Long time no blog! Since I started doing two podcasts and YouTube, I have taken a long break from my blog... And actually this is not a regular blog post! I am posting my review of the Zoom #PodTrackP8! If you do a podcast, or know someone who does, I HIGHLY recommend it! Check out my review below! Zoom Podtrak P8 Review:
I received a P8 from Zoom not in it’s regular packaging so I can’t comment on how it is packaged. It arrived with the necessary cords to connect it to a power source and / or a computer. If it is plugged into a computer it will power itself from there which is very convenient. Also regular batteries provide a kind of back up power source.
Design / Layout
It is a good design that is easy to use and understand. The faders line up with the mic plug ins and everything is color coded including in the touch screen display, so it is easy to keep track of people’s mics and levels etc. The sound pad buttons also have a variety of colors, and by setting the color of the icon in the waveform editing screen, you can change the button color on the sound pad.
There are 6 xlr mic inputs plus USB Type-C for computer connection, plus one for phone connection. Up until now I only used USB mics, so I bought an xlr mic in order to use this machine. It is hard to imagine having more than four xlr mics for a podcast. It looks cool to have 8 faders, but it takes up as much desk space as a laptop and the device is quite bulky, so it is not really meant for people traveling around and doing interviews. The PodTrak P4 is more for that.
The interface is really intuitive and the layout is so easy to learn and use just by looking at it. Adjusting and doing settings for mics is super easy. Get the sound you want before recording so no need to adjust later. Not only that, you can edit everything (trim, cut volume, fade in/out) right on the device! You can even add BGM and edit sound. Most people will do editing on a computer, but I find this especially useful for when I want something on the sound pad…
I was able to learn and start using the functions very quickly. It is exactly what I wanted. I can play music live in recording and have sounds etc programed into the sound pad. Also if you are connected to a computer you can rip any sound you want from any website etc straight onto the P8, use the editing tools to isolate and adjust exactly what you want, and have it programed into the sound pad in only seconds! Being able to choose pause, loop, hold, etc is also really useful. Also having 4 sets of 9 buttons means you can have different sound pads ready for different recording sessions / shows. AWESOME.
There is some built in equalizing tech that makes the mixed tracks so good you almost never have to adjust levels or do noise reduction etc afterwards. (Huge time saver!) Recording is simple and reliable and having multitrack recording is a great option especially when dealing with remote recording where delays cause you to speak at the same time (you can mute just one person in post product). I couldn’t be happier with the sound quality. While recording there is often slight static sounds and sometimes clicking sounds (various headphones used) but it doesn’t go into the recording, and it is not so bad that it’s distracting to anyone.
Using the P8 has opened a lot creative doors because it is so easy to get and play with sounds as you record. The built in noise reduction saves a lot of time especially if the recording goes smoothly. The entire show can be done start to finish with intro music, sound clips and BGM with fades, then converted to mp3 and exported with a few taps on the touchscreen. Boom! Done. If the recording needs more work (especially when recording remotely) you get the multitrack recording and work on it on your computer where you can tinker with each input separately.