Thursday, June 24, 2010

Marantz PMD661 field recorder

Excitement yesterday as a parcel containing my new Marantz PMD661 field recorder arrived at the door. Having a new toy does tend to throw my day out of equilibrium. Instead of writing two thousand words of novel, I unpacked the box and started to explore a new world of high quality sound recording.

My choice of the Marantz over other field recorders came from an extensive survey of reviews on the Internet - reviews penned by people who know more about sound recording than I ever will. Without getting too technical here, I'll say that I needed a recorder that would take an external microphone input via balanced XLR connectors. I wanted it to record onto memory cards, have reasonable battery life and as good a quality preamplifier as I could afford.

Of all the review sites, the most helpful was the one at Wingfield Audio - with its superb table of sound samples from different machines. And I eventually found the best UK price at Pink Noise Systems, who were so helpful that I will certainly be checking their website if I need more audio kit in future.

So - now it is out of the box and I've had 24 hours to play with it, I have to report that I love everything about the Marantz PMD661. The look and feel of the machine are very satisfying. Plugging in a good microphone and a set of reasonable headphones is like having bionic hearing. I don't know where to take it that is quiet enough to find out how good the preamp really is - but so far so good. Yesterday I thought I detected a slight hum - but then realised I was hearing the fan in my laptop some distance away.

If I can figure out how to embed audio into this blog, I'll share some recordings in the near future.

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