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  #1  
Old 03-14-2011, 06:01 AM
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Default Zoom R16 or comparable

Hey folks,

I've been searching around and doing some research on mixers and multi-track recorders for some home studio recordings. I came across the Zoom R16 (and also read some threads on here about it) and decided that it is the best unit that suits my needs. Before I pull the trigger in a few weeks are there any other comparable multi-track recorders out there I should be looking into? I liked the R16 because of its price, features and portability. I also like that it is a standalone recorder, giving you the option of not straining your computer but also having the option of using it as an interface with a computer.

I will be using it for a number of things.

-Original recordings as I play drums, guitar, bass(not a geat bass player but I could learn most songs) and some keyboard....I sing a bit but I'm not about to win any awards anytime soon :)
-Recording jam sessions
-Recording Live sessions for my bro's band, mainly for their site and youtube vids.
-Video recordings, I also do some video editing and need better sound control

I'd love to hear your experiences with the R16 or why you chose something else.
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2011, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Why do I get the feeling that you and me are going to be the only ones using this device?

;)
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2011, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

The Zoom R16 looks like a really good idea. Bo, you love your one don't you?

I can think of very few disadvantages to using one. You have a dedicated hardware recorder there with everything you need to produce decent recordings and interface capability. You really can't complain for the price. I've heard the UI is a little tricky to get your head around (according to a review I read in Sound on Sound) and I'm sure that the individual quality of each component isn't the highest (I'm thinking preamps here) but I really don't see these as major stumbling blocks for a day-to-day recording setup.

The R16 is probably the most capable device of its class. The only other options would be interfaces with control surface capability like the Alesis MultiMix (which I recommend fairly often) but that needs a computer. The R16 doesn't and that's what gives it a massive flexibility advantage.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

I've been saving for one of these. I think the price on the R24 is going to come down to the same price as the R16.

I think it's a great deal and has 8 xlr mic inputs on it. Perfect for drummers.
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2011, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

I have been using the R16 for several months now and it gives me all that I need. Generally, I think it is a very smart product with many applications. And really easy to use.
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2011, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
The Zoom R16 looks like a really good idea. Bo, you love your one don't you?

I can think of very few disadvantages to using one. You have a dedicated hardware recorder there with everything you need to produce decent recordings and interface capability. You really can't complain for the price. I've heard the UI is a little tricky to get your head around (according to a review I read in Sound on Sound) and I'm sure that the individual quality of each component isn't the highest (I'm thinking preamps here) but I really don't see these as major stumbling blocks for a day-to-day recording setup.

The R16 is probably the most capable device of its class. The only other options would be interfaces with control surface capability like the Alesis MultiMix (which I recommend fairly often) but that needs a computer. The R16 doesn't and that's what gives it a massive flexibility advantage.
Oh yeah, I love mine. I'm just refusing to be at the budget level where I can use the computer and add suitable control surfaces. I use my computer for alot of PhotoShop stuff and don't really want to buy another one just to have in my drum studio room. And being an old-school guy, I learned how to record in the analog age anyway, so this fits that bill quite nicely. The fact you can use it as an interface is great to. The other day, I managed to record a bunch of tracks, then I stuck the SD card in my mac, and downloaded each individual file as a separate track in GarageBand, where I was able to line them all up and do some heavier editing. So I suppose I can do the same thing into more powerful editing programs - awesome!

But lately, how I've been working with it, since I can record eight tracks at a time, I've been plugging into my Mackie 1604VLZ console, and since that console has eight line outputs, I go from there into the eight channels on the Zoom. Now I'm not dependent on the mic pres on the Zoom and as far as drums go, I just eq them (or apply effects) at the Mackie and record 'em that way. Very nice and punchier!

I still recommend it to everyone. The R24 would be nicer, but here it's still $100 more than the R16 and 16 tracks suits me fine right now.
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2011, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
The Zoom R16 looks like a really good idea. Bo, you love your one don't you?

I can think of very few disadvantages to using one. You have a dedicated hardware recorder there with everything you need to produce decent recordings and interface capability. You really can't complain for the price. I've heard the UI is a little tricky to get your head around (according to a review I read in Sound on Sound) and I'm sure that the individual quality of each component isn't the highest (I'm thinking preamps here) but I really don't see these as major stumbling blocks for a day-to-day recording setup.

The R16 is probably the most capable device of its class. The only other options would be interfaces with control surface capability like the Alesis MultiMix (which I recommend fairly often) but that needs a computer. The R16 doesn't and that's what gives it a massive flexibility advantage.
Thanks for your input. Why do you recommend the Alesis Multimix? I've heard that it can only export 2 tracks though. I was actually looking at a couple of these models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
I've been saving for one of these. I think the price on the R24 is going to come down to the same price as the R16.

I think it's a great deal and has 8 xlr mic inputs on it. Perfect for drummers.
Unless I can find a R24 for a reasonable price I think the R16 would be more than enough for me. Music is an expenssive hobby! LOL!

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Originally Posted by niacin View Post
I have been using the R16 for several months now and it gives me all that I need. Generally, I think it is a very smart product with many applications. And really easy to use.
Exactly, that's what makes it so favourable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Oh yeah, I love mine. I'm just refusing to be at the budget level where I can use the computer and add suitable control surfaces. I use my computer for alot of PhotoShop stuff and don't really want to buy another one just to have in my drum studio room. And being an old-school guy, I learned how to record in the analog age anyway, so this fits that bill quite nicely. The fact you can use it as an interface is great to. The other day, I managed to record a bunch of tracks, then I stuck the SD card in my mac, and downloaded each individual file as a separate track in GarageBand, where I was able to line them all up and do some heavier editing. So I suppose I can do the same thing into more powerful editing programs - awesome!

But lately, how I've been working with it, since I can record eight tracks at a time, I've been plugging into my Mackie 1604VLZ console, and since that console has eight line outputs, I go from there into the eight channels on the Zoom. Now I'm not dependent on the mic pres on the Zoom and as far as drums go, I just eq them (or apply effects) at the Mackie and record 'em that way. Very nice and punchier!

I still recommend it to everyone. The R24 would be nicer, but here it's still $100 more than the R16 and 16 tracks suits me fine right now.
Hey Bo, thanks for your input, actually It was one of your threads that pointed me towards the R16. We also share similar interests as I do photography and graphic design...but you are a way better drummer and I'm just really getting started. Are you filipino by chance?

So the R16 and garageband play nice together? I'm going to upgrade to Logic pro later on but love the ease of garage band, for a free app it's got quite a few features. I'm working on a macbook only so one of my reasons why I don't want to put much processing intensive stuff on it...maybe down the road I will upgrade to a macbook pro.

Thanks for the input folks, still would love to hear more.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2011, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyger View Post

Hey Bo, thanks for your input, actually It was one of your threads that pointed me towards the R16. We also share similar interests as I do photography and graphic design...but you are a way better drummer and I'm just really getting started. Are you filipino by chance?

So the R16 and garageband play nice together? I'm going to upgrade to Logic pro later on but love the ease of garage band, for a free app it's got quite a few features. I'm working on a macbook only so one of my reasons why I don't want to put much processing intensive stuff on it...maybe down the road I will upgrade to a macbook pro.
So my photography isn't any good? Hmm.... ;)

Well, as far as just taking the SD card and dumping the individual files onto their own tracks in GarageBand, then yes, it plays well with that. I haven't gone any farther with it because (I know this will sound arrogant) I don't need to see my waves on the screen. I don't do alot of editing, if I get a bad take, I just do the whole thing again, or a nice discreet punch-in/pinch-out. I was trying to show my sister that it could be done and I was surprised it did it!

I'm assuming that since it did it with GarageBand, it should do it with any editing software since everything else will be much more powerful. I would think Logic would allow it since GB and Logic basically come form the same company.
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2011, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Sounds good Bo, I thinkk garageband will suit me fine for now. I might be taking a part time audio course down the road so until then I think gb will suit me fine for now.

Thanks again for all your input...oh and I looked at some of your pics....very nice work! :) you seem like a jack of all trades type...like me! :)
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2011, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
.oh and I looked at some of your pics....very nice work! :) you seem like a jack of all trades type...like me! :)
Well, it's that "master of none" part I'm dealin' with! You're welcome! ;)
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

(slightly off topic, sorry)

Bo,

What's your opinion of the mic pres amp on the R16. I think you mentioned that you prefer the pre amps on your Mackie. Would you say that the mic pre amps on the R16 are the weak point of this unit?
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2011, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
(slightly off topic, sorry)

Bo,

What's your opinion of the mic pres amp on the R16. I think you mentioned that you prefer the pre amps on your Mackie. Would you say that the mic pre amps on the R16 are the weak point of this unit?
Well, all my YouTube videos where I used the R16 is ALL the R16. I just got into using the Mackie last week since I couldn't help but pick one up for a really good price - unfortunately the Mackie is the only mixer like that that has eight direct outs in addition to all the other I/O it has, so I went with it. I do know the Mackie XDR mic pre-amps are pretty robust (I owned the old 1402 long ago too and it handled drums pretty well).

So I got into the Mackie "just because", but I normally anticipate that the pre-amps on these recorders (and on alot of the USB/Firewire interface boxes) to be somewhat sub-standard, but my R16 is doing OK so far. I don't overdrive the signal going into the R16, everything is running under nominal somewhat to begin with. Over-driven digital input just sucks - not even close to musical.

That said, I wouldn't think the mic pres on any of these units are the weak link. When you look at what you can spend on top-notch stuff to make a decent recording, I say, "what do you expect for $400?" and then I adjust accordingly.

My friend who owns his own analog recording studio, spent $10,500 on a re-built Telefunken U47 tube mic, and has API mic pre's that cost $2,500 each (I got to replace the capacitors in all 32 of 'em one day!). So, knowing what he spent for his studio, and what I spent just to make some fun demos, well....
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

This is a very informative thread! There is just one more thing I would like to know is if it is possible to use an R16 as the PA mixer and run the outputs into amps or powered speaker. The reason I ask is that my band is primarily interested in recording both our rehearsals and live gigs, but don't have the money or desire to buy full pa. Our gigs are mostly in small venues and pa isn't really necessary. I was just thinking that it would be handy to have a multichannel recorder we could take to rehearsals and different gigs.

I do apologize if this has turned into a thread hijack. Not at all my intention.
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2011, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Woodney View Post
This is a very informative thread! There is just one more thing I would like to know is if it is possible to use an R16 as the PA mixer and run the outputs into amps or powered speaker. The reason I ask is that my band is primarily interested in recording both our rehearsals and live gigs, but don't have the money or desire to buy full pa. Our gigs are mostly in small venues and pa isn't really necessary. I was just thinking that it would be handy to have a multichannel recorder we could take to rehearsals and different gigs.

I do apologize if this has turned into a thread hijack. Not at all my intention.
No apologies necessary. Anyway to get the info you need, is cool.

Just looking at the R16, theoretically you should be able to use it as a live mixer, although, you can only use 8-channels to do it. But the hassle then lies in the convoluted way of accessing the EQ and the effects per channel - if you do it, it'll just take time. And if you go into a live venue with it and experiencing feedback problems, you won't be able to track down which channel it is fast enough before the feedback damages the internal circuitry of the R16. The ultimate way would be my recommendation of getting the Mackie 1604VLZ in addition to the R16, then you have something built for a live performance, but you can also run 8-channels out to the R16 to record.

Unfortunately, doing this kind of thing right requires money.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2011, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Woodney View Post
This is a very informative thread! There is just one more thing I would like to know is if it is possible to use an R16 as the PA mixer and run the outputs into amps or powered speaker. The reason I ask is that my band is primarily interested in recording both our rehearsals and live gigs, but don't have the money or desire to buy full pa. Our gigs are mostly in small venues and pa isn't really necessary. I was just thinking that it would be handy to have a multichannel recorder we could take to rehearsals and different gigs.

I do apologize if this has turned into a thread hijack. Not at all my intention.
Not at all, some great info here for me to consider as well! Thanks for asking.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:46 AM
Phil Woodney Phil Woodney is offline
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

It makes sense, Bo. I'll recommend we buy an R16, then when we play in circumstances that require pa, either take an output from the house board to the R16 or rent a board for the gig.

Thank you Tyger for letting me interrupt your thread. I was very glad you raised the subject of the R16 when you did!
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  #17  
Old 03-22-2011, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Zoom R16 or comparable

no problem...by the way, I was lucky enough to get an unexpected bonus from work and I have one coming this week. It's a used unit that I found locally for a fairly decent price.

Be sure to give a mini review...from a beginners stand point! :)
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