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Review Digital Multrack-studio

Zoom R16 Review

Zoom R16: All-Rounder DAW systems are good but you don't always have a computer by when you feel the rush to record music. Mini studios were created for that purpose: they are practical solutions but not very comprehensive nor ergonomic. That's why Zoom launched the R16, an hybrid tool you can use as digital audio interface, controller and standalone mini studio. Let's take a look at the result... read more…

User reviews on Digital Multrack-studio products

Poor design, too bad (Tascam - Portastudio 564)

By pmaillot, 16/09/2014
Just OK, Novel idea at the time.

UTILIZATION

Unusable for recordings. See below.

SOUNDS

Sound was actually OK.

OVERALL OPINION

A 4track Portastudio that was based on a good idea (data minidisc), but a poor design in the end. The system was never able to process correctly recordings with bouncing, resulting in a loss of data known as the "skip bug" where there was a data loss/skip during recording that couldn't be modified/erased/re-recorded. Result: a waste of time.

This was the last Tascam product I bought. Will probably never buy Tascam (and associated brands (Roland, HK, etc. ) again as a result because they just ignored the problem, were never able to find a decent fix, and prefered just to abandon the product and the users who bought it.
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Love Zoom products and this is no exception (Zoom - R16)

By DebErney, 11/01/2015
I bought this to replace a faulty Tascam DP-24 Portastudio (6 months old. dont get me started on the lack of warranty on Tascam). I was resistant to purchasing this earlier, when I purchased the DP-24 because it felt like a toy.
I needed the 8 inputs that it offered and it was at my price range so I got it after the disaster with the DP-24.
I was able to start recording right away and have been very pleased with the results.
Zoom products have a clear, warm sound that I tend to appreciate. Not as clean, bright as a DAW interface but, the ease of use, reliablity, portability make it my recording device of choice. At least until I purchase an interface that fits my needs as well as the R-16 does.
The recording on this couldn't be easier. The effects are a bit more challanging to engage but, if your familiar with menu selections you won't have any problems with it.
I use this for direct plug in recording then transfer it to REAPER or GARAGEBAND for editing and adding effects, EQ, pan, synth sounds, etc...
I've used the USB transfer and it works well without latency and configuration issues (after installing the download from ZOOM) but I prefer the simplicity of using the SD card for transfer to MAC.
I've hauled this to gigs, live shows, bathrooms, and my home studio. It works anywhere you do. The onboard mics are really nice though I dont use them as much as I should. They are clean and warm with plenty of headroom/volume.
I've used Tascam Portastudios for years and decided to replace it with the ZOOM because of the bad experience with the NEW DP-24 Portastudio.
The Tascam products tend to record a bit brighter then the Zoom products I've had (H4n, R16, H2), which tend to have a warmer sound that I prefer.
I recently started using the Zoom R16 as an audio interface (after returning a Presonus 44VSL after a week of adjusting, configuring to end up with latency problems) and have been very pleased with the results of the R16's interface capabilities. (You must install the interface software from ZOOM before connecting or it will not work properly.)
I've gone through a few audio interfaces (Presonus, Tascam) and I'm still looking for something that is that much better than the R-16 to justify the purchase.
The R16 has held up over 2 years of use and it's been, surprisingly, portable and road worthy. I've hauled it to practices, gigs, and it always works flawlessly. True plug and play. It was a real life saver when my Tascam US-1200 drivers wouldn't kick in on a live recording of a singer that was only available on that afternoon, at her location. If I hadn't thrown the R-16 into the case for extra measure I would have been SOL. The R-16 saved the day. Plugged it in, plugged in a mic and guitar, armed the tracks, hit record and I was good to go. Everything was recorded onto the SD Card.
Transfering WAV files into the unit is a bit tricky, as is mixing but, can be done with persistance and use of the manual. I have setup a bit of reverb to record with the R-16 and it stays in memory until I change it. The best use for this unit, at least for me, has been direct, multi track recording with transferal to DAW (REAPEAR and GARAGEBAND) with the SD card and recently as an audio interface for DAW. I can't believe how well it works as an interface. A few months ago I decided to try DAW recording after my guitar instructor presuaded me to try it again. I gave up on it 10 years ago because of the setup problems and latency issues. I've tried and returned a Presonus 44VSL and I'm selling a TASCAM US-1200. The US-1200 records well with very little latency but, it is a bit on the large side. Not very portable.
I love this little recorder and will probably replace it when it dies.
Here are samples of what I've done with the R-16 (excluding the first song, this was done with the Zoom H4n)
https://www.reverbnation.com/control_room/artist/3289004/songs
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The 21st century’s mixing tool (Slate Pro Audio - RAVEN MTI)

By Maxidingue, 11/11/2017
It’s just a big-sized touchscreen designed to use ProTools or Logic X. Well, not only...
The multitouch screen comes with a piece of software which adds (down on ProTools’ screen) a bunch of programmed controls or batched commands. You can also program your own commands easily.
What’s great is that the mouse is originally only able to control a single fader at a time... So they added their own mixer which allows controlling 6 or even 8 faders in the same time.
Hence, every ProTools functionalities are at your fingertip, and a mere click on a batch command allows you to automatically insert your favourite compressor on each of the selected channelstrips...

I’ve only used it for a week so far but it’s REALLY user-friendly. Installing is easy, well described in the manual – or the many online videos available if you prefer. The only delicate point is calibrating the screen, but nothing too difficult.

Before the Raven, I’d mostly used an Avid MC Mix with MC control, but nothing on the market that was a strict equivalent to it.

Caution : it’s obviously a rather well-thought product, but it still needs some adjustment. Slate has worked hard on updates.
-some batch commands are reserved for ProTools HD (I use the LE version)
-being 100% comfortable and accessing all the most subtle commands requires using the keyboard in QWERTY mode
-the screen needs to be regularly recalibrated – it seems to be to go adrift after a few hours
-there are so many controls and templates that you sometimes have to look for what you want, but the ergonomy is rather well-thought and logical: you easily get used to it

Also, their forum is VERY reactive – a problem, a question? Drop a word on their forum and you’ll get your answer within a few minutes or hours (depending on your time zone).

I had long hesitated to take the plunge as 2000 bucks is a lot of money.
Frankly, this multitouchscreen + software combo is a real killer. They’ve entirely rethought how to work with a DAW. I haven’t mentioned the editing capacities that are offered on the “edit” screen, but as a whole you can edit whatever you want with a finger or two.

With pictures being worth more than a thousand words, I encourage you to go and see the various Youtube videos on this device. I personally really like this one (see the link further down), as even if it was made with the MTi’s big brother, the MTX, the concept remains the same.

Maxidingue


Here’s my favorite video:



EDIT
1- Newer versions of the included software now allow for use with Cubase, Ableton Live, Samplitude and Studio One.

2-The Raven’s Windows version is now available.

3-I’ve signaled on the Raven’s official forum that some batches wouldn’t work with a French, AZERTY keyboard. After discussing with moderator Jameyz who told me they considered addressing the issue for the European market, I have in the meantime found a – very simple actually :bravo: – workaround
Go to preferences/keyboard
Add a secondary QWERTY keyboard
An icon appears in the menu bar, allowing to switch in real time between both keyboard layouts
As soon as the Raven’s been launched, make the switch
And, here you are! Everything works as expected.
Ain’t it great! :-D

I’m now selling mine for a SSL Nucleus, due to my lack of room and my tendency to want to try and use just everything there is on the market. My geekness will be my undoing...

A link to the Raven’s review in SOS:
https://www.slateproaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/SOS-RAVEN-May-2013.pdf
http://www.neutrik.com/website/uploads/images/03/660x/raven-logo.png?v=1


Competitors have now arrived – didn't I tell you this would be tomorrow’s mixing gear?...

Waves – a bit $$$$$$:


Devil technologies – but you’ll need a compatible multitouchscreen:
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