Last year Sound Devices released a new model of field recorders: the MixPre series. The MixPre-3, -6, -10T, and -10M recorders have become very popular by combining a low price, high build quality, ample channel availability, diminutive size, and clean preamps.
I have a review of the MixPre-6 in progress. In the meantime, let’s look at some milestones in the release and development of these field recorders.
The MixPre series was released with an impressive feature set. Learn more about the MixPre-3, -6, -10T, and -10M on the manufacturer’s pages. After the initial release of the 3 and 6, some significant firmware updates expanded the functionality of the recorders. There have been a lot of bug fixes and changes. Here’s a summary of updates most relevant to field recordists:
- Added 4-channel linking to the MixPre-6. More recordists are beginning to capture Ambisonic sound effects. This feature allowed them to gang all 4 channels to record Ambisonic sounds properly.
- Added input delay to the MixPre-3.
- Added a remix feature: the ability to play back ISO tracks and change gain back to the main left and right mix.
- Added a re-record feature: the ability to record the remix changes.
- Added the ability to drop cue marks while recording a track. That makes it possible to jump to different points within a track. This will be especially helpful to field recordists, especially since the MixPre series does not have pre-record takes. For example, imagine you are waiting for a bird to begin singing. You begin recording, then drop a cue point when the song begins so you can find it quickly later. The cue points can be named, deleted, and moved. They can be navigated in the Cue List menu.
Sennheiser AMBEO Microphone Support
Sound Devices and Sennheiser have recently announced native support for the AMBEO Ambisonic microphone. What does this mean?
- The MixPre-6 and MixPre-10T will have native support for the AMBEO microphone.
- Record in Ambisonics A-format or B-format.
- Supports any microphone orientation (end-fire, up, down).
- Supports AmbiX and FuMa B-format standards.
- Monitor in stereo or binaural.
- AMBEO to binaural decoding.
The ability to monitor in stereo or binaural are a huge addition: now recordists can get a good approximation of their work on location instead of needing to wait to decode and monitor back in the studio.
The wide format support and decoding feature are abilities that typically required elaborate software or expensive plug-ins. Now it’s baked into the recorder itself.
Of course, this update has yet to be released. So, how well these new features are implemented is yet to be seen. Just the same, these are promising workflow improvements to Ambisonic, VR, or binaural field recordists.
Check out the press release for more information.