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Author Topic: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?  (Read 644 times)

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Offline justme

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SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« on: June 26, 2018, 01:53:48 PM »
Edit to add by BSkalinder:  This thread was split from another one dedicated to the MixPre-3/-6, so some of the posts may not quite fit this new thread. 

Congrats!

I just sold my DR-70D as well but I'm not sure which one of the F4/F8/MixPre 3 to get.

When I got the Tascam a while back I was worried that four tracks might not be enough for the future but the F8 was a bit high in price.
The need for more channels never occurred but the handling and SQ of the Tascam left me with a wish for better sound and less fiddly handling.
I mostly do foley, nature recordings, on videocamera and occational some harmonica and audition/rehearsals.

But as the F8 have dropped massively in price the F4, F8 and mixpre 3 are pretty much in the same price segment give or take some.

I really love the size and handling of the mixpre and the SQ appears to be everything I've asked for.
But the Zooms - especially the F8 - offer some additional inputs and features like TC etc.


Did you ever consider the F8 or even the F4 before you got the mixpre?


I'm the proud new owner of a MixPre 6!
Most recently, I had a Tascam DR-70D (currently FS) and I feel like it's a big upgrade.
I've always admired Sound Devices quality and sound and I'm very excited to use it in the field in about a month.
Thanks for all the info in the last +/- 75 pages of these threads. It took awhile, but I managed to pull quite a lot of useful tips and feel very comfortable with it already.
If anyone here runs Jim Williams 460s, please chime in!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 09:04:45 PM by Brian Skalinder »

Offline rippleish20

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 02:24:17 PM »
Congrats!

I just sold my DR-70D as well but I'm not sure which one of the F4/F8/MixPre 3 to get.

When I got the Tascam a while back I was worried that four tracks might not be enough for the future but the F8 was a bit high in price.
The need for more channels never occurred but the handling and SQ of the Tascam left me with a wish for better sound and less fiddly handling.
I mostly do foley, nature recordings, on videocamera and occational some harmonica and audition/rehearsals.

But as the F8 have dropped massively in price the F4, F8 and mixpre 3 are pretty much in the same price segment give or take some.

I really love the size and handling of the mixpre and the SQ appears to be everything I've asked for.
But the Zooms - especially the F8 - offer some additional inputs and features like TC etc.


Did you ever consider the F8 or even the F4 before you got the mixpre?


I'm the proud new owner of a MixPre 6!
Most recently, I had a Tascam DR-70D (currently FS) and I feel like it's a big upgrade.
I've always admired Sound Devices quality and sound and I'm very excited to use it in the field in about a month.
Thanks for all the info in the last +/- 75 pages of these threads. It took awhile, but I managed to pull quite a lot of useful tips and feel very comfortable with it already.
If anyone here runs Jim Williams 460s, please chime in!



I owned a F8 (nought long before the Mixpre-3/6 were available) and a F4 and now I have a Mixpre-6.  I like my Mixpre-6 but the F4/F8 are also excellent. Having had both, these are the things I like/disliked:

The Mixpre-x series:

I like the size and design of the recorders
I like that you can use XLRs all time and just switch between line in and microphone
The preamps are great, the analog limiters are excellent
You can use the audio interface (to lets says stream) at the same time as recording
Sound Devices is a great company, with a long history of professional equipment and great support

On the negative side, There have been a lot of firmware issues and I find the design choices really odd in many cases (they are marketed as recorders but, to me, they are really closer to their mixer series and the mixpre-6 usb powering is a shakey solution in my opinion). There are also apparently issues recording at 192.


The F4/F8:

The menu-ing systems on these are well thought out in my opinion
Dual SD recording
Easy powering options
Good preamps, maybe not as good as the SD (it's hard to tell really)

On the negative side. some early F8s had white sceen issue where an internal ribbon came loose and their support took quite a while to acknowledge it. having to use 1/4 for line in and XLRs for microphones was veyr annoying to me. The gain knobs on the F8 are awfully small. The headset amp sucks.  This is a prosumer device and company and the support you get is not necessarily up to the level of SD support
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 02:25:59 PM by rippleish20 »
MK22's / MK41's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63, ck8 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers  / DPA 4061's
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (Nbob for sale) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox 
Mixpre-10t / Mixpre-6 / Sony M-10 / Tascam DR-100mkIII / d:vice

Offline rigpimp

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 02:33:42 PM »
I owned a F8 (nought long before the Mixpre-3/6 were available) and a F4 and now I have a Mixpre-6.  I like my Mixpre-6 but the F4/F8 are also excellent. Having had both, these are the things I like/disliked:

The Mixpre-x series:

I like the size and design of the recorders
I like that you can use XLRs all time and just switch between line in and microphone
The preamps are great, the analog limiters are excellent
You can use the audio interface (to lets says stream) at the same time as recording
Sound Devices is a great company, with a long history of professional equipment and great support

On the negative side, There have been a lot of firmware issues and I find the design choices really odd in many cases (they are marketed as recorders but, to me, they are really closer to their mixer series and the mixpre-6 usb powering is a shakey solution in my opinion). There are also apparently issues recording at 192.


I do not believe that the highlighted part is true for outbound streaming while recording via mics/line in.  The USB jack is input only and not output.  I do know that I have successfully used it as an USB interface to record inbound signals, but on my PC as soon as I hit record it mutes my PC headphones and I do not have a mini set to monitor what I am recording.  I am sure that it may be a simple setting but I am usually too rushed to get it set up.
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2, Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-6, Sony PCM-M10
Playback: McIntosh MC2105 > McIntosh C39 > Von Schweikert VR-4 JR
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Offline rippleish20

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 02:53:24 PM »
I owned a F8 (nought long before the Mixpre-3/6 were available) and a F4 and now I have a Mixpre-6.  I like my Mixpre-6 but the F4/F8 are also excellent. Having had both, these are the things I like/disliked:

The Mixpre-x series:

I like the size and design of the recorders
I like that you can use XLRs all time and just switch between line in and microphone
The preamps are great, the analog limiters are excellent
You can use the audio interface (to lets says stream) at the same time as recording
Sound Devices is a great company, with a long history of professional equipment and great support

On the negative side, There have been a lot of firmware issues and I find the design choices really odd in many cases (they are marketed as recorders but, to me, they are really closer to their mixer series and the mixpre-6 usb powering is a shakey solution in my opinion). There are also apparently issues recording at 192.


I do not believe that the highlighted part is true for outbound streaming while recording via mics/line in.  The USB jack is input only and not output.  I do know that I have successfully used it as an USB interface to record inbound signals, but on my PC as soon as I hit record it mutes my PC headphones and I do not have a mini set to monitor what I am recording.  I am sure that it may be a simple setting but I am usually too rushed to get it set up.

Sorry but you are wrong. I have streamed shows several times via the USB-a port while recording (line in and microphones).



https://www.sounddevices.com/products/recorders/mixpre-6

"The versatile MixPre-6 makes an excellent USB audio interface, offering the unique ability to record audio to an SD card while simultaneously streaming multiple channels of audio via USB. "

« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 09:47:03 PM by rippleish20 »
MK22's / MK41's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63, ck8 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers  / DPA 4061's
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (Nbob for sale) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox 
Mixpre-10t / Mixpre-6 / Sony M-10 / Tascam DR-100mkIII / d:vice

Offline justme

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 08:05:51 PM »
Thank you for your thoughts and view on pros/cons.

I appears that the mixpre 3 is probably the way I should go.
As I've never lost audio, video or photo due to a bad memory card. I do shoot to dual cards for video and still photography but not a single card have ever failed me. So it's perhaps time to trust SD as well. :)



I owned a F8 (nought long before the Mixpre-3/6 were available) and a F4 and now I have a Mixpre-6.  I like my Mixpre-6 but the F4/F8 are also excellent. Having had both, these are the things I like/disliked:

The Mixpre-x series:

I like the size and design of the recorders
I like that you can use XLRs all time and just switch between line in and microphone
The preamps are great, the analog limiters are excellent
You can use the audio interface (to lets says stream) at the same time as recording
Sound Devices is a great company, with a long history of professional equipment and great support

On the negative side, There have been a lot of firmware issues and I find the design choices really odd in many cases (they are marketed as recorders but, to me, they are really closer to their mixer series and the mixpre-6 usb powering is a shakey solution in my opinion). There are also apparently issues recording at 192.


The F4/F8:

The menu-ing systems on these are well thought out in my opinion
Dual SD recording
Easy powering options
Good preamps, maybe not as good as the SD (it's hard to tell really)

On the negative side. some early F8s had white sceen issue where an internal ribbon came loose and their support took quite a while to acknowledge it. having to use 1/4 for line in and XLRs for microphones was veyr annoying to me. The gain knobs on the F8 are awfully small. The headset amp sucks.  This is a prosumer device and company and the support you get is not necessarily up to the level of SD support

Offline IronFilm

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 05:01:22 AM »
Congrats!

I just sold my DR-70D as well but I'm not sure which one of the F4/F8/MixPre 3 to get.

When I got the Tascam a while back I was worried that four tracks might not be enough for the future but the F8 was a bit high in price.
The need for more channels never occurred but the handling and SQ of the Tascam left me with a wish for better sound and less fiddly handling.
I mostly do foley, nature recordings, on videocamera and occational some harmonica and audition/rehearsals.

But as the F8 have dropped massively in price the F4, F8 and mixpre 3 are pretty much in the same price segment give or take some.

I really love the size and handling of the mixpre and the SQ appears to be everything I've asked for.
But the Zooms - especially the F8 - offer some additional inputs and features like TC etc.


Did you ever consider the F8 or even the F4 before you got the mixpre?


I'm the proud new owner of a MixPre 6!
Most recently, I had a Tascam DR-70D (currently FS) and I feel like it's a big upgrade.
I've always admired Sound Devices quality and sound and I'm very excited to use it in the field in about a month.
Thanks for all the info in the last +/- 75 pages of these threads. It took awhile, but I managed to pull quite a lot of useful tips and feel very comfortable with it already.
If anyone here runs Jim Williams 460s, please chime in!

For my personal purposes the Zoom F8n once announced was so clearly superior to the MixPre series that they never even had half a chance (although the MixPre10T was at least in the running for a half chance until the F8n got announced).

btw, if you feel like you might sometimes need more than 4 channels and you're on a budget, then the Zoom F4 would be an excellent choice for you (if the F8n is unaffordable) as you can easily do 5/6 channels with the F4 in a pinch (I am doing this all the time. But looking forward to the F8n with its eight channels).

Oh, and I don't know about you, but if you need TC like I do then the MixPre6 is hopeless as you lose inputs 5/6 to TC. (not to mention all the other flaws like weird headphone dial positioning and no pre roll etc etc)

I appears that the mixpre 3 is probably the way I should go.

Be warned that the MixPre3 has even more limitations than the MixPre6 has, such as no phase inversion and no 192KHz recordings.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 05:09:06 AM by IronFilm »

Offline IronFilm

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 05:06:03 AM »
I owned a F8 (nought long before the Mixpre-3/6 were available) and a F4 and now I have a Mixpre-6.  I like my Mixpre-6 but the F4/F8 are also excellent. Having had both, these are the things I like/disliked:

The Mixpre-x series:

I like the size and design of the recorders
I like that you can use XLRs all time and just switch between line in and microphone
The preamps are great, the analog limiters are excellent
You can use the audio interface (to lets says stream) at the same time as recording
Sound Devices is a great company, with a long history of professional equipment and great support

On the negative side, There have been a lot of firmware issues and I find the design choices really odd in many cases (they are marketed as recorders but, to me, they are really closer to their mixer series and the mixpre-6 usb powering is a shakey solution in my opinion). There are also apparently issues recording at 192.


The F4/F8:

The menu-ing systems on these are well thought out in my opinion
Dual SD recording
Easy powering options
Good preamps, maybe not as good as the SD (it's hard to tell really)

I'll note that nearly all those pros of the MixPre series the new F8n (or even F4/F8) now has those as well:

Design: tick! In my opinion the F series does this better than the MixPre series (such as weird headphone or hirose positions?!)
Line/mic: tick! The F8n is switchable now
Preamps/limiters: tick! Great preamps, has new improved hybrid limiters.
Audio interface: tick! The F8n can both be used as one *and* record at the same time.
Support: tick! Zoom has been very impressive indeed in this area with their F4/F8 already.

Aside from the brand "name" I struggle to think of any solid good reasons why I'd prefer the MixPre10T over the F8n. (I'm assuming I'll not need that extra 9/10th input any time soon! And anyway, in terms of number of XLR inputs the F8 and MixPre10T are the same)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 05:15:13 AM by IronFilm »

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2018, 07:51:52 AM »
^ You are using your recorder for a different reason than most folk on TS!  A majority of people are using their recorders for live concerts and the Mixpre-6 is a great all in one solution for that purpose.  You can run 4 mics and still grab a SBD feed.  It is small, light weight, and easy to use.  Also for me Sound Devices name and customer service is another reason to own a Mixpre-6.  They have been producing high end audio products for a long time an have a proven track record.   
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Offline heathen

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2018, 08:48:39 AM »
You can run 4 mics and still grab a SBD feed.

To be fair, the F8 can do that as well.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline justme

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2018, 09:56:23 AM »
The cost for the F8n and MixPre-6/10 are simply too high for me. Which means that any benefit or feature they do offer are out of my reach anyway.
So it's one of the F4/F8 or MixPre-3.

As I do most work alone and also carry other equipment with me. I feel that the handling and size are perhaps more important the additional channels as they do add to the requirements for more equipment as well.

The Zooms offers:
Additional channels but would more be there in case I discover I need them another time.
Dual card slots are great but not a necessity for me.
Powering options are good to have, but I do power supplies and battery packs myself so that's not important.

The MixPre-3 offers:
Tiny size yet great transport and knob control which are back lit.
Mic/Line switching and USB I/O with option to do 12 channels with plugin.
Good headphone amp.

I know many of you are concert recordists which I'm not.
With a larger budget I would go for the mixpre-6 or F8n.
But it's not :/

If these decisions would have been in the digital camera world I would not be struggling with this :)

Offline heathen

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2018, 09:59:07 AM »
With size as a priority, I think you're right that the MixPre-3 has the edge over the F4/F8.  Not that the F4/F8 are huge, but that MixPre-3 is pretty tiny!
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline jbell

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2018, 10:57:08 AM »
I'm not saying it can't I was just saying different strokes for different folks.   

You can run 4 mics and still grab a SBD feed.

To be fair, the F8 can do that as well.
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 11:03:41 AM »

Sorry but you are wrong. I have streamed shows several times via the USB-a port while recording (line in and microphones).



https://www.sounddevices.com/products/recorders/mixpre-6

"The versatile MixPre-6 makes an excellent USB audio interface, offering the unique ability to record audio to an SD card while simultaneously streaming multiple channels of audio via USB. "

Yep, my bad.  So if I change USB to Stereo out what routes to the USB?  I think that maybe what I was mistaken about it that we may have no control over routing certain channels or pairs to the USB out.  There must be a reason that I have not tried this yet.

Also, what USB device do you connect to your MP-X?
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2, Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-6, Sony PCM-M10
Playback: McIntosh MC2105 > McIntosh C39 > Von Schweikert VR-4 JR
http://archive.org/bookmarks/kskreider

Offline rippleish20

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2018, 11:32:57 AM »

Sorry but you are wrong. I have streamed shows several times via the USB-a port while recording (line in and microphones).



https://www.sounddevices.com/products/recorders/mixpre-6

"The versatile MixPre-6 makes an excellent USB audio interface, offering the unique ability to record audio to an SD card while simultaneously streaming multiple channels of audio via USB. "

Yep, my bad.  So if I change USB to Stereo out what routes to the USB?  I think that maybe what I was mistaken about it that we may have no control over routing certain channels or pairs to the USB out.  There must be a reason that I have not tried this yet.

Also, what USB device do you connect to your MP-X?

I have used mine in conjunction with an iPad for streaming. Despite some early comments I saw by SD reps, if you connect an iPad to the Mixpre-x USB-A port (lightning to USB-A), the iPad sees the Mixpre as an audio interface. If you are using a Mixpre-6, you need to be running an app on the iPad side which recognizes multi-channel, like AUM. In AUM, I select the stereo pair I want to stream and ship it to mixlr via Audiobus. The 10t is different and allows you to set whether the output is stereo or multi-channel - you can set it to stereo and the iPad just sees a normal stereo input, which something like mixlr can see without help. The one overall downside is that the app on the iPad dictates  the sampling/bit rate for the recording once its connected. I ended up with a whole run of 24/44.1 recordings (versus 24/48) before I realized this. Also, you don't need to change anything on the Mixpre end in terms of USB settings etc

I have not tried connecting to a computer to use the Mixpre with a DAW etc but I believe you would use the USB-C to dual USB-A cable and connect to the USB-c port on the Mixpre. You also need to change the USB setting to data. You would need the ASIO driver on Windows. And I dont think you need to set anything else on the Mixpre, the computer would just see the audio interface channels.

MK22's / MK41's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63, ck8 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers  / DPA 4061's
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (Nbob for sale) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox 
Mixpre-10t / Mixpre-6 / Sony M-10 / Tascam DR-100mkIII / d:vice

Offline IronFilm

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Re: SD MixPre-3/6 v. Zoom F4/8?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2018, 11:47:30 AM »
With size as a priority, I think you're right that the MixPre-3 has the edge over the F4/F8.  Not that the F4/F8 are huge, but that MixPre-3 is pretty tiny!

Ridiculous tiny, truly truly insy teeny tiny! Is the one thing that massively stood out in my mind when I first got to handle the MixPre3.

So yes, any one who places an extreme premium on size should consider the MixPre3. (I reckon they're also good for camera ops who are rigging their recorders up into their rig, which is a dumb idea... but if you're going to do it, then the MixPre3 is the way to go! As it keeps the rig's total size down with the very small and compact MixPre3)

 

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