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jon_tatooles

Sound Devices MixPre version 3.0 Now Released

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I'm posting this here in the equipment section. Don't flame me since this isn't an advertisement, but a notice for existing users  - smiley face.

 

https://www.sounddevices.com/support/downloads

 

To apply the ambisonics plugin, which works with the MixPre-6 and MixPre-10T (only), update to 3.0 first, then download the plugin at no charge from:

 

https://store.sounddevices.com/product/ambisonics-plugin/

 

 

 

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No flames, Jon, this is totally appropriate and welcome. I am always pleased to have manufacturers making posts like this. My only concern, as everyone is well aware, is the abuse of this section by a few in the past, and when this section is used as a substitute for normal and professional product support that should happen directly with manufacturer or dealer. We do have one thread currently regarding one company's support (or lack of support) and I'm not quite sure what to do about it. 

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This was fixed in 2.20, but for 10M only:

 

"Phantom Power setting was not carrying over to the linked input in a linked pair"

 

Is there any reason why this hasn't been addressed in the 6 series?

 

Are there any plans to look at the limiter release times?

 

Best,

 

- JD

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Heads up, more bugs in 3.01: hiss in mic pres! From Danny Greenwald at SD on Facebook- " Thank you very much for your posts. We have identified the problem, and we are diligently working on a solution. We should have an update soon. Until an update is available, please do the following:

 

Each time you boot up or switch phantom on or off, switch to a different sample rate then back again to your required sample rate."

 

I'm about ready to get an F8n.

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1 hour ago, Allen Rowand said:

I'm about ready to get an F8n.

 

or you could just wait a couple of weeks before updating when a new firmware comes out ; )

more seriously, why they don't have a beta test program on something as critical as a sound recorder is a mystery to me (I'd still wait a couple of weeks anyway though).

chris

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I don't have an issue waiting for bugs to get shaken out, I'm simply losing confidence in Sound Devices' ability to release properly tested software. It took them 7 months to release a fix for a problem they introduced in v2.21. That fix (v3) broke more things, and the fix for that (v3.01) seems to have broken other things.

 

Have a look at the release notes: https://www.sounddevices.com/support/downloads/mixpres-firmware).

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Glad I am still on 2.21, I like the changes made in 3.0 but it seems to be a bit unstable. My best experience was with 1.53 thought - but recording decoded and undecoded MS at the same time is such a nice thing. 2.21 introduced some other headphone behavior and it seems as it is back in a fashion that more suits me in 3.xx, so I will update as soon as the few kinks are ironed out.

 

I see why some people are upset, becouse of stability issues and slightly different workflows in every major update. In a way I think that it is amazing how much better the machine is from the release date. 4 linked inputs, Remixing, MS options, android support for wingman, que markers, more output gain, better support as an interface for windows computers and when 3.xx is stable, the 192khzrecording should be top notch (96khz is plenty for what I do at the moment), preroll, ambisonic recording in various formats at the same time,midi control support. I did not expect this when I bought it. I purely bought it for sound quality, so everything else is just a bonus.

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How a firmware update cause increase hiss in mic preamps?

Is there inside the code something which decrease hiss in mic preamps?

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18 minutes ago, VAS said:

How a firmware update cause increase hiss in mic preamps?

Is there inside the code something which decrease hiss in mic preamps?

 

I reported a possibly related bug that affected 2.21. When unlinking two linked channels (on my MixPre 3, channels 1 and 2) channel 2 had some odd gain offset if the fader was at 12 o’clock (when linking them it becomes a “balance” control for the linked channels). It happened with the gain in basic mode and the rest of the unit in Advanced mode. And I found out that it was enough to switch the input source to correct it. The symptom was of course hiss due to increased gain.

 

These little units are complex beasts. The preamps have obviously some degree of digital control, at the very least for gain, HPF, limitar, etc. Maybe some bug is leaving the control signals in a bad state which can lead to the electronics to be misconfigured or it simply adds an incorrect and excessive amount of gain.

 

I don’t know what’s inside the more traditional SD products but I guess this is a new platform designed from scratch. Maybe by a new team? I dare to say an ambitious development. Not a relief for someone suffering the bugs of course. 

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As a side note, I could never understand why someone who depends on a device for their profession, would rush to update the software immediately after release. Doesn’t matter if it’s Sound Devices, Zoom, Zaxcom, Apple, Microsoft... the chance of undiscovered bugs is always the greatest right after release. Beta testers will only help to a point with that. 

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16 minutes ago, Constantin said:

As a side note, I could never understand why someone who depends on a device for their profession, would rush to update the software immediately after release. Doesn’t matter if it’s Sound Devices, Zoom, Zaxcom, Apple, Microsoft... the chance of undiscovered bugs is always the greatest right after release. Beta testers will only help to a point with that. 

I agree to this by 100%. I never update the firmware straight before shoots or field recording trips. I rather use a firmware where I know where the bugs and kinks are than using an untested firmware with a potential different sets of bugs, before a bit of testing.

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11 hours ago, Allen Rowand said:

The advice to change the sample rate also could mean the the noise is being introduced in the A-D converter, not the mic pre proper.

 

Odd anyway. Did someone forget a curly brace assuming they develop in C or C++? ;)

 

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14 hours ago, Constantin said:

As a side note, I could never understand why someone who depends on a device for their profession, would rush to update the software immediately after release. Doesn’t matter if it’s Sound Devices, Zoom, Zaxcom, Apple, Microsoft... the chance of undiscovered bugs is always the greatest right after release. Beta testers will only help to a point with that. 

 

+1 

 

It's a new -- software controlled -- world we live in with firmware releases containing new features coming out at a dizzying pace.  In this new paradigm, freshly released software should always be considered beta until it has been proven in the field.

 

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Borjam's comment about missing a curly bracket isn't far off...

 

We missed a few bugs in the 3.00 and 3.01 releases, and some of them manifest in the operation of the product. This truly guts us, and we will make this right, as we have since the early days of the first Sound Devices product with software control, the 442. Back then, the little micro-controller in the 442 controlled tone level, battery metering, limiter threshold, etc. 

 

As John says above, it is a software-controlled world. Actually, it is far beyond software control. The latest generation of products, from us and many others, are software-defined hardware. In products like the new MixPre-3, MixPre-6 and MixPre-10T the schematic of the product is effectively built each time the unit powers up. It is truly incredible, and this is what enables these products to do so much in such a small footprint. So yes, firmware can completely control the behavior of the microphone preamp. 

 

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I have a programmer background (although internet, it is all code..) and we worked with RC (release Candidate) versions. these can be private or public so in this case public, but at least then the "public" knows there can be some glitches in it.  Maybe something to consider.

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I understand the need to be cautious about new firmware v.s for mission critical hardware, and that works fine as long as you aren't having an issue.  But if you ARE having an issue and call SD (for example) for support, my experience is that they will want you to upgrade to the latest firmware for your device before digging into the issue with you. 

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Well, the updates are free, and I don’t think anyone living and working in this digital field thinks any update, or even new products, are final when they’re released. It’s a small price to pay for being a early adopter I’d say. That said, I agree totally with Constantin. But on the other hand,if you want to be on the edge, it goes without saying you could fall off... 

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6 hours ago, jon_tatooles said:

We missed a few bugs in the 3.00 and 3.01 releases, and some of them manifest in the operation of the product. This truly guts us, and we will make this right, as we have since the early days of the first Sound Devices product with software control, the 442. Back then, the little micro-controller in the 442 controlled tone level, battery metering, limiter threshold, etc. 

 

I hate to mention this Jon, as I am very much enjoying being a SD owner/user again, but....... when you say '.... and we will make this right, as we have since the early days....' - I feel I have to ask about the glitchy recording when using the USB Pre Mk1 - I believe that was not necessarily a soft/firmware issue, but to my knowledge it was never solved, hence I am still the slightly disgruntled owner of a USB Pre Mk1 which is effectively useless - the only thing it is good for is as a D to A...... I believe the problem was the chip, not made by SD, but I don't think that product was your finest......

 

From a very rainy London, Simon B

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Having updated to Firmware V3.01 on my 10T, I had the rather strange experience this morning of not being able to turn the thing off. I was doing test recordings of my OctoMic/Cyclone combination, powering an AudioRoot BDS and Remote Audio Hi-Q battery, with a fully charged set of Eneloop AAs in the battery sled as back-up, and when I'd finished recording, I went to power down and the switch was totally inactive. Disconnected the BDS, still nothing. I'd had WIngman running on my iPad and wondered if that was something to do with it, so turned Bluetooth off, and initially that didn't seem to make any difference. Eventually, after a fair bit of head scratching and switch clicking, the unit decided it did want to turn off after all. I can't replicate it at the moment, but will persevere.

 

John

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18 hours ago, Bash said:

I believe that was not necessarily a soft/firmware issue, but to my knowledge it was never solved

 

Although there is whole bouquet of possible reasons that could have caused this that had nothing to do with the USB Pre. As soon as (actual) computers come into play there are so many potential pitfalls and possible problems causing this, such as a driver conflict, that it’s hard to blame it on one device - even if similar devices worked flawlessly. To this day I cannot get my Digidesign 003 to actually communicate reliably with my desktop computer. It will graciously agree to work one day, but will be completely silent the next. Fairly apparent that it’s not the 003 to blame. Or at least not only the 003.

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