Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

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robedge

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

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 8:17 pm

rick.lang wrote:Rob, I only have the MixPre-6 II, not the original. I tested turning the MixPre off and on again and it maintains Timecode. Again I would still reset it after several hours. I’ll turn it Off for a few hours now and check later in the day.

I concur with Michael’s test on the camera. It will drift a little over time and best to leave the Tentacle on the camera and have perfect results.


Thanks. I have a Sound Devices field recorder with Ambient built in. With a LEMO 5-pin to 3.5mm cable, it could be used as a master for a Pocket 4K, and indeed for a MixPre, version I.

The cable is expensive (US$50-75) but I may pick one up and experiment a bit. I’ve used this recorder as a master/jammer in the past, but I just don’t feel a pressing need to use timecode and the accompanying additional gear with a single Pocket 4K. Maybe experimenting a bit will change my mind :)
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Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 8:29 pm

Yes only critical when recording off-camera where you need to match spoken words to visual footage of the speaker. Although you can always sync manually; it just takes longer.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 10:24 pm

Rob, I jam synced the MixPre-6 II over two hours ago, removed the Tentacle, turned Off the MixPre and waited. I’ve just turned it On the checked sync: perfect.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 10:26 pm

rick.lang wrote:Yes only critical when recording off-camera where you need to match spoken words to visual footage of the speaker. Although you can always sync manually; it just takes longer.


Rick, have you tried running a cable straight from your MixPre series II recorder to your Blackmagic camera to record timecode? I believe that it takes the same cable as a Sound Devices field recorder, Lemo 5-pin to TRS 3.5mm jack.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 10:28 pm

rick.lang wrote:Rob, I jam synced the MixPre-6 II over two hours ago, removed the Tentacle, turned Off the MixPre and waited. I’ve just turned it On the checked sync: perfect.


Good. Thanks very much. Now I want to get a Lemo to TRS cable and find out whether the same thing will happen if I use my 702T field recorder to jam sync a version I MixPre.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 10:29 pm

No, I haven’t done that. That would work but I don’t want my camera tethered to the recorder. I could try it someday. I’m sure that will work too. Could save someone money... including me if I ever get a third camera (please, Lord, not another camera!).
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 11:07 pm

rick.lang wrote:No, I haven’t done that. That would work but I don’t want my camera tethered to the recorder. I could try it someday. I’m sure that will work too. Could save someone money... including me if I ever get a third camera (please, Lord, not another camera!).


When you’re shooting with one camera, what are you getting from timecode that you wouldn’t get just by routing the sound from your MixPre to the camera and its storage? Would you go this route if you weren’t concerned about tethering?
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostFri Jan 31, 2020 1:53 pm

Rob, it’s a mobility and device placement concern. In my last shoot the MixPre was perhaps 10 meters away from the camera.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 1:34 pm

Update post regarding turning off the MixPre:

The MixPre, powered Off, with no Tenracle mounted to force sync, will retain an accurate generated Timecode that has been jammed to a Tentacle for a few hours. But at some point, when you turn the MixPre On, it reverts back to its own clock and you need to be jam synced again. I know it can be Off for a couple of hours and I think I tested around three to four hours and it was fine.

My guidance would be not to rely on the MixPre retaining jammed Timecode after the MixPre has been powered off for more than an hour or two to be safe. Since it only takes a few seconds to resync, please resync after a significant break such as lunch or set changes before you resume recording.

If you have the sled that takes those Sony NP-F970 batteries, you can likely run all day without turning the MixPre Off. I still jam sync anyway after a long break, just to be safe.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 1:42 pm

rick.lang wrote:Update post regarding turning off the MixPre:


Very helpful info, thanks.

Still not sure whether I want to go the timecode route, but I’m awaiting advice from my usual vendor on the Tentacle Sync E, Ambient Nano and Timecode Systems Ultra Sync.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Feb 04, 2020 6:46 pm

Is there a signal path diagram available for MixPre? something like this I mean.
f_8b9f6853-6a38-451a-a318-d217058017a7-ENG.png
f_8b9f6853-6a38-451a-a318-d217058017a7-ENG.png (171.86 KiB) Viewed 4280 times

It would help a great deal to understand how it works.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Feb 04, 2020 6:59 pm

SD have some block diagrams for the larger recorders but I’ve never seen anything for the MixPre I/II-series.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 8:00 am

I have been wondering, is the stereo mix analogue or digital?

If it is analogue, that could be used as back up channel on 10T for two channels.

But if it is analogue how is the post mixing working then, are the ISO channels first converted to analogue and then put again trough the analogue mixer?

A simple block diagram would make understanding the device much easier.

BTW, does your power switch look like this, so deep in? It is pretty much inbossible to operate by finger when USB-C is connected.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 10:11 am

Kim Janson wrote:BTW, does your power switch look like this, so deep in? It is pretty much inbossible to operate by finger when USB-C is connected.

Yep, that is idiotic SD power switch is the same for all models. Worst placement ever and not enough height to grab. In perfect world they should use button instead toggle and place it in front panel instead of SD logo label.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 11:22 am

The rotary encoder on side is an other source of frustration on the other ways great design. Thinking making something like this 3D printed, to make the rotary adjustment from the front. The rotary encoder click inwards would remain on side.

If someone would have a 3D model of MixPre 10T that would help great deal fitting this in. I question this part is more or less the same on all of them.

Screenshot 2020-02-09 at 13.17.11.jpg
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am

Maybe connect Follow focus to that gear?
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 11:29 am

I think it will be good to have the outer support not to tress the encoder. This would be easy to design if I would have the MixPre 3D model.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 12:43 pm

Kim Janson wrote:BTW, does your power switch look like this, so deep in? It is pretty much impossible to operate by finger when USB-C is connected.


Yes it's really pathetic.
I first thought it was a main physical power feed and the led lit SD-logo on the front was the logical switch.
But that poor tiny (s)witch on the side even appears to be a logical switch.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 2:30 pm

Kim, the MixPre series II has a larger knob and it doesn’t bother me. The power switch is a PITA. I believe all audio Out is digital and recorded and mixed tracks are digital.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 3:21 pm

What I like about the tiny, hard-to-reach power switch is that while it's a pain to switch the unit on, there's very little risk that you'll ever switch it off accidentally.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 5:19 pm

Brad Hurley wrote:What I like about the tiny, hard-to-reach power switch is that while it's a pain to switch the unit on, there's very little risk that you'll ever switch it off accidentally.


Yes indeed and it is pretty ok when USB-C is not connected, but then it is, I need to use something sharp to operate it, it just does not work with my fingers.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 09, 2020 11:04 pm

It's hard to turn on and when I'm trying to move gear quickly, it's hard to turn off. It was one of those things I remember so many people complaining about on the first series, that I was surprised they didn't change that for the new ones. There's been plenty of times that I'm doing a quick setup and think I've got that turned on and after focusing the camera, look to the Mixpre to hit record, and it's not on. Ugh. But still, I love the ease of use of the thing overall. I haven't used the USB-C port and hope I never do. Or it's going to be as scratched up as Kim's.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 10, 2020 3:50 pm

First version to the SD encoder extender. the push is on side at the end of the original knob. Rotation can be done easily from front.

Still some work to fit everything perfectly, including the headphone cable.

Screenshot 2020-02-10 at 17.49.58.jpg
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The second version works pretty nicely.

Screenshot 2020-02-11 at 23.38.55.jpg
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The Step file is here https://drive.google.com/open?id=1b3fkD ... _bO1Xm0GIZ you may use it for your personal use, at your own risk, commercial use, see the terms on the same directory.

Screenshot 2020-02-12 at 0.00.53.png
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Video about it, easy to instal with two hands, not so with one as on the video :)



Not sure if this fits other models than the 10T, but they all look pretty much the same for this part.

The encoder knob should slide easily to the first gear and everything should fit nicely, do not force.

This is made for small Subra 3.5 mm connector https://www.verkkokauppa.com/fi/product ... qXq89ztXFN
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 11:02 am

Updated version of the knob extender, now with also click on the front

Screenshot 2020-02-23 at 9.20.28.jpg
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Screenshot 2020-02-23 at 9.29.28.jpg
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This is made for 10T, but I hope it works also other MixPre Series.

The printable files are available for printing for personal use. The files may not be shared or used in any other way. the get the files contact me via email available here http://www.levitezer.com (Kim) and state that you comply with the above statement and I provide the printable files.

We could look into making a product of this, but it is still much uncertain.

Installation and use:


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

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 12:31 pm

That is really cool!
I guess it may fit to Mixpre6, but will not fit to Mixpre3. Mixpre3 minijacks layout is different.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 2:25 pm

Thats a really nice thingy!
Very cool!
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 4:35 pm

Thanks Dimitry and Petter

After your comments and some digging in to it indeed looks that MixPre 10, 6, and 3 are much different on the encoder knob and 3.5 mm connector positions. The current design will fit only 10T and maybe the new 10.

The most difficult part of the project has been getting the 10T measurements right so that everything fits. I requested SD if they could provide MixPre 3D models for relevant parts, and if so it will be easy to adjust this for MixPre 3 and I think possible though a bit difficult for MixPre 6. MixPre 6 may need small 3.5 mm connector like on the first version for 10T.

The MixPre 10, 6, 3, close the same for the relevant part, but still so much different. I should have looked into it before posting and not to assume they are the same.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 6:39 pm

There seem to be a number of MixPre owners who are unhappy with the size of the rotary knob on the side and either want to use the big mixer knobs instead or want to make the rotary knob bigger.

Sound Devices built its reputation on what are known as the 7-series of recorders. These were launched in the mid-2000s and were rapidly adopted by sound recordists in film and radio. Among other things, they became the dominant recorder in feature film production. I thought it might be amusing to post a couple of photos of a 702T 2-track recorder, which when it was discontinued in late 2017 or 2018 sold for US$2700. All of the 7-series recorders shared this basic layout.

This is the front of the recorder. There are no big knobs, just two little knobs on the left, marked 1 and 2, that pop out when depressed and are used to control the gain on each channel:

702T-front.jpg
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This is the right side of the recorder. See that little knob on the left called Menu Select? Look familiar? That is the rotary knob that controls most of the recorder's functions. In the decade that I've owned a 702T, I have not seen a single owner complain that the knobs aren't big enough or that the rotary knob is in the wrong place :) Indeed, the decision to tuck the rotary knob away on the side was a good one, and I can't think of a single reason why it should be bigger.

702T-select.jpg
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I do agree that the power button on the 702T (top right in the first photo) is more felicitously placed than the one on the MixPre, but it is also very small and in a place where it is protected. Why? Because its size and placement keep it out of the way when operating the recorder and also make it unlikely to be accidentally pressed.

The MixPre recorders are being used by professional location sound recordists and I've also yet to see one of them complain about the knobs. The only complaint that I've seen from pros is that the storage card is behind the battery.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 7:23 pm

Here's a suggestion for those who find it annoying, especially when a USB-C cable is attached, to turn a MixPre recorder on and off. Use a pen or similar.

Where does that idea come from? The Sound Devices 7-series recorders use Sony L-series batteries. These are not in a compartment. They attach directly to the back of the recorder, which speeds replacement on, for example, a feature film set.

The recorders have a guard mechanism that prevents the battery from accidentally detaching. It is awkward, indeed in my experience very difficult, to unlock a battery using one's fingers. Solution? The end of a pen to depress the guard, at which point the battery slides out easily.

Indeed, Sound Devices recommended this. Here is a photo of the back of the recorder. You can see the locking pin in the upper right of the battery:

702t-rear.jpg
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Here is what Sound Devices says in the 702T user manual:

Battery Release Pin
Push down the pin with a long skinny object such as a key, screwdriver, or a pen. With the pin pushed in, slide the L- or M-Series battery to the right to release the battery


It never occurred to me to complain about this. I guess I think that making sure that a battery can't detach by accident, while in the middle of making a recording, is a good idea.

The same thing works for the power switch on a MixPre :)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 8:34 pm

The problem occur mainly when the MixPre series are bagged and powered with USB-C and have head phones attached. You can't rotate it from the front as you are only able to grip it from beneath it.
And the USB-C power cable is in the way for the switch.

But if you use it in studio, on desktop or as an audio interface and mic pre amp as a youtuber - which was the one of the target users SD had when they designed it, then there are plenty of reach to control the knob or the power switch if you ever want to power it down.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSun Feb 23, 2020 8:56 pm

Username wrote:The problem occur mainly when the MixPre series are bagged and powered with USB-C and have head phones attached. You can't rotate it from the front as you are only able to grip it from beneath it.
And the USB-C power cable is in the way for the switch.

But if you use it in studio, on desktop or as an audio interface and mic pre amp as a youtuber - which was the one of the target users SD had when they designed it, then there are plenty of reach to control the knob or the power switch if you ever want to power it down.


The MixPre has a small rotary knob on the right side for the same reasons that Sound Devices's professional field recorders have a small rotary knob on the right side (see the photos three posts up). Among other things, the location and size of the knob make it easy to operate the recorder when used from the kind of bag that sound recordists use in the field (with apologies to left-handed sound recordists).

I think that people should spend less time thinking that Sound Devices doesn't know what it's doing and more time thinking about their own inexperience. To take one example, it is just a fact that the rotary knob gives one finer control over gain than both the mixer knobs and the touchscreen, and also, unlike the mixer knobs, makes accidentally changing gain impossible. That rotary knob is there for a reason, and learning how to use it properly will give users better control and save time.

In my view, the power switch is a complete non-issue. If one has a problem using the switch, which is quite properly small and out of the way, see the quote from the Sound Devices 702T user manual two posts above for a common sense solution. Presumably most people have a pen or a set of keys on them. It’s an audio recorder, not a television set or a living room stereo amplifier :)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 1:55 am

That enlarged knob is the same on my MixPre-6 II, I think it’s the same on all Series II devices.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 3:00 am

rick.lang wrote:That enlarged knob is the same on my MixPre-6 II, I think it’s the same on all Series II devices.


As I understand it, Sound Devices added what it calls a “tire” (that’s the word used on the Sound Devices web site) than can be used around the rotary knob, or not, as preferred. There is speculation, apparently credible, that the “tire” is a LEGO part :)

These complaints are not coming from people who have experience with location and field recording, and they are definitely not coming from people who have recorded out of a bag designed for sound recording. If I were feeling flippant, I might suggest that it sounds like whingeing from teenage boys who are addicted to big shiny knobs and touchscreens and who make YouTube videos in their bedroom :)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 4:22 am

:D and maybe I should leave it to that, as that is how this 'attack agains change' makes me feel as I realise that is how I feel also about few things.

However I will say this

- the "tire" as well as the extension knob change nothing, they are optional parts that can be removed in few seconds.

- not all MixPre users are professionals on sound recording, and not all professionals think alike.

- there is other uses for them than location and field recording.

- I could send you one to be tested, but I take it you have already made your mind.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 4:50 am

Kim Janson wrote::D and maybe I should leave it to that, as that is how this 'attack agains change' makes me feel as I realise that is how I feel also about few things.

However I will say this

- the "tire" as well as the extension knob change nothing, they are optional parts that can be removed in few seconds.

- not all MixPre users are professionals on sound recording, and not all professionals think alike.

- there is other uses for them than location and field recording.

- I could send you one to be tested, but I take it you have already made your mind.


Hey Kim,

Props for being inventive. There’s just a question about whether this particular invention is a solution in search of a problem :)

I’ve seen a fair number of complaints about these kinds of issues in this thread and I just wanted to suggest that Sound Devices knows what it’s doing and share where the MixPre design choices come from, because they don’t come from thin air and they have a long, successful history in the market.

I suspect that many readers of this thread learned for the first time that that rotary knob comes straight from the recorders that made Sound Devices’s reputation, and that this is not the first time that a pen or a key or a pocket knife might come in handy.

I was trying to be lighthearted about it, hence the smilies.

If I gave you the impression otherwise, I should add that I do not make my living as a sound recordist.

Cheers
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Kim Janson

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

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 6:39 am

For me it was a solution to a very practical problem. I use the 10T also as a headphone amplifier with computer and it is located above my head, making the access to headphone volume control very difficult without the extension knob. That is the use on witch I have also problems with the power switch.

I am certainly not a professional regarding sound recording and never will be, just starting and learning for my own fun, to better understand also this area. Next will build sound bag around the 10T and that will be also partially 3D printed and out of the box thinking, partially because I do not know or too much care at this time what the box is.

Will it be better than the existing ones, most likely not, not the first version anyway, but maybe there will be something, that someone finds useful and anyway I will learn what did not work and what did and maybe it will then be updated based on the feedback. This will take some time as it has clearly a hobby status for now.

The extension knob certainly has plenty of interest also by professionals. We will see how they like it when they get the prototypes for testing. Maybe, just maybe we make a product of it.

I know, this is not the traditional business approach at all. We do that too, things we keep quiet about before it is ready and sometimes always for the things we develop for other companies.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 7:58 am

The higher series of Sound Devices recorders are workhorses and loved by pretty much everyone.
I've have barely touched them but I do own and use my MixPre-6 a lot.

And when in bag the power and knob are in a very tight space compared with the 7-series recorders for example. :)

If they only would have let the power switch protrude a little, a few millimetre would have made a difference instead of recessing it and that would have been way better.
I made several 3,5mm Neutrik angled extension cable to free up some space around the left side stereo out and right side, TC/line in and headphone out. With a straight 3,5mm headphone connectors inserted it's beyond tricky :)

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robedge wrote:
rick.lang wrote:That enlarged knob is the same on my MixPre-6 II, I think it’s the same on all Series II devices.


As I understand it, Sound Devices added what it calls a “tire” (that’s the word used on the Sound Devices web site) than can be used around the rotary knob, or not, as preferred. There is speculation, apparently credible, that the “tire” is a LEGO part :)

These complaints are not coming from people who have experience with location and field recording, and they are definitely not coming from people who have recorded out of a bag designed for sound recording. If I were feeling flippant, I might suggest that it sounds like whingeing from teenage boys who are addicted to big shiny knobs and touchscreens and who make YouTube videos in their bedroom :)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 2:21 pm

Kim Janson wrote:For me it was a solution to a very practical problem. I use the 10T also as a headphone amplifier with computer and it is located above my head, making the access to headphone volume control very difficult without the extension knob. That is the use on witch I have also problems with the power switch.


Thanks, I was having trouble understanding what the issue is and now I know.

If I didn’t have my MixPre right in front of me I’d use a USB surface controller, or the Wingman app if its functions met my needs. But now I see what you’re trying to do.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 4:54 pm

Sound Devices just like to use bizarre external design and ergonomics in their products. Sometimes their things are very strange and unpractical. But they compensate it with sound quality. Consumers must be happy and struggle at the same time. Also they need to sell somehow higher end Scorpio models an so they put all buttons in front side there. Take a look - we have $10K recorder here with way better ergonomics...
Sound Devices design is not a problem free company. If handle was placed at the side in ancient models that does't means that it should be there in new models. Sound Devices firmware also may be very buggy. (45 seconds boot time in PIX recorders :shock: , headphones out distortion problem in MixPre3-II/6-II/10-II series still don't fixed) But again - they compensate it with best ever sound quality.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostMon Feb 24, 2020 8:19 pm

I also don't share the thought that Sounddevices had a great plan for the way they designed the power knob and the head phone knob. I have the MixPre 10 II in an Orca bag and fiddling with the power switch is just annoying. Far worse is their NPF battery sledge where it is almost impossible to change the battery when everything sits in the sound bag. Whoever came up with that design should be punished.
And putting the SD card slot behind the battery sledge is - argh.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostTue Feb 25, 2020 11:03 pm

Consumers are so upset with Sound Devices and its MixPre recorders that the prices are going up on 9 March: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=108171

This is in a segment of the market where prices normally go down over time, not up.

The price of the Sound Devices Scorpio is also going up by US$505. This is the recorder that, according to the post two up, “they need to sell somehow”.

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

PostWed Feb 26, 2020 7:25 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:I also don't share the thought that Sounddevices had a great plan for the way they designed the power knob and the head phone knob. I have the MixPre 10 II in an Orca bag and fiddling with the power switch is just annoying. Far worse is their NPF battery sledge where it is almost impossible to change the battery when everything sits in the sound bag. Whoever came up with that design should be punished.
And putting the SD card slot behind the battery sledge is - argh.


Agreed, that power switch just plain sucks. I was flabbergasted that it remained the same on Gen II. The battery sled on the new version I find much harder to get on and off compared to the old version. In retrospect, I wish I had kept the old one for that issue alone, now access to the SD card is even more painful. Probably should have learned to properly slate so I wouldn't have been seduced by timecode. I also found it mildly annoying that they replaced the multi-connector cable I got with Gen I to usb-c only. Which may be fine for Mac users (or Mac users with the newer units) but isn't useful for Windows users.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Feb 27, 2020 3:21 am

Chris Leutger wrote:
Agreed, that power switch just plain sucks. I was flabbergasted that it remained the same on Gen II. The battery sled on the new version I find much harder to get on and off compared to the old version. In retrospect, I wish I had kept the old one for that issue alone, now access to the SD card is even more painful. Probably should have learned to properly slate so I wouldn't have been seduced by timecode. I also found it mildly annoying that they replaced the multi-connector cable I got with Gen I to usb-c only. Which may be fine for Mac users (or Mac users with the newer units) but isn't useful for Windows users.


Hi Chris,

Sounds like you’d be happier with a Zoom. Let me know if you want to sell your MixPre ii, I’m interested in buying one.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Feb 27, 2020 5:02 am

robedge wrote:Hi Chris,

Sounds like you’d be happier with a Zoom. Let me know if you want to sell your MixPre ii, I’m interested in buying one.


Wow, that's really off the mark. I said I loved the first version except for that switch. I've also mentioned on your other thread that the reason I bought the Mixpre to begin with was reading about the quality of their higher end gear and because I hated the interfaces with Tascam and Zoom. However, just because I don't love every aspect of the Mixpre ii, doesn't mean I hate it and want to sell it. NO ONE likes that power button except perhaps you. It's a complaint I've read everywhere. We're allowed to dislike aspects of any piece of gear we come into contact with because most don't satisfy everything. I just find it surprising that they didn't change that between version i and ii.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Feb 27, 2020 5:21 am

Chris Leutger wrote:
robedge wrote:Hi Chris,

Sounds like you’d be happier with a Zoom. Let me know if you want to sell your MixPre ii, I’m interested in buying one.


Wow, that's really off the mark. I said I loved the first version except for that switch. I've also mentioned on your other thread that the reason I bought the Mixpre to begin with was reading about the quality of their higher end gear and because I hated the interfaces with Tascam and Zoom. However, just because I don't love every aspect of the Mixpre ii, doesn't mean I hate it and want to sell it. NO ONE likes that power button except perhaps you. It's a complaint I've read everywhere. We're allowed to dislike aspects of any piece of gear we come into contact with because most don't satisfy everything. I just find it surprising that they didn't change that between version i and ii.


Off the mark? Where did I say that I love the power button? Oh right, I didn’t. Indeed, if you look a few posts up, I specifically compare it to the better power button on my 702T.

There’s a reality here that people need to come to grips with. The two Sound Devices professional field recorders that are closest to your MixPre-3 II are the discontinued 702 and the current 633. They are significantly more robust, with larger surface areas for buttons and connections, but they are also larger and heavier.

They are also a hell of a lot more expensive. A MixPre-3 II, until the coming March 9 price increase, is US$650. A 633 sells for $3400. Until it was discontinued in 2018, a 702T cost $2700. By the way, on March 9 the price of the 633 is also going up, by $180.

Why the hell do you think I own both a 702T and a MixPre-3? Because the latter is half the weight and almost half the size, which in some cases is useful. Believe it or not, half the weight and almost half the size leaves less room for controls, and the price means that it is less robust, including its controls.

Get real.

P.S. I want to add that my decision whether to use the 702T or the MixPre-3 has nothing to do with preamp quality. In normal circumstances, it wouldn’t be necessary to say that, but one of the regular wags here has actually suggested that there may be a meaningful difference in preamp quality between a MixPre I and a MixPre II. When it comes to suggestions like that, the Yiddish word fakakta comes to mind.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostThu Feb 27, 2020 11:12 am

Chris Leutger wrote:
robedge wrote:Hi Chris,

Sounds like you’d be happier with a Zoom. Let me know if you want to sell your MixPre ii, I’m interested in buying one.


Wow, that's really off the mark. I said I loved the first version except for that switch. I've also mentioned on your other thread that the reason I bought the Mixpre to begin with was reading about the quality of their higher end gear and because I hated the interfaces with Tascam and Zoom. However, just because I don't love every aspect of the Mixpre ii, doesn't mean I hate it and want to sell it. NO ONE likes that power button except perhaps you. It's a complaint I've read everywhere. We're allowed to dislike aspects of any piece of gear we come into contact with because most don't satisfy everything. I just find it surprising that they didn't change that between version i and ii.


I'm with you Chris. I love the MixPre 3 II in every aspect except for the power button. I had rented a MixPre 3 (version 1) as a test about a year ago and loved the sound. But, that damn power button was just too far to dig in with my finger when IO had my USB-C power bank connected.

I ordered the MixPre 3 II and figured they would have fixed that issue, since there were so many complaints about it. Anyway, I live with it because other than that, it delivers great sound.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSat Mar 07, 2020 4:07 am

I purchased a MixPre-3 v.2 today so that I can run timecode from it to my Pocket 4K. I picked up a standard 12” cable, but also asked my sound vendor to make a 4’ (1.2m) cable. One thing that I want to do is park the camera and MixPre, with timecode running, on my tripod, as shown in these photos: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105319&start=150#p600076

Now that I have one of these recorders, I suppose that I should find out what 32-bit is about. There’s lots of talk on the internet about the theory, much less on the practicalities from people who have actually used it. I know that 32-bit requires 33% more storage capacity than 24-bit, but one of the things that I want to find out is how long it takes to process and render 32-bit audio. More generally, what does it do to one’s workflow? I hope to find out over the next few days.

I was both surprised and interested to learn today that Sound Devices has included a compressor in v.2. That’s what a limiter basically is, but under “Custom” there are now settings for ratio, threshold and release. Some musicians, and probably voiceover artists and podcasters, will use this. For sound design/effects, the compressor makes it possible to test, in the field, what the impact of compression would be on a particular sound. That is cool, and potentially quite useful. Compression is one of those subjects that is hard to understand in the abstract, and I think that having a compressor in a field recorder is also a great learning opportunity.
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSat Mar 07, 2020 4:54 am

Remember that limiters are only available in 16- and 24-bit mode recordings.
They are not available or needed in 32-bit float recordings. :)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSat Mar 07, 2020 1:53 pm

Username wrote:Remember that limiters are only available in 16- and 24-bit mode recordings.
They are not available or needed in 32-bit float recordings. :)


That’s true, but the new custom compressor settings are there to shape sound, not to prevent unexpected clipping of peaks. In other words, someone who is using the custom settings is probably not expecting a problem with clipping and isn’t interested in using the factory limiter. It follows that that recordist also has no reason to record in 32-bit.

If you use the compressor in your digital audio workstation, the new custom settings make it possible to apply compression at the time of recording. If you aren’t using your DAW compressor, and have no desire to learn how, the compressor settings in the recorder won’t be of use.

I’d also like to note that recording in 32-bit is not cost free, literally. Up front, it increases one’s storage need by 33%. Yesterday, I watched a video that said that it also substantially increases processing/rendering time. One of the things that I want to determine is whether that’s true on a reasonably fast computer. If it is, whoever is doing sound editing is not going to be thrilled to receive 32-bit files if 32-bit recording wasn’t actually needed, or if a limiter could have done as good a job. The person paying the bill won’t be happy either :)
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Re: Sound Devices MixPre-6 II (second generation)

PostSat Mar 07, 2020 9:28 pm

Further to the above post, I’ve come across a video in which Paul Isaacs talks about the use cases for 32-bit. Mr. Isaacs is the public face of Sound Devices and its Director of Product Management and Design. If anyone knows about this subject, it’s him. The discussion about 32-bit starts at 10:20:



He says, in effect, that 32-bit recording is for very special cases and for inexperienced novices (his terminology, not mine). He gives three specific examples. Unsurprisingly, two of the three involve recording of sound effects, where recordists are generally reluctant to use a limiter:

1. recording rain interrupted by thunder;

2. recording a passing airplane, presumably one at low altitude;

3. remote recording (i.e. the sound recordist is not present) of an ad-lib performance where the dynamic range is unpredictable.

Thunder is one of the cases where I would use 32-bit myself. When I record thunder (I’m talking about trying to get a serious clap, not a growl in the distance), I do not regard using a limiter as an option. A recording of thunder cushioned with a limiter is noticeably inferior. Instead, I do two recordings at the same time at two different gain levels, one very low, one higher. This works, but is not as convenient, both at the recording stage and the editing stage, as a single recording. I might add that for recording thunder, healthy preroll is very handy. It gets rid of the need to go through a long recording to find the thunder :)

The airplane example raises the same issue.

On the third example, I think that there is a case to be made for using 32-bit rather than a limiter, but this is not a problem that most people are going to face.

Isaacs also talks about people who don’t know enough about sound recording to set gain properly. I’m not in that category, so 32-bit won’t help me there either. My concern is that these people will just stick with 32-bit, because it’s foolproof, and never learn.

For me, the benefit of Isaacs’s talk is that he’s telling people, at least those that listen, that 32-bit should be used in exceptional cases and that it isn’t a panacea.

Next step is to find out what it does to the editing process, especially to processing/rendering times :)
Last edited by robedge on Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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