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Author Topic: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW  (Read 125853 times)

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Offline kfrinkle

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #360 on: January 06, 2010, 10:12:24 AM »
Got my M10 yesterday, took it out of it package and looked at it for a bit, looks like a really nice piece of equipment.  I just don't have any shows coming up to test it with.....  I am going to try to tape some on campus concerts with the built in mics, see how it does.
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blackmikito

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #361 on: January 06, 2010, 02:00:11 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has posted info on the M10.

So far, based on what I've read, the major differences between the M10 and the R-09HR are that:

1. The M10 has much longer life on battery power.
2. The level control on the M10 is still moveable after the "Hold" feature is activated. Whereas on the R-09HR this feature is de-activated when that unit is placed on "Hold".
3. The M10, like other Sony products, will not be eligible for firmware updates. Whereas the R-09HR is.
4. Design-wise, users are complimenting the size of the unit (a hair slimmer than the R-09HR), however there are some complaints regarding the layout of the unit and that the buttons on the front panel are not as distinct as they could be. i.e. The buttons are all the same size and shape, and are in a cluster on the front. So trying to accurately use them in a dark setting will be problematic without having spent a lot of time memorizing which button does what. Whereas the front panel of the R-09HR has a central "Record" button, and the other buttons around it are distinct in shape.

There are other differences I'm sure, but those were the main ones that stuck out to me. Ultimately, I think that any new product that comes out should be superior to what's currently out there. Otherwise, it's a step to the side, or it's a step down. I think the noted differences thus far suggest that the Sony M10 has not outdone the R-09HR.  Line-in noise tests remain to be seen. But, the likelihood is that the M10 isn't "dead quiet" either, and that the overall specs of the unit are going to be about the same (or in the same ballpark) as the R-09HR.

Sure, the battery life is impressive on the M10. But the battery life is perfectly fine on the R-09HR. It is the rare taper who goes all out and does a 8-hour marathon in one sitting. And even if you're going to be taping an all-day festival, chances are you'll be using an open/larger rig, probably with a different recorder, and taking breaks. And how hard is it to roll with extra batteries anyway?

I think that the M10 as described so far is an alternative recorder, but not really an upgrade to what's currently out there. Ultimately, the lack of firmware updates, the moveable input level when on Hold, and the orientation of the buttons on the front are enough to make me stick with the R-09HR. 

NAMM is right around the corner, so who knows what might be coming out.

Offline fmaderjr

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #362 on: January 06, 2010, 02:27:10 PM »
I think that the M10 as described so far is an alternative recorder, but not really an upgrade to what's currently out there. Ultimately, the lack of firmware updates, the moveable input level when on Hold, and the orientation of the buttons on the front are enough to make me stick with the R-09HR. 

I agree the recorder is an alternative and not an upgrade, but I don't think anyone claimed otherwise. If you already have an HR and like it, there's no need to sell it and get the Sony. But if you're trying to decide which of the 2 to buy, both have a lot to offer.

However:
1) How often do some of us have to write that the movable record level when on hold is not a disadvantage. It is NOT going to move by accident. I think it a plus, not a minus.
2) Did anyone have a problem the the D50 not having firmware upgrades? Sony design their products so they work optimally right off the bat.
3) You don't usually have to rely on feel to start a recorder-there's usually some light. If you want to start it while it's in your pocket, put a couple bits of gaffers tape in appropriate spots to help you find the key recording buttons.
4) The M10 has a 5 second record buffer which the HR does not have.


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Offline CatScan

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #363 on: January 06, 2010, 04:56:24 PM »
That's great news as Wave editor is actually an audio editor I've been considering buying.

Regarding the start-up delay of the PCM-M10 (and all other solid-state recorders as far as I know): what's the reason for this? This could be a problem, but maybe there's a sleep mode which will allow it to quickly wake up, or maybe (with the excellent battery life) I could just leave it on even when I strictly don't need to, but "just in case".

blackmikito

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #364 on: January 06, 2010, 05:11:38 PM »
I think that the M10 as described so far is an alternative recorder, but not really an upgrade to what's currently out there. Ultimately, the lack of firmware updates, the moveable input level when on Hold, and the orientation of the buttons on the front are enough to make me stick with the R-09HR. 

I agree the recorder is an alternative and not an upgrade, but I don't think anyone claimed otherwise. If you already have an HR and like it, there's no need to sell it and get the Sony. But if you're trying to decide which of the 2 to buy, both have a lot to offer.

However:
1) How often do some of us have to write that the movable record level when on hold is not a disadvantage. It is NOT going to move by accident. I think it a plus, not a minus.
2) Did anyone have a problem the the D50 not having firmware upgrades? Sony design their products so they work optimally right off the bat.
3) You don't usually have to rely on feel to start a recorder-there's usually some light. If you want to start it while it's in your pocket, put a couple bits of gaffers tape in appropriate spots to help you find the key recording buttons.
4) The M10 has a 5 second record buffer which the HR does not have.

Good points. However, I do think that when gadgets like these come out, that it actually is a matter of deciding how they stack up against what is currently out there, and then figuring out if something truly is "better". Because, if they're not "better", then the alternatives tend to be pointless and not worth risking the $$$ on. If for no other reason than the fact that they don't have the proven track record that the unit already out there does.

If I was in the market for a new recorder, I think that the M10 falls short of a standard set by units like the R-09HR. The only true advantages I've heard so far are that the internal mics in the M10 might be quieter (but still noisy), and that the battery life is exceptional. Neither of those things matter to most, I think.

But it's the design differences that I think make the M10 less desirable. Not everyone tapes in the same conditions, so the more flexibility and intuitive design a unit has the better. Rather than make buttons that stand out, in different shapes, they made them pretty much all the same, and in a cluster. That's a drawback.  You could be hitting Record, or you could be hitting Stop.  There is no learning curve with the layout of the R-09HR. Once levels are set, you could operate that thing blindfolded.

And there is a difference between a volume level that "won't move" and one that "can't move", when the "Hold" button is engaged. Everyone has been at shows where there's been pushing or tight crowds involved, or where there isn't a lot of light. And regardless of how one packs their bag, or stores their recorder, things can get in the way and move things around. Sure, you can fix it down with tape, but that becomes an unnecessary workaround, especially when there is a comparable recorder already out there that doesn't need tape to achieve the same results. If there is a "Hold" function on a machine, then it should freeze everything. If it doesn't, then what was the point of having a "Hold" button on there in the first place?

As for the 5-second buffer, the press out there states that this is useful so that you don't accidentally miss a moment or two before you officially start recording. I'm not clear on how this works or why it would truly be useful. Is the buffer automatically engaged when the unit is turned on? Or do you have to engage a "pre-record" mode (i.e. like the Sony DAT portables) where you are first hitting record, and then hitting Play? What about the levels? If you have to pre-engage the pre-record function, then what makes that any different than having just hit Record as soon as you turn the unit on? Without time travel, you're always going to miss the sounds that occurred before you thought to pick up and turn on your recorder. And memory cards have huge storage capacity these days, so there's no longer the need to "conserve tape" anymore, waiting just before the lights go down before hitting record, so that you have enough room to get the whole show. With as big as memory cards have gotten, you can pretty much just turn the recorder on as soon as you leave your car (even your house, for that matter), and then keep it on as you enter the venue if you wanted to.

I know it's nit-picking to a significant degree. But it's the same process that has been ongoing since the R-1 and the Microtrack came out a few years ago. Each year brings a new set of recorders, each with slightly different features. Recorders are no longer the huge expense that they were back in the days of DAT, but $300 is still a chunk of change to be casually spending, so the more info we can share with each other the better.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 05:15:33 PM by blackmikito »

Offline tekdroid

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #365 on: January 06, 2010, 05:29:26 PM »
Regarding the start-up delay of the PCM-M10 (and all other solid-state recorders as far as I know): what's the reason for this?

Don't know but I know it reads both the internal and external memory on the PCM-D50 and PCM-M10 when starting up.

I'd love for them to throw out the internal memory and spend that money on ram buffers and optimising start-up with just the one card (if they had to keep costs their manufacturing costs the same or similar).

Internal Flash memory does allow for second copies of content in the unit on the PCM-M10 (which is good and well) but I'd much prefer it not to be there for faster start-up. Or simply having two removable slots for the same features (very do-able in 2010 since the memory card slots are so small). It amazes me we accept slow start-up for these audio recorders but don't for digital cameras (even budget ones are ready to snap away furiously very soon after start-up).

This could be a problem, but maybe there's a sleep mode which will allow it to quickly wake up, or maybe (with the excellent battery life) I could just leave it on even when I strictly don't need to, but "just in case".

Both are possible. It still would be great to be spoiled by "instant record" after pressing the REC button twice or holding it down for half a second or so, straight from the OFF state.

The way I see it, we don't have to rely on the constraints of mechanicals with these devices, so they should be faster (& most digital cameras have to focus yet are pretty fast, but these recorders don't and are pretty slow).


Offline CatScan

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #366 on: January 06, 2010, 05:42:14 PM »
Great to hear about the sleep mode.
I'll be recording my baby daughter which means long sections without anything (or anything interesting) then all of a sudden something I must have. I guess I could just turn the unit on then, put the PCM-M10 in the crib, put it (the recorder that is) to sleep, and when something interesting pops up I have 5 seconds to react in order to press the rec (or pause?) button. Almost as good as voice activated recording together with that 5 second pre-recording buffer.

Offline fmaderjr

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #367 on: January 06, 2010, 06:49:21 PM »
blackmikito-

All your points are good ones. On second thought, I guess the 5 second buffer isn't with much because you may as well just start recording early, given battery life and cheap media cards.

I do think the internal mic is excellent and it is very quiet, but I probably won't wind up using it much.

There are reports that the M10's line in may not be a quiet as we hoped, so if I was recording a lot of quiet stuff, I'd definitely go the the HR for sure until more samples come out.

I like the M10's display much better and the fact that the mic and line in jacks are on the top instead of the side.

I bought the M10 first, then was able to buy a mint condition HR (w/ no accessories but the wall wart) for $115 on E-Bay (Buy It Now). I must admit that I'll be using the HR for critical recordings and have sold my Korg MR-1. I Like the M10 a lot though.
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Offline taperwheeler

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #368 on: January 07, 2010, 03:49:55 PM »
"And there is a difference between a volume level that "won't move" and one that "can't move", when the "Hold" button is engaged. Everyone has been at shows where there's been pushing or tight crowds involved, or where there isn't a lot of light. And regardless of how one packs their bag, or stores their recorder, things can get in the way and move things around. Sure, you can fix it down with tape, but that becomes an unnecessary workaround, especially when there is a comparable recorder already out there that doesn't need tape to achieve the same results. If there is a "Hold" function on a machine, then it should freeze everything. If it doesn't, then what was the point of having a "Hold" button on there in the first place? "

I think it's great to be able to 'hold' or lock my unit in record mode but have some flexibility in increasing volume if needed.  To each his own...
Mics: SP-CMC-8 AT933 Body 4.7K mod AT853 (c, sc) U853 (h)
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Recorders: MT2 , Tascam DR-07, PCM-M10

blackmikito

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #369 on: January 07, 2010, 04:46:22 PM »
I think it's great to be able to 'hold' or lock my unit in record mode but have some flexibility in increasing volume if needed.  To each his own...

I agree, it's completely up to preference. What might not work for me, could work for someone else great. But, with the feature as it is, I don't think it is so much a question of the unit having extra flexibility, so much as it is an issue of the design denying the user from having the option to fully lock the unit. The unit is either on "Hold" or it isn't. If they had made the unit with a "two stage" hold, where one stage freezes everything except the input level knob, and then a second stage that freezes everything + the input level knob, then that would make sense. 

Having a "halfway" hold is like having no hold at all, imo. Because if one can say "it's unlikely that you'll accidentally move the input knob when the unit's on hold", then why not just also assume that you won't be accidentally hitting "Stop" when recording without the unit on Hold?

There is also the issue of running a preamp in front of the M10. If the unit can't fully Hold, then you have to worry about the levels on your pre, as well as the levels on the recorder. If the M10 had a full Hold, then you can just worry about the levels on the pre, and stash the recorder away in full confidence.

In the rare instance that I've had to turn levels up/down mid-show, I've never had a problem de-activating Hold, correcting levels, and then re-engaging Hold.   





Offline aaronji

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #370 on: January 07, 2010, 06:56:56 PM »
I think it's great to be able to 'hold' or lock my unit in record mode but have some flexibility in increasing volume if needed.  To each his own...

I agree, it's completely up to preference. What might not work for me, could work for someone else great. But, with the feature as it is, I don't think it is so much a question of the unit having extra flexibility, so much as it is an issue of the design denying the user from having the option to fully lock the unit. The unit is either on "Hold" or it isn't. If they had made the unit with a "two stage" hold, where one stage freezes everything except the input level knob, and then a second stage that freezes everything + the input level knob, then that would make sense.

You could also say that the R09HR is flawed because it only has a "one stage" hold, with no option for leaving the levels accessible....

Having a "halfway" hold is like having no hold at all, imo. Because if one can say "it's unlikely that you'll accidentally move the input knob when the unit's on hold", then why not just also assume that you won't be accidentally hitting "Stop" when recording without the unit on Hold?

If the stop button was well recessed/shielded, and difficult to inadvertently manipulate, like the volume wheel, then maybe this would be a more valid comparison...

There is also the issue of running a preamp in front of the M10. If the unit can't fully Hold, then you have to worry about the levels on your pre, as well as the levels on the recorder. If the M10 had a full Hold, then you can just worry about the levels on the pre, and stash the recorder away in full confidence.

In that instance, why wouldn't you stick a piece of gaffers tape over the level wheel?  After all, you can set it at unity, tape it, and control levels with the pre...

In the rare instance that I've had to turn levels up/down mid-show, I've never had a problem de-activating Hold, correcting levels, and then re-engaging Hold.   

But pushing record in the dark is more of a hassle than flipping that little hold switch on the back of the HR, adjusting levels, and hitting the little switch again (as per your previous post)?

Everybody has their likes/dislikes.  At this point, though, it is a little premature, in my opinion, to declare that the M10 "falls short of a standard set by units like the R-09HR".  It has a lot of nice features, including built-in memory (which is good insurance in the event of a card problem); a large, legible screen; great battery life; pretty decent build quality; and a simple, intuitive design (which would be easy to operate in the dark, by the way).

Maybe the M10 suffers from some terrible audio flaw that has yet to come to light, but, otherwise, it is a pretty nice recorder and certainly a strong competitor for the R09HR.  Of course, I am still waiting for that D50 build quality in an M10 sized package with flawless audio...

 

blackmikito

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #371 on: January 07, 2010, 07:39:42 PM »
Everybody has their likes/dislikes.  At this point, though, it is a little premature, in my opinion, to declare that the M10 "falls short of a standard set by units like the R-09HR".  It has a lot of nice features...
 

You're right, it does have nice features. But being that this is a taping board, these features are being discussed with regards to useability by your average taper and how the unit matches up to other available units when looking at the same criteria. Don't get me wrong, there's no doubt that the M10 will be able to record a show successfully. And, if one doesn't mind the lack of hold on the level input, etc. there's no reason anyone can't use it with ease after some practice and workarounds.

But that misses the point. If there are things that this unit can do that another can't, they should be evaluated. Same goes when looking at units that can do things that the M10 can't.

It may sound like I'm being a killjoy, but it isn't premature to be pointing these things out, especially in this context. When the MT came out, it had all the promise in the world. The size, phantom power, higher resolution capabilities, digi-in, etc. But there were very obvious design flaws which, although possible to workaround, weren't ideal for tapers. These were pointed out on the board as soon as the literature on the unit was made available, and again when the first round of owners had reported on their experiences. Nevertheless, people here kept buying them, and soon you had several MT owners running around with battery sleds to compensate for the faulty powering, and finding tricks to keep the unit from self-shutting down etc. You still have people here using them as bit buckets, but not as the "all-in-one" that the unit was supposed to be.

But that was when the MT was one of the few solid states out there of its size. There wasn't anything else to choose from that offered the same set of specs. So, those workarounds were easier to deal with. Which is why people are still using them as bit-buckets, because there still isn't anything in that price range that can do digi-in.

So, when comparing the M10 to others in it's class, that's where I think that the unit's worth falls a little short.

This may sound like a lot of fluffing for the R-09HR. But, I'm no different that anyone else when it comes to wanting the newest products out there. Believe me, I'm waiting for something in the pricerange that will do digi-in and will have all of the features that these recorders have, too. For me, the M10 looked very promising (they all do when they first get announced), but there are already recorders out there just like it that already do the same job just as well, and which I think would work better for more people.  More distinct Hold feature, clearer button design, etc.

Line-in noise tests, and the like remain to be heard. But the reports from those who already have them show that the unit isn't reporting anything drastically different from the other solid states out there.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 07:42:46 PM by blackmikito »

Offline CatScan

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #372 on: January 07, 2010, 08:06:30 PM »
For me, the M10 looked very promising (they all do when they first get announced), but there are already recorders out there just like it that already do the same job just as well, and which I think would work better for more people.  More distinct Hold feature, clearer button design, etc.

The Edirol R-09HR has been mentioned, but I'm curious as to which other recorders you're referring to which do the job just as well (assuming you mean in the same price range as well). I still haven't quite decided if I should go with the PCM-M10 or not.

blackmikito

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #373 on: January 07, 2010, 11:24:51 PM »
For me, the M10 looked very promising (they all do when they first get announced), but there are already recorders out there just like it that already do the same job just as well, and which I think would work better for more people.  More distinct Hold feature, clearer button design, etc.

The Edirol R-09HR has been mentioned, but I'm curious as to which other recorders you're referring to which do the job just as well (assuming you mean in the same price range as well). I still haven't quite decided if I should go with the PCM-M10 or not.

I was referring to the R-09HR. But, depending on your needs there is the MT 2 and the Tascam DR units. But the best of the lot so far is still the R-09HR, imo.

Best combination of features, design, and it has a proven track record. A new recorder in it's price range would have to beat it's specs and design.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #374 on: January 08, 2010, 01:16:03 AM »
One problem, mentioned by Guysonic, I believe, is analog noise on the R09HR.  This is probably not audible in the recording, but I just tend to distrust a rig with any analog glitches.  I think the reason the original R09 had no glitches is because it is based on a single (Burr-Brown) chip, which includes preamp/adc/mpeg/etc.

Coming back to the Sony, I really like the battery life and powersave mode.  This a true field recorder.  You can leave this thing in pause-record for 12hrs if you need to...

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

 

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