Cain, Joe

Head of Department, and
Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology

Prof Cain's research interests include the history of evolutionary studies, Darwin and Darwinism, history of science in London, history of natural history and natural history films.
Publications via UCL's IRIS service (link)

0207 679 3041 (UK)
+442076793041 (intl)
Twitter: @profjoecain

UCL location (map)

Term 2 office hours: Tuesdays 2-3, Thursdays 3-4 and by appointment

Follow me on

audio samples: recording equipment

Obama interview

Voices Project. This page presents the results of tests combining recorders and microphones in typical recording configurations.

Marantz PMD-660

configuration details: all setting are default, recording level is manual at 40%, phantom power is off.
all PMD-660 tests (*.zip; 32Mb)
all wave patterns (*.pdf; 3Mb)
microphone codes (htm)
conclusion: This is an outstanding portable recorder. It's easy to use, sensitive, rugged, and pick-up is impressive. For most applications, the mp3, 48kHHz setting provides solid recordings. The internal mic is impressive.
*.wav (PCM) | 48kHz 768kbps mono
660-01 int mic
660-09 ext mic B
660-09a ext mic B, rec level at 60%
660-22 ext mic C - ON
660-02 ext mic D
660-11 ext mic E - ON
660-12 ext mic E
*.mp3 | 48kHz 64kbps mono
660-05 int mic
660-10 ext mic B
660-10a ext mic B, rec level at 60%
660-25 ext mic C - ON
660-26 ext mic C
660-27 ext mic C - ON, 1 m cable
660-06 ext mic D
660-14 ext mic E - ON
660-15 ext mic E
*.wav (PCM) | 44.1kHz 705.5kbps mono
660-03 int mic
660-23 ext mic C - ON
660-24 ext mic C
660-04 ext mic D
660-17 ext mic E - ON
660-18 ext mic E
*.mp3 | 44.1kHz 64kbps mono
660-07 int mic
660-28 ext mic C - ON
660-08 ext mic D
660-20 ext mic E - ON
660-21 ext mic E

Olympus WS-320M

configuration details: no special settings. Recorder is set on table immediately in front of speaker.
brochure (pdf)
Olympus product page (Web)
conclusion: HQ and ST HQ settings on internal mic is fine for quick interviews or for a setting where portability is a premium. SP and LP produce poor sound. External mics add fidelity. Use of ATR97 produces quite good sound, but beware of battery loss. Can use headphones and display metre to monitor input. Can adjust microphone input level.

internal microphone
O-01 - Conference - ST HQ
O-03 - Conference - HQ
O-05 - Conference - SP
O-07 - Conference - LP
O-02 - Dictation - ST HQ
O-04 - Dictation - HQ
O-06 - Dictation - SP
O-08 - Dictation - LP

external microphones
OE-10 - Conference - ST HQ - with ATR97 on
OE-11 - Conference - ST HQ - with ATR97 off
OE-20 - Conference - ST HQ - with ATM10a on
OE-21 - Conference - ST HQ - with ATM10a off

Edirol R-1

configuration details: default settings except: limiter OFF, input monitor ON. Firmware 1.03. Input volume turned to maximum.
all R-1 tests (*.zip; 47Mb)
microphone codes (htm)
conclusion: This compares poorly to the PMD 660. The pick-up and sensitivity are not as good. The machine is more fragile. The controls are less obvious to the novice. The internal microphone works perfectly well, but not better in comparison. Use with an amplified microphone for best results.
*.wav (PCM) | 24-bit 44.1 kHz mono
R1-01 int mic
R1-02a ext mic A
R1-02b ext mic B
R1-02c ext mic C
R1-02d ext mic D
R1-02e ext mic E
*.mp3 | 16-bit 320 kbps mono
R1-05 int mic
R1-06a ext mic A
R1-06b ext mic B
R1-06c ext mic C
R1-06d ext mic D
R1-06e ext mic E
*.wav (PCM) | 16-bit 44.1 kHz mono
R1-03 int mic
R1-04a ext mic A
R1-04b ext mic B
R1-04c ext mic C
R1-04d ext mic D
R1-04e ext mic E
*.mp3 | 16-bit 192 kbps mono
R1-07 int mic
R1-08a ext mic A
R1-08b ext mic B
R1-08c ext mic C
R1-08d ext mic D
R1-08e ext mic E
  *.mp3 | 16-bit 64 kbps mono
R1-09 int mic
R1-10a ext mic A
R1-10b ext mic B
R1-10c ext mic C
R1-10d ext mic D
R1-10e ext mic E

Marantz PMD-222 cassette


configuration details: CrO2 cassette tape, 0dB mic attn, normal ANC, record level = 8. Using XLR jack. Files recorded into dMC Auxiliary Input.
all PMD-222 tests (*.zip; 3Mb)
microphone codes (htm)

222-01a ext mic A
222-01b ext mic B
222-01c ext mic C
222-01d ext mic D
222-01e ext mic A plugged into 3.5mm jack
222-01f same as 222-01e, mic attn=-10dB

Conclusion: smooth recording, high-fidelity. Replaced by PMD-660.

Sanyo TA103 telephone recording adaptor


configuration details: to come


Conclusion: to come

Page last modified on 05 aug 10 15:44 by Joe Cain

Professor Joe Cain
UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies