We are pleased to announce the release of the new Fostex FR-2 Field Memory Recorder, first seen at the IBC and AES exhibitions late last year. Designed specifically for location sound recording; TV & radio documentary; high-quality broadcast and sound effects acquisition, Fostex expect the FR-2 to provide the answer for many sound recordists who are looking to change their analog tape and DAT recorders but have been reluctant due to the lack of uncompressed portable digital recorders at a similar price point.
FR-2 address this very elegantly by being able to offer uncompressed recording at sample rates from 22.05kHz for extended recording time through to 192kHz for ultimately quality sound acquisition and reproduction. The BWF file format is utilised which has become the defacto standard for non-linear location sound recording and offers excellent compatibility with most 3rd-party software editors. Other professional features such as a pre-record buffer (up to 20 seconds depending on bit rate and sample frequency) and an automated scene/take file naming routine are borrowed from and were first seen in the market leading Fostex PD-6 and Fostex DV40 DVD-RAM recorders.
Of foremost interest, however, is the choice of media offered, as confirmed by Hiroaki Kawahata, Team Leader International Sales & Marketing: “Fostex wanted to offer maximum flexibility to the user and Compact Flash was the ideal solution due to its wide availability and computer compatibility” states Kawahata. “However, in order to offer maximum flexibility in terms of recording time, they’ve also provided support for the new breed of PCMCIA hard drives that offer 5GB of storage space equating to about 434 stereo minutes at 16 bit 48kHz”.
In addition all features required of a portable location recorder are present including high-quality balanced microphone inputs with switchable phantom power and high pass filters; AES/EBU or S/P DIF digital input/output; USB connections for both a PC/Mac and external keyboard; along a large LCD display giving easy access to functions and essential information at all times. As well as external power, the FR-2 can run off eight AA-sized rechargeable NiMH batteries which are readily available worldwide due to today’s popularity of consumer digital cameras.
Of final note is the optional retrofitable timecode card expected during the 3rd/4th quarter of this year: adding a fully featured timecode reader & generator to the FR-2, the appeal widens significantly and will be of great interest to those involved in small to medium film and TV productions as well as presenting itself as a more than capable timecode backup solution.
Designed specifically for location sound recording, broadcast & sound effects acquisition, TV & radio documentary, and in fact any application where high quality audio recording is required, the Fostex FR-2 sets a new price performance ratio in the compact portable two track recorder market.
Flexibility is the keyword with the FR-2. Recording industry-standard Broadcast Wav Files (BWF) to either PCMCIA 1.8" hard drives or Type II Compact Flash cards, the FR-2 brings many features from Fostex's experience as a long-term leader in digital location recording such as a 10 second pre-record buffer, battery power, on-board limiter, and phantom powered balanced mic inputs. Of particular note is the file per take system with scene & auto take naming which was developed on the industry acclaimed PD-6 & DV40.
Specific 'firsts' on the FR-2 include the ability to record up to 24-bit 192KHz, making it the first choice where the highest quality sound effects acquisition is required; and the optional timecode card which has a fully-featured reader/generator, including 23.976, and external word/video references, making it an ideal basic production or location back-up recorder.