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Author Topic: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6  (Read 32083 times)

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Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #105 on: July 13, 2019, 12:37:24 AM »
Thanks bunches, morst, for the useful info you provided -- especially regarding turning off the device.
My issue is that I can't test-drive the MixPre-3 as it's not available here. So I need to order it and it will be delivered to me in a week or so. So I know this is not a logical way of purchasing gear, but I should make sure the touch screen isn't a barrier. I have similar issues with Rode's newly released Rodecaster Pro as it also offers a touch screen without audio feedback.
Back to your points, so it seems that the iOS app doesn't help with modification of the settings much. As for the features of the USB keyboard, guess I should also consult the manual. SoundDevices manuals are not quite detailed -- at least that has been the case with my USBPre2, so I should see if the same holds here.

Best,
Amir

Hi Amir, I hope I can help answer some of what you are wondering. I have the MixPre6 so my experience is with that unit, not the 3.
1- Powering off the MixPre is accomplished with a hardware switch on the side. No confirmation is asked or given.
2- The only thing the USB keyboard is good for is naming tracks, projects, and settings files. If you're using the machine in low power mode then the USB keyboard functionality will not be available.
3- Not sure about that, but I think it might be a yes.
Best of luck, I hope this helps a little!
PS I can't think that the app would be very usable in screen reader mode. Its main function is to show live meter levels and it doesn't have much control, like peak hold time or anything.

Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #106 on: July 13, 2019, 01:36:18 AM »
Well, having read the following review of the Mixpre-3/6 devices -- https://transom.org/2017/sound-devices-mixpre-3-mixpre-6 I have a few more questions -- mostly regarding the touch screen and operation as a blind user:
1. The review says:
"You can also use the USB connection for moving audio files from the SD card to your computer’s hard drive. Go to the System screen on the MixPre and tap File Transfer. This will disable USB audio while in this mode."
So do I need to achieve this, via the touch screen, each time I want to transfer files from the device to the computer? And is it somehow doable via a USB keyboard?
2. Somewhere it says:
"The recorders’ internal software provides the ability to store presets of favorite configurations; three presets can be stored in the machine’s internal memory. Or you can store as many as you like on the SD card — just remember that those presets will be lost if you reformat the SD card, which you should do with some regularity. Using these presets allows for quick changes between recording configurations, without your having to dig through menu pages to make sure all settings are as they should be."
Can I switch among these presets via hardware buttons, or is it doable only via the touch screen? How about the USB keyboard?
3. It says:
"To adjust the settings for each input channel, you simply press in on the knob for that channel. That will switch the display to show everything you can adjust for that channel, such as:
–which physical input is assigned to that channel
–panning the input to the Left, Right or Center of the main Left-Right mix
–setting the input gain to mic or line
–turning phantom power on or off
–turning a low-cut filter on or off".
Sorry guys, but at the risk of repeating my previous question(s), do I need the touch screen for all of that, or does the USB keyboard help?
4. Now to pose a basic but different question, can recording be started, paused/resumed and stopped by pressing physical buttons on the device? I hope the answer to this one is a resounding "yes"! <smile>
5. Finally, is it possible to monitor the audio and the way our mics/the device have been set up through headphones before starting a recording? This is possible with the likes of the Sony PCM-D100 and the Zoom H6, so I can listen to how my mics sound via headphones before starting to record. I'm not sure if the Mixpre-3 allows this, but hope it does.

Again sorry for posing so many questions.

Best,
Amir
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 02:12:56 AM by Amir »

Offline morst

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #107 on: July 13, 2019, 03:30:47 AM »
OK. Bad news and good news. If you can get assistance from a sighted person setting this up, it might work for you in the field. That was the good news. Bad news is that most of the things you ask are touch screen only, but let me go over the details because you might be able to work with this.
1- if you can do file transfers from your computer, you can remove the SD card and just use a card reader. Putting the MixPre into USB transfer mode requires the touch screen, but loading the SD card into a typical SDXC card reader should work fine for you. (My MacBookPro has a card reader built-in.)
2 - Switching presets is touch screen only, with no user feedback except visual.
3 - USB keyboard is really just for naming things. Not much else that I have noticed, though I guess I have not pushed it. Perhaps the arrow keys are more functional? All those things you mention on the touch screen, don't seem to be accessible anywhere else. And the way the touch screen uses "pages", without some sort of audible or haptic feedback, it's gonna be REALLY hard to verify that you are on the right page to adjust your desired setting.
 :(
4 - OH yeah, the good news. There are physical buttons which start and stop recording, and playback. I think that if you have this set up in collaboration with a sighted assistant, you will be able to adjust channel levels yourself, and get good results by carefully monitoring using headphones.
5- Another good answer for you - this machine (Again, I use the mixpre6 version) functions like an audio mixer. When it's not recording,it's passing signal just like when it is armed and rolling. The bad news might be that it's hard to tell when you're actually recording, but if there's an audible beep tone, I've certainly switched it off, so I'm a bad one to ask that particular query.


Glad to help!

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Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #108 on: July 13, 2019, 04:13:25 AM »
That's really informative and well thought-out!
Having read your message carefully, what concerns me the most now would be my inability to switch among presets, and my inability to make proper adjustments when more than one mic is connected -- I mean number 3 which involves, among other things, panning the input to the Left, Right or Center of the main Left-Right mix. Courtesy of your observations and insights now I know a lot about what I should expect if I purchase it, but given the issues I mentioned, I'm in two minds about pulling the trigger. Again wish SoundDevices had come up with a way to make the MixPre devices accessible.

Best,
Amir

OK. Bad news and good news. If you can get assistance from a sighted person setting this up, it might work for you in the field. That was the good news. Bad news is that most of the things you ask are touch screen only, but let me go over the details because you might be able to work with this.
1- if you can do file transfers from your computer, you can remove the SD card and just use a card reader. Putting the MixPre into USB transfer mode requires the touch screen, but loading the SD card into a typical SDXC card reader should work fine for you. (My MacBookPro has a card reader built-in.)
2 - Switching presets is touch screen only, with no user feedback except visual.
3 - USB keyboard is really just for naming things. Not much else that I have noticed, though I guess I have not pushed it. Perhaps the arrow keys are more functional? All those things you mention on the touch screen, don't seem to be accessible anywhere else. And the way the touch screen uses "pages", without some sort of audible or haptic feedback, it's gonna be REALLY hard to verify that you are on the right page to adjust your desired setting.
 :(
4 - OH yeah, the good news. There are physical buttons which start and stop recording, and playback. I think that if you have this set up in collaboration with a sighted assistant, you will be able to adjust channel levels yourself, and get good results by carefully monitoring using headphones.
5- Another good answer for you - this machine (Again, I use the mixpre6 version) functions like an audio mixer. When it's not recording,it's passing signal just like when it is armed and rolling. The bad news might be that it's hard to tell when you're actually recording, but if there's an audible beep tone, I've certainly switched it off, so I'm a bad one to ask that particular query.


Glad to help!

Offline justme

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #109 on: July 13, 2019, 05:40:26 AM »
This is what I just did on my Mixpre-6

Connected my ultra slim wireless keyboard with a USB angle for 2.4 GHz connection.
Then I can control everything in the Mixpre.
I can navigate, control and change everything I can over the touch interface.
I can record, stop and playback files.
I can arm and disable, fade, control gain, Low cut filters etc.
I can load presets and save presets.
I can connect the Mixpre via USB-C-to-USB-a cable to my 2015 MacBook Pro which do not have USB-C and - this is the only time I need to touch the touchscreen to acknowledge to run the Mixpre on battery power. With a computer with USB-C and PD, like the MBP from 2016 and newer this is not a problem.

I then tap:
F1, Right Arrow twice, Q, Right Arrow and Q. This do put my Mixpre into USB-C File Transfer Mode and the SD-card in mounted on the MacBook Pro.
By pressing Enter on the keyboard I exit the USB file transfer mode and is back to the ordinary again.


Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #110 on: July 13, 2019, 05:51:50 AM »
Wow, that's just fantastic! Sound Devices deserves a lot of credit for that.
Being able to control everything via a USB keyboard sounds promising. Of course, I have to learn and memorize at least important menu items and the way I can reach them, but since I've been doing that for my recorders over the last decade or so, that shouldn't be a showstopper. However, I just have two more questions:
1. If a USB keyboard is connected to the MixPre-3, can I still connect the MixPre-3 to my laptop via USB? If so, does the latter require a USB C cable?
2. Since I switched to a wireless keyboard for my laptop a long while ago, I should purchase a USB keyboard -- hopefully a small one -- for use with the MixPre-3 as a full-sized one might be difficult to move around. Does every USB 2.0 keyboard work, or does it require some technical considerations?

Best,
Amir

This is what I just did on my Mixpre-6

Connected my ultra slim wireless keyboard with a USB angle for 2.4 GHz connection.
Then I can control everything in the Mixpre.
I can navigate, control and change everything I can over the touch interface.
I can record, stop and playback files.
I can arm and disable, fade, control gain, Low cut filters etc.
I can load presets and save presets.
I can connect the Mixpre via USB-C-to-USB-a cable to my 2015 MacBook Pro which do not have USB-C and - this is the only time I need to touch the touchscreen to acknowledge to run the Mixpre on battery power. With a computer with USB-C and PD, like the MBP from 2016 and newer this is not a problem.

I then tap:
F1, Right Arrow twice, Q, Right Arrow and Q. This do put my Mixpre into USB-C File Transfer Mode and the SD-card in mounted on the MacBook Pro.
By pressing Enter on the keyboard I exit the USB file transfer mode and is back to the ordinary again.

Offline justme

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #111 on: July 13, 2019, 06:26:13 AM »
You have two USB interfaces on the Mixpre.
USB-A and USB-C.

I have the wireless dongle in the USB-A connector.
I then connect the USB-C to my MBP 2015, acknowledge to run on battery, and then I can navigate with:
F1, Right Arrow, Right Arrow, Q, A

That will put the USB-C into Audio interface mode and I can then use it as a microphone preamp, AD/DA device or a recorder.

The wireless keyboard I have is only 205mm by 80mm.


I've filed a feature request/bug report with SoundDevices regarding the need to touch the screen to confirm the battery power question.
Home that can enable a keyboard to control that as well.

Offline Amir

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #112 on: July 13, 2019, 06:38:59 AM »
I'm impressed! Kudos to SoundDevices for not letting go of alternative methods of operating the MixPre devices with the inclusion of the touch screen.
Justme, at first I thought it's not possible to control the MixPre-3 using wireless keyboards which have a USB dongle. They add an extra layor of comfort and portability to an already powerful device. I just downloaded the MixPre-3's manual and will take a closer look.

And special thanks are in order to all awesome TapersSection members. Over the past 4 years I've never been disappointed with the prompt responses I've received from professional members of this great website.

Cheers,
Amir

You have two USB interfaces on the Mixpre.
USB-A and USB-C.

I have the wireless dongle in the USB-A connector.
I then connect the USB-C to my MBP 2015, acknowledge to run on battery, and then I can navigate with:
F1, Right Arrow, Right Arrow, Q, A

That will put the USB-C into Audio interface mode and I can then use it as a microphone preamp, AD/DA device or a recorder.

The wireless keyboard I have is only 205mm by 80mm.


I've filed a feature request/bug report with SoundDevices regarding the need to touch the screen to confirm the battery power question.
Home that can enable a keyboard to control that as well.

Offline justme

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #113 on: July 13, 2019, 07:01:03 AM »
You are welcome!

The reason these USB dongles works is that it emulates a physical device compliant keyboard so it need no drivers and the Mixpre or any other device that can utilise an USB wired keyboard. Then it does the wireless communication to the keyboard on its own.

Offline justme

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #114 on: July 15, 2019, 02:50:34 PM »
I got a reply from Sound Devices and they are able to replicate not being able to respond to an on-screen prompt from an external USB keyboard.

They said they will add it to the feature request list.

Offline morst

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #115 on: July 15, 2019, 03:24:32 PM »
I am so glad to hear that I vastly underestimated the functionality of the USB keyboard interface!!!
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #116 on: July 19, 2019, 11:19:53 PM »
You have two USB interfaces on the Mixpre.
USB-A and USB-C.

I have the wireless dongle in the USB-A connector.
I then connect the USB-C to my MBP 2015, acknowledge to run on battery, and then I can navigate with:
F1, Right Arrow, Right Arrow, Q, A

That will put the USB-C into Audio interface mode and I can then use it as a microphone preamp, AD/DA device or a recorder.

The wireless keyboard I have is only 205mm by 80mm.


I've filed a feature request/bug report with SoundDevices regarding the need to touch the screen to confirm the battery power question.
Home that can enable a keyboard to control that as well.

+T!
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #117 on: July 21, 2019, 05:35:22 PM »
im getting 'media slow' errors with my mixpre6 on cards that should be plenty fast enough

my firmware version is the ancient 1.11

i see that media performance has been improved several times , up until the last version where preroll is an issue

is there a consensus on most reliable firmware? i just bumped to 3.03 since from reading here it looks like i can roll back if needed, testing now
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 06:21:51 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #118 on: July 21, 2019, 06:45:16 PM »
I'm running 3.02 with no issues after disabling pre-roll.
Mics: nbobs/480+ck61/62/63; C568EB; MKE2
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-3 and 6, Part 6
« Reply #119 on: July 21, 2019, 06:54:50 PM »
im an hour in at 192 x 8 ch on 3.03 with no errors so far. this 128GB card will fill up in 7.5 hours and then ill do it again. ive got a stack of old class 4 and class 6 cards i can torture test the machine with as well
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 07:02:55 PM by jerryfreak »
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