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Fostex LR16
Old 5th February 2009
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Saudade's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Fostex LR16

Well, I've seen it mentioned in some threads here already, though I noticed this new product announcement with preliminary info on Fostex's Japan site since quite a while ago. Looks like it's finally up for order in at least one store.

I like the concept, and most of all the price point heh 16 pres/line ins (with inserts), a/d/a + recorder in one box. Two rather, cos there is an i/o box which you can for example leave near the stage (so you don't need long expensive snakes) where you plug all the signals you need to record and feed all the stage monitors, efx etc. And there is a separate digital mixer/controller which is connected via a single Cat5 cable (which can be very long) and you may situate this at the FOH.

Sounds like a well thought-out product for live purposes. Suits the folks who are thinking of starting out on doing live sound for small gigs and providing recording service at the same time. Only problem I see is putting the insert i/os also at the i/o box could present a problem. Imagine if you are thinking of hooking up compressors to the channels via inserts, so you'd need another person tweaking the compressor settings near the stage while you instruct him via walkie-talkie?

Another thing that is not clear now (as there is yet to be a user manual) is whether it records the "dry" (direct after mic pre) signal only or would the post-insert signal be recorded or is it selectable.

Overall what I love best is the seeming simplicity of the recorder section, just arm tracks and go!

Products in the market similar in function:

1. Presonus Studiolive + the recorder software ("Capture"?): The mixer has all the recallable digital efx (compressors notably) built in that's a big plus, but slight minus is you still have to bring your laptop along.

2. Standalone HDRs like HD24: For people starting out doing live sound you still need the additional expense of buying a separate mixer and integrating it with the recorder. HD24 needs the fireport option for faster file transfer to DAW. LR16 formats its disk to FAt32 and hooks up via a standard USB2.0

3. Adapting a "26-in" type audio interface to a live situation, sans mixer: Kind of possible if it has decent software monitoring mixer (despite latency fears), but likely to run out of outputs when you start thinking about all the sends you may need. Also quite messy to hook up and troubleshoot though the most portable setup of the 3 types.

What do you guys think about this?

(I'm not affiliated to the manufacturer)
Old 26th October 2009
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
fostex lr 16 manual

The manual can be found at fostexusa.com.
But hurry, it seems this site will soon be no more. Future service/support ?
And it records dry, post insert signal, according to the flow diagram.
Have you purchased one of these units yet?
I'd like to talk with someone who is using it in a live situation.
I agree it would be a compromise to have your signal processing gear in the rack on stage, but the up side is it only need be a shallow rack and can be "prewired", saving set-up time and brain power come the day of the show. That would be really slick, but whats it sound like and how's it work in real world situation ?
Old 17th February 2010 | Show parent
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pkautzsch's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by barjonic ➑️
but whats it sound like and how's it work in real world situation ?
A little bump...

Anyone actually using this thing?

Sound: Good enough for classical recording?
Noise: does it have a fan in the "stagebox" unit?
Cat.5 cable length: they state 50mtr. will work. But how about longer runs, say when recording in a van outside the venue? Will it work with cat.5 extenders/repeaters?
Old 12th April 2010
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🎧 10 years
Smile Just bought Fostex LR16

I ordered it from Sam Ash online. Actually had a friendly and efficient sales person who got the unit our to me (from Florida to Los Angeles) in 2 days.
A very sturdy, ergonomic unit. It can be racked as 2 separate pieces, my preference (14 space mixer/control unit and a 4 space recorder section)

I fired it up yesterday just before rehearsing with our 6 person soul/rock/americana band (how's that!) The unit is very user friendly and we were recording minutes after i plugged mics into it. great sound, decent built in effects, nice bussing. I will follow up with a more detailed mini-review in the next few days. Just wanted to get the word out that it is a very nice, well constructed unit that is quiet (mechanically and sonically) and sounds great.
Old 13th April 2010 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by hoosierinLA ➑️
I will follow up with a more detailed mini-review in the next few days.
Please do !! I'm very interested in this unit for a simple sketchpad to use in my rehearsal space. It would be nice to know if sound was nice enough to keep some takes for final production.
Old 31st July 2010 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
LR16 in the field - a brief user review

OK, so now we've been using the LR16 since last October. Here's what we've found in brief:
1) first mixer arrived, worked well for testing, did test field recordings all ok, but: first "actual" recording in the field - live mix went fine, but the LR ceased to work during file download - bummer (classical choral + orchestra) - only retrieved about 3/4 the files. We had simultaneously recorded the 2-track mix to DAT. The Fostex recordings at 16bit / 48k (the retrieved ones, that is) were surprisingly clean, but somehow felt a little "lifeless" compared with the DAT (16/48) pulled using the analog "main" outs to my trusty HHb portadat. What can I say, the old DAT just sounded better. We went with our MOTU 896mkIII for multi the second night of recording. Comparing the two nights, recordings were comparable.

2) replacement mixer arrived, and we have had no tech issues with it.
Any internal noises in the gain section you may have read about are non-issues in real world, where input attenuation is set prior to recording anyway.

3) The mix section is very clean, the "control" very friendly and easy to use (tho it takes a little to get used to the short-throw faders) - it is very responsive to the touch. I don't personally like the onboard FX at all, but the 4th aux can be routed to an external send, so no worries there. We place the i/o box almost always within easy reach of the mix control, both so we can work with our external fx and monitor record levels (the channel "meter bridge", such as it is, is on the i/o - tho it only functions while recording! #!#$#@! silly.)

4) We use it largely for multitracking backup for video production, so we initially most often used it in 16/48 mode to drop into FCP. (I have changed that practice with v7 of FCP, and now use it 24bit/48k.) I wish it were able to slave t/c and external clock, but no. It DOES drift relative to the video on long runs, but it is generally easily correctable. I often run submixes to separate camera tracks anyway, so the 4 groups come in handy for that too.
It's super handy for interfacing with the live mixer at venues, we pack a 16ch trs snake and pull DO's when possible, or a mix of aux & groups that match what the engineer is doing - quick 'n' easy patch for stage plays, variety shows etc. Usually leave a few tracks free for our additional ambiance or surround mics. Hassle-free is good. Sometimes I wish it had 24 tracks. I definitely wish it had some sort of live digital out - optical or AES would be nice.

5) music: have used it for classical, folk, small live performance w/ acoustic and di's (I still prefer to use my radius di, not straight in) and with external pres sp737, focusrite etc. The external pre's each add their particular color (the reason to use them), but I cannot say they're "cleaner" than on-board, just different. For music we prefer to use the 24bit mode, obviously, which sounds richer. We have had no issues dropping these tracks to FCP 7 either - work just fine, so we go that way now.

It's an awesome tool for simplicity of use and ease of recording and later editing in a computer - saves a lot of time in the field - and avoids laptop issues. It is clean enough and so far seems reliable. It is extremely convenient for corporate gigs as well, where we often use it for FOH and pull just selected inputs to record the presentations - quick'n'easy to turn around CD audio deliverable to client on site while we're striking. I use it only on location, however, and in studio still prefer to use my old analog mix and rosetta, seems to be a "fuller" sound with more nuance. Highly recommend for a lot of things, though, and certainly a lot of bang for the buck. Labor-saving in setup alone has probably paid for it during the past 9 months.
Old 3rd August 2010 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Cool review. Thanks ! Have you compared the LR16 converters quality to your Rosetta in your studio ? I already know the answer (LOL) but how far are they from each other ?
Old 30th July 2014
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🎧 5 years
Foxtex LR16 & SDD

Hi all. Sorry for bringing up an old thread, but thought it would be the best way to catch the attention of those involved till now.

I picked up a LR16 and am quite satisfied with the results till now. Am curious if anyone has had success with replacing the 3.5" HDD with a SDD? I am sure this would remove the HDD sounds and most likely the main unit would operate at a cooler temperature.

Thanks for any tips, links or comments.
Old 28th November 2017
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Version 2 software....anyone?

I just picked one of these up and its on the original software. Has anyone got the Version 2 software or the latest one as Fostex has removed all software updates from all their sites. Thanks for any help.
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