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Sound Devices recorders - which way to go?

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To me the "easy" style multitrack deal is well covered anymore--I can record track-per-input plus a 2 mix on my tiny QSC mixer very easily, as can most low end digital mixers anymore.  With the TM16 that's 22 channels, cheap and easy.   But what I think of as "real" motion picture production location sound work, ie in any sort of weather or conditions or location and under terrific time-pressure seems like it demands more portability, speed and ruggedness than ever, even as the required track counts climb.  I guess this means that SD/Aaton/Zax/Sax will be around for as long as we do that kind of work, and that the prices for that gear will stay high relative to equipment designed for other sectors of the biz (not to mention prosumer stuff).  I notice that folks doing really high-end work eventually overcome the sticker shock of the expensive setups because they handle the work and the environment the work is done in so well.

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13 hours ago, BAB414 said:

Wait for NAB

 

8 hours ago, drpro said:

Yep something new is coming

 

3 hours ago, RPSharman said:

If only we could know for sure!!

 

No one knows for sure about anything new coming from Sound Devices? (or Zaxcom/Aaton?)

I have my fingers crossed for a new 600 series recorder/mixer from Sound Devices 

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24 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

 

 

 

No one knows for sure about anything new coming from Sound Devices? (or Zaxcom/Aaton?)

I have my fingers crossed for a new 600 series recorder/mixer from Sound Devices 

 

We know Zaxcom will tell you about a machine. Sound Devices will just appear with one.

 

It's doubtful it'll be a new 6-series. Those machines are doing well as is. If they're planning anything at all, I really hope they're going high end, to compete with the Deva 24 and Cantar X3.

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14 hours ago, RPSharman said:

 

We know Zaxcom will tell you about a machine. Sound Devices will just appear with one.

 

It's doubtful it'll be a new 6-series. Those machines are doing well as is. If they're planning anything at all, I really hope they're going high end, to compete with the Deva 24 and Cantar X3.

even tho I am far from being in the market for such a machine, I hope to see one aswell. After they conquered the low end market with the MixPre3/6/10, I really want to seem them still caring for the pro sector.

After acquiring Audio Ltd. I guess chances are high they are not leaving their high end game as it is.

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7 hours ago, Mobilemike said:

Please please please make a faded control surface for the MixPre series! 

 

-Mike

 

Oh no! Just right up until this moment I had high hopes for a high end productio recorder. But now I‘m pretty sure they are doing the surface. That just makes so much sense

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15 hours ago, Mobilemike said:

Please please please make a faded control surface for the MixPre series! 

 

-Mike

Don't need it, can't justify it, would totally buy it :)

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11 hours ago, Constantin said:

 

Oh no! Just right up until this moment I had high hopes for a high end productio recorder. But now I‘m pretty sure they are doing the surface. That just makes so much sense

Lol. Is this really so bad? And why are you so sure it's at the expense of a high end recorder? If they are doing a control surface it'll be interesting to see how they feature and price the accessory.

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40 minutes ago, daniel said:

Lol. Is this really so bad? And why are you so sure it's at the expense of a high end recorder? If they are doing a control surface it'll be interesting to see how they feature and price the accessory.

I think it would be bad indeed. Just would show that they completely lose their high end production sound customers out of sight. They really need to come up with something for this market, or they lose a good cut of old costumers to Zax and Aaton.

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1 hour ago, daniel said:

Lol. Is this really so bad? And why are you so sure it's at the expense of a high end recorder? If they are doing a control surface it'll be interesting to see how they feature and price the accessory.

 

No, not too bad, no more so than Nick points out. But it would certainly further delay the release of a high end recorder

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They can make as many control surfaces as they want as far as I'm concerned as long as they all have TRIM knobs going forward.

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2 hours ago, Derek H said:

They can make as many control surfaces as they want as far as I'm concerned as long as they all have TRIM knobs going forward.

 

EXACTLY

 

Unfortunately, unless SD comes out at NAB with some great machine to compete with D24 or X3, they might as well not do it at all.

 

I was thinking about it yesterday. There are only a few types of mixers that would want or use this type of item. One - A few remaining relics like me who want to hold onto my analog board, and need something to plug the outputs into. Two - Mixers who are on high track counts and bigger cart setups who are on Midas or Yamaha or the like, with Dante, that already have the 970 as a great option. Three - Mixers who are perfectly happy with the 688/CL12 combo, and who likely won't want to spend the extra money if they're happy with the current situation.

 

There seems to be no profit in developing and manufacturing a whole new box. I hope I am wrong.

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Obviously being just a humble bag guy there's something I'm missing here. I thought 688 and 788 were doing alright on carts and X3, 970 (and soon D24) are amongst the options available for higher track count work. Why rush a product to market? Aaton have delivered a 24 track machine in the last couple of years, Zaxcom are doing so, SD will do soon enough, hopefully taking advantage of their recent acquisitions when they do so. If they weren't interested in high end, why would they buy Audio Ltd? I don't get the pessimism or the why what they are doing is some kind of inconvenience. They have a wider range of mixer-recorders than any other manufacturer and look solid for it.

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1 hour ago, daniel said:

Obviously being just a humble bag guy there's something I'm missing here. I thought 688 and 788 were doing alright on carts and X3, 970 (and soon D24) are amongst the options available for higher track count work. Why rush a product to market? Aaton have delivered a 24 track machine in the last couple of years, Zaxcom are doing so, SD will do soon enough, hopefully taking advantage of their recent acquisitions when they do so. If they weren't interested in high end, why would they buy Audio Ltd? I don't get the pessimism or the why what they are doing is some kind of inconvenience. They have a wider range of mixer-recorders than any other manufacturer and look solid for it.

 

Me personally I am not so much criticizing SD as I am wishing for a new bigger recorder. The X3 is awesome, but it’s really very expensive and for me it’s much easier to stay within the SD family. I am happy with my 788, but there are things I don’t like about it (such as the display or no. of inputs), so would like a more modern nicer machine, with more inputs and tracks, AND trims on the board, as mentioned above

X3 is tempting (if money weren’t an issue), but it’s not dying to be put in a bag

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I’m not criticizing either, but I can no longer get away with 8 inputs and want to stay with SD. 

 

970 isn’t an option with my setup, and frankly the 6-series isn’t enough for me either. 

 

I’ll hobble along as long as I can, but soon I’ll need something new. 

 

I don’t see how buying a wireless company has anything to do with making new recorders. They’re just making themselves a stronger and more diversified company. 

 

I’m hopeful they’ll come out with something, but I don’t believe there’s much profit in it, and I fear they’ll stick to a sensible business plan. As they should. 

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The problem as I see it, if a problem at all, is SD focus on  their core gear after aquisition of the wireless company...

It's just more to think about... and spreading out the development of new recorder/ mixer gear may have just got that much more muddled in other areas of the new workload.. 

Only time will tell, but I was not too thrilled with the wireless addition to SD..

I am hoping for the best...

 

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53 minutes ago, afewmoreyears said:

The problem as I see it, if a problem at all, is SD focus on  their core gear after aquisition of the wireless company...

It's just more to think about... and spreading out the development of new recorder/ mixer gear may have just got that much more muddled in other areas of the new workload.. 

Only time will tell, but I was not too thrilled with the wireless addition to SD..

I am hoping for the best...

 

 

I don't know. The press announcement says, "Audio Ltd., now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sound Devices, continues to operate out of its Watford, UK offices with Kishore Patel and Lee Stone continuing as managing director and technical director, respectively."

https://www.sounddevices.com/news/sound-devices-news/sound-devices-acquires-audio-ltd

 

So perhaps the Wisconsin SD people will keep working on their stuff and let the UK-based people keep designing wireless. If SD basically acquired IP from Audio Ltd and didn't keep a lot of the staff (and I don't know how many staffers they kept), then I'd agree with you. But if SD is providing a stronger channel for Audio Ltd and some money for them to beef up their engineering and manufacturing teams, then it might not slow down mixer & recorder development.

 

I guess we'll get some hints at NAB in a couple weeks (and more so at AES in the fall & NAB next year)...

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19 hours ago, NickFriedrich said:

I think it would be bad indeed. Just would show that they completely lose their high end production sound customers out of sight. They really need to come up with something for this market, or they lose a good cut of old costumers to Zax and Aaton.


Sound Devices has plenty of good products already, so while I would expect a non-MixPre release sometime this year, it wouldn't be the end of the world if it didn't happen until sometime next year is when their next "big professional release" is. 

 

5 hours ago, RPSharman said:

I’m not criticizing either, but I can no longer get away with 8 inputs and want to stay with SD. 

 


8 inputs? How is the 12 inputs of the 688 not a suitable option for  you?

 

5 hours ago, RPSharman said:

I don’t see how buying a wireless company has anything to do with making new recorders. They’re just making themselves a stronger and more diversified company. 

 


Because they're buying a high end pro wireless company, thus it shows commitment to that segment of the market. 

 

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12 inputs with limiters and easily accessible gain on all inputs would be ok for now. But seems unlikely I’d buy anything with fewer than 16 inputs. 

 

Buying a high end wireless company indicates a business decision and has nothing to do with recorders. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, RPSharman said:

Buying a high end wireless company indicates a business decision and has nothing to do with recorders. 

 

 

I think there is a lot more to it... 

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On 3/21/2018 at 8:33 PM, IronFilm said:


What in particular annoyed you about the pre amps in the 633?

 

I feel like 664's pre's are warmer, and i felt like 633 dynamic range was strange compared to it. I feel that 664 pres needs less gain to have a satisfactory sound and also handle peaks / louder bits better, not getting so close to limiter for the sound i like. And because of that, i often hit the limiters on 633, like it wouldn't handle the peaks properly - and i didn't like that. On 664 i almost don't hit the limiters. And yes, the limiters were used with the same settings.

 

When looking to the meters, i would say 664 would always be peaking less than 633 for the "same warmth". I monitor the sound by the ears rather than looking to meters, and this is how i feel comparing them both when using both ears and eyes, using the same HP levels (-6). 

 

That is all really subjective and maybe i have fucked up ears, who knows... but well... these are my thoughts.

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I like the SD664 over the SD633/SD688. It has never failed on me, bought used on eBay, gets compliments often. 

 

If you need more than cl-6 provides, step up to a 16 track mix cart with a MIDAS M32C and record to HD via BoomRecorder. 

 

At a certain level, the portable mixer is not enough equipment. It is impressive how well SD makes their entire line of Preamps; both digital and analog. In addition to  their undeniable fidelity, they are crammed into tiny packages. I suppose we all tend to compare audio recording to the highest standards set by recording engineers  that we are educated of and familiar with. I think there should be two separate discussions that this topic splits into. 

 

1— Current acceptable productions standards for audio recording equipment. 

2— The Holy grail, and the pursuit of; the ultimate recording. 

 

It's like surfing, sure there are new cutting edge short board shapes and designs, but long boards always rule. 

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