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Sound Devices Mix Pre-3 and Mix Pre-6

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22 hours ago, JayKay said:

Could you connect nothing to the XLR-Inputs at all, turn up the gain on all channels all the way and turn the faders to unity. Then take a photo of the display, where I can see the levels of all tracks. 

My MixPre-3 seems to have a problem with extensive noise in channel 1 compared to channel 2 and 3. And when I do the test above, the level of channel 1 is quite a bit higher than channel 2 and 3. I want to know, if I´m the only one with this problem or do other MixPre-3 users experience this as well.

OK, have checked: my Mixpre-3 shows the same level of noise in each channel (each bobbing up and down from 1-3 steps/lines of pixels on the LCD - about 2-3mm max on the screen). And all drop to (equal) extremely low noise when plugging in a low self-noise mic (4.5dba). All entirely as expected.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Roland

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38 minutes ago, Throwback said:

OK, have checked: my Mixpre-3 shows the same level of noise in each channel (each bobbing up and down from 1-3 steps/lines of pixels on the LCD - about 2-3mm max on the screen). And all drop to (equal) extremely low noise when plugging in a low self-noise mic (4.5dba). All entirely as expected.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Roland

Mine does the same. All equal on all 3 channels. 

-Mike

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Athomson   

Loving my mixpre 6 so far, seems churlish to ask for more, but i'm a little stumped by one of the choices that SD made. I guess Paul you are subscribed to this thread so maybe this is a place to ask for discussion on it?

I emailed SD asking if i'd missed the option to stereo link a pair of mics while using the faders to control the ISO levels. At the moment to use the faders to control ISOs the gain has to be set to basic mode and this then has the undesired effect of also removing the option to link a pair of mics to control gain simultaneously with one fader. Going individually into the menu to change the gain for each mic is unworkable on the fly so where I want to record with a stereo mic, a radio mic and a boom mic (real scenario), wanting just the ISOs to mix later, i'll use the custom with basic gain mode, but I cannot adjust the gain on the stereo mic on the go. The fader knobs are too small for accurately doing both together even if I had both hands free.

The reply I got from SD was "I can not guarantee or promise if and when this will be added to future firmware releases." which i guess is the standard reply but with no indication if they thought it was an issue worth looking at or if they would try to add it. In which case i could wait.

Paul can you say if it is something you're going to add? Ideally linking any channels in any modes but at least the 1-2, 3-4 which is available in advanced mode. Does anyone else want the same thing? Show of hands might help i guess.

I really liked the idea someone on here had of an additional mode. Advanced, Basic (mix) and Basic (ISO) modes. But it might actually prove simpler to do away with the different modes and just allow people to find the more advanced options when needed, further in the menus but have a simple set up as default with a clear option to reset settings. I can see the idea behind having a basic mode but i'm not sure it's simpler to understand different modes from the get go, rather than understanding different options as and when they are needed.

Other than that the only thing's i'd change would be to put out the light on the stop button. I lost the start of something already thinking the record button was lit. And when i'm wearing polarised sunglasses i can't see anything as the screen is 90 degrees wrong for my glasses, i thought it had died and i was panicking for a minute or two, checking connections and trying to restart it until i took off my sunglasses :-)  Not sure if that's all polarised glasses or just mine but maybe version 2 could bear that in mind if it was just bad luck to be 90 off for that.

Many thanks for a game changing product though, as i say i feel churlish to even raise these issues.

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5 hours ago, Athomson said:

Many thanks for a game changing product though, as i say i feel churlish to even raise these issues.

Not at all- it seems a decent set of requests and thanks for the write up. Ganging for me is often a bugbear - there have a been a few spectacular and easy to use machines ( orig Cantar ... and I believe the PDR2000 was good?) but it astonishes me that even professional machines today often lack multichannel ease of use. Re the glasses: it's dark and ... nice one Belushi!

Jez

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IronFilm   
On 6/25/2017 at 8:21 AM, whatisvalis said:

Tempted just to try a MP 3 as an audio interface. I do wonder if we will see a refresh of 7 series at some point, soon.

I wonder when the 600 series will get their next addition? As that is what I'm most keen to see. 

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11 hours ago, soundtrane said:

Actually a FOUR FADER GANG will be very useful - for Ambisonic recordings with a tetra mic like the AMBEO. Paul... :)

That's what I'm talking about Vin - not only (the increasingly common) ambisonics but any style of multichannel recording should be catered for in ALL modern machines with comprehensive ganging selection ability ... and I would hope the TOP machines would have the ability on top to have offsets along with the ganging to calibrate or gain match mic types (MS etc) with differing sensitivities. After all, my 1971 design Nagra IVS can do this ...

J

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mikewest   
On 4/20/2017 at 4:20 AM, Philip Perkins said:

RE TC: lots of small jobs never use it.  It's very like SD to leave a back door for real TC if you want it--many people used the 552's recorder this way: ext. TC box or a connection to a camera etc., ditto Tascam HDP2, and it worked fine in its limited way.   I look forward to hearing these new pres.  Touch screen!  So...what about scratches?  Will the touch still work if you have a screen-protector on?

Exactly Philip, and you an easily add a tc generator in it's bag!

What a low cost backup!

I'm going to put a kit together using a Pre-6 in an Orca OR-30 so my boom op can do jobs.

She can rent the kit and earn, and it will cover my immediate costs after 10 rentals!!

mike

Edited by mikewest
spelling

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On 16/7/2017 at 11:57 AM, daniel said:

The humble dr-680 has excellent ganging features, with ability to offset as well.

The Zoom F4 and F8 have excellent ganging features too. It must be said that the Zoom F series are feature-wise more professional recorders than the mixpre series.

But sounddevices can catch up with firmware, if they want ...

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On 7/14/2017 at 8:54 PM, Athomson said:

Loving my mixpre 6 so far, seems churlish to ask for more, but i'm a little stumped by one of the choices that SD made. I guess Paul you are subscribed to this thread so maybe this is a place to ask for discussion on it?

I emailed SD asking if i'd missed the option to stereo link a pair of mics while using the faders to control the ISO levels. At the moment to use the faders to control ISOs the gain has to be set to basic mode and this then has the undesired effect of also removing the option to link a pair of mics to control gain simultaneously with one fader. Going individually into the menu to change the gain for each mic is unworkable on the fly so where I want to record with a stereo mic, a radio mic and a boom mic (real scenario), wanting just the ISOs to mix later, i'll use the custom with basic gain mode, but I cannot adjust the gain on the stereo mic on the go. The fader knobs are too small for accurately doing both together even if I had both hands free.

The reply I got from SD was "I can not guarantee or promise if and when this will be added to future firmware releases." which i guess is the standard reply but with no indication if they thought it was an issue worth looking at or if they would try to add it. In which case i could wait.

Paul can you say if it is something you're going to add? Ideally linking any channels in any modes but at least the 1-2, 3-4 which is available in advanced mode. Does anyone else want the same thing? Show of hands might help i guess.

I really liked the idea someone on here had of an additional mode. Advanced, Basic (mix) and Basic (ISO) modes. But it might actually prove simpler to do away with the different modes and just allow people to find the more advanced options when needed, further in the menus but have a simple set up as default with a clear option to reset settings. I can see the idea behind having a basic mode but i'm not sure it's simpler to understand different modes from the get go, rather than understanding different options as and when they are needed.

Other than that the only thing's i'd change would be to put out the light on the stop button. I lost the start of something already thinking the record button was lit. And when i'm wearing polarised sunglasses i can't see anything as the screen is 90 degrees wrong for my glasses, i thought it had died and i was panicking for a minute or two, checking connections and trying to restart it until i took off my sunglasses :-)  Not sure if that's all polarised glasses or just mine but maybe version 2 could bear that in mind if it was just bad luck to be 90 off for that.

Many thanks for a game changing product though, as i say i feel churlish to even raise these issues.

Thanks a lot for your thoughts - they are understood. We have always valued customer feedback like this - there is no doubt it has helped us improve our products. Having said that, I can't add anything to the standard SD reply that you have already received. We don't talk about or promise anything unless it is real and available. 

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mikewest   
On 7/12/2017 at 8:27 PM, JayKay said:

You are right, but this problem is not affected by the source impedance. I also tested it with a 150 ohms resistor... Same result.

Btw. the noise ch 1 is only more noisy in the lower frequencies. 500 hertz and below which is unusual. At 20 Hz ch1 has 14db!!! more noise than ch 2 or 3.

This device was already sent to Sound Devices by my dealer and they said, that everything is fine :(

So if anybody else is experiencing this, it might even be a design flaw...

Hi Paul

Hope you and Ruth and family are doing well!

Any comment about this noise level observation please?

Fond regards

mike

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4 hours ago, mikewest said:

Hi Paul

Hope you and Ruth and family are doing well!

Any comment about this noise level observation please?

Fond regards

mike

Hi Mike, I'm following up with tech support. Please bear with me as I'm currently out of the country until next week.

best

Paul

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JayKay   

@mikewest

I did a few more tests and found out that this problem only occures if phantom power is enabled. My guess would be, that phantom power is leaking into the preamp on channel 1.

Sound Devices set me up with an RA and I´m currently sending them my devices.

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16 minutes ago, JayKay said:

 

I did a few more tests and found out that this problem only occures if phantom power is enabled. My guess would be, that phantom power is leaking into the preamp on channel 1.

And just to clarify, in my test phantom power on or off made no difference: either way there was no issue.

Cheers,

Roland

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Athomson   
On ‎18‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 10:55 AM, Paul Isaacs said:

Thanks a lot for your thoughts - they are understood. We have always valued customer feedback like this - there is no doubt it has helped us improve our products. Having said that, I can't add anything to the standard SD reply that you have already received. We don't talk about or promise anything unless it is real and available. 

Thanks for the reply. Looking elsewhere online as well I think most users are more interested in the ISOs than the mix track, especially inexperienced users.

edit: this next paragraph is resolved in post 350

One other seriously problematic thing I've found, which i guess is firmware fixable, is accessing older files on the memory card. Presumably because the files are sorted into single day folders, which at first I though was a nice touch, when I access the files on the mixpre or through the wingman app it only shows me the files in the current (latest day) folder. This became a critical issue out field recording with a card running low, with no other facility to hand for accessing the card, I had no way to free up space by deleting files from previous days and I ran out of space to record. I'll know to be more careful clearing space in future but unless this is resolved I guess every owner will eventually find themselves in the same situation before they learn it the hard way.

Something I would really love to know about how the limiter functions is if it reduces gain just once or multiple times in a linear or stepped way. So if the thing i'm recording causes the limiter to engage and reduce the gain, but then it gets louder still to a point where it would clip, will the limiters reduce the gain further? What's going on while it's doing it? If it's in steps knowing how many db per step would help me sort it out later.

Also (in advanced mode) if its limiting a channel but I have the faders reduced will the signal go separately to the mix track and not be effected by the limiter on the ISO track? Or vice versa if I have a low level on the ISO track but the faders are up enough to cause limiting of the mix track will the ISO track also be effected by the limiter? I ask because the limiter warning lights on the ISO track even when it seems like only the mix track would need limiting though perhaps that's just to let me know which of the channels is causing the mix track to limit.

thanks again

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AThomson:

One other seriously problematic thing I've found, which i guess is firmware fixable, is accessing older files on the memory card. Presumably because the files are sorted into single day folders, which at first I though was a nice touch, when I access the files on the mixpre or through the wingman app it only shows me the files in the current (latest day) folder. This became a critical issue out field recording with a card running low, with no other facility to hand for accessing the card, I had no way to free up space by deleting files from previous days and I ran out of space to record. I'll know to be more careful clearing space in future but unless this is resolved I guess every owner will eventually find themselves in the same situation before they learn it the hard way.

 

Carry another card... They don't take up much space... or a few... Problem solved... 

Or, drop files at the end of each day, even to a laptop if necessary, and start each day with a freshly formatted card.

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3 minutes ago, afewmoreyears said:

Carry another card... They don't take up much space... or a few... Problem solved... 

agreed. in times where 64GB cards cost next to nothing deleting old files through the recorder to free up space sounds scary to me (one exception might be if I accidentally hit the record button without noticing and it has been recording several hours of garbage.. but even then I'd probably do it at the end of the day/week)

there might be other reasons where being able to play back old tracks is useful, but in any case, it's a good idea to carry a spare card all the time because you could hit a write error on a corrupted card and then you'll be glad you have a empty extra one.

chris

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Athomson   

As I say I'll be more careful in future and normally have spares as I use them in cameras too, but things just panned out that way and there I was with a load of stuff I knew I could delete but I had no way to access most of the recordings on the card. Seems less than optimal user-friendliness to require the user to work around a needless inability for the machine to read files in multiple folders in 2017 so I'm pretty sure SD just didn't notice this and will change it. It's probably 1 line of code.

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IronFilm   
6 hours ago, Athomson said:

Seems less than optimal user-friendliness to require the user to work around a needless inability for the machine to read files in multiple folders in 2017 so I'm pretty sure SD just didn't notice this and will change it. It's probably 1 line of code.

Wait.... what?  Does the MixPre3/6 have no ability to create and navigate around multiple folders?

Makes me wonder, does it also have the ability to name tracks? What fine level control does it have over file naming? Can notes be added to the metadata both before and after a recording?

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I think we all should keep the whole thing in perspective... SD has recorders that do all that and more....  don't make me name them ;)... this is a very small, very simple little recorder, or a slightly less simple little recorder... If features and your needs exceed this recorder, think about stepping up to buy another from their fine line of products. Can they continue to add features to this platform, sure, but those features and more are already available on other products at higher price points..

  The Mix PRE 3 has a price point, basic uses and small platform...  If I personally need more out of what I am about to do, I'll grab the better tool for the job, not try to get a minimal price point unit to function as the better tool.

You may get lucky and they will add other functions, who knows, or adjust via an update... who knows. Keep your fingers crossed, you never know.

By the way, back to the subject at hand...

I just recorded to 3 test folders with different names... recorded 3 files to each.... If you to project menu and hit open NOT new... All the 3 folders are there and yes, you can select the file and play it.. or... select the file and trash or rename or...

Am I missing something here...? You must use the selector knob to scroll down PAST the current days folder and files... The older folders and files ARE there... At least on my Mix3

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