View Full Version : Fostex MR-8 Digital Recorder

Mar-05-2004, 12:08pm
I've been looking at the specs on this, Fostex MR-8, and even downloaded the manual from the Musiciansfriend wes-site, and read the product review. It all sounds pretty decent for a multi-track recorder that can give you a number of features and options for a mere $299. Now, I'm no tech wizz; my choice of recorders has been a bare bones 4 track cassette which provides all the hiss of an endangered rattler.

So the question is - Has any of you used this machine? And if so, what do you think? I know there are better recorders out there, but this would fit the budget.

I usually record original stuff, starting with guitar, adding vocals, and then mandolin, and one other track of something else.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Mar-05-2004, 3:20pm
I didn't know much about it so I looked, right off the bat it only uses flash memory? and it only has 128mg? It looks like you can only do 2 trks at a time(it says that once then says elsewhere 8trks, dunno) there are some good things like the bit rate is the same as a cd and it's not compressed, good, small memory, can only do 2trks at a time, bad. I know you are only doing yourself right now but I guarantee as soon as you commit you'll be wanting to do a band and find out it's not enough. Now some may notice that I like Akai but I know their stuff and there are alot of users out there that can help. I've seen the DPS12i go for sometimes less, sometimes more than what you're talking about on ebay. It has the same specs but you can hook up an internal ide 30 gig hdd, scsi hdd, burner and hook it up to your pc to automate the mix and has 12trks and also has internal fx. And I think it will do 8trks at a time. Yeah, they aren't made anymore, can be serviced though if need be. I myself use used, tried and true machines, I get more bang for the buck. I'm so far behind I'm still using analog tape but it sure sounds nice...just my 2c,

Mar-05-2004, 3:27pm
I have one and I think you can do better. There is a fair amount of noise in the recording. I actually sent the first one back thinking that something was wrong with it. I discussed the problem with a tech from fostex. Their answer was that due to the amount effects and other stuff, that I was not using anyway, the channel was bussy and therefor " a little noisey". I think maybe a preamp for the mike or input might help a lot but have not tried it. I use it as a learimg tool not trying to make a CD.

Mar-05-2004, 3:37pm
Thanks, Tony.
I haven't got a clue as to what you're talking about, but it sure sounds important. The only thing I'll be doing is recording my own stuff. Don't want to do bands and 2 track recording is about enough. If I need to do more than that at once, I can always run through the 4 ch. Behringer mixer I use; small but adequate. Call me untrusting, but I always hesitate to buy used electronics. To me, it's like buying used underwear, it may look nice on the outside, but once you put it on...
But thanks for your input. I may ask my friend the computer whiz, but then he always takes an hour to answer a one minute question!

Mar-05-2004, 3:44pm
If it's as noisy as my old 4 track cassette recorder, then forget it. I would like to make some CD quality recordings without going to a studio and without taking all of my MAS money. So maybe I'll just keep looking.

Mar-05-2004, 6:14pm
I'm sorry Randy but I started out not wanting to have to know much but in order to make a good decision I had to start understanding the stuff the promo guys put out on this stuff. I guess what I was trying to say is you don't seem to have alot of "storage" with only 128mg when most digital recorders have 20 or 30 times as much, and that's where all the music you want to record is going to go. Also instead of a harddrive like in your computer it uses the kind of memory like a digital camera's it looks like. You know that most recorder/mixers they fudge on the mic preamps, even most mixing boards for that matter. I don't know what kind of cassette you have but if you have a line in(usually a 1/4" jack) that by passes the mic preamp and you should try using the mic pre's in your Berhinger and patch that into that line of your cassette recorder and then record. That's what Sean was talking about. You also have to make sure with anything analog that you have good "hot" signal. Too quiet and you get a bunch of hiss. Before my present machine I had and old Tascam 244 4 channel cassette and with good mic pre's patched into it we made a nice sounding album. Everybody thought it was digital.

Mar-05-2004, 6:59pm
I have one and I think it's great for what it is. It's not an ADAT replacement or the core piece of a complex recording system. It's not meant for recording bands. It's an all-in-one system designed to help people cut demos quickly and easily. You can mix down to stereo and transfer these mixes to WAV files on your PC. There is some noise in the tracks, but you can get a real hot signal to a track which helps you mix the noise down.

My goal was to have a system I could use for demo-type recording that was as simple and easy as possible. An AKG C1000 into this recorder gives me a great sound for acoustic instruments, and I have learned to use almost every feature of the machine without touching the manual. That's my idea of a useful tool.

Mar-07-2004, 1:26am
I own a professional recording studio ( www.wellspringsound.com) that started with a Fostex 4 track in '84. As a rabid mando player with an interest in finding a good practice tool, I recently bought an MR-8. I like it a lot! While it's not a serious pro device, you can do a whole lott of stuff with it for $300. It's definitely quiter than a cassette, you can buy additional flash cards for short dough if you need 'em. I often just lay down rhythm guitar track and practice to it. I think for an "all in one" decent device, you can't do better in the features/$ department. Good luck!

Mar-08-2004, 11:59am
Thanks to all of you for your input. As if you couldn't realize, I know just enough about stuff to get me in trouble. What I'm looking for is just basic personal recording equipment, that would be both affordable and afford me the means to lay down some fairly decent tracks that I wouldn't be ashamed of when I let others listen.
Running my mic and other inputs through the mixer is no problem, since that's what I normally do, and this gives me a good signal. I'm also using a Shure SM-58 and an AT-37R, so mics are not a problem.
Of course now the transmission on the old van is starting to slip, so all bets may be off.
Thanks again for your insights.