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Zoom MRS4 "pocket' Portable Digital Multitracker

ZOOM
INS_210903_00060
1 In stock
Studio Mixer
Limited-Time Offers, End in:
$89.00
The Zoom MRS4 is capable of very respectable four-track recordings and is also extremely portable with good battery life. If you don't need built-in drums and comprehensive amp modeling, then this MRS4 is currently the king of the Pocket Smart Media multitracks and makes an excellent tool for a mobile songwriter. Unsurprisingly, given that...
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The Zoom MRS4 is capable of very respectable four-track recordings and is also extremely portable with good battery life. If you don't need built-in drums and comprehensive amp modeling, then this MRS4 is currently the king of the Pocket Smart Media multitracks and makes an excellent tool for a mobile songwriter.

Unsurprisingly, given that the MRS4 is pretty much a 'no frills' device, operation is very straightforward. Recording simply requires plugging in, switching on the input, setting the input level and then record-activating the required track by pressing the appropriate button above the channel fader. This is barely more complex than on a cassette-based multitrack and, as the manual provides a step-by-step guide, even the novice user ought to be up and running in a matter of minutes.

We like it for:
Respectable audio quality in Hi-fi mode.
Very portable with good battery life.

Two tracks can be recorded simultaneously, and an additional pair of input jacks allows you to play along to a drum machine or sequencer.

In Hi-fi mode, the recording quality is surprisingly good. Subjectively, it is both less hiss-prone and clearer than on a cassette-based unit, and very respectable demo recordings are therefore possible with the MRS4. The possibilities are enhanced further by the now-familiar virtual track system, as track bouncing is all done in the digital domain and, with a little forward planning, the original recordings can be retained on a virtual track and remixed later should the need arise. Long mode doubles the recording time available and is absolutely fine for sketching out song ideas but the audio naturally lacks top-end sparkle compared to Hi-fi mode.

In use, the two-band EQ is respectable enough with both gain and frequency controls, the Insert, Send and Mixdown (applied to the stereo output) effects are pretty limited compared to the more upmarket MRS-series units.

The Insert effects offer a choice between a Limiter, Compressor, Cabinet Simulation, and various Microphone processors. The Cabinet Simulator is a simple choice between three types — Combo Amp, Bright Combo Amp and Stack Amp. If you already own an amp modeler or are happy to mic up a real amp (shock horror!), then this is great tool. The Send effects include delays, reverbs and chorus.

As the MRS4 is 'audio only', it differs from the other Smart Media 'pocket' studios mentioned earlier. Bar the excellent virtual track system that really does expand what is possible, the MRS4 has perhaps the most streamlined feature set, with no built-in rhythm or bass parts, no USB out and limited internal effects. It is also, however, the unit with the lowest suggested selling price and, for what it is designed to do (audio recording), it is actually pretty good. 

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Zoom MRS4 "pocket' Portable Digital Multitracker
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