Zoom Intros ARQ AR-48 Production & Performance Instrument

Zoom has introduced the ARQ AR-48, a ‘more affordable’ version of its unique ARQ all-in-one production & live performance instrument.

The ARQ AR-48 is a drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, clip launcher, MIDI controller and live performance instrument – and looks a bit like a flying saucer. 


  • All-in-one drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, clip launcher, MIDI controller and live performance instrument
  • Includes 460 drum machine, synth, and instruments sounds
  • Import WAV files into the internal synth engine’s oscillator
  • 16 adjustable Master Effects, including reverb, filters, delay, and more
  • Use the Ring Controller as a handheld aerial instrument
  • Onboard 32-step loop sequencer for creating individual patterns or complete songs
  • Programmable synthesizer engine with three sub-oscillators
  • 16 velocity and pressure-sensitive pads with programmable color LEDs
  • Grip Detection automatically prevents accidental note triggering
  • Built-in 3-axis accelerometer for triggering arpeggiator sounds and effects
  • Dedicated buttons for record/play/pause, solo, mute, split, arpeggiate, and change effects
  • 3.5 mm mini stereo input for phrase recording and loop creation
  • Audio capture from patterns and songs, from SD card, or from incoming audio signal
  • Play sounds chromatically, or choose from dozens of preset scales in any key
  • Dual 1/4″ line outputs, separate 3.5 mm mini stereo headphone output with dedicated volume control, and MIDI output
  • USB port for computer integration and SD card slot
  • Optional Bluetooth connection (BTA-1 connector sold separately)

Building a Sequence on the AR-48

AR-48 Song & MIDI Mode

Audio Capture

Details on availability and pricing are to come via the Zoom site.

via sequencer.de

26 thoughts on “Zoom Intros ARQ AR-48 Production & Performance Instrument

  1. maybe if its cheap but I suspect it won’t be. I’m clearly not the target market for this so maybe the fact that I’m not overcome with desire is a good omen for Zoom. This looks like a pimped up tambourine. How many Tenori Ons do you see around these days? This will be that. Seriously though, bluetooth is an add on accessory? Bluetooth chipsets are literally a dime a dozen these days.

    1. its brother is 600 and not a hot seller, probably because of the fact it is very specialized in playing nature (like Yamaha tenori)

  2. Round things. Why? And what’s a handheld aerial instrument? I like zoom and I like their recorders. This looks like a good capable instrument but it’s absolutely hideous. It looks like a toilet seat

  3. The main problem with this device, is, it is putting way too much into an already unattractive idea. The only people who would buy this is a live EDM DJ looking to breakup the monotony of their pre-programed set. But that’s not how this thing works at all. If it was $50 and gave you some corny Kaossilator effect and you could wave it around live, every bad DJ on earth would have one. But, it costs way, way too much and has way too many features that the live EDM/DJ audience just doesn’t use. I think ZOOM needs to really LISTEN to what people have been telling them at NAMM for a few years now: (I was one of them and heard others say the same): Keep making the recorders and FX units, stop with the Alesis-era gimmicks that put them under. This is a $50-100 product and NOT the center of anyone’s production rig, it requires too much PC/Mac interactivity, and the sounds are not comparable to other things of a similar price. In essence the buyer is getting a EU$500 LED tambourine with a unremarkable software synth tacked on.

    What makes it worth commenting on, is its sequencer and sampler capabilities… which if it did JUST that, or just sequenced, and wasn’t a 400 buck glow stick, it would be awesome.

    I told them as did many other musicians and buyers… MAKE A DURABLE SMALL HARDWARE **STAND-ALONE** SEQUENCER with DinSync, MIDI, and CV 1v/oct. *reset* and make it better than an SQ-1, price it under US$250 and watch ZOOM reclaim the 80’s-90’s Alesis crown. No light show just make it reliable… Add the 90’s drums and fx from the older units and you have a cheap winner that everyone would try.

    There’s a reason half broken Arps, Rolands, Akai MPCs and the ASRs are still in demand, and this line of LED tambourines sits on store shelves… How many people bought the SQ1 and thought it would be their main sequencer, I bet a lot of people who didn’t like the miniknobs would kill to get an ARP sequencer (for example) or a Roland MC-series copy for $200 or less… Please ZOOM guys, make a stand-alone, cheap, adult musician *real* stand alone sequencer. I grow tired of overpaying & repairing old synths from eBay, or buying $1k+ devices, to meet my client’s really basic stand-alone needs.

  4. Everytime I see something like this I just think wtf – does Zoom really believe there is a market for junk like this? Look what happened to Casio’s recent similar offering, can’t remember what it was called but saw it being blown out for a few dollars recently. Zoom used to be a mainstay of budget home studio setups with their great value fx units for recording and guitarists, also they made some interesting recorders, but I just don’t get stuff like this, a product that is so obviously doomed from the start and way overpriced.

  5. I don’t see too many sampler sequencers in the market at the moment…

    …so, I’m cool with it.
    I might even want it, depending the price.

  6. I don’t understand how anyone would want to buy one of these just as everyone has committed. I like the idea and would buy it, but at the end of day, it’s a toy.

  7. Funny to see the same comments as with the AR-96 here. That was a $500 wireless live performance instrument with 96 velocity and polyphonic aftertouch sensitive keys, each with a RGB color, plus integrated synthesizer, sampler, looper, interactive sequencer and full color interface screen.

    This one drops some of the instruments, halves the number of keys, and goes with a B&W screen for $300.

    People criticize this series as being toys. Really now. Is it the cost? Cutting edge user interface? What exactly toy had 96 velocity and polyphonic aftertouch sensitive keys, and all these other features, at any cost?

    Those saying it is a toy can not possibly be taken seriously. Obviously they have absolutely no clue whatsoever and have never made any music or owned any professional gear whatsoever. They are total posers.

    I will say though if you are looking seriously at this, having 96 keys is better than 48.

    1. I must say I’m with you on this one here, this looks quite interesting. Come one guys, it’s 2017 already. I seriously want more sci-fi stuff in my life; silver clothes and glowing disc instruments.

      I always liked the Tenori-On (why is that the closest thing to this?)

      I don’t understand why this is getting some hate? Be a bit open minded, I for one am not wholly attached to having FULL size keys on a synthesizer to be able to play it (heck mini keys don’t bother me, CZ-101?)
      What about that Wasp thing, or that weird little Furman Sequencer, those things didn’t have keys for Sphinx’s sake!

  8. it looks kind of fun actually – people are getting too caught up in the fact that it is round – if it was square and it was a grid sequencer for the inner ring and pads for the outer ring people would probably have a totally different set of comments.

  9. I have found that even though there are aspects of the work flow of the circuit I love. There’s a lot of limitations, a lot of learning that particular machine, and a lot of pre prep, rather than live performance. I don’t see the arq solving these problems.

  10. Looks like the lamp section in my local charity shop. Looks like a baby monitor. Looks like someone took the d-beam and tried to improve upon it. Looks like the future of fidget spinners. Looks like something my mother would use for her seasonal affective disorder.

  11. The hater comments remind me of the hostility directed at the first RCA (1955), Moog, Arp, and Buchla synthesizers.

    To traditional electronic musicians, a synth simply must have a keyboard and be rectangular. Or square with pads or a grid interface.

    Is this a great synth or a goofy gimmick? I’m not sure, but to attack it because it’s round is an ignorant attitude.

    I bought the Casio Trackformer for $100 on a blow-out sale. It stopped working after 3 months, so I’m very wary of this.

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