Sound Devices has just announced an update to its MixPre series of field recorders: the MixPre II. These new recorders keep the same form factor as the previous generation, and most of the improvements are under the hood. Let’s take a closer look!
Sound Devices MixPre Series of Recorders
If you are a sound recordist, a field mixer, an independent filmmaker, a production company, or anybody serious about video production, you can’t go wrong with Sound Devices’ products. The MixPre series of field recorder was introduced in 2017, and it’s one of the best affordable field recorders available on the market.
There are three recorders in the MixPre series: the MixPre-3, the MixPre-6, and the MixPre-10T. The number at the end of each product tells you how many ISO tracks it supports. I own a MixPre-6, and I can’t tell you how much I love the simplicity, reliability, and pristine sound quality of this product.
The MixPre Series of recorders are already full of great features:
- 3/4/8 XLR/Line input depending on the model you choose.
- State-of-the-art Kashmir Microphone Preamps with 48 V Phantom. You can control the input of each channel via the large knob on the front of the unit.
- There is a high-quality amplifier inside the 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Analog limiters that do an incredible job.
- A small touchscreen on the front of the unit with one of the best user interface I’ve ever seen.
- Records onto SD cards.
- Sample rate recordings: 44.1, 48, 96 kHz for the MixPre-3. The MixPre-6 adds 192 kHz, and the MixPre-10T adds 47.952 and 48.048 kHz.
- Every model features a USB Type-C port. You can use your MixPre as a USB audio interface, but also use a USB Control Surface for more comfort, or power it via a power bank (that’s what I do, and the battery life is over 10 hours).
- You can connect your camera to the MixPre via the micro-HDMI port, so your camera automatically triggers the MixPre.
- The MixPre line of recorders are Bluetooth LE compatible, and the Sound Devices Wingman app is convenient.
This product works and makes your life on set much more straightforward. So how do you make a great recorder any better?
Sound Devices MixPre II Features
Here is what’s new in the MixPre II series of recorders:
- Bit depth up to 32-bit float for increased dynamic range.
- Record up to 192 kHz for every model.
- Faster, more advanced hardware.
- New headphone knob “tire” that is removable in case large connectors or cables get in the way.
- Internal LTC Timecode Generation and Output.
- Adjustable Limiters.
- Auto-copy to USB Drive.
- Pre-roll buffer increased to 10 seconds for every model.
Some features are not new and were already available on the first-generation MixPre 10-T. Below is a quick summary of the differences between the first and second generation, and a comparison chart of the features of every MixPre II recorder.
I think one of the main selling points of this update is the 32-bit float recording capabilities. In short, 32-bit float files allows you to recover a bit of information if the signal recorded is above 0 dBFS. Note that not all software and plugins support 32-bit float files; these files are not compatible with Apple Logic Pro X, for example. Some tools like Adobe Audition, iZotope RX7, Reaper, and even Audacity, supports 32-bit float files correctly.
Pricing and Availability
All MixPre II recorders should be available pretty soon. The MixPre-3 II retails for $649.00, the MixPre-6 II is $849.00, and the MixPre-10 II is $1399.
Do you think the new features are worth the update? Have you ever used a Sound Devices product before? Let us know in the comments!