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Author Topic: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6  (Read 32035 times)

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Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #135 on: August 21, 2019, 02:35:55 PM »
1. You can only link channels 1-2 and 3-4 etc. You can not link 1-3 and control all 3 with one fader.
But you can connect a midi controller surface with buttons, knobs and faders and that way create a mixer control for live mixing.
Then you can control, play, stop  trim, pan, fade, mute, solo, master fade etc.

Unless you really need time code input/trigger, the MixPre-6M för music might be a slightly cheaper option.

The MixPre's support following controller interfaces

Akai MidiMix Interface
Korg NanoKontrol 2 Interface
Korg NanoKontrol Studio Interface
Novation LaunchControl XL Interface
Thanks! So if I purchase one of the controllers you mentioned, will I be able to control most or all of the touch screen-oriented aspects of the MixPre-6 like pressing mute on the touch screen after having pressed the channel fader? I mean does it replace the USB keyboard option and provide more functionality? You also mentioned that I can't combine channels 1-2-3. But can I combine channels 1-2 and then mix them with the music coming from my laptop via these controllers? It seems to me that I should limit myself to two XLR keyboards if I'm supposed to combine and control them as one separate output. Is this true?

Cheers,
Amir

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #136 on: August 21, 2019, 03:23:57 PM »
Hi all,

After gathering enough information about the accessability and usability of the Mixpre-3 for the visually impaired, I finally came to the conclusion to purchase the Mixpre-6 given its extra channels. However, I'd like to use your help to determine if the Mixpre-6 can do what I want.
1. The Mixpre-6 is primarily advertised as a field recorder and I have no issues with that. But I want something which can do some sort of sound-mixing. I don't want to apply effects or use equalizers, but I want to be able to connect two or three XLR mics to the Mixpre-6, move all of them to the center of the so-called audio or stereo stage, and connect the Mixpre-6 to my laptop in order to live-mix the output of the microphones with the music which resides on my laptop. I also want to be able to mute all mics at once. Perhaps more important than that, I want to move the music sound gradually above or below the voice of all three XLR mics. Do you think the Mixpre-6 can do all of that? And can I increase-decrease the volume of the XLR mics at once to have the music fade in or fade out? For instance, I want for the music to fade gradually in order for a host or guest to start speaking with the music in the background.
2. I have seen some professional sound engineers do something strange, or strange in my view, even when they have USB mixers at hand. To bring in music from a laptop, they connect mixers to the headphone output of laptops instead of relying on a USB connection to achieve that. They say that such a connection is more stable than using USB to send audio from the laptop to the mixer. What do you think? Does what they say hold some truth? And is the Mixpre-6 capable of doing both?
3. With the Mixpre-6 I can use its built-in audio recorder, and that's really a boon. But is the built-in recorder capable of generating a single stereo mix of all channels, or does it provide me with separate tracks for each channel? Or maybe both? And are all volume changes I make to the music/XLR mic outputs captured by the recorder similar to what dedicated mixers do?
4. Finally, may I know how many aux sends the Mixpre-6 has? And do they have, or maybe does it have, its own volume control?

Thanks for your invaluable opinions and answers.

Best,
Amir

Since you are live-mixing the output of the three mics, why go through the MP6 at all? Perhaps a USB mixer with 3 xlr mic inputs would be more useful to connect with your laptop. No need to deal with a touchscreen.
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Offline justme

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #137 on: August 21, 2019, 03:34:37 PM »
Yes with one of those controllers you could be able to do most of the playing, recording and mixing.
With linking, I meant that you can link channel 1 and 2 to be controlled together to have the recording level controlled with the knob of channel 1 and the panning between channels with knob for channel 2.
All channels can be recorded as isolated tracks on their own. And all channels can be mixed into a final stereo recording in the same time as well as output on line out.

But as dogmusic said.
If you only are looking for a solution to do live mixing and recording on a computer, a far cheaper and simpler way would be a 3 or 4 channel USB mixer which more or less will give you the same features you will use on the MixPre-6. But for several hundred dollars less.




Thanks! So if I purchase one of the controllers you mentioned, will I be able to control most or all of the touch screen-oriented aspects of the MixPre-6 like pressing mute on the touch screen after having pressed the channel fader? I mean does it replace the USB keyboard option and provide more functionality? You also mentioned that I can't combine channels 1-2-3. But can I combine channels 1-2 and then mix them with the music coming from my laptop via these controllers? It seems to me that I should limit myself to two XLR keyboards if I'm supposed to combine and control them as one separate output. Is this true?

Cheers,
Amir

Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #138 on: August 21, 2019, 03:51:01 PM »
Since you are live-mixing the output of the three mics, why go through the MP6 at all? Perhaps a USB mixer with 3 xlr mic inputs would be more useful to connect with your laptop. No need to deal with a touchscreen.
Well, because the MixPre-6 can also act as an excellent stand-alone recorder -- something I also need. I currently have a Sony PCM-D100 and really like it, but also need something which can accept two or three XLR mics -- something the D100 can't do. Moreover, most cheap USB mixers have mid to low-quality preamps for my dynamic mics -- something the MixPre line can easily handle. I also have a USBPre-2 and have come to believe that SoundDevices means quality.

Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #139 on: August 21, 2019, 03:56:00 PM »
Yes with one of those controllers you could be able to do most of the playing, recording and mixing.
With linking, I meant that you can link channel 1 and 2 to be controlled together to have the recording level controlled with the knob of channel 1 and the panning between channels with knob for channel 2.
All channels can be recorded as isolated tracks on their own. And all channels can be mixed into a final stereo recording in the same time as well as output on line out.

But as dogmusic said.
If you only are looking for a solution to do live mixing and recording on a computer, a far cheaper and simpler way would be a 3 or 4 channel USB mixer which more or less will give you the same features you will use on the MixPre-6. But for several hundred dollars less.
Thanks again for your brilliant explanations.
As mentioned earlier, I also want a stand-alone recorder -- something the MixPre-6 handles really well. Also its built-in recorder appeals to me as I don't need to worry about launching a separate app on my laptop to record the stereo mix.
The use of a controller sounds like a great idea and apparently can take care of my concerns.

Cheers,
Amir

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #140 on: August 21, 2019, 11:04:45 PM »
pretty disconcerting that with latest firmware, the mixpre 6 fails with *almost every card tested* at 8 channels at 24/192

only 2 out of 9 cards managed to write a full card without crashing, despite having tested at 10X the sequential write speeds

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=191314.0

at some point, we can only conclude the device itself is at fault, in the way it buffers. I understand that not all cards are created equal, but when your device rejects 80% of properly rated cards thats a problem (i also have other cards like multiple lexar 512GB microsdxc that arent in that list because i tested them with older firmware - not including those as that was 1.xx firmware)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 11:32:48 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #141 on: August 21, 2019, 11:06:58 PM »

I've given up on testing for now and reached out to the SD rep on here for guidance on good SD cards

Some people here used to eviscerate Tascam for not testing more cards, but IMO, Sound Devices has done far worse by their customers in this area regarding these recorders.  They have ONE item on their Approved Media for the MixPre series.
https://www.sounddevices.com/mixpre-series-approved-media-list/

FWIW the SD rep never got back to me, and their one recommended SD-branded card actually failed on morst as described above

Not sure if its notable but their only recommended card is a 32GB. the only one that worked for me was also a 32GB. (although justme had a 128GB one that worked (from UK not available in US as far as i know))

« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:22:20 AM by jerryfreak »
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Offline justme

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #142 on: August 22, 2019, 12:42:59 AM »
The storage media failures are indeed one of the weakest points in Sound Devices pitch of the MixPre's.
We should all one by one saturate their support inbox asking them why Zoom can make their F8 work with hundred cards from tens of manufacturers - when SD only manage to list ONE card which is their own.

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #143 on: August 22, 2019, 01:12:56 AM »
unfortunately i think a "fix" for them might be to change the way the machine behaves when write buffer goes empty... they might just let it drop samples and not report the fatal error

if youve ever tested a recording device for dropped samples its a much more involved process... one that almost nobody would do
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Offline jcable77

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #144 on: August 22, 2019, 03:51:47 AM »
Sorry your having issues with that mp6 JF. Like the one Ive been using for the last year and a half, I basically just put a 64 gb card in it, set my presets, formatted the card and hit record. Never had any issues with that one or the one I use all the time.
AKG or ADK>Sound Devices

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #145 on: August 22, 2019, 04:11:35 AM »
Sorry your having issues with that mp6 JF. Like the one Ive been using for the last year and a half, I basically just put a 64 gb card in it, set my presets, formatted the card and hit record. Never had any issues with that one or the one I use all the time.

yes but you probably werent running 192k x 8 channels. if you have some time, can you test some of the cards you have at that bitrate? a 64 gb will fill up in under 4 hrs

its a torture test, in the field i would really only run 6 channels at 48k or 96k with piece of mind....

still somewhat concerning that the unit cant do what they say it can (even if i dont want to use it a the rate) 


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Offline voltronic

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #146 on: August 22, 2019, 06:53:27 AM »
The storage media failures are indeed one of the weakest points in Sound Devices pitch of the MixPre's.
We should all one by one saturate their support inbox asking them why Zoom can make their F8 work with hundred cards from tens of manufacturers - when SD only manage to list ONE card which is their own.

As I said before, it's the Tascam DR-70D drama revisited, only this time it's from a manufacturer known for rock-solid reliability and doing exactly what they claim.

Anyone out there think these MixPres were a bit rushed out to market?
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #147 on: August 22, 2019, 10:24:35 AM »
I am curious if anyone has encountered the "record buffer error" with smaller sampling frequencies or fewer channels? All of the reports I have seen thus far have been based on 8 channels (6 ISOs and the L/R mix) at 192 kHz.

Not to let SD off the hook, as they are clearly advertising a recorder capable of supporting 8 channels and 192 kHz sampling rates, but, if the problem is restricted to 8*192, then it may not be an issue for most tapers. From posts here, I gather that (like myself) most are using 4 - 6 tracks at 48 or 96 kHz.

FWIW the SD rep never got back to me

This is really surprising to me. How did you contact them? I have gotten very quick responses via their support contact page on the website and also via e-mail.

Offline justme

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #148 on: August 22, 2019, 11:43:19 AM »
Perhaps we should try 2.21 with 8ch @192 and see if it added features that have caused the problems.
It might have been punished by add-ons. 

Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #149 on: August 22, 2019, 01:40:07 PM »
Guys, the MixPre-6M is $100 cheaper than the MixPre-6. But it's not a huge difference to ignore the 6 if the 6M lacks features which I might need in the future. Apart from Timecode which I have never used as someone who mostly deals with audio, does the MixPre-6 offer a more appealing package? It supports 192 kHz -- something which I haven't used either with my PCM-D100. Does the 6M offer fewer max channels -- something which might potentially hit me one day upon live-mixing in broadcast settings? And may I know if both 6 and 6M come with an AC adapter in the package?

Best,
Amir

 

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