Let's talk tools of the trade. The trade in question being taping. Up until August of this year, I had used an Edirol R-09HR, which still services me well as an audio capture device hooked into my turntable and Nakamichi cassette recorders.
However, one of my cohorts had mentioned all the back in November 2009 this unit would be coming out, so I decided to pick up the Sony PCM-M10 recording. And after using it this past couple of months (about 5 shows total)
, I have to say the new Sony recorder I have blows my Edirol out of the water...
So I made a list of advantages the PCM-M10 has over my Edirol R-09HR (and other comparable recorders made by Zoom or M-Audio). This is directed for anybody currently taping or is thinking of doing so, or runs into issues with their current kit. In my humble opinion, anybody still using MD or (gasp!) DAT should run, not, walk to upgrade to this unit.
* The batteries last a crazy long time...its rated something like 39 hours using LPCM 48.00kHz/24 bit...I suspect it'll probably be closer to 30 hours if I use the external mics. You can squeeze out 46 hours using 44.1/16 bit....MP3 actually is the same as 48/24 due to increased CPU doing encoding on the fly. You're lucky to get 4-5 hours out of the Edirol.
* The PCM-M10 Has built-in 4GB flash, which gives you 3h40m of 48/21 or 6h of 44.1/16. Can take up to 16Gb microSD or Sony's M2 format.
* Connecting the unit to USB to retrieve recordings uses power provided through the USB port, unlike the Edirol. Both units treat the flash storage like a removable hard drive so no worries like with previous Sony MD units of using their crappy SoundStage software to convert from their proprietary format to WAV...
* Visible indicator lights for -12dB and overload (over +0dB) for both L/R ch. And like the Edirol, also has visible recording light, which like the Edirol, you can control whether you want it to stay on or off during recording
* Startup time is about 5 seconds vs the Edirol R-09's 11-12 seconds, and the Zoom's 15 seconds (not sure how fast the Microtracks are). 5 seconds is phenomenally fast!
* The unit has a 'pre-record' feature that saves a few seconds of audio while in pause mode. The Zooms do this, the Edirol does not, and I don't think the Microtracks do either.
* Adjustable volume knob that doesn't make clicking noises in the recording...it's recessed and isn't flush with the front of the unit, and is sturdy, so unlikely to get rocked.
* Plug-in power sufficient to properly power up my Sonic Studios mics...meaning better bass response and dynamics.
* Built-in mics that are pretty decent, compared to the Edirol's....and are as good as the Zoom H4's.
* I like the controls a bit better, it's harder to hit them by mistake...and the power/hold is a single rocker button on the side of the unit. And the battery case isn't flimsy and isn't likely to have the door spring loose and batteries fall out, unlike the Edirol...lost a couple of recordings because of that.
* Wired remote control...this is an advantage because Edirol's wireless remote is RF and requires line-of-sight. So this is actually useful for those people who like to record in pocket. Unfortunately, you cant turn the unit on/off via the remote...but in all practicality, it's useful when using the built-ins to reduce handling noise...for externals, it's less important.
* I got mine for $200 USD online from B&H Photo, my favorite Sabbath-honoring electronics retailer.
* The Amazon
online are positively glowing, averaging 4.5-5 stars. Anyway, enough of that...
Okay, now that you've made it this far, I'll reward you guys with another one of my recordings, which was the second one made with the PCM-M10. More info after the jump...