Portable digital recording is great — import is as simple as dragging files to your hard drive, they’re mobile, they’re non-linear, and they write to increasingly cheap storage formats like CompactFlash. But what about synchronization for video applications? I have found one portable field recorder that’s CompactFlash-based, records up to 192kHz, and optionally can be configured with a SMPTE timecode reader/generator:

Fostex FR-2 CF field recorder

This is definitely a “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it situation,” but boy, check those specs and you’ll see what a CF recorder should be.

Video pros / post production gurus out there: what are you using? Seen anyone recording audio on synced field recorders yet?

For me, the solution has been just to use a standard consumer recorder and sync manually — though I definitely don’t trust those cheap MiniDisc recorders.

  • jbv

    and I think most of us, unless we are doing very involved multitrack films, can get away with it. really want to see a review of the MicroTrack!

  • tim

    I've had a Fostex FR2 for 8 months or so now & it is a fantastic replacement for DAT – very clean quiet mic preamps & pre-record is handy for those moments that would otherwise be lost.. And recording 24 bit is a major step up in fidelity… higher sample rates are less an issue for me….
    In New Zealand the most common hard disk recorders are the Fostex PD6 (DVD-RAM), HHB Portadrive or the new Sound Devices 722 and 744, the advantage with them being they have timecode, firewire & an internal hard drive but all fo these machines are in a different price range than the FR2…
    I know plenty of people using HD recorders with timecode options that still sync manually in an Avid off the clapper board – if you are shooting film its more a question of cost: to sync during telecine of rushes is expensive whereas someone sitting on a baby Avid syncing is cheap!

    I use my FR2 for recording ambiences & sound effects & its great, but only after I got a proper battery set up for it.. what were Fostex thinking putting penlight batterys in a pro bit of gear???