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Zoom RhythmTrak RT- 223 Drum Machine

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The RhythmTrak Drum Machine from Zoom is ready to groove right from the start. There are 70 different drum kits built-in featuring both acoustic and processed analog sounds, ideal for rock, R&B, f... Click To Read More About This Product

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The RhythmTrak Drum Machine from Zoom is ready to groove right from the start. There are 70 different drum kits built-in featuring both acoustic and processed analog sounds, ideal for rock, R&B, funk, jazz, hip hop and electronic music styles. In addition to these genres you will find kits ranging from ethnic to voice "beat box" percussion, where you can create advanced rhythm tracks, and try techniques like replacing a kick, snare, or other instrument sound, and express them as a human voice.


• 5 Rock Kits
• 5 Dance Groove Kits
• 6 R&B Kits
• 5 Jazz Kits
• 5 Voice Percussion Kits
• 6 Pop Kits
• 7 Funk Kits
• 5 Hard Rock Kits
• 6 Zoom Classic Kits
• 6 Fusion Kits
• 4 Hip Hop Kits
• 10 World Kits

Create your own drum kits
All drum kits consists of 3 banks, each with 13 pads for a total of 39 unique samples per kit. Sound sources can be freely selected and assigned to the pads with the ability to fine-tune parameters such as pitch, level, and panning to create your own amazing custom kits. The RT-223 has room to store up to 127 of your own personally programmed kits.

Twelve built-in bass sound sources
Choose from electric bass styles such as Pick, Finger, and Slap, or select Acoustic Bass, Synthesizer Bass, or one of the other bass sources, 12 in total. To create a bass line, you can play the pads with assigned chromatic pitches just like a keyboard. A dedicated switch quickly lets you mute the bass sound at any time.

Use onboard effects to control EQ and ambience
Use the COMP EQ effect to have complete control over a kit's tonal quality, or add depth and dimension to the overall sound simultaneously with the REVERB effect. These effects can also be applied to bass sounds, and up to 40 settings for each effect can be stored as patches, so you can easily recall them for future projects.

COMP EQ effect
The RT-223 incorporates a multi-band compressor with independent settings for each frequency band. By applying the effect to just the right frequency range, you can tighten up the kick drum, give snares and toms more body, or perform other mastering tricks to spruce up the sound of a drum kit. There's also a resonance filter and Low-Fi effect built-in that are essential tools for some styles of dance music.

REVERB effect
There are four different types of reverb including Hall, Room, Spring, and Plate that can help you set the right space for your drums. In addition to the reverb settings, there is also a Chorus, Flanger, and Delay effect that will further shape your sound. For example, you could apply Gate Reverb to the snare sound only, or place the entire drum kit in a hall. Flanger and Delay can be synchronized to the tempo in measure or beat units. Create Flanger with 4-measure modulation or a dotted eighth note Delay.

440 preset patterns cover all musical styles
From Rock, Jazz, and Funk to Club and House, the RT-223 comes with 440 playing patterns that can be used straight away. A large number of phrase variations including intro, fill-in, and ending patterns are also provided. By simply combining these, you can whip up a backing rhythm that delivers the goods.

Touch-sensitive pads let you build original patterns
Programming your own patterns is a snap, thanks to the touch-sensitive drum pads. The RhythmTrak records not only your timing, but also the dynamics of your finger work. You can create and store up to 511 patterns. The process is made even easier through visual cues provided by the self-lit pads.

Quickly create original songs with FAST method
You can combine any number of drum patterns in any order to create a song. In addition to step input where you select patterns one by one, the RT-223 also offers the innovative FAST (Formula Assisted Song Translator) method. With FAST, you use symbols such as +, ‚àí, and brackets "()" to specify the pattern lineup. This is especially useful for songs with repeated patterns. To play pattern number 12 eight times and then pattern 25 sixteen times, you simply enter "12 x 8 + 25 x 16". By enclosing this in brackets and adding a multiplication factor such as "( ) x 4", the entire sequence can be repeated. The RT-223 lets you store as many as 100 songs for automated backing.

Groove play mode lets you play patterns like a DJ
Assigning patterns to pads allows you to trigger patterns simply by tapping the pads. This is great for live performances and for DJ use.

User-friendly design for simple operation
The RhythmTrak is a dedicated rhythm machine designed to make rhythm programming truly easy. You can take the shortest possible route from idea to finished song. No need to boot up a computer and start DAW software, or laboriously read sound source data into a sampler. Most controls on the top panel of the RT-223 have only a single function, and there are no complicated multi-level menus. The backlit LCD shows all-important information at a glance.

Metronome function for simple repeat practice
The built-in metronome with its dedicated key is handy for simple repeat practice. In addition to the standard 2 - 8 beat, you can also use 6/8 beat, 7/8 beat, 2+3 beat, 3+4 beat and other mixed beat settings.

MIDI IN connector and external line input
The MIDI IN connector allows synchronized play with an external device. By receiving note messages, the RhythmTrak can serve as drum sound source module in a MIDI-based system. The line input accepts the signal from a CD player or other line-level source, or from a guitar or bass via an effect. Seamlessly integrate the RT-223 into any session.

2-way power from size AA batteries or AC adaptor
The unit will operate continuously for eight hours on a set of four IEC R6 (size AA) batteries. Whether on stage or during rehearsals in the studio, the RhythmTrak is always ready. For extended studio work, an AC adaptor can also be used.


70 Built-in drum kits featuring both acoustic and processed analog sounds
Create your own custom drum kits
12 different built-in bass sound sources
Onboard effects like reverb, chorus, flanger, EQ and delay help shape your sound
440 preset drum patterns included covering all types of musical styles
Touch-sensitive pads record timing and dynamics of your finger work
Unique FAST method helps quick arrangements using mathematical symbols
Assign patterns to pads for live performance and DJ uses
User-friendly stand-alone design, no need to boot up a PC or start DAW software
Metronome function for simple repeat practice
MIDI IN connector and external line input
2-way power from size AA batteries or AC adaptor
Drum Kits: 127(Factory: 70, Blank: 57)
Drum Sounds: 213
Bass Programs: 12
Rhythm Patterns: 511(Factory: 440, Blank: 71)
Songs: 100
Maximum Notes: 32,000
Polyphony: 18
Resolution: 96PPQN
Tempo: 40ˆ’250BPM
Sampling Frequency: 44.1kHz
D/A Conversion: 24bit 8times over-sampling
Drum Pads: 13(touch sensitive, self lighted)
Control Input: Foot Switch
Display: 128-segment custom LCD (with backlight)
Line Input: 1/4" stereo phone jack (Input impedance: 10kÎ, Rated input level: ˆ’10dBm)
Line Output (L/MONO, R): 2 x 1/4" phone jack (Output Impedance: 1kÎ or less, Rated output level: ˆ’10dBm)
Headphone Output: 1/8" stereo phone jack, 50mW into 32Î load
Power Requirements: AA size (LR6) battery x 4 or AC adaptor DC9V/300mA / Center minus type (AD-0006 recommended)
Battery Life: Approx. 8 hours (with alkaline batteries)
Dimensions: 217.9 (W) x 182.6 (D) x 35.5 (H) mm
Weight: 680g (without batteries)
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ZoomRhythmTrak RT- 223 Drum Machine

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Be forewarned: RT-223 has MIDI Sync issues

By ejm

from USA

About Me Experienced


  • 400 user pattern slots!!!!!!!!
  • Easy to program
  • OK if used as a stand alone device (non MIDI)
  • Sounds good


  • Cannot back up songs/patterns externally
  • MIDI Sync clock loses timing
  • Not Functional

Best Uses

  • Practicing

Comments about Zoom RhythmTrak RT- 223 Drum Machine:

This has been a very frustrating experience, using it the way that I do, and I cannot rate this piece low enough. I'll try to sum it up for you.

If you are using this machine to jam along with and practice, and are not using the MIDI SYNC Clock, it will be fine. I like the sounds, features, programmability, and the fact that it has roughly 400 user pattern slots.
HOWEVER, if you are using this machine with the MIDI Sync Clock, BE FOREWARNED. It most likely will not work correctly. It will drift out of time with other instruments that are also sync'ed.

I used to do recordings where, listening back, the timing between the drums and other instruments would seem out of sync on some days but not others. I used to think it was me. Then one day, out of the blue, I heard the drum machine drift out of sync, almost like it missed a clock or something. AHA!!!!!

By that time my machine was out of warranty. I contacted Zoom customer service, and the guy that I dealt with was super helpful and very fair. He exchanged my machine with another one to try (basically for free). Alas, it had the same problem.

I ultimately did WAY more testing/troubleshooting on this problem than I should have. (Zoom should pay me for looking into this.) I tried different drum machines, different clock sources, etc etc etc. At the end of the day, it always points back to one item: the Zoom RT-223.

I then wrote to Zoom Engineering about this problem over a year ago. I have heard back from...........No One. I don't know if they ever looked into it, or if they did and didn't verify the problem, or if they did and actually verified the problem, or whatever. If there is not a problem, I would assume that they would have notified me.

This MIDI sync circuitry/function has been in existence for over 30 years. It is a standard interface. Their old ancient RT-123 machines worked fine. How this newer "improved" RT-223 got this basic circuit messed up is a head scratcher. If there was a fix I'd jump on it.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


RT-223 additional comments

By ejm

from California, USA

Comments about Zoom RhythmTrak RT- 223 Drum Machine:

Some good stuff:
User patterns = over 400. YAY!!!!!!!!
I really like this. Note that you can erase the pre-programmed patterns and replace them with your own if you want.
Song Position Pointer:
I think this is what it's called. This makes it a little easier to work with in my application. (If you are syncing this machine live, you are still out of luck.) You can start your Master device at any point in the song, and the RT-223 somehow knows where to go and starts at the right location.
Unless I missed it, this feature is not highlighted or pointed out anywhere in the documentation.

Bad stuff:
Deleting multiple patterns/measures/steps in the song:
You can't delete a group of patterns/measures/steps. You can only delete them one at a time. This is a minor inconvenience.

Back up of patterns/songs to an external device:
There isn't a way. You're on your own to figure out your own methods for doing it.
To be fair, most drum machines I've seen also don't have this, and it is a great mystery why.

Pads light up when playing in pattern mode, but NOT in song mode:
It would be nice if the pads always were lit up as the sounds are produced. My old Zoom RT-123 doesn't have this issue (the pads light up no matter which mode you're in). This makes it easier to edit things later.

When in song mode, if you hit one of the pads it doesn't sound. Instead, it goes to some other mode of operation. Another, at least for me, bizarre design decision. On my old RT-123, if I have a song playing, and there is a section where I want to add handclaps (for example), I can just hit the pad while the song is playing. I don't need to create another pattern like the one being used, and add handclaps to it. Not so with the RT-223.

In short, IMO, Zoom must have had the "B" team working on the design of the RT-223.
Or they must have not been aiming this at people who want to replace a real drummer with a realistic simulation.

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