Zoom R16 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interface Review

Due to technological innovations, making it in the music scene has become much easier than ever before. Now we have social media to promote compositions and multitrack recorders to record songs in home studios or in just about any location the musician prefers. It also allows musicians to save on studio time costs.

Hence the convenient multitrack recorder is a blessing that all creatives should get to try out. We are going to review the Zoom R16 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interface and see whether it’s something you should get into. Read the rest of the article for more information.


  • Capable of 8 track simultaneous recording
  • Capable of 16 track playback
  • Has a pair of omnidirectional condenser mics
  • Includes 9 faders with 4-segment LED level meters
  • Has 8 input and 2 output USB audio interface up to 96 kHz at 24-bit res
  • Provides control surface for lots of DAW applications
  • Includes Cubase LE 5
  • Can support up to 32 gig SD cards
  • Includes 1 gig SD card
  • Can coordinate 2 R16s by means of USB connection


The Zoom R16 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interface provide 8 tracks simultaneous recording plus the capability to put in 8 additional tracks. It can record to wav format; just choose between 44.1 and 48kHz sample rates at either 16 or 24-bit rate.

It is capable of doing service as a Mackie emulator as well in lots of DAW applications or software from Cakewalk, Cubase and many more. This also brings in all automation with non-powered sliders.

When it comes to effects and other related aspects, the unit includes EQ and reverb. It is chorus-adjustable for every track, plus has the means to modify EQ and reverb settings.

The reverb has a smooth and excellent sound, which makes the unit advantageous over other similar models. The unit also includes a nice selection of effects, including mastering ones.

It has phantom power on 2 channels, which are switchable for two channels collectively. It also includes integrated condenser microphones if you want to keep things minimal. Both mics work great.

The unit contains a 4-LED level indicator on every input and the primary output. It provides dependable, silent storage on SDHC cards and is lightweight and portable, which makes it ideal for traveling.

It can also operate using AA batteries for a number of hours.

As a recorder, the device was a snap to use. You can use it during band practice or while writing songs. After a session we just put the recordings on the card and into the DAW, uploaded every track separately together with the effects plugins and began our edits.

If you are the type who wants to get into home recording and doing edits on DAW but prioritize portability and minimalism, you do not have to look for other like devices since this model will work for you. The R16 lets musicians assemble and record in just a few minutes, and then they can follow up with editing jobs later.

It also allows its users to supplement the unit with another R16 to record 16 tracks simultaneously.


The preamps provided by the unit worked fine, but not enough to impress me. There were also customers who complained about its lack of MIDI.

You can do editing jobs on the unit, but they will require some effort and a bit of technical know-how. It is more advisable to work on edits using your computer or DAQ application.

According to another customer, the unit did not have any separate channel outputs. This can pose a problem while playing live.


The Zoom R16 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interface has a good layout and nice features that you can play with while composing songs. It is laden with effects and produces decent enough sound quality for you to improve your songwriting skills.

It’s a must for musicians who need a portable multitrack recorder they can take anywhere.

Still not quite sold?  The Zoom R16 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interface made both our list of top digital mutitrack recorders and best budget multitrack recorders!

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