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Importing sound from the Zoom R8 to PC

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  • Importing sound from the Zoom R8 to PC

    Hey everyone,

    This is my first post to the forum--happy to be here and glad I've found this site. I record using a Zoom R8 and do a lot of my mixing on the recorder itself, but seem to have a problem when uploading my files to my PC. The files upload fine, whether I upload via USB or physically remove the SD card and copy and paste my audio files onto my audio drive on my computer, but when I open the files, effects that I've used on my original recordings have disappeared. (i.e., light reverb, delay, etc, are heard on my tracks on my R8, but once uploaded are dry). I don't exactly know why this is, my insert inputs are set to MASTER (so all tracks have the same effects), and the recording sig. is wet (so all wet recordings). So I don't really understand why the effects disappear when I put them on my computer. What am I missing here? Do I need to change my insert settings on my R8, or am I not uploading my files correctly? If anyone has any insight I'm forever grateful, it's kind of an obscure problem but hopefully someone can help me out! Thanks

  • #2
    If these are multi track files you're uploading, the effects haven't been rendered to them. That likely occurs when you mix down to a stereo file. Its the same thing when you record to a DAW. The effects run on the track busses, but the tracks remain dry until you mix down to a stereo file and that's when the effects get applied. This way the tracks remain unaffected so you can go back and remix and not have to undo any affects applied to the tracks. Once an effects is rendered, (the track is passed through the effect and mathematically altered by the effects) its cant be undone so you always want the original tracks to remain unaltered and only the copies get processed.

    In a DAW there are ways to process the effects into the original track. You have to have a preset setup so it applies the exact amount an not overdo it. You usually work with a copy of the original recording in case you flub up you can always have the original as a backup. This processing can save on CPU power when you have to use allot of high CPU consumption effects on tracks by eliminating some by rendering them to the tracks themselves.

    Since you're working with a stand alone, I'm not real sure if you can apply the effects to individual tracks. I'm guessing you'd have to bounce a track through an effect or maybe theres some process in the manual you have to run. Just because you hear it when you play the recording back doesn't mean its part of the track, and you obviously can download the hardware/plugins that are producing the effects. Those remain in the stand alones hardware.

    In many ways its no different then using a hardware analog setup. If you had effects looped through a mixing board, and you're playing songs back from a tape deck, you'd only hear those effects playing back through that board. They aren't permanently part of the track until you loop the track through the effect and record a new track with the effect added. Its the same thing in digital. You just have to figure out how its done on that unit.

    Page 28 in the manual tells you how its done. http://www.zoom.co.jp/products/r8/downloads/

    As an insert recording you can add the effects to the track when recording. The effects cant be undone however.

    As in recording mode, you can select the insert location and the insert effect algorithm, as well as the effect patches to be applied to the signal being recorded.

    When you use reverb in the Send Return Effect, When used as an audio interface, the send
    reverb can only be used for monitoring.

    There's also some notes.


    Effects can only be used when the sampling rate is 44.1 kHz. At all other times they are turned OFF. If you are recording with effects at a higher sample rate they wont work



    • Insert and send return effect settings are saved when you end (EXIT) audio interface mode and can be used again the next time. The effect may be on monitoring the signal but it may not be recorded to the track.

    Personally, if you can download the individual tracks and put them in a DAW program like Cubase or Reaper, you have a much better selection of effects you can use. The ones in a stand alone are bare minimum and basic stuff. In a daw you can download thousands of free plugins so you're probably better off adding your effects then. The Zoom acts like an interface so this shouldn't be a problem. Just import the tracks into Cubase and add effects to the tracks there. You can also record through the Zoom directly to the computer without having to save it to the zoom I believe. One less step in the process you don't have to deal with.

    I've used stand alone recorders, but other then their mobil abilities, they are simply a redundant piece of gear, If you get a normal interface, you can just record to the computer and do all your mixing there. Once you done it a few times, you'll realize ho much easier it is and wonder why you bought that unit in the first place.

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