Zoom R8 Multi-track Recorder : Review

R8

4 in 1

An all-in-one device that can be a recorder, an audio interface, a sampler and a DAW control surface. In addition, it provides a rhythm machine with 10 types of drum kits. All this at a very good price and with the quality that Zoom guarantees with its products. Well, let's see the features.

44.1/48kHz, 16/24-bit

8 tracks, but only for the playback. As regards the recording it can use 2 tracks at a time in WAV format at 44.1/48kHz (16/24-bit). All the work can be organized in projects (up to 1.000), and for each project the user can use 100 markers. Some functions for the editing: Divide, Trim, Punch-In/Out (manual and automatic), Bounce, A-B Repeat and Undo/Redo.
It is equipped with a metronome and a tuner.

The audio interface

It can work as an interface for the PC with 2 inputs, 2 outputs and the USB 2.0. A dedicated knob can be used to adjust the balance between the playback sound and the input.

The controller

It can work as a controller for many music production softwares like Logic, Cubase, Sonar and so on.

The sampler

One of the most advanced sections. You can import data to use them in a loop or, for example, you can play pads in real-time to create your loops. The display can be used to visually adjust the waveform and the time-stretching function lets you change the tempo of a track without changing the pitch.

The rhythm machine

It is sold with an SD card. Inside Zoom provides 500 MB of ready-to-use drum loops that can be used to create your rhythm tracks. In addition, you can use the rhythm machine with 10 types of drum kits. With the built-in pads you can build up to 511 original beats that subsequently you can use like audio loops.
It includes 472 ready-to-use patterns.

Effects

146, and 370 patches for instruments and vocals. In addition, it includes 24 amps models, 18 for guitar and 6 for bass. All are derived from the G2.1nu.

Cubase LE

It includes Cubase LE, the basic version of the well-known music production software.

General opinion

For a small home studio, the R8 can be really an excellent cheap solution. It is an 8-track recorder only for the playback but it works well, it produces an high-quality audio and provides all the necessary for a single musician. My opinion is positive. A good product at a valid price.

Other reviews

Multitrack Digital Recorders

    2488neo
  • Tascam
    2488neo

    The 2488neo is a valid digital studio for a group or for who wants to make a professional job with his music. 24 physical tracks. 250 virtual tracks. A complete effects section with some good dynamics presets.

  • Cakewalk V-STUDIO 100
  • Roland
    Cakewalk V-STUDIO 100

    Eight inputs and six outputs. EQ and compression on six channels. A built-in metronome and many useful functions. But, above all, it can be also an advanced mixer and a very useful controller.

  • Cakewalk V-STUDIO 20
  • Roland
    Cakewalk V-STUDIO 20

    The heart of the system is Cakewalk Guitar Tracks, a software with many useful functions. The interaction with the software is total. 36 effects, derived from Boss, and 50 presets.

Handheld Recorders

Effects

Guitars

Guitar Amps