A drum machine, synth, sequencer, controller, all in one with Zoom’s AR-48

It’s getting easier and easier to compact the things you need to make music into one piece of equipment. The Zoom ARQ AR-48 takes that to the next level.

Your days of searching for tech and instruments are over. Everything you need can be found inside one instrument now. Of course that’s not true at all, but what Zoom’s new endeavour aims to achieve brings the most compact fusing of electronic music making elements that we’ve seen in a while – if ever.

The Zoom ARQ AR-48 is an all-in-one production and live performance instrument that makes it fun and easy to create and play. It gives you the chance to experiment in fun and new ways when you’re playing or creating music. You can play and remix your music live, play over your own patterns in real-time using the Ring Controller or use the MIDI out to control external instruments.

The AR-48 comes with an impressive 460 drum, instrument, and vocal sounds built-in covering a variety of genres from hip-hop to house, techno to dubstep, and more. If you manage to get bored of the built-in sounds  you can easily load any of your own samples into it.

The AR-48’s detachable ring brings even more variety to how you play:

16 Programmable Pads
The ARQ features 16 pressure-sensitive pads with programmable LEDs that allow you to play instrument sounds, trigger samples, and record sequences.

3-Axis Accelerometer
With the 3-axis accelerometer, you can use movement to trigger effects like delay and reverb. Each axis can be assigned to adjust any of your chosen effects parameters.

Easy Controls
Dedicated buttons let you play/pause tracks, solo and mute sections, as well as split, arpeggiate, and change effects. You can also switch between PAD and SCALE layout using the Ring’s dedicated buttons. The Grip Mode button prevents you from accidentally triggering pads when you pick up the Ring.

Optional Bluetooth Adapter
An optional BTA-1 Bluetooth adapter lets you use the Ring Controller wirelessly during live performances.

Zoom ARQ AR-48 base sections instrument sequencer drum machine vst controller daw music production ring

You can capture anything that you’re playing in real-time with in-built recording – simply press record to save what you’ve made. With step-input buttons you can easily start building beats into the integrated step-sequencer, customising your beats and then easily tracking them thanks to the AR-48’s circular design making a true visual loop as well as an audio version.

The main base of the instrument is split into four corner sections:

Zoom ARQ AR-48 base sections instrument sequencer drum machine vst controller daw music production

Sound ( 1 )
The Sound section features 460 customizable instrument sounds and a synthesizer with three sub-oscillators. Sound parameters can be changed instantly and are easily visible on the section’s dedicated LCD screen.

Sequence ( 2 )
In the Sequence section, you can access and edit Songs or Pattern sequences, as well as save up to 384 patterns and 99 songs. Using the backlit LED buttons on the built-in 32-step loop sequencer, you can create musical patterns in real-time or add Swing or Tempo to any sequence of your choice.

Rec/Play ( 3 )
Record and save your music in seconds in the Rec/Play section. You can also use audio capture mode, record motion sequences, and save your work automatically.

Effect ( 4 )
The Effects section offers 16 Master Effects, including reverb, high- and low-pass filters, delay, bit crush, and more. Use them during song and pattern playback, in the studio, or during live performances.

Zoom’s AR-48 also provides a bunch of ways to record and play your music through speakers with a MIDI out, left and right jack outputs and an auxiliary input for playing your own music or adding sounds. With the MIDI out you can integrate the instrument with DAWs like Ableton and use it as a programmed controller.

Features At A Glance
  • 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)

Zoom haven’t released a price or launch date yet but you can find more about the all-in-one creation/production/performing kit on Zoom’s website.

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