Zoom Livetrack L20

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Ron R, May 27, 2020.

  1. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    So, our little 3 piece is going to gather for our first practice in months.
    Since we are all working from home and isolating, and our state has begun to re-open some things, we figure it's time. And since there are 3 of us in a full basement, we can still keep our distance. But enough of that, on to the real news:
    When we stopped practicing, I took my Zoom R16 recorder home, and we were piecing together tracks - I'd do the guitars and vocals to a click, then share via Google drive, and the bass player and drummer would do their parts.
    Long story short, there was a LOT of hum/noise/buzz on the drum stuff. So a couple weeks back, I suggested that we might consider a second Zoom R16 (and then could chain them together later, as the 8 tracks we currently had fell 4 short of being able to isolate each drum mic when recording all together (drummer has been using a submixer for all but bass drum and snare).
    After we looked around, we actually decided to invest a bit more, and just get the Zoom L20, which can serve both as our live mixer and multi-track recorder (20 tracks simultaneous, 16 of which are XLR inputs). It just arrived today, so we're going to get to check it out.
    In addition to what I've listed above, it allows us to have up to 6 custom monitor outs (we use wired IEMs, but have shared the same signal with just EQ and volume tweaks for each guy). In theory, the L20 should allow us to drop the separate headphone amp, the rack compressor (it has this built in and can adjust for each channel), a splitter we used to feed each line in to both the PA and the recorder, and the little phantom power box that we were using to power the bass player's an my vocal mics (our old Carvin has phantom power, but the phantom power was acting up intermittently).
    All for a price that is comparable to what the Carvin cost us 10 years ago.
    Anyone have and use the L20? If so, any tips or tricks to share?
    Not sure how deep we will get with tweaking it tonight, or if we'll even test run with the speakers, but I'll be happy to share our thoughts as we go, if anyone is interested.
     
  2. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    First review, for any who are interested: wow!
    So far, very impressed with how much we got for the money we spent. Quick setup was pretty straightforward and intuitive. We still have a lot of tweaking to do, and haven't taken advantage of the individual monitor mixes, but we were able to do a lot more actual playing last night than we expected. Very clean and very quiet too.
     
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  3. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks for this update. Not quite ready for this, as we've had some recent serious spike in you-know-what. But maybe for future, let's hope.
     
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  4. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    Still loving it - we are getting good separation of the instruments and hearing everything very clearly.
    There are a few negatives though (nothing that we can't deal with, but I do want anyone considering it to go in with their eyes open:
    1) no effects loop - which means if you don't like or want to use the onboard effects, then any effects need to be in your signal chain before it hits the mixer. This is not a big deal to us, since we don't use a ton of effects anyway, and the built-in compressor and reverb options are perfectly fine for the vocals and drums.
    2) there are only two internal effects sends for each channel, and whichever effect you choose will be the effect for all channels that are sent to it. Again, not a big deal for us - we found a reverb that we liked for vocals, and those all get sent/returned using that loop, and the second loop is a reverb we like for the drums. Each channel still has its own send/return control for FX1 and FX2, so you can vary the amount of effect for each channel. The compressor is a simple knob for each channel.
    3) the 6 individual monitor mixes get dry signal only, no onboard effects. FX loops only impact the Main (Master) outs. It would be nice to have this, but not a deal breaker for us. Especially since you can choose either a customized mix or that Master feed for each monitor out.
     
  5. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Think outside the box...

    Unless you are using all 6 monitor sends, dedicate one or two for external effects and return those on some unused channels. Stereo effects can be returned on channels 17/18 or 19/20 while mono effects could be returned on any unused channel.

    Ultimately.... if you have an internal (software) method to change the monitor sends from "pre fader" to "post fader" that would be even better for effects but it will still work in it's current configuration.

    If you run an outboard effect (eg: reverb) in a method I suggest above, you can now send the return channel (wet signal) to any monitor bus you want.
    Just don't send it to it's own send ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020 at 9:46 AM
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  6. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    Good thoughts. As I mentioned, those are pretty minor quibbles for our purposes, so I'm not sure we'll even bother adding another component back to the rack just to get reverb.
    But I do appreciate the creative solution.
     
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