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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #1
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New Mixer - Sound Devices 552

Good thing I waited to buy a new mixer huh?

- 5 inputs
- 5 pre or post fader outputs
- 4 channels of AES/EBU audio out through the XLR outs
- Built in 2 track SDHC audio recorder
- Same size/weight/power consumption as a 442

I'm dying to know when this beast will be available because I have a shoot at the end of the month that I was going to get a 442 for, but now I'm thinking I'll either wait for this or rent. Crazy times we live in, huh?

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Old September 8th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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Good thing I waited to buy a new mixer huh?

- 5 inputs
- 5 pre or post fader outputs
- 4 channels of AES/EBU audio out through the XLR outs
- Built in 2 track SDHC audio recorder
- Same size/weight/power consumption as a 442

I'm dying to know when this beast will be available because I have a shoot at the end of the month that I was going to get a 442 for, but now I'm thinking I'll either wait for this or rent. Crazy times we live in, huh?

Link

Looks like $2,895 @ Trew...

Sound Devices 552 Portable Five-Channel Mixer - Mixers - Trew Audio
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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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Great. Yet another reason for my kit to have an inferiority complex. Gotta hand it to SD though, for what it does, that's a fantastic price. As I was looking to upgrade to a SD442 mixer and at least a 702t recorder, I can save about $2000 here. Too bad it doesn't have time code. That would really seal the deal. I suppose if I got the 702t I could feed it timecode from that and have four tracks maybe? Pretty awesome all around though. Wow, just noticed it has pre and post fader outputs! What's this do to the resale value of the 442 I wonder? There's going to be a bunch of used 442s around pretty soon I'll bet, so guess I win either way.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #4
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The 522 does have an external TC input, which it uses to timestamp the BWF.

Presumably, that includes reader, regen, and stamp?

Obviously not even a bit as full-featured as what's on the 702t... but this is for a different market, I think.

When I read the specs, I was thinking this is just the mixer for all those shoots where the editor really is happy with the sound you give him/her on the videotape, because it's "good enough" and is already in sync, but you're still backed up in case of camera op screwup, or camera malfunction, or loss of link, or whatever.

Not really a replacement for a full rig for true double-system sound? I'm sort of making this up here, but I guess that's an important question - does this really replace, feature-wise, a separate mixer and recorder?

With no manual yet posted, it's hard to tell what all the TC capabilities are, for example, if you can do free run off a preset, or TOD code, or if it only works if it can jam to an external source. Could be just fine for true double system if you were running a TC slate and jamming to it?
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Old September 8th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #5
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The 552 thread is getting pretty long on RAMPS, but it looks like you'll need a constant jam source for the TC stamp.


I've been running the 302 and 744t setup for a couple years, and was just checking the market for a 442. Looks like I'm going to have to go for a 552 if T-Power hasn't gone the way of the dinosaur.

EDIT: No more T-Power. *cries*
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Old September 8th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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Yeah, I've been following the RAMPS thread too, and the more I read it, it seems clear that this just isn't a replacement for a dedicated recorder. Not being able to name the files after the scene and take numbers is a death knell for one thing, not to mention the timecode issue. It's intended to replace the backup recorder, which I think it does beautifully. It also seems like a way to add a couple of tracks in a pinch, which would definitely come in handy. I wonder though, is there another field recording device with four digital inputs, and timecode, that you could use though? This mixer has four digital outputs. Maybe that's the way to go here. I wish SD offered a product like this. Maybe one is on the way. I've long felt it makes no sense for their recorders to have redundant gain controls, limiters, low-cut filters, and so on.

I don't miss the lack of T-power personally. You can buy cheap adapters for that, and I'm constantly paranoid that I'm going to accidently engage T-power on my 302 and fry one of my mics.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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I don't see any word clock or video sync input for the recorder - did they miss this?
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Old September 10th, 2009, 10:58 PM   #8
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I don't see any word clock or video sync input for the recorder - did they miss this?
Missing both. Personally I think lacking word clock cripples the value in the AES output as a pro solution.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #9
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Missing both. Personally I think lacking word clock cripples the value in the AES output as a pro solution.
So you're saying that this is going to have issues with the 744T? 'Cause I was hoping to just run two 1.5" XLRs from the 552 to the 744 and leave it at that.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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According to Jon from SD, the 552 uses the same internal clock (not TC) software that's in the 744/844. So I would surmise the two recorders would drift very little. (from each other anyway) Not as absolute as slaving to a master wordclock for sure.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #11
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552

Hey Alex and gang

Can someone explain to me why the 422 direct outs were pre fade, and what the benefit of this.

When the 552 was announced as having both pre and psot fade direct outs that made more sense to me as you get the full potential to fine tune all direct outs and record them individually in the 744 or 788

Never really grasped the point in pre fade direct outs

any one answer that for me?
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Old September 13th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #12
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Hey Lee. I asked a tech at SD this very thing. He said that it's for situations where you want to retain a mix that isn't affected by any active mixing that you might be doing during a take. I don't quite get why you would want to do that either. Maybe someone else here can elaborate.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #13
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Hey Lee. I asked a tech at SD this very thing. He said that it's for situations where you want to retain a mix that isn't affected by any active mixing that you might be doing during a take. I don't quite get why you would want to do that either. Maybe someone else here can elaborate.
From a post perspective, it makes life easier for the sound editor/mixer to create a decent sound mix if you don't mess with the levels during a take. If you had the trim set properly and then you adjusted the fade, the editor has to compensate by adjusting the mix according to their needs while also trying to compensate for your decisions on set. At least, that's how I interpret it anyway.

[Edit] Here's a link to the conversation we were having on the Sound Devices forum. You'll have to register and wait for someone to verify that you're human, but there's a wealth of knowledge out there.

http://forums.sounddevices.com/showthread.php?t=2085
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Alex Mitchell View Post
From a post perspective, it makes life easier for the sound editor/mixer to create a decent sound mix if you don't mess with the levels during a take. If you had the trim set properly and then you adjusted the fade, the editor has to compensate by adjusting the mix according to their needs while also trying to compensate for your decisions on set. At least, that's how I interpret it anyway.

[Edit] Here's a link to the conversation we were having on the Sound Devices forum. You'll have to register and wait for someone to verify that you're human, but there's a wealth of knowledge out there.

Sound Devices Forums
Hey Marco and Alex

I can see why it would be good for post, but if thats the case, why bother adding the fine tune fader, correctly as you say riding the faders is emergecny thing only really, so why have they got fine faders, why not be like SQN and have the trims only.

Although thats somethign else i have questioned. i have had instances where the shoot has been spomen dialogue, so to get a good signal ive set the gain to be around 5ppm peaking at -12dbfs, but sometime the actor then shotus and it has the risk of peaking if the limiter is not switched on, but if i turn the gain down, the spoken dialigue will be too low a signal, so sometimes it seems necessary to ride the faders.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #15
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Think of prefade like shooting Raw stills. Lets you have maximum post flexibility. If you are also recording post fade then you have the best of both worlds. Of course it is worth having the option to do either
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