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Author Topic: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3  (Read 30721 times)

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Offline tom the taper

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #360 on: September 13, 2017, 11:09:36 AM »
Honestly, until the Sound Devices bozos figure out how to get a decent powering solution that doesn't involve only one or two brands of battery via unstable USB-C, or their giant and ungainly L-mount solution, not to mention some basic firmware upgrades, this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.

1. Users are reporting that this works just fine with multiple brands of usb-c battery packs. Can you point to a properly designed usb-c battery which doesn't work with the mixpre? Further, why do you claim that it is "unstable." Mine works just fine, and is at least as secure as the mini usb port used on multiple recorders. A hirose connector doesn't help me, the USB-C batteries are far less expensive and run longer than any 12v battery I've found.

2. What "basic firmware upgrades" are you referring to? As SD has posted in multiple places, channel linking can be done in "Advanced mode."

Just to clarify, channel linking can be done when the front channel knobs are set as FADERS (Advanced mode).  NOT when channel knobs are set as GAIN (Custom mode, Record set to Advanced) which is basic to recorders.  Isn't Linking FADERS more for the mixer?...

I prefer using those nice front channel knobs as GAIN for the isolated tracks I'm recording (like the 7xx series Recorders)!  NOT FADERS for those ISO tracks levels in the LRMix!!!
I do believe (hope and pray) Sound Devices will correct this linking issue w/ a future firmware update.
That said, I Still love my MP-6
MK4V, MK41, MK3, AKG 414XLII, CSB
V3, SD mp2, UA5
MixPre-6, 744, M10, MT II, MT2496, SV250, D5, D6
NBob Actives, GAKables

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #361 on: September 13, 2017, 11:24:30 AM »
Honestly, until the Sound Devices bozos figure out how to get a decent powering solution that doesn't involve only one or two brands of battery via unstable USB-C, or their giant and ungainly L-mount solution, not to mention some basic firmware upgrades, this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.

1. Users are reporting that this works just fine with multiple brands of usb-c battery packs. Can you point to a properly designed usb-c battery which doesn't work with the mixpre? Further, why do you claim that it is "unstable." Mine works just fine, and is at least as secure as the mini usb port used on multiple recorders. A hirose connector doesn't help me, the USB-C batteries are far less expensive and run longer than any 12v battery I've found.

2. What "basic firmware upgrades" are you referring to? As SD has posted in multiple places, channel linking can be done in "Advanced mode."

Just to clarify, channel linking can be done when the front channel knobs are set as FADERS (Advanced mode).  NOT when channel knobs are set as GAIN (Custom mode, Record set to Advanced) which is basic to recorders.  Isn't Linking FADERS more for the mixer?...

I prefer using those nice front channel knobs as GAIN for the isolated tracks I'm recording (like the 7xx series Recorders)!  NOT FADERS for those ISO tracks levels in the LRMix!!!
I do believe (hope and pray) Sound Devices will correct this linking issue w/ a future firmware update.
That said, I Still love my MP-6

with 130db of dynamic range, I think SD thinks that you can set gain low, link the channels, and do what you need to do in post.

The point is, they did this on purpose. It isn't like they messed up.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v, mk4v, mk22, mk3 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Naiant PFA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10
Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> Adcom SLC 505> Marantz Ma500 (x2)> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-400
Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701

Offline tom the taper

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #362 on: September 13, 2017, 11:35:08 AM »
this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.


I don't know, I've run the 744, 722, Tascam DR100mkIII, and mixpre-6 mic in with 4023s and 4028s and the mixpre-6 results have been a considerable upgrade vs all of the others whether stealth or open taping.

Because the preamps are so good, I haven't missed leaving my V3 and Sonosax at home and so I'm also not bothered by having 2 L-mount batteries sitting in my bag instead of the extra space taken by external preamps and the DVD batteries needed to power them.

AGREED. I can power with AA's, L-mount using various sized batteries from small to large, or 1 of 2 USB-C batteries I own...hot swapping options galore!!
All with 1 box that is smaller than a 744 or V3, let alone the 2 of them...
All with excellent sound!
MK4V, MK41, MK3, AKG 414XLII, CSB
V3, SD mp2, UA5
MixPre-6, 744, M10, MT II, MT2496, SV250, D5, D6
NBob Actives, GAKables

Offline tom the taper

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #363 on: September 13, 2017, 11:49:37 AM »
Honestly, until the Sound Devices bozos figure out how to get a decent powering solution that doesn't involve only one or two brands of battery via unstable USB-C, or their giant and ungainly L-mount solution, not to mention some basic firmware upgrades, this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.

1. Users are reporting that this works just fine with multiple brands of usb-c battery packs. Can you point to a properly designed usb-c battery which doesn't work with the mixpre? Further, why do you claim that it is "unstable." Mine works just fine, and is at least as secure as the mini usb port used on multiple recorders. A hirose connector doesn't help me, the USB-C batteries are far less expensive and run longer than any 12v battery I've found.

2. What "basic firmware upgrades" are you referring to? As SD has posted in multiple places, channel linking can be done in "Advanced mode."

Just to clarify, channel linking can be done when the front channel knobs are set as FADERS (Advanced mode).  NOT when channel knobs are set as GAIN (Custom mode, Record set to Advanced) which is basic to recorders.  Isn't Linking FADERS more for the mixer?...

I prefer using those nice front channel knobs as GAIN for the isolated tracks I'm recording (like the 7xx series Recorders)!  NOT FADERS for those ISO tracks levels in the LRMix!!!
I do believe (hope and pray) Sound Devices will correct this linking issue w/ a future firmware update.
That said, I Still love my MP-6

with 130db of dynamic range, I think SD thinks that you can set gain low, link the channels, and do what you need to do in post.

The point is, they did this on purpose. It isn't like they messed up.

I agree Noah that it isn't like SD messed up.
But after talking to SD both by phone and email Contact Support https://www.sounddevices.com/support/inquiry I think they will make that option available like the 7xx recorders.
I prefer to use those Nice front channel knobs like it is a recorder - as GAIN (that can be linked)!!  YMMV

Two other features that the 7xx recorders offer, record pre-roll and record pause, are also on my wish list for the MixPre...recorder features.  YMMV
MK4V, MK41, MK3, AKG 414XLII, CSB
V3, SD mp2, UA5
MixPre-6, 744, M10, MT II, MT2496, SV250, D5, D6
NBob Actives, GAKables

Offline acidjack

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #364 on: September 13, 2017, 12:08:40 PM »
So, you bought the wrong bit of kit for your usage and you are calling the company the bozo? Sorry, but that doesn't make much sense.

I have been researching extensively this product and haven't yet decided to buy. I agree that some of the powering options don't work for everyone, but there seem to be a few that work just fine. Will I buy it? Probably, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet.

No, I bought the battery they require. Indeed, it's more of an issue than I thought.

For $1000, having "a few options" that "work just fine" is not acceptable, not in today's market. Sorry.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline acidjack

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #365 on: September 13, 2017, 12:09:46 PM »
Honestly, until the Sound Devices bozos figure out how to get a decent powering solution that doesn't involve only one or two brands of battery via unstable USB-C, or their giant and ungainly L-mount solution, not to mention some basic firmware upgrades, this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.

1. Users are reporting that this works just fine with multiple brands of usb-c battery packs. Can you point to a properly designed usb-c battery which doesn't work with the mixpre? Further, why do you claim that it is "unstable." Mine works just fine, and is at least as secure as the mini usb port used on multiple recorders. A hirose connector doesn't help me, the USB-C batteries are far less expensive and run longer than any 12v battery I've found.

2. What "basic firmware upgrades" are you referring to? As SD has posted in multiple places, channel linking can be done in "Advanced mode."

3. I record PA systems, but I also record string quartets and small Jazz ensembles. I like the preamps, the form factor, and the user interface.

4. Don't all the other SD multitrack recorders use Polywave files? Wave Agent splits and combines these files however you like quickly and for free.

SD had to cut some features out to get the price down to $899. Thankfully they didn't compromise on sound quality.

I'm sorry that the product doesn't meet your needs, perhaps you shouldn't buy it.
I already bought it, and it's already obviously unstable. If you barely hit it, the USB-C will fall out. Unlike a HiRose, it is not a locking connector.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline acidjack

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #366 on: September 13, 2017, 12:10:58 PM »
this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.


I don't know, I've run the 744, 722, Tascam DR100mkIII, and mixpre-6 mic in with 4023s and 4028s and the mixpre-6 results have been a considerable upgrade vs all of the others whether stealth or open taping.

Because the preamps are so good, I haven't missed leaving my V3 and Sonosax at home and so I'm also not bothered by having 2 L-mount batteries sitting in my bag instead of the extra space taken by external preamps and the DVD batteries needed to power them.

I bought it because I liked the USBPre2 sound and generally wanted exactly the result you're describing. I'm just frustrated that the powering, in particular, is not very well handled, and it is better handled by cheaper and lesser recorders.

You tell me -- when I look at it, that L-mount thing looks really ungainly and like it kind of ruins the form factor. Maybe the photos don't properly represent it?
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline gewwang

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #367 on: September 13, 2017, 12:32:14 PM »
this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.


I don't know, I've run the 744, 722, Tascam DR100mkIII, and mixpre-6 mic in with 4023s and 4028s and the mixpre-6 results have been a considerable upgrade vs all of the others whether stealth or open taping.

Because the preamps are so good, I haven't missed leaving my V3 and Sonosax at home and so I'm also not bothered by having 2 L-mount batteries sitting in my bag instead of the extra space taken by external preamps and the DVD batteries needed to power them.

I bought it because I liked the USBPre2 sound and generally wanted exactly the result you're describing. I'm just frustrated that the powering, in particular, is not very well handled, and it is better handled by cheaper and lesser recorders.

You tell me -- when I look at it, that L-mount thing looks really ungainly and like it kind of ruins the form factor. Maybe the photos don't properly represent it?


Without a doubt, the L-mount is not a great design. However when you don't have anything else in the bag, two big batteries mounted into the bracket provide a nice "stand" so the mixpre stands up straight if your bag can fit it. My preference for open taping is to use the L-mount setup over external USBs because I prefer the stability of the connection as opposed to the moving part introduced by the USB cable. The L-mount is locked in and is never coming loose in the field.

And for stealth, I've been using the 8-AA mount which is locked in as well and will power 2 48V mics for around 6 hours or more.


Offline rippleish20

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #368 on: September 13, 2017, 12:43:47 PM »
At this point all of the firmware issues that affected me are solved and powering is not any more of an issue to me than it is with my F8. The 8 battery sled gives me 5 hours and for festivals Ive been using a USB-c battery with no issues. I also have the Lmount sled with a dummy battery and plan on using it in the future. While some things are not perfect, I can just as easily list things I dont like about the F8 - like having to use 1/4 for line input. All it does it add to the amount of stuff I have to carry. I quite typically end up with board feeds - where you might need 1/4 but it could be XLR etc. Having a scenario where I might need 1/4 or XLR on both ends of the cable is annoying. The mixpre at least lets me always use XLRs on the deck end. I do think the Mixpre wasn't thought out carefully enough. Its strikes me as a mixer being marketed as a recorder but decks have their quirks, chose the one that works best for you...
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 12:46:34 PM by rippleish20 »
MK22's / MK41's / MK41v's (for sale) / MK4v's / MK4's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers (for sale) / AT853s (for sale)
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (x2) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox  / SP-SPSB-11 Battery Box
Zoom F8 (for sale) / Sony M-10 / Mixpre-6 / Tascam DR-100mkIII

Offline tom the taper

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #369 on: September 13, 2017, 12:59:57 PM »
Honestly, until the Sound Devices bozos figure out how to get a decent powering solution that doesn't involve only one or two brands of battery via unstable USB-C, or their giant and ungainly L-mount solution, not to mention some basic firmware upgrades, this thing is an embarrassing bust. Reality is that for recording PA systems, these fancy pres really don't matter. What does matter is the lousy battery life, lack of a standard professional HiRose connector, and ridiculous user experience of the "polyWAV" which is a giant time-waster.

1. Users are reporting that this works just fine with multiple brands of usb-c battery packs. Can you point to a properly designed usb-c battery which doesn't work with the mixpre? Further, why do you claim that it is "unstable." Mine works just fine, and is at least as secure as the mini usb port used on multiple recorders. A hirose connector doesn't help me, the USB-C batteries are far less expensive and run longer than any 12v battery I've found.

2. What "basic firmware upgrades" are you referring to? As SD has posted in multiple places, channel linking can be done in "Advanced mode."

Just to clarify, channel linking can be done when the front channel knobs are set as FADERS (Advanced mode).  NOT when channel knobs are set as GAIN (Custom mode, Record set to Advanced) which is basic to recorders.  Isn't Linking FADERS more for the mixer?...

I prefer using those nice front channel knobs as GAIN for the isolated tracks I'm recording (like the 7xx series Recorders)!  NOT FADERS for those ISO tracks levels in the LRMix!!!
I do believe (hope and pray) Sound Devices will correct this linking issue w/ a future firmware update.
That said, I Still love my MP-6

with 130db of dynamic range, I think SD thinks that you can set gain low, link the channels, and do what you need to do in post.

The point is, they did this on purpose. It isn't like they messed up.

Not to play Devil's Advocate too much here, but if I'm gotting to fix my low levels in post, can't I fix my unbalanced channels levels in post? :shrug:
I use it as a multi track recorder, not primarily as a mixer.  The less basic processing I have to do in post the better! 

Again, I think SD knows and plans to address the lacking recorder features.

We can send our feature requests to Sound Devices here https://www.sounddevices.com/support/inquiry

I would think being able to link the GAIN channels, having a Record Pre-roll and record Pause would benefit many and hurt none.

TS community support for feature requests is appreciated https://www.sounddevices.com/support/inquiry ;)

MK4V, MK41, MK3, AKG 414XLII, CSB
V3, SD mp2, UA5
MixPre-6, 744, M10, MT II, MT2496, SV250, D5, D6
NBob Actives, GAKables

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #370 on: September 13, 2017, 01:55:00 PM »
Don't forget that the only way to realize 130db dynamic range in a PCM recording is to run 24 bit at almost full digital scale. If your recording peaks are just reaching -8, then you are only recording at 16 bit depth. You'll still get 96 db of dynamic range which is more than most recording situations have anyway. Just don't put too much weight on 130 db analog dynamic range when running full digital scale is the only way to actually get it.
AKG C460B w/CK61/CK63 or Beyerdynamic M201TG>Luminous Monarch XLRs>SD MP-1(x2)>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD661(Oade WMOD)

Offline aaronji

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #371 on: September 13, 2017, 02:25:20 PM »
I would think being able to link the GAIN channels

You can link the gain; you just can't adjust it with the front panel knobs.  So it's "push-tap-twist" instead of just "twist" to change gain.  Slightly more cumbersome, but still pretty fast to do.  It also has the advantage of acting kind of like a "hold", since you can't inadvertently change the gain by bumping one of the knobs...

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #372 on: September 13, 2017, 02:33:29 PM »
Don't forget that the only way to realize 130db dynamic range in a PCM recording is to run 24 bit at almost full digital scale. If your recording peaks are just reaching -8, then you are only recording at 16 bit depth. You'll still get 96 db of dynamic range which is more than most recording situations have anyway. Just don't put too much weight on 130 db analog dynamic range when running full digital scale is the only way to actually get it.

Yes, and actually playing back music at 130db would render you unable to ever hear anything ever again. The point remains that the mixpre is never going to be the limiting factor in terms of noise. So running levels conservatively will allow for capture of full signal.

I understand and respect that tapers wish to use the knobs on the mixpre to set gain. I'm just reminding everyone that you might consider using "advanced mode" and leave the gain at +10db, never peak over at -20 and normalize in post.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v, mk4v, mk22, mk3 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Naiant PFA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10
Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> Adcom SLC 505> Marantz Ma500 (x2)> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-400
Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701

Offline tom the taper

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #373 on: September 13, 2017, 02:47:25 PM »
Don't forget that the only way to realize 130db dynamic range in a PCM recording is to run 24 bit at almost full digital scale. If your recording peaks are just reaching -8, then you are only recording at 16 bit depth. You'll still get 96 db of dynamic range which is more than most recording situations have anyway. Just don't put too much weight on 130 db analog dynamic range when running full digital scale is the only way to actually get it.

Yes, and actually playing back music at 130db would render you unable to ever hear anything ever again. The point remains that the mixpre is never going to be the limiting factor in terms of noise. So running levels conservatively will allow for capture of full signal.

I understand and respect that tapers wish to use the knobs on the mixpre to set gain. I'm just reminding everyone that you might consider using "advanced mode" and leave the gain at +10db, never peak over at -20 and normalize in post.


AGREED.  But.
I would think being able to link the GAIN channels, having a Record Pre-roll and record Pause would benefit many and hurt none.

TS community support for feature requests is appreciated https://www.sounddevices.com/support/inquiry ;)
MK4V, MK41, MK3, AKG 414XLII, CSB
V3, SD mp2, UA5
MixPre-6, 744, M10, MT II, MT2496, SV250, D5, D6
NBob Actives, GAKables

Offline Todd R

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 3
« Reply #374 on: September 13, 2017, 03:01:36 PM »
Don't forget that the only way to realize 130db dynamic range in a PCM recording is to run 24 bit at almost full digital scale. If your recording peaks are just reaching -8, then you are only recording at 16 bit depth. You'll still get 96 db of dynamic range which is more than most recording situations have anyway. Just don't put too much weight on 130 db analog dynamic range when running full digital scale is the only way to actually get it.

I've been trying to think through the real world consequences of noise and recording level, so this is a bit off track from what I've been contemplating.  But I think this is off a bit.  True, in theory for PCM each bit can capture 6db of dynamic range.  So a theoretically perfect 16 bit recorder can capture a dynamic range of 96db, and a 24 bit recorder can capture 144db of dynamic range.  To capture a dynamic range of 130db (or up to 132db), you only need 22 bits.  But if you capture at -8dbFS, it is only a hit of 2 bits.  But even at 22-bits, 132db of dynamic range can be captured, which is more than the 130db dynamic range of the recorder in your example. 

I don't know how recording at -8dbFS in a real world recorder plays out.  Recording at -8dbFS effectively makes the recorder a 22-bit recorder, which should be able to capture 132db of dynamic range.  I don't believe that a real-world recorder that provides 130db of dynamic range would be reduced to 122db of dynamic range when recording at -8dbFS since it isn't necessarily a linear thing (e.g., there is an amount of self-noise within the ADC).  But even if that were the case, 122db of dynamic range would require 21 bits of information.  I'm not sure why you assume this situation means you're only recording at 16 bits.  Seems like you're treating the -8dbFS as a shift of 8 recording bits (24 to 16), but I'm not getting why that is.

BTW, the MixPre-6's ADC has a dynamic range of 120db according to their specs, not 130db.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

 

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