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OK, so I finally decided on a set up. I am going with a Fostex FR 2LE, with a rode NT4, rode blimp and Sony MDR-7506 headphones. I plan to record sound effects and ambience sounds. I am looking to start a good quality library for future use in film/TV/games.Does this set up sound like a good choice for my needs? I am buying in the next couple days so just want some last minute advice. My budget is $1,400 for everything right now. Thanks

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Sounds like my own starter kit from a while back. If you're buying new, yes, that's a pretty good setup. In my opinion, of course, others may think otherwise.

For stereo, I'm hard pressed to think of a better low-budget stereo mic than the NT4. It's heavy and will be a little hard to aim for mono effects, but it'll suffice. Just get ready to do a lot of stereo-to-mono conversions in post. The NT4 is almost quiet enough for nature recording, but you may get some hiss when recording very quiet ambiences, albeit far less than the VP88 or other budget stereo mics. That's not a ding on you, your budget, or the mic, though. Such low-noise thresholds are expensive to overcome.

Be aware that the FR2-LE's headphone amp is noisy, far more than its actual mic preamps, so what you hear is not what you're really getting...the good news is that what you're getting is generally better.

Do not forget to budget for good cables and mic support (be it a tripod and/or boom pole - I hate using mic stands in the field, personally), as well as a recorder/mixer bag. The FR2-LE's controls and displays are mapped to two sides of the box, so shop wisely if you don't use the Portabrace case specifically made for that model. That recorder can take Tamiya style RC batteries, so a charger and a couple of batteries might be a good investment, too (I keep AA MiMH's in the included battery sled as a backup only), although entirely optional. (I always recommend, in this day and age, that we use rechargeables as much as possible to avoid hundreds of spent alkalines hitting landfills. Powerex and Eneloop AA's FTW!)

  • Beware of the actual case made for the FR2LE its cheap but a complete waste of money. It might protect against a light shower but has minimal to no impact protection for the unit and the design is terrible, I had to take a knife to it to even be able to insert my headphone jack. As recommended above shop wisely for a good case. – Lenny Nov 2 '10 at 22:19
  • If you mean that bag it comes with, you're right! Blech! :-) – NoiseJockey Nov 2 '10 at 22:27
  • Not the soft carry case that comes with it, at least that could be used to put something else in. This is the one I mean: inta-audio.com/recording-c57/portable-recorders-c85/… Blech! :-) – Lenny Nov 3 '10 at 14:30
  • Ah, my bad, @Lenny! :-) – NoiseJockey Nov 3 '10 at 16:54
  • Ha Ha, no its my bad for buying it. Fostex should have never put their name on that thing but guess you get what you pay for. Its weird but I am happy to pay for Portabrace stuff for my 702 but begrudged paying almost the same price for the FR2LE version even though its a fantastic little recorder for the cost. My mistake:-) – Lenny Nov 3 '10 at 17:40
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How much of your budget is going on the mic? What options have u looked at secondhand for mic/rycote for the same money but better quality?

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