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Old August 26th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #1
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Field Mixers

I'm looking into getting a field mixer to record legal depositions. I need 4 channels and narrowed it down three in my price range:

Azden FMX-42
Sign Video ENG-44
Rolls MX422


Anyone have personal experience with any of these? Some of the reviews scare me but more professional ones jump to 3x the price.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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Check out Ty Ford's site he has a review or two...
Having looked around for this myself if your budget stretches to a Sound Devices unit you won't regret the investment.

Regards
Gareth
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins View Post
Check out Ty Ford's site he has a review or two...
Having looked around for this myself if your budget stretches to a Sound Devices unit you won't regret the investment.

Regards
Gareth
I found Sign Video ENG-44 Field Mixer Review
the Sound Devices 442 is $2,500!!! That's not even remotely an option. lol
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #4
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Get the Sign Video mixer. You won't be happy with the metering on the Azden or Rolls.
Don't buy the Azden.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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Get the Sign Video mixer. You won't be happy with the metering on the Azden or Rolls.
Don't buy the Azden.
thx I was leaning towards Sign Video.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #6
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I have the Sign Eng44. I have been extremely happy with its capabilities. Chris Swanberg, who posts in this forum often, has used it, and I think he has been impressed with its value for the price.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #7
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The Sign is the only one in your list to even consider. PSC's DV Promix 3 is decent at around the same price as well.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 06:28 PM   #8
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If you can stretch a bit, a used Wendt X4 can be picked up for under $1000. IMHO the mixer is more important than your camera when shooting depos.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:18 PM   #9
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I own the Azden FMX42 and have used the SignVideo at work. Both are quite functional, and I have been completely satisfied with their output and build quality.

The SignVideo has an led peak reading meter system which I think is more useful for digital recording than the FMX42 vu meters; I bought Azden basically for the VU meters which I have worked with for decades but think that was a bad call. The Azden unit, for all Azden is criticized for its lower-end equipment, actually is part of their professional line and is well made, quiet, and has some very nice features, such as a dedicated mic-level miniplug output for a backup digital recorder; it is compact and the controls are convenient and appear to be nice quality. I have recorded location sound with it quite satisfactorily.

The SignVideo is a little larger, some of the controls are inconvenient (have to be set with a ballpoint pen or some kind of stylus) but the amps are quiet and it appears a quality piece of work. I have used it in the field, also, with complete satisfaction. I have not used the Rolls, but it has VU metering and again, I wish I had opted for the (imho) more useful instant peak reading LED metering. I think the choice in this price range probably comes down to the specific features you want. People bad-mouth Azden, and I have been critical of some of the amateur-level gear they make, myself, but a general condemnation is, I think, unwarranted. Either of these should do the job for you. / Battle Vaughan
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #10
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Pete,

The field mixers you are considering are great in that you can also use them in the field. If this is STRICTLY for depo work, however, I would suggest something like a Mackie 1202 or 1402. More channels (4 mic plus 4 stereo line inputs for the 1202, 6 mic and 4 stereo line inputs for the 1402), possibly more straightforward for many people to use. They are not portable, though. They need to be plugged in and are not designed to be worn in a harness around your neck. But you could find two good used 1202s for the price of one Sign mixer.

If you need a field mixer as well, though, you will never be sorry you bought a Sound Devices mixer (except maybe for the first few months you make the payments on your credit card!!). The Sign does seem to get pretty good reviews as well.

Rob
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Old August 27th, 2009, 02:17 AM   #11
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Check out the juicedlink, very good for the money. And you can bolt it under for the cam for solo work in the field.

Camcorder XLR Audio Adapter/Preamp: Buy Direct and Save - CX431

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Old August 27th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #12
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You might find it better to get an Edirol R-44 and record the four signals separately - the R-44 sells for £637 in the UK and about $995 in the USA - (same price, Sweetwater and B+H).
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Old August 27th, 2009, 06:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
I found Sign Video ENG-44 Field Mixer Review
the Sound Devices 442 is $2,500!!! That's not even remotely an option. lol
Pete,

Sticker shock...pretty normal. I almost passed out when I found out how much a Sachtler tripod and head was going to cost me.

If you're a "set and forget" kind of audio guy, a 442 is like hiring Tiger Woods to play miniature golf. But once you get your face into the solutions the 442 brings to the party it becomes a no-brainer.

Four direct outs
Feed three cameras a two-mix simultaneously
limiters on both the inputs and outputs
Output limiters ganged for stereo or separate for split track
Transformers on the inputs and two of three outputs
Headphone returns for two cameras
Headphone monitoring beyond belief.
Mic, line or -10 outputs
Continuous panning on each input
Continuous low end roll off on each input
MS recording
MS dematrix monitoring
Simultaneous RMS/PEak metering
variable intensity LED metering so you can see the display in full sun or in the dark
The list of what I'm forgetting is probably longer than this list

Oh, and the preamps are really, really good, and quiet.

I reviewed the ENG-44. The ENG-44 and 442 don't belong in the same league, or even in the same sentence.

Here's the thing. You may not need everything the 442 has on any specific day, but over time, you will. And you won't have to sit there trying to figure out how to do something with what you've got that maybe you can't do anyway.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 27th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #14
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TY, it must be a fine piece of equipment but for what I'm doing its overkill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Neidig View Post
The field mixers you are considering are great in that you can also use them in the field. If this is STRICTLY for depo work, however, I would suggest something like a Mackie 1202 ..They are not portable, though. They need to be plugged in and are not designed to be worn in a harness around your neck. But you could find two good used 1202s for the price of one Sign mixer
Wow for that price I might get Mackie.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Check out the juicedlink, very good for the money. And you can bolt it under for the cam for solo work in the field.

Camcorder XLR Audio Adapter/Preamp: Buy Direct and Save - CX431
You guys are making this a hard decision. I like its compactness and that its bolted to the camera so I can monitor the sound and video at the same time. Only draw back is the price and that the output is small plug, which my Z1 doesn't have.

On a related note I'm looking to get some dirt cheap wired lavs. Anyone have used these? Samson QL5-CL Lavalier At only $54 a piece I can pick up 4 for little over $200.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; August 27th, 2009 at 03:19 PM.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 03:01 PM   #15
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Pete,

Actually, consider a Shure FP410 auto mixer. It can be used manually or in auto mode to duck mics that are not being spoken into.

For your application, you could then use up to 4 mics and feed one channel of your camera and have the whole thing.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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