Portable recorders bring pro-grade sound to consumers
Sound Devices has been designing products for "the best-of-the-best in the professional audio industry" for a number of years, with its devices having been used on award-winning movies like La La Land, Mad Max and The Revenant, as well as being the trusted tools of music pros like Deadmau5. Now the company is bringing pro-level sound recording to the consumer with the launch of its MixPre Series, reported to be the only devices on the market that can simultaneously be used as a recorder, mixer and USB audio interface.
The MixPre Series is currently made up of two units, and has been developed for musicians, sound designers, podcasters and videographers who want high-end, professional sound from an intuitive, road-ready portable package.
The 5.68 x 4.35 x 1.4 in (144 x 110 x 36 mm), 16.8 oz (48 g) MixPre-3 features three XLR inputs, 5-track recording and 24-bit/96 kHz audio resolution. The slightly bigger MixPre-6 bumps up the production cred with six inputs and 8-track recording, has a maximum sampling rate of 192 kHz at 24 bits and benefits from XLR/TRS combo inputs.
The MixPre recorders are housed in a die-cast aluminum chassis and can run on either AA-sized batteries, a Li-ion pack or can be powered via USB. At their hearts are the company's new high performance Kashmir Class A microphone preamps – three in the MixPre-3 and four in the MixPre-6. Users also benefit from an analog limiter circuit, ultra low (-130 dBV) noise, 32-bit analog-to-digital converters, 48 V phantom power and low-cut filters.
"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," said CEO Matt Anderson.
There's a sunlight readable color LCD touchscreen panel for settings/menu navigation, backlit buttons and ergonomic faders. Other features of note include onboard mixing, gain controls, a custom headphone amp for monitoring, pan and solo functionality and LED ring level metering. Audio can be recorded to SD media and simultaneously sent out to a Windows/Mac computer via USB, and cooked-in Bluetooth caters for settings tweaking via the free Wingman iOS app.
Both recorders have basic and advanced modes, for out-of-the-box quick stereo recordings or multi-channel capture with access to features such as metering, routing, timecode, preamp gain, stereo channel linking, headphone presets and more.
The MixPre-3 is available now for US$649, while the MixPre-6 comes in at $899.