You can record your guitar clean while hearing a distortion mix that does not get recorded so you can keep playing with different fx and fine tuning the guitar mix. Can be done with vocals as well. Drums can be a used as a sync without actually recording them so they can be edited later to add fills or change completely. You just cannot find a better production tool for writing that is more complete than Zoom recorders. The built in mics are just fantastic and I recorded a live band and there was not one bit of distortion recorded. Singing and playing guitar 3 feet from the recorder and then adding fx sounded like a studio recording. This a seriously well thought out unit and a must have for every musician that feels the need to be productive on the fly or for full blown mastering. I like to bounce 8 tracks to the master stereo track and then copy the original tracks to sub tracks and then free up 6 more tracks now I have 14 tracks to again master to stereo 2 track. All tracks having full blown fx processing. Tight short gate reverb is the key to lively tight mixing. The fx are not to be outdone and the compressors and excites are as good as any I've used. Hands down best recording fx for the money.

     
    5.0

    Best in its class

    By Rainman

    from Ohio

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Low Distortion
    • Powerful
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

      Extremely satisfied with this product portable multiple functions good sound extremely convenient to scratch out tracks or even do decent recordings highly recommend for the money can't beat it

       
      4.0

      good valueu

      By Trey

      from Asheville NC

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio

        Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        Home recording

         
        5.0

        Very great value

        By fred

        from undisclosed

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        The many options available on the R8 make it a great value! I'm a newbie and still learning the ins and outs of everything so I'm sure I will have more great comments soon!

        (4 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Not for the novice

        By mic

        from Hartford CT

        About Me Novice

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Good Quality Layout
        • Sturdy Construction
        • Versatile

        Cons

        • Complicated Processing
        • Difficult To Use

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances

        Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        Unfortunately I found the processing cumbersome and couldn't get the internal version of software to function properly or at all regardless of rereading the manual over and over again. Returned the R8 but kept the mics.

        (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great recorder at a great price

        By Purebassplayer

        from Coeur d'Alene, Id

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Great price
        • Low Distortion
        • Powerful
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Mobile DJ
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

          I read a majority of the reviews that said it was constructed weak, I feel it is constructed just fine. It's a recorder that is meant to used as such, it's not a Boss pedal that you can smash night after night. I was impressed by how quickly I was able to record with excellent sound quality, first just solo and then I began very quickly to record band practices on the fly. The built in mic's sound great making it easy to capture live ideas and performances. Additionally, the drum patterns that come with the recorder are great quality also and serve as a great foundation for ideas or for entire songs. All in all I love this recorder. I will probably save for the R24 (the R8's big brother) in the future.

          (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          customer service is awesome

          By b-rad

          from sacramento, ca

          About Me Novice

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Excellent Sound
          • Low Distortion
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

              c.s. bent over backwards to accomodate me. R8 does it all. Slight learning curve, but super happy with it.

              (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great for beginners!

              By Audie

              from Seattle, WA

              About Me Novice

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact
              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Powerful
              • Versatile

              Cons

              • Unnecessary Functions

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio

              Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

              It's a great 8Track recorder! The price is very affordable, very convenient, and easy to use.

              (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              zoom r8

              By steve23

              from Liverpool ny.

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact
              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Great Unit
              • Low Distortion
              • Powerful
              • Versatile

              Cons

              • Great Product
              • No cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio

              Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

              Great unit and it is light and compact and durable.l got a defective unit the first time and musiciansfriend replaced it and stood behind what they sold to their credit and sent out another machine that has been great so far.

              Displaying reviews 1-10

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