Thursday, October 15th, 2009Field Recorders – Pt 1
Nature recording is a very difficult pursuit. Weather conditions are always a consideration. Then the ever present noise from trains-planes-automobiles always tends to happen just when something interesting is going on. And to that list add wind and water sounds. Our brains filter out those extra sounds when we are in the environment but on a recording they are very noticeable.
I am frequently asked what equipment I would recommend. I am certainly no expert but I have used a variety of recorders and can share my thoughts. So I will post a series of 4 articles, each dealing with a different priced recorder. I will not do much of a review, as that material has been thoroughly covered by others and you can follow the provided links.
New small digital recorders are coming onto the market all of the time. It is nearly impossible to keep up with all the new advances. Other than the quality of the sound, record time and battery life are of high importance in nature recording. This new recorder is very good on both of these aspects.
Field Recorders under $230.
A great new entry into the lower price range is the Sony PCM-M10â€.
The manufacturers websites:
The user’s manual can be found at:
Excellent reviews can be read at:
Forums discussing this recorder are:
There are several videos posted on YouTube:
4GB of internal flash memory.
An additional 16GB of memory can be added with a Memory Stick Microâ„¢ (M2â„¢) or microSDHC (FAT32) card.
Maximum recordable time – In any card not all of the stated capacity is available for data. Using the 16 gb card the record time in .wav at 44.1kHz 16bit CD quality mode should be nearly 25 hr. 20 min.
Using two Sony LR6 (SG) (size AA) alkaline batteries up to 46 hours.
I recorded this sound file while walking near Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Cook County, Illinois.
Conclusion – I think this is a very good recorder and gets researchers into a nice, reasonably priced unit that has great battery life and recording times. Early reviews state that it’s sound quality is excellent and the unit retains the best features of its bigger siblings the Sony PCM-D1 and PCM-D50 while adding the versatility of mp3.
- built-in microphones
- easy to use
- great sound
- great battery life
- great recording time
- reasonable price
- no xlr ports