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Author Topic: Sony PCM-M10 history/FAQ  (Read 9379 times)

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Offline rastasean

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Sony PCM-M10 history/FAQ
« on: August 02, 2011, 08:54:05 PM »
Information on the Sony PCM-10 (a work in progress)

B&H link:
Current price: $220-230
First introduced: late September/early October 2009
First Taperssection memeber to have one: Dogmusic (?);u=13786
link to manual:

Known issues:
-If you power your M10 off and leave it inactive for a period of three weeks or more, when you power it back on there is a great possibility you will need to re-set the clock. (page 16 of the manual) The way to avoid this is to leave the recorder in 'sleep' mode for the inactive period of time and wake it up when you're ready to use the recorder. (page 15 of the manual: "When the PCM recorder remains turned on and in the stop mode for about 10 minutes or longer, the window display turns off automatically and the PCM recorder enters
the sleep mode. You can operate the PCM recorder by pressing a button.") Stop mode can also be considered idle: not recording, not play, just no input from the user.

See this thread for detailed information:

-The lock button does NOT lock the gain dial on the unit so tapers have resorted to being careful or using a bit of tape to keep the unit locked in place.

Unity has been said to be anywhere from 3 to 6 but most tapers run their unit at 3 to 4.

Popular pre-amps known to have been used with the M10: Naiant Littlebox, Niant TinyBox,  Sound Devices MP-2, Sound Devices Mixpre, Sound Devices USBPre2, Church-Audio CA-9100. Since the M10 has only analog in, you cannot use any optical out of pre-amps such as the Grace Design Lunatec V3 and the optical out on the usbpre2; of course, you can take the analog from these pre-amps and run it into the line in on the m10.

The Sony Firmware is still at 1.0 and as far as the tapers know, it will not be revised anytime soon. The predecessor to the M10, D50, still has the original firmware.

If you're going to record loud music that is amplified, plug your pre-amp into the LINE IN and set the dial at 3-6 (see above, re: unity).

32GB SDHC cards are known to work on the M10 resulting in 36GB of disk space (4gb from the internal memory and a 32GB card); however, due to the way a gigabyte is defined, the actual recording/usable space is closer to 33-34GB.
For a complete list of known functioning cards, please visit this thread:

The M10 runs on 2 AA batteries and it seems non-recharagable batteries result in better run times vs. rechargable batteries. The batteries last a long time in this recorder, you could easily record multiple 2 hour sets on the same pair of batteries. A few tapers have often wondered about using a power supply for this recorder but that's not really necessary since the drainage on the batter is quite low.

Many microphones have been used with the M10 including but not limited are: CA14 cards and ominis, Audio Technica AT4041, Milabs VM44, MBHO models, Sennheiser models, Schopes models, DPA models, AKG models, etc. As you can see, this recorder has been used with many different microphone and pre-amp chains resulting in great recordings.

In order for the audio from the pre-amp to the m10 to be captured, you will need some kind of cable that terminates to a ⅛” (3.25mm) male on one end to connect it to the mic-in or line-in on the recorder. It is possible to have left and right RCA to ⅛” and even XLR to ⅛”, it is just dependent upon your needs, and since all three methods are not sonically different in any measurable way, there will not be a loss of quality with any choice.

At this time, there are 7 threads related to the Sony PCM-M10:

part 7: (24 february 2013 - present)
part 6: (17 april 2012 - 24 februray 2013)
part 5: (4 june 2011 - 17 april 2012)
part 4: (1 october 2010 - 4 june 2011)
part 3: (26 june 2010 - 1 october 2010)
part 2: (8 january 2010 - 26 june 2010)
part 1: (19 july 2009 - 8 january 2010)

Input on this thread is welcomed but I would like to keep this as informational and not used for inquiries. If you have any questions on this recorder, please post to the part 5 (link above) or most current thread in relation to the m10.

Speedtest when reading SD-Card from PCM-M10
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 02:00:49 AM by rastasean »
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 history/FAQ
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 10:12:45 PM »
Some users feel that recordings from the M-10 built in mics need some post-production help with the stereo image, which may be felt to be compromised by the recorder's closely spaced omnidirectional microphones.  This results in high frequencies being perceived more at the sides of the stereo image, and low frequencies being exaggerated in the centre, and a general lack of spaciousness.

To improve the M10's stereo image it can usefully be manipulated using separate eq of the mid and side.  For instance, reducing the level of the low frequencies in the centre of the M10 sound would also have the effect of increasing the proportion of side channel heard, thus making for a wider sound.  And at the same time one could boost the low frequencies in the side channel if the brighter sound isn't to your taste.

Here's a link to a VST plugin (free) which can be used to manipulate the eq of mid and side channels -

- you'd probably find that a basic MS widening VST would then not be required, but google for Voxengo MSED if you do still need a free one.

If you don't want to read the manual for the Matthew Lindsay VST, simply select the "MS Enhancement" preset and you'll be impressed right away.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Mic levels and plug in power
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 10:39:20 PM »
My experience with the M10.

Mic inputs are very good, excellent and virtually no self noise!  (Other units, Edirol, Tascam, etc, have noticeable self noise).

Plug in power is: 2.8V through a 4.7k source resistor (measured on my unit).

Plug in power is good for many mics, including: CA-11, AT853 (with or without "low sensitivity" aka "4.7k" mod), Sennheiser MKE2, and Countryman B3.

Use on High sensitivity setting for ambient/voice/meeting recording.  Use Low sensitivity setting for amplified music.  Use a separate battery box and Line in for the loudest things, like stack taping.

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:

Offline leehookem

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 history/FAQ
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 10:45:45 PM »
nice work Sean.

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Offline DigiGal

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 history/FAQ
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 12:21:03 AM »
This info would make a nice addition to the TS Knowledge Base / Archive sub directory Recording Gear
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 | Shure VP88 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 "StarQuad" w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SoundDevices MixPre-D Recorders: SoundDevices MixPre 6 | Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 27" 3.4GHz QuadCore i7 iMac | macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 | Wave Editor | xACT  | Transmission | Final Cut Pro X                                                            

Offline acidjack

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 history/FAQ
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 10:35:03 AM »
One thing I'd add is a list of mics that are believed to or have been listed as being able to run off the M10 without an external preamp.  I can't say any off the top of my head with 100% confidence other than Sonic Studios DSM mics, which Guy has proven will, but I've seen DPA 406x and some of the various Church Audio models mentioned in connection with this as well.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on | LMA: | twitter: | Soundcloud:


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