Sabyasachi Patra

Sound Devices launches compact audio recorders MixPre 3 and MixPre 6

Sound Devices launches compact audio recorders MixPre 3 and MixPre 6

Sound Devices has announced new audio recorders with USB interface in the MixPre series. These are lightweight audio recorders which are targeted at the new generation of video makers who need high quality but lower priced and higher spec products.

The MixPre-3 features 3 full-sized balanced XLR mic/line audio inputs, while the MixPre-6 features 4 balanced XLR/TRS combo jacks to connect microphones or line-level devices. Both have a 3.5 mm auxiliary input that can be used for plug-in power mics, 2-channel line-in audio, camera return, or timecode.

MixPre3MixPre6-FadersGlowing

MixPre-3 and MixPre-6

 

One can record the audio to an SD card and at the same time do audio-streaming via the USB port.

The MixPre-6 and MixPre-3 are Full-featured mixers as they are equipped with ergonomic gain control knobs for fast and accurate mixing. Other key features include pan and soloing plus easy-to-see ring LED metering per channel. There is a 3.5mm jack for headphone monitoring with user-programmable presets which are useful as there is a custom-designed and powerful wide-bandwidth headphone amplifier.

MixPre3MixPre6-Stacked-on top of each other

MixPre3MixPre6-Stacked-on top of each other

The MixPre Series feature Sound Devices’ innovative new Kashmir™ microphone preamps. According to Sound Devices the Kashmir™ microphone preamplifiers are high-performance, ultra-low-noise, discrete, Class-A mic preamps and are hand-crafted by Sound Devices. The mic preamps feature a -130dBV noise floor, analog limiters, and new 32-bit A-to-D converters to ensure high quality, stress-free, professional-grade audio recordings. So these are not low quality products.

Intuitive operation: The menu is user friendly and one can use either the basic or advance modes. The Basic mode allows users to record noise and distortion-free audio right out of the box – intended for stereo recording applications. The Advanced mode offers more experienced audio users access to multi-channel recording and advanced settings such as ISO metering, routing, timecode, mic pre gain, stereo and Mid/Side channel linking, headphone presets and more.

Responsive, capacitive touch screen: Sound Devices has included a capacitive touch screen for easy and intuitive operation. This colour LCD screen is bright and has IPS technology, and can be read in sunlight while operating outdoors.

HDMI Triggering: These MixPre-6 and MixPre-3 offer HDMI record triggering, so they are pretty useful for DSLRs. The retractable 1/4-inch-20-thread mounting screw makes it easy to fit at the bottom of a DSLR.

Ultracompact and durable: The MixPre-6/3 are made of die-cast aluminium chassis and are robust despite being lightweight. According to Sound Devices, they wanted to keep the form factor small and hence didn’t include XLRs in the audio out. So atleast in that area the previous generation SD 702 recorders will continue to have an edge.

One circuitous way of dealing with the no –XLR audio outs is that one can use a Wireless transmitter to the 3.5mm stereo output and then wireless receiver on the C300 camera. It would be another thing in the chain but surely it can be done. One can also plug the unbalanced 3.5mm stereo output to the DSLR. However, for that the MixPre 6 /3 has to be close to the DSLR camera.

MixPre-3_MixPre-6-StackedBacks

Stacked MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 backs

Timecode: Since the MixPre-6 and MixPre-3 offer timecode, one can get the standard LTC timecode over the 3.5mm auxiliary input and the TC stamp would be on the wav file.

One can also use a Tentacle sync or ambient TC boxes with the MixPre-6 or MixPre-3 and jam it with the C300 or other such cameras and get the timecode.

Built-in Bluetooth Smart® technology: If you are using an iphone or iOS device then you can use Bluetooth to easily access and control the MixPre-3 or MixPre-6 wirelessly by using the Sound Devices free Wingman app.

Power: The MixPre-6 and MixPre-3 can be powered from AA batteries, Li-Ion batteries, laptop’s USB-C or USB-A connectors, or AC wall outlet. So if you want then you can also do a podcast by just plugging the MixPre6/3 to the laptop by USB so that no external power is required and then start streaming using your Wi-Fi or use a mobile phone to create a Wi-Fi hotspot and stream from any place, even your car. A lot of content creators, artists, youtubers, reporters etc would find this handy.

The MixPre Series is available to order from any Sound Devices authorized reseller, and is anticipated to ship by May 5, 2017.


Cost: The MixPre-6 is priced a $899 US dollars and the MixPre-3 is priced at $649 US dollars.

The difference between the MixPre-3 and MixPre 6

Features MixPre-6 MixPre-3
Description 6 input, 8-track audio recorder, mixer and USB audio interface 3 input, 5-track audio recorder, mixer and USB audio interface
\Recording Media SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC
Tracks 8 (6 channel + mix) 5 (3 channel + mix)
Max Sampling Rate 192kHz 96kHz
Max Bit Depth 24 24
Audio File Format Wav Poly Wav Poly
Metadata Editing
Playback Audio Scrub 1/8x to 16x (FFWD and REW) 1/8x to 16x (FFWD and REW)
USB Ports 2 (1 USB-A, 1 USB-C) 2 (1 USB-A, 1 USB-C)
USB Audio Streaming 8 in / 4 out to Mac &/or Windows with ASIO driver 2 in / 2 out to Windows w/o ASIO driver 5 in / 2 out to Mac &/or Windows with ASIO driver 2 in / 2 out to Windows w/o ASIO driver
Simultaneous Recording, Mixing, USB audio streaming
Balanced Mic/Line Inputs 4 XLR/TRS combo 3 XLR
Aux/Mic In (3.5 mm)
4 uses: Camera Return, Plug-in-Power Mic, 2 ch Line In & Timecode
48V Phantom
Low Cut filters 40 – 240 Hz, 18dB/Oct 40 – 240 Hz, 18dB/Oct
Input Limiters Analog Analog
Output Limiters Digital Digital
Input Pair Linking (Stereo and M/S) Pairs 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 Pair 1-2
Input Delay
Input Polarity Reverse
Input Gain, Pan, and Fader Controls
Input SOLOs (Individual or Multiple)
Unbalanced Stereo Output (3.5 mm) w/routing matrix
Headphone Output (3.5 mm; wide bandwidth, high gain)
User-Programmable Headphone Presets
LCD Metering 3 meter views 3 meter views
Multi-Color Ring LED Metering Surrounding Fader Knobs
Tone Generator
Touchscreen, Sunlight-Readable
Ergonomic Channel Knobs
Backlit Tranport Buttons
Operation Modes: Basic, Advanced, Custom
Load/Save User Setup 4 internal, unlimited to SD card 4 internal, unlimited to SD card
Multi-function Star Button
Reader Time of Day, HDMI or LTC via Aux In Time of Day, HDMI or LTC via Aux In
Power Source 4x AA or 8x AA, L-mount, USB-C 4x AA or 8x AA, L-mount, USB-C
iPhone/iPad USB-A Charging Port ✓ (when powered by L-mount batteries) ✓ (when powered by L-mount batteries)
Wingman iOS app ✓ (via integrated Bluetooth Smart) ✓ (via integrated Bluetooth Smart)
Record Start/Stop Trigger ✓ (HDMI Flag or Timecode) ✓ (HDMI Flag or Timecode)
Die Cast Aluminium Chassis
1/4″ 20 mounting
Size 6.53” x 4.65” x 1.40” (166mm x 118mm x 36mm) 5.68” x 4.35” x 1.40” (144mm x 110mm x 36mm)
Weight 19.9 oz (.56 kg) 16.8 oz (.48 kg)
MX-4AA Battery Sled
Y-Cable (1 USB-C to 2 USB-A)
MX-8AA Battery Sled
MX-Lmount Battery Sled (Li-Ion)
MX-Charge (Wall PSU w/USB-C)

 

B&H Link:

Sound Devices MixPre-3 and MixPre-6

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Sabyasachi Patra

Sabyasachi is an award winning Cinematographer and shoots for international broadcasters, feature films and corporates to make a living. He is a passionate wildlife filmmaker and photographer and has won awards and accolades for his documentary 'A Call in the Rainforest'. He has been striving to make his films and photographs full of life and emotion and write articles to educate and evangelise the need for conserving the last tracts of vanishing wilderness and wildlife in our country. He hopes that his wildlife films, photographs and writings force people to pause, look, ponder and ultimately take action.
Sabyasachi Patra
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