The ARQ AR-48 connects to computers for software updates and has SD-card storage for samples. · Source: Zoom
Zoom has a major new product lined up, and it’s probably unlike anything you’ve ever imagined. A cross between a disco lamp and 500-things-in-one audio workstation, the Zoom ARQ AR-48 Aero RhythmTrak is a production and live performance instrument that does look a lot like something with too many lights and obnoxious sounds that you’ll find in a toy store… yet it’s still legitimate Zoom gear. Let’s dig in!
The ARQ AR-48 consists of a Base Station and Ring Controller. The Base Station has four “zones” – Sound, Sequence, Rec/Play, and Effect. These let you handle most of the unit’s production functionality – comprised of a 460 sounds library (synth, percussion, and vocal), 16 effects, three sub-oscillators, a digital synthesizer, and a sample player that lets you load your own sounds from SD-Card. Music is played and programmed on 16 coloured pads. Performers can play and record sequences in real-time, as well as use the AR-48 to control external synthesizers and instruments over MIDI.
The Ring Controller has pretty multi-color LED lights and a 3-axis motion sensor for controlling music via movement. With an optional Bluetooth accessory, the Ring Controller can be removed from the Base Station, giving you more performance freedom.
Connectivity-wise, the ARQ AR-48 comes with a pair of 1/4 line outputs, a 3.5mm mini stereo headphone output with a dedicated volume control, a MIDI output, and USB port for computer connectivity. There’s an SD-Card slot for storage. An optional Bluetooth connector for the Ring Controller is being sold separately.
Price and availability
The Zoom ARQ AR-48 will be available this month (October 2017), with a manufacturer-suggested retail price of 415,31 EUR.