Zoom Announces New R20 Portable Multitrack Recorder

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With home recordings from artists like Billie Eilish, Walker Hayes, and Lil Nas X regularly climbing to the top of the charts, Zoom’s new R20 Portable Multitrack Recorder is arriving at the perfect time to help aspiring artists record, edit, and mix their music on the go. With a powerful feature set that includes eight inputs, 16 tracks, eight faders plus a master fader, and an intuitive color touchscreen, the R20 is a portable solution that’s equally well suited to singer-songwriters and small bands.

R20 Portable Multitrack Recorder
R20 Portable Multitrack Recorder

Zooming in on the R20

The rear of the unit’s top panel features six XLR microphone inputs and two XLR-1/4" combo connectors that can accommodate mic, line, or instrument inputs. One of the combo inputs also supplies a Hi-Z option, while 48V phantom power for condenser mics is available on inputs 5 through 8. The inputs feed the best preamps Zoom has ever used on a multitrack recorder, providing an exceptionally low noise floor for professional-sounding recordings. Gain knobs allow you to add plenty of gain, and while the eight faders handle monitoring levels for the 16 recording tracks, a button on the touchscreen toggles between the two fader banks. A pair of ¼" outputs and a stereo headphone jack are provided for monitoring. The R20 records up to eight tracks of audio simultaneously at rates up to 24-bit / 44.1 kHz in the WAV format to SDHC cards up to 32GB or SDXC cards up to 1TB. The USB Type-C port allows it to also function as an 8-input / 4-output audio interface for Mac and Windows computers. Steinberg’s Cubase LE DAW software is also thoughtfully included.

Powerful Features Made Easy to Use

Tracks on the 4.3" touchscreen, level faders, and input knobs are all color coded, making quick adjustments a snap. The touchscreen interface offers intuitive drag-and-drop, pinch, and swipe functions, while the powerful software engine lets you edit, combine, and loop tracks to create complex arrangements and complete songs. Onboard tools including 150 rhythm patterns and an internal 8-voice synthesizer help you get started, and a host of effects such as EQ, compression, and limiting let you polish the tracks to bring out important mix details.

Good to Go

With a winning combination of intuitive features packed into a lightweight and portable chassis, we think the Zoom R20 offers a smart and fast multitrack recording, mixing, and editing solution at a price musicians will appreciate.

If you think the R20 might be right for your workflow, tell us why in the Comments section, below.

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