How to toggle AGC on the iKEY Audio M3+ recorder

ikey-m3-agcI’ve been using the iKEY Audio M3+ digital recorder for about 18 months now, and apart from a nasty little gotcha relating to mono recording, I’ve been pretty happy with it. Just recently though, I noticed that I was no longer able to adjust the recording level with the rotating wheel like I used to. I then noticed that, while recordings of speech were still OK, recordings of music sounded terrible. On investigating this today I noticed that while¬† recording the display was showing “AGC” which indicates “Automatic Gain Control”, which would explain why I could no longer manually adjust the input level.

Frustratingly, neither the manual, nor the product’s web site mention anything about AGC or how to turn it on and off. A search of the web revealed that others have had a similar problem. This customer review on Amazon describes how to toggle the AGC mode on an iKey RM3 recorder, but this didn’t work on my M3+ recorder.¬† After a bit of experimentation I found that the steps required for the M3+ recorder are:

  1. Insert a record-able medium that has free space into the recorder and power it up.
  2. Wait until unit has completed it’s boot up sequence.
  3. Press the Record button to put the device into “recording paused” mode.
  4. Press and hold the stop button until you see the “AGC” indicator on the display turn off (or turn on), then release the Stop button.
  5. Press the Stop button to exit “recording paused” mode.