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Author Topic: MixPre-D with PMD661?  (Read 2093 times)

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Offline jbr

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MixPre-D with PMD661?
« on: December 10, 2012, 04:51:59 AM »
Hi,

I've been recording dialogue for a film with the Marantz PMD661, using a me66 shotgun, and a mke2 lapel (with MZA 900p). I've not been pleased with the amount of noise produced by both mics. If I used a MixPre-D as the preamp, would the noise be noticeably less?

Thanks a lot
Jon

Offline DigiGal

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Re: MixPre-D with PMD661?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 07:11:55 PM »
Try toggling the "mic attenuation" levels in the PMD661's menu (p45 of the user manual)

Note: If your mics are delivering a clean signal then S/N jumps from 65dB [mic input] up to 85dB [line input] on PMD661, going S/PDIF in will be better yet.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 08:04:53 PM by DigiGal »
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 | Shure VP88 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 "StarQuad" w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SoundDevices MixPre-D Recorder: Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 27" 3.4GHz QuadCore i7 iMac | OS X High Sierra 10.13.6 | Wave Editor | xACT  | Transmission | Final Cut Pro X                                                            

Offline jbr

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Re: MixPre-D with PMD661?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 04:25:25 AM »
Hi, I've had the mic attenuation on 0db, just tested it on -12db and seems to just add a little more noise. So 'mic atten' basically just drags down the levels?

In your opinion would adding a SD MixPre-D improve the noise levels? better preamp etc?

p.s. I'm using firmware 1.14 on the PMD661, is there any reason to upgrade to the latest?

thanks a lot
Jon

Offline DigiGal

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Re: MixPre-D with PMD661?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 12:37:15 PM »
Thought it was clear that yes you notice an improvement in S/N just by going from mic input to line input and even better going S/PDIF in.  The MixPre-D is an excellent preamp and compliments the PMD661 very well --> http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=149760.msg1997485#msg1997485  Noisy mics will be noisy no matter what you feed them into so if your mics are the source of the problem then a MixPre-D will not make it better.

For mic(s) with PMD661 start by setting attenuation to -18 (this is actually zero gain, all the other settings will add gain which also adds noise), raise it incrementally though if your mic(s) don't give you enough level set at -18. 

I have a ME66/K6 combo, it can send out a real hot signal that approaches line level unless you use a K6RD powering unit when recording loud sources.  Be aware "Brick walling" occurs when the output of your microphones is too hot for the preamp input.  Basically the signal reaching the deck can be adjusted where you want but if the signal comes in distorted it will be distorted no matter how you adjust the recorder.

I'm using v2.03A, this version provides better card compatibility though I've had no issues with any of the previous versions.
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 | Shure VP88 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 "StarQuad" w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SoundDevices MixPre-D Recorder: Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 27" 3.4GHz QuadCore i7 iMac | OS X High Sierra 10.13.6 | Wave Editor | xACT  | Transmission | Final Cut Pro X                                                            

Offline fmaderjr

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Re: MixPre-D with PMD661?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 01:15:58 PM »
Be aware "Brick walling" occurs when the output of your microphones is too hot for the preamp input.  Basically the signal reaching the deck can be adjusted where you want but if the signal comes in distorted it will be distorted no matter how you adjust the recorder.

From what I read in posts several years ago, I believe that you can tell that the 661 is not brick walling if you have the record level set at around  4 or above and the meters are staying below 0 dB. However if you need to turn the level below 4 to keep the meters under 0 dB, you will probably get a brick walled recording. Assuming this is correct, and I'm pretty sure it is, the safe thing to do is never set the level below 4. That way you'll always know if you probably are brick walling. If you already have the "attenuation" setting to -18 (which actually is 0 added gain, not attenuation) and your meters are going over 0 dB with the level set at 4, all you can do to prevent probably brick walling is to move away from the source until the meters are under 0 dB.

Most of the recorders we use have such a setting that will ensure that you won't get a brick walled recording. The M10 is one of the best in this regard. You can turn the record level all the way down to 1 (it goes from 0 to 10) to keep the meters under 0 dB and the recording will not be brick walled.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 08:00:59 PM by fmaderjr »
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Offline John Willett

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Re: MixPre-D with PMD661?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 07:16:09 AM »
Hi,

I've been recording dialogue for a film with the Marantz PMD661, using a me66 shotgun, and a mke2 lapel (with MZA 900p). I've not been pleased with the amount of noise produced by both mics. If I used a MixPre-D as the preamp, would the noise be noticeably less?


If you do this the 661 will just be a "bit bucket" and all the analogue quality will come from the MixPre-D which would have considerably better pre-amps.

 

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