DebErney 01/11/2015

Zoom R16 : DebErney's user review

« Love Zoom products and this is no exception »
5

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Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Anyone
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