Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

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rick.lang

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 12:01 am

Robert, thanks for the suggestion and I can check again but I’ve selected 24 fps each time I could. Remember the first slippage in time happened all at once while I was watching. Worth verifying again because I was going back and forth between Basic, Advanced, Custom and back to Advanced.


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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 4:16 am

Robert, I have let my last test run for at least 10 hours. The Tentacles and both cameras are definitely 24.00 fps. The MixPre is 17.5 seconds slower. If I had a problem with drop frame the difference would be about 36 seconds over 10 hours.

The BMPCC4K running on INT Timecode looks very good, hard to tell but the seconds appear to change at the same time as well as the 0x, 1x, 2x frame values. The least significant digit is impossible to judge by eye.

The URSA Mini is fine running EXT Timecode.

So it looks like I’ll use the MixPre with a Tentacle permanently feeding the MixPre Timecode and move on as that also seems fine. Disappointed and will follow up with Sound Devices but I need to keep moving forward with a shoot on the horizon.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 5:28 am

Hi Rick,

Please send in a support request to Sound Devices. I'm sure a lot of would like to know what they say. :)

Adam

rick.lang wrote:Robert, I have let my last test run for at least 10 hours. The Tentacles and both cameras are definitely 24.00 fps. The MixPre is 17.5 seconds slower. If I had a problem with drop frame the difference would be about 36 seconds over 10 hours.

The BMPCC4K running on INT Timecode looks very good, hard to tell but the seconds appear to change at the same time as well as the 0x, 1x, 2x frame values. The least significant digit is impossible to judge by eye.

The URSA Mini is fine running EXT Timecode.

So it looks like I’ll use the MixPre with a Tentacle permanently feeding the MixPre Timecode and move on as that also seems fine. Disappointed and will follow up with Sound Devices but I need to keep moving forward with a shoot on the horizon.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 2:13 pm

Dmitry Shijan wrote:Report this investigation to SD support. New product always needs firmware updates and bug fixes.
Maybe it is related to 32 bit recording settings somehow? Did you test it with different bit depth selected?


Dmitry, this morning I tested using 24bit samples rather than 32bit float and after one hour I went to see the results. At 21 minutes the MixPre was exactly correct but at one hour it was out more than one second. So no difference in the behaviour that I’m seeing. If there was any funky 23.976 drop frame happening internally, it would have been 3.6 seconds off. So again my MixPre is useless when using Free Run after jamming to the Tentacle. I’m ready now to file a problem report but will run the MixPre taking Timecode continuously from a Tentacle until this is resolved.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 3:06 pm

Filed my problem report so may need to wait a day or two for an answer that’s meaningful. Sound Devices posts articles but none indicate and issues with Timecode and there is no SD Forum to get help from other users.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 3:32 pm

rick.lang wrote:Filed my problem report so may need to wait a day or two for an answer that’s meaningful. Sound Devices posts articles but none indicate and issues with Timecode and there is no SD Forum to get help from other users.


There used to be a forum... it wasn't very busy though. I do hope that SD is on the ball about resolving this. I haven't had a chance to test the timecodes on mine yet, but when I was running with a 633 + Tentacle sync it's always been flawless, and that's what I'd expect from a MixPre-D II (any model, since they all have timecode generators).
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 3:38 pm

A few active forums for sound and the mixpre are the Gearslutz and Taperssection.
And the renowned professional forum at JWsoundgroup.
You will find comments and posts by Sound Devices’ Paul Isaacs there as well.

I’m sure they would be most interested in your findings regarding TC drift or other sync related problems.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/
https://taperssection.com/index.php
https://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php



rick.lang wrote:Filed my problem report so may need to wait a day or two for an answer that’s meaningful. Sound Devices posts articles but none indicate and issues with Timecode and there is no SD Forum to get help from other users.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 3:41 pm

Thanks, Rakesh. Might not get flawless but I expected less than half a frame in a day. The MixPre Jam display is really nice. Less than half a frame will flicker back and forth between 0 and 1 for the least significant digit in the Timecode. I have seen that after only a two or three minutes but sometime between twenty minutes and within an hour it makes those big one second+ failures that make it useless.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Sep 22, 2019 3:44 pm

Thanks for the links. I’ll give taper a go since I joined recently. Will try the others if needed.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 3:42 pm

Firmware 4.01 is released.
Download v4.01 today for stability enhancements for all MixPre models: MixPre-3, MixPre-3M, MixPre-3 II, MixPre-6, MixPre-6M, MixPre-6 II, MixPre-10T, MixPre-10M, and MixPre-10 II. Select your model on our download page for a complete list of changes.
https://www.sounddevices.com/download/
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 3:48 pm

MixPre Series v4.01:

"Timecode no longer drifts or stamps to the file with an offset. (MixPre-3 II and MixPre-6 II)"
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 3:55 pm

Good news Sound Devices is listening... ;)
Cheers
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 4:10 pm

Denny Smith wrote:Good news Sound Devices is listening... ;)
Cheers


Sweet! I guess I'll be installing that update shortly also :)
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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 4:33 pm

Currently testing, so far so good after ten minutes, but I’ll let it Free Run for four hours or more before feeling confident.

Then I’ll test jam syncing the Tentacle to the MixPre Gen Timecode and seeing how accurate that is compared to another Tentacle not connected to anything as well as the jam synced Tentacle. All three Timecode must agree of course!

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 4:46 pm

Ha! After 15 minutes I’m almost a frame out of sync! So that’s what I saw before the updated firmware.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 5:05 pm

My brain cinema shows me Rick sitting patiently in front of his MixPre and watching it closely with eagle eyes when its rolling down the timecode numbers like a digital stream of time passing till infinity...
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 5:30 pm

Shhh. Silence.
He might miss a frame during count. :D

Robert Niessner wrote:My brain cinema shows me Rick sitting patiently in front of his MixPre and watching it closely with eagle eyes when its rolling down the timecode numbers like a digital stream of time passing till infinity...
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 10:28 pm

Good one guys, keeping an eye on it while otherwise busy with a couple of things. The first 4.01 test ran for 6.5 hours, losing part of a frame in 15 minutes and going over a few hours when it lost less than two frames by the end. Next test losing a slightly larger part of a frame in ten minutes and I’ll monitor this for several hours.

What’s good it that I may no longer see those chunks of a second or more lost suddenly. This gradual loss is similar to before 4.1 but doesn’t get ridiculously bad. Still losing Timecode so quickly means I can’t use it. On a real shoot, I’ll have it taking TC from the Tentacle continuously when I can.

Short narrative takes will likely be okay, but most anything will need a fresh jam every shot which is not the way it should be in a multi-camera shoot or I’ll need to sync manually again!


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 10:31 pm

rick.lang wrote:Short narrative takes will likely be okay, but most anything will need a fresh jam every shot which is not the way it should be in a multi-camera shoot or I’ll need to sync manually again!


At least it's probably more interesting than watching paint dry ;)

It sounds like SD has some more work to do to cure the clock generator drift :-/
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Sep 23, 2019 10:40 pm

Rick,

Just a thought ... can you sync more than one device with the Tentacle ... IOW run into the mic in then take the headphone out to another device .... like into camera ... out of camera with enough volume to sync the MixPre ... or into the Mixpre and out to the camera ....

Might save having to purchase one extra Tentacle ... if you can have camera and recorder in near proximity.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Sep 24, 2019 12:09 am

When I’m on set, I don’t want the recorder close to me since audio and video can be taking a different path physically. Better to be independent. I already tested the Pocket4K and it might not need a dedicated Tentacle so then I can jam sync a Pocket4K and tether the MixPre.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Sep 24, 2019 5:24 am

Further feedback posted on the taper forum:

Paul, thanks for the feedback! I didn’t know about the local calibration of the MixPre-10 II to an external Timecode clock. Interesting my second 5.5 hour test didn’t change from that early loss of a part frame. So it’s still just barely less than a frame but didn’t get any worse in the last 4.5 hours!

I don’t know if there is value in shooting 23.976 fps as I’m shooting 24 fps but I’ll do as you request of course. Then I’ll also test jamming the Tentacle to the MixPre clock and using that Tentacle to jam the other Tentacle. Will leave both Tentacles on the two cameras and see how they all fare after that method.


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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Sep 24, 2019 6:11 pm

From tapers:

I set all devices to 23.976 fps; the test to jam the Tentacles from the MixPre Gen Timecode vía the stereo out port ran for 9 hours and appears to be flawless. Both Tentacle devices match the Gen clock. No need to calibrate or blame the Tentacles or MixPre for inconsistencies.

Currently running (over an hour) the test of MixPre with Gen Timecode jam synced to a Tentacle. Monitoring that via the Jam screen, there is no difference detected at 23.976 fps.

So you must be relieved as I am. I’ll let it run longer but doubt there is a problem under 4.01.

However, I still want to verify if running at 24 fps now performs properly.

I can do a low level exFAT erase/format on my Mac (Disk Utility) as requested before stress testing 6/8 tracks armed writing 192KHz 32bit Audio. All I plan to use at this time is 6 tracks and 48KHz 32bit audio but I’ll do the stress test using your own approved SD32GB card. In practice if I was really running those rates, I’d test with the Wise 128GB card I have.

Edit
Running 4.01 under 24 fps and previous difficulty remains. Running for an hour and the same pattern is there: MixPre Jam synced by Tentacle and loses Timecode sync before long, very close to a lost frame after one hour and it might stay that way for many hours of accurate Timecode if you ignore the early problems.

Why is 23.976 so good and 24.00 flaky? 24 is an integer; it’s precise. 24.98 or 23.976 or 23.976024976024... that’s imprecise at some point of accuracy and yet that gives the right Timecode for Tentacle and MixPre. What’s hard about 24? I’ll revert to 23.976 recording for the foreseeable future until Sound Devices solves this in release 4.02

Edit 2
Five hours running and same result with 4.01 for 24 fps. Lost less than a frame but still enough to require manual sync. FAIL 24.

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Last edited by rick.lang on Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Sep 24, 2019 6:18 pm

23.976 is not drop-frame! It's on its own clock.

I don't think there's an inherent reason one should be more accurate than the other (unless one or more of your devices wasn't actually recording at 24fps), except that in North America you should be working at 23.976, not 24, if you're delivering to anything but a cinema.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Sep 24, 2019 6:57 pm

John Paines wrote:23.976 is not drop-frame! It's on its own clock.


There's a pretty good explanation of this here: https://blog.frame.io/2017/07/17/timeco ... ame-rates/

Key excerpt:

23.98fps now exists as a standalone HD video format. But logically it’s only used in NTSC countries so you wouldn’t find it in a PAL 25fps country.

Just to get an idea of the numbers, with a camera shooting in Free Run at 23.98fps, the drift will also be 3.6 seconds after one hour of real time so the timecode count will be 01:00:03:14. (0.6 seconds x 24 frames a second = 14.4 frames).

Though it would be nice to be able to compensate for the 0.024 frames unaccounted for every second, there is no Drop Frame standard for 23.98fps because there’s no amount of frame numbers that can be dropped from the timecode to make it fit neatly into real time. We got lucky with 29.97, but it just doesn’t work with 23.98.

When using an external sound recorder, it too must have 23.98fps as an available choice, or there will be drift between the sound and picture.
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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Sep 24, 2019 7:05 pm

Thanks again, John. I removed that term in my post. I’ve demonstrated that the Tentacles are in sync as is the MixPre when they run 23.976 fps.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Sep 24, 2019 7:11 pm

Brad, even 29.97 isn’t precise but the lease significant digits seem small enough not to cause an issue so we’re ‘lucky.’ 29.97002997002997003...

Thanks for the article.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 1:11 am

Success in the stress test recording MixPre-6 II under 4.01 with 6 tracks armed and the left and right mix tracks at 192KHz with 32bit audio. Filled the branded SD32GB card with only a minute’s recording time left on the card. So no worries about getting past the halfway mark of the card’s capacity and no worries practically filling the card!

I’ll complete the formal results chart but need to rush this post as I’m updating the iPhone at the same time.


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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 3:34 am

Sound Devices has assigned Tech Support who will carry the ball in resolving the behaviour I’m seeing for Timecode at 24 fps (losing about a frame over a few hours but often in the first 10-30 minutes of recording). 23.976 is good over nine hours. Firmware 4.01.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 3:43 am

Thats great to hear they are onto it!
One wonder how they did not manage to spot such an obvious problem before release.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 4:39 am

The larger portion of folks here may be shooting 23.976 or 25 or 29.97 fps so they need not have any hesitation purchasing the MixPre II series.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 6:46 pm

So 23.976, 25 and 29.97 fps are also don't produce timecode shift? Problem only with 24 fps? Really strange bug
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 8:27 pm

Dmitry, I’m testing 29.97 today.... later.

Finished a 5.7 hour test of 192KHz audio with 8 channels... that filled my Wise SDXC 128GB card using exFAT. No problem. 23.976 fps.


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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 9:18 pm

After 30 minutes, firmware 4.01 the familiar Timecode behaviour occurs with 29.97 fps. I don’t feel like watching this for hours when I can tell you it will be about a frame behind in a few hours. The concern are these early failures and the clock may be good after that or it may get a little worse.

I’ll try 25 fps.


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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostWed Sep 25, 2019 9:57 pm

Sadly 25 fps with 4.01 suddenly went from perfect to an even frame behind as I watched it! About 40 minutes into the recording. Nothing gradual about it. Maybe it was a one-time thing and might go well for hours, but I wouldn’t trust Timecode unless you are using 23.976 fps.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 1:36 am

I’m currently retesting at 23.976 fps to see if that frame rate is still flawless. Over five hours and it’s still good Timecode. I’ll update later and make it an eight hour day.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 4:08 am

Very nice testing.
I really wonder if it’s their math in code that is causing the TC-failures or something else.
It’s not that they are new to the TC in any way.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 4:35 am

rick.lang wrote:I retested Timecode at 23.976 fps to see if that frame rate is still flawless. Over nine hours and it’s still good Timecode, no drift. I’ll call it a day.


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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 4:31 pm

Apparently there are many MixPre operators who are having their SD cards fail as the cards near capacity writing many tracks. I stressed the MixPre-6 II to its limit with 8 fracks 32bit audio at Apparently there are many MixPre operators who are having their SD cards fail as the cards near capacity writing many tracks. I stressed the MixPre-6 II to its limit with 8 fracks 32bit audio at 192KHz. The MixPre wrote non-stop until my Wise 128GB UHS-II Class 10 U3 card was almost 100% full, 5.7 hours at the highest possible bitrate in the UHS-I slot. No problem.

https://www.coremicro.com/wise-sd2-128u ... emory-card I wrote non-stop until my Wise 128GB UHS-II Class 10 U3 card was almost 100% full, 5.7 hours at the highest possible bitrate in the UHS-I slot. No problem.

https://www.coremicro.com/wise-sd2-128u ... emory-card





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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 4:36 pm

rick.lang wrote:I wrote non-stop until my Wise 128GB UHS-II Class 10 U3 card was almost 100% full


How many pencils did you break Rick, while writing non-stop?
;)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 5:19 pm

Good one! Looks like I need to edit another post.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 7:10 pm

Hi Rick,

Have worked with a zoom F8 for over 3 years. It is about to become my backup device replaced by a Sound Devices recorder, Waiting on the new 833. Mix Pre II you cant go wrong.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Sep 26, 2019 7:32 pm

Nice step up, Bill. What’s the principal attraction for you to the new 833?


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostFri Sep 27, 2019 2:10 pm

Rick,

I was going to step into the 633. the 833 is next step and I plan on it working for me for the next 5 to 8 years.

One big difference between sound devices and other manufacturers is RF noise rejection. On sets their is more RF noise than ever. I have been having increasing noise issues with the zoom F8 due to RF noise.

Sound Devices has great design for RF noise rejection.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostFri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm

I wasn’t aware of that so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that the Zoom F6 was delayed? The 833 looks great, but way out of my budget. I see the preamps have been improved with even lower noise floor, but I don’t know if anyone has done a blind side-by-side with the MixPre II Kashmir versus 833 to if mere mortals can tell the difference and if so in what shooting conditions. I’m not recording the world’s top orchestras and operas.


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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostFri Sep 27, 2019 6:00 pm

rick.lang wrote:I wasn’t aware of that so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that the Zoom F6 was delayed? The 833 looks great, but way out of my budget. I see the preamps have been improved with even lower noise floor, but I don’t know if anyone has done a blind side-by-side with the MixPre II Kashmir versus 833 to if mere mortals can tell the difference and if so in what shooting conditions. I’m not recording the world’s top orchestras and operas.


I think the 833 is basically a MixPre-II for sound recordists. Quality wise there is unlikely to be much if any difference.

The thing is that you and I could, with the right set of mics, set up a deccatree (is that the term?) recording of a top orchestra or opera and get results that would be, assuming that we did everything right, indistinguishable from the same recording done with a Scorpio or 833.

But if we had a need for more mics, like needing eight wireless lav feeds + hidden mics + boom mic, we'd be hosed.

Personally, I don't care -- I'm not a sound recordist, so most of the extras (more inputs, XLR out, dual recordings, etc) are overkill for my needs. I care about the quality of the recordings, but at this point it's like a digipotato (aka 'youtuber') debating between a Pocket 6K and an Millenium DXL2 for vlogging.

I'm happy with the MixPre-6 II, planning to sell my v1, and recruit sound folks with more hardware for bigger projects. Everybody wins :)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostFri Sep 27, 2019 7:06 pm

The Sounds Devices 833 and the Scorpio recorder shares the same preamps, a notch up from the MixPres.
The MixPre-series are using another one and as I understand it, both I and II uses the same preamps but the II uses multiple three parallel stages.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostFri Sep 27, 2019 7:21 pm

Username wrote:The Sounds Devices 833 and the Scorpio recorder shares the same preamps, a notch up from the MixPres.


Which given how good the Kashmir preamps sound is simply bind moggling... :)

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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostFri Sep 27, 2019 7:43 pm

Haha.
True.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSat Sep 28, 2019 2:03 am

Or 550 dB? The sound at an event horizon if you could hear sound there at all? Maybe settle for the tailpipe on a jet.


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