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Zoom R24 Experiences / Problems
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ullanta
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#1
15th November 2010
Old 15th November 2010
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Zoom R24 Experiences / Problems

I've been testing the R24 as a backup device for my ProTools setup (basically, An original OctoPre feeding a Digi002 via ADAT, with the analog output of the OctoPre feeding the eight channels of the R24).

The sound quality of the R24 is pretty nice in this setup, and I have confidence that in a ProTools disaster (though I haven't had one in years) the R24 backup recording would be fine.

There are a few issues, though...

1) Timing: the R24 like other Zoom devices has a sample rate that's a bit off. In repeated experiments, the R24 recording 8 tracks drifted from other devices (PT setup, Sound Devices recorder) by about 4ms/minute (about 1/4 second an hour, enough to be a problem, say, with long form material that needs to sync to video)

2) Input clipping - the clipping point of the line inputs is pretty low... well below that of the OctoPre A/D converters.


P.S. Attached is an image of a ProTools session showing the white noise bug... as you can see, partway through the session I stopped recording track 6 and started recording track 7... causing tracks 1-5 to record white noise for the rest of the session...

3) At least one bug... if you stop recording in the middle of a session, then change the record-arming of tracks, on SOME occasions the R24 will SEEM to record without problems, but on transfer to a computer or playback on the R24 you'll find that, after the point you switched the recording tracks, some of the tracks record only full-scale random noise (close to white noise). Ugh! Anyone have experience with this?

So, some issues... but for the price it's a useful device... I've also used it on a whim to get multitrack recordings of events I was doing live sound for by just plugging into inserts or direct outs of the console... pretty convenient and great quality. Hope they get the bugs shaken out!
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Zoom R24 Experiences / Problems-r24noiseproblem.jpg  
ullanta
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#2
19th November 2010
Old 19th November 2010
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Aaargh! This happened again today WITHOUT me changing the record-arming of any tracks. Quite distressing... I'm now forced to call the R24 useless for my purposes and hope for a bug fix... but I've gotten no response from Zoom in the last week... has anyone else seen this on the R24 or R16?
#3
10th December 2010
Old 10th December 2010
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dpolcino is offline
Yes this has happened twice for no reason. Yesterday was during a session with Larry David! Luckily I checked and didn't lose anything, but yes, I'd like to find out why it does this. In my case I didn't do any re-arming of tracks or anything like that. Picky with the SD cards maybe?

Please post a response if anyone figures this one out.

PS. They have a 1.10 version now and it mentions something about fixing a noise bug, so maybe that'll do the trick.
ullanta
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10th December 2010
Old 10th December 2010
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Sadly, no... this definitely happens with the 1.10 firmware!
#5
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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I've been looking at this device with some interest. Anyone else having this/solved this problem or have any other experiences with it? I'm mainly concerned with it as a control surface for Pro Tools.
#6
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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Angry Zoom R24: after recording, how much time "Working"?

Hello,
a few days ago we recorded the Xmas concerto of our Fulcos Regional Mannenkoor, accompanied by a string quartet and a mezzo soprano in a the cathedral IJsselstein (Netherlands). We used 6 of my good C-mikes and cables, and the brand new Korg D888 purchased by a college choir member.
It should be less stressfull to record on 8track and mix later to stereo, than record stereo on my Pioneer video HDD recorder. You know, i have to sing too.
!!! Disaster !!!! After the fist concert-half, during the pause the recorder was "Working". But NOT READY FOR RECORDING AGAIN when the second concert-half started.
Result: missed 3 songs!
At end of the concert, the recorder was "Working" again. But when phantom power was switched-off tutt in order to disconnect the C-mikes, the recorder itself switches-off too. NO RECORDING OF SECOND CONCERT-HALF AT ALL.
>>> Question 1:
How much time the Zoom R24 needs to finish-off a recording of 45minutes of 8 tracks at 48kHz/24bit? Is it ready to record again within 10 minutes?\
---Question2:
How big then is the total file-size? Can it be backed-up on a (dual-layer-)DVD for archiving?

Who is willing to test this for us? fuuck

Greetings, Nico.
#7
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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Also, I talked to a friend of mine who does location sound and he was concerned about the quality of the preamps and how deep the noise floor is. He suggested that a product as cheap as this might not work for dialog recording in the field because you would probably bring the noise floor up a lot quicker trying to get whispers and such than some more expensive recorder. Can anyone comment on this?
#8
2nd February 2011
Old 2nd February 2011
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ziziva is offline
Hi all,
This is the first forum post of any kind I have ever done. I am thinking about getting the Zoom R24. I live in Africa, and want something portable for multitracking my musician friends here. I have been using Protools LE with the original MBox and an old Powerbook G4. It just recently breathed its last breath. I want to move to something that is more portable, and the Zoom seems like a good fit. I have some questions:
1) Has anyone resolved the problem regarding white noise appearing on tracks that were recorded?
2) Is there a way to EQ the input signals prior to recording them?

When I am recording with my microphones, I like to be able to set the treble, midrange, and bass EQs just right while monitoring the signal... I like to do this before the signal goes to tape (or disk). But in the pictures, it does not look like the Zoom R24 has knobs for tweeking the input signals. Is there are control for this in the menus?

Thanks folks!
Ziziva

PS I also plan to use the Zoom as a controller for Protools, once I get Protools up and running on a new computer. Is it a good idea, or is there a better device for me?
#9
2nd February 2011
Old 2nd February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziziva View Post
Hi all,
This is the first forum post of any kind I have ever done. I am thinking about getting the Zoom R24. I live in Africa, and want something portable for multitracking my musician friends here. I have been using Protools LE with the original MBox and an old Powerbook G4. It just recently breathed its last breath. I want to move to something that is more portable, and the Zoom seems like a good fit. I have some questions:
1) Has anyone resolved the problem regarding white noise appearing on tracks that were recorded?
2) Is there a way to EQ the input signals prior to recording them?

When I am recording with my microphones, I like to be able to set the treble, midrange, and bass EQs just right while monitoring the signal... I like to do this before the signal goes to tape (or disk). But in the pictures, it does not look like the Zoom R24 has knobs for tweeking the input signals. Is there are control for this in the menus?

Thanks folks!
Ziziva

PS I also plan to use the Zoom as a controller for Protools, once I get Protools up and running on a new computer. Is it a good idea, or is there a better device for me?
I don't have a white noise problem with my R24 - the damn thing generates a tone around 1.5kHz on all tracks. Its back at Sweetwater for evaluation but Zoom has been totally unresponsive to the problem.

You can EQ on the way in.

I really do love this unit for the reasons you're looking into it - man, throw a 32G SD card in there and go to work wherever. But I hope they come up with an answer for the self generating tone and fix it.
#10
21st February 2011
Old 21st February 2011
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I ended up fixing my R24 myself. Turns out the tone oscillation is caused by a power supply problem. Oscillation only occurs when phantom is on and the unit is running on the wall-wart. No oscillation problem with batteries. So I cut-off the supplied wall-wart and replaced it with a slightly higher voltage and current supply wall-wart. Solved the problem.
#11
22nd February 2011
Old 22nd February 2011
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The software is up to version 1.20 now, released on March 4, 2010. Zoom says this:

Quote:
Released as following bug fix version.

1. Project data accidentally overwritten while Sequential playback.

2. Send effect level becomes smaller by inserting an Insert Effect on master track.

3. Metronome volume cannot be changed by BALANCE knob during Sequential playback.

4. The [MASTER] fader doesn’t work when metronome switch is set to [PHONES ONLY] during playback master track.
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ullanta
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#12
1st March 2011
Old 1st March 2011
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Still haven't had any luck with the darn thing. Has no one else had the problems with "pure noise" tracks?

It occurs to me that I've been recording at 48k; has anyone else done longform recording at 48k without this problem?
ullanta
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#13
10th March 2011
Old 10th March 2011
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Finally, a response from Zoom:




Thank you for your inquiry.

We confirmed your similar problem. We will do our best to fix in this
problem. As a method of evading this problem, though the problem happens for
continued recording, please select the "Always New" about recording mode.
Please refer manual page 99. In this case, please don't use pause button,
then, use stop button for end of the song. Then, it always make the new file
when you push the stop button. When we fixed this problem, we will inform
you.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Sincerely yours,
ZOOM CORPORATION
===================
#14
10th March 2011
Old 10th March 2011
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dpolcino is offline
Yeah, that makes sense (as in I rec/pause/rec a lot and have had this problem a number of times), so they should, uh, fix that. Good job getting a response!
#15
11th March 2011
Old 11th March 2011
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yeah, thanks for the perseverance with Zoom. I got no answers regarding the self-oscillation problem I had, and then solved myself.

Great little box when its working right though! I think we're on the cusp of some great new music being made and recorded outside (Pitchfork rooftop concerts) and / or in unusual spaces. I believe portable multi-trackers with this level of quality and user-friendliness are as important to musicians / recordists as was the invention of oil paint in tubes was to visual artists ("Plein air" Impressionism flowed from that invention).
#16
29th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nico_pa0nhc View Post
Hello,
a few days ago we recorded the Xmas concerto of our Fulcos Regional Mannenkoor, accompanied by a string quartet and a mezzo soprano in a the cathedral IJsselstein (Netherlands). We used 6 of my good C-mikes and cables, and the brand new Korg D888 purchased by a college choir member.
It should be less stressfull to record on 8track and mix later to stereo, than record stereo on my Pioneer video HDD recorder. You know, i have to sing too.
!!! Disaster !!!! After the fist concert-half, during the pause the recorder was "Working". But NOT READY FOR RECORDING AGAIN when the second concert-half started.
Result: missed 3 songs!
At end of the concert, the recorder was "Working" again. But when phantom power was switched-off tutt in order to disconnect the C-mikes, the recorder itself switches-off too. NO RECORDING OF SECOND CONCERT-HALF AT ALL.
>>> Question 1:
How much time the Zoom R24 needs to finish-off a recording of 45minutes of 8 tracks at 48kHz/24bit? Is it ready to record again within 10 minutes?\
---Question2:
How big then is the total file-size? Can it be backed-up on a (dual-layer-)DVD for archiving?

Who is willing to test this for us? fuuck

Greetings, Nico.
So this isn't about the R24, but so you know the D888 has a known bug where after you record once on a project, and push stop, it is fine, but the second time it will then be "working" as you had there for a long time. This is because of the undo function writing large files or something.

I used to use a D888 exclusively for a while, and it's an excellent machine, but you do have to work around the bugs a little. If you do a search you'll find the specifics in some other threads I've posted in, but frankly I didn't even know the D888 was still around.
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#17
15th May 2011
Old 15th May 2011
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Skinnyman is offline
So this is my first post - apologies if I cover old ground or this is a stupid question....

I've been using a BOSS BR600 and got pretty good results with it but have recently upgraded to a Zoom R24 (after much research and having read through many of the relevant threads on this forum - thanks guys'n'gals).

I've got to say I'm really impressed with the R24. It took me a while to work out how to navigate around it and fit into it's workflow (unlearning the BOSS methodology as much as anything) but I've got the hang of most things now and got some decent recordings as a result. Well, decent if you ignore the lack of playing ability....

However. I started playing around with the Track sequencer. That was OK but then I decided to sequence some rhythm patterns and that's where I get stuck.

So I tell the machine to play Pattern A for a couple bars, then Pattern B for a bar and Pattern A again for a bar. That all works fine - but I then want the sequencer to loop the whole thing and repeatedly play the sequence I've set up. And it won't. I've scanned the manual (unusual I know) but can't find anything in there.

Anyone got any thoughts - I'm more than prepared to believe that I'm being dense and have missed something obvious - but I just can't see what it might be so any pointers greatly appreciated.

So far, the only thing I prefer about the BR600 to the R24 is the pattern editor - but if I can crack the issue described above, then I'll be a happy bunny.

Thanks in advance....
#18
7th September 2011
Old 7th September 2011
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giacomo is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
I ended up fixing my R24 myself. Turns out the tone oscillation is caused by a power supply problem. Oscillation only occurs when phantom is on and the unit is running on the wall-wart. No oscillation problem with batteries. So I cut-off the supplied wall-wart and replaced it with a slightly higher voltage and current supply wall-wart. Solved the problem.
Hi,

I'm having the exact same problem with my R24...could you tell us the voltage and current supply specifications of your new wall-wart? I'm willing to try the same thing, just to get the problem fixed...

many thanks
#19
22nd September 2011
Old 22nd September 2011
  #19
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Brendan Baker is offline
I just bought an R24 and can confirm a the synch/drift issue. I recorded my DAW's metronome for about 15 minutes and routed the signal to several devices including the R24. Then I imported and lined up the initial transients on each of the recordings against the click track. The R24 was the only device that went noticeably out of synch in 15 minutes. Based on my measurements, it drifts at about 4.16 ms per minute.

It's a great product aside from this (I haven't run into the noise issue mentioned above yet). But I bought this device primarily for recording audio for video shoots, so these results are really unacceptable.

I'm curious if the R16 has the same drift problem, as I don't expect to use the R24's sampler feature very often.

Hopefully this can be addressed in a firmware update and isn't a hardware problem. I wonder if it could simply be an inaccurate sample rate? No response from Zoom as of yet...
#20
15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
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Brendan Baker is offline
So I wrote this letter to Zoom:
"Hello,
I have a problem with my Zoom R24, and I'm hoping you can help me out. I bought the R24 to record audio during video location shoots (recording at 48khz on all devices, of course). But when I import the audio tracks to the video after the recording, I the audio and video go "out of synch" very quickly--after only a few minutes.

So I ran a test:
I recorded a digital metronome from my computer's DAW for about 20 minutes and sent the signal to the R24, and also to my new Zoom H2N, an M-audio Microtrack II, and to an external audio interface (a Pro Tools M-box) recording straight to my computer. Then I imported each recording and compared the waveforms in my DAW (Logic). I've attached some screenshots to demonstrate this. As you can see in the pictures, the R24 goes out of synch in just a few minutes. (You also can HEAR it going out of phase as clearly as you can SEE it.) Based on my measurements, it drifts at about 4.16 ms per minute. (The Zoom H2N also drifts a little, but NOT nearly as bad--after 20 minutes it was still in synch with my audio interface.) So in other words, the synch/timing drift problem on the R24 is very bad--much worse than any other device I tested.

However, when I use the R24 in audio interface mode (orange track in my pictures), I DO get accurate recordings.

I called Samson, and they told me to try a different SD card. I tried a Transcend 16GB card (TS16G-SDHC6), which is approved for use on the R24 and had the same problem. I also had this problem with the 1GB card included with the R24. Samson said my R24 might just be defective, so I returned it to the store and exchanged it for a new one. The new R24 has the exact same problem, so I think this might be an issue with all of them...

I bought the R24 to record audio for video shoots (as advertized uses on Zoom's website), but with this problem I can't rely on the R24. The most important thing is that I get accurate recordings--at least as good as the Zoom H2N can do. Does the R16 have this problem? If not, I might exchange it for an R16.

How can I we fix this problem? Could you fix this with a firmware update? (I'm currently running version 1.10.)

Thank you for your help and looking forward to your advice."
Here's their response:
"Thank you for your inquiry.
I'm sorry for the delay. We consulted to our engineer, and received reply from them. As a conclusion, it is a spec for the R24. It is concern with accuracy of crystal oscillator. Usually, acceptable range of the crystal oscillator is +/- 50ppm. Maybe we think that it is acceptable range, but we think that it is bad result. As the reason, the R24 is using chip of clock generator. And, the accuracy of the clock generator has brought this result. We adopted it for supporting standalone recorder and USB audio interface. In short, it is concern with hardware. Therefore, it can't fix with firmware updates. Then, the R16 is using same chip.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation."


I realize, of course, that I might be loosing something in translation, but it certainly sounds like there's a known hardware problem with the accuracy of clock generator on both the R24 and the R16. It's not clear what, if anything, they can or will do to fix it...

I wrote them a polite response asking what they recommend I do and will keep you posted.
#21
12th January 2012
Old 12th January 2012
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ultrabop is offline
Would using the FCP X audio/video synch tool negate the situation? I'm looking to buy a multi-track for band recording and mixing but also shoot video....
#22
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
I ended up fixing my R24 myself. Turns out the tone oscillation is caused by a power supply problem. Oscillation only occurs when phantom is on and the unit is running on the wall-wart. No oscillation problem with batteries. So I cut-off the supplied wall-wart and replaced it with a slightly higher voltage and current supply wall-wart. Solved the problem.
Time for me to revive this thread as I have the same exakt problem as you do.
I hope you'll see this post Michael Joly

Anyway, you say you replaced the ac/dc adapter to one with current and voltage, I get a little uncertain. I was under the impression that you had to match power supply to unit exactly.
My adapter's output is 5V and 1.0A. You mean I can fo for one with higher output, and in that case, how much higher should I go?

This question is of course also directed to anyone blessed with the understanding of electronics
#23
20th January 2014
Old 20th January 2014
  #23
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Has anyone experienced/tested/noted similar timing drift with the zoom R8? it sounds like they have a range of chips running at different clock speeds - that the R16/24 run at the same speed as the Q3HD, but at a different speed to the H2, H2N... I'm interested to know how the R8 compares to a proper clocked 48Khz or 44.1Khz.. has anyone tested it?

apparently this is what's driving an R16, a Texas Instruments DaVinci DM6441:
http://www.inf.pucrs.br/~calazans/gr...%20Devices.pdf

Last edited by mutetourettes; 20th January 2014 at 11:44 PM.. Reason: added link..
#24
21st January 2014
Old 21st January 2014
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I have an R16 and noticed that when I exported a set of wavs from one song into Reaper and played the song back at the correct click tempo 120 bpm, the song notably drifted after around 3 minutes. I check the tempo set back in the R16 and sure enough everything had been recorded at 120 bpm at 24 bit. So, I went back to Reaper and checked each of the imported wav files using the properties option in Reaper. I found that on importing the wavs, Reaper had read the wavs as being recorded at different sample rate than that as set in the R16. I suspect this may have been a glitch at the import/export stage, so I reset the rates in the properties section of each of the wav files in Reaper and, hey presto, everything ran fine. I have to say this has only happened once during the importing of dozens of song wav from theR16 into Reaper but it may be worth checking you sample rates as your DAW may be playing back at the wrong rate.
#25
21st January 2014
Old 21st January 2014
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Ok that's an interesting possibility.
I thought it was pretty well documented that the R24 samples fractionally fast (48.2Khz if my calculatings are right??) when running on internal clock at a reported 48Khz (NOT when it's an interface for a computer), so when the file is subsequently played back as a standard file on better clocked system which is more accurately 48Khz each minute of the performance takes one minute and (if i remember correctly) 4.16ms to play back because the R24 took 200 extra samples every second - so it's a cake and arse party to synch the wav files to recorded video, for example. And zoom/Samson said that was because it was running off the processor clock... (see Zoom R24 Experiences / Problems)

So you're suggesting it may be that whichever DAWs have been used (perhaps consistently) picking the files up as a funny sample rate? what sample rate did reaper say? Was the 'reset' of the sample rate a simple click/instant, or did it actually timestretch/resample the files do you think?

Last edited by mutetourettes; 21st January 2014 at 03:20 PM.. Reason: calculated 48.2Khz
#26
21st January 2014
Old 21st January 2014
  #26
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paging Brendan Baker.... was the decimal point in the right place?

just a hypothesis, but if the difference was actually 41.66 ms (a pretty audible delay after a minute) (ie it seemed to be sampling *1.04166 too fast, or 2000 samples per second too fast, ie 50Khz) then that would be the difference between 24fps and 25fps video rate too (25/24=1.04166)... the xx416 aspect seems like a big coincidence - was the video playing back at the right framerate?

After all these machines are running on a very video-centric chipset...

ah ok I see you actually did an experiment with no video involved and it was still running fast compared to other clocks... I wonder if it's running at 50Khz in there somewhere in its video-heart....

Can anyone confirm that there is the same disparity when the zoom(s) report that they're running at 44.1Khz?
#27
21st January 2014
Old 21st January 2014
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutetourettes View Post
Ok that's an interesting possibility.
I thought it was pretty well documented that the R24 samples fractionally fast (48.2Khz if my calculatings are right??) when running on internal clock at a reported 48Khz (NOT when it's an interface for a computer), so when the file is subsequently played back as a standard file on better clocked system which is more accurately 48Khz each minute of the performance takes one minute and (if i remember correctly) 4.16ms to play back because the R24 took 200 extra samples every second - so it's a cake and arse party to synch the wav files to recorded video, for example. And zoom/Samson said that was because it was running off the processor clock... (see Zoom R24 Experiences / Problems)

So you're suggesting it may be that whichever DAWs have been used (perhaps consistently) picking the files up as a funny sample rate? what sample rate did reaper say? Was the 'reset' of the sample rate a simple click/instant, or did it actually timestretch/resample the files do you think?
I can't remember the numbers but the sample rate looked wrong, so I just punched in the correct rate and the wavs lined up with the grid in Reaper. As I say, this only happened once.
#28
22nd January 2014
Old 22nd January 2014
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
I ended up fixing my R24 myself. Turns out the tone oscillation is caused by a power supply problem. Oscillation only occurs when phantom is on and the unit is running on the wall-wart. No oscillation problem with batteries. So I cut-off the supplied wall-wart and replaced it with a slightly higher voltage and current supply wall-wart. Solved the problem.
Good Idea. Similar problem with me...
#29
3 Weeks Ago
Old 3 Weeks Ago
  #29
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Just picked-up the R24 and I'm extremely pleased so far. In one evening I laid down the solid basis for three tracks, which is more productive than I've been for the past three years.
It feels nice to to be freed from endless reconfiguration of buggy soundcards, latency and associated buzz-killers. Now I can jam-out without worry and use a DAW for editing only.

I went for this over the R16 for the sampler features. Something I haven't seen mentioned is that the R24 has a loop sequencer, and you can build tracks live from loops using the pads. I thought it was worth the extra coin. As I'm not the best player, I can just jam along then loop the best parts (there's a waveform display too!).

Tried it as an audio interface but getting too much hiss from my laptop power supply. Not Zooms fault, I know.

From mains power it's surprisingly quiet - no hiss and the gain can be pushed quite far without introducing much noise. However I am using balanced cables, and I did notice more noise from one of my modules when I tried and unbalanced cable.

Still the honeymoon period for me, but liking it a lot so far. It really allows the creativity to flow.
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