Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5  (Read 23619 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline aaronji

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (6)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2420
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #60 on: June 28, 2018, 05:02:53 PM »
All -- I've moved the discussion of MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8 discussion to its own thread.  Please discuss and compare there, and leave this thread for discussion about the MixPre-3 and -6.  Thanks.

Thanks, Brian!

Offline Brian Skalinder

  • Complaint Dept.
  • Trade Count: (27)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 18850
  • Gender: Male
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #61 on: June 28, 2018, 07:07:00 PM »
Thank you for cleaning it up.  You must have just picked an arbitrary post and moved everything after that?

I picked what seemed like the start of the comparison and took everything after.  Tried splitting out post by post, but the mechanism to do so wasn't working properly.  So I just split off everything.  Apologies for the inconvenience.
Milab VM-44 Links > Fostex FR-2LE or
Naiant IPA (tinybox format) >
Roland R-05

Offline borjam

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Gender: Male
  • Sound guy at BJC - Bilbaina Jazz Club
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2018, 01:16:12 PM »
I received my MixPre-3 on Friday. Coming from a FR-2LE and a MD661mkii it was like I reached Nirvana or something.

Being someone who only skims manuals it was a bit puzzling at first. And of course I am someone who immediately configures whatever thing in "advanced" rather than "basic" mode. Once figured out, I see how it fits different use cases.

Anyway, the important stuff.

First thing I did after hearing so much about the headphone amplifier was to hook it to a computer, plug my HFI-650 cans and listen to "Alfa Centauri" by Fredrik Carlquist. I must say I was blown away immediately. These headphones are very efficient but I think that their impedance on low frequencies is too low. So many headphone amplifiers can suffer a lot with them. I can see these units getting fashionable at some audiophile circles as headphone amplifiers. Something similar happened with Metric Halo several years ago, with audiophiles getting the ULN-8 just to use it as a D/A converter.

Which brings us to the next test: going to the nearby wetland and listen to some birds. I tried some not-so-gentle movements of the Rode Blimp without engaging the HPF yet and I was really surprised. Of course there was low frequency sound. But the amplifier didn't distort. (The FR-2LE can even catch fire doing this).

Next test: Limiters and HPF. Both implemented in the analog domain or with a first stage in the analog domain. Impressive. The release time for the limiter is long (500 ms) and it's not possible to adjust it, but that's only evident when one pushes the envelope too much. Using the limiters reasonably (ie, to prevent accidents) it shouldn't be much of a problem.

The HPF is great. Coming from a FR-2LE, like a different world. It cut down the handling noise perfectly without affecting the conversion of course. And I really like the metering. It's quite convenient. The headphone volume knob is in an odd position, that's true. But it's only a minor annoyance (at least for me).

I was surprised at how small it is. Reviews mentioned it of course but you have to behold it to believe. I've noticed that it consumes a lot of power, but good preamplifiers with excellent noise floors are hungry. Anyway for now Eneloop Pros seem to be a good solution. Eventually I guess I'll get the L-mount battery adapter. It's a great solution to use it in a bag.

Now, I'm curious about the usage of a 32 bit ADC. Have they added resolution to the bottom in order to reduce quantization noise? Reviewers are surprised at how silent it is even when recording at low levels adding gain in post. So that might be an explanation.

I'm a happy camper for now although I've pestered them a bit about the lack of a phase/polarity reversal option for the inputs.

"Don't worry about the drums. I'm a percussionist, I can play on carton boxes" - Peer Wyboris

Offline mjwin

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Gender: Male
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #63 on: July 05, 2018, 03:05:13 PM »
Query re. USB data connection

I've just taken delivery of a MixPre-6, & it's a fab device in most respects  But one simple task is eluding me &  I'm tearing my hair out.

I don't want to power the MixPre via USB, simply drag & drop a few files onto a connected pc.  With a solid battery pack connected, methinks I ought to be able to plug in a USB C-A cable, select transfer mode, and away we go, just like with every other piece of USB equipment I've ever encountered.

But it seems this is not the case.  When I do so with an A-C cable, (or use just one part of the supplied Y cable), the MixPre crashes, or goes into an endless power-up loop, & so on.  I contacted SD tech support who have been super-prompt in replying  either side of the holiday,  and they asked for  a video of the machine behaviour, which I sent. But  I've  just been  told that I MUST use the supplied Y lead & take up 2 USB slots on the p/c. "or it will cause the machine to hang as you were encountering."   Surely this isn't correct?

The user manual is confusing too. In one place (p7) it says I can choose battery power over USB,  in the USB section (p33) this option  isn't mentioned (nor, more importantly,  is the option on the actual machine).

Hmmm...

This is such a simple & fundamental requirement, it must be possible.... Every other USB device in the known universe just connects when you plug it in!

So any input welcome!

Thanks,

Martin

Offline aaronji

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (6)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2420
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #64 on: July 05, 2018, 04:03:08 PM »
^ I use the supplied Y-cable, with the part marked "data" plugged into the computer and the USB-c end plugged into the MixPre with a battery sled attached. When I switch the MixPre on, I get a screen that says something like "USB-c power low. Use battery power?" I click "yes" and go to file transfer mode, at which point an Explorer window for the MixPre pops up. Then, I can drag and drop or copy and paste the files.

Offline mjwin

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Gender: Male
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #65 on: July 05, 2018, 05:30:40 PM »
@aaronji Thanks for that succinct description. That's exactly how I would expect the MP6 to behave if it had an issue with the power.  Giving the option to select battery power also tallies with what is said in the manual.  But when I connect my MP6 in this way, (only one USB-A connector)  it simply freezes or enters an endless power-cycle loop.  I wonder why SD support told me that this was expected behaviour.  I was beginning to think, "welcome to the brave new world of USB-C incompatibilities", but maybe my unit has a problem after all.  Doubtless I'll get to the root of it all at some point, but for now I'm going "old school" and popping out the SD card to transfer files. It's simple. It works.

Offline morst

  • Archivist: Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker
  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2808
  • Get in touch if you wanna record Cracker or CVB!
    • Soundscape Preservation Society
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #66 on: July 05, 2018, 09:06:53 PM »
When I switch the MixPre on, I get a screen that says something like "USB-c power low. Use battery power?" I click "yes" ...
That is weird behavior. I just tested on my MacBook Pro and my MixPre6 fired up fine with just the "Data" side of the Y cable in the mac USB port. It did have the low voltage indication, but that's ok. I don't usually click YES on this. I let the machine run at low power, unless I need to use 4 channels of 48V Phantom Power right then.

In fact, when I have the machine plugged into USB-C doing transfers or messing with the menus, I typically don't even keep the battery sled attached at all, so I don't have to reject that message!

Teams: Neumann, Bay Area Tapers, Multitrack, Pioneertown Tapers, Mac Geeks, Cassette Masters, Poster Collectors, Alumni of teams St Louis, Upper Midwest & Milwaukee / Southern Wisco

Offline aaronji

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (6)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2420
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #67 on: July 06, 2018, 06:12:58 AM »
When I switch the MixPre on, I get a screen that says something like "USB-c power low. Use battery power?" I click "yes" ...
That is weird behavior. I just tested on my MacBook Pro and my MixPre6 fired up fine with just the "Data" side of the Y cable in the mac USB port. It did have the low voltage indication, but that's ok. I don't usually click YES on this. I let the machine run at low power, unless I need to use 4 channels of 48V Phantom Power right then.

Why is it weird?  As far as I am concerned, the choice between battery or USB power for file transfer is pretty much arbitrary.  Six of one, half dozen of the other and all.  I guess if your battery is really low, USB might make more sense, but, otherwise, it's a question of what color battery indicator you prefer!  Much of the time, I just pull the card if I am unpacking my gear (removing the batteries from the sled) and use the built-in SD card reader on my computer... 

Offline aaronji

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (6)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2420
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2018, 06:23:16 AM »
@aaronji Thanks for that succinct description. That's exactly how I would expect the MP6 to behave if it had an issue with the power.  Giving the option to select battery power also tallies with what is said in the manual.  But when I connect my MP6 in this way, (only one USB-A connector)  it simply freezes or enters an endless power-cycle loop.  I wonder why SD support told me that this was expected behaviour.  I was beginning to think, "welcome to the brave new world of USB-C incompatibilities", but maybe my unit has a problem after all.  Doubtless I'll get to the root of it all at some point, but for now I'm going "old school" and popping out the SD card to transfer files. It's simple. It works.

Is the MixPre already powered up when you plug in the cable?  Maybe that makes a difference?  I have always hooked up the cable and then turned on the recorder.  Also, maybe try an earlier firmware.  1.53 seems pretty stable (although lacking a few features of the newer versions); they are all available for download on the SD site.  Lastly, have you reformatted the card after any firmware updates?  I have seen a few posts elsewhere suggesting that the card should be formatted with the installed version of the firmware.

Offline mjwin

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Gender: Male
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2018, 03:14:17 PM »
Is the MixPre already powered up when you plug in the cable?  Maybe that makes a difference?  I have always hooked up the cable and then turned on the recorder.  Also, maybe try an earlier firmware.  1.53 seems pretty stable (although lacking a few features of the newer versions); they are all available for download on the SD site.

I've tried it all ways, with (nearly) always the same result: on power-up the splash screen comes up, ring LEDs flash, all goes blank for a couple of seconds & the cycle repeats... Pulling the USB cable usually resets it & the device powers up fine.  A couple of times (including on the video I sent to SD) the device actually froze & I had to pull the battery to power it down!  Not good.

I'm using the  latest firmware, 2.21 which came with the MP6, & I don't really want to roll back as far as 1.53. Also, with a potentially unstable machine, I don't want to run the risk of "bricking" it when performing a f/w update! 

I'm a bit reluctant to contact my suppliers over this just yet since I've already had them replace a faulty MX8AA battery sled, and I also felt I needed to tell them that their delivery courier left both the  Mixpre & the replacement sled at the side of the road rather than bringing them to my house! So they're gonna think I really am the customer from Hell if I tell them my Mixpre is, well, "not fully functional" shall we say...  It also doesn't help that the guy in SD support was adamant that my unit was behaving correctly, ie locking up &/or power cycling, when connecting just the data plug of the Y cable (or a standard USB C-A cable).  As an electronics engineer myself, I still can't believe that SD would knowingly  release something which actually crashed/locked up if the user forgot to connect a cable (which is effectively all I'm doing): their stuff is usually bulletproof.  And, of course, you guys seem not to have this problem anyway, just (maybe) a warning message on screen  if there's insufficient USB power. 

I guess at this point, the more ppl who say that they transfer data just fine with a single USB-A, the more backup I have if I claim my unit is faulty.  I don't post much here, but I do find the can-do attitude & willingness to help just so refreshing :cheers:
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 02:44:46 PM by mjwin »

Offline morst

  • Archivist: Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker
  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2808
  • Get in touch if you wanna record Cracker or CVB!
    • Soundscape Preservation Society
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #70 on: July 06, 2018, 09:02:30 PM »
When I switch the MixPre on, I get a screen that says something like "USB-c power low. Use battery power?" I click "yes" ...
That is weird behavior. I just tested on my MacBook Pro and my MixPre6 fired up fine with just the "Data" side of the Y cable in the mac USB port. It did have the low voltage indication, but that's ok. I don't usually click YES on this. I let the machine run at low power, unless I need to use 4 channels of 48V Phantom Power right then.

Why is it weird?  As far as I am concerned, the choice between battery or USB power for file transfer is pretty much arbitrary.  Six of one, half dozen of the other and all.  I guess if your battery is really low, USB might make more sense, but, otherwise, it's a question of what color battery indicator you prefer!  Much of the time, I just pull the card if I am unpacking my gear (removing the batteries from the sled) and use the built-in SD card reader on my computer...

Sorry my post was not clear. I typed it up, and then right before posting, I reorganized it, and it reads like I was saying your reaction to the battery choice was weird. Not what I meant.

I meant that the behavior of mjwin's machine was weird!!! 
Teams: Neumann, Bay Area Tapers, Multitrack, Pioneertown Tapers, Mac Geeks, Cassette Masters, Poster Collectors, Alumni of teams St Louis, Upper Midwest & Milwaukee / Southern Wisco

Offline borjam

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Gender: Male
  • Sound guy at BJC - Bilbaina Jazz Club
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #71 on: July 07, 2018, 04:22:51 AM »
In case it's some current supply problem with your USB port (although it shouldn't happen, Sound Devices are experts on power management from what I've seen) try reducing power consumption.

In advanced mode you can turn inputs off. I imagine that they will turn off the preamp for the channel in order to save energy (I would do it). You can even try reducing the screen and leds brightness.

I have tried the USB cable (MixPre 3) connected to my 2010 Mac Pro and it works. The ports are USB 2.0 (USB 3.0 didn't exist yet). I know that some PC motherboards fail to meet the power requirements of USB 2.0 devices, hence so many Y cables seen on devices intended for PCs. I know that in the case of the MixPres the reason is that they need more current than offered by a standard USB 2.0.

You can also try a good powered USB 2.0 hub. If the problem is in the motherboard failing to deliver power that would solve it. But make sure that it's 2.0.
And a good one, there is so much crap out there nowadays...

Also, have you tried a different card? Some are troublesome and Amazon has been known to sell knock-offs of well known brands.
"Don't worry about the drums. I'm a percussionist, I can play on carton boxes" - Peer Wyboris

Offline mjwin

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Gender: Male
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2018, 02:55:05 PM »
Ok. Thanks for the suggestions / ideas. After reading these, together with some pretty extensive online research, I decided that the MP6 really shouldn't be behaving as it did. So today I thought I'd do one last test cycle &, guess what?

It now works correctly! (?) 

No crashes, power cycles or other tantrums. In short, exactly as it should be.

So, in each of the following instances, I get that little warning box pop up:
"USB-C Power is low. Battery power present,  would you like to run on battery power?
If I choose
"YES" - batt gauge full-on green (presumably runs off 8AA sled)
"NO" - batt gauge orange with the USB symbol. (presumably runs off USB low power)

I tried each plug of the Y lead independently - fine
A standard USB A-C cable I bought in town -  fine
2 different laptop pcs - fine
an Anker powercore 10000 - fine

I did give the MP6 a pretty good talking to the other night, showed it some scary looking test equipment which was gonna prod its insides, etc. Sometimes this does the trick. Machines can get above themselves...

So, now I just need to get out & hit record.  :headphones:
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 03:11:19 PM by mjwin »

Offline dallman

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1627
  • Gender: Male
    • Clifford Morse
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #73 on: July 09, 2018, 01:40:04 AM »
Ok. Thanks for the suggestions / ideas. After reading these, together with some pretty extensive online research, I decided that the MP6 really shouldn't be behaving as it did. So today I thought I'd do one last test cycle &, guess what?

It now works correctly! (?) 

No crashes, power cycles or other tantrums. In short, exactly as it should be.

So, in each of the following instances, I get that little warning box pop up:
"USB-C Power is low. Battery power present,  would you like to run on battery power?
If I choose
"YES" - batt gauge full-on green (presumably runs off 8AA sled)
"NO" - batt gauge orange with the USB symbol. (presumably runs off USB low power)

I tried each plug of the Y lead independently - fine
A standard USB A-C cable I bought in town -  fine
2 different laptop pcs - fine
an Anker powercore 10000 - fine

I did give the MP6 a pretty good talking to the other night, showed it some scary looking test equipment which was gonna prod its insides, etc. Sometimes this does the trick. Machines can get above themselves...

So, now I just need to get out & hit record.  :headphones:
Nothing like a happy ending! :clapping: :cheers:
Support Live Music: Tape A Show Today!
Deck>possibly something here> Mics

Offline checht

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 186
  • Gender: Male
  • Old and in the Way
Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 5
« Reply #74 on: July 10, 2018, 03:40:18 PM »
 Bluetooth issues resolved with help from tech-support.

********WARNING*********
 This method erases all internal presets so be sure to save them to SD card before using.
*************************

I’ve been having trouble with my MP3 not connecting to my iPhone X and the wingman app. It originally connected fine but the last couple months it’s taken me multiple times to connect and usually I have to go into the system menu and turn Bluetooth off and back on again. [insert IT Crowd joke here].

Today I called tech-support and the tech suggested I try a reset which consisted of holding the headphone knob and the channel one knob down while powering up and keeping them held down until I got to the home screen.

At this point looks like everything works great. I’ve tested it quite a few times and it connects to Bluetooth every time it boots.

Also I asked the tech about the potential for Bluetooth audio monitoring and he said that it’s policy for them not to comment on features in development but I interpreted that as meaning it is a distinct possibility.

Cheers
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 04:40:47 PM by checht »
Schoeps MSTC64g,  Shure MV-88
Schoeps KCY 250/0 lg, Naiant IPA, PFA 60v
Sound Devices MP-6, Roland R-07

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.285 seconds with 42 queries.
© 2002-2018 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF