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Zoom's New LiveTrak L-20 Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Zoom's New LiveTrak L-20

Zoom comes out with another recording device packing a lot of channels in for a low price. Looks like this will have a street price of about $1k.

This is a bit more than a recorder though. Might be an interesting proposition for remote work.

I generally don't need more than 8 channels for my work, but sometimes I wish I could utilize a few more channels. I've been contemplating picking up a second 788T, probably used, to link to my existing 788T get to 16 channels. Perhaps I should look into this new Zoom product as well.

Tom

Quote:
Zoom LiveTrak L-20 | Zoom



The LiveTrak™ L-20 is the new digital console offering everything creators need to mix, monitor, and record complex productions. With 20 discrete audio channels and six individual custom monitor mixes, it’s built for bigger, bolder arrangements.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

The price works out to $62.50 per preamp, which doesn't bode well, especially compared with the quality of the preamps in your 788T.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
The price works out to $62.50 per preamp, which doesn't bode well, especially compared with the quality of the preamps in your 788T.
I'd disagree, this is similar price to the Zoom F8 which has 8 for about 60% of the price (when discounted prior to the F8n arrival).

Thus it doesn't seem too unreasonable they could stick the same pre amps as in the F4/F8/F8n in a similar product but targeted at another market niche.


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Old 6 days ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
The price works out to $62.50 per preamp, which doesn't bode well, especially compared with the quality of the preamps in your 788T.
Raise your hands if you would feel comfy recording your jobs with sixty dollar preamps.

D.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Gear Addict
These are actually great little devices. We have an L12 and it's very useful thing. Case in point is that a good friend of mine and I wanted to record a small jazz combo with a vocalist. They are personal friends, and wanted us to do front of house as well. Ok, no big deal. We're not talking the Waikiki Shell here. How hard can it be? So, we run everything into Radial splitters, one feed to the Zoom, the other to the Altec 250SU for mix down to the Nagra T Audio. Job done, everybody happy!

As a side benefit, set the Zoom to record onto the SD card, and at least you have something of a safety.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
These are actually great little devices. .
Sure, everything has it's place, I guess.

D.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
These are actually great little devices. We have an L12 and it's very useful thing. Case in point is that a good friend of mine and I wanted to record a small jazz combo with a vocalist. They are personal friends, and wanted us to do front of house as well. Ok, no big deal. We're not talking the Waikiki Shell here. How hard can it be? So, we run everything into Radial splitters, one feed to the Zoom, the other to the Altec 250SU for mix down to the Nagra T Audio. Job done, everybody happy!

As a side benefit, set the Zoom to record onto the SD card, and at least you have something of a safety.
How does it rate on the live mixing ( for PA) side of things....does it have easily accessible (ergonomically friendly) EQ, easy to configure effects, can you kill individual channel feedback quickly, how do the channel faders feel (are they progressive, or is gain all bunched up at the top) One could certainly wish for a greater fader throw length.... However, I can appreciate this is an ' occasional use, get you out of a jam' kind of live mixer, so not trying to subject it to unduly cruel scrutiny...but does it work well enough for those jobs ?
Old 6 days ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Raise your hands if you would feel comfy recording your jobs with sixty dollar preamps.

D.
You can't fail to be aware that the gap between ' affordable' and ' esoteric' preamp performance is very likely narrowing all the time...such that sheer retail cost per preamp alone is a crude and perhaps meaningless measure.

It would seem that devices like the ZOOM F4/F8 and even the Sound Devices new Mix Pre series have inserted a whole new ' respectable budget class' into the landscape. There will always be pioneering types like Gordon, Pueblo, Millenia, Forssell, Grimm etc who will be advancing the cutting edge (and price) barrier...and I hope their advancements never stop pushing the game ahead.

But there is probably a whole new class of affordable preamp topologies capable of producing very respectable recordings....and (if not now, then coming) capable of doing so while crashing whatever arbitrary price barrier you might set as a benchmark.
Old 6 days ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
But there is probably a whole new class of affordable preamp topologies capable of producing very respectable recordings....and (if not now, then coming) capable of doing so while crashing whatever arbitrary price barrier you might set as a benchmark.
Okay, but I am not raising my hand.

D.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
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to me, this seems be to closer to the needs of some multi tasking engineers dealing with (a)social media than to those of a serious recordist or live engineer. i'd rather use an rme interface (that lets you record on an usb stick and use their internal dsp mixer to create headphone mixes) and a used 01v96.

interesting combination of features though...
Old 6 days ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'd rather use an rme interface (that lets you record on an usb stick and use their internal dsp mixer to create headphone mixes) and a used 01v96.
intersting combination of features though...
I'll bet you can probably lift the Zoom Livetrack with the finger and thumb of your left hand, if you wanted to...try that with the 01V (if those sort of things are important to you) ?
Old 6 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I'll bet you can probably lift the Zoom Livetrack with the finger and thumb of your left hand, if you wanted to...try that with the 01V (if those sort of things are important to you) ?

nothing wrong with the new zoom product at first glance!

(...besides that it looks to be not as sturdy as some other gear: i'm sure you are aware of those suitcase-like softcases with rolls and handles? - and no: to me, weight is usually not much of an issue as i almost always have to bring my desk along anyway; if not, i'm using the interface's internal mixer as described previously)
Old 5 days ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

In my opinion this device is still a very nice live mixer, but not a professional recorder.
Unfortunately with the Zoom L-12 it is not possible to record a simple Stereo Overhead track with two phantom powered condenser mics (I love ORTF for Jazz drums).
No Stereo linking funktion (with a Zoom F4 or F8 absolutely no problem) and no single Phantom Power for each track. The linked stereo inputs (9-12) are no XLR with no Phantom Power.
Especially if you like to work with a mix of dynamic, condenser and ribbon mics....a recording with this device seems to be a nightmare. I think it is more adressed for people with "simple and quick recording needs" with some DI-Boxes and few spot mics. But there is no serious live recording possible which you need for different musical styles in different locations.

Any chance that this issues are fixed with the new Zoom-L20? Otherwise it is still no replacement for the flexibility, weight and mobility which I get with my two Zoom F8 when I sync them together for 16 inputs to make a complete Band recording..

Last edited by ricola; 5 days ago at 01:11 PM..
Old 4 days ago
  #14
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricola View Post
In my opinion this device is still a very nice live mixer, but not a professional recorder.
Unfortunately with the Zoom L-12 it is not possible to record a simple Stereo Overhead track with two phantom powered condenser mics (I love ORTF for Jazz drums).
No Stereo linking funktion (with a Zoom F4 or F8 absolutely no problem) and no single Phantom Power for each track. The linked stereo inputs (9-12) are no XLR with no Phantom Power.
Especially if you like to work with a mix of dynamic, condenser and ribbon mics....a recording with this device seems to be a nightmare. I think it is more adressed for people with "simple and quick recording needs" with some DI-Boxes and few spot mics. But there is no serious live recording possible which you need for different musical styles in different locations.

Any chance that this issues are fixed with the new Zoom-L20? Otherwise it is still no replacement for the flexibility, weight and mobility which I get with my two Zoom F8 when I sync them together for 16 inputs to make a complete Band recording..
Thanks for posting this. Good feedback of shortfalls which i did not notice at first.

Tom
Old 3 days ago
  #15
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Phantom power applied to dynamic mics is a non-issue. This has been dealt with over and over. The lack of linked stereo inputs, which are actually fairly rare even on quite a bit of pro gear, could be a deal-breaker for some. Obviously the Zoom products are pitched at the pro-sumer market. Fair enough.
Old 3 days ago
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
The lack of linked stereo inputs, which are actually fairly rare even on quite a bit of pro gear, could be a deal-breaker for some
Inputs 17/18 and 19/20 are stereo inputs, each controlled by a single fader.

However the inputs are for 1/4 inch plugs. I don't know if you can re-route the xlr's.
Old 3 days ago
  #17
Gear Addict
Really, this is a very well-targeted product. Note that the effects will only work at 44.1 and 48kHz. It doesn’t really matter. The recording feature is more of a safety thing.

One of the great features is that you can create and save 6 independent headphone mixes. It is very handy for recording in DSD with Pyramix Native for creating headphone mixes for artists and a monitor mix. Super compact, so it can easily travel as checked baggage. The preamps are almost irrelevant, since I just run direct outs into it from the Hapi preamps. Cheap, cheerful and super versatile...
Old 3 days ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
Cheap, cheerful and super versatile...


Yes, this I can see. Used as a monitor mixer, cue feeder, etc, very useful.

D.
Old 2 days ago
  #19
Gear Addict
Of course, it can be a little hard to explain. You’ve been explaining to the artists how you’re going to use the very finest equipment on the sessions. You plop Horus down in the live room, along with a brace of AEAs, Josephsons, Neumanns and Royers. So far, so good. Then they come into the control room and see you setting up your Pyramix Masscore rig. Cool.

Then, you open up that last Pelicase and pull out a Zoom mixer and they’re thinking WTF???

Old 2 days ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post

Then, you open up that last Pelicase and pull out a Zoom mixer and they’re thinking WTF???
Perception counts sometimes.

You and I have actually talked about this in regards to my Presonus monitor mixer. Nothing was ever recorded through it; straight wire Dante from the Graces to the JoeCo. But there it was, big as life in the control room. I have never heard anyone, artist or producer, disparage it, and I think, it's probably not really top of mind. I used to be willing to explain it if needed.

But I recently gone to Avid Artist Mix panels controlling a Pro Tools session for all that stuff like cue/headphone feeds, studio floor monitors, talk-back, and etc. It looks just weird enough to be "professional." As well, I now record the whole session in PT, time code locked to the JoeCo as a backup. Funny thing. Seems like all the mixers just want the PT session Saves them from having to load it later. So, maybe, the PT session is now the "master" and the JoeCo is the backup. (Shrug)

I probably will keep the SL2442AI for those times I do reinforcement (rare) or someone wants to mix a "live" to two-track scratch mix and doesn't want to fuss with banks and obscure buttons and encoders (I do that on the Artist Mix with no problems but it is NOT intuitive).

D.
Old 1 day ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
Of course, it can be a little hard to explain. You’ve been explaining to the artists how you’re going to use the very finest equipment on the sessions. You plop Horus down in the live room, along with a brace of AEAs, Josephsons, Neumanns and Royers. So far, so good. Then they come into the control room and see you setting up your Pyramix Masscore rig. Cool.

Then, you open up that last Pelicase and pull out a Zoom mixer and they’re thinking WTF???
But really, it's just providing their monitoring or cues...it's not like the Zoom is part of the recording (signal gathering/encoding chain) ? At this point, if they raised eyebrows at the 'low rent Zoom' I'd be thinking: "You guys focus on what you do (the music), and leave the gear acquisition snobbery to me, ok ?"

Or..you can employ a bit of badge-switching (as I did for my Zoom R16) ...which will keep them perplexed long enough for you to finish the job in peace Instant status upgrade !
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Zoom's New LiveTrak L-20-12.jpg  
Old 1 day ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Or..you can employ a bit of badge-switching (as I did for my Zoom R16) ...which will keep them perplexed long enough for you to finish the job in peace Instant status upgrade !
Oh SO awesome!!

D.
Old 1 day ago
  #23
Gear Addict
Haha, that’s perfect! Love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
But really, it's just providing their monitoring or cues...it's not like the Zoom is part of the recording (signal gathering/encoding chain) ? At this point, if they raised eyebrows at the 'low rent Zoom' I'd be thinking: "You guys focus on what you do (the music), and leave the gear acquisition snobbery to me, ok ?"

Or..you can employ a bit of badge-switching (as I did for my Zoom R16) ...which will keep them perplexed long enough for you to finish the job in peace Instant status upgrade !
Old 1 day ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
Haha, that’s perfect! Love it.
"You hadn't heard of the Revox R16 ? No, it was a very limited edition release line...I was lucky enough to get #0001 "

If I'd had a spare Studer badge instead.... instant +1000 status upgrade
Old 1 day ago
  #25
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you don't have to fake it:

Micro Series | Studer Professional Mixing Consoles

designed for a different purpose than the zoom: no multitrack recording (so you'll still need to bring your pc and sound devices/tascam/joeco backup for recording), but can record a stereo mix.

pretty nice for adding a few channels, submixing tracks, sending aux mixes to artists and to go on air right from your remote location without the need for a fully equipped broadcast truck.

amazingly inexpensive for a current day studer product!
Old 1 day ago
  #26
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
you don't have to fake it:

Micro Series | Studer Professional Mixing Consoles

designed for a different purpose than the zoom: no multitrack recording (so you'll still need to bring your pc and sound devices/tascam/joeco backup for recording), but can record a stereo mix.

pretty nice for adding a few channels, submixing tracks, sending aux mixes to artists and to go on air right from your remote location without the need for a fully equipped broadcast truck.

amazingly inexpensive for a current day studer product!
Yes that's a very powerful integrated and elegant design for broadcast work...it shows that Studer are still very much involved in the upper levels of radio and TV broadcast...with Voicemix auto mixing and tablet integration included. A very impressive package !
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