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MixPre-10 II vs lugging studio rig
Old 22nd November 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

MixPre-10 II vs lugging studio rig

Hello there. I'm tossing between buying a MixPre-10 II to record some solo piano concerts, vs lugging a HD Native rig (which, to avoid completely dismantling my studio would be an HD Omni plus a 192 with a Cranesong Flamingo/Harrison Lineage).

I've read a few differing opinions on the quality of the MixPre-10 II analog stage. Without wanting to start an endless debate, any thoughts? It's within my budget – clearly, more expensive than not buying anything, but saves pulling my studio apart every time I want to record a show. A second-hand 788T would be another option in budget.

FWIW, I listened to the comparisons between the MixPre and Mytec here and although I could hear a difference, it was pretty subtle. (And this is in a treated room with good converters and ATCs.)
Old 22nd November 2019
  #2
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tourtelot's Avatar
I can tell you this from unfortunate experience that the Mix Pre 10 will be about 1 million times more reliable on location than any Pro Tools rig.

I would never take Pro Tools on location EVER again. Too likely to f**K up.

D.
Old 23rd November 2019
  #3
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i'm almost always using a dedicated hd recorder and a daw to record - can't tell about pt though as i have been using nuendo for ages: no crash ever...

the crane song preamp imo is pretty hard to beat!
Old 23rd November 2019
  #4
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jnorman's Avatar
Luke - I used to do the same thing, ie take apart my studio to go remote, but wow, what a PITA. I switched to SD units several years back, and recently changed to a mixpre and love it. The pres in the mixpre are very good and I rarely feel the need to lug any external pres, though I do on occasion. My entire remote kit fits into a single shoulder bag, so now I haul the gig bag, the camera bag, and whatever stands are needed - a huge relief from all the previous tear down of the studio setup, trips back and forth hauling gear in and out, and re-setting up the studio. Another big advantage is that I do not require access to any power outlets since it is all run off battery systems. I highly recommend the SD units - you will not be disappointed.
Old 23rd November 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Luke - I used to do the same thing, ie take apart my studio to go remote, but wow, what a PITA. I switched to SD units several years back, and recently changed to a mixpre and love it. The pres in the mixpre are very good and I rarely feel the need to lug any external pres, though I do on occasion. My entire remote kit fits into a single shoulder bag, so now I haul the gig bag, the camera bag, and whatever stands are needed - a huge relief from all the previous tear down of the studio setup, trips back and forth hauling gear in and out, and re-setting up the studio. Another big advantage is that I do not require access to any power outlets since it is all run off battery systems. I highly recommend the SD units - you will not be disappointed.
Thank you, that's a good vote of confidence. I don't mind lugging one preamp but having something portable makes recording shows a lot less of a big deal (and thus I'm more likely to do it). And in the end, it's the music that matters more than the last 1% of audio quality.
Old 23rd November 2019
  #6
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What's unfortunate is that if one wants to add extra channels of input to the MixPre10, eg for spot mics, you can't simply add a MixPre 3 or 6... because there's no timecode linkage between anything other than a pair of MixPre 10's. So you'll get jitter with anything other than a pair of 10's.
Simple solution....get a Scorpio !
Old 23rd November 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
What's unfortunate is that if one wants to add extra channels of input to the MixPre10, eg for spot mics, you can't simply add a MixPre 3 or 6... because there's no timecode linkage between anything other than a pair of MixPre 10's. So you'll get jitter with anything other than a pair of 10's.
Simple solution....get a Scorpio !
MixPre 10 will do me for solo piano
Old 23rd November 2019
  #8
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
And in the end, it's the music that matters more than the last 1% of audio quality.
I will admit that I am a Sound Devices fan-boy and have been for many, many years. But for location recording, the audio quality of the SD stuff will not be a step down.

D.
Old 23rd November 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
MixPre 10 will do me for solo piano
Indeed it will..horses for courses...a MixPre 3 would even be fine for that !
Old 24th November 2019
  #10
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Don S's Avatar
 

Same boat here. I was getting tired of moving a heavy 6 space rack plus computer for concerts that needed less than 8 mics. Even with great mic pres in front, after listening to a comparison between my 702 and an MP10-II, I returned it and snagged a 788 with a CL-8 for a grand more. If you want to hear the files, PM me.

There are a couple things that bothered me about the MP series. For example: crappy headphone amp, tiny screen, flimsy battery sled, no digital IO, and no simultaneous backup. The 788 is an industry standard for a reason and has been a treat to use.
Old 24th November 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
What's unfortunate is that if one wants to add extra channels of input to the MixPre10, eg for spot mics, you can't simply add a MixPre 3 or 6... because there's no timecode linkage between anything other than a pair of MixPre 10's. So you'll get jitter with anything other than a pair of 10's.
Simple solution....get a Scorpio !
studer58 -

In this case, I would have thought you could jam-sync from one MixPre II device to another? But I don't know for certain. If this isn't so, I should think you could jam them all from a single Lockit [or similar]? Post processing alignment should then only take seconds. Not the same as more channels on the same device, but close for my purposes. If this isn't so, something is horribly wrong.

BTW, I thought I would get the Scorpio this year until the MixPre II came out. Now I'm trying to delay to see if SD will upgrade the Scorpio to 32-bit float inputs next year?


Best regards,

Ray H.

PS. I do sometimes use Pro Tools with MTRX on location as well as a MixPre 6. Never ever a hint of a crash since I upgraded to current versions and Ultimate a couple years back [using a MacBook Pro]. But tourtelot still gets a thumbs up: I had trouble with Pro Tools many years ago and seriously considered moving away from AVID. I didn't and am very happy with their improved stability and performance. In any case, stuff like SD, Cantar, Sonosax, etc. gives me much much less feelings of risks than Pro Tools. I still use Pro Tools on location, either because I'm doing it for me, or have back up with the SD or something similar.
Old 24th November 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
studer58 -
In this case, I would have thought you could jam-sync from one MixPre II device to another? But I don't know for certain. If this isn't so, I should think you could jam them all from a single Lockit [or similar]? Post processing alignment should then only take seconds. Not the same as more channels on the same device, but close for my purposes. If this isn't so, something is horribly wrong.
The MixPre 10-II has both word clock and LTC I/O right? Or does it not chase timecode? I haven’t studied the manual in detail.

Quote:
PS. I do sometimes use Pro Tools with MTRX on location as well as a MixPre 6. Never ever a hint of a crash since I upgraded to current versions and Ultimate a couple years back [using a MacBook Pro]. But tourtelot still gets a thumbs up: I had trouble with Pro Tools many years ago and seriously considered moving away from AVID. I didn't and am very happy with their improved stability and performance. In any case, stuff like SD, Cantar, Sonosax, etc. gives me much much less feelings of risks than Pro Tools. I still use Pro Tools on location, either because I'm doing it for me, or have back up with the SD or something similar.
Also a MTRX owner here. But even though it would be ideal – particularly with the preamp cards (which I don’t have) – there’s no way I’m pulling it out of my rack.
Old 24th November 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
There are a couple things that bothered me about the MP series. For example: crappy headphone amp, tiny screen, flimsy battery sled, no digital IO, and no simultaneous backup. The 788 is an industry standard for a reason and has been a treat to use.
Yeah, there are a bunch of 788s on eBay which are around the US$2300 mark. They look better built, digital I/O is a plus, and some people seem to prefer the preamps it seems. But also buying something with FireWire in 2019, it is more expensive, and you miss out on being able to simultaneously record via USB (although not a great loss given it can record to two destinations at once). Ruminating on this decision!
Old 25th November 2019
  #14
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
you miss out on being able to simultaneously record via USB (although not a great loss given it can record to two destinations at once). Ruminating on this decision!
The USB function is not simultaneous on the MP series. Only AFTER hitting the stop button is the file copied onto the USB, which is useless if the machine fails. I didn't even get to the pre amps. The A to D alone was enough to show me that the differences are huge. The sound stage was twice as wide and clearly defined on the 7 series. The MP sounded muddy and congested. Which I image can be desirable and described as "warm" when recording spoken word. The medium is not a deal breaker. I simply pull the CF card and have a reader in the studio. I wouldn't wait to much longer as all those 788s on Fleabay and reverb will be gone. Think about just a year ago they cost $6,800. I called SD to make sure they would be able to service these machines in future and was assured that yes, they would.
Old 25th November 2019
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
The USB function is not simultaneous on the MP series. Only AFTER hitting the stop button is the file copied onto the USB, which is useless if the machine fails.
This is not exactly accurate. The file will be copied to the USB drive as soon as it is closed, which means that if you are recording a longer session and the 4 GB limit is reached on the multichannel file it seamlessly begins a new file and copies the old one to the USB drive. When you hit the stop button at then end, only the most recent file has to be copied to the USB drive before you power down.

Jeff
Old 25th November 2019
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

What I meant by USB is that you can use it as a class-compliant interface, if you want to backup to a laptop (although I guess that sort of defeats the purpose).
Old 25th November 2019
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
What's unfortunate is that if one wants to add extra channels of input to the MixPre10, eg for spot mics, you can't simply add a MixPre 3 or 6... because there's no timecode linkage between anything other than a pair of MixPre 10's. So you'll get jitter with anything other than a pair of 10's.
Simple solution....get a Scorpio !
I believe all the machines in the new MixPre II series (3, 6, & 10) are able to both receive AND generate time code.
Old 25th November 2019
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
after listening to a comparison between my 702 and an MP10-II, I returned it and snagged a 788
The 788 is an industry standard for a reason and has been a treat to use.
Some users seem to prefer the 702 preamps to the 788’s pres. Do you hear a difference?
Old 25th November 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
I believe all the machines in the new MixPre II series (3, 6, & 10) are able to both receive AND generate time code.
According to their webpage FAQ:

"Is timecode accuracy maintained while powered down?

All of the MixPre II Series now include a full-featured internal timecode generator and are accurate to better than 0.2 ppm (0.5 frames per 24 hours). When the unit is off, the MixPre II Series maintains accurate timecode for up to four hours, even without batteries or external power"

However, I believe that only the Scorpio, 888 and MixPre10 have word clock....it would be good to have a definitive answer from SD given here as to which models will lock with others (ie as paired location devices) regarding drift-free synchronized recording ?
Old 26th November 2019
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
However, I believe that only the Scorpio, 888 and MixPre10 have word clock....it would be good to have a definitive answer from SD given here as to which models will lock with others (ie as paired location devices) regarding drift-free synchronized recording ?
There's a comparison PDF on their website: the MixPre-3/6 II can only sync to their internal clock.
Old 26th November 2019
  #21
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
Some users seem to prefer the 702 preamps to the 788’s pres. Do you hear a difference?
I haven't yet compared the two preamps. The AtoD quality was not distinguishable, and I do like the pres on my 702. I only remember hearing the 788's pres compared to the Nagra VI, which was very slightly in favor of the Nagra. I still haul around my Millennia pres with the occasional DAV.
Old 26th November 2019
  #22
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFiJeff View Post
This is not exactly accurate. The file will be copied to the USB drive as soon as it is closed, which means that if you are recording a longer session and the 4 GB limit is reached on the multichannel file it seamlessly begins a new file and copies the old one to the USB drive. When you hit the stop button at then end, only the most recent file has to be copied to the USB drive before you power down.

Jeff
Thanks Jeff! However, if the file is under 4 GB, what I wrote is correct?
Old 26th November 2019
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
I haven't yet compared the two preamps. The AtoD quality was not distinguishable, and I do like the pres on my 702. I only remember hearing the 788's pres compared to the Nagra VI, which was very slightly in favor of the Nagra. I still haul around my Millennia pres with the occasional DAV.
If you connect your Millennia pres through line-in to the 788, does the signal bypass the 788’s mic preamps? Or does it just get padded down?
Old 27th November 2019
  #24
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
If you connect your Millennia pres through line-in to the 788, does the signal bypass the 788’s mic preamps? Or does it just get padded down?
I'm not sure! I'll have to check the schematics and get back to you. I'm pretty sure it's a single gain stage structure on the MP series. It's a cool little box, just not a pro sound.
Old 27th November 2019
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
It's a cool little box, just not a pro sound.
It's an odd one this, the periodic discussion of the sound of the Mixpre-series recorders. Though very happy over the last two or more years with the sound of my Mixpre-3, I make no claim to have the refined ears of some who post here. However, I was interested to note that, despite some frustrations with some functionality (long since corrected via firmware updates), Tony Faulkner (not so easily dismissed: as respected and discerning as any pro!) considers the Mixpre-10 to be 'otherwise a brilliant piece of kit and does sound very fine indeed': see post #32 at Sound Devices MixPre-10T

Cheers,

Roland
Old 27th November 2019
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
I'm tossing between buying a MixPre-10 II to record some solo piano concerts...

...It's within my budget – clearly, more expensive than not buying anything, but saves pulling my studio apart every time I want to record a show.
There are some good offers on the original Mixpre-10 at the moment too, while stocks last: 32 bit recording for solo piano seems a bit OTT! Presumably you have considered the Mixpre-6 too (not enough channels for a solo piano?!)?

Cheers,

Roland
Old 27th November 2019
  #27
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regardless what piece of gear, there are always some folks who don't like it - some for good reason, some not so much...

(although this is GEARslutz, i mostly gave up following discussion on gear in terms of 'sound', especially if claims are on absolute terms - no one hears things the same way as someone else!)
Old 27th November 2019
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
There are some good offers on the original Mixpre-10 at the moment too, while stocks last: 32 bit recording for solo piano seems a bit OTT! Presumably you have considered the Mixpre-6 too (not enough channels for a solo piano?!)?
I could use eight channels including audience mics But it’s moreover that I try to buy (within reason) one bigger than I need now, to future proof. The incremental costs are smaller than the transaction costs of changing your mind later.
Old 27th November 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
I could use eight channels including audience mics But it’s moreover that I try to buy (within reason) one bigger than I need now, to future proof. The incremental costs are smaller than the transaction costs of changing your mind later.
Makes sense!

Cheers,

Roland
Old 27th November 2019
  #30
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there's a new software out - amongst other things, this is was it's supposed to do:

"Another feature introduced in v5.00, USB output routing, allows sound mixers to specify which channels are sent via USB to a computer. Isolated channels may be sent pre- or post-fade, making it possible to bypass the fader settings on the MixPre if desired.

Additionally, with newly-added USB hub support, sound mixers can simultaneously use multiple USB devices, such as a USB controller, USB Keyboards, and a USB drive.

Firmware version 5.00 also expands the list of supported camera manufacturers for HDMI timecode and record triggers. Joining the already supported Panasonic and Sony cameras are select cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, and Blackmagic."
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