It seems that Zoom is about to up its standalone multitrack recorder game by launching the R20, which includes a touchscreen that appears to give it DAW-like capabilities.
The R20 is a 16-track, 16 or 24-bit/44.1kHz device that enables you to record eight tracks at a time. Inputs 1 and 2 have XLR/1/4-inch combo jacks, and the remaining inputs are on XLRs, with phantom power available on inputs 5 to 8.
Controls for each channel are restricted to a level fader, a gain knob and a record arm button, with all other features (aside from the transport buttons) accessible via the touchscreen.
It looks like said display enables you to work on a familiar-looking DAW-style timeline, with similar editing features for your audio. You can also import samples via USB or SD card.
Effects are included, too, with each track being able to access EQ and compression. Plug in the Bluetooth adapter and you’ll be able to control the R20 remotely from your phone via a dedicated app.
There’s no word yet on how much the R20 will cost or when it will be released; in fact, it currently only appears on Zoom’s Japanese website.
We’d like to see it getting a worldwide release, though, as it could provide an interesting recording option for recording musicians who want a greater degree of control over their arrangements and mixes but don’t want to go near a computer.