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Author Topic: Mp2 Questions....  (Read 2179 times)

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Offline BCostigan

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Mp2 Questions....
« on: December 15, 2002, 08:04:19 AM »
I'm about to buy an mp2 and in another thread here read the following:

>>>Avoid the MP-2.  It sounds nice, but is very difficult to adjust levels.  It should have a sticker on it that says, "not for beginners." <<<

While I don't consider myselft to a beginner I'm no seasoned vet either.  Anybody have some insight as to why this pre is difficult?  From what I've read it sounds like most people set the record knob (I have a D-7) at 7 or 8 and adjust the mp2 from there.  Then they use the record knob if any fine tuning is needed.

Any other tips tricks operating suggestions...anything you might think is helpful/useful in running this pre is greatly appreciated.

Oh...I'll be running AKG 393s into it and like I said going to a D-7 via the tape out (mini) -> line in.

Thanks!!
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Offline creekfreak

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2002, 10:32:28 AM »
I used a MP-2 for about 10 shows. I am not sure why people say it's hard to use.  I find that the mp-2 sounds best at low gain, so I always ran the gain on the mp-2 very low and my a/d high.  The mp-2 warms up the sound nicely, but it's sloppy with the low end.
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Offline jlykos

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2002, 10:45:08 AM »
I put up the post that remarked that the MP-2 is not for beginners.  I still use it and it makes my tapes sound very nice.  I do like the unit, except for a bloated low end.  What makes it so difficult to use is the extreme sensitivity of the knobs at the lower gain levels.  Set the gain on the D7 to as high as you can and the gain on the MP-2 as low as you can.  You will see that when run in this arrangement, the slightest twist of the knobs on the MP-2 will send your levels flying in either direction.  It is insane.  You must use extreme care and caution when adjusting the gain on the MP-2.  The method I use is to place one finger on the knob and then "think" of how much more or less gain you wish to apply.  The knob will then magically nudge in that direction.

Also, be sure to not knock one of the switches over in the dark at a show.  You must be careful and use a light to move the switch that turns off the light show, or you may inadvertantly hit the similar MS switch just to the left of the meter adjustment.

A helpful hint is to use the Powerex 1800 rechargeable batteries in the unit if you are not using an Eco-Charge.  You will get about one show out of a pair of the Powerexes.  My MP-2 could not originally power up with these batteries, but I sent it back to Sound Devices and they modified the battery compartment for free and it only took about a week!

The MP-2 is a fine piece of gear; it could have been a bit better designed, though.
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Offline BCostigan

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2002, 01:15:00 PM »
    What do you run for mics...or more importantly what phantom setting do you use 15 or 48V?  Just curious if two AAs will make it through 2 1/2 hours of recording with15V Phantom on.  Also...I have a 6 volt 4.2 amp hour SLA for my D-7 and was thinking of making a cable to go to both d-7 and mp2 at the same time.  Will the battery have enough juice for both for 2 1/2 hours (Phish show) of record time or shouold I go to the bigger 7.2 amp hour???  Thanks for they help everyone!
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Offline hippies

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2002, 02:26:15 PM »
   What do you run for mics...or more importantly what phantom setting do you use 15 or 48V?  Just curious if two AAs will make it through 2 1/2 hours of recording with15V Phantom on.  Also...I have a 6 volt 4.2 amp hour SLA for my D-7 and was thinking of making a cable to go to both d-7 and mp2 at the same time.  Will the battery have enough juice for both for 2 1/2 hours (Phish show) of record time or shouold I go to the bigger 7.2 amp hour???  Thanks for they help everyone!

MP-2 is not hard to run at all...you just have to familiarize yourself with it, and you'll be fine...knobs are sensitive, but so are the knobs on alot of other gear...yes, you have to be careful setting levels, but this is always the case...nothing new there...

2 AA's (i would go with Duracell Ultra or the like) should give you 4 Hrs with 15V Phantom 'on'/ metering lights on 'Medium'/ headphone monitoring on 'Medium'...your mics will run on 15V, so no need to waste battery power on 48V...no benefit to using 48V over 15V in this case...

as to the SLA...i always use a 7.2 AH to run my deck and MP-2...
i figure 6hrs safely with this config, probably more like 8, and i use 48V Phantom...(largest current draw on MP-2)...you should be able to draw some comparisons for your 4.2AH SLA from there...

the MP-2 does very well on AA batts...it will run for 6 hrs on internal 'lithiums' running 48V Phantom...very good option for stealth situations...

remember, always figure more powering time than needed...for a 2 1/2 hr show, time wasted before show/ between sets etc....you need more like 3hrs-> 3 1/2hrs batt time to be safe...
 
that being said, for your applications, i think internal Duracell Ultras shoud be fine to get a whole show...(turn off during break)...you should also easily be able to get a whole show from your 4.2AH SLA running both pieces of equipment......

i'll see if i can attach the .pdf file here...wasn't having much luck the other day...hehe...

otherwise:

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mp2master.htm

hope this helps...
happy taping...


     8)

Offline BCostigan

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2002, 06:12:27 PM »
Yea...I've checked out the manual at their website.  Hippies thanks so much for the detailed info.  Powering is always a concearn for everyone and getting a new piece of gear it's nice to learn from others experience.  Sounds like the 7.2AH sla is the way to go (to be on the safe side) or two HQ AAs.

Thanks again!!
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Offline hippies

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2002, 06:29:09 PM »
no problemo, bro...
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Offline Marc Nutter

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2002, 12:26:21 PM »
Hi All,

A few notes regarding the MP-2:

One VERY easy way to solve the problem with the poor resolution of the gain control at lowest levels is to place a -10dB or -15dB pad (little xlr>xlr adaptors or cables, available for $40-60.00). in front of the pre-amp  This will force you to raise the levels to offset the loss incurred through the pad and put you into a better position on the gain pot where the resolution is better.  You will notice that the same amount on movement on the pot in the noon-3 O'clock position results in less gain increase/decrease than the same amount of movement at the 9-11 O'clock position.  

Phantom power is unaffected by the pad and the sound quality is NOT compromised.  I know "purists" may object to such an approach, but merely adding a simple resistor in the signal path will NOT harm the sound quality.  At worst, a negligeable increase in the noise floor may result, but it significantly below the level of the music.

For those still not convinced, consider the following:  
Before hitting the worst of conductors (the air), the sound we are trying to capture has already traveled through many electronics.  Most engineers pad the front end of their consoles (the mic pre-amp input) for strong incoming mics channels for the exact reason described above.  While pot design varies, most are easiest to control (have the best resolution) in the middle. Using the pad, forces us into that position.

As far as gain structure is concerned, once again, I recommend setting the input of the a/d (the input to the deck in this case) down to accomodate running the pre-amp at 4-6dB below its own clipping point at peak (ie. crescendo). This is +16dBu on the MP-2.  With the D7/8 input and its tendency to click when input levels are too hot, you should set the dial at 4.5-5 and adjust the pre-amp to achieve the digital levels (on the deck) that you want to see.  At very loud shows, this will result in running the MP-2 down near zero (which is actually 16dB of gain).  Once again, the pads will come in VERY useful here and keep us from overloading the front-end of the deck.

As Jamie suggested, a little telepathic gain adjustment procedure is quite handy.  For the less cosmically endowed, pads will do the trick.

Happy Recording Everybody,

Marc

Offline scb

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Re:Mp2 Questions....
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2003, 02:10:10 PM »
i think the mp2 is a great sounding unit, and a perfect stealth pre too...

great to put in front of a minime too for an even warmer sound...

 

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