Jump to content
paulinventome

MixPre II with wireless

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

First post, be gentle. 

 

I have a MixPre 6 II and it dawned on me that if i use any kind of wireless system then i'm basically loosing the float recording benefits because each wireless system will be doing AD and then DA? So the weakest link between the mic and recorder would be that hardware? Is that correct?

 

Does anyone not do a digital feed from a receiver, so it doesn't have to go through the DA at the end? 

 

I have some Rode gear and also the little Rode Gos which i know aren't that useful but sometimes i pop them around to pick up backup ambience.

 

I was really thinking of consolidating the wireless side with Deity as that seems in budget and decent - but i am enjoying the MixPre float recording and didn't really want to compromise that?

 

(and yes, i'm mostly a VFX & Camera guy but do love sound as well...but that's not my professional area)

 

Kindest
Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum!

 

11 minutes ago, paulinventome said:

I have a MixPre 6 II and it dawned on me that if i use any kind of wireless system then i'm basically loosing the float recording benefits because each wireless system will be doing AD and then DA? So the weakest link between the mic and recorder would be that hardware? Is that correct?

That is correct if you gain stage properly.

 

13 minutes ago, paulinventome said:

Does anyone not do a digital feed from a receiver, so it doesn't have to go through the DA at the end?

Sure! Wisy/Zax/Audio LTD/Lectro/high end Sennheiser/Sony all have some options for that. But keep in mind Mixpres dont have digital in so you would be looking at a new recorder as well to benefit from that.

 

As for wireless, sure I would love to go digital on to the recorder, but cannot afford that yet, and a good mic with proper gainstaging on the wireless system goes a long way to up the audio quality. It all as usual depends on what you are planning to do. The wireless systems that go digital from the RX are a 'little bit' pricier than wireless go.

 

For ambience, I would as much as possible go straight to the mixpre to benefit from the good sounding machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A digital output alone would not be of much benefit for the float recording of the mixpre as the signal has already be limited in the transmitter.

 

the problem is float would take up more bandwidth on a wireless signal (plus require a full digital transmission and output interface supporting float).

not many transmitters will even do uncompressed 48/24, and adding 32bit float would demand 50% higher bandwidth.  

 

so better to run a wire, of that is impossible use quality transmitters and mics and take care of proper gain staging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, paulinventome said:

Does anyone not do a digital feed from a receiver, so it doesn't have to go through the DA at the end? 

It’s the initial A/D conversion step where 32 bit float recording would make a difference, not at a DA or subsequent AD stage. In order to take advantage of 32 bit float, the very first analog to digital conversion in a signal path has to use it. If that first AD stage is “only” 24 (or 16) bit, then you have permanently lost those other potential bits from the signal and no amount of conversion will get them back. 

 

Keep in mind there’s nothing at all “wrong” with 24 bit recording - with proper gain staging it’ll be perfect. And the best way to learn proper gain staging is to mess it up a few times...

 

-Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, paulinventome said:

I have a MixPre 6 II and it dawned on me that if i use any kind of wireless system then i'm basically loosing the float recording benefits because each wireless system will be doing AD and then DA? So the weakest link between the mic and recorder would be that hardware? Is that correct?


Yup, doesn't matter if you're recording in 32bits or even 128bits! If you've clipped before you even got to the recorder, then all those extra bits can't save you. 


This is one of the reasons why many people think 32bits of overhyped, as everyone heavily relies upon wireless (many even have their boom be wireless). And there isn't even a single professional grade field recorder which does 32bit recordings. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

And there isn't even a single professional grade field recorder which does 32bit recordings. 

I have a suspicion that the 8 series can and they’re waiting to implement it based on the response from the mixpre ii.

 

My boom is almost always wireless nowadays so it wouldn’t help me much. I brought this topic up to an older mixer recently and he said “You have 24 bit recording and you’re complaining? Spend the time you worry about that making the mics sound good.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Trey LaCroix said:

...

I brought this topic up to an older mixer recently and he said “You have 24 bit recording and you’re complaining? Spend the time you worry about that making the mics sound good.”

 

I couldn't agree more -- excellent quote!

 

A competent professional can make 16-bit recordings sound great. Conversely, even infinite dynamic range won't insulate a mediocre mixer from their own incompetence.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Trey LaCroix said:

I have a suspicion that the 8 series can and they’re waiting to implement it based on the response from the mixpre ii.


The 8-series has 32-bit converters (not floating), so they probably could add 32-bit recording. I don’t know if they could also add float

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Trey LaCroix said:

I have a suspicion that the 8 series can and they’re waiting to implement it based on the response from the mixpre ii.

 

I strongly suspect that too, I remember also reading something from someone in Sound Devices that felt like it was hinting it is on their to do list to implement. (gah, wish I could remember the details)

 

But anyway, even if 32bits never happens for my 833, that's fine, there is always a work around you could do!

For instance, say I was going to have folks improvising in a car and I'd like to hardwire a few plant mics in the car which are then going into a 32bit recorder (because the bag will be dropped in the back of the car, and I can't monitor it). What I could do with the 833 instead is route each input to two different tracks, where I can then apply two different gain values. Giving me in 24bits a lower safety track for every mic. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The world is bigger than narrative production; I can see benefit in a 32bit float workflow for docu shoots and reality (the real one, not scripted). I did my share of docs in harsh (near war zone) conditions, so there I could have had some benefit from it. 

 

Edit; Obviously i mean a potential end-to-end wireless to recording 32 bit. Now there is no point using wireless with the mixpre or zoom f6 and have  the 32bit benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Vincent R. said:

The world is bigger than narrative production; I can see benefit in a 32bit float workflow for docu shoots.

Yes, this seems like a great use of 32 but float. Those moments that only happen once with subjects that have no awareness (or interest) as to our limitations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where I think the 32 bit float feature really shines is on single person shoots, when one must focus on the camera aspects of the shoot and cannot ride, or often even watch the levels. One of the main marketing aspects of the MixPre series has been attaching them to small DSLR and mirrorless cameras. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Movies by Matt said:

Where I think the 32 bit float feature really shines is on single person shoots, when one must focus on the camera aspects of the shoot and cannot ride, or often even watch the levels. One of the main marketing aspects of the MixPre series has been attaching them to small DSLR and mirrorless cameras. 

 

So what you're saying is, it helps production to not hire a professional sound mixer.

 

So, since this is a forum designed by, and for, professional sound mixers, well...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, John Blankenship said:

 

So what you're saying is, it helps production to not hire a professional sound mixer.

 

So, since this is a forum designed by, and for, professional sound mixers, well...

 

+1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for all the information. It confirmed what i thought.

 

IMHO, float audio is a bit like RAW on cameras. There's a whole bunch of workflows and opinion that really doesn't get RAW or in fact needs it. But once you are working in a RAW environment it's wonderful. You can work a bit faster knowing that you have managed to capture everything you need to in order to give some creative decision making further down the line when it's less frantic.

 

On the sound side if it's a full on production then we'll have dedicated sound dept with all of their standard tricks, experience and kit.

 

But if we're doing a short, pilot, or something at a lower level - having float audio offers just a little bit of a net. I've been burnt in the fast working too fast and screwing some levels up on audio. And i've done a couple of things where float has really just helped. 

 

I don't see anything *wrong* with it - it doesn't appear to be a trade off for some other aspect. Storage is next to nothing and application support is helping. So it makes sense. Doesn't remove any jobs, just gives a bit more wiggle room. 

 

All IMHO of course as all of our work will differ!

 

But really appreciate the responses!

 

(i believe tentacle have a 32 bit float box coming out that you could pop on a boom individually and have that basically 'wireless' in a sense. And being tentacle sync shouldn't be an issue. It's an interesting idea.,..

 

Kindest
Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of points:
1) would you ever shoot with a camera that doesn't have a monitor? (or EVF)
2) 32bit recordings are pointless if nothing is hardwired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am happy with the orginal mixpre for location work. The limiter works well enough for dialogue and the pres are low enough noise that if you err on the low side and need to boost even 50 db in post, no real damage is done apart from that post will be annoyed.

 

Never felt I needed 32 bit for anything narrative, after a while you'll start to get used to how much gain your various mics need in different situations. In the few occasions where it is highly dynamic, one can gain lower and fade higher to have OK mixlevel but also intact isos to refer to for post.

 

7 hours ago, paulinventome said:

I've been burnt in the fast working too fast and screwing some levels up on audio.

 

Levels are just one thing to screw up if you do it solo. Make sure to as IronFilm says, monitor the audio. Or even better, if you are doing a short for example - hand over the sound duty to another person if you are focusing on something else. There are so many things that can go wrong, and a big portion of our job is to make small improvements, troubleshoot and come up with solutions.

 

7 hours ago, paulinventome said:

(i believe tentacle have a 32 bit float box coming out that you could pop on a boom individually and have that basically 'wireless' in a sense. And being tentacle sync shouldn't be an issue. It's an interesting idea.,..

It will defenitely be an interesting little unit. Seems like a great little unit for plants or backup. No 48v from the pre released specs, so will need to be going in to a preamp before if used for boom. And for talent, sure if it is a very simple setup or if you have it in front of your TX it might be something. But without monitoring the output, I would not use it for talent. Levels are just one of many things that can go wrong.

 

If you are doing bagdrops for capturing wildlife, then 32 bit float is another story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

to me 32bit float recording for ISOs is pretty much a no brainer once the technology becomes available and post pipeline supports it - I very much expect it to be the norm in about 5-10 years.

 

just imagine for a moment that we all were used to record the full dynamic range of any audio source and somebody came along and said: "that's a waste we don't need that, lets just clip the audio at some arbitrary level based on what we think will be the loudest noise in the scene. oh and for good measures, lets throw in some distortion mechanism just in case it happens."

 

the downside of float recording of course will be:

- more and more people will think they can do a good job at sound recording without understanding the nature of audio

- films without proper post for audio will have way to high dynamic range and levels all over the place

- films will not get any better because of float recording

 

7 hours ago, paulinventome said:

(i believe tentacle have a 32 bit float box coming out that you could pop on a boom individually and have that basically 'wireless' in a sense.

 

not sure what you mean here, like recording at the boom pole without a cable to the mixer?

sounds like having a blind pilot flying the plane, not a terribly good idea (not to speak of all the extra work in post that this would cause). 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/12/2020 at 12:21 AM, chrismedr said:

not sure what you mean here, like recording at the boom pole without a cable to the mixer?

sounds like having a blind pilot flying the plane, not a terribly good idea (not to speak of all the extra work in post that this would cause). 

You can still attach a headphone to the tentacle to monitor - or even a wireless transmitter (but unfortunately without a screw lock output). It looks like a great idea for backup recorders on the lav itself to use 32 bits.

I own the mixpre 10 iibut I don't use it in 32 bit mode because of workflow issues (it's edited on old avid mediacomposer versions) and because I am mainly using lav mics. But I am very happy with the analog limiters in 24 bit right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/11/2020 at 4:54 PM, IronFilm said:

 32bit recordings are pointless if nothing is hardwired

 

Not necessarily true. It holds true if you perfectly match the gain staging between wireless and recorder. But that doesn't always happen. Imagine a scenario with unpredictable dynamics and the wireless manages to transmit the audio cleanly but the gain of your recorder's input is incorrect. This is where the magic of a floating point comes in and you would be able to recover clean audio that would have otherwise clipped or been too close to the noise floor of a 24 bit fixed point recording.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...