Opinions on Sound Devices Mixpre-6?

Anyone here connected a Mixpre to Linux? Does it definitely work as a class compliant USB-2 interface (aka UAC-2).

(i.e. does it allow sample rates other than 48kHz and more than 2 inputs?)

Firmware 3.0 is out!

https://www.sounddevices.com/support/downloads/mixpres-firmware/?device=3m

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Thanks for posting! I’ve been waiting for this update (as a MixPre 3M owner). It looks like the manuals have been updated to reflect the new firmware as well. One feature I hadn’t expected: the new controller integration includes the ability to add a Q marker. Lots more to explore, I’m sure.

If you’re only going to use it as a basic 2 channel recorder, I think the Mixpre 3M would be a great choice. I have the Mixpre 3 because of the video features, it’s an incredible field recorder. Solid build and beautifully clean audio, of course!
Use the money you save on the M to buy a decent USB power brick, the 3 chomps through batteries.

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Loaded up the new firmware as soon as it was released. Now that you can hook up controllers, I’m thinking of using it to mix live and record stems at the same time. Normally, I mix and record my modular performance in stereo, but I’ve found mixing for the venue sound system isn’t great for recordings. With a controller, I could input 4 mono channels, and a stereo effects return, mix for live stereo, and come home with the stems to remix. Also got the Musicians plugin when it was on sale, so I could potentially add reverb to individual channels.

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Father Christmas was kind enough to leave a MixPre-6 for me under our tree!

Answering my own question, no it doesn’t work as a UAC-2 interface under Linux. From a brief Google it looks like Sound Devices might only enable UAC-2 mode when connecting to OSX, presumably to help Windows compatibility.

Given that Windows 10 now has a UAC-2 driver, it’s possible that Sound Devices might change the firmware anyway. Otherwise if I care enough, I’ll send them an email. I will also admit that I haven’t given it as much testing as I should (haven’t tried different USB ports, looked for existing quirks, lsusb -v, etc).


Anyway, main reason for posting… anyone care to recommend a compact bag for it? Ideally it’ll be something that is small enough to fit in my normal day bag.

So far I’ve seen:

  • Strut Cases MixPre-6: This looks perfect, but it took a while to track down some good photos of it, the MixPre Facebook group (ugh) has a lot of pictures (scroll back in the photos to 22 June 2017). There are also 2 nice photos at B&H. Looks like it supports the L-mount adaptor with enormous batteries if required too.

    • Pros: small
    • Cons: hard to get in the UK
  • K-Tek Stingray MixPro: While it has a lot of features, I think this is more aimed at professionals and video users. Maybe too over-engineered too?

    • Pros: kick stand, lots of features
    • Cons: too big
  • K-Tek Airo Mixer Bag 1: Very minimal. Not sure what the side access is like, looks like it might be a pain to use with cables out of both sides of the bag.

    • Pros: minimal
    • Cons: minimal
  • Orca OR-270: This isn’t out yet. Looking at the pictures, it looks small, but the side access might not be great for leaving cables attached while ‘in the field’.

    • Pros: small?
    • Cons: no bottom access, no funky velcro side access
  • Porta Brace AR-MIXPRE6: I can’t find too many pictures of this in use. But from the looks I think it might be too wide

    • Pros: not too deep
    • Cons: wide (lots of space for wireless receivers by the looks of it)

Anyway, sorry this appears to have turned into a bit of an infodump! It looks like the Strut is the one to go for for my usage, but if anyone else has a bag I’d be keen to hear your thoughts.

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I love that they used a piece of cardboard with a photograph of a mixpre affixed to it as a stand-in :rofl:

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Heh. I think those are from the manufacturer. I guess it must be expensive having to buy one of every kind of mixer…

The useful B&H photos are on the customer reviews bit, but I can link directly to that.

True… but it seems like you’d want the real thing for testing as well as for promotional materials.

I’m a tough customer though since I work in commercial photography (primarily product related shoots).

I have the same question too, seems Mixpre-3M is equally as good as the non-M version. even SD advertise the non-M series for field recording, but as you said, dispite the timecode things both are actually the same (correct me if I am wrong).

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I use a mixpre-6 (non-M), with the musician plugin installed. The M and the non-M units run entirely different software. It’s not really accurate to call the “Musician Plugin” a plugin. It is a standalone app that doesn’t relate with the standard Audio App. They have very different workflows.

The musician app is meant for multi-take/multitrack recording. It stacks tracks like one sees in a DAW. Each track is an independent WAV bundled in a “song” project. All the tracks share a single timeline. For me this is very much not what I want while field recording when I’m recording multiple sessions with multiple mic placements. There are workarounds: mute tracks, have a very long track, unique project for each mic placement, etc, but they are all a big PIA.

The Audio app is not meant for multitrack recording. It does not stack tracks/takes. Different takes/tracks each have their own timeline. With the Audio app each recording session creates an independent composite WAV file. These are bundled in a project folder. This app also alows for much more control over the recording. It has Advanced and Custom control modes that allows for the assignment of knobs, gain scale, etc. The Audio app also interfaces with Sound Devices Bluetooth app allowing remote access to a level monitor, meta data editing and remote transport control. This is very handy for reducing handling noise.

Personally, I was frustrated using the Musician plugin for field recording. However, I find it great for recording modular music.

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Thank @Frogstar for shedding light on it.

So it seems the big difference is the UI rather than the actual functions. I would go for the M version because of the price.

Just found a comparison chat on SD website.

By the way what is PIA?

20 chars of Pain in the Butt

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Do you guys record stuffs in 192kHz on Mixpre-6?
Is it good? Any issue? I ask it because I am thinking either to get 3 or 6, and just read a buyer review who told that there is a common issue on 192kHz recording on Mixpre-6.

An earlier version of the software introduced some pulsing noise at 192kHz, but the issue has been fixed.

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I recently purchased one, primarily for Ambisonic recording in the field. I’ve used other SoundDevice recorders in the past. I didn’t need timecode so this model was fine.

I also use it for 4 channel capture of live modular performances.

The mic-pres are lovely, it is extremely portable, and user interface is easy to work with. Hi resolution capture (96kHz and 192kHz) is solid–especially for the price.

Highly recommended!

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Did they also fix this issue of clipping in the ultra high frequencies when recording in 192 or is this the same issue?

I think that’s the same issue. In any case, I haven’t found any problems recording at 192 kHz, and I haven’t seen any reports of issues on the MixPre and SD facebook groups. Users were vocal about this issue–so we’d be hearing about it if it wasn’t fixed.

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So I bought a Strut STR-MP6 bag… I had to get it sent from B&H as the only EU retailer turned out to be a scam site! (Which I luckily discovered before it was too late.)

I haven’t really used it in anger yet, so these are only some rough points…

Pros

  • It’s very snug and compact. There is velcro to attach the MixPre at all 4 corners.

  • There is access to all 4 sides of the device (including being able to remove the SD card without removing the MixPre from the case).

  • Fit’s the L-mount battery sled.

  • It has a zip and velcro to access the side boots. The positioning of the zip means that it’s pretty easy to reach the side encoder (though mine does have the LOM knob extender on it). I’m not sure how many other bags give such easy access.

  • The velcro opening to the boots also open at the top as well as the sides.

  • Full opaque cover, not just a see-through rain cover.

  • The front pocket has a little hole into the main compartment (it’s just big enough to get an XLR connector through). It think it’s designed for people that use radio mics.

  • So much velcro!

Cons

  • You don’t get a shoulder strap for it, only a harness. I might stick a spare padded camera strap on it, I’m not sure yet… I’m envisaging putting it in other bags when I’m out and about.

  • It’s a pain to get the MixPre in and out, so far I’m treating it like a permanent case for mine.

  • Covers… the cover completely detaches (good), but correspondingly it’s a bit of a pain if you want to leave it velcroed at one end and let it dangle out of the way. The cover has 2 layers, the lower one is a see through rain cover, but I still haven’t found a way to get it so sit properly.

  • There is an open gap around the sides where the battery flaps are (this is due to the size being adjustable).

  • While you can collapse the front pocket and the side boots, neither collapses that well or that elegantly.

  • So much velcro!


All in all, if you’re looking for something that isn’t a full case in itself, but rather a small case for transporting in a larger one, but also a case that has lots of access, then it’s probably worth considering.


edit: Just to add, I haven’t tried but I think you might struggle to get a straight angled headphone jack to sit well, it’s fine with right angled ones. If anyone really cares I can test it…

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my experience/thoughts FWIW:
my partner has a 722 and, since 1,5 years a mixpre6, I use them sporadically.

the price of the mixpre is obviously fantastic but the power management is poorly implemented, the adapter for L-mount batteries is a bit flimsy. also, having only one recording destination makes me nervous.