One More Cheer for the Sony PCM-M10 Audio Recorder

(Video: The tiny Sony PCM-M10 handheld recorder is barely visible on a tripod in front of the big mic to Gary’s left.)

I’ve blathered in the past about the wonderful small audio recorder that I generally end up using for most things, even though I have the use of a sophisticated professional unit that can surpass it for most jobs.

As a reminder, it’s the Sony PCM-M10, a seventeen-year-old hand-held recorder that was introduced when we were all a lot younger, in 2003.

What’s new today is that I’m prepared to give you an example of the little M10 at work.

The video above was shot on February 1, 2020 during an open house for prospective parents at Living Wisdom School of Palo Alto, California. After the main talk to approximately 60 guests by school director Helen Purcell, middle school teacher Gary McSweeney answered prospective middle-school parents’ questions.

I previously described how I used the Sony as a backup recorder to the far more expensive and sophisticated Sound Devices MixPre-6 II.

The problem with high-end gear is that you still need to press “Record.” And on the day, I omitted that fairly important step.

Uh-oh – was the day a wash? Or would the M10 save my bacon?

Judge for yourself. You can listen to the video above. The audio is just what came out of the tiny recorder, with minimal adjustments in post.

I’m impressed by the quality of Gary’s voice – and even the voices of the parents who ask questions.

You can still buy the PCM-M10 on Ebay for about $230. If there are fewer units for sale than you expected, it’s probably because audio pros love the M10 and like to keep one in their sound bags.

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