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Author Topic: Sound Devices MixPre-D  (Read 17407 times)

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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2011, 10:57:05 PM »
Now all we need is a good digi-in bit bucket

For the USBPre with optical spdif you have the Sony D50 which is a great recorder.  Not much for a good, cheap reliable coax spdif recorder though.  PMD661, though that is a little spendy for just a bit bucket.

Yeah, I should of specified. I meant a good coax digi-in :) There is also the MT I/II but I wouldn't trust those as far as I can throw them :P
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Offline audBall

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2011, 06:38:12 AM »
It appears that the MixPre-D can act as a playback (D/A) device like the USBPre-2, correct?  They both appear to be USB interfaces.  Ever since the USBPre-2 came out, I've considering slimming down my playback and having my recording rig "double" as input/output. 

Aside from being slightly cumbersome and against the grain, can anyone convince me why this would be a bad idea?  It's really more for financial and practical reasons, which would give me way more use out of my rig considering I don't tape all that often these days.


edit - It appears the MixPre-D does not have a D/A converter.  At least it's not listed in the specs like it is for the USBPre2.  Oh well, no Lundahls for me. 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 07:06:24 AM by audBall »
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Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2011, 12:34:27 PM »
My take on the difference between the Mixpre-D and the USBPre2 is application. The USBPre2 is designed primarily as full featured computer interface, with stand alone capability that the original USBPre lacked. It's probably the best laptop interface I have seen on the market.

The Mixpre-D seems to be primarily a film sound and ENG device, which explains the use of input transformers. There is no electronically balanced device that has the same isolation characteristics that transformers provide. With cable runs 100' or more from the mics to the preamp, input transformers are simply going to be the most reliable method and one users in that market expect.

For field recording, I actually think the Mixpre-D would be the best option since it offers normal powering options, the superior isolation properties of transformers, and can be used as either a preamp, or a preamp>A/D combo. If I had a Tascam 680, I would definately want one of these new Mixpre units.

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kirk97132

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2011, 01:02:19 PM »
Well I have a different input on that.  If you are running 100' cable runs then phantom power is the thing you would want.  It was designed to do those exact applications.  IE: long runs with no noise.  While a transformer can isolate noise ...and I am no expert on this....I would  think if there is noise present in your signal the transformer is not going to remove it.  I thought the application was to tailor the sound IE: add it's own color to the sound. 

And for the 680 the ability to have your preamp be able to sync to an external source is a HUGE advantage. 

that said there is a difference between the transformer sound and not.  And as for "normal" powering...well it does run on AA if that is what you want to do and will be able to use film type power supply currents but for most of us since we are already powering recorders adding power capability to the pre2 is not a big deal, and to add the "d" amounts to the same cable work. 

I do think it could be that they will drop the mixpre from their line up.  this is almost a direct replacement with he addition of A/D.   The other down side to the "D" is it only AES.   
Both are good units and since I have the MP-2 & pre2  I get transformers and digital workhorses.  If I did not have both I would look very hard at this unit.  But as a 680 owner, the external clocking ability is something that I want.

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2011, 01:38:48 PM »
It appears that the MixPre-D can act as a playback (D/A) device like the USBPre-2, correct?  They both appear to be USB interfaces.  Ever since the USBPre-2 came out, I've considering slimming down my playback and having my recording rig "double" as input/output. 

Aside from being slightly cumbersome and against the grain, can anyone convince me why this would be a bad idea?  It's really more for financial and practical reasons, which would give me way more use out of my rig considering I don't tape all that often these days.

I did exactly that a couple months ago when I bought the usbpre2. Only bummer is the headphone out on the usbpre2 has some hiss, but otherwise it's working as planned.
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Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2011, 01:56:58 PM »
Well I have a different input on that.  If you are running 100' cable runs then phantom power is the thing you would want.  It was designed to do those exact applications.  IE: long runs with no noise.  While a transformer can isolate noise ...and I am no expert on this....I would  think if there is noise present in your signal the transformer is not going to remove it.  I thought the application was to tailor the sound IE: add it's own color to the sound. 

I am not sure what you mean by this, since phantom power can be applied by both transformer and transformerless devices. The benefits of transformers is that they provide complete galvanic isolation and the highest common mode rejection, their "sound" is simply an artifact, not why they are used. While "transparent" in sound, electronically balanced inputs can have more grounding and RF issues than transformer balanced inputs, which is the main reason transformers are still in use. Also, transformers are large, heavy, and expensive, so audio MFGs are looking to eliminate them from product designs whenever they can.

It is true that many people consider transformers to be "warmer", in the same way FETs are "warmer" than bipolar transistors. However, for the ENG and film sound market, transformers are desired for the more fundamental reasons I stated above, IMO.

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kirk97132

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2011, 02:13:09 PM »
^^^  " I am no expert on this"  8)

Offline Chadfish

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2011, 05:10:19 AM »
I am glad to hear I can send the AES to my DR-680 on this new MixPre. I didn't want to have to get a USB-pre2 to do that. The MixPre-D is much sexier.
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kirk97132

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2011, 10:40:02 AM »
Since the size looks to be exactly the same as the MP-2 mixpre case I thought I'd repost some pix for size comparisons.  The MP-2 is on top.  Usbpre-2 on bottom.  DVD battery for a reference since a lot of us have them. 

Offline DSatz

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2011, 07:10:33 PM »
kirkd, I support what DATBRAD is saying about transformers, particularly for long cable runs. The ability of a balanced preamp input to block out interference depends on the balance of the entire circuit, microphone+cable+input. Microphone cables, unfortunately, are never perfectly balanced, and the longer they are, the greater the risk of significant imbalance. Active balanced inputs generally don't reject interference very well under those conditions.

In recent years a circuit technique has emerged (see http://www.thatcorp.com/datashts/dn133.pdf if you're of a mind to) which could help a lot with that, but not many manufacturers have adopted it yet. Maybe if people like us were to be better informed and more demanding, that situation would change. Also, many MANY consumer and semi-pro recorders and preamps still have "pin 1" problems (go ahead, look at http://pin1problem.com/ -- I dare you!) which create paths for interference to be amplified rather than rejected. It's amazing how long it's taking for certain manufacturers to become savvy on these issues.

The whole thing about transformers sounding "warm," or in fact sounding any particular which way, is something of a myth, or at the very least a "myth-underthanding." Transformers in old microphones such as the original Neumann U 47 are a whole other topic--they were part of a design which was carefully tuned as a whole, and the net result depends in part on certain technical shortcomings of those transformers, in today's terms. More recent microphones that were designed to be transformerless are surely better off without them. But the input transformers in the Sound Design class of preamp aren't a "sonic factor"--they're a practical approach to a necessary solution.

--best regards

P.S.: Someone earlier in the thread was concerned about 15-Volt phantom powering and Schoeps microphones that are designed for 12-Volt phantom powering. That voltage difference isn't a problem as long as the other parameters of the power supply are correct.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 12:20:37 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline mepaca

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2011, 08:50:04 PM »
P.S.: Someone earlier in the thread was concerned about 15-Volt phantom powering and Schoeps microphones that are designed for 12-Volt phantom powering. That voltage difference isn't a problem as long as the other parameters of the power supply are correct.
[/quote

Hello DSatz-
  I appreciate your knowledge and your willingness to share it. Just to confirm what you are saying- Will my cmc6 amplifiers operate with 15v
phantom power from my mixpre with no signal degradation vs. 48v phantom?

Offline DSatz

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2011, 10:33:52 PM »
mepaca: Yes.
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2011, 02:52:08 PM »
Thanks datbrad and dsatz.  Always nice to get a deeper understanding of the technical side

Offline rastasean

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2011, 11:35:01 PM »
sound devices mixpre-d at NAB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux0bHwZaxrI&NR=1

AES is on right channel but still stereo out.

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« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 11:22:35 AM by rastasean »
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Offline Chadfish

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-D
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2011, 12:47:32 AM »
Crap! We can't get both channel 7& 8 with the "D"?
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