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Zoom R8 or R16 midi sync to external sequencer
Old 5th July 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
Zoom R8 or R16 midi sync to external sequencer

Is there any possibility to midi sync Zoom R8 or R16 to an external sequencer?
Old 5th July 2020
  #2
This is one of the most hoped for features with the Zoom multitracks, but it hasn't happened - even on the newer Livetrak series.

You only option would be to sacrifice one audio track to record timecode (something like SMPTE) onto it and then use a Timecode-MIDI device to manage sync. Given the R8 has so few outputs, this would only really be viable with the R16.

The Tascam Model 12 is the only device I'm aware of in this class that offers MIDI. Even its bigger siblings have somehow, weirdly, missed out.
Old 5th July 2020
  #3
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chaocrator's Avatar
no, but it's possible to sync external sequencer to Zoom R and LiveTrak series.

the trick is recording timecode signal to one of the tracks and routing its playback to headphones socket only.
Old 5th July 2020
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camus2 View Post
Unless you can somehow create an audio click track and your external sequencer can sync to that click track?!?...
there's a dedicated switch on the R24, to send the metronome to the headphones. you can choose from a short selection of sounds for the metronome. don't know if any of them could serve as a clock pulse: maybe through a bit of boost. or a firmware change with a clock pulse added/substituted to the list?

the method someone suggested was to record a single clock pulse, and loop it on a sampler track - of the R24 - at an interval corresponding to whatever BPM you want.

and then you'd need a midi device capable of being clocked by sync pulse -such as a volca, maybe, if it can be master midi device: if it has a cable into sync in, it won't start until it receives clock pulses/click track. (you'd have to modify the volca for midi out)

but yes, strange that MIDI/MTC was omitted. really strange, for the R16/24.
(:cries: and why-ee didn't they put midi on the Boss MicroBR ? :cries: )
Old 5th July 2020
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibtl View Post
there's a dedicated switch on the R24, to send the metronome to the headphones. you can choose from a short selection of sounds for the metronome. don't know if any of them could serve as a clock pulse: maybe through a bit of boost. or a firmware change with a clock pulse added/substituted to the list?
Plausible. The right device for the job is probably a Bastl Klik.

Of course, it'll just be BPM sync, not song position sync, but hey it's better than nothing.
Old 5th July 2020
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambiguous signal View Post
Plausible. The right device for the job is probably a Bastl Klik.

Of course, it'll just be BPM sync, not song position sync, but hey it's better than nothing.
'discontinued' - and 45$ :-/ (seems pretty good actually)
anything diy possible involving invertor, comparator and a pulse trigger at whatever amplitude, with a bit of shaping?
Old 5th July 2020
  #7
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enossified's Avatar
Boss, Tascam and Zoom all decided that electronic musicians had all moved to Ableton Live and guitarists only needed a simple drum machine onboard so they dropped MIDI from their multitrackers

Tascam was the last holdout, until they "updated" the DP24 and DP32 by removing the CD burner and MIDI in 2015.

Not sure if anyone even makes MIDI timecode generators any more, but I used them in my tape days and they were a PITA but did the job. Look for a used JL Cooper PPS-1, used ones in the $100 range.
Attached Thumbnails
Zoom R8 or R16 midi sync to external sequencer-wqwwemmwmyhsnm0djxbk.jpg  
Old 6th July 2020
  #8
I think the Akai Force syncs to midi clock, a lot more money but anyone tried that?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
here is how i do it

i do it like this :

- i have an R8
- i recorded a one second sample of one click from a volca
- i put this on some track (which i route to phones-metronome)
- i set the loop on this click track as to fit my tempo needs
- i run the phones in to a Korg SQ-1 - sync in
- the from the SQ-1 MIDI OUT i have a corresponding midi clock.

- then out with this midi clock i can drive whatever gear i have around
- note that having the SQ-1 means that you can also bring in actual MIDI note data via the usb-in (plus that you can mess with the analog sequencer etc)

Last edited by julex; 4 weeks ago at 07:03 AM.. Reason: notifications
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
Boss, Tascam and Zoom all decided that electronic musicians had all moved to Ableton Live and guitarists only needed a simple drum machine onboard so they dropped MIDI from their multitrackers

Tascam was the last holdout, until they "updated" the DP24 and DP32 by removing the CD burner and MIDI in 2015.

Not sure if anyone even makes MIDI timecode generators any more, but I used them in my tape days and they were a PITA but did the job. Look for a used JL Cooper PPS-1, used ones in the $100 range.
MOTU has it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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DirkP's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
Boss, Tascam and Zoom all decided that electronic musicians had all moved to Ableton Live and guitarists only needed a simple drum machine onboard so they dropped MIDI from their multitrackers

Tascam was the last holdout, until they "updated" the DP24 and DP32 by removing the CD burner and MIDI in 2015.

Not sure if anyone even makes MIDI timecode generators any more, but I used them in my tape days and they were a PITA but did the job. Look for a used JL Cooper PPS-1, used ones in the $100 range.
as someone already mentioned above, the tascam model 12 has midi.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julex View Post
i do it like this :

- i have an R8
- i recorded a one second sample of one click from a volca
- i put this on some track (which i route to phones-metronome)
- i set the loop on this click track as to fit my tempo needs
- i run the phones in to a Korg SQ-1 - sync in
- the from the SQ-1 MIDI OUT i have a corresponding midi clock.

- then out with this midi clock i can drive whatever gear i have around
- note that having the SQ-1 means that you can also bring in actual MIDI note data via the usb-in (plus that you can mess with the analog sequencer etc)

do you have the alternative metronome sounds, and will any of them trigger the SQ1?

Last edited by ibtl; 4 weeks ago at 10:31 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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grumphh's Avatar
 

I don't get this "demand" for midi on the zoom.

It is a scratchpad/"snap shot recorder" for live players.
Simply and easily it lets players record or overdub stuff with the least possible amount of knob twisting or menu-diving getting in the way. 4-6 button presses and you are recording the first track. 4 presses more and you are overdubbing on another track.

It's a simple recorder. That is what it does.
It is no substitute for a studio or a DAW or anything, it just records multiple tracks of audio, and the mixing and effects capabilities it has are just rudimentary addons.

If you want midi assisted recording, use a PC with a DAW and use the zoom solely as an audio interface and then use your PC's midi facilities for syncing external gear.

Gordian knots, eh?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camus2 View Post
You don't get that demand because you're too young or too ignorant to remember an era when the majority of multitrack digital recorders supported MIDI sync, even cheap ones.

And yes, any multitrack digital recorder IS a substitute for a DAW, that's literally the point, not having to use a generic computer to record, sequence and arrange audio, ZERO LATENCY, no clicks and pops and cracks because no sample buffer issue and what not... It's just that, like manufacturers, you are clueless about a new generation of musicians embracing hardware because they spend 50 hours a week their asses in front of a computer. COMPUTER becomes work, not fun.

There is a demand, manifucturers just didn't catch up yet, as always, just like there has been a demand for analogue synths for decades and people such as you claimed it was not needed because "plugins". Yet here we are.
My my, we are aggressive today, eh?
Just a word of advice: Be careful with all those assumptions - they may turn out to not be accurate at all.

You seem to think that your personal use case is the only valid one, and apparently hardware manufacturers insult you by making hardware that is not specifically built to your personal preferences.


Oh well, once you have learned to actually play an instrument, rather than just letting sequencers play the instruments, you might one day realize why there is a need for a hardware box that does what the zoom does.
Namely record audio onto multiple tracks with the least amount of hassle and no unnecessary features.


...oh, and btw, good luck with using the zoom as a DAW, i am sure you will have a lot of fun "arranging audio" within its working environment
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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Oscar1's Avatar
The tascams DP 24 and 32, the ones that don't say SD have MIDI in and out.
I had few of them. Usually keep it then sell it. Last time (a month ago) I've seen someone selling DP-24 for like $150, so I sold my last DP-32 and got the 24. In my opinion the DP-24 is the best of them all. It's 12 mono channels and 6 stereo - sort of ideal setup IMHO. Also it closely follow the mixing console language so it's also quite nice to use.

The MIDI IN may be sometimes bit shaky so it is best to use them as masters and sequencer as slave.
Nobody really wants them too much so they often come up cheap locally.

I also have R8 that I use often, I had R24 and couldn't wait to sell it...

The el-chapo BR-900 from boss had also MIDI out. Probably my most favorite multitrack ever - it was so nice to use, its pity that it uses Compact Flash and they followed with worse and worse machines.... if I see BR-900 again, I am buying it back. CompactFlash or not.

Still I think with the growing popularity of standalone groove boxes, one can imagine that in not so distant future a box like Force, MPC, Maschine or MC can be the exact hub to track and talk to other devices, all in one. For example the upcoming force arranger is in some way an audio and midi multitrack. I am sure Maschine+ would be in some way the same.

Last edited by Oscar1; 4 weeks ago at 08:40 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
CompactFlash or not.
maybe can use CF>SD adapter ? you can get batches of used/recon SD cards of smaller sizes @ 1GB for 20eu on ebay.
got an adapter for this, have not tested yet (with CF devices)

why didn't you like the R24 ?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
My my, we are aggressive today, eh?
Just a word of advice: Be careful with all those assumptions - they may turn out to not be accurate at all.

You seem to think that your personal use case is the only valid one, and apparently hardware manufacturers insult you by making hardware that is not specifically built to your personal preferences.


Oh well, once you have learned to actually play an instrument, rather than just letting sequencers play the instruments, you might one day realize why there is a need for a hardware box that does what the zoom does.
Namely record audio onto multiple tracks with the least amount of hassle and no unnecessary features.


...oh, and btw, good luck with using the zoom as a DAW, i am sure you will have a lot of fun "arranging audio" within its working environment
sorry but:
you're the one coming on as aggressive, with your previous post. and even the conclusions you draw here. and you are limiting the use of such a device to a particular context, whereas the need and ability to sync recordings is long-established. why not have it as an option, since they have it with other/previous models? probably wouldn't cost a lot.

sure, it's nice to be able to jam down some tracks. it's also nice to sync up some sequencers, and have your tracks lined up. sitting in front of an arrangement page isn't much fun, can kill an arrangement. you might not need much of an arrangement, if it's already ready to roll on the machines, which you 'play'. and if you do 'play', you might not want a DAW in front of you while you're playing around with some ideas.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibtl View Post
sorry but:
you're the one coming on as aggressive, with your previous post. and even the conclusions you draw here. and you are limiting the use of such a device to a particular context, whereas the need and ability to sync recordings is long-established. why not have it as an option, since they have it with other/previous models? probably wouldn't cost a lot.

sure, it's nice to be able to jam down some tracks. it's also nice to sync up some sequencers, and have your tracks lined up. sitting in front of an arrangement page isn't much fun, can kill an arrangement. you might not need much of an arrangement, if it's already ready to roll on the machines, which you 'play'. and if you do 'play', you might not want a DAW in front of you while you're playing around with some ideas.
If you think that my first post in this thread was aggressive, you are very thin skinned.

And just to recap the essence of that post: The entire purpose of the zoom recorders is to be just that, recorders.

...and yes, they can also be interfaces and even control virtual faders in your DAW - and that is where it ends.

Understand what you need, and then buy the right gear for the right application, but please don't complain about gear that clearly was not intended to be used the way you want to use gear.

What they are not, and never were intended to be (and were never marketed as), is "centrepieces in a studio-setup".


<deleted by moderator - needlessly confrontational>

Last edited by Reptil; 4 weeks ago at 03:22 AM.. Reason: 9
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
If you think that my first post in this thread was aggressive, you are very thin skinned.

And just to recap the essence of that post: The entire purpose of the zoom recorders is to be just that, recorders.

...and yes, they can also be interfaces and even control virtual faders in your DAW - and that is where it ends.

Understand what you need, and then buy the right gear for the right application, but please don't complain about gear that clearly was not intended to be used the way you want to use gear.

What they are not, and never were intended to be (and were never marketed as), is "centrepieces in a studio-setup".

<deleted by moderator - needlessly confrontational>
? i think i meant the preceding post ... whatever:

another reason you might want midi is to synchronise multiple recorder units, if you want more tracks. and if all manufacturers used it, you could cobble together a hybrid multitrack system. there are a few digital multitrackers with midi and multiple inputs - with some of them it's a proprietary compression format, so the files have to be converted to wav once they get to computer. storage can be any of the formats used in the past 20 years.

then Zoom make a lightweight multi-input, usb etc. machine, handling SD and wav, and chaining 2 units, with a comprehensive digital fx and mix operating system, metronome and BPM, but omits even having MIDI out. not even MIDI via USB.

zoom r16/r24 seem like ideal 'missing link' devices, between hardware and post-processing, were it not for this omission.

still, if sending a click to something that can generate midi clock can at least start things in sync, maybe that's a workaround.

i have a supercheap VSR880 here, which i've got running on compact flash, which does have MIDI. still need to tinker with the installation of the eject bay, and haven't used it yet. also quite lazy getting round to it, but i've explored the OS now, which seemed laborious before, and maybe it will be quite easy to use. eventually. so whether it's a gimmick, to be able to sync record, or something to mess around with.. it seems logical to have MIDI. (aah this VSR thing is going to be a pita anyway because proprietary files, and even older than the Boss units - and earlier Zoom.)

Last edited by Reptil; 4 weeks ago at 03:23 AM.. Reason: 9
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibtl View Post
then Zoom make a lightweight multi-input, usb etc. machine, handling SD and wav, and chaining 2 units, with a comprehensive digital fx and mix operating system, metronome and BPM, but omits even having MIDI out. not even MIDI via USB.
The underlined part is very much debatable. But not now... To the point:

Manufacturers omit midi because the vast majority of people recording music simply do not need midi on what is a basic multitrack recorder.

How is this hard to grasp?

There are (literally) millions of musicians out there that actually play instruments that are simply not midified * - but those musicians would also like an easy to operate multitrack recorder - and it is for those that the zooms were built.

And since they are still in stock and selling at pretty much the same price i bought mine at many years ago, my guess is that zoom were right in their asessment of how few people really do need midi on a multitrack recorder.


<deleted by moderator - needlessly confrontational>



...


* Instruments without midi...

Last edited by Reptil; 4 weeks ago at 03:24 AM.. Reason: 9
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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Oscar1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibtl View Post
maybe can use CF>SD adapter ? you can get batches of used/recon SD cards of smaller sizes @ 1GB for 20eu on ebay.
got an adapter for this, have not tested yet (with CF devices)

why didn't you like the R24 ?
Should look for these.

The R24 made me mad...8 sliders controlling 24 tracks. The sliders position never corresponded to the track I was trying to adjust - Madness!
For some reason I could not figure out input routing. On my DP-24 I simply set input 1 to go to track 1 then next round to track 2, then track 3 etc... somehow on R24 I couldn't figure it out - it wanted me badly to use input 1 for track 1,9,17, then it wanted me to connect everything to input 2 if I wanted record to track 2.. and so on. Must be assignable somehow right? In every other multitrack it is - but seriously I couldn't figure it out. Too much menu diving and stuff distracted me from recording. I actually hated to record on it.
I have R8 for quick recording and I use that all the time. All sliders correspond to the track they should, the input routing works and it is very obvious, etc... It is build like a toy, headphones sound awful, anything more you have to menu dive, but it is ultra light and the end results are good.
I did like the BR900 as I said and it has MIDI - well lay out machine. I still have BR800 which is a nightmare. MIDI was removed, buttons were replaced with touch controls - which is a horrible, horrible idea. A headphone cable sliding on the top can change things! Also the leds are under the touch buttons, but since there is no feedback you don't know when you press it, you don't know it even changed until you take the finger off and see the light underneath. The BR800 was made like a punishment device.... if R24 made me mad, this thing made me mental.
Anyhow, the original DP-24 is probably the most reasonable for tracking. Buttons for every major operation.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by julex View Post
i do it like this :

- i have an R8
- i recorded a one second sample of one click from a volca
- i put this on some track (which i route to phones-metronome)
- i set the loop on this click track as to fit my tempo needs
- i run the phones in to a Korg SQ-1 - sync in
- the from the SQ-1 MIDI OUT i have a corresponding midi clock.

- then out with this midi clock i can drive whatever gear i have around
- note that having the SQ-1 means that you can also bring in actual MIDI note data via the usb-in (plus that you can mess with the analog sequencer etc)
This gave me an idea, using an analogue solutions oberkorn trigger out -- korg sq1 sync in -- sq1 midi out via supplied cable -- genoqs octopus midi in with secondary config.

That allowed me to add my jomox 999 to a track in progress .

Anyways, I use the zoom f8 which supports smpte ltc audio - in my case I use 3 tentacle sync units for three cameras - so a motu unit that converts smpte to mtc might work for me.

None of my many sequencers supports mtc. The cirklon does but I'm looking for something cheap and simple.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
...For some reason I could not figure out input routing - it wanted me badly to use input 1 for track 1,9,17, then it wanted me to connect everything to input 2 if I wanted record to track 2.. and so on. Must be assignable somehow right? In every other multitrack it is - but seriously I couldn't figure it out.
Zoom Corporation's wanton disregard for input routing, on the R24, is only exacerbated by the tightest quarter inch jacks I've ever used. Maybe they expected the jacks to wear down with all the physical switching around! I'm not above unplugging and replugging people's gear when they're in the bathroom, so I know it's not just my unit. Just kidding, I asked first.

I still like it for what it is, though. Before I shut it down for the night, I'll load a new project, with my standard settings. The next day, I can flip the power switch, press 2 buttons, and it's recording. It's great for that situation. Anything afterwards is done on a computer.

I'll have to check whether the metronome through the headphones output can sync a Volca if so, you'd think people wouldn't bother sampling a pulse, going that route. So far, I haven't needed MIDI with it, but if MIDI were there, then I'd experiment with that. So, I think they should include it in future multitrack recorders. Why not?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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Oscar1's Avatar
Oh,so it was not just me... I always layer with the same instrument and couldn't understand why the hell I must connect it to another input if I have another track. Literally no other multi-track I know does this.

On a side note I briefly also had R16 - but for some reason it was noisy, especially one track particular so I returned it same day. Quality issues...
The R8 works fine for me though.
Te LiveTrak looks nice, but they are crazy expensive....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Teh LiveTrak looks nice, but they are crazy expensive....
still v.expensive. looks very nice - doesn't have midi either, does it?
5 submixes that can be used as sends, and (12/20) inputs. no onboard track editing.
isn't it going to be the same there, with input-track assign? i hadn't considered this tbh as haven't had a multi-input recorder before.

no reason why it couldn't be added in firmware - eg: if it does virtual tracks, there's no hard association.

while they're at it, could the headphone out not serve as a mini TRS MIDI jack? bung in the code for MIDI clock/sync and MTC ..?
(rm1x receives MTC btw. sort of feature i've seen-but-not-used.)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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Oscar1's Avatar
Yeah maybe the LiveTrak does the same input selector nonsence.

There is also Yamaha AW16G that has MIDI and actually in pretty good capacity as the SOS article says. But since it doesn't have USB, it is too cumbersome to take the files out of the machine....
So there is very few to choose from that are somehow modern and have MIDI.

I know of these:
Tascam DP-02 and DP-02CF
Tascam DP-24 and DP-32 (not 24SD, 32SD versions)
BOSS BR900CD
BOSS BR532
Korg D3200
Korg D888

There are many more before the age of USB but that is probably lost cause.

Last edited by Oscar1; 4 weeks ago at 11:01 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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DirkP's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Yeah maybe the LiveTrak does the same input selector nonsence.

There is also Yamaha AW16G that has MIDI and actually in pretty good capacity as the SOS article says. But since it doesn't have USB, it is too cumbersome to take the files out of the machine....
So there is very few to choose from that are somehow modern and have MIDI.

I know of these:
Tascam DP-02 and DP-02CF
Tascam DP-24 and DP-32 (not 24SD, 32SD versions)
BOSS BR900CD
BOSS BR532
Korg D3200
Korg D888

There are many more before the age of USB
Just for the fun of it: the Tascam Model 12, just released a few months ago, has MIDI!!! Just saying for the third time.
I still own a R8 from Zoom and - as much as I consider Zoom to offer the best low budget gear - it is outdated, esp. the low quality preamps.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
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Oscar1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
Just for the fun of it: the Tascam Model 12, just released a few months ago, has MIDI!!! Just saying for the third time.
I still own a R8 from Zoom and - as much as I consider Zoom to offer the best low budget gear - it is outdated, esp. the low quality preamps.
To be honest I completely missed that release. Don't go to stores anymore. But it is $900 CAD where I live, which I am sad to say is a way off for cheap guy like me, twice of zoom R16 and I thought the R16 is expensive
.
I bought the DP24 for $200 CAD used and the Boss are regularly for $100 in the ads....so far it seems majority of folks didn't yet get the message that HW multi-trackers may be cool again and when they find it in the basement they dump it.

Interestingly, I was in japan recently, going to all used gear stores and multi-tracks were just ridiculously cheap. You could get all the Roland VS and Korgs for like $20 -$30 in book off....only if I had bigger luggage. Although I did buy wavedrum and some yamaha sequencer....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
In production still, the joeco blackbox has midi with mtc support and usb.

1RU, so it really is a recorder rather than a mixer. 24 channels with outputs too, is beyond my needs - and I need the smpte support that the Zoom F8 provides since my delivery is video.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...track-recorder
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