Zoom has introduced the LiveTrak L-20R, a 20-channel rack-mountable digital mixer designed for on-stage use. The Zoom L-20R lets you control the FOH mix and six individual monitor signals using up to seven iPads. That sounds like a neat solution for touring bands playing in small to medium venues.
Wireless control has given rack mixers an unprecedented boost in popularity. The concept makes a lot of sense: There is no need to run audio signals to the FOH desk. In fact, the FOH desk can sometimes be eliminated, as a single rackmount unit with wireless control handles the FOH and monitor mixes simultaneously. The field is dominated by companies like Mackie (Axis / DL32R, DL32S, DL16S), Behringer, and Presonus. After the introduction of its LiveTrack mixers, it’s a logical step for Zoom to add a rackmount version of the L-20 to its LiveTrak lineup, which also contains the smaller L-12.
20 channels of mixing, 22 channels of recording
The Zoom LiveTrak L-20R has 16 mono mic/line input channels, and two stereo inputs. Zoom says that the mono inputs feature its “quietest and most advanced preamps”, as well as single knob compression and gain control. In addition to the stereo main output, there are six monitor outputs for up to six individual monitor mixes. The monitor outs have integrated headphone amps: For each monitor output, you can select a line level signal (for wireless systems etc.), or a headphone level signal.
If you’d like to capture your performance for your next live album or video, the L-20R can also act as a recorder. It records up to 22 channels (the 20 inputs plus the stereo mix) to an SD card at 24bit/96kHz. There even is an overdub feature. You can also use the L-20R as a 22 in / 4 out USB audio interface.
The mixer allows for wireless control of the main mix and up to six monitor mixes. You can connect up to seven iPads running the Remote Mixer app. The master iPad is paired with the included bluetooth adapter. Up to six additional iPads can then interface with the master iPad over WiFi.
This means that the FOH engineer (if there is one) and up to six members of the band can each control their own mixes, including channel levels, EQ settings, channel effects, and more.
Price and availability
Zoom says that the LiveTrak L-20R will ship in July 2019. At an MSRP of just under 870 Euros, it looks like you’ll get quite a lot of mixer / recorder for your money, as you would expect from Zoom.