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Sonosax SX62R Mixer/Recorder


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BTW, thanks for your compliments Jeff!

I tried to write an objective review of the SX62R rather than a "pros/cons" or "SX62R vs. X or Y" review. This is mainly due to the fact that I haven't owned or even touched the other contenders on the market today, apart from the latest Fostexes, the Cantars and the Nagras or Sonosaxes owned by my mixer friends around here.

I've been working with a SD 744T plus 302 or 442 in the bag or Audio Developments 255 on the cart over the last 6 years or so and have been extremely happy with that setup ever since. Now it's time to step-up to a higher track count and I'm scouting the market for a new recorder. Buying the perfect recorder for me, what a tough and time-consuming decision to make!

I have worked a couple of weeks with the Cantar a few years back and while it's a splendid machine, i knew it's not the one for me, as I prefer the more traditional approach "mixer -> recorder".

Then I know my 744T in and out and love it, but intuition tells me I wouldn't like this UI if I had to manage a higher track count with it, i.e. the 788, even with a CL8 (or CL9).

Then, as much as I like the Nagra VI, it's just a tad large for over the shoulder in my opinion and there are less pots than tracks on the machine, so it's not the one for me neither.

Even with a weak Dollar here in Switzerland these days - making American machines a real bargain when bought overseas - I'm rather leaning towards a European manufacturer for the sake of servicing costs. As it happens, they are all Swiss made and I live almost down the road from Nagra and Sonosax and they both happen to make some of the most beautiful mixers and/or recorders out there. So when I accidentally ran into Jacques Sax at a local pub a couple of months ago and Jacques told me they are putting the final touches to the SX62R after all (the project had been doomed for some time), I almost fainted. Or was it due to the pints of Belgian beer?

Well, so there it is, and it feels as if it had been designed just for me! Life's good sometimes...

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The pan and all the other pots apart from the channel faders, headphones selector and volume are of the "push-in and lock" type, as found on SD's machines.

This is good to know. I really like the use of the "push-in-and-lock" type controls for those settings that you don't want to change accidentally. If those had been included in the very first Sonosax product I ever owned (the first Sonosax mixer to show up here on the U.S.) I might still be using Sonosax gear. The first mixer they built had the limiter settings knob right next to the channel fader (linear slider) and many times while just making a fader adjustment the whole limiter setting would be altered.

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Cloud,

The SX62R plus three UCR411As runs for approx 2 1/2 to 3 hours with a 65 Wh li-ion NP1.

If I remember well, I measured the SX62R to have a current draw of approx. 1 amp, that would be around 15 Watt at the battery's nominal voltage. A Lectro UCR411a taking around 200 mA, three of them would be 600 mA, so the rig would draw around 1.6 amps resulting in a total power consumption of around 24 Watt, thus 2 1/2 hours, in theory.

That's pretty much on par with the specs of a 788, for instance. Of course, the current draw may vary a lot, depending on how many inputs are activated, phantom powering, HD access and display brightness, etc.

Cheers,

J.

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Cloud,

The SX62R plus three UCR411As runs for approx 2 1/2 to 3 hours with a 65 Wh li-ion NP1.

If I remember well, I measured the SX62R to have a current draw of approx. 1 amp, that would be around 15 Watt at the battery's nominal voltage. A Lectro UCR411a taking around 200 mA, three of them would be 600 mA, so the rig would draw around 1.6 amps resulting in a total power consumption of around 24 Watt, thus 2 1/2 hours, in theory.

That's pretty much on par with the specs of a 788, for instance. Of course, the current draw may vary a lot, depending on how many inputs are activated, phantom powering, HD access and display brightness, etc.

Cheers,

J.

Hello  J, as I recall from their previous products , the recorder could not save the  the same amount of data  on both medias  , writes only 8 tracks on its hard disk and left/right mix  on the cf card , is it still like that ?

And do you know if  sonosax plans any fader control surface to use with that one ?

Tomash B

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Hi Tomash,

This has changed from the SX-R4. Now you can either mirror the internal SSD on the CF card with up to 8 tracks, or record up to 8 tracks on the internal SSD and have only the mix tracks 7 and 8 on the CF card for dailies delivery. In the latter case, the file format needs to be mono or stereo interleaved for both drives.

As for a fader surface, I have no info on that. There is an "ACCESSORY" port on the right panel of the machine, so who knows what's in the pipeline for that socket...

Hi Michael,

My test machine didn't come with the AES I/O board, but I think there are 8 ins and 8 outs on a DB25 connector. How these ins and outs are implemented in the signal path, i couldn't tell right now. I guess this feature is mainly thought for people who use a SX-ST or SX-ES64 or any other desktop mixer with AES out to use the SX62R's recorder. I don't know if this results in a higher track count in order to still use the machine's internal mixer features.

I'll ask someone from Sonosax to chime in here for these questions.

All the best,

Jürg

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Hi Tomash,

This has changed from the SX-R4. Now you can either mirror the internal SSD on the CF card with up to 8 tracks, or record up to 8 tracks on the internal SSD and have only the mix tracks 7 and 8 on the CF card for dailies delivery. In the latter case, the file format needs to be mono or stereo interleaved for both drives.

Jürg

Thank you for your explanation , do you know if it  could make 10 tracks by use the 8 digital ins or all the analog ins  include the  two return line level ones  with  internal scratch track mix as it  with Sound Devices 788?

Tomash B

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On the SX-R4, the predecessor to the SX62r, Sonosax now has true mirroring recording modes.  No longer is the CF slot only used for a a two track mix.  I am assuming that is also true with the SX62r. 

Hello  J, as I recall from their previous products , the recorder could not save the  the same amount of data  on both medias  , writes only 8 tracks on its hard disk and left/right mix  on the cf card , is it still like that ?

And do you know if  sonosax plans any fader control surface to use with that one ?

Tomash B

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Hi Jurge,

had you considered a SX-R4?  I'd be curious to hear your opinion.  It looks like an interesting unit.

Cloud,

The SX62R plus three UCR411As runs for approx 2 1/2 to 3 hours with a 65 Wh li-ion NP1.

If I remember well, I measured the SX62R to have a current draw of approx. 1 amp, that would be around 15 Watt at the battery's nominal voltage. A Lectro UCR411a taking around 200 mA, three of them would be 600 mA, so the rig would draw around 1.6 amps resulting in a total power consumption of around 24 Watt, thus 2 1/2 hours, in theory.

That's pretty much on par with the specs of a 788, for instance. Of course, the current draw may vary a lot, depending on how many inputs are activated, phantom powering, HD access and display brightness, etc.

Cheers,

J.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On the SX-R4, the predecessor to the SX62r, Sonosax now has true mirroring recording modes.  No longer is the CF slot only used for a a two track mix.  I am assuming that is also true with the SX62r. 

Hi John,

Yes, it is true with the SX62R. The SX-R4 has many similarities with the SX62R and the MINIR82. The software is basically the same, the SX62R only makes use of the bigger screen estate offered by the touch screen, with the addition of a true analog 6 track mixer built-in.

And yes,

had you considered a SX-R4?  I'd be curious to hear your opinion.  It looks like an interesting unit.

I really have been tempted by the SX-R4 when it came out, it's a very nice machine for doc work, it's incredibly small and lightweight for an 8 track machine. I know at least three fellow sound guys here in Switzerland who work with it on a daily basis in conjunction with the SX-M32 3 channel mixer with AES outputs and they all are very happy with their kit.

My opinion at that time was that it would be perfect for the jobs requiring a very small and flexible kit. But you do need an external mixer to take advantage of all the inputs and tracks, because the pots on the front panel are actually gain knobs you can't fade all the way to off. Maybe they changed this with a software update, I don't know.

All the best,

Jürg

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was really into R4 for a while but it lacks of outputs and seems sonosax doesn't want to inprove this anymore. The RED words are the reply from sonosax.

1. about the TA3 SUB OUT connector on the R4 : do you think this connector can be re-designed to a TA5 balanced output ? (+4dBu)

Impossible, this would require a new design and lot of additional components to balance this output

2. the phono connector below the TA3 SUB OUT connector, do you think this connector can be re-designed to a RETURN IN connector ? and the fader there can adjust its input volume ? ( this is just for monitor the return audio purpose )

Again this is not possible for the same reasons

3. as the digital mic is so popular these days,do you think that could be possible at least give one channel on the R4 is allowed AES32 for digital mic ?

Digital Microphones require a lot of power and a special 10V supply, we do not intend to implemen AES42 in our productsthank you

Cloud

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was really into R4 for a while but it lacks of outputs and seems sonosax doesn't want to inprove this anymore. The RED words are the reply from sonosax.

1. about the TA3 SUB OUT connector on the R4 : do you think this connector can be re-designed to a TA5 balanced output ? (+4dBu)

Impossible, this would require a new design and lot of additional components to balance this output

2. the phono connector below the TA3 SUB OUT connector, do you think this connector can be re-designed to a RETURN IN connector ? and the fader there can adjust its input volume ? ( this is just for monitor the return audio purpose )

Again this is not possible for the same reasons

3. as the digital mic is so popular these days,do you think that could be possible at least give one channel on the R4 is allowed AES32 for digital mic ?

Digital Microphones require a lot of power and a special 10V supply, we do not intend to implemen AES42 in our productsthank you

Cloud

Thanks Cloud.  I think this recorder is intended for very specific applications.  It clearly must be used with a mixer as a front end and additional output choices are going to available from the mixer.  The R4 is not a mixer, the pots do not go down to zero- making it impossible to mix with.  As far as AES42 for digimics- There probably were no( or very few ) digimics when this recorder was being designed.  I am impressed that they can get an 8 track recorder that can run on AAs.  I am sure there was no extra room for additional voltage requirements.  The SX62r is a more flexible unit that will probably suit you better.

best,

john

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Hey Jlempen:

I have two questions about the recorder. Can it save your current file should the power go down accidentally? And does the timecode remain consistent when you switch it on and off. If you can test that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Jlempen:

I have two questions about the recorder. Can it save your current file should the power go down accidentally? And does the timecode remain consistent when you switch it on and off. If you can test that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Hi José!

Sorry for the late reply, I'm shooting a lot these days...

Yes, the timecode seems to hold just fine when you switch the unit off for a few minutes. I couldn't tell you for how long it will hold, but at least enough for a battery change. I usually rejam my SB-3 boxes after battery changes anyway, so everything has been working great on my current project.

When I pull the power cord on my machine while recording, the file doesn't seem to exist in the file browser when I power the machine up again, so I guess the take is lost in the event of a power failure. I'll put that on my next buglist for the Sonosax crew.

Cheers,

Jürg

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Beauty is great, but only skin deep. You'd have to be crazy to pay that for only 6 inputs and only 8 tracks. Who needs beauty when you're confronted with a scene you need 10 iso tracks for? With the kind of coverage rampant in current shooting styles (holding the wide with Acam over and over, and stealing tight singles on Bcam and Ccam) we need those extra tracks even if we can't mix them properly! (I'm talking about simultaneously mixing for a wide and a tight shot, not the ability to mix many people.)

For the record I still want an SX-ST with 10 channels, the D/A board, and the record option someday... But I'll probably end up with a Ledford-style ULN8 + control surface to get those extra mics iso-ed on the Deva 16.

Dan Izen

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Beauty is great, but only skin deep. You'd have to be crazy to pay that for only 6 inputs and only 8 tracks. Who needs beauty when you're confronted with a scene you need 10 iso tracks for? With the kind of coverage rampant in current shooting styles (holding the wide with Acam over and over, and stealing tight singles on Bcam and Ccam) we need those extra tracks even if we can't mix them properly! (I'm talking about simultaneously mixing for a wide and a tight shot, not the ability to mix many people.)

For the record I still want an SX-ST with 10 channels, the D/A board, and the record option someday... But I'll probably end up with a Ledford-style ULN8 + control surface to get those extra mics iso-ed on the Deva 16.

Dan Izen

Hey Dan!

I guess it all comes down to different working styles between North America and Europe. Where I live and work, we only shoot multicam on very rare occasions and usually 4 radio mics are enough for 99 percent of our feature and TV work. My standard equipment for fiction work includes 6 radio mics and an 8 channel cart mixer, but i usually use two of the Lectros for wireless boom and plant mics, so it's no wonder that European sound mixers mainly work with Cantars, Sonosaxes and Nagras which offer "only" 8 recording tracks...

I guess the situation is a whole lot different in the USA, where you need to send several sub-mixes to several cameras and wire-up 8 or 10 actors on a regular basis.

Cheers,

Jürg

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You know, I'm occasionally reminded of how civilized a manner other countries shoot a movie. I have heard tell of single-camera shoots and being able to boom all dialog as a standard. Just makes me sigh... I just had a 7-talker + boom scene that obviously required at least 9 tracks... sigh...

Dan Izen

Hey Dan!

I guess it all comes down to different working styles between North America and Europe. Where I live and work, we only shoot multicam on very rare occasions and usually 4 radio mics are enough for 99 percent of our feature and TV work. My standard equipment for fiction work includes 6 radio mics and an 8 channel cart mixer, but i usually use two of the Lectros for wireless boom and plant mics, so it's no wonder that European sound mixers mainly work with Cantars, Sonosaxes and Nagras which offer "only" 8 recording tracks...

I guess the situation is a whole lot different in the USA, where you need to send several sub-mixes to several cameras and wire-up 8 or 10 actors on a regular basis.

Cheers,

Jürg

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You know, I'm occasionally reminded of how civilized a manner other countries shoot a movie.

"civilized", LOL! Of course, we also have REDs and 5Ds all over the place these days, and 8 weeks shoots where we exclusively clap tail slates because "the slate is disturbing the talent" if we slate at all, and cam operators shooting 360 degrees with nobody knowing the cam is running and chatty directors and all that. But usually it's at least with a single camera and the boom remaining the main axe.

Over here, many of my fellow sound mixers are beginning to turn down drama jobs in favor of doc shoots whenever possible. Sign of the times for sound people, i guess...

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with both the West and Europe, because every job has different requirements. It depends on the kind of sound the director would like for his picture.And at the end of the day it's up to the mixer to say whether he can or can't deliver 1 sound track in that "style" even if there are more than 3 Cams in the scene.

I really really wanted a Sonosax 6 track recorder with the Mixer but could not afford it. So even though I don't need all 8 tracks I went with a Sound devices setup for the price and know it can still do the job. I find that with multicam there is always a moment where coverage is possible for a boom. I just make it very clear that "Mother Daughter shots" will compromise the sound track and throwing all the radio mics in the world at it won't solve the problem. Because sound perspective is very crucial and the audience need it to believe the story that they view in the Cinema is "real"

I have been part of about 6/7 films where only the boom was used

Just a thought

Greg

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  • 2 years later...

Initially, I felt the issues I had experienced when first acquiring my unit were simple to resolve through firmware updates. In the past year, my SX62R has been returned to Sonosax several times at my expense.

1. Screen freeze ups which result in non-responsiveness to touch. 2. Digital Out from any viable connector (DIN/AUX/XLR) to Lectrosonic D4T- cuts out when entering metadata editing in between takes whereby necessitating manual removal of ext/int power components and reboot.

 

The degradation continues until I can only power up to an inaccessible touchscreen. The only function available is the record switch. I've had to edit countless track's metadata with Wave Agent due to these severe limitations.

My unit is being repaired at Sonosax and a new unit was sent over to me in the interim. It has developed the same issues over two months. It has been very disruptive to my workflow and client's confidence, in turn, mine. 

Has anyone else had these issues?

 

Onward,
Roderick

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" Has anyone else had these issues? "

maybe, but not all the users are here anyway...no matter who has, or has not had such issues, you have had them.

thank you for venting sharing your experience... CRAP happens, and pioneers with new products get more than their share.

although the SX62-r is not really that new anymore. Certainly wouldn't call anyone owning one a pioneer
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