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Daniel Ignacio

MixPre-6 – worth it for this beginner?

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Peshawar   

I had a Mixpre-6 for a couple months.  It's a great sounding recorder.  Just replaced it with two F8's.  Reasons were, 1) needed more professional powering options, using USB batteries or having to buy an expensive English dummy battery sled just didn't seem wise to me 2) Needed the extra tracks (was about to purchase a Jensen line converter box to get true +4 line level inputs into 5-6 on the Mixpre, and it just seemed like I should have to do that to get 6 tracks 3) No redundant recording to a mirror card (going to do a big shoot in December and didn't like the idea of handing over the ONLY memory card to a producer and not having a backup in case human error occurs during transfer, thus losing the day's material).   4) I didn't like the MP6 limiters for my uses.

 

All in all, it's been a small downgrade in the sound quality to go to the F8.  The MP6 had a more pleasing representation of the low mids and lows to my ears.  The F8 is not bad sounding, and I actually think I may prefer it in the upper midrange and highs.  I'm feeding the F8 from external field mixers, and it's a little bit of a pain to use the xlr-trs cables, but overall I'm happy I switched.  I could certainly see the upsides and downsides to both boxes now, however.

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<<Take the info given for what it is: a distillation of decades of real-world experience in every possible sort of production sound; use what works for you and do your jobs.>>

 

+111

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3 hours ago, soundtrane said:

<<Take the info given for what it is: a distillation of decades of real-world experience in every possible sort of production sound; use what works for you and do your jobs.>>

 

+111

+112

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16 hours ago, Peshawar said:

 4) I didn't like the MP6 limiters for my uses.

 

Would you mind expanding on the limiters a bit more? Curious about the advantages/disadvantages compared to the F8 for your uses. Thanks, Mark 

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dfisk   

Things I'd be considering:

-Save up for a 633 instead

-Instead of the Rodelink look at the Lectro L-Series. I know it's a BIG price jump, but there are reasons for that. The Rodelink is fine for youtubers or really low budget corporate stuff, but I've had reliability issues just in my home office doing tests where I don't have a lot of wifi flying around. 

 

 

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Peshawar   
6 hours ago, yophoto91 said:

 

Would you mind expanding on the limiters a bit more? Curious about the advantages/disadvantages compared to the F8 for your uses. Thanks, Mark 

 

Sure, no problem.  The limiters in the MP6 have a relatively long recovery time.  So for the things that I'm typically recording (guns and other sharp transient sound effects) the gain reduction recovery takes too long.  That said, for dialog they are timed quite well, in my opinion.  I think that for the majority of users the limiters may even be ideal for things that most folks typically record.  When I try to talk to people about recording guns and the reliance on limiters, I get the "Man, just turn it down and compress it in post." response.  That doesn't work.  I require a significant (and subjectively good sounding) amount of limiting at the time of recording to get the results I want.  So, it's a game of trying to find the "best sounding" form of distortion.  Hope that helps.  

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8 hours ago, Peshawar said:

When I try to talk to people about recording guns and the reliance on limiters, I get the "Man, just turn it down and compress it in post." response.  That doesn't work.  I require a significant (and subjectively good sounding) amount of limiting at the time of recording to get the results I want.  So, it's a game of trying to find the "best sounding" form of distortion.  Hope that helps.  

 

Hmm, Nagra IVS, limiters off, crushing the weber? Careful choice of mic level?

 

Think I might go down that route but still record lower onto my digital BU and play around in post (if even just going back to a rerecord to the tape option).

 

Curious what might be a good fast / transient / limiting compressor in current or past machines for such recording? SQN? Earlier Sonosax?  Older analog SD? I would imagine bringing in a separate custom compressor might work better?

 

I understand playing into limiters but barring dials for news etc would rather not be trying to do this outside of a studio (and controllable) hardware situation - although, as mentioned, with suitable BU I might crash tape old fashioned style sans limiter.

 

Jez

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On 8/21/2017 at 3:23 AM, Peshawar said:

3) No redundant recording to a mirror card (going to do a big shoot in December and didn't like the idea of handing over the ONLY memory card to a producer and not having a backup in case human error occurs during transfer, thus losing the day's material).  

Yeah, that terrifies me with all the cheaper recorders. I'm working on a solution involving a Raspberry Pi and a USB drive but I'm not sure it's going to be reliable enough. Maybe easiest just the old fashioned of running a secondary 2ch recorder? No isos but better than just a camera hop.

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Peshawar   
1 hour ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

And just noticed your preference for the Cooper 104, so is that a fast attack fast release?

 

Best again, Jez

I do like the sound of the Cooper preamps quite a lot. But getting too deep into the other areas doesn't serve the interests of the OP of this thread.  Maybe a different thread would be a better place to talk about the other stuff.  My apologies if my comments were a distraction. 

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On 8/19/2017 at 10:40 AM, Matthew Marzano said:

Another option is to pick up a used Mix Pre D and use it in front of your 70D.

 

I would like to do this for the preamps alone (and I’ve been eyeing the MixPre-D since I was a kid). If getting a 633 or comparable recorder will take a long time for me, and I end up not having a lot of timecode projects yet (you bring up good points about that), then I might do this.

 

On 8/19/2017 at 10:40 AM, Matthew Marzano said:

I've seen 702T's for under $1000 and 744T's for under $1500.

 

I’ll note the 744T, though the 702T seems dismal with only two inputs.

 

On 8/19/2017 at 1:50 PM, jhharvest said:

At the end of the day the recorder usually isn't the limiting factor in your signal chain, or if it is then you should have the budget to pick the right tool for the job.

 

See, I’ve thought this and I know it’s correct, though I worked with a mixer and have seen a lot of online commenters who say otherwise. I agree with you but I’m just evaluating my options.

 

On 8/20/2017 at 0:22 AM, Michael Miramontes said:

I'll never forget one of my first "high paying legit jobs"for Fox Sports West…

 

Thanks for sharing your story! I’m afraid I get too close to that kind of mentality on a lot of shoots, haha

 

On 8/20/2017 at 10:14 AM, Christian Spaeth said:

Re: wireless: maybe get a used G2 or G3 set instead of the Rodelink. It'll do you much better service. The Rodelink isn't much.

 

I’ll think about the G3, but the limited range bothers me. I used it once, and the signal would start breaking up after 10 feet or so, indoors and outdoors. Though I hear the Rodelink has worse range issues for exteriors since it uses Wi-Fi.

 

Would you mind sharing your experience with the Rodelink? I’ve used it for a short and I was relatively happy with how it performed overall.

 

On 8/21/2017 at 2:18 PM, dfisk said:

Instead of the Rodelink look at the Lectro L-Series. I know it's a BIG price jump, but there are reasons for that.

 

A Lectrosonics kit is definitely coming someday, but it’s honestly far away. By the time I’m finished with upgrading my shotgun, acquiring a cheaper wireless lav kit, and upgrading my mixer, I’ll definitely upgrade to Lectros.

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4 hours ago, Daniel Ignacio said:

I’ll think about the G3, but the limited range bothers me. I used it once, and the signal would start breaking up after 10 feet or so, indoors and outdoors. 

 

When it comes to wireless performance there are so many factors coming into play that it is impossible to judge the performance based on just one try. Unless you had a different system that provide some clue - although only maybe. 

G3 has usually a pretty good range, considering what it is. 

 

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daniel   

Re Radio mics (wireless): Amongst the RM systems discussed on this thread the Sennheiser G2000 series has some useful features:

~ 72mhz switching bandwidth.

~ 100mw TX power option.

~ Line I/P (on TX).

~ Line O/P (on RX) of +18, which is high enough to work with line I/Ps of 633.

~ H/P O/P so can easily be repurposed when you buy a better system. 

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9 hours ago, Daniel Ignacio said:
On 8/19/2017 at 1:50 PM, jhharvest said:

At the end of the day the recorder usually isn't the limiting factor in your signal chain, or if it is then you should have the budget to pick the right tool for the job.

 

See, I’ve thought this and I know it’s correct, though I worked with a mixer and have seen a lot of online commenters who say otherwise. I agree with you but I’m just evaluating my options.

 

No matter what the online commentators have to say, I would rather have a 416 into a Zoom F4 than an ME66 into a Cantar X3.

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36 minutes ago, josephboyle said:

 

No matter what the online commentators have to say, I would rather have a 416 into a Zoom F4 than an ME66 into a Cantar X3.

+1

 

-Mike

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Running a 633 w / Lectro Ssm's and LR's in NYC.

 

considering mix pre 3/6 + zaxcom qrx235 + ifb to create a lightweight backpack kit for corporate/simple sit downs. 

 

sometimes the most annoying part of the day is dragging a 30-50lb pelican around / security checks on it.  

 

 

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daniel   
13 minutes ago, Stillweii said:

Running a 633 w / Lectro Ssm's and LR's in NYC.

 

considering mix pre 3/6 + zaxcom qrx235 + ifb to create a lightweight backpack kit for corporate/simple sit downs. 

 

sometimes the most annoying part of the day is dragging a 30-50lb pelican around / security checks on it.  

 

 

How is the +5 O/P of the LR's into the line I/Ps of the 633? 

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18 hours ago, Constantin said:

 

When it comes to wireless performance there are so many factors coming into play that it is impossible to judge the performance based on just one try. Unless you had a different system that provide some clue - although only maybe. 

G3 has usually a pretty good range, considering what it is. 

 

 

I used it in a park area, and it started breaking up after at most 15 feet away from my talent across an empty grass field with line of sight. Then I used it in a narrow hallway with concrete walls, and it started breaking up 10 feet down the corridor and two steps around a corner. Mixers I’ve worked for had similar complaints about its range.

 

Perhaps it was a bad rental? It sounded and functioned perfectly when it did work in closer range, and I’ll take the G3 tx’s form factor over the gargantuan Rodelink tx any day.

 

5 hours ago, LeTiger said:

I found this review both insightful, earnest, and full of good real world examples

 

That Transom review and Curtis Judd’s videos really sold me on the MixPre-6. But I’ve decided to invest in a wireless lav kit and/or shotgun upgrade instead for the time being, and just to save up for a 633.

 

If a 633 does end up taking too long to save up for, then I’ll take a shortcut with a MixPre-6, and I’ll be open to an F8 in this case as well.

 

Good luck with your upgrade to a more integrated setup, in the meanwhile!

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31 minutes ago, Daniel Ignacio said:

I used it in a park area, and it started breaking up after at most 15 feet away from my talent across an empty grass field with line of sight. Then I used it in a narrow hallway with concrete walls, and it started breaking up 10 feet down the corridor and two steps around a corner. Mixers I’ve worked for had similar complaints about its range.

 

Perhaps it was a bad rental?

I've had this happen when:

-whip antenna on either TX or RX is actually broken, always wibble your antennas if you're renting

-talent has "adjusted" their TX so the whip is now wrapped around the mic cable or touching their sweaty skin (I use antenna pom poms but sometimes they still manage it)

-I didn't check for interference before switching on TX or the military radio comes on while we're shooting

 

Otherwise a G3 should give you 30-50 yards line of sight without too much trouble, unless it's very humid.

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4 hours ago, Daniel Ignacio said:

 

I used it in a park area, and it started breaking up after at most 15 feet away from my talent across an empty grass field with line of sight. Then I used it in a narrow hallway with concrete walls, and it started breaking up 10 feet down the corridor and two steps around a corner. Mixers I’ve worked for had similar complaints about its range.

 

Perhaps it was a bad rental? It sounded and functioned perfectly when it did work in closer range, and I’ll take the G3 tx’s form factor over the gargantuan Rodelink tx any day.

 

As jjharvest pointed out there are various issues to consider: 

did you do a scan beforehand?

when you had the problems, did you change the frequency?

I am not interested in the answers, just pointing out that, as I did before, there are more factors to consider. 

I have had very good experiences with the G3 system. I use it for a scratch whenever needed and it's my regular IEM system. Especially range has been very good - much much better than 30-50 yards, but this is very different from one location to the nex. And admittedly, I use the rackmount transmitter with an external antenna 

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On 23.8.2017 at 5:41 AM, Daniel Ignacio said:

 

Would you mind sharing your experience with the Rodelink? I’ve used it for a short and I was relatively happy with how it performed overall.

 

 

For the Rodelink you need line of sight. Going through walls or objects is unreliable, as well as exteriors to some extent. A G2/3 is more forgiving in these respects. If you had problems with yours maybe you had interference. I also disliked the self noise of the Rodlink that sounds too apparent to my ears, while I find the G2/G3 self noise less noticeable. Used G2/3 are widely available and cheap, plus you can get the antenna mod to improve range. And later once you get better wireless you can use them for cam hops or IFB. And there's a reason why nobody (yes, I mean nobody) uses the Rodelinks. Don't try to prove me wrong, nobody uses them period. So, no-brainer IMO.

 

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On 8/23/2017 at 11:36 AM, daniel said:

How is the +5 O/P of the LR's into the line I/Ps of the 633? 

 

Normal and recommended by Lectro.   

 

RTM's

 

Most important part your day:

 

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1 hour ago, Christian Spaeth said:

 And there's a reason why nobody (yes, I mean nobody) uses the Rodelinks. Don't try to prove me wrong, nobody uses them period.

 

 

I think you meant to say that nobody uses them

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IronFilm   
On 8/18/2017 at 10:49 PM, Daniel Ignacio said:

So I have three options: a MixPre-6, some other sub-$1000 mixer (I’m thinking the Zoom F4), or no mixer upgrade at all. What should I do?

 

 

Personally I'd prefer the Zoom F4 (and it is what I used myself!). 

I wrote my thoughts on this hear in my latest blog post:

http://ironfilm.co.nz/which-sound-recorder-to-buy-a-guide-to-various-indie-priced-sound-recorders-in-2017/

However, in your shoes as you have a DR70D instead, I might recommend you stick with it for another year or two. 

Look around and see what other gaps do you have in your sound gear kit?

Do you have nice headphones? Good boom poles? A few wireless kits? Good lav/shotgun/hypercardioid microphones? etc

Fix the major gaps before thinking about upgrading your recorder.

 

 

On 8/19/2017 at 4:49 AM, Mobilemike said:

If if you're getting it as a sound quality upgrade to the Tascam, fine, but keep in mind that your sound quality will still be limited by the worst sounding piece of gear in the signal chain. I doubt anyone could hear much of a difference between the RodeLink wireless you mentioned earlier into a DR-70D and the RodeLink into a MixPre. 

 

 

This! Excellent point Mike.

Plus RodeLinks are awfully bulky if you ever have to hide the TX.

I suggest you get Sony UWP-D11 and/or older Lectrosonics. 

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