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Author Topic: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?  (Read 8397 times)

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Offline So Many Roads

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2019, 02:03:14 PM »

Offline spyder9

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2019, 02:34:07 PM »

Offline BonoBeats

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2019, 02:35:21 PM »
So now we know!

From today's mailout from SD:

Announcing the Mixpre II:
32-Bit Float Recording
142 dB of Dynamic Range
Internal Timecode Generator
Record up to 192 kHz


It seems that Zoom are keeping them on their toes!
(& I'm hoping the legal wrangling with zax*** has gone away)

I'm guessing the 32 bit float wouldn't be available as a software update on the original MixPre6 series, correct? Assuming dual ADCs, similar to the F6.
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Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2019, 02:56:10 PM »
So now we know!

From today's mailout from SD:

Announcing the Mixpre II:
32-Bit Float Recording
142 dB of Dynamic Range
Internal Timecode Generator
Record up to 192 kHz


It seems that Zoom are keeping them on their toes!
(& I'm hoping the legal wrangling with zax*** has gone away)

I'm guessing the 32 bit float wouldn't be available as a software update on the original MixPre6 series, correct? Assuming dual ADCs, similar to the F6.

The FAQs on the website state that the upgrades are hardware based unfortunately.

At least send us the headphone wheel  :smash:
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Pre: FP24
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Offline mjwin

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2019, 03:26:28 PM »
At least send us the headphone wheel  :smash:

Ain't no knob, that's a LEGO tire :yahoo:

Offline justme

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2019, 03:34:48 PM »
This is a bit worrying though.

What are my media options?

We recommend our SAM-32SD card. Additionally, most reputable manufacturers’ cards (such as SanDisk or Delkin) that meet or exceed class 10 speeds are acceptable.

They still only have one single SD card listed as approved. Their own.
https://www.sounddevices.com/mixpre-series-approved-media-list/

Offline DSatz

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2019, 04:54:29 PM »
Are people here aware that Zoom already announced a recorder with 32-bit float encoding? See http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=190161 .

(Zoom didn't manage to get any such recorders onto store shelves yet, but hey--an announcement is almost as good, right?)

Seriously, though, SD's gear is first-rate, but 32-bit float encoding isn't the unalloyed blessing that people might wish to believe. The description of 32-bit float audio files that SD has posted is really disappointing because by taking this one aspect of recording out of context, a highly misleading impression is easily created.

A recorder is a system with multiple functional stages. Just because the last stage of recording (the physical storage of data) has an absurdly wide dynamic range, that in itself doesn't affect the dynamic range of the earlier stages--the input circuitry, mike or line preamps, and a/d converters. They, or something earlier in the chain (such as venue noise or in some cases microphone noise) were always the limiting factor, assuming that one's recording levels have been set more or less correctly, and now ... gosh, they're still the limiting factor.

--best regards
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Offline ts

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2019, 05:06:32 PM »
Thanks dsatz. I was just buried in google searches for 32 bit float and decided to say, “float this”.

That said, will the 3 ll be $599? 🤩
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Offline kindms

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2019, 05:48:20 PM »
USB Audio: 4 channels

looks like if the new sonosax drops this would be able to utilize that interface
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 06:12:35 PM by kindms »
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2019, 06:10:01 PM »
Are people here aware that Zoom already announced a recorder with 32-bit float encoding? See http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=190161 .

(Zoom didn't manage to get any such recorders onto store shelves yet, but hey--an announcement is almost as good, right?)

Seriously, though, SD's gear is first-rate, but 32-bit float encoding isn't the unalloyed blessing that people might wish to believe. The description of 32-bit float audio files that SD has posted is really disappointing because by taking this one aspect of recording out of context, a highly misleading impression is easily created.

this has been discussed extensively in the zoom thread as well, specifically the implementation and how the switching between the two ADCs can be problematic.

I recorded a show on friday on my mixpre6 and at the last minute switched from custom to advanced (or vice-versa, i cant remember) at the last minute to disarm the mixdown channels. it switched 2 of my channels from +30 dB to close to zero dB. peaks were around -40dB and have no noticeable noise upon normalizing. 142dB dynamic range is a nice spec but offers little advantage to the 120ish of the last model for most applications

id be leery to use 32-bit float at high bitrates since the  current unit chokes on 8 channels of 24 bit with most cards
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2019, 06:25:31 PM »
I was composing this post this morning but got distracted with other things.  Glad the discussion has moved to where I was going with it. DSatz, please let me know if any of this is offbase..


Are there actual measurements posted anywhere indicating the dynamic range of the analog input stage of the mic/line inputs prior to reaching the ADC?  I've not been able to find this information with a brief web search, only reviews stating they are subjectively "quiet", yet I imagine someone somewhere must have bench tested it.  According to the press releases the preamps have NOT been changed, so both the I and II series MixPres should be identical in this respect. 

Why does this matter?  It dictates the dynamic-range limit for any analog input (mics or line-in).  The only inputs which could be capable of exceeding that are digital inputs, and the only digital inputs on these recorders are USB.

If one wants to forgo the need to make any input trim adjustment while recording (the purported advantage of 32-bit float): The dynamic range of the microphones used, must fit comfortably within the dynamic range of the analog input stage, which must fit comfortably within the dynamic range of the ADC.

On a traditional recorder we manually adjust input-trim to fit the microphone's output range comfortably within the limited dynamic ranges of both the input/preamp stage and ADC, and sometimes manually switch input sensitivity ranges to better fit the dynamic range of the that input/preamp stage to that of the ADC.

For those using the same set of microphones each time (microphone sensitivity doesn't change session to session) I think we can achieve the same no-trim-fiddling during recording functionality with the existing 24bit MixPres by setting the input trim appropriately initially and leaving it there. [edit, assuming the approximately 130dB or so of dynamic range through the kashmir preamps (see below) slightly exceeds that of your microphones]
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 06:43:44 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2019, 06:29:38 PM »
Just found a source stating the kashmir mic preamps have a -130dBV noise floor, which is indicative of the real-world dynamic range limitation through the analog-inputs if my reasoning above is correct.
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Offline mjwin

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2019, 06:42:38 PM »
Seriously, though, SD's gear is first-rate, but 32-bit float encoding isn't the unalloyed blessing that people might wish to believe. The description of 32-bit float audio files that SD has posted is really disappointing because by taking this one aspect of recording out of context, a highly misleading impression is easily created.

You're absolutely correct in pointing out the DR limitations elsewhere in the chain . IMHO the 32bit spec is very much a market driven "upgrade", as the extended dynamic range thing seems to be where the market's at right now.  (Sonosax, Zoom, Z*com, and now SD).

I think most of us know whether we're going out to record ants crawling on a leaf, or a metal band in a local warehouse, so we just set the levels accordingly - and there's just so much DR already available on these recorders to allow for conservative level settings & even a set-&-forget  policy.

The limiter improvements would seem to be of much more practical use.   The film people were bemoaning the rather sluggish release time of the original Mixpre limiters, so the new adjustments will probably improve their transparency with  gunshots, engine backfires, etc.  (Though it's hard to beat the instantaneous compression on the old Nagra tape machines!)

For now I'm quite happy with my vintage MP6 MK1, though I might make the bold step of updating from v2.21 now the bugs seem to have been ironed out...

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2019, 06:47:21 PM »
-130 dB EIN is the stated input spec at 150 ohms, and 120 dB on the ADC side

obviously both of these are considerably higher than the dynamic range of mics, which is closer to 80 dB when recording even the loudest of concerts


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Offline DSatz

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Re: New Sound Devices MixPre II-series coming?
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2019, 08:55:11 PM »
> ... the dynamic range of mics, which is closer to 80 dB ...

jerryfreak, signal-to-noise ratios for microphones are calculated in an unintuitive way: downward from 1 Pascal, which is equivalent to about 94 dB SPL. That's why you see spec-sheet values such as 80 dB even for professional microphones. It's like giving the s/n ratio of a power amp based on only a 1-Watt output, even though the amplifier might be capable of 300 Watts per side.

In practice, measuring from the noise floor to (typically) the 0.5% THD point, good condenser microphones can have a "working" range of 120-130 dB. Subtract the CCIR equivalent noise from the maximum SPL (even though the noise is frequency-weighted and somewhat time-averaged while the max. SPL is not) to get an idea of this.


> -130 dB EIN is the stated input spec at 150 ohms

Equivalent input noise (EIN) for microphone preamps is usually reported in dBu, not dBV; because of the different reference voltage, the dBV number is ~2.2 dB more impressive looking. (Tsk, tsk.)

EIN also depends on the impedance that the input "sees"--in actual use, the output impedance of the microphone plus its cable--but you said that 150 Ohms was specified, and that's completely normal. As I recall, the physical limit for an input referenced to a 150 Ohm driving impedance is something like -127.5 dBu--I don't remember the tenths digit for sure--but -130 dBV could simply be a rounding off to the nearest whole decibel of the EIN of a preamp that comes very close to the theoretical limit.

Many other good preamps for decades have come within a fraction of a dB of that limit, but the usual professional practice has been to use dBu, and to round the result to the nearest tenth of a decibel. So -130 dBV looks better, but isn't really. Anyway, even the quietest microphones are audibly noisier than that.

--best regards

P.S.: Even more important than those small fractions of a dB: Spec-sheet noise figures for preamps are nearly always obtained with the gain cranked all the way up--which is where the best numerical results are obtained, even though few people use such settings very often.

I did a rampage of preamp comparisons eight or ten years ago but I wanted to measure the noise at gains I typically use in concert recording, so I set them all for 30-35 dB gain. The rankings changed drastically as a result. In my opinion, preamp EIN (and maximum input voltage) should be specified at a variety of gain levels--say at 20, 40 and 60 dB.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 03:58:44 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

 

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