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Zoom ARQ Desktop Synthesizers
Old 11th October 2017
  #121
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Interesting! They released another version
Old 11th October 2017
  #122
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mikefellh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
This came out a few years ago, came and went, never caught on
That was the Zoom Arq 96, which I own!

The Zoom Arq 48 however was just announced recently...earliest video I found was Sept 22, 2017, that was 18 days ago!!!!

Reread the following post:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12898205-post118.html
Old 11th October 2017
  #123
So the original was discontinued?
Old 12th October 2017
  #124
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Must be sick to rock out with these alien hoola hoops with some.higrade psychedelics
Old 9th November 2017
  #125
Gear Head
 

I got one. A bit of a hack to send midi to it with that USB port. I've managed using a computer with Jack in the middle. Now, It seems the arq doesn't do anything with the incoming midi. Can anyone confirm? The manual says nothing. It'd be cool if this worked, as it would be a cheap sequencer with a nice screen for external gear.

The ring is a bit akward to do melodic stuff.
Old 10th November 2017
  #126
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mikefellh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by urlwolf View Post
I got one.
Which one did you get, the 96 or 48?
Old 10th November 2017
  #127
Gear Head
 

The 96.
Old 11th November 2017
  #128
Gear Head
 

Well, I think it's pretty clear there's no midi in. The 48 doesn't even have a midi DIN 'in', only an 'out'. That is a dumb mistake from Zoom. They are repeating what Roland does with their samplers: no real sequencer. It they provide this on an update (on the 96, it's usb midi, so there is hope)... then they can compete with elektron octatrack and digitack. That's a serious proposal. This machine is serious, just assume you don't have to take the ring out of the base and you have lots of pads. With aftertouch.

The synth built in is pretty good. Lots of modulation, up to 4 effects. But you cannot play chords, or really melodies without much training, on that ring. And, hey. no midi in, so... good luck learning to play chromatically on the ring!

Zoom, if you are listening: midi in so we can attach a normal keyboard. Then you have a monster.
Old 12th November 2017
  #129
Gear Head
 

This thing is a perfect match for trip-hop
The MO must be to work on melody outside of it, save a loop, and put it on the Arq... then it's remixing time. The Sampler is very capable. And can change the tone of a sample, unlike other samplers. This is the 'missing modern sampler' that many have been waiting for... If you can live with the weird form factor, it's a ****load of pads, with aftertouch. Just don't take the ring out of the base and dance around with it.
Old 13th November 2017
  #130
Gear Head
 

All hope is not lost; the manual shows that it can take external clock, so that means it can listen to at least that one midi message.
Old 13th November 2017
  #131
Kja
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I guess I'm the only one who hates these plastic spaceship toys, that belittle what music producers do, that actually respect their craft.
Old 1st December 2017
  #132
Here for the gear
 

The arq ar 96 is on sale for 199€ at least in Germany now! With the 2.0 Firmware it's possible to sequence 8 instead of two Bars and to sequence external gear with the usb MIDI out so it gets really interesting for this price. Anybody has some exerience with it? What Kind of cheap usb to midi boxes are available to sequence external gear?
Old 4th December 2017
  #133
Gear Head
 

@Basti, Thanks for the heads up, I should have one next week.

I didn't pay much attention to this when it was released, but looking closer, there's a lot going on.

Recently, I've been grabbing loops onto an SP404, but this looks a whole lot better... can't wait.
Old 17th December 2017
  #134
Gear Head
 

On midi: I tried attaching a midiman 2x2, and it doesn't take it.
Its usb port is not powered.
The manual also says it will not record external midi events.
Big fail. I contacted zoom, they say they will consider making it a proper sequencer in a future update. 'May' sounds like never to me, as it doesn't seem to be selling well. What a pity. Argh.
Old 18th December 2017
  #135
Gear Head
 

You need a USB midi host, not an interface. I have a basic one on order from hobbytronics, hopefully it will work out OK.

From my reading of the manual, it will be possible to sequence external gear and send or receive clock.
Old 29th December 2017
  #136
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djwaxxy's Avatar
ive just ordered one of the zoom arq96 its on offer at gear4music for under £175 which i think is a bargain...but..
id like to know if i can use my own keyboard to input synth lines instead of using the ring.i was under the impression once i installed and updated the arq to the new 2.0 version it could but after reading a few comments on this forum page im confused can it accept midi or not?

i bought it hoping i could sync it too cubase so i could create parts in cubase then use the midi parts ive created in cubase and use the synth built into zoom then record it back as audio into cubase.

im unsure wether this is possible can someone please clarify it.

if it cant accept midi via usb cant it accept it via bluetooth because i own the roland a-01 and that can transmit midi via bluetooth le which is the same as the protocal used on the arq96.

thanks
Old 29th December 2017
  #137
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djwaxxy's Avatar
this guy sems like hes synced everything up.
YouTube
Old 29th December 2017
  #138
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djwaxxy's Avatar
ive found a ton of vids but there all in either german or japanese !!! why couldnt zoom make some of them in english.
or atleast put english subs :(
YouTube
Old 29th December 2017
  #139
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djwaxxy's Avatar
downloaded the zoom 2.0 manual and it says its midi in/out but cant see any midi options in the manual.
Old 29th December 2017
  #140
Gear Head
 

You can trigger the internal sounds or samples over USB, but you can't record into the sequencer.

The synth engine is decent, however some of the instrument sounds aren't great, and are badly looped.
Old 31st December 2017
  #141
Gear Head
 

Still struggling to understand how Zoom could miss the usefulness of controllng external gear with this. But it's worse: there's no midi in. Yes. How many other things you know that don't have midi in and out? Other than controllers.

Correction, the usb to midi thing I tried is a miditech, not a midiman. Doesn't work.

Now, there's hope in bluetooth midi. Anyone has any device they could try? Maybe the bluetooh midi device will send notes to the base or to the ring, letting you use this thing cromatically with piano keys. The built in synth is pretty cool, it has FM.

If zoom were not this disconnected from reality, they could be competing with the squarp pyramid, deluge, etc.
Old 31st December 2017
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urlwolf View Post
Still struggling to understand how Zoom could miss the usefulness of controllng external gear with this. But it's worse: there's no midi in. Yes. How many other things you know that don't have midi in and out? Other than controllers.

Correction, the usb to midi thing I tried is a miditech, not a midiman. Doesn't work.

Now, there's hope in bluetooth midi. Anyone has any device they could try? Maybe the bluetooh midi device will send notes to the base or to the ring, letting you use this thing cromatically with piano keys. The built in synth is pretty cool, it has FM.

If zoom were not this disconnected from reality, they could be competing with the squarp pyramid, deluge, etc.
Yes, incredibly stupid decisions. And as I understand, you can't really edit the sounds either...? Incredible.
Old 31st December 2017
  #143
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djwaxxy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rurs View Post
You can trigger the internal sounds or samples over USB, but you can't record into the sequencer.

The synth engine is decent, however some of the instrument sounds aren't great, and are badly looped.
can the sounds be triggered from cubase or any daw?i can see on the arq96 manual it can now send midi messages via the 2.0 update from the controller but cant find anyway too play any of the sounds from external gear or sequencer.

ive not got mine yet its going to be delivered next week but would like to know what it cant do before i get it so i dont waste time.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #144
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djwaxxy's Avatar
its just arrived and ive just got it out of the box its needs updating because its on firmware 1.01 but from the few minutes ive spent playing with it heres my impressions.

the rubberised ring is more sensitive than i thought which is a good thing you dont have to hit it hard to get a sound and if your a sterring wheel drummer like i am who is a phil collins when im stuck in a traffic jam then this is a brilliant and fun controller.
its very easy to navigate around the menus and ive not even looked at the book yet ive powered it up and already ive created a new beat its very user friendly.
the sounds are good i wouldnt say there upto maschine/spark standard but once ive formated my sd card and i can use my own samples or sample cds then this will be superb.
not had much time to play about with the ring wirelessly because it needs charging up its battery was pretty much dead when i got it out of the box but when you click it into its base it immediatley starts charging.
the step sequencer is good too and i hope they add more controllabilty too it in the future if not there missing out on a big potential market.
its fast and easy to use and you can asign each sound and step its own colour so you know were you are in a sequence and the colours roll around the ring which is a coool feature and you can keep track on were your steps are without looking at the screen...(example---if your kick is assigned red just hit the arrow keys to scroll threw quickly too your kick steps ad it shows the sequence which you can edit in real time and you have a coloured light spinning around the inner ring showing you were you are in the sequence which again is a nice touch)

ive not got too playing around with the synth yet because i want to wait until ive updated my firmware so i get more options and can use the editor.

so my initall impressions are for the asking price £175 i think its a bargain at the orginal price £599 then youd seriouslly need to try one out and judge if you need it or not but at the low price it is now if your looking for a new insperation for your 2018 studio then id get one because i dont think youd regret it.

one of its strongest features is its sampling /looping so for grabbing sequences from your mixer and then feeding that back while you live play over the top i can see this as its main strength.i can see myself grabbing guitar parts on the fly from my mates then changing them into atmospherics which too do as quickly as i can with the arq would be a bit harder to do but from my small time with it it seems very quick at that and the sound quality seems very good too.
ive currently got the outputs going into my apollo twin via normal jack and the sound is very clean and some of the sounds (kicks/subs)are really pounding my moniotrs in a good way )

ill post back once ive updated to 2.0 and try and upload some demos of it.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #145
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djwaxxy's Avatar
quick update------

ive updated both the base unit and the ring to firmware 2.0

all i can is wow !!!!!!!
(ok edit that i need to add something lol)

this thing takes on a new life once its updated your sounds in instrument mode are much more playable and the screen shows you what key your playing on the graphcal keyboard plus the lights reflect this too so black keys are displayed in a dark colour and whites are a light clour you can choose what colour youd like too so you can have a dark blue light blue set up or anything youd like.

the pads are very responsive and different fx/light fx can be set up on each pad.

the screen now also gives you way more editing functions and you have a graphic of whats on each pad so if you have a kick itll display a kick which you can then edit and the editing is better than i thought you can edit pitch/fx/filter/start point/end point/reverse/paning...etc

unfortunatly i cant give opinions or try out the midi side of things because the usb cable i have is very short and were i have the arq on my table is too faraway from my pc so ive had to order a longer cable and the only cable you get in the box is the power cable which is a bit of a downer considering you need one too hook up to your computer..bluetooth wont work on my computer i think it has something to do with the bluetooth protocols and my dongle wont accept it it had same problems with my roland a-01 and cant hook it up to my iphone or ipad because there too old :(

the synth is excellent too it offers alot of depth which i wasnt expecting and can be used to create new sounds or used to process samples .

zoom have seriously messed up marketing this product and its obvious they lost focus on who too aim this product at..same way roland marketed the tb303 as an accompniment to guitarists and that failed but many years later once it hit bargin bin status it found its true calling as a acid maschine i think the arq96 will find its market once zoom go back to the drawing board and focus on who there aiming it at.
instead of soley aiming it at the edm market they should market its strengths as the hub of a studio..they should take what they have repacakge the base unit as a standalone sampler/sequencer/synth then sell the ring as a seperate add on i know alot of people wouldnt use the ring but they would use the base and if they added cv/gate/midi/audio over usb ..make the screen slightly larger for when its not plugged into your computer..keep the audio inputs (fullsize jack on the arq96) if they did this and showed how it should be used and could be used then price it correctly then itd be a massive hit for zoom.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #146
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djwaxxy's Avatar
ok i found a old usb cable long enough too plug it into my computer its autoatically installed its own drivers and its showing up as a midi device in cubase and says it can recieve and transmit midi .
the arq2.0 editor shows i can set individual midi channels for the synth/drum/samples and ive done this and ive created a part and trying to send it too it but nothings happening.i cant even send midi data from the arq even though it says i can and its showing up.
is there any way too do it because as it stands it looks like it can in the editor each part of the sequencer can be assigned sepetate midi channels so it looks like a multitimbral device the 2.0 editor is brilliant .
Old 3rd January 2018
  #147
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djwaxxy's Avatar
i contacted zoom last night about the 2.0 editor because it gives the impression it can except midi.
you can assign midi channels to each pad and that includes the synths/instruments.
in the editor i set all drums upto channel 10 and loaded up a few synths and assgined them as you would normally if you had a multitimbral workstation ,it showed up in cubase as a midi in/out device and you get abelton live free with the zoom arq96.

but after all that editing and assigning nothing would work :(

i tried and was racking my brain until gone 3am this morning then i thought sod this ts doing my head in goto bed..i sent zoom an email explaining what i was trying to do and waited for a reply.

ive just got a reply and it says sorry for being missled you cannot input midi into the zoom eventhough the editor shows you can the arq series can only output midi not recieve it..

that seems stupid and someone should get fired over that and the misleading conflicting info zoom are giving.
there saying on there website and on some some shops it can recieve midi in/out and you can tell from the editor software it should be able too do it just seems someone at the company forgot too activate it somewere along the line.

i hope they do update the software too unlock midi in but too be honest i dont think zoom will thee not exactlly known for updatin there software and they never fixed the crashing on the zoom uac drivers.



has anyone any info on how to sync the arq upto cubase so i can create patterns on the arq then sync and record them back into cubase.i set the clock in the zoom to external but when i clicked on cubase start it didnt start the pattern on the zoom.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #148
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perplexo View Post
Yes, incredibly stupid decisions. And as I understand, you can't really edit the sounds either...? Incredible.
The synth sounds are totally editable. And the OSC can be a sample, which you can manipulate in all obvious ways.

Don't worry they didn't screw up that bad. They just forgot midi exists.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #149
Gear Head
 

In my view, instead of going downmarket with an 'el cheapo' version of the ARQ 96, they should go up market with this concept. make it compete with the octatrack (10 years old and still the market leader? Hello?). Give it a proper sequencer, make sure you can control other midi instruments. Take the whitespace that MPCs/octatracks left.

I suspect that midi is not a core competence of Zoom (looking at their product line) and that to get the very basic midei the put on the ARQ they may have had to bring in external guns.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #150
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djwaxxy's Avatar
They put midi into there sound cards I have the zoom uac2 and that has midi in/out.
To me it seems the developers/marketing teams didn't communicate with each other and were too busy focusing on the ring instead of putting in basic functions such as proper USB/midi.

There's still a chance it could be implemented because both versions of the arq have mini USB connectivity.

On the dubspot website they brag they worked on the design of it if that's the case why didn't they say add some midi features .
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