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Zoom LiveTrak L‑20

Multitrack Recorder, Mixer & USB Audio Interface
By Sam Inglis

Zoom LiveTrak L‑20

The LiveTrak L‑12 ticked a lot of boxes for a lot of people. Could the L‑20 tick the rest?

SOS Gear Of The Year 2018 Editors PickZoom are a company who put a lot of thought into understanding the needs of musicians, and this is very apparent in their LiveTrak L‑12. An innovative combination of USB audio interface, digital mixer and multitrack recorder, the L‑12 is a very effective option for bands who want a single device to handle small-scale live-sound duties, tracking sessions and computer mixing. I was fortunate enough to review the L‑12 in SOS April 2018 and came away highly impressed.

Perhaps because I liked it so much, however, I couldn’t help thinking what Zoom could add to make the L‑12 even better. More tracks would be lovely, for example, as would the ability to reverse signal polarity. Solo buttons and remote control from an iOS device would take the mixer to a new level of usefulness, and I could wish for the ability to tap the recorded signal prior to each channel’s compressor... Still, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Enter The L‑20

The arrival of the UPS van at SOS Towers is not usually attended by a clatter of hoofbeats, but with the L‑20 Zoom seem to have answered nearly all my wishes. The designers have responded, with amazing speed, to customer and reviewer feedback on the L‑12 to produce an expanded version which brings more tracks, solo buttons, remote control and more flexible signal routing, along with many other oft-requested features.

In many respects, such as the operation of the recorder and audio interface driver, the L‑20 is identical to its predecessor, so rather than repeat detailed descriptions, I’ll refer interested readers to my review of the L‑12 (SOS April 2018).

Physically speaking, the L‑20 is somewhat deeper and slightly taller than its smaller brother, but the same width. Given that it boasts eight more mic inputs and mixer channels, a second effects engine, additional monitor outputs and a full set of solo buttons, this means the top panel...

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Published January 2019