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Sony unveils PCM-M10 handheld digital recorder

Sony expanded its line of portable professional audio recorders with the new PCM-M10, a palm-sized compact unit, at the Summer NAMM show. The new recorder is designed to be the perfect musician’s tool for capturing high fidelity audio in any location while offering user-requested convenience features unavailable even in the company’s premium units.

According to Karl Kussmaul, senior product manager for Sony’s pro audio group, the M10’s feature set was heavily influenced by musicians, who often have the need for high fidelity audio capture in less-than-convenient locations. This was one of the driving forces in this being the first Sony digital recorder to offer MP3 formatting. As a side benefit, the new device’s flexibility and smaller size makes it an excellent choice for mobile journalists.

The PCM-M10 is capable of full 96kHz, 24-bit WAV file recording and shares several design elements with the other Sony handhelds, the PCM-D1 and PCM-D50, including the same rugged metal construction and ergonomic physical design. Key features of the PCM-M10 recorder include a built-in playback speaker, cross-memory recording, a fully adjustable digital limiter, low-cut filter, track mark function, a five-second prerecording buffer, track marking and A-B repeat capability. Its digital pitch control can be used to control either time or frequency domain of recorded files.

Other unique features include automatic gain control realized in the digital domain to eliminate pumping effects, a high-resolution peak-holding VU meter and an automatic file-naming and organization scheme. The PCM-M10 comes supplied with Sound Forge Audio Studio Recorder Edition software.

Though the final specification is not yet written, product manager Karl Kussmaul, demonstrating a working PCM-M10 on the NAMM Show floor, said that the product will offer battery life conservatively rated at 14 hours or more using AA alkaline batteries; NiMH rechargeables will also be accommodated. The new recorder includes a USB high-speed port for simple up- and downloading of native WAV or MP3 recorded files and is scheduled to ship in October 2009.