Steven Sielaff “I’m excited to see the potential applications of the Superscope PMR61 in our field..."

Steven Sielaff
Senior Editor and Collection Manager
Baylor University Institute for Oral History

After spending a month with the Superscope PMR61, it became clear to me that it could easily fill a niche in the greater world of oral history recording. When partnering with external groups or presenting on recording technology during workshops, I often focus on the basics, while at the same time recommending or loaning recorders that offer an entire host of potentially confusing recording options. For the audio recording neophyte I’m sure this could potentially be nerve-wracking. The PMR61, with its “Record Check” (where participants count out loud and the device adjusts levels accordingly), certainly assuages most of these fears. By building in a feature that accomplishes the seminal task of assuring a quality recording before an interview, the PMR61 can eliminate the worry of improper use of technology from both participants who lack a trained background and the project directors who cannot be on site for every interview.

Because of its size and user-friendly nature (a large touchscreen allows for easy menu navigation), I would recommend using the PMR61 as a “base of operations” recorder, where project managers can designate a room where the device and corresponding microphones will be installed (think low-cost audio booth). Afterwards, various volunteers or partners could benefit from the initial setup, then utilize the “Record Check” feature for a quality recording. The PMR61 even includes an additional USB solution for file storage, so your participants could also leave with their own recordings while organizers could harvest the data off the internal memory at a later time. I feel a one-page instructional list to accompany the setup would be enough for most first-time users to operate the device with confidence.

I’m excited to see the potential applications of the Superscope PMR61 in our field, and look forward to the continued evolution of its user-friendly set of features."