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Old May 7th, 2015, 06:29 PM   #1
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Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Due to some extraordinary events I'll be be getting a 633 sooner than I thought.

I know input 1-3 are typical and swtchable line/mic inputs. Inputs 4-6 aparently line input only, which from what I understand would be geared mostly or only wireless receivers which are line.

Has anyone figured a way to make use of these inputs if you want to use a regular mic? I think they sell a done kind of deal that plugs into one of the TA-3 inputs to make it mic level, but they are hundreds of $$$$ a piece times 3!!!!!

Thoughts?

Jonathan
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Old May 8th, 2015, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

If you need more than three mics, external preamps are needed.
Additionally, inputs 4, 5 & 6 require a +4dB signal as well, so a wireless receiver with less than that (an EW100 G2/3 for instance), will exhibit anemic levels.
I've encountered many (pro) wireless mic receivers that are mic level, for instance the earlier model Lectros; 185/7,195 and some of the 200 series.
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Old May 9th, 2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Sound Devices is premium territory. A lug-nut for a Lamborghini costs more than a lug-nut for a Yugo.
If you want to use mic-level sources with a line-level input, then the obvious answer is that you need a mic-preamp. Yes, if you want to use SD mic preamps, they come at the same price premium as their other gear. However there may be more popular-price mic preamp products that would do the job for your situation.
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Old May 9th, 2015, 04:24 PM   #4
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Levin View Post
Has anyone figured a way to make use of these inputs if you want to use a regular mic?
If you need six mic preamps, the correct device in the SD lineup is the SD 644.

The only way to effectively use line level inputs with a mic level signal is to insert a mic preamp between them to raise that mic level signal to line level for the input. The 644 puts those required mic preamps in the box for you. To do this with the 633 requires a separate box (or three).

Finally, don't assume that all radio mics provide a line level signal. They don't. The Sennheiser Evolution G3 series are much more comfortable (as in, less noise, less hard sounding) giving you a mic level signal, for example. The Lectrosonics and Zaxcom units can certainly give you line level, but you pay for that capability, and a lot more besides.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 03:19 PM   #5
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

"The Sennheiser Evolution G3 series are much more comfortable (as in, less noise, less hard sounding) giving you a mic level signal"
It depends... and yes, if you're trying to feed a +4 input, otherwise feeding a -10dB input isn't a problem and usually sounds much better if one can avoid a POS mic preamp.. and the higher level offers more immunity to the inherent problems of an unbalanced signal, particularly mic level.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 02:10 PM   #6
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Hi all.

So I am now the proud owner of a 633, or as Richard would say my Lamborghini of mixers.

And yes, I looked at the price of the MM-1 single channel pre-amp and $510.00US is an expensive lug nut!!!

So is anyone using any other brand or method for being able to use inputs 4-6 with something that could convert mic level to line for those TA-3 inputs?

Eventually I'll be getting into a wireless system probably from Sennheiser to start. I guess I could plug my guitar into one of the three inputs...

Jonathan
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

"Eventually I'll be getting into a wireless system probably from Sennheiser to start"
- As I've mentioned here and elsewhere, the Sennheiser EK100 portable receiver's AF out, would need to be set to the max (+12dB) to feed a +4dB line input.. even then, the levels may be somewhat anemic .. at least that's the case with my 744.. and I've heard the same complaints for other SD mixers/recorders.. even my Lectros' are a little lower than I'd prefer with the 744 or 302 line in. Fortunately, SD's input gains can be cranked w/o adding much noise.

I guess I could plug my guitar into one of the three inputs.."
- Yes, but... (a big butt).. it would likely 'load' the guitar's high-Z pick-up and sound muffled.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Thanks for that Rick!

Maybe using a mic in the line level would make my singing better especially if I can't hear myself!
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 03:34 PM   #9
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

So is there any such thing as a small portable basic preamp that would work with the 633 that is decent audio quality and doesn't cost 500.00?

I did consider the 664 but it was over my budget and I don't know how often I would need more than three inputs, it would just be nice to come up with some reasonable solution to get some use out of those 3 additional TA 3 inputs in the event that I do need one or two more mic level inputs.

Jonathan
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 05:32 PM   #10
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

If you buy the 633 and want to use inputs 4-6 then you have been committed to use the higher price radio mic systems.
If you want to use the lower priced radio mic systems (sennheiser / sony) then the 664 is a better option.

By adding additional preamps to the 633 is just adding MUCH more complexity, they need to be powered, connected and the chances the quality of the pre-amps will not be anywhere close to the SD quality.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 05:46 PM   #11
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

A thought occurred to me ... how about a used SD442 mixer? The 442 has 4 mic inputs and each has a line-level direct out that would go straight to the 3 line level inputs on the 633. The 442 preamps would be a good match to those in the 633 and you could probably find one at a decent price. Still, biting the bullet for a 664 while you're within a time window where you won't take a loss on the 633 return seems the best option to me. If you reasonably expect you'll actually need 6 mic level inputs, then you need 'em and compromising to save money will prove a false economy in the long run.
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Old May 24th, 2015, 10:10 AM   #12
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Yes, I've seen quite a few used 442s (and 552s) at a relatively low cost.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 07:10 AM   #13
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Levin View Post
I looked at the price of the MM-1 single channel pre-amp and $510.00US is an expensive lug nut!!!
$510 is not expensive for a mic. pre-amp. at all

The Nagra EMP, which was two mic. pre-amps was about x4 this price - thats *twice* the price of the SD, and still not expensive for a good mic. pre-amp.

$510 is very reasonable, if not quite inexpensive, IMHO.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 11:30 AM   #14
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Re: Sound Devices 633 inputs 4-6?????

Thanks guys. I'm kind of committing myself to the 633. The other consideration is if I get in a recording situation where I have the need for more than those three channels, I think that I would then hire a pro to handle all of that. Between running camera, lighting, sound and so on, I know that I have my limitations as a SPC.

Mostly I anticipate sit down type interview, two maybe three audio capture devices. Anything that might move or be on the go...call a pro! So I think the 633 is good for me for now. Seeing as the SD hold some of their value, I could someday upgrade.

Voice over is another use I anticipate I'll be doing a bit of.

Jonathan
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