Zoom R12 MultiTrak recorder is also an FM synth?

Wait, Zoom’s new R12 multitrack recorder is also an FM synth!? A mobile, computer-free music production box with a difference

Zoom has launched the new R12, a standalone multitrack recorder. But surprisingly, this portable device also contains an FM synth.

R12 features 18 FM sounds, and you can play and record them by plugging in a MIDI keyboard via the USB-C port. Alternatively, synth parts can be programmed via the touchscreen, which can also be used for track editing purposes.

The inclusion of these sounds makes the R12 a very intriguing one-box mobile studio, promising everything you need to record and mix songs without a computer.

There are two XLR/TRS inputs (both have phantom power, while input 1 has a Hi-Z option) and room for eight tracks of audio. A send effects channel offers reverb, chorus and delay and a dedicated return fader, while effects from Zoom’s Guitar Lab are also included.

Each channel also includes pan and 3-band EQ controls, and inputs 1 and 2 both feature a compressor.

The portable R12 mobile studio can run for up to five hours on four AA batteries. Other power options include the supplied AD-17 mains adapter or a USB battery pack.

To help you get a song started, the R12 comes preloaded with 150 drum loops that are spread across a variety of genres, and you can also import your own audio files.

The R12 enables you to start by playing to a click track – you can balance the level of this against your playback audio and route it to your headphones or the main outputs.

In addition, the R12 will play nice with your computer, serving as an audio interface and controller for your DAW.


  • Multi-track digital recorder with up to 8 tracks of recording.
  • 2.4” Full Color LCD touchscreen display with easy touch and swipe editing
  • User friendly graphic interface with on-board editing capabilities
  • Battery Powered up to 5 hours (4 AA’s)
  • 2 XLR / TRS Combo inputs – with phantom power and HI-Z on input 1
  • Send effects channel with 4 options: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, or Guitar Lab preset (choose up to 3 effects from our guitar effects collection including distortions,
  • modulation effects, spacial effects, and much more)
  • Built-in compressor for inputs 1 and 2
  • Pan and 3-band EQ for each track
  • Sequence play – for using backing tracks in a live setting
  • Drum loops (150 preloaded)
  • Records directly to SDXC cards
  • Built-in USB-C audio interface (2-in / 2-out or 2-in/4out) with control surface function

The Zoom R12 is available to pre-order now, price at $300, it’s expected to start shipping later this year. Find out more on the Zoom website.

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