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Poll

Which sounds better to you?

Sample A
Sample B
They both sound the same to me

Author Topic: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8  (Read 4629 times)

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Online heathen

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COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« on: June 03, 2018, 04:45:38 PM »
Todd R has done the heavy lifting in putting this comp together, and I'm doing the much easier task of posting it here.  When Phil Lesh played Red Rocks last month he and I set up our respective sets of Line Audio CM3s for this comp.  They were both NOS, on the same stand, and one pair was only a couple inches higher than the other pair.  We both used BAS windscreens.  He ran his pair into his MixPre-6, and I ran mine into my Zoom F8.  There's been no post-processing done to the samples other than Todd normalizing them to the same average RMS level.

Here is a link to download the samples: https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=1w3Ops4Doj2gvV546h4YB4ypoFk3gnz1M

For anyone who is able I would highly recommend using the ABX Comparator for foobar2000: https://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_abx

(You may note that I've already uploaded my CM3 recording of this show.  That won't be helpful if you get the urge to "cheat" on this comp, though, because I EQ'd my recording before uploading.  These samples have no EQ applied.)

Update: If you're looking for the answer, look no further than here: https://imgur.com/rAak6gg
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 09:54:52 PM by heathen »
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline aaronji

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 06:20:16 PM »
Thanks for this! I will try to listen to the clips as soon as possible. Just to clarify, the same vertical plane with one pair a little higher and the same horizontal plane?

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2018, 08:40:41 PM »
Thanks for this! I will try to listen to the clips as soon as possible. Just to clarify, the same vertical plane with one pair a little higher and the same horizontal plane?

Each mic was directly above the corresponding mic from the other pair.  Does that make sense?  I'm on my phone and I feel like I may be making things even more confusing...
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline adrianf74

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 08:49:29 PM »
Thanks for this! I will try to listen to the clips as soon as possible. Just to clarify, the same vertical plane with one pair a little higher and the same horizontal plane?

Each mic was directly above the corresponding mic from the other pair.  Does that make sense?  I'm on my phone and I feel like I may be making things even more confusing...

Simply put: two pairs of mics running the same pattern inches above each other on the same stand.

Offline Gordon

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 09:03:42 AM »
I picked "same" but they do sound slightly different.  A seems to have a little more bass.  as to which is which I don't really have a guess!

btw thanks for the heads up about ABX Comparator!
Neumann ak40 > Nick mod lc3 > Naiant PFA or km140 > Sound Devices MixPre-6

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 09:51:05 PM »
I can hear the difference.  That said, I preferred "B"

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2018, 10:17:47 PM »
They sound basically the same to me. B has slightly fuller bass but I am suspecting thats the one that was normalized...

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Offline Todd R

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 12:04:53 AM »
They sound basically the same to me. B has slightly fuller bass but I am suspecting thats the one that was normalized...

Both files were normalized, by the way.  Both had just about the same processing — trimming to the same passage, slight volume adjustment between left and right channels, normalization to the same average RMS level, fades added to beginning and end, and saving as flac files.
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

Online rippleish20

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 09:19:07 AM »
They sound basically the same to me. B has slightly fuller bass but I am suspecting thats the one that was normalized...

Both files were normalized, by the way.  Both had just about the same processing — trimming to the same passage, slight volume adjustment between left and right channels, normalization to the same average RMS level, fades added to beginning and end, and saving as flac files.

Oops. sorry, I misread that 

I totally appreciate the effort for comparison but:

 I would argue that for comparisons, it would be better for no alterations to be made, as these alter the sound and affect the comparison. I also wonder if microphones themselves don't vary a bit. A better compassion would be to take a setup and use one deck for the first set and another for the second perhaps.
MK22's / MK41's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63, ck8 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards & Hypers (for sale) / DPA 4061's
KCY 250/5 and 250/0 > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox 
Mixpre-10t / Mixpre-6 / Sony M-10 / Tascam DR-100mkIII / d:vice

Online heathen

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 09:33:16 AM »
I totally appreciate the effort for comparison but:

 I would argue that for comparisons, it would be better for no alterations to be made, as these alter the sound and affect the comparison. I also wonder if microphones themselves don't vary a bit. A better compassion would be to take a setup and use one deck for the first set and another for the second perhaps.

That would certainly be ideal, but with it very very difficult for us to set our levels identical, and the innate human preference for the louder of two samples, I think it's necessary to try to match the two at least in terms of "loudness."  My (totally uneducated) opinion is that any downsides of the processing are far outweighed by the benefit of having the samples at equal loudness.  All that being said, I certainly know less about these things than most on here, so take my opinion with a huge grain of salt!
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline djphrayz

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2018, 12:38:26 PM »
Thank you both for doing this!  The difference is subtle, that's for sure.
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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2018, 12:49:17 PM »
I also wonder if microphones themselves don't vary a bit.

Looking back on this post, you raise a really good point here.  While I have no reason to doubt Line Audio's quality, even the best manufacturers can have variation in a specific microphone model, right?  I got my CM3s in February of this year...I know Todd has had his for longer than that but I don't know exactly when he got them.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline Todd R

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2018, 02:25:14 PM »

I totally appreciate the effort for comparison but:

 I would argue that for comparisons, it would be better for no alterations to be made, as these alter the sound and affect the comparison.

Everyone argues for different things in comparisons, and everyone has been arguing and bagging on comparisons for 15+ years on ts.com.  Feel free to do your own comparisons, or at least to pay more attention to the postings on them and ignore them if they don't meet your standards.

Sound like I'm annoyed, I am.  There are lots of tradeoffs and choices, and different people come to different conclusions.  I've done far more comps than most here on ts.com and they take effort -- many times I've been soldering up breakout cables and borrowing equipment to get them done, then putting together files, uploading them, etc.  Always end up the same way on ts.com with someone shitting on them because they would do it different.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
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Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2018, 02:55:27 PM »
I think the methodology used here, as explained, is as close to perfect as one can get.  Many thanks for your hard work. 

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Re: COMP: MixPre-6 vs. Zoom F8
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2018, 03:06:58 PM »
I think the methodology used here, as explained, is as close to perfect as one can get.  Many thanks for your hard work.

Todd definitely deserves the credit here.  He even home-brewed a NOS mount at the last minute to make sure we were both using the same configuration!
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05 | Tascam DR-2d

 

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