Zoom R8 is recorder, interface, control surface and sampler

Zoom's R8 is a jack of many trades.
Zoom's R8 is a jack of many trades.

We managed to miss Zoom's R8 when it was announced at NAMM 2011, but its imminent release gives us a chance to tell you about it.

It's notable for being a product that serves four distinct purposes: it's an SD-based 8-track recorder, an audio interface, a control surface and a pad-based sampler that has its own built-in drum sounds. What's more, the R8 is designed to be small enough to fit into a guitar case.

This sounds like a pretty useful blend of specs to us - we're interested to see how Zoom has managed to bring all of this functionality together in such a small, battery-powerable unit. The UK RRP is £250 - look out for the R8 in stores in a couple of weeks.

Check out the Zoom website for more or read the official press release below.

(Via Create Digital Music)

Zoom R8 press release

Zoom's all-new R8 is the perfect tool for capturing audio on- the-go. It combines four production tools in one compact, versatile device. In addition to being an 8-track playback/2-track simultaneous recorder that utilizes SD memory, the R8 is an audio interface, a control surface and a pad sampler.

"The R8 will fit in a guitar case, for a flexible, multi-track solution," says James Tsaptsinos, Samson's VP of Sales. "More than ever before, Zoom users have all the tools necessary to create studio-quality recordings on-the-go."

With a sampler function that consists of eight voices, the R8's built-in drum sounds can be triggered using eight pads to assign sounds to each track and create loops. You can also use the unit's drum machine to create original backing beats, or simply output a metronome for tempo control. Not only does the R8 offer over 500 drum patterns to work with, it also includes a 2GB SD card containing 500MB of drum loops recorded by Big Fish Audio.

The R8 comes with a 2GB SD card and supports up to 32GB SDHC cards for a maximum of 100 track hours. Using SD media for recording not only makes the R8 lighter and more portable, it also ensures increased reliability with no concern for a crashing hard drive.

Take your R8 into your studio and record additional tracks using its USB audio interface. Then when you're ready to mix, use the R8's control surface capabilities to manage each function of your favourite DAW software. Choose from over 140 built-in studio effects to enhance your recording and use the pro-quality mastering effects to complete that studio sound.

With the new R8 from Zoom, versatility, control and comprehensive features come together in a single device that fits in a guitar case.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.