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Fostex MR-16HD 16-Track Digital Recorder   

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Ever since they pioneered the first 8-track recorder that could use 1/4" tape (without the expected crosstalk), Fostex has found new ways to give you...Click To Read More About This Product

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More recording power for less money with a compact footprint.

Ever since they pioneered the first 8-track recorder that could use 1/4" tape (without the expected crosstalk), Fostex has found new ways to give you more in less space and for less money.

The MR16 digital recorder gives you 4-track simultaneous recording and 16-track playback, plus the ability to bounce 16 tracks to a new song file, so you get your full 16 tracks at mixdown. A built-in 40GB hard drive gives you up to 8 hours of recording (16-track).

The Fostex MR16 also provides 4 x analog inputs (mic/line) with phantom power, one of which features built-in analog distortion, amp simulation, and mic simulation, for guitar. Input EQ for sound-shaping is also available. Input signals can be assigned to the stereo buss to output through the monitor and stereo output along with playback audio.

On the output side, the MR16 recorder offers 2 x aux output so you can use outboard signal processors, S/PDIF digital out (optical) for digital dubbing to MD/DAT recorder, and a MIDI output to send MTC or MIDI Clock to an external sequencer or recorder.

You also get built-in digital effects including reverb and delay, plus dedicated mastering effects (3 presets) on a stereo bus (good for track bouncing or stereo mixing). The Fostex MR16 also features powerful editing functions including Copy/Paste, Move, Import, Exchange, Erase, etc of selected tracks or part.

A USB 1.1 host port lets you to connect an external CD-R for creating audio CDs and a USB 2.0 port gives you high-speed transfer to a PC, plus easy file conversion of audio data on Track 15-16 to stereo WAV file. Used with the bounce function, this provides a convenient way to create audio CDs on PC, or music files for a portable player.

  • Recording on built-in 40 GB HD offering 4-track simultaneous recording and 16-rack playback. Approx. 8 hours recording (16-track)
  • 4 x analog inputs (mic ” line level) offer phantom power for use of condenser microphone. 1 Input among them accepts Guitar, etc. with built-in analog distortion, amp simulation or mic simulation. Input EQ is also available for various sound designs.
  • Input signals can be assigned to stereo buss to output through Monitor and Stereo Out together with playback audio.
  • 2 x Aux Out
  • Built-in Digital Effects (3 x reverb / 1 x delay) on 1 ” 4 tracks. Dedicated Mastering Effects (3 Presets) on Stereo Buss good for track bounce or stereo mixing.
  • In addition to track bouncing inside a Song file, track bouncing / mixing of recorded 16 tracks to a new Song file.
  • Easy file conversion of audio data on Track 15-16 to stereo WAV file. Together with bounce function, convenient for creating audio CD on PC or music file for portable audio player.
  • Editing function such as Copy/Paste, Move, Import, Exchange, Erase, etc of selected tracks or part.
  • USB 2.0 port for high speed file transfer to PC.
  • USB Host port (USB1.1) to connect an external CD-R for creating audio CD.
  • S/P DIF Digital Out (optical) for digital dubbing to MD/DAT recorder

MR-16HD 16-Track Digital Recorder

  • Recording/reproduction
    Recording Medium: 3.5 inch, hard disk (E-IDE type)
    Recording Time: Approx. 472 minutes (16-track on 40GB)
    Recording Format: FAT32
    Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz
    Quantization: 16-bit linear (non-compression)
    A/D Converter: 24-bit Delta-Sigma
    D/A Converter: 24-bit Delta-Sigma
    No. of Recording Track: 16 tracks maximum
    No. of Simultaneous Rec: 4 tracks
    Recording/Reproduction Frequency 20 Hz - 20 kHz
    Dynamic Range: 89dB or more (typical)
    T.H.D.: 0.06% or less (typical)

    Analog In (4ch)
    Connector: XLR-3-31 type (Pin2:hot) and ¸ 6mm TRS phone
    Input Level: -48dBV (MIC) - +4dBV (LINE)
    Input Impedance: 1.5k ohm or more (MIC/BAL, 400k ohm or more

    Phantom Power: P48V
    Insert (Input A)
    Connector: ¸ 6mm TRS Phone
    Output Level: -10dBV
    Load Impedance: 10k ohm or more
    Input Level: -10dBV
    Input Impedance: 10k ohm or more

    AUX Out
    Connector: ¸ 6mm stereo phone
    Output Level: -10dBV
    Load Impedance: 10k ohm or more

    Stereo Out (L, R)
    Connector: ¸ 6mm stereo phone
    Output Level: -10dBV
    Load Impedance: 10k ohm or more

    Connector: 2 x ¸ 6mm stereo phone
    Max. Output: 50mW or more (@32 ohm)
    Load Impedance: 16 ohm or more

    MIDI Out
    Connector: DIN 5 pin
    Format: MIDI Standard

    Foot Switch
    Connector: ¸ 6mm phone
    Level: TTL level

    Digital Out
    Connector: Optical
    Format: IEC 60958 (S/P DIF) 44.1kHz

    USB (USB2.0 Hi-Speed)
    Connector: B type (data save/load controlled from PC)

    USB HOST (USB 1.1)
    Connector: A type (external CD recorder)

    Dimensions: (W x D x H): 19 in x 15 x 6.3 in, (400 mm x 264 mm x 85 mm)
    Weight Approx.: 9.5 lbs, (3.2kgs)
    Power Requirement: 100V - 230V, 50/60Hz
    Power Consumption: 14W

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 24 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Most Liked Positive Review


GREAT unit for Home Recording!

I just bought the Fostex MR16, it shipped in about a week ago. To be honest, I had no idea about multi-track recorders or how to use them. I'm 19 years old,...Read complete review

I just bought the Fostex MR16, it shipped in about a week ago. To be honest, I had no idea about multi-track recorders or how to use them. I'm 19 years old, and I've never recorded anything on my own, and I didn't have any studio equipment before I bought the MR16. This is the PERFECT unit to buy if you're in my situation. My goal is to record all of my songs, tracking guitars, drums, and vocals and complete my first album.The learning curve almost doesn't exist with this recorder. A quick glance at the manual and you'll be tracking songs in minutes (It is best to thoroughly review it though, just to know how to do everything).I've been able to record 4 or 5 songs already, it really couldn't be easier. Also, this unit is pretty much one stop shopping. I haven't tried too much editing, mixing, or mastering yet, but this unit is capable of all of those; however, if you are looking for a wide variety of built-in effects, you may be disappointed. The MR16 does have 33 different EQ presets, but as far as general effects, it is very basic. (Room, Hall, Plate, and Delay effects...that's pretty much it.)One of my biggest concerns was my budget, and I didn't know if I should buy a mixer, compressor, etc. Honestly, I still have no idea what exactly a mixer or compressor is, much less how to use one. That is why I'm stressing that this unit can be used effectively by complete beginners. Here is a quick checklist of things you will need if you are setting up a home studio, maybe it will help, because I could've used some tips when I was shopping around:-Recorder (multi-track, digital, whatever suits you)-Studio monitors (important to hear inconsistencies/flaws in your tracks...try not to go too cheap on these, it's important. ALSO, make sure you know what kind of monitors you need, like Powered or Unpowered. Make sure you get monitors that your chosen recorder works with).-Microphones (Drum mics, vocal mics, and instrument mics for any instrument you can't 'plug-in')-Microphone cables/TRS cables (Almost all recorders DO NOT include any cables other than the power cord.)-Headphones (You can use regular headphones you may have lying around the house, but the jacks are all TRS jacks for recording stuff, so you will need a TRS adapter for regular headphones (they cost like $2 or $3, or just buy some studio headphones that have TRS tips)Those are the basics, but I can't stress enough, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING. It takes some time, but look through the specifications of all of the items you want to buy. Make sure everything is compataible, that is very important. Also, if you want to upload your music to your computer to edit it, then you can go with a recorder with a hard disk that can transfer via USB or other formats. (Make sure your computer is compatible with whatever the format is).Or, if you want to do it all on your recorder, then look at the recorders with built-in CD burners. I almost purchased the MR16HD with the CD burner, but in the end, I decided to go with this one so I could save some money.Do a lot of research before you commit to something though, it will pay off in the end, and it might save you a ton of money. Don't be afraid to ask questions about this stuff either, it's confusing!If you would like to ask me any questions about my recording set up or suggestions on what to buy, then feel free to email me, I would be happy to answer anything for you. I'm just happy to be able to help someone who may know even less than I do about recording!Overall, GREAT unit for the price. Very decent sound quality as well, I was surprised.-GM


Most Liked Negative Review



I was very excited to get this recorder, what with all the great features it offers. At first, I was very happy with the MR-16HD?s easy to use interface. I was...Read complete review

I was very excited to get this recorder, what with all the great features it offers. At first, I was very happy with the MR-16HD?s easy to use interface. I was up and recording immediately, with a very minimal learning curve to hinder me. I really liked the guitar distortion control and sound. However, after using the MR-16HD for a couple days, I became extremely disappointed. I'm fairly willing to look past the somewhat flimsy construction. (I?m used to Roland?s VS-1680) The major deal-breaker for me was the fact that the unit froze-up at least once every time I used it. We're talking un-plug froze-up. I never lost data but that's just not acceptable at any price. Another surprising problem is the fact that when the hard drive was active, the flashing icon and green light that pulsates on the unit, made noise on the recording; a loud pulsating white noise; again, totally unacceptable. If those problems were taken care of, and the units construction were beefed up a bit, this would be the greatest, most easy to use hard disk recorder a person could find in its price range. Sadly, I returned it. I hope Fostex can address these problems.

Reviewed by 24 customers

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Well Worth The Money and a Really Good Machine!

By djbadboy

from East Texas

I bought the Fostex MR16 in 2012 brand new. I bought it from a Power eBay Sellar. He bought it brand new in 2007 and it was misplaced in his ware house. Once he found it, he sold it, and I bought it in 2012.

I've tried PC recording and that's not my thing. I hate it. You have to read too much information just to get started. With the Fostex, all you have to do is plug it in select the track you want to record on and hit record + play, and you can start recording 10 minutes after unpacking it.

I like it b/c it records EXACTLY what you put in to it. Moreover, I am old school and enjoy useing knobs and faders and dials. I hate PC recording software because, you have to constantly fart with the mouse and keep your guitar steady and try not to smack your guitar into your desk.

With the Fostex, I can sit my guitar in my lap and then adjust the knobs and dials with no problem and w/o smaking my guitar in to my desk.

The on board effects suck, e.g., the delay and reverb is applied to the entire mix instead of one entire track. But I really don't care about that anyway. I've only used the burner one time, but I prefer using the USB port to export to my PC and then convert the files into mp3's or other types of files.

If you every get a chance to buy one, then do it. It is far more cheaper than pro tools.

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Exceptional Value

By JimShorts

from Gainesville, FL

See all my reviews

I have owned this unit for about a year. It has been really great. This unit is ideal for multitrack recording of up to 4 channels similtaneously. I personally only use the recorder to record clean tracks and do my editing, effects and mixing via a PC DAW. The transferring of tracks couldn't be easier with this unit.I since had a need for 6 track similtaneous recording and opted for a Tascam Neo2488 at around twice the price. The Neo 2488 unit, while superior in most respects, takes WAY more time and trouble to transfer data out of it into a PC. I find I still use the Fostex MR-16 for almost everything that doesn't need more than 4 tracks simitaneously.If your intended use is to record up to 4 track similtaneously and you use a PC DAW for all of your editing and mixing then this is an ideal machine. Recording quality is very good and data transfer is exceptionally easy.The display is flat and difficult to read as another reviewer mentioned. It would be a big improvement to have a more appropriate or adjustable viewing angle.If the machine is expected to be able to produce demos or finished products using only the machine then my opinion isn't relevant. If your needs are similar to mine then I do highly recommend this unit.


Very Nice Machine


from New York

See all my reviews

I bought this machine about 4 years ago and it took me alittle longer to learn all of the features but once you learn it you can fly through recording, mixing down, and burning to a CD. The sound quality is excellent and it is good enough that we actully self produced a few Records and they are on itunes and you coudn`t even guess without being told that it was recorded on a stand alone. I would 100% tell you to buy.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Instant Superstar

By Nibby G.

from Foothills of the Berkshires

See all my reviews

I have had mine for about 2 years now. This machine is so intuitive, I never even read the manual until I had recoded 2 complete songs. Fostex has outdone themselves here, I just wish I had about 20 more tracks! Sound quality is spastic fantastic. I worked for several years at the most famous recording studio on the East Coast, and this machine puts out finished recordings every bit as polished and great sounding as we did at the studio. Makes any musician an instant Superstar. Get-a-down, get-a-funky!



By Twist-UpVrl

from RB, AL

My lead guitarist made the purchase of this recorder and we actually cut our first demonstration cd on this thing with incredible results. Great product.!



By Ozman

from Decatur, IL.

See all my reviews

I've owned my Fostex MR16 for about 3 years. This was my very first recorder and I had no knowledge of how to use it! It wasn't hard at all, just got to sit down and read the manual! My recorder worked well for about 2 months then it froze up and I lost all that was on it's memory, but MF helped me get it fixed and haven't had a problem with it since! I recomend getting the warranty, because there is a %50 chance your hard drive will lock up!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great piece of equipment, heres some advice:

By DellAllan

from North of N.Y.C.

This is a nice machine. I am a song writer and I use it for Guitar vocals, and really concentrate on melodies,catchy hooks,and instrumentation. I can see myself using this in the futer for really good demo's. If you have not figured it out yet, and are still frustrated with only one effect for mix down, heres the deal: Take a vocal track. Add your desired reverb. You have to bounce the mono track to a stereo track. The reverb is now dedicated to that stereo track. Now,cut and paste the stereo track to 2 of the mono tracks,(It's the only way to do it)you now have 2 tracks of the vocal with verb. If you want stereo vocals, cool. I do. I use different EQ's on each to get a fuller sound. Now you can apply a delay to the voacal for mixdown. 2 effects on the vocal. There is also a way to put a 100ms delay between left an right guitar tracks. Use left right delay. Pan all guitar tracks to left or right. Turn up effects level on tracks.Now ya got a delay on stereo guitar tracks. The delay is still a little too long, but it's the quickest delay on the machine. You can also cover it up a bit buy cutting and pasting one of the guitar tracks and put some verb on it.


It does the job

By Joey Beach

from Dayton, Ohio

See all my reviews

I purchased this recorder because my band decided that we wanted to make a demo on our own. At first I had no idea how to use it. Stuff like the onboard effects and track bouncing was all new to me. All I really knew was that I wanted it to sound good and not cost a lot. Well I would have to say that I've gotten my money's worth. For the price it sounds pretty good. There's not a lot of noise problems unless your levels are too high. But that is easily solved by using a mixer/pre-amps. The effects are a nice touch, but the only ones I ever seem to use are the reverbs. Even then, too much is not good. Luckily you can adjust how much you want (or don't want). There are also different preset EQ options. You can can choose from a variety of styles to fit the sound you're going for. For example if you are recording drums, there are settings for that. Although there are no actual EQ knobs that you can adjust yourself, these preset options do come in handy and can slightly improve your sound if done correctly. Other features on this recorder include microphone and amp simulators. I would stay away from these. Although it looks as though you can create a condenser or tube microphone sound by using a dynamic mic, you would be better off just buy a condenser mic. These simulators are one of the low points of this recorder.Another low point in this recorder is the material it is made of. Basically, everything is plastic. And even though that isn't terrible, it would be nice to have more sturdy material. This makes the knobs and faders almost feel a little cheap. But that is not a big concern. Overall, I think this is a pretty good recorder for the price and it definitely is a good choise for a first recorder. If you're not too picky about your sound at the moment, and you need something to record yourself on, this is it. It's great for demos or just fooling around. It worked out for me, and I hope this review has been helpful to you.


Exactly what I wanted

By Dave Mattson

from Alaska

See all my reviews

I wanted a simple machine to learn digital recording and for everyday arranging and experimentation. I use it every day, hard and without mercy. After three years no complaints.Only irritation is the display is hard to see because it is flat to the top. I have a mirrow set up so I can see levals. But remember if you are at all serious about recording it is outputs that matter not inputs. you cannot remix with it. its onboard affects and eg settings are adequate for demos and non critical listening. I run it after my other board and rack of processors. a great portable all in one recorder for live gigs.can't believe they can get much cheaper and still maintain quality and durability.


Tons of fun!

By french foreign minister

from georgia

This is my first multi-track recorder and I have had a blast with it. I have had it since January 09, and have used it quite a bit (recorded 17 ditties so far). It came down to this and the tascam and I chose this one.Reasons for choice:-4 inputs instead of 2. With my acoustic duo buddy, can record rough demo tracks of both of us playing and singing at once, though haven't done that. Also, can use more than 2 mics for recording drums without using a separate mixer, though again haven't done that.-16 channels rather than 8 means you never even worry about running out or having to bounce and therefore lose adjustment capability.-great price (I caught it at 350) since I didn't want the burner. Have seen many reviews that indicate everybody's burners tend to fail. It is a breeze to transfer to a pc.-It does have some eq control but limited to preset settings. Not able to see what those settings are, just things like warm vocal, bright vocal, ac guitar, etc. The 8 channel fostex don't have any eq capability-top inputs are sooooo much easier rather than having to spin the thing around every time you change inputs as you would with the tascam.Things I wish it had:-better eq capability, even just low/mid/high like my mixer-non-plasticky construction, but then again it's basically made to sit on a desk in a room so why does it need to be built like a hummer. The tascam is sturdier though with more metal and better feeling controls.-more effects (only has hall, plate, delay, and room)All in all I have been very pleased with this purchase. It is easy to use, and I haven't had any problems with it freezing. The 40gig hard drive holds tons of tracks, as I haven't even begun to worry about what to delete. The top inputs and the 4 at once capability are the key reasons I still think this is the one to go with. What a blast!!!

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