At NAB 2017, Sound Devices has announced the new MixPre Series of audio mixer/recorders with integrated USB audio interface. The lightweight, high-resolution MixPre-3 & MixPre-6 audio mixers recorders with USB audio streaming offer hefty preamps combined with extreme durability.
The new Kashmir microphone preamps have much more gain than competitive units, as I’ll cover ahead. They also feature a published -130dBV noise floor, analog limiters, and new 32-bit A-to-D converters to ensure high quality, stress-free, professional-grade audio recordings. I hope to review one very soon. Ahead is more info and a video.
Competitive comparison of total available gain from XLR mic inputs:
- New Sound Devices MixPre-6: +96 dB
- New Sound Devices MixPre-3: +96 dB
- Zoom H6: +55.5 dB
- Zoom H5: +52 dB
- Zoom H4n Pro: +43 dB
For dynamic mics, at least +60 dB is considered a bare minimum, and even more for an ElectroVoice RE20 or Shure SM7B to avoid having to max out the potentiometers, or avoid having to purchase a FetHead or CloudLifter for each source.
“Our new Sound Devices MixPre Series is the culmination of decades of experience designing products for the best-of-the-best in the professional audio industry,” says Matt Anderson, CEO of Sound Devices, LLC. “Our mic preamps simply have to be heard to be believed, whether mic’ing drums, birds, or dialog, using condenser, dynamic, or ribbon mics, the finest textures of the audio are preserved. The MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 merge the latest advances in audio technology with an unintimidating, compact and rugged design. These products are a must-have piece of equipment for anyone ranging from production engineers and musicians to YouTubers.”
The MixPre-3 features 3 full-sized balanced XLR mic/line audio inputs, while the MixPre-6 features 4 balanced XLR/TRS combo jacks to connect microphones or line-level devices. Both have a 3.5 mm auxiliary input that can be used for plug-in power mics, 2-channel line-in audio, camera return, or timecode.
The versatile MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 make excellent USB audio interfaces, offering the unique ability to record audio to an SD card while simultaneously streaming multiple channels of audio via USB. Handy for interviews, podcasts, or simply as a backup recorder to your computer, the MixPre’s can be used for Skype or FaceTime interviews, and to record audio for podcasts or video blogs. As a musician’s tool, the MixPre Series serves as a top-shelf USB interface with premium mic pres for use with a DAW, getting a quick song idea recorded without AC power handy, recording rehearsals or just adding a few more inputs to your PA system.
Some of the unique features of the MixPre Series include:
- Ultra-compact & durable – the MixPre Series will fit any production environment. The MixPre’s small stature allows you to wear it, or drop it into your pocket or a tech bag. Constructed with a die-cast aluminum chassis, the MixPre Series is both lightweight and incredibly robust.
- Responsive, capacitive touch screen – for incredibly simple and intuitive operation, and a bright, IPS technology, sunlight-readable color LCD for the ultimate in convenient navigation.
- Full-featured mixer – equipped with ergonomic gain control knobs for fast and accurate mixing. Other key features include pan and soloing plus easy-to-see ring LED metering per channel. also includes a 3.5mm jack for headphone monitoring with user-programmable presets from our custom-designed powerful, wide-bandwidth headphone amp.
- Built-in Bluetooth Smart technology – allows for easy connection, control and metering via iOS devices from the Sound Devices free Wingman app.
- Intuitive operation – with user-friendly navigation featuring Basic and Advanced modes. Basic mode allows users to record noise and distortion-free audio right out of the box – intended for stereo recording applications. The Advanced mode offers more experienced audio users access to multi-channel recording and advanced settings such as ISO metering, routing, timecode, mic pre gain, stereo and Mid/Side channel linking, headphone presets and more.
- Perfect camera companion – offering HDMI Record triggering, timecode, and retractable 1/4-inch-20-thread mounting screw.
- Flexible powering – for the ultimate in portability and convenience, the MixPre’s can be powered from AA batteries, Li-Ion batteries, a laptop’s USB-C or USB-A connectors, or AC wall outlet.
The MixPre Series is available to order from any Sound Devices authorized reseller, and is anticipated to ship by May 5, 2017.
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