Zoom R24 as audio interface

Well, let’s make a new thread so others can find it…

I use the R24 on Linux (Fedora), with Ardour in ALSA mode. They play nice together. All 8 inputs can be used simultaneuously for recording. As control surface (Mackie protocol), you get the sliders (8 + master), transport controls, 5 programmable function keys, and mute/record/solo buttons and leds.

I am very happy with the R24 but should it break down I will probably buy an R16. In practice I seldom use more than 8 tracks to mix while recording and I do not use the sequencer, editor and drum kit features. I record with “Always new” so I always get a new file for a new recording. After recording I can play the file, and if I want to hear it during further recordings I assign it to another track. So basically I use bank 1 for recording, bank 2 for recordings to hear while making new recordings. Overdubs are just stored on the SD card. Finally I transport everything to Ardour and the real fun starts.

You can download full documentation from the net.

Thank you very much for this. I think I’m going to buy one as a portable mixer/recorder for my hardware synths. But it can do so much more…

I wonder if it’s possible to use zoom r24 only as a input device, while playback (monitoring) is done via some other gear like scarlett 2i4?
So basically if setup like this would actually work:

  • 8 hardware synths, mics etc connected to zoom’s XLR’s
  • zoom (in interface mode) connected via usb to 8 audio tracks in Ardour
  • scarlett 2i4 connected via usb to the same computer
  • studio monitors connected to scarlett 2i4 main outs

I see no reason why not. In Ardour you can arbitrarily connect inputs and outputs.
I assume the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection (480Mbit/s) is capable of transmitting 8 channels simultaneously.

In general you have to use the same device for input and output. It is possible to use two (or more) devices with jackd using sample rate conversion to handle the slight mismatch in real sample rate that exists for two separate devices running at the same nominal sample rate, built in with jackd 1, or using zita-ajbridge for jackd2, but I do not think Ardour directly incorporates the same capability yet.

So, if I understand correctly, as long as I’m using Jack, this setup will work with Ardour, right?

And another question for Sciurius:
Can I apply zoom’s inbuilt effects on audio signal when zoom works as audio interface?
Something like:
Synth on zoom’s channel 1 in -> zoom’s delay or whatever -> Ardour audio track

Personally I have never used this, but it seems you can apply an insert effect to one input only, and the built-in reverb effects to all inputs individually.

Questions like this are better asked on the Zoom forums.

Ok i see, I was just curious cause manual is somewhat vague for me when it comes to that.
Anyway thank you for bringing this device to my attention. I think I’ll have real fun with it.
If not it would be your fault, and Robin’s too because making it play nice with Ardour decisively pushed me to buy it (just kidding :upside_down_face: )

What about the new LiveTrak L-12 or L-24 ?

The LiveTraks are different beasts, although they have certain things in common with the Rxx. As I sometimes put it, oversimplified: the Lxx is a mixer that can record, the Rxx is a recorder that can mix. It is portable and can run on batteries. The Lxx has more inputs (some stereo) and more controls, and presets so you need less fiddling with the menus. Quite crucial during a live performance. It is much heavier and robust. And expensive.

See also e.g. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpost.php?p=13219103&postcount=6