Zoom R24

Combined SD Card Recorder

  • USB audio interface, DAW controller and sampler
  • 24-Track playback and simultaneous recording of 8 tracks (2 x R24 cascadable)
  • 24-Track playback in 16/24-bit and 44.1 / 48-kHz
  • Audio interface with 8 inputs and 2 outputs
  • Frequency range: 24-bit / 96-kHz
  • Built-in stereo microphone
  • Integrated DSP effects processor for guitar amp modeling
  • Compressor / EQ and other effects
  • Tuner and metronome function
  • Supports SDHC cards up to 32 GB
  • Connections: USB 2.0 port, 8x XLR / jack combo input Mic / Line / Hi-Z (6x with phantom power), headphone output, 2x 6.3mm jack line-out
  • Includes Steinberg Cubase LE, 2 GB SD CARD, 2 GB USB stick with drum loop library, power supply and USB cable
  • Compatible with Windows XP and higher, Intel Mac OSX 10.4.11 and higher

Further information

5-pole DIN MIDI No
Fader 9
Rotary Encoders 9
Audio I/O Yes
Transport Function Yes
Footswitch Connector No
Foot Controller Connection No
Bus-Powered No
Jog Yes
Joystick No
Additional Features 2 GB USB Stick with Drum Library included

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78 written ratings Read all reviews
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quality
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Real swiss-army knife

Paul172, 29.05.2013
This is a brilliant multi-purpose tool that would find a home in any musician's toolkit.
I've been a confirmed soundcard/DAW recorder for 15 years now, but was looking for either an 8-input portable audio interface (to record band demos) or a handy portable digital recorder for rough and ready gig recordings and hey presto I discovered this.
It's an 8-in, 2-out audio interface with built in DAW control surface, as well as an 8-channel simultaneous (up to 24 in total) digital recorder with built in effects as well as a pair of built-in condenser mics. 48V Phantom power is available in 0-3 groups of 2 channels. Each pair of channels can be configured as 2xmono or 1 stereo pair and a Hi-Z input is available on channel 1.
It also comes with a copy of Cubase 6 LE AI Elements (i.e. a cut-down version of Cubase). IIRC, you are "limited" to 32 audio tracks and 48 midi tracks - more than I've ever used!
I've barely scratched the surface of what this can do yet, but so far:
Knocking out demos of song ideas using the built in condenser mics is quick and simple and the built-in mics are great.
I got a great recording of my band's (Power-pop 3-piece) last gig using the built-in condensers.
With a 5-year old laptop (dual-core Pentium) and the included Cubase LE I managed to get 1.5 ms input latency and 5ms output latency (at 24-bit 96kHz), certainly unnoticeable on my test recordings of simultaneous guitar, (->VST dynamics -> Amp Simulator -> Reverb) and the inbuilt condenser mics (2 channels -> VST dynamics -> Reverb) and no dropouts.
I haven't really bothered with the inbuilt mixing and effects. It took under 10 mins to transfer 2 ½ hours of dual mono mixes to my PC using the Zoom in Card Reader mode. However, the manual claims that there are all manner of insert effects and guitar amp/stomp box simulations and a couple of FX send busses. The FX can be recorded or used only for monitoring allowing you to change them later.
Also, and I haven't explored this, in Audio Interface mode, you are supposed to be able to apply FX and create a monitor mix whilst still having the audio come in dry. In other words you can send an effected mix to the performer in zero-latency, but still have the dry recording to add FX to at your heart's content later/
Sometimes the controls can be a little fiddly and counterintuitive, but mostly, once you've got the hang of it you get the "oh yeah - that's how it works" moment.
I really can see many, many uses for this. I have a soundcard that has some better features, I have a control surface that has some better features, but this has some better features than both and is one device! Add to that it's a portable recorder and already I can't see how I lived without it before!
Next project: Export drum backing track to recorder. Record acoustic guitar in kitchen for nice echo. Carry to living room for drier vocal recording. Export back to Cubase to mixdown. Try and do that with your built-in soundcard!
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Total
quality
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handling

This machine is fun

Geoffrey8556, 11.07.2016
I couldn't get this to work for a while, I thought it might be me. Actually, I'm still a little confused about routing to monitors, the manual is sketchy about this, perhaps because all the monitoring duties are external to Zoom r 24. In fact, the OUTPUT CONTROL (unmentioned) is on the back/right of the unit beside the OUTPUT. That's entirely reasonable for a Portastudio but I'm slow and I was still looking in the book and trying to understand what this has to do with using the metronome balance to "dose" the click (nothing), believing that this book was telling me something about killing the monitors while recording. If you haven't seen one of these and don't understand this, what awaits is a misleading bit of manual that messed me up for a while and I felt like an idiot when I figured it out but it's talking about outputting through a domestic stereo and all the rest of it is solely about headphone monitoring. It's a pretty complicated book and for many features of Zoom r 24, I need to refer to it quite a lot. I almost immediately found another mistake that also messed me up for a moment - making a simple recording.

It sounds like trouble but it's not. Most people will get this going immediately, I would have done if I'd been less "careful" about instructions, and it's only when one starts a project that one has to get into the book. It records excellently from both the inboard microphones and whatever one likes to input - line or external mics. Good results are easy, the feature set and the quality is impressive. If you want to work a little harder on learning the "tricks", this is a very, very versatile machine. There's little that one can't record or construct on this yet it's the size of a laptop and very portable too.

One thing I would have liked would be to output the small menu screen to a monitor via a computer - certainly possible.. To navigate most of it is no trouble but some menus extend beyond and I'd like the possibility of a generally larger display, because one is always "into" this menu and the screen. Maybe familiarity will ease this, maybe using it to control a DAW. In fact, I think it would make more sense to use a DAW to control Zoom r 24, but there you go.

In sum, the Zoom r 24 is amazing. It allows you to work in various ways and delivers terrific results. You can do quick ones or a real project, as you like. I'm very pleased but I have to say that my neighbours don't like it much!
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