With the LiveTrak L-12, you can finally mix, record, and monitor with a single piece of gear. It’s the only digital console that lets you mix your live performance and record up to 12 discrete channels – all while providing five individual custom headphone mixes.
From the manufacturer
In the box
The L-12 comes with:
- AC adapter (Zoom AD-19)
- USB 2.0 cable
- Quick Guide
Zoom LiveTrak L-12
The Zoom LiveTrak L-12 is the only digital mixer that lets you mix live performances and record up to 12 discrete channels, all while providing five individual custom headphone mixes. Plus, it’s got the quietest and most advanced preamps Zoom has ever created.
Whether you’re a musician, podcaster, or member of a band, the power to mix, monitor, and record is now at your fingertips. For creators like you who do everything, this is the one board that does it all.
- 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 mix
- Record to an SD card and computer simultaneously
- Scene saving function, up to 9 scenes saved at a time
- 16 built-in delay and reverb effects with adjustable parameters
- Automatic recording starting/stopping capability
Effortless Live Mixer
Its 12 discrete channels (eight mono plus two stereo) have 3-band mid-parametric EQ, and 16 built-in send effects. The L-12’s eight mono channels also have a dedicated compressor. You can also route backing tracks from a computer into your live mix using Audio Interface mode.
Record Everything, Remix Anywhere
Record 12 tracks up to 24-bit/96 kHz WAV audio to an SD card (up to 512 GB) while simultaneously mixing your live show. You can mix and overdub your finished project, or transfer the discrete tracks to your favorite DAW for further mixing and editing.
Five Custom Monitor Mixes
The L-12 has five powered monitor mix outputs that each provide an individual mix, allowing every performer a mix that’s tailored to their preferences. Since the L-12 can drive headphones or in-ear monitors, there’s no need for a separate headphone monitoring setup.
USB Connectivity for Your DAW
As a 14-in/4-out USB audio interface, the L-12 offers limitless creative possibilities. Route signal from each input and the master fader output to any DAW at sample rates up to 48 kHz. You can even route signal from your DAW back into the L-12 on tracks 9/10 or 11/12, allowing you to easily add click or backing tracks to the main mix or monitor mixes.
Advanced Onboard Effects
There are 16 built-in effects, all with fully adjustable parameters. Choose from delay and reverb effects and send them to any channel.
Custom Scene Settings
Nine different scenes can save and recall custom mix settings automatically. Each scene saves fader position, EQ settings, pan, mute, and more. The “Fader Mode” buttons display and adjust mix output from the Master Out as well as Monitor Outs A through E.
Musical Swiss Army KnifeThis is a great music tool for a musician. You can use it so many different situations, and it does a good job in all of them. Here are some examples of how it can be used, and how it performs in those situations both good and bad.Practice:You can plug in a number of different devices to pull material from to work on. I use it to rehearse to songs playing from spotify on my computer connected VIA USB. I can adjust the volume of both the source music and my practice so I can easily isolate problem spots. You can also set aside trouble spots to share with your teacher when you run into problems.It has a built in metronome so you can practice in time, and see how your timing is while you work on different passages.Rehearsal:This thing really rules in a low volume rehearsal situation where everyone wants to use headphone. It has 5 independent aux sends to 1/4″ headphone jacks. This gives everyone the ability to hear exactly what they want to. It has built in effects so the singer can have a little bit of reverb on their vocals.All that, and you can record your rehearsal to an SD card both as individual tracks and as a summed mix. The recording feature is super simple. Just select the tracks you would like to record, arm, and record. Throw a large SD card in the unit, and you will be set for weeks of rehearsal. It’s also easy to listen to what you just recorded and sort out what happened as a group in different parts of a song.Writing:I will often get an idea in my head. With this it’s as simple as come in, turn it on, start recording the idea. I can go back and add tracks from other instruments after I get the basic idea down, and I can even do these to a click. you could use it to stand alone record, but it’s editing features are great, so you just drop the files into your computer and work within your favorite DAW.With the built in metronome you don’t have to worry about having your computer turned on to be able to track some stuff and be able to drop it right into the computer in time later.Recording:With a built in recorder, and the ability to plug directly into your computer with 12 inputs and one sum, It provides great tools to work with. I play drums, and use an electronic kit to record. I can plug in the individual sends from my drum brain right into the unit and trick like I was at the studio.Super hack record your whole recording session directly on the device as a safety in case there are any issues with the computer recording, or a perfect solo that you didn’t hit record for. Zero latency monitoring is great too.Live:I think it is probably more of a sub mixer, but it can do a whole show if you don’t have too many instruments. If everyone is using in ear monitors it gives them up to 5 different mixes for that. it has XLR as well as balanced 1/4″ outputs for speakers.You can record the whole show and come back and mix it later at home, or directly on the mixer. It has decent live effects and compression to make your show sound great coming out of your main speakers.Rehearsals:I had to go back and add this after my initial review. I feel like this is another area where this really shines. With the pandemic in full swing playing music with other people can be very difficult while trying to maintain social distancing. I have two rehearsal situations currently that I’m using this for.The first is a group where we are all in separate rooms and communicate via microphones. At my station I have my L-12 and mic up my drums with it. I send a stereo mix of the drums to another L-12 in the house via two XLR cables. I get a headphone signal from the other L-12 with a mix of all the other instruments. I can sum that, my drums, and a click in my L-12 and hear and record everything that happens while controlling my drum mix to the board.The second group rehearses outside with me in a garage. In this situation I mic all the other instruments directly and use 4 mics on the drums. This allows me to hear everything that’s happening outside the garage, and record all the songs we play. I setup a template inside of Logic Pro X so when I get home I can copy the stems from the SD card and drag and drop them into logic with no real need to mix them since the levels and effects are already set. This results in great recording for all members of the band to review when we get home.Trouble spots:There aren’t many trouble spots on this unit, and I’m still giving it the highest rating due the fact that for its issues it still does way more than just about anything at its price point.1) The compression always writes to the recording and it’s not a great compressor.2) The Preamps aren’t great, but they’re usualable3) The file naming system is okay, but pretty close to impossible to change. (Changing a long file name with a click wheel is not how I want to spend 5 minutes on every recording)4) The faders aren’t motorized (you have to set the faders whenever you switch mixes)5) No individual stereo or mono pairs for monitor out in live situationThis is a tool I can definitely get behind. At this or any price point there isn’t much else on the market with all of these types of capabilities in a reasonably sized package. I have, and will continue to recommend this to my friends and peers.
Makes a Great Eurorack Mixer and RecorderThis is the best multitrack recorder I’ve used at anywhere near this price point. I have a number of eurorack cases, and the large number of inputs makes it easy to take output from a variety of key points in the system and handle them each separately.There’s definitely a learning curve, and I wish it had a built-in effects loop, but there are workarounds to the latter, and the former comes with time (and RTFM).I’ve had mixed experiences with mixers around this size, so it was in and out of my cart more times than I can count, but I’m definitely glad I pulled the trigger.
Intuitive! Easy to use! Simple but effective!Obviously, it’s so cheap because of the flimsy build materials, but it is well-designed and works very well for its purpose.
Maybe good for bands, not great for podcasting or livestreaming.Original post below this updated one:I’ve changed my mind and have decided to recommend this mixer. I was incorrect on one major aspect, which was the tracks you should be using for Livestreaming. With the help of Zoom I corrected this and my biggest complaint is gone. My bad. I still stand by my thoughts on the file structure, the recording button, and the ability to save individual tracks post-fader, but those are items I can totally live with. I originally spent $600 on an H6 and this brings so much more to the table.——————-I’ve had the L-12 for about a week but I’m thinking of returning it. I thought it would be a better option for running Facebook Live audio in my studio as opposed to the F8 I used, but here’s what bothers me.1) When using USB interface to my Mac through OBS the faders have no effect, zero. I thought maybe I could use the Gain instead but all the way left still bleeds audio into the feed. You have to totally unplug mics not in use because the Mute button also doesn’t work through USB. I can save the stereo track and have the faders work, but what is the point of multi-track if I don’t have the option of cleaning up individual tracks after it’s done? (**NOTE** John pointed out I was using tracks 1-8 which are pre-fader. I wish there was an option to turn them on post-fader, but now that I’m using tracks 13-14 I can send everything post fader to OBS, and mute too. Thanks, John! Fast help.)2) File structure – My F8 must have ruined me because it was incredibly easy to create and name folders on the SD. The L-12 feels like my old Zoom H4. Just so basic and without many options. Naming projects is a pain (see the F8 for an amazingly fast keyboard for the knob). I record multiple shows and it would be nice to name a project once or as a template and just choose it for a new project. Having to enter one every time made me decide to never name projects on the L-12.3) Record button – Zoom just released the F8 and the F4 and they decided it was best to go back in time again and have you push the record button and then the play button to really record. I don’t get it. Give me one fat button to mash. Plenty of recorders require the 2 step record process, but innovation isn’t achieved by doing what everyone else does.4) Driver – The driver makes it work but doesn’t make it work well. Luckily I had already purchased the Mac program Loopback so I can create virtual devices. For Facebook Live or just Skype interviews, I have the audio kick back out to channel 9/10 with the USB button pressed. The audio comes back just fine to that track, but because there is zero control in the driver, it sends all channels, including the USB channel, through the input and messes up the send. With Loopback I was able to remove channel 9/10 and 11/12 (even though you can’t use 11/12 as another USB channel at the same time!), but that’s a $100 dollar purchase to fix the zero settings driver.I get it. I can do most of the things I’m grumpy about by sending my audio out to the Master Out headphone jack. I can even do a mix-minus through that process, but I was already able to do that with the F8 in a smaller space and more mobility.On the F8 I can’t record tracks and send to my computer through USB at the same time, and that was a huge selling point for me on the L-12, but it’s totally useless on the L-12 to be able to record 14 tracks and use through a DAW or Livestream at the same time, if your saved files don’t reflect your modifications on the board.I’ve owned the H4, H6, H1, F8, and now the L-12, but for my purposes (and I stress my purposes), the L-12 is not the savior I hoped it would be.
Live Sound Recording Made EasyThe main reason I purchased this system is to use it as a backup mixer for live sound events (I run all my channels into a splitter; one set goes to my primary mixer, the other set goes to the Zoom). The device also gives me the ability to multi-track record the events, so this item works perfect for my situation. Here’s a host of pros/cons that I’ve experienced thus far, but overall I’m very happy with the purchase.Amazon shipped the item in an unsealed factory box! It arrived in great condition, but I expected a little more care with the packing/shipping of the item, so that was unusual. The item is lightweight with plastic housing, but it feels like it will hold up (with the proper care). The buttons/faders/knobs do not provide exceptional resistance, but they don’t feel super-cheap either. The size of the knobs are also adequate (see photo – notice I put custom labels on my device). The power adapter has a 7′ cable – it does seem cheap, but it kinda’ “locks” into the L12, which is a cool feature.Relatively speaking, the mixer/recorder is very easy to operate. I purchased a “SanDisk Class 10 – U1 – 128GB SDXC 80MB/s” SD card, which seems to function well, but I haven’t tested it to its limits. The pre-amps and built-in effects sound great. It must be noted that with the new firmware update (v.2.0) Zoom has given users access to effects on all the outputs, but there are limits. The effect you choose is “global” so you can only use one effect at a time for the entire system. For example if you want reverb on channel 1 and delay on channel 2, that is NOT an option. If you want to route reverb to the master output, then you can adjust the send efx level for the reverb on each individual channel, but that setting is carried over to all the outputs (ex. A, B, C, D, E). You can control the OVERALL efx return level for each output, but not for each individual track.If you intend to use the recorder for a project where you want to do overdubs and re-takes, then there are some limitations. The device doesn’t have “virtual” tracks (you can’t save tracks in the background) and you can’t “bounce” tracks from one channel to another. My workaround is to keep a computer connected to the L12, and if I want to bounce a track, I restart the device in “Card Reader” mode. Then I access the card with my computer and rename the file to the track I want to “bounce” it to (they are named something logical like “TRACK1, TRACK2” etc.). I can backup tracks by copying them to my computer using the same method, so that’s my workaround for keeping “virtual tracks”.Even with the limitations listed above, this mixer/recorder is great! Setting up my system and recording tracks is a quick process that is very intuitive. I’m very happy with my purchase and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to fulfill similar needs as me.
Great for small groupsI bought this for a youth room at church. This has all the features needed to give them a good start in using tracks and in ear monitors.
Drummer Dave –
Awesome Mixer!Way better than a Mackie. Has perfect amount of features and channels. Easy to use, unlike other mixers with lots of buttons and knobs. I like and record my acoustic and electric drums on it.
Not a very user friendly unitThis is an excellent unit for basic multi-track recording, ONCE YOU GET THE HANG OF IT. Very complicated to master. Don’t forget to have the overdubbing light on when you are multi-tracking! I do a practice track in overdubbing, and it gets recorded, even though the track is not set to record mode, and I have not been able to find an answer as to why and how to avoid it. There are many other issues. I would do more research on other brands such as Tascam and Behringer before deciding.
Significant issue- UpdatePlease see the update below. I do want to preserve the actual events and issue.Original review:To start with I want to say I have been a Zoom fan for many years. I own an H2n, H4N, G3x and have given gifts of the H2n and recommended them for school programs. I have been recording music for many years now and have tried many different interfaces. I have now been through 3 of these units. All of them have had significant bleed of input between channels 5/6 and 7/8. This means that line level signal input to channels 5 or 6 will bleed through and register on 7 *and* 8. This happens from 7/8 to 5/6 as well. I have called Zoom 4 times and not once has my call been returned. They keep saying they are waiting on more information from their engineers in Japan to confirm the issue. Multiple times I offered to send my unit to them for testing and that was refused. Today I called back and they said they had just gotten information today from their engineers that they had a unit where they could reproduce the problem. This process has been going on over a month. I am now out of my return window and sitting waiting for a call back when they get any new information. They didn’t come right out and say it in the phone call today but I expect that this is a manufacturing defect and will be present in all units. I strongly recommend staying away from this and looking elsewhere. Perhaps the R24 or PreSonus StudioLive* (I have changed this due to some new information that has come to light, man)UPDATE: Someone at Zoom got wind of the troubles I am having. Since then they have been extraordinarily helpful and responsive. The issue appears to be something related to using unbalanced inputs. The bleed problem only occurs on channels 5-8 if you use unbalanced 1/4″ TS cables for inputs. If you use either 3 pin or 1/4″ TRS inputs there will be no bleed. The recordings are clean and clear. The unit is extremely easy to use, and has well thought out in layout. At this stage I am willing to say that if you are OK with only using balanced ins on channels 5-8, this is worth the money any day. If you feel squeamish, the R24 is your next best bet.Also, this rating is for the product itself. The company remains one that I believe in and would still highly recommend.
Marco Quiros –
Right on my sweetspot, what I needed!Excelent product! Very versatile. Only two drawbacks.1. The effects settings apply to all channels. You cannot apply different effects to different channels.2. There is no effects send-return on it.But besides that two downsides, it is a portable mixing and recording studio with the right features for live gig and home recording.Big plus:1. The 5 separate mixes outputs, that I been using for monitoring to in-ear and monitor speakers.2. Saving all different presets for mixing and recording. Called scenes. Let’s me have a preconfigured for full band, acoustic and track based gigs.3. Small makes it easy to transport and sturdy plastic. No metal in case you have a rough on the road music presentations you may need something tougher.4. Fully digital, this improved a lot the feedback resilience, and most of band members praise no feedbacks at all in my work on live gigs.5. From all the effects and settings only compression affects recording. What you record is what comes to the preamp. The recording is saved to SD card. Our you may record with a DAW via interface (or both). Note that max quality up to 96 Khz mono only. 44 and 48 kHz are stereo on stereo channelsI heard some pro grade recordings made with this device so do not underestimate what can be done with it.I am a newbie sound engineer who in daytime is a systems administrator. I needed something that have quick good results and low learning curve. Approaching from my digital side, now learning more may go for a bigger analog one where I may need to struggle more with feedback and granular configs.So far so good!