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Old November 6th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #16
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Re: Different mixers producing different outputs?

I know this topic is a bit old, but I thought I'd post the name of the other mixer that I was talking about. I finally found it. It was the
Sound Device 722
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Old November 7th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #17
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Re: Different mixers producing different outputs?

Brian, what you are experiencing is the automotive equivalent of driving a Ferrari then comparing it to a ford Festiva, nothing you can do will give you the same performance.

it sounds like what you are hearing as the difference is the quality of the mic preamp,the Sound Devices can raise its gain much higher before you notice the hiss than the Azden or Zoom can. and the blimp should have very little to do except to reject wind from causing plosive, buffeting sounds directly on the microphone, and theoretically be sonically transparent.

some times it takes an experience like this to make you realize why some stuff cost much much more.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #18
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Re: Different mixers producing different outputs?

I'm learning that one of the biggest variants is the quality of the headphone output. Sound Devices $5k units surely have better headphone outputs than the azden or zoom, although the headphone out on my SD mixpre is remarkably bad.

Every now and then I have that experience the original poster describes, of feeling like the microphone is getting just what I want without distortion. And then I have the times when it seems like all I can record is distortion even though my levels are fine. More often than not, it ends up being about the source, what I'm recording, rather than the equipment. Good actors and musicians in a good room just sound better, and it's easy to think it's the equipment when it's actually the signal.

So yes a good mixer can improve the sound, but not in that sort of "night and day" way that you are probably imagining.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #19
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Re: Different mixers producing different outputs?

although the headphone out on my SD mixpre is remarkably bad.
I don't have a MixPre. But this is the first time I recall a complaint about the headphone amp on a SD product. Unless SD changed something or it's ailing? I assume you use 'the usual suspect' headphones?
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Old November 10th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #20
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Re: Different mixers producing different outputs?

My SD mixpre was purchased used, so I don't discount the possibility of the headphone amp being out of spec, but lots of good equipment have bad headphone amps.

As to the original poster, I recently came across this page with sound samples from different recorders:

Portable Recorder Noise: The Sounds of Silence

Today's 24 bit recorders are more limited by the analog circuitry than anything else, so this is likely to also give a good idea of how much variation to expect from different mixers. To my ear, not dramatic at all, but audible under some circumstances.
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