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Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface  

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There are times when you don't want to get bogged down with computers, software and other creative roadblocks, when all you really want to do is record and mix a quick demo for promotional or personal... Read More

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There are times when you don't want to get bogged down with computers, software and other creative roadblocks, when all you really want to do is record and mix a quick demo for promotional or personal reference. That's where scaled-down, ultra-portable music production systems like the Zoom R8 make the most impact in your studio or on the road. Not only does the R8 offer 2-track recording with 8-track simultaneous playback, but you also get an 8-voice/8-pad sampler, 500MB of drum loops, built-in rhythm machine, built-in stereo microphones, DSP effects, and a built-in audio interface with control surface capabilities for the times that you do want to sync the R8 with your computer and host DAW.

With 2-track simultaneous recording and 8-track playback, the R8 is the perfect tool for capturing audio on-the-go. Record live music performances, rehearsals, songwriting sessions or even audio for film and video. Playback up to eight tracks of audio at up to 24-bit/48kHz resolution as WAV files. If you make a mistake, use the Undo/Redo function to cancel the last recording operation and restore the previous state. You can even mix down completed songs inside the R8 and save a mix for each project.

Audio interface
When combined with your computer, the R8 becomes a powerful audio interface. Connect the R8 to your computer via USB, launch your favorite DAW or use the included Cubase LE software and start laying down your tracks. Simultaneous 2-in/2-out capability allows you to record up to 24-bit/96kHz high definition audio. If you use the 44.1kHz sampling rate, the internal DSP effects of the R8 are also available for your computer tracks. A dedicated control lets you adjust the mixing balance between the DAW playback sound and the direct sound for monitoring.

Control surface
The R8 can be used as a control surface for DAW transport functions (play, record, stop) and mixing operations. Through a USB connection, you can control the transport and mixing functions of major DAWs such as Cubase, Logic, and Sonar from the R8. In addition, you can easily move multiple faders at the same time. No more mixing with a mouse! The R8 makes mixing a pleasure.

The built-in, 8-voice/8 pad sampler functions allow you to loop audio data on any track. You can play the pads in realtime and combine loops to create a performance for an entire song. When setting loop intervals, you can see the waveforms for visual confirmation. Time-stretching, which allows you to change the tempo without changing the pitch, and trimming the unneeded parts of loops, is also possible. You can use the sampler and recorder functions together seamlessly to play back loop tracks while recording instrumental performances on other tracks.

500 MB of drum loops inside
The included 2GB SD card contains 500 MB of drum loops from Big Fish Audio, one of the top producers of sample libraries. With an emphasis on rock, the collection of standard drum phrases can be used to create professional-sounding rhythm tracks just by lining them up.

Create your own beats with the powerful rhythm machine
The R8's rhythm machine includes 10 types of drum kits that use linear PCM audio samples. Use the touch-sensitive drum pads to program up to 511 of your own beats, and use the rhythm patterns that you create just like audio loops. Use the R8's pads to start playback of patterns and use the R8's sequencer to arrange them into songs. You can start fast with the 472 preset patterns, which include intros, fills, endings, and other phrase variations.

Built-in stereo microphones
The built-in high-sensitivity stereo microphones are convenient for recording sketches of musical phrases and melodies as they come to mind. Use these mics for clear recordings of vocals and acoustic instruments.

Supports SDHC cards with capacities of up to 32GB
The R8 uses compact and readily available SD and SDHC memory cards as recording media. Unlike tape and disk recorders, this unit has no motor, making it more resistant to physical interference and concerns about mechanical noise.

Locate functions make editing easier
Set up to 100 markers and directly move to them whenever you want. Also, use the A-B repeat function to play or re-record a designated interval and use auto punch-in and punch-out for efficient editing.

Rapid file transfer with Hi-Speed USB 2.0
The R8's Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port allows WAV-format audio files recorded on the R8 to be sent to a computer smoothly and rapidly. Use the R8 with a computer for additional music production, including editing with DAW software, creating original CDs and importing WAV files.

Tuner and metronome functions
The R8's built-in tuner is great for quickly tuning instruments and checking vocal pitch. The metronome can provide a click track for a drummer during recording and is also useful in practice settings. The metronome can also be sent to just the headphones. This allows you to play along to backing tracks previously recorded on the R8.

Powered by an AC adapter, batteries or USB bus power
Power options provide flexibility for different situations. Power the R8 on its own in one of two ways-with the included AC adapter or four alkaline AA batteries (not included). The R8 operates for over 5 hours on batteries, plenty of time for most field recordings. When using the audio interface or control surface functions, the R8 can be powered by the computer's USB bus.

Easy hands-free operation
Using a ZOOM FS01 footswitch (sold separately), you can control the recorder transport (play, stop, rewind), punch-in for recording and change effect patches with your foot. With the R8, you can easily record without ever taking your hands off your guitar.

Steinberg Cubase LE DAW software included
Cubase LE is powerful music production software for recording, editing, and mixing both audio and MIDI tracks. Cubase LE uses an audio engine that is equivalent to software that has received numerous awards and is an ideal introduction to computer-based music production.

  • Simultaneous 2-track recording and 8-track playback
  • 2x2 USB audio interface
  • Control surface compatible with most DAW software
  • 8-voice sampler with 8 pads
  • 500MB of drum loops from Big Fish Audio
  • Built-in rhythm machine lets you create you own beats
  • Built-in, high-sensitivity stereo microphones
  • Over 140 DSP effects including guitar and amp models
  • Supports SDHC cards up to 32GB
  • Locate function with 100 markers to make editing easier
  • Rapid file transfer with high-speed USB
  • Versatile inputs for guitars, mics, and line sources
  • Tuner and metronome functions
  • Powered by AC adapter, batteries (not included), or USB
  • Easy hands-free operation with optional ZOOM FS01 footswitch (sold separately)
  • Includes Cubase LE DAW software
  • R8 Audio Interface System Requirements:

    Windows XP SP3 or later/Vista SP1 or later/7
    Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz or better
    RAM1GB or more
    USB2.0 compatible port

    Intel Mac:
    OS X 10.5.8/10.6.5 or later
    Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or better
    RAM1GB or more
    USB2.0 compatible port

    * USB hub is not supported. * Intel Chipset is recommended.

    Physical tracks: 8
    Simultaneous recording tracks: 2
    Simultaneous playback tracks: 8
    Recording data format: 16-24bit/44.1-48kHz WAV
    Maximum recordable time: 200 minutes / GB (44.1kHz 16-bit, mono tracks)
    Projects: 1,000
    Markers: 100 / Project
    Locator: Hours / Min. / Sec. / msec or Bars / Beats / Ticks
    File editing: Divide, trim
    Other Functions: Punch-in/out (manual, automatic), bounce, marker, A-B repeat, undo / redo, metronome

    Audio interface
    Input Channels: 2
    Output Channels: 2
    Quantization: 24-bit
    Sampling Frequency: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96kHz

    Faders: 9
    Level Meters: 19-step LCD, post-fader
    Track Parameters: 3-band equalizer, pan (balance), effect send x 2, invert
    Stereo links track pairs: 1/2 to 7/8 selectable

    Algorithms: 8 (clean, distortion, acoustic/bass sim, bass, mic, dual mic stereo, mastering)
    Types: 146
    Modules: 7 for Insert, 2 for Send / Return
    Patches: 310 for Insert, 60 for Send / Return
    Tuner: Chromatic, guitar, bass, open A/D/E/G, D modal
    Playback Data Format: 16-24bit/44.1-48kHz WAV

    Voices: 8
    Editing functions: Trim, time-stretch
    Rhythm voices: 8
    Sound format: 16-bit Linear PCM
    Drum kits: 10
    Pads: 8 (velocity-sensitive)
    Precision: 48PPQN
    Rhythm patterns: 511/project
    Patterns: 511 (472 factory, 39 blank) / Project
    Beat: 1/4-8/4
    Tempo: 40.0 - 250.0 BPM

    Recording media: SD card (16MB-2GB), SDHC card (4-32GB)
    A/D conversion: 24-bit/96kHz, delta-sigma ADC
    D/A conversion: 24-bit/96kHz, delta-sigma DAC
    Display: 128 x 64 pixel LCD (with backlight)
    Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4'' phone combo jack / Input impedance: (balanced input) 1k ohm balanced, 2nd hot, (unbalanced input) 50k ohm unbalanced, (Hi-Z input) 470k ohm / Input level: -50dBm to +4dBm continuously variable
    Built-in microphones: Omnidirectional condenser microphones / Gain: -50dBm to +4dBm continuously variable
    Phantom power supply: 48V, 24V
    Master output: 1/4" TRS phone (balanced) / Output impedance: 1k ohm / Rated output level: +4dBm
    Headphone output: 1/4'' stereo phone jack, 20mW x 2 (at 32 ohm load)
    USB: Mini-B type (USB2.0 high-speed compatible) audio interface / control surface or mass storage class operation
    Power requirements: AC adapter (DC5V/1A/center positive) or 4 AA size (LR6) batteries (not included)
    Battery life: 5.5 hours (with backlight on and phantom power off)
    Dimensions: 10-1/8"(W) x 2"(H) x 7-1/2"(D) (257 x 190 x 51 mm)
    Weight: 1.7 lb. (780g) without batteries



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  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ZoomR8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars




of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


  • Easy to use (4)
  • Compact (3)
  • Excellent sound (3)


No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (4)
  • Amateur recording (3)
  • Performances (3)
  • Professional recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (3)

Reviewed by 8 customers

Displaying reviews 1-8

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Great purchase

By Harley

from San Francisco

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer


  • Compact
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Low Distortion
  • Powerful
  • Versatile


    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

    Great sound. Easy to use. I have not used the higher functions yet but recording tracks is easy. Excellent sounding effects. Lots of distortions and sounds to play with. Better than any tape or cd recorder I've seen.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


    Fast turnaround, good compact digital recorder, good price!!


    from STL, MO

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer


    • Compact
    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound


      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Mobile DJ
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

      Up and recording in an hour. A little noisy, but I think it's on my end not the machine.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


      An excellent buy

      By Arturo

      from Milton FL

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer


      • Compact
      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Versatile


      • Using the Reverb and Chorus "Send" is cryptic

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio
      • Making demos and backing tracks
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

      I had two projects that were due in 10 days... one was to pitch a series of Dixieland tunes and the other was to demo some traditional and non traditional wedding tunes. I was able to "lift" some backing tracks from third party software on a computer, transfer to the SD Card, then turn on the R8, assign the backing tracks, add my own guitar / banjo parts... pack up the recorder, drive 60 miles to another studio and then record the horn parts. Sound quality was excellent. On the wedding project I had to submit acoustic guitar recordings of Vivaldi, some 60's tunes, and lastly a sort of Disco rendering of a Nuevo Flamenco piece. Each recording was easy to accomplish, and whether acoustic or raucous all sounded great. I have been playing with the internal drum machine (step record) and it is super simple. The instructions are adequate and with the exception of how to use the Reverb and Chorus "Sent" all is pretty straight forward. I'll get my money back on the first wedding gig... The transfer to and from a computer to use third party software is very simple and easy. So is mastering.

      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


      Great unit

      By NB

      from Nyc

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer


      • Easy To Use


        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        Great multi track for the price. Decent drum tracks and effects.

        (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


        Amazing Effects,One Mean Machine.

        By Gerald

        from Mays Landing N.J.

        Site Member

        Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        Before I bought this bad boy i had tons of gear.Multi-Effects Pedals,Rack EQ's you name it.After getting this I didn't need any of it.This thing has awesome effects for Guitar,Bass,Vocals even my Drums.Very easy to use.Before I got this I had a Fostex Mr8 Mk2.They are not even on the same planet let alone level.Playing every instrument and doing vocals I can knock a song out in about an hour.That's how simple it is to use.Any sound you want.Clean acoustic to raging Hardcore Metal.I've done both.PERFECT SOUND!!! 10 Stars.Amazed how can this tiny little machine do so much.

        (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


        Zoom R8

        By Richard Wheatley

        from Albuquerque New Mexico

        Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        I have been looking for an all in one unit that I can use and travel with I ended up purchasing the Zoom R8. I did not have to but I traded in a Tascam recorder and a Zoom floor unit. I got more than I expected for both and got the R8 discounted. All in all a good experience at the Albuquerque store and a great sales person who was 60 years old. Love the unit as it does what in need and the purchase was better than expected.

        (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)


        Perfect for Beginners

        By Miles Kreidler

        from Ely, Nevada

        Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        The R8 is perfect for musicians who are just starting to record. I started playing the guitar when I was 7 and have been playing for 16 years but just got into recording. All of the controls are easy to use. It works pretty much like any electronic device. As long as you can use a computer, you should be able to figure it out quickly. Even if you are a man, I suggest reading the instructions because it can do so much. Mixing the tracks is super easy and even though it is only an 8 track, once you have two tracks you know you like, you can turn them into one. So you can record much more. I have no experience with drums so I just use the 400 drum loops that come on it. The only part I am disappointed in so far is the loop function for tracks other than the drums. It is hard to use, so I just play through the entire song rather than playing a riff and looping it.

        (3 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


        could need some work...

        By WILLIE R

        from Jacksonville Fl

        Comments about Zoom R8 8-Track SD Recorder, Sampler & USB Interface:

        I usually tell people what I like about a object before I tell them what I don't like about it. I have been playing old school for a long time, getting something new and different is hard for me. I don't like the screen grafic's and the drum tips are very cheap. The play back is hard to understand and using your own effects is difficult to use. I was given this from my wife so I'll keep it, but won't use soon as I can I'll sell it. This is not worth the $$$

        Displaying reviews 1-8

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