Zoom’s latest handheld recorder has been designed specifically for musicians on the move, and comes packed with features that make it possible to record a demo or layer up tracks whilst writing new material. The R4 MultiTrak offers 32-bit floating point recording, a versatile selection of I/O, a range of built-in effects, and also includes an onboard rhythm section with over 80 drum patterns.
Two inputs are provided (A and B) on XLR/TS combo sockets which will happily accept mic, line-level and instrument sources, and are capable of providing phantom power. The built-in omnidirectional mic can be used to capture acoustic instruments or vocals, or make high quality reference recordings without the need to set up any additional gear — it shares Input A, and can be selected using a switch on the top panel. The use of 32-bit floating point converters also means that users are able to record without needing to worry about their signal clipping.
A headphone output is provided for monitoring duties, and can be found on a 3.5mm mini-jack socket on the side panel.
The R4 allows users to record up to four tracks — its display offers visual feedback on levels for each track, with hardware sliders providing control over their level. Recordings can be mixed and bounced to a dedicated bounce track in order to free up additional tracks and continue layering parts. It is possible to easily and quickly undo the last bounce to make additional changes to the track, or replace it entirely, and all recorded parts are automatically saved individually in case users change their mind and decide they want to add them to their project later on.
Each track benefits from pan controls and a three-band EQ, as well as built-in echo and reverb effects. Input a can also have insert effects applied during recording, which include delays, distortions, amp simulations and more. There is even an onboard rhythm section, with over 80 different drum patterns to play along with covering genres such as rock, hip hop, funk, heavy metal and more.
Power can be delivered via a USB-C port, which also allows the R4 to be used as a 2-in / 2-out audio interface when connected to a computer or mobile device — it will retain its 32-bit floating point functionality even when used as an interface. It can also be powered using four AA batteries for a completely portable recording solution.
Pricing & Availability
The R4 MultiTrak will be shipping in Q4 2023, priced at $199€219.