Basilem 08/26/2014

Zoom R16 : Basilem's user review

« Very good multi-track recorder »

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Value For Money : Excellent

I've had the R16 for 2 years and use it in my home studio, as a multi-track field recorder (radio deck, conferences) and a soundcard. That's its main strength: It's a multi-task device that allows you to work without a PC.

I think it complements perfectly a pocket recorder, like the microtrack II.

While it's very light, it's also very fragile. I think there's not much to add regarding its usability and functions.

I didn't have the stuck plugs problem, but I did have the one regarding tracks that produce loud noises (hiss) at the input. The problem goes more or less away if you let the unit warm up.
Apparently, it's a problem with the electronic components of the preamp.
I had to take into to the shop twice (under warranty the first time and then for a manufacturing problem, so I got a free replacement and only had to pay shipping and handling). I'm crossing my fingers now...

I'm not a big fan of the control surface function, which is somewhat of a trifle.

It's perfect to record a public conference: Up to 8 speakers simultaneously and you can mix live to send it to the stereo master and the PA via the jack outputs.

Another good point is that it supports SDHC cards of up to 32GB, so there are no recording capacity issues, even with 8 tracks.

The drivers are up to date for windows 8.1, so it's still a relevant product in 2014. However, there's no news for Linux, the hardware isn't generic, so it isn't recognized as a sound card (however the R16 is perfectly recognized as a player, so you can import your recordings and mix them with Ardour).

As a multi-track soundcard, it works fine with Cubase 6LE (included) and also with my old Sonar 5, while Audacity and RadioDJ recognize it as a 2-track soundcard.

In short, it's a good value for money, but be careful if you get it secondhand, first check that everything works fine.

I don't think I'd buy it again now: I think I'd go for a more modern unit (and not the R24, which doesn't add many things). Nevertheless, a secondhand R16 in good shape is a good deal.