zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Discuss the Zoom HD and R series. Please don't "post and run". Participate in the discussion. Thanks.
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xelaris
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zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Post by xelaris » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:08 am

In one project I recorded several takes on several tracks. Days later I opened the same project and the 2 best tracks were green lit (and so playable and easy to spot)...of course I remembered having some other takes on other tracks...but where can I find these? Is there a better way to check past recordings than by switching on all 24 tracks and looking at the leds?
The best way I've found so far is by clicking TRACK and check all the files in the projects...still, I don't know exactly which track is associate to each file. The tracks are visible individually as waveforms but not as a group...

btw: I hoped these recordings could be displayed in the TrackSeq (e.g. as a long rectangle) but when pressing it (the soft key) all I get "Track Seq On" message.
Any reason why samples and drums can be represented symbolically on a display (e.g. in the TrackSeq) but not for long recordings? (after all all these are sounds in the end). If the R24 can show us waveform of recordings (as we see if we need to Trim or Stretch) why not as a long rectangle on the Track Sequencer?

it seems any time I move away from the basic recording I stumble in some kind of misunderstandings between me and the R24.
Clearly my expectations (my way of working) don't fit the way the R24 "thinks" - it is me not fitting the R24 or lack of thought on the other side?...
The manual is badly written too...
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xelaris
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Re: zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Post by xelaris » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:18 am

just found out another inconsistency....
After pressing the Stereo-Link my recordings disappeared! For a moment I panicked as I thought I lost them but fortunately these were still there as "unassigned" files (without the asterisk in the TRACK > TAKE > FILE display)...still, no warning message? And why allowing a Stereo Link on pre recorded tracks in this way? Another example of bad design...I can imagine some beginners losing tracks and recording unnecessarily for lack of feedback from the R24?!
I'm starting to realize my and my R24 aren't made for each other (sorry).
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Re: zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Post by Wulfraed » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:48 am

xelaris wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:18 am
just found out another inconsistency....
After pressing the Stereo-Link my recordings disappeared! For a moment I panicked as I thought I lost them but fortunately these were still there as "unassigned" files (without the asterisk in the TRACK > TAKE > FILE display)...still, no warning message? And why allowing a Stereo Link on pre recorded tracks in this way? Another example of bad design...I can imagine some beginners losing tracks and recording unnecessarily for lack of feedback from the R24?!
I'm starting to realize my and my R24 aren't made for each other (sorry).
Stereo-Link generates physical stereo WAV files. As a result, any mono WAV files have to be deassociated with the tracks. Conversely, undoing stereo-link will deassociate any stereo WAV file to allow for mono WAV files.

Most of this is implied in page 20 of the manual (second bullet, right side HINT section); the rest implied under page 25.

The R16/R24 differ from many older multi-track recorders in that the physical input is directly tied to the track/fader below it. As a result, these units are designed for the user to associate/deassociate track with WAV files (mono or stereo depending upon stereo link). This is needed as, for example, there is only one high-impedance (instrument) input -- to overdub a second guitar part then requires moving the first WAV file to a different track, and setting the original track for "new take".

Older MTRs used the concept of virtual takes which were tied to the track position, but allowed for the assignment of the physical input to any track/fader. For these, the two guitar part example becomes: record first track, then activate a different track as destination for the same input and record second part. These devices (eg: HD16) also did not create stereo WAV files -- stereo link only associated the pan/volume settings for an adjacent pair of tracks but still generated mono WAV "takes".

I'm not going to dig up my R16 to experiment, but if you follow the procedure on page 25 (left column), would it by any chance show the name of an already assigned track is step 5? That is, if track 3 had file mono-005.wav assigned to it, does step 5 come up with that file already high-lighted?

Page 91, second column, seems to imply that you can test play files during the selection process. You may also want to consider giving the files specific names rather than the automatic names so you can find them later (pages 92-95). That, or create a track-list log sheet that specifies the file name and the contents after each recording run... (note I state file name, not track/fader number).





xelaris wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:08 am
In one project I recorded several takes on several tracks. Days later I opened the same project and the 2 best tracks were green lit (and so playable and easy to spot)...of course I remembered having some other takes on other tracks...but where can I find these? Is there a better way to check past recordings than by switching on all 24 tracks and looking at the leds?
The best way I've found so far is by clicking TRACK and check all the files in the projects...still, I don't know exactly which track is associate to each file. The tracks are visible individually as waveforms but not as a group...
Once again: do as others have done, and create a track log on paper, listing file name, contents, and which track it is assigned to.

The R16 only had a two-line text display and would give the name of the assigned file OR "NOT ASSIGN" if the track was empty. It would overwrite if recording were started and there was a file name, so one had to manually set it to "not assign" to create a new file -- the R24 uses the "New Take"/"Overwrite" setting to control that.
btw: I hoped these recordings could be displayed in the TrackSeq (e.g. as a long rectangle) but when pressing it (the soft key) all I get "Track Seq On" message.
Any reason why samples and drums can be represented symbolically on a display (e.g. in the TrackSeq) but not for long recordings? (after all all these are sounds in the end). If the R24 can show us waveform of recordings (as we see if we need to Trim or Stretch) why not as a long rectangle on the Track Sequencer?
Since my R16 does not have the sequencer this is just hypothesis: The track sequencer is designed to work with LOOPs and rhythm PATTERNs... Your main audio files are not set up as either. You would have to assign the files to a track (page 49) (since the sequencer doesn't sequence bare files), define it as a loop (page 50), define start and end points (page 51) for the loop (at which point you might as well just play the file to figure out what is on it)
The manual is badly written too...
Compared to some manuals, the R-series manuals are fairly decent... Others still have a lot of "Chinglish" in them which makes some functions difficult to understand.

The main R-series (skipping the R8 which has input assignment) concepts are:
  1. Inputs are tied to track/fader
  2. Tracks are assigned files by name (created if new-take, else replaced if overwrite)
  3. Files are MONO WAV except for pairs that are in Stereo-Link (when the file is STEREO WAV)
  4. Mono files can only be assigned to mono tracks; stereo files can only be assigned to linked tracks -- changing link status disconnects any existing files.
  5. Any file can be attached to any compatible track/pair.


Other MTRs, in contrast
  1. Inputs are assigned to active REC tracks in left to right order (8X mode on HD16 is one-to-one, but most devices have more faders than inputs)
  2. Virtual takes are tied to the track position, and one must do a COPY operation if they need to move it to a different track; there are a limited number of vtakes per track (8-10 being common), and vtake slot must be selected ahead of time
  3. Files, if accessible directly*, are MONO WAV regardless of stereo linking
  4. You can stereo link tracks after recording mono contents, but the result is probably not going to be desirable








* The BOSS BR-series uses delta-sigma encoding rather than PCM WAV, and uses a "cut-list" that identifies what parts of each project file contain content for a track; if one does a lot of edits, one needs to compress [optimize] the project [an operation that rewrites the audio data in a clean sequence rather than chunks, and then resets the "cut-list" -- the BR-800 no longer has the compress/clean-up function, but allows for ~30K "events" [two events per record, punch-in/out, etc.] vs the BR-600 limited to 2K events with optimize feature. To get WAV files requires running a WAV converter operation (can be done on device but needs much larger memory card to create new files, or use a USB interface and create using computer application
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xelaris
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Re: zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Post by xelaris » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:36 am

Just a point about the Stereo Link function...wouldn't be the case that this should be used BEFORE recording? This are the magic word: BEFORE RECORDING (e.g. when 2 mono will be needed as a stereo track)...and so, why allowing it to function in this way onto 2 pre recorded tracks? We spend hours preparing for a recording - mike positioning, several takes etc. - recordings are our gold, our precious matter...'Stereo Link' arrives like a bull in a china-shop and 'destroys' the lot?! Of course it didn't but why give us such a scare!
If anything the case of tracks assigned to inputs or vice-versa doesn't help logic - if my existing Mono tracks were assigned to those inputs/tracks why they disappeared after using the Stereo Link? (these recordings should be there fixed in those tracks) In fact the R24 seems to using the concept of virtual tracks as the recorded Mono tracks were not to be found on other tracks but stored in memory somewhere and ready to be reassigned to the original tracks (this is basically how virtual tracks works).
Basically the Stereo Link function takes the existing mono tracks away from the tracks/faders and 'hide' them away to make space for a blank new recording in stereo (no recording yet) - with total disregard for previous work/recording?! It defy logic and common sense...

A point about the manual....
No way....at this level/price I've never read such a badly written manual - I noticed many inconsistencies (one too many) and decided to leave it for logic sake! I can bring more examples (e.g. the graphics) but the zoomingX32 and stereo link did it for me.

Bottom line...
The zooming X32 acted as a marketing strategy only (full stop) - in my opinion that zooming so presented is unacceptable - total lack of respect - as in practical terms the function is nearly useless...to my surprise no one (a part from me?) noticed and that tells me another story - e.g. the users out there don't use the full potential of the Zoom 24 because it is badly put together it's counter-intuitive, muddled or badly conceived.
It remains a good recorder with decent hardware capabilities but dig a little bit deeper and you are lost.There is another magic word here: USABILITY (or lack of it in this case).
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Re: zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Post by Wulfraed » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:38 am

xelaris wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:36 am
If anything the case of tracks assigned to inputs or vice-versa doesn't help logic - if my existing Mono tracks were assigned to those inputs/tracks why they disappeared after using the Stereo Link? (these recordings should be there fixed in those tracks) In fact the R24 seems to using the concept of virtual tracks as the recorded Mono tracks were not to be found on other tracks but stored in memory somewhere and ready to be reassigned to the original tracks (this is basically how virtual tracks works).
On my devices that use virtual tracks (vtrack or vtake), the takes are "stacked" in the track and can never be "assigned" to any other track (they can be copied and then erased, but that is two time consuming operations that uses up memory while the two copies exist). One can only select which of the (8 or 10) "slots" in a track is the active one. If one needs more than (8|10) takes, one has to, again, go through the hassle of a time consuming "copy take" to some other unused track, and erasing it from the original. There is no ability to "deassign" a virtual take and leave a naked WAV file in the memory (there might be an "export" function, but one still has to erase the vtake after the export; and import would have to be to some empty vtake -- in both cases one is doubling the memory required while there are two copies of the WAV data)

The R-series operating concept separates the WAV file from the track position. Partly this is needed due to the one-to-one linkage between inputs and corresponding track position -- unlike the older devices where any input can be routed to any track position. Without routing, to record two parts that /must/ come from the same input (say, high-impedance instrument) one must be able to readily (without performing a copy/erase sequence) reassign the current file to a different track and create a new file on the original track.
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Re: zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Post by xelaris » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:43 am

Sorry Wulfraed...I read your message and it smells like a red herring trying to divert from the painful truth (elusive Unicorn?).

What do you think of the zooming x32 we find in the R24 - if you have the R16 I can confirm that the zooming on the R24 only allows to magnify the amplitude (not the time line).

About the Stereo Link:
Your reasoning doesn't follow nor justify the function of the Stereo Link (stop muddling) - there was no excuse for not allowing that function to be so "disfunctional" (and destructive?) and shouldn't be allowed to take away our recordings from where we recorded it in the first place.
A good manual should had warned us that THE STEREO LINK IS TO BE USED PRIOR RECORDING to assign 2 Mono as a Stereo - this simple concept isn't to be found anywhere in the manual, why? Cos' the developers didn't care - or else, the developers/editors themselves had no clue? (IMHO).
A good design/programmer should had prevented to present that Stereo Link as an option on pre recorded tracks - or if ever there was the need for it (and why oh why would anyone remove our precious recording?) - at least warn the user with a message like "by using ST Link on these 2 tracks your present recordings will be moved to a temporary location..." (or something similar). Do you find any clue about this possible outcome? No! Not even as a troubleshooter.

Sorry for being so direct (then I'll move to a more independent forum).
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Re: zoom r24 - is there a way to display track recordings?

Post by Wulfraed » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:51 am

xelaris wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:43 am
Sorry Wulfraed...I read your message and it smells like a red herring trying to divert from the painful truth (elusive Unicorn?).
The R series use a different operational concept -- there is no way around that. They use freely assignable files /and/ use mono or stereo files based upon the link setting. It requires a different way of thinking about tracks.
What do you think of the zooming x32 we find in the R24 - if you have the R16 I can confirm that the zooming on the R24 only allows to magnify the amplitude (not the time line).
I can't speak for it -- the R24 "sampler" and track sequencer was designed to return a form of rhythm capability to a device that did not have one (R16). If the R series still had full intra-track editing (as with the HDx and my BOSS units {though the BR-800 lacked such until the first firmware update come out}) /I/ could see a justification for time-scale zooming. Though I'm not sure which way you expect the time line to "zoom" -- to me, time line zoom would spread the wave form out to where individual beats (x32 would imply, if the x1 shows two measures, that zoomed would show a 16th note); but didn't you complain about not being able to see the entire track?

About the Stereo Link:
Your reasoning doesn't follow nor justify the function of the Stereo Link (stop muddling) - there was no excuse for not allowing that function to be so "disfunctional" (and destructive?) and shouldn't be allowed to take away our recordings from where we recorded it in the first place.
A good manual should had warned us that THE STEREO LINK IS TO BE USED PRIOR RECORDING to assign 2 Mono as a Stereo - this simple concept isn't to be found anywhere in the manual, why? Cos' the developers didn't care - or else, the developers/editors themselves had no clue? (IMHO).
Page 18, left, last note "Create one stereo file from two faders by using the stereo link setting"
Page 19 "To make a stereo recording, set a stereo link for adjacent odd & even-numbered tracks..."
Page 20 "Enable a stereo link for tracks in advance of recording... You can also assign stereo files."; Third hint left "To create one stereo file when recording two tracks set a stereo link."; Second hint right "Stereo link changes the setting from two mono tracks to one stereo track" (I'll admit the latter should have said "file" instead of "track"); Last hint right "Stereo files can be assigned to tracks joined by stereo link..."

Page 105 "The 'PRJINFO.TXT' file inside each AUDIO folder shows the names of files assigned to tracks", "MASTER tracks and stereo tracks are stereo WAV files."

The emphasis on "stereo files" should have been a hint that there are also mono files, and that the two can not be assigned on the same tracks at the same time.
A good design/programmer should had prevented to present that Stereo Link as an option on pre recorded tracks - or if ever there was the need for it (and why oh why would anyone remove our precious recording?) - at least warn the user with a message like "by using ST Link on these 2 tracks your present recordings will be moved to a temporary location..." (or something similar). Do you find any clue about this possible outcome? No! Not even as a troubleshooter.
The recordings are NOT "moved to a temporary location"... The files are where they always were, in the project AUDIO directory, with the name they received when first created. Only the ASSIGNMENT of the file to a track position is changed. And that change is the same thing that happens if you have the track set up for "New Take" and tap the record button -- any previous file is unassigned and a new file is created assigned to the track. Since the R series differentiates between mono and stereo files, changing stereo link unsets any active assignments /so that you do NOT lose the recording itself/ -- you wouldn't have liked it if you had a mono file on track 2, set stereo link on track 1(2) and the result was to overwrite the mono file of track 2.

Again: the R series has a different concept of free track / file assignment than previous/competing MTRs which tie takes/files to specific tracks (the BOSS units don't even have "files" unless one runs a WAV converter operation, they just have random data chunks in a single project file).

At least the R-24 has the settings for "new take"/"overwrite" -- the R-16 is always "overwrite" unless one goes in and manually deassigns the file from the track ("Not Assign"), which has to be done EVERY TIME you want to do a new take.

Go back in the forum history to when the R16 was released for discussion of file assignment vs older vtake operations; no doubt there is also some discussion when the R24 was released regarding the difference between "Not Assign" (R16) and "New Take" (R24) operations.
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