Zoom Intros 12-Channel LiveTrak L-12 Digital Mixer & Audio Recorder

Zoom North America has introduced the new LiveTrak L-12, an all-in-one digital mixer that can record up to 12 discrete channels.

LiveTrak provides five individual custom headphone mixes and can capture audio at up to 24-bit/96 kHz WAV format on SD cards. It also functions as a digital audio interface for your computer or iOS device.

The L-12 features nine different scenes, so you can save custom mixer settings for automatic recall. 

Features:

  • 12 discrete channels (8 mono plus 2 stereo) with XLR or 1/4-inch connectivity
  • 14-track simultaneous recording, 12-track playback
  • 14-in/4-out USB audio interface connectivity
  • 5 powered headphone outputs, each with a customizable and saveable mix
  • Add backing/click tracks from your computer to your live mix and recording
  • RCA and TRS line inputs
  • 48V phantom power (channels 1-4 and 5-8)
  • Hi-Z connectivity (channels 1 and 2)
  • 26 dB pad (channels 3-8)
  • Built-in compression control (Channels 1-8)
  • Digital level meters -48 dB to -0 dB
  • Master mute button
  • Low-cut control
  • Stereo panning
  • Master and Monitor Outputs A-E
  • Scene saving function, up to 9 scenes saved at a time
  • 16 built-in delay and reverb effects with adjustable parameters
  • Built-in slate mic
  • Class-compliant mode (for iOS compatibility)
  • SD card input
  • Built-in metronome
  • Automatic recording starting/stopping capability
  • Project protection
  • Import/export projects with USB 2.0 host port
  • Latency adjustment for A-to-D conversion
  • Compatible functions for ZOOM FS01 footswitch

The Zoom LiveTrak L-12 will be available in stores September 2017, with a street price of US $599.

37 thoughts on “Zoom Intros 12-Channel LiveTrak L-12 Digital Mixer & Audio Recorder

  1. Wow, this is great news. Looks like I may have found a way to upgrade my Zoom R8 to 24 bit depth/96hz recording without using the computer. Although a couple of aux sends would have been perfect.

    1. It seems like you could use the monitor outs for effects sends — it looks like you hit the A/B/etc buttons to the right of the faders and then can set the “send” level to that output buss. It’s awkward with no dedicated send pots, and there’s no dedicated return channels, but it seems possible. I too want to use my old effects, even if the built-in effects are pretty decent.

  2. That’s very interesting. Just hope that the user interface is much simpler than that of the R16, where you need the manual under direct reach to do anything non-trivial.

    1. After some more investigation this seems to be a great improvement with respect to the R16 / R24 (that can record “only” 8-tracks simultaneously). Rack mountability is also a big plus.
      For me the L12 (and so many other mixers out there) would be really interesting when:
      – It was a keyboard mixer, omitting the microphone inputs with their splendid but expensive pre-amp section, thus reducing some of the price;
      – Two units could be synced (as is possible with the R16);
      Still I think the L12 is a revolution for multi-instrumentalists and bands.

  3. I really hope there’s an easy way to send-return for an external effect. That’s a pain in the R16. Otherwise I’m very interested!

    Oh, maybe I can use those headphone jacks for external send-return!

    1. yeah it looks like there isn’t any real fx loop out which kind of sucks – I wish more manufacturers would make that a priority, if they do have them on smaller boards they are usually mono sends, it wouldn’t be hard to have a mono send per channel and a stereo return on the master to an external loop.

  4. Does this have the ability to mix down to 2 tracks? Can the audio files be transferred to a PC for editing or burning to CD?

    1. Yes. It can record the 12 channels and a stereo mix of those channels at the same time. Plus regular old bouncing.

    1. Don’t know the exact specs but I do know that Zoom does also have those little (and cheap) mobile audio interfaces which do have midi. Maybe you can use those together with this one for your needs?

      It’s a pity that midi is not incorporated though. Would only make this device more versatile.

  5. It is an impressive feature set. The UI looks very similar to my H2n, which ain’t pretty, but does the job.

    If it does what it promises well (that’s a big IF), then that price is good.

    Five separate headphone monitor mixes is an impressive feature. They really have made a demo recording monster. As for live mixing, I guess the expectation is that you won’t need to patch to external gear if it has what you need in-the-box.

    I think if someone was looking for an audio interface with a high channel count, this would be a pretty clever option– IF….

  6. This is a good and reasonable price for this feature set, especially the number of inputs, making it quite viable as an input interface.

    A while back MIDI interfaces to support sync were dropped from these devices. Presumably there were intractable technical challenges. I have a couple different but expensive multitrack digital recorders that get glitches and drop outs when you try to sync them.

    However, why not allow mix automation through MIDI?

    I’d like to see MIDI sync but I guess I’ll take what I can get. I really like the idea of standalone mode with direct to SD recording, that’s been a killer feature. Not being able to automate the mix though is a big problem. Maybe someday someone will solve this? I’m tired of spending hundreds and thousands on these interfaces and digital mixers that are almost perfect, but have enough missing features as to make them useless for general work.

    Also, why 9 scenes? Why not 128? Why not 128 groups of 128? It’s not like persistent memory is a precious costly commodity like it was in 1981.

      1. Not sure what you are talking about. Can you explain?

        I do happen to have have a MIDISport in the studio, but it can’t control the L-12’s mix given that the L-12 doesn’t have MIDI inputs allowing MIDI control at all, not even of some minimal controls like gain, pan, and fx send level.

        1. My fault. I thought this new LiveTrak L-12 did have usb midi but just read the manual and found nothing about it. It seems it doesn’t do midi at all.

  7. The only other multi-input usb audio interface I’ve experienced was the tascam US 16×8. IT was unbelievable to record that many inputs through usb only to realize it could be done, just no one was doing it. Or at least, not many manufacturers were doing it or just going with firewire. So just that alone is a great feature for someone wanting to get away from the overabundance of 2inx2out- 4inx2out mixers.

    As far as send/return, you can always fake it if you have a group out but its definitely something you miss when you have no sends. I’ve been using a mackie onyx with 4 send/returns, all attached to guitar pedals.

    Maybe they could have skipped on the scene memories and multiple headphones and threw in some sends but it still looks like a joy for a computer musician with a ton of external gear. Or…bands.

  8. I got a Zoom UAC-8 a couple years ago, because I needed a USB3 interface, and figured it would hold me over until more newer tech interfaces like thunderbolt and so forth became more widely available.

    However Ive been very pleasantly surprised by its performance and especially the quality of the sound itself – most notably the way you can hit the inputs really hard, and go into the red – but instead of nasty clipping and digital distortion, it provides a really nice saturated and overdriven type of sound… in fact its so good I use it as an effect of sorts on many different sounds. Really cool stuff.

    It also has an internal 32-bit oversampling mode while recording, and that also seems to help quite a bit as well in terms of clarity and detail. So overall the ZOOM stuff has impressed me. I wasnt expecting it to be as good as it is.

  9. According to the manual, at 96k you lose almost all of the features. No headphone mixes, no internal effects, no overdubbing, etc.

    If this used 16 encoders for pan, fx and monitor mixes, I’d be all over it. As it is, setting up a headphone mix dislocates all your faders from “truth”.

  10. instead we got 2 x r24 by zoom…

    this L 12 is of no real use to us…manythings downgraded from r24…
    96khz, and no features…
    r24, had more selection of 48v ( 2, 2, 2 ) control…allowing us to use ribbon mics.
    this new thing, maybe cannot master slave…r24 x2 gave us 16 simult mic inputs…

    upon deeper reading…perhaps many more downgrades…

    zoom JP NEVER LISTENS to customers requests…they had MANY YRS
    after r24 to get this out…and it is not as full featured as r24.

    too bad…for us.

    you might like it, tho…for other reasons…of course.

    1. @kay bhee: Ido have an R16 and actually use it every now and then. It has, theoretically speaking, many features most of which are very impracticle to use because of a very un-intuitive user interface and very deep menu diving. Its OK for recording / playback when you limit yourself to 8 tracks. Whenever you want to use more tracks, use markers or punch in/out you’ll have to go menu diving.
      As far as I see it now the L12 is a great improvement regarding that. Since 12 tracks is too little for my way of working I’d be all interested if you could sync two of these units together.

  11. Does anyone make something like this, but you can set a tempo and loop your recordings? Sort of like Ableton’s arranger section, but outside the computer?

    1. Zoom R24 but there is a learning curve (see manual). The other thing about the R24 is no midi so you have to sequence everything within the unit.

  12. now that i have cooled down from the initial sexy factor of this thing, reading the comments, and reexamining the current batch of products (the R16/R24 & DP24/32sd) the insta-buy feelings have subsided. Good point about Zoom not listening to the consumers about the midi sync thing. This has been voiced by many people across many forums for how many years now? I remember my beloved Korg D1600 mkII having midi sync capabilities and it worked (file conversion & transfer was slow as snot).
    The Zoom site is putting this thing under a different catagory heading separate from their R8/16/24 units and are marketing it as a live mixer given the feature set (particularly the 5 headphone monitoring and scene features).
    I wonder if Tascam is listening. I am reading a good deal of recent purchaser reviews on Amazon regarding their DP24/32sd so their products are still selling hot. People are raving about the units and often give a big shout-out to that Phil Tipping guy for his generously informative operator’s tutorials via YT. I am about to break down on that DP32sd…same price, same lack of midi sync capability, more dedicated faders with input to destination track routing flexibility, great track record…apparently no audio interface capabilities though.
    There is a lot to be said using hardware multitrackers though. Hit the buttons to arm and away you go. I’ve tried the whole all my gear and Daw going into my X18r into a separate computer dedicated to multitracking. Just NOT the same effing around with a mouse and running back to hover over another computer screen to delete this, move this or that, comp something else. Dedicated hardware botton presses and menu diving are quicker, intuitive and actually more satisfying once the motor skills become second nature.
    Finally, the only remedy for the lack of midi sync is spot on timing in you button presses to fire up your gear’s arp/sequencer & DAW. (btw Logic SUCKS for starting on the dime…there is, and has been for quite some time, a minute lag upon hitting the play button and initiation of sequencer playback…on the other hand, Live starts up with lightening speed)

  13. Can someone explain to me what all these midi control requests are about? All I would favor is to have midi record / playback sync and maybe 1 midi track for recording playback.
    What would anyone want to do with midi control? All interesting must have parameters are directly accessible via faders and buttons. Can anyone explain that please?

    1. With MIDI you could for instance control DAW levels with this mixers faders or vice versa. Or if each channel could be controlled by midi or people could remotely change their headphone or sends levels.

  14. Nice for live recording but USELESS as a recording studio multitrack, because page 87 of the manual states that if you are recording in 96kHz, the overdub function is DISABLED.

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