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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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What Field Mixer?

So I've been looking at field mixers such as the Sound Devices 302 and all of those $1200 - $2000 field mixers. I don't want to spend that much at this time, I will wait a year or two and go spend some real money on a recorder and mixer. I just want the ability to allow someone else to adjust levels away from the camera.

BUT my question is, does anyone have suggestions on cheaper field mixers, for much lower budget productions? I've been looking at several choices and its discouraging.

I'd like to have a level meter, and ability to generate tone, and phantom power. although i do understand when your being cheap you cant get everything you'd like...

Does anyone have poor man field mixer suggestions?
(i've been looking at the Sound Devices Mixpre - 2 channels, and the MX124 - 4 channels)
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #2
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I use the sign 44 its a nice little mixer for around $500

Sign Video ENG-44 Field Mixer Review
ENG-44 Field Portable Audio Mixer
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Old May 12th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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I just read the reviews, that was EXACTLY what i was looking for. amazing price with all the features. Thanks a lot Gary.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 10:52 AM   #4
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I use the PSC Promix 3 Mixer, it's a good mixer for DV camera and field recording.

DV Promix 3

PSC | DV PROMIX 3 - Field Mixer | FPSCDVMIX3 | B&H Photo Video
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #5
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Also a very nice recommendation, I'm really glad I asked... I'm liking the ProMix, thanks a lot.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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I sue a Rolls MX422 four-channel mixer. B&H lists it for roughly $560.00. I've been very happy with it so far. The only gripe I have is that the level control (used to set the input level to match your mic) is hard to get to, being a tiny knob set between the XLR connectors.

Some people in reviews grouse about the small VU meters. Frankly, that's not an issue with me. I use the VU meters to help set the initial levels, then run strictly off what my headphones are telling me. The Rolls has a source switch for the headphones that lets you monitor the signal from the recording device, which is where you should be monitoring anyway.

I especially like the limiter, which is adjustable and cuts in smoothly without a thump or dip in sound quality. It's been a good, solid performer for me, and worth the money. I have been told the preamps are noisier than an SD mixer, but frankly none of the people I've done sound for have complained. Most of the time, they tell me the sound is great, but I suspect that's because previously the only thing they've used has been the on-camera mics.

One thing I like is that it's an all-metal (steel, NOT aluminum) case. Very solid. I dumped the shoulder bag that came with it and made a chest-pack to hold it and the digital audio recorder. Great for those one-man-audio-band sessions where you're running the boom, recorder, and levels all at the same time.

Martin
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Old May 12th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Robertson View Post
Also a very nice recommendation, I'm really glad I asked... I'm liking the ProMix, thanks a lot.
Keep an eye on ebay, Used shure fp32's and 33's are on there all the time. I got a psc m4 which is great. I think the promix is really bare bones and for the price of a new one you can find something used that will serve you better.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 08:09 PM   #8
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The ENG-44 is am amazing bang for the buck value. I second it.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #9
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Another vote for the ENG-44...

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Old May 13th, 2009, 05:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sacha Rosen View Post
Keep an eye on ebay, Used shure fp32's and 33's are on there all the time. I got a psc m4 which is great.
I've never been crazy about the FP332 or FP33 mixers. The PSC M4 is the Wendt X4, Bob designed this for PSC, then later marketed the product under his own brand. You really can't go wrong with any of the Wendt products, they are pretty bulletproof, which is why you'll see them used on a lot of reality productions.

Personally, I would start looking in the used market. There are a lot of better mixers than the Rolls or Sign 44 which can be had used for not much more than what these two are sold for new.

Wayne
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #11
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You sure you need a mixer? If you are only using one or two mics at a time, I'd get the SoundDevices MM1 to tide me over until I could get a really good mixer. People sometimes get seduced into buying more channels rather than quality. The MM1 is single channel, but it's top-end single channel.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #12
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has anyone plugged in a G2 transmitter into the ENG-44 and got ok results?
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #13
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has anyone plugged in a G2 transmitter into the ENG-44 and got ok results?
Yes me, I use the sign 44 with a rode ntg-1 and two G2 radio mics, I also make sure that the radio mics are set up correctly and that there is not too much gain driving the radio mic.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 05:42 AM   #14
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cheers Gary....thats me sorted.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #15
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Just one other note for the sign eng-44, the case that comes with it is OK but not up to serious location work, you are better investing in a petrol or portabrace case so that you can put all your radio mics and flash recorders in.
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