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Old June 13th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Mix Pre D Advice

Hi Folks, I use the Sennheiser 416 directly to the Marantz 661 and it has be a great combo. However I'm thinking of going another step to use a field mixer . Is that useful in improving the audio quality? I'm looking at Sound Devices Mix-Pre D since it has an output for DSLR.

Another application is recording audio from church mixers. I use a PAD now but sometimes it still clips if we do not set it well when the range can be very big. Would the mix-pre D help since it is unclippable? mixer > mix pre D > marantz 661 or Zoom H4n

Thanks!
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Old July 5th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #2
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

Has anyone had the chance to work with the original mixpre then?
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Old July 7th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #3
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

I went from a Zoom H4n to the Zoom + a SD302. Very large difference -- I could never go back to just the Zoom.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 01:30 AM   #4
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

If your levels are set properly, there shouldn't be much of a difference. I have used the old Mixpre and don't see any appreciable SQ difference versus using my Zoom h1 as a preamp.

But the Mixpre makes it a lot more feasible to get the levels right with the calibration features and better meter.

The unclippable feature is designed more for avoiding catastrophe than as something you would use normally; the 10:1 clipping ratio is in the same league as speaker protection circuits, much higher than the 2:1 to 3:1 typically used for compression.

I think of the mixpre "unclippable" feature as providing "analog-like" clipping rather than digital brick wall clipping.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

reviving this old thread as the mix pre D is now available. Anyone with comments? The key issue i'm having is my audio files get clipped digitally. I'm no sound expert. All i know is the G2 wireless is paired with a SKM wireless mic, and fed directly into the 5D2. I know that doesnt work and it clips like crazy. Thinking of putting the mix pre D to manage the clipping and setting the 5D2 to manual gain.

One thing i cant figure out is the volumes can vary so much even when i record directly to the zoom H4n or Marantz PMD661. Is there anyway i can reduce that? Will the mixpre D take care of that? Many times i get issues with parts of the audio being very low and parts are to the max. I cant normalize the clip at one go. End up breaking the entire clip and normalizing manually.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:32 AM   #6
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

Just to report that I bought the mix pre D finally and it ROCKS! The pre amps are excellant. One thing i cant figure out is why the limiter is at 4dB. I thought it would clip but at one outdoor recording it saved the day. I had a G2 wireless hooked onto a groom. The G2 was fed into the mix pre D and output (line) to a marantz pmd661.

The solemnizer had no mic and the couple shouted their vows. The limited kicked in place (i wasnt monitoring it as i was shooting). The audio came out really good and clean with no distortion. Thank god i had used it.

The TA5 cable to the 5D2 also works well. Just need to remember to set the levels to manual at the lowest point.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 09:33 AM   #7
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

Check your manual. The limiter threshold is adjustable from +6dBu to +20dBu.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 11:04 AM   #8
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
One thing i cant figure out is why the limiter is at 4dB.
I would assume the factory default is around +16dBu, which is good to catch unexpected peaks. You have most likely misunderstood dBFS and dBu measurements,
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Old December 7th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #9
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

thank u! Yes i got confused between the two units. Will do some homework.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 03:11 AM   #10
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Re: Mix Pre D Advice

Hi Sean,

Glad you're liking your MixPre D. SD units are really top class, aren't they?
If you don't mind, I'd like to know if you'd do me a favor and check something for me, since I've asked the question in various other fora and no one seemed to own both devices and hence was able to answer my query:

-I've used a 661 for a couple of years now, along with a mixpre (non D) version.
Right now, they're connected via analog XLR, but I'd like to invest in the new MixPre D (which offers AES3 output) and hook them up digitally. However, the 661 only offers SPDIF input, which is the consumer version of AES.
Can you check if it's possible to go from a Mixpre D AES out into a PMD661 SPDIF in, via a short lenght RCA to XLR cable? (75 or 100ohm shouldn't make a difference for a short lenght)
I know some devices accept a AES signal on their SPDIF input without any issue, but I've also heard of fussy ones not locking in to the signal, or misinterpreting the extra 4 bits in the AES signal (clicks and pops)

It'd be very easy to check this myself, only no store in France seems to carry both items simultaneously on their shelves!!! Ah, good old France :-)
I'd really appreciate it if was possible for you to check this for us.

Also, if I may suggest, if this works, you should consider doing that yourself, since that would save you the trouble to calibrate the devices, and you'd get a very clean signal path. Just my humble opinion...

Thanx,

Mikael
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