Marantz PMD661

Records audio in either WAV or MP3 formats. Price: $599 (street)

Records audio in either WAV or MP3 formats. Price: $599 (street)

While it's easy to overlook a standalone audio recorder for anything beyond blogging, indie producers know that capturing wild audio tracks on location can come in handy during post.

Marantz, part of D&M Professional, garnered steady buyers for its capable but easy-to-use PMD660 CompactFlash recorder. At NAB Show 2009, the company's PMD661 compact PCM digital recorder offers an even sleeker form factor, more features, and the ability to record to SD flash media. Marantz cut back on the number of buttons, employing a multifunctional approach that makes field operation more straightforward, according to the company. It's smaller too, at 6.5"x3.7"x1.4". Connections include switchable balanced mic/line XLR inputs, SPDIF digital input, unbalanced RCA line-out, and unbalanced line-in on mini-jack connector.

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