The Marist College Herritage Project:A Practical Guide to Doing Oral History Section 6.


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Note: In order to adhere to the following instructions, you must face the side of the recorder with the PC Card slot, volume dial, and screen towards you. Practice using the equipment before your first interview until you can use it successfully without using the instructions.

Power Source

The AC adapter is a more dependable source of power than batteries. In order to use the AC adapter you must plug the smaller end of the adapter into the last hole on the left side of the machine (“DC IN 13V”), and then plug the power adapter into a standard wall receptacle. If an electric power source is not available be certain you have eight (8) new AA batteries or a freshly charged rechargeable battery.

Setting up the Microphones

It is necessary to use both microphones in order to record in stereo. Plug one microphone into the third port, and the other into the fourth port on the right side of the recorder. The ports are label as follows: “L–MIC/LINE IN–R”.

Note: Make sure you line up the prongs before plugging the microphones into the designated ports. Two prongs should be on top with the single prong on the bottom.

Next, insert the small square portion of the lapel microphones into the foam ball-shaped microphone covers that are located in the black pouch in the small clear plastic containers.

Turning the Machine On and Off

To turn on the machine, slide the power button (located on the top left of the recorder) to the right. After a few seconds the screen on the recorder should read as follows: “no card”. This indicates that the micro-drive has not been inserted into the machine. When the micro-drive is inserted into the recorder you should see the following messages in the following order: “che card”, “toc”, “bla card”. When the screen reads “bla card” this indicates that the micro-drive is blank and is ready for use. If the “bla card” message does not appear, you should reformat the card before beginning a new interview.

Inserting and Removing the Micro-Drive

In order to insert the micro-drive, make sure the small white triangles on the micro-drive and the adapter are pointing towards each other. Gently slide it into the slot located on the bottom left on the front of the machine. To remove the micro-drive press the eject button (located on the right side of the slot) and then pull the card out. (Note: Never do this while the recorder is recording or when it is checking whether there is a card in the slot.)

Formatting the PC Card

Formatting is necessary when using the micro-drive for the first time or when you desire to erase all of the recordings stored on the card. In order to do this, you must first place the micro-drive in the slot. Next, you must simultaneously hold down the “erase/format” key and slide the power button to the right. After this is done, the screen should read as follows: “For card”.

While the micro-drive is formatting, you should see the following messages in the following order:: “che card”, “toc”, “bla card”. When the screen reads “bla card” this indicates that the micro-drive is blank and is ready for use.


To begin recording, press the record button (the red “REC/MARK” button) twice. The first time the record button is pressed the red indicator light will start flashing, pressed a second time and the light will remain steady and you are ready to record your interview.

Stopping the Recording

Press the stop button, which is located right above the volume dial on the front of the recorder. This will completely stop the recording, and will disrupt the flow of information if you intend to continue the interview.

Pausing the Recording

Press the pause button (“PLAY/PAUSE”), which is on the top right of the recorder. This will allow you to pause a recording without disrupting the flow of information on the recording. To begin recording again, press the record button a single time.

Playing Back a Particular Recording

If you just recorded something, and want to play it back, press the play button. If you have recorded more than one track, you would retrieve a particular track from the recorder in much the same way as you would from a CD player. Just as a CD has several songs on it, each represented by a certain “track” number, the micro-drive can store several recordings each represented by a certain track number. In order to play a particular track, you must either press <>|/>> (decreases the track number) to move to the correct track number. Both of these buttons are located on the top right of the recorder. The track that is currently or about to be played is listed on the screen, beneath the term “track.”

Skipping/Backing Up on a Recording

If a recording is playing, and you want to skip over or “fast forward” through certain parts you must press the button that looks like >>|/>> (located on top of the recorder). To “rewind” a particular recording that is playing, the button < Volume Control

There is a dial located to the right of the screen on the front of the recorder, which controls the volume at which the interview is recorded. There are numbers printed on the dial; going from one through ten. The higher numbers represents louder and the lower ones represent softer sound settings. You should set the volume for the interview at no less than 5, for soft spoken interviewees set the recording level between 6 and 10.

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last updated on June 10, 2004