Zoom R series?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by ginormous, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. ginormous

    ginormous Senior Member

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    I'm thinking of an R24, as both a recorder and an interface.

    My idea is to track with the unit, then transfer to my computer, MIDI sequence and mix with my DAW.

    I've heard good things about it.
     
  2. blueflamingo

    blueflamingo Senior Member

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    My buddy uses a R16 for field recording, he loves it. No idea how it performs in a music situation (quality wise).
     
  3. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    i got an R24 a couple of months ago to take to rehearsals. With the vocal PA going onto one input and the built in mics picking up the amps and drums, you can get very serviceable demos. great little piece of kit
     
  4. RobertF

    RobertF Senior Member

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    I just picked up an R-16 last week and used it for the first time to experiment with drum recording. Sonically, the results were very good and I'm duly impressed with its ease of operation and the ability to transfer completed tracks -- in full sync with one another, to my computer for tweaking. I have to admit that I still have not figured out how to activate the Zoom's on-board effects and searching thru its menus can be time consuming, but for basic recording, its a very cool unit.

    If you read the reviews on multiple sites, you'll come away with (a correct) impression that the Zoom's mic pre's aren't great, and its true they are a mixed bag. I found that a Nuemann U87 LDC easily overpowered the Zoom on a kick drum even with the mic's 10db pad activated. On the flip side, several dynamic mics, like an Audix D6 on a bass cab resulted in my having to crank the input level nearly all the way up to get a usable signal. The background noise from the pre amp was very audible through headphones and on the isolated track, but wasn't too annoying when mixed in with everything else.

    I solved these issues by running all the mics into my Mackie 1604 VLZ and running the direct outs from the Mackie to the line-ins on the Zoom. Problems solved. Those who want to use the Zoom and don't have access to an outboard mixer will probably have to invest in some in-line pads, like the Audio-Technica AT8202, to help prevent hi ouput mics from overloading the mic pre's on the Zoom.

    The headphone out didn't provide enough grunt to allow the drummer to hear the backing track above his live drum sounds, so I had to invest in a ART headphone amp to get a louder headphone signal going.

    I plan to fully mic our next rehearsal session and if the Zoom continues to prove itself, I can see getting a 2nd one in the future and running two together to get more inputs. I'll try to post a sound clip of the results later on.
     
  5. RobertF

    RobertF Senior Member

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    Ok, here's my first recording with the Zoom R-16. I've not spent a lot of time on the mixdown. I threw a bass and guitar OD onto it quickly to give an Idea of what the drum recording will sound like with other instruments around it, so the current bass and guitar will likely get replaced. I'm very hjappy with the overall results. Really nice, big sounding kit.

    http://soundcloud.com/robertf-3/the-ocean-102711-ngs-mix-2c/s-YXxBi
     
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  6. Strato

    Strato Banned

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    it sounded alright to me as well ^
     
  7. EvanPC

    EvanPC Senior Member

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    Sounds great to me, Robert. I bought the R16 last year and am very glad I did. Admittedly, it's the only digital multi-track recorder I've ever used, so I can't claim it to be better than anything else. All I know is, for someone who didn't know what he was doing, I was up and running on it the day I got it.

    I also set mine up to use as an interface with the Cubase LE 4 software that came with it. I use it in this fashion quite often. I can't really comment on the technical stuff either. Everything Robert's talking about is greek to me, but I've very happy with the recordings I'm able to put together as a total amateur.

    Everything on my SoundCloud page was done with my R16. Much of it was done using the R16 as an interface, and some of it was done using it as a stand alone recorder.
     
  8. RobertF

    RobertF Senior Member

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    Evan:

    just checked out your soundcloud page -- some really nice, soulful stuff and great playing! Keep it up.

    Rob
     
  9. EvanPC

    EvanPC Senior Member

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    Thanks a lot. Always nice to hear good feedback from your "peers" (especially those who seem to know what they're doing/talking about!).

    You seem to be utilizing the R16 in a much more "professional" capacity, so I won't bother weighing in more on the device's quality. Just figured maybe my amateur recordings were a decent reference for something.

    Mic'ing drums is one of the things I have yet to even attempt. I simply lack the equipment/resources necessary to do so. I envy your ability to do so, especially at a nice, quality level. I'm curious to hear more of your band's stuff recorded on the Zoom. Even more so when I heard you're doing some Zeppelin!
     
  10. blueflamingo

    blueflamingo Senior Member

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    I'm just confused why you would be using a R16 if you have microphones like a U87 in your locker?
     
  11. RobertF

    RobertF Senior Member

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    I got the Zoom because I was looking for a compact and inexpensive way to bring multi-track recording to my band's rehearsals. I've been using an Olympus LS-10 for room recordings and periodically, I'd bring the Mackie mixer and run all the mics into the LS-10 for better results, but it still required mixing everything down to two- track stereo on the spot, which without monitors, made for mixed results.

    I'm quite happy with the quality of the Zoom so far and all I have to do is position the mics, set levels and go. Mixing can be done later. Its fitting the bill quite nicely. Being able to utilize a nice mic like the U87 is just icing on the cake.
     

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