Zoom R8 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interface Review

Thanks to its versatile features the Zoom R8 multi track SD recorder, controller and interface can be used for recording at home or in the open. This recording equipment can record 8 tracks. It also functions as a pad sampler, a rhythm creator, a loop based sequencer, DAW control surface and audio interface.

The Zoom R8 Multitrack has inbuilt stereo condenser microphones, dual mic inputs and its board has 140 built in DSP effects.

The Zoom R8 provides excellent control surface for commonly used digital work stations (DAWs) including Cubase, Logic and GarageBand. Zoom R8 has a 2 input/2 output USB port which can be used as interface for DAWs.

The recorder is equipped with real faders and transport and status keys that help in streamlining the mixing process. This means you no longer have to struggle with the mouse to mix sounds; the Zoom R8 makes the process much simpler, easier and also provides excellent controls.

You can use the Zoom R8’s eight sensitive velocity pads to create samples, drum sounds or loops from recorded audio tracks or other sources. Perfect synchronization can be achieved by quantization and time stretching features. The onboard audio sequencer can be used for attaining high level precision.

The Zoom R8 has more than 140 inbuilt DSP effects which include guitar, bass amps, as well as mic preamp models and also algorithms like multi band compression. These effects can be applied during recording, mixing and also during playback.

Features of Zoom R8 Multi track SD Recorder Controller and Interface

  • Lightweight music equipment weighing 2.7 pounds
  • Compact device of dimensions 1 x 7.5 x 2 inches
  • 16 track playback feature
  • 8 track recording simultaneous
  • Secure digital memory (SD)
  • Recording in WAV format (16/24-bit/44.1 KHz linear PCM)
  • In built stereo condenser microphones
  • Supports up to 32 GB SDHC
  • 1 GB SD card is included
  • Dual mic/ instrument level/line inputs on TRS/XLR connectors combo
  • Dual headphone output and balanced jacks
  • Dedicated volume organizer
  • Equipped with 8-voice pad sampler, a loop-based audio sequencer and onboard rhythm machine
  • Over 140 effects onboard
  • In built metronome and tuner chromatic, variable playback speed with or without pitch change
  • Mackie Control emulation feature for full surface control
  • Mixing and transport control features for DAWs


  • Acts as music sketch board
  • Can be used for creating excellent music creation
  • Can be used for recording, controlling and as an interface
  • Pure sound quality
  • Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
  • Can be powered by battery as well as adapter


  • Simple design, could have been more innovative
  • Wire is short, could have been longer


The Zoom R8 Multi track SD Recorder Controller and Interface is a marvel in sound engineering and can be used for creating a variety of music.

Other similar products that compare with the Zoom R8 are TASCAM DP-008EX Digital Porta studio 8-Track Portable Multitrack Recorder, TASCAM DP-006 Digital Portastudio 6-Track Portable Multtrack Recorder, Tascam DP-32SD 32-Track Digital Portastudio with a Free Patriot 32GB SD Card, TASCAM DR-680MKII Digital Multitrack Recorder with SDXC cards up to 128GB, Korg 32 Track 24/96 Digital Recorder

All these music instruments have varying features and prices but the last mentioned, Korg 32 Track, accommodates more input, effects and tracks, and is priced significantly higher than the rest.


When purchasing a music recording and creating device, the main considerations include equipment versatility, capacity, abilities, sound quality, portability, outdoor sound capturing and producing capabilities, and as well as other considerations like equipment design and compactness and inbuilt features and effects.

Professionals and people with music as a hobby can use the Zoom R8 as their creative music drawing boards; they can literally sketch out their music. The eight tracks in the equipment can be used for recording and playing in full fidelity WAV format. In the open you can operate this Zoom recorder on batteries.

This R8 can be connected directly to external devices such as microphones and instruments. If you want a minimal set up then you can also use its in built stereo mic pair.

For creating a studio quality stereo mix you can use the R8’s internal mixer, physical faders, equalizers, panners, amp models, multi- band compression and other effects.

Still not quite sold?  The Zoom R8 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interfacemade both our list of top digital multitrack recorders and our list of best budget multitrack recorders!

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