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Fostex FR-2 field recorder?


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If you don't need time code, there are a number of options. I'll assume that you want time code.

 

The Fostex FR-2 is worth considering if you need both time code in and time code out.

 

If you only need time code in, the Tascam HD-P2, which came out in December, is significantly less expensive (in the US, $900).

 

Jay Rose (www.dplay.com) says that his review of the Tascam will appear shortly at www.dv.com. You will also find discussion about the FR-2 and HD-P2 in the Production Sound Forum on this site, which is at the bottom of the Forum list.

 

Late last week, Sound Devices (www.sounddevices.com) announced a new 2-Track recorder that is available either without time code (SD 702) or with time code in/out (US 702T). The time code version of this recorder, which dealers are offering at US$2375, is about US$700 more than the FR-2. Because it is essentially a modified version of a proven Sound Devices product, I think that it is safe to say that it is worth the premium.

 

Note that the NAB show, for which there are likely to be a number of new product announcements, is the last week of April.

 

Hope that helps.

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Hi,

 

Generally they're great.

 

No balanced analog output, but that's probably not a frequent need. Power connector a bit flimsy; replace it with a 4-pin XLR. Make sure the shoulder strap pins are tightly fastened. Bit power hungry; budget for a battery system, but that goes for any of them.

 

Phil

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I looked REALLY hard for the Sound Forum here, then looked again even harder. Either I can't read or.... damned if I can find it.

 

You guys aren't the first to have trouble finding it. Click on Forums and then scroll down to the very bottom.

 

There has also been discussion about the Tascam and new Sound Devices recorder, some of which applies to the FR-2, on Jeff Wexler's new site about production sound: www.jwsound.net. Mr. Wexler has been the mixer on a lot of major feature films, and it may be of interest to people on this site that his father is the cinematographer Haskell Wexler.

 

On the relative merits of these recorders, in my case it came down to a choice between the Tascam and waiting a bit to see whether Sound Devices might announce a 2-track recorder with time code. I decided to wait. Despite the cost, and for various reasons, some of them quite specific to my own needs, I'll be buying the SD 702T unless something much more attractive gets announced four weeks from now at NAB.

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The FR-2 is supposed to be pretty good if you plan to do 16 bit recording. As mentioned, Jay Rose has reviewed it, and said that it doesn't have a high enough S/N ratio to make 24 bit recording viable, so you're essentially paying a premium for a function that the unit isn't really capable of, unless you get a separate A/D converter.

 

http://www.dv.com/news/news_item.jhtml?Loo...iew/garrett0505

 

Cheapest way to do 24 bit recording appears to be SoundDevices.

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My earlier reference to Jay Rose was actually to his review, together with John Garrett, of the Tascam HD-P2. I don't think that it has been published yet on dv.com and it is not on his own site (www.dplay.com). In a recent r.a.m.p.s. post, Rose implied that the review, while favourable, will express reservations about recording with the Tascam at 24 bit: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.mo...f75ba324067c8ed

 

There is another cost-effective option if one owns, or wants to buy, an Apple portable computer: a programme called Boom Recorder (http://www.vosgames.nl/products/BoomRecorder/) plus an audio interface.

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I suppose it should also be mentioned that at the level of 24 bit recording and higher sampling rates, the quality of the mic is really going to come into play. Even if you manage to acquire gear capable of going beyond 16 bits (and supposedly none of these recorders will deliver an honest 24 bits in performance), the internal noise of most mics -- even some very expensive models -- is going to be the limiting factor. Personally, I don't think that recording at 24 bits is worth the bother, or the storage space for now. So I guess to get back to the original quesion, yeah, by all accounts the Fostex will give you professional, theatrical quality performance.

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