Nice feature at Recorder Marantz PMD 561

Marantz PMD 561

Marantz PMD 561

Marantz was one of the first companies, that has produced solid state audio recorders. Previously they have had a very good professional audio cassette recorder for radio reporters in competition to a similar one from Sony. They’re experience in professional broadcast was transferred in a very good handling of the recorders from Marantz. In the last years, the series of solid state recorders from Marantz has grown. Now the company launched a new one under the label PMD 561.

Marantz PMD 561 Level Control

Marantz PMD 561 Level Control

With 4.1” x 1.6” x 6.7”  it’s a medium size device. On top a reliable “silence” record button can be found. Clicking this button makes no sounds on your record, if you use the intern mics or a mic near the device. On the left side there are the level knobs for the record level. It’s a combined control for the stereo channels. But this knobs are unfavorable. They can’t switch together to change both channels. And the inner one is too small.

There are in- and outputs in all necessary shapes. On the front there are frames for a shoulder belt. On top there’s an additional level meter with LEDs, so you can control the level and set the display to other values.

Marantz 561 Retake Button

Marantz 561 Retake Button

A very nice feature is the retake function. With this, you can easily edit a record without going to a menu or transfer the files on a pc. It can be used in record or playback mode. This function is useful, if you, for example, record texts for audiobooks and need to edit mistakes in speech. To perform an edit of an existing record:

  • Playback the file.
  • After the position, that needs editing press the retake button. The device will rewind the record for a few seconds and then start playback again.
  • On the edit point press record pause. Then press record.

Now, the new record overwrites the existing record from that point. The new file can be larger or shorter as the old one. Perhaps following existing files are not touched. A handicap is that you don’t have any visual messages, when you perform the retake function. A blinking LED or a message in the display would complete the function.

I need to criticise one important point of the device.

To avoid loopback by microphone recording, the speaker can be set to mute via the menu. Then you can use a headphone. But a better approach would be to mute the speaker only  when the device is recording. Therefore maybe the Marantz technicians can add the option “Mute while recording”?

In summary, the PMD 561 is a very good recorder and very useful for producing digital talking audio books for blind people. For this, the recordings can easily be transformed into a digital talking book in the DAISY 2.0 standard with this self written tool: Daisy Creator

See also my unboxing video of the PMD 561

Special thanks to Benny for assisting in english.

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