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Old December 8th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #1
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Fostex FR2 LE and Sync Issues?

I'm considering buying half of a Fostex FR2 LE. My girlfriend may buy me the other half, hopefully at the same time! :-)

I'll use it mainly for capturing voice overs, but also for as a secondary sound capture device out in the field. I've heard lots of complaints about digital sound recorders due to problems when you try to sync up the audio to the captured video. Does the Fostex FR2 LE exhibit this problem? If so, how long does it take before the drift become apparent?

Thanks,

Julian
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #2
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I've heard of sync issues with the Zoom recorders, but nothing about the Fostex FR2 LE having any sync problems.

Fostex is a pro-brand that has made top of the line products used on major motion pictures for a while so I would figure even their lower end products would be quality made.

Zoom is/was more of a small starting company. I've heard they do make very good products though.

Hope this helps,
Andy
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Old December 11th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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Julian, sync will be an issue with any recording device given long-enough recording times unless there's some sort of TC connection between the cam & recorder. Here's a post on the issue from this awesome forum here on dvinfo: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/all-thing...ideo-sync.html

If you follow good procedures, though, you'll always be able to sync up quickly in post. On multi-cam shoots, we always have to slate the heads or tails of the shots, and you'll want to do the same running double sound. Clients always love it when I pull out my cheap clapper board... makes 'em feel like they're in a Hollywood film. I'm still amazed that the average lay-person does not know why shots are slated.

If you want to make even-easier work of synch-ing tracks in post, run a cable from one of your Fostex monitor-outs into a channel on your camera. This creates a scratch track that will make quick work of lining up your waveforms in post. Add a short shotgun mic somewhere in the room to capture ambiance, and you'd still have three-channel recording capabilities utilizing a scratch track.

HTH,
Brian Brown
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Old December 11th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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Fostex FR2-LE

Julian,

Brian gives some good tips on this. The Fostex is a great recorder and unless you (and your girlfriend) are going to spend a heck of a lot more for something with timecode you've made a great choice in the Fostex FR2-LE. I use it and the minor 'drift' is very easy to sort out in your NLE if it ever needs it (depends on how long the individual recordings are).

My personal opinions of the FR2-LE are on one of my webpages (direct link below) but there are other good reports of it here on DVinfo too - just do a very quick search and you'll pull them up.

Fostex FR2-LE Mini Review
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Old December 12th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #5
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Thanks Brian and Andy,

The Fostex FR2 LE is on its way, unfortunately I won't be able to play with it for another 13 days! :-) I downloaded the manual ahead of time, however.

I was aware of the problems the differences in clock speeds between recorders and cameras can cause, which was what brought up this question... I was just wondering if anyone with an FR2 LE has had any problems with it having a non-linear clock issue (one where the clock causes the recorded audio to drift by random amounts of time). I understand some of the other, cheaper, units have exhibited this problem, meaning the beginning and end of the clip can be in sync, but the middle wanders all over the place!

Anyway, it would seem that the FR2 LE gets good reviews, so I think I'll be happy with the purchase.

Julian
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Old December 13th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #6
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Julian, to add to the comments by Brian and 2*(Andy), I just checked the length of a show I recorded recently, and the second act went 58 minutes and 30 seconds. My Fostex FR2 LE stayed in sync with a Canon GL2 throughout. Also, an update to the software now allows you to format the card for mono. As I mentioned elsewhere on DV Info Net, I did add a dot of white paint to the mic trim and record level knobs, to make their settings easier to see. Otherwise they are a rather featureless black plastic and hard to read, especially in dim light. Yes, the wires to the battery pack are going to break one day, but it is a great little recorder.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 04:46 AM   #7
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I have never noticed any drift.
A Tamiya rechargeable battery and charger from a model shop and an 8gb flash (Transcend perhaps) will give you 8 hours of recording at 48 khz 24 bit.
Not cheap, but money well spent I reckon. No worries about running out of power/storage and it saves wear and tear on those battery wires too.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 05:48 AM   #8
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I have used one for recordings over an hour and a half and its never a problem with my two canon xh-a1's, fantastic quality. good choice and you wont be disapointed. I used a mini disc before and that was problematic to say the least.
I just filmed an ice skating competition which ran for 3 hrs and it was great. I dont know if the sound drifted out of sync because of tape changes but at least I didnt have to worry about changing memory cards or discs etc.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #9
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John, Richard and David,

An hour-and-a-half with no sync issues? Excellent! That's just what I wanted to hear! Thanks for posting your experiences. Can't wait for Santa to arrive, cause UPS already did! :-)

Julian
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Old December 15th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #10
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Richard,

Do you happen to know the model number of the Tamiya battery pack which fits the Fostex FR2 LE? I'll run to the local hobby shop tomorrow and buy one.

Thanks,

Julian
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #11
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Hi Julian
I just picked up on your posting.
If it's not too late for your trip to the shop, the battery that I bought is Tornado TRX 4300 Nimh.
I knew nothing about these batteries. I think they are all the same shape. I think that this was the largest capacity version that they had in the shop.
Remember that you will need a charger too and they aren't particularly cheap.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #12
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Hi Richard,

I got your message just in time, thanks! I'm heading out the door in a few minutes to see what I can find.

Thanks,

Julian
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Old December 17th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #13
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I ended up getting a "Hi Energy" brand 4300 NiMH battery with AC/DC charger. My local Tamiya dealer doesn't sell Tamiya batteries! Anyway, it's all charged up, ready to go on Dec 25th!

Julian
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Old December 17th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #14
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I don't know if a Tamiya battery is generic, a brand, or both, but it sounds like you've got the same battery as me.
Have fun at Christmas. I've some great recordings from last year of people opening presents and playing games. More atmospheric than photos in many ways.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 09:32 PM   #15
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Re: Fostex FR2 LE and Sync Issues?

I have recorded interviews with a Fostex FR-LE 2 and am editing them together with Canon 7D footage. I am loosing sync already after about three minutes on each clip. The sound gets "slower" than the image (I have to move the end part of it a a couple frames to the left to sync it up)
The Fostex is set to 48/16.
Any clues why? The editing sequence is set to 48/16 as well. Only the sound recorded on the on-board camera stays perfectly in sync.
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