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Sound Devices Announces MixPre-10M "For Musicians" Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 10th May 2018
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
The MixPre 10M can only record 8 'live' inputs at once, although the claim of it being a "12 in/4 out" interface imply that you can input other existing tracks across USB.

Dominic
Yes, I meant overdub capability to 9-12 by rerouting the mic/line inputs to those tracks rather than live to 12 tracks simultaneously, but recording to 12 using 8 live + 4 USB would be useful too.
Old 10th May 2018
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
Latency Test
I did a little test yesterday - 2 identical condenser mics - one direct into my UAD Apollo Twin II, one into input 4 of the 10M. I then linked the output of the 10M to the second input of the Apollo.
So this means I have two channels - one goes into the Apollo direct, the other goes through the 10M - live monitoring - and then into the 10M.
I used the headphone output and the Right mini-XLR - they both gave the same result.
I recorded the noise of tapping the mic capsules together in Presonus Studio One from the Apollo.
Both the Apollo and the 10M were set to 44.1 kHz.
No other inputs on the 10M were active. I didn't try any other inputs, nor did I try with other inputs active (which I probably should have).
Limiters were switched off.
The delay between the two recorded signals was just over 2.7ms.
I imagine (but haven't tested) that a different sample rate on the 10M would change the latency.
Having multiple inputs active might change the latency, although I think it unlikely.
This was without the 'transport' running. Changing to record or play might change the latency, but again, I think it unlikely.
Having the limiters on might change the latency. I turned them off because I wanted a nice sharp peak on the waveform to compare one channel against the other.
I'm not sure about phase reversal - the signals on the two channels did not look the same, but that might be a consequence of an extra A/D, D/A step, or differences in the mic capsules, or just the gain. Either way, the waveforms were clearly not identical at a 'sample' level resolution. I'm not an expert at digging into waveforms, so I don't know whether that is significant or not - I suspect it isn't.

Dominic
Thanks again for sharing Dominic. Was this more latency than you expected or do you think that's a good number?

I don't think I would expect identical waveforms from tapping mic capsules together. If I tap two spoons together it would be hard to get them to resonate exactly the same way, know what I mean?
Old 10th May 2018
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatpicksam View Post
Thanks again for sharing Dominic. Was this more latency than you expected or do you think that's a good number?

I don't think I would expect identical waveforms from tapping mic capsules together. If I tap two spoons together it would be hard to get them to resonate exactly the same way, know what I mean?
Yes, I think 2.7ms is acceptable. I can always hear when there's latency from a digital mixer but 2.7ms isn't disturbing.
I would expect that both the waveforms would start with a peak and then be followed a trough - but I wasn't seeing that, hence my implied question about whether the output of the 10M was phase inverted. But perhaps that is not a realistic expectation for the waveform.
Some mixers do output an inverted signal. This tends not to bother me, but some people have a problem with it, especially with bass frequencies.
I'm not saying that the 10M has an inverted output, I simply don't know how to tell that - but the waveforms imply that it might. But, as I said, I'm not an expert in that area.

Dominic
Old 10th May 2018
  #124
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
Yes, I think 2.7ms is acceptable. I can always hear when there's latency from a digital mixer but 2.7ms isn't disturbing.
I would expect that both the waveforms would start with a peak and then be followed a trough - but I wasn't seeing that, hence my implied question about whether the output of the 10M was phase inverted. But perhaps that is not a realistic expectation for the waveform.
Some mixers do output an inverted signal. This tends not to bother me, but some people have a problem with it, especially with bass frequencies.
I'm not saying that the 10M has an inverted output, I simply don't know how to tell that - but the waveforms imply that it might. But, as I said, I'm not an expert in that area.

Dominic
Create a handclap impulse near the the mic. You would like to see the first, most significant impulse heading in the POSITIVE direction, zoomed in. Trumpet and voice glottal pulses also have significant positive asymmetry.

This is of course assuming that your mics are wired correctly.
Old 11th May 2018
  #125
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Bluetooth and Wingman

Do any of you who own the 10M have a problem working on that tiny screen? The manual is silent on Bluetooth and the Wingman app. Could that Bluetooth hardware be hiding in the unit waiting for a future firmware update to become active or is the unit forever dependent on that screen?
Old 11th May 2018
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptair View Post
Do any of you who own the 10M have a problem working on that tiny screen? The manual is silent on Bluetooth and the Wingman app. Could that Bluetooth hardware be hiding in the unit waiting for a future firmware update to become active or is the unit forever dependent on that screen?
I only have a problem because the bar on the chassis on the right hand side makes access a bit more tricky. But I have small fingers. I think people with larger fingers might struggle. The screen is split into 9 zones, but sometimes they are not the same size - for example, in the main screen, it's possible to touch the output meters and get settings for the output levels. Handy, but difficult to do, because more often than not, you hit the input meter instead and that changes the input controls from 4-8/9-12 instead. But the area for the output meters is actually the three middle 'zones', but thinner.
In the input screen, all 9 zones are the same size, so easier to hit the correct one, but when you select the track name - then the 'cancel' button is bottom right, and is hard to hit, either because the zone is smaller or because that corner is the most difficult to press, if you're using your right hand, because of the physical bar.
Mostly it's workable, only the output meter is hit or miss, the rest I'm pretty comfortable with.
There's no way of telling if SD have left the bluetooth module in the box. They've had the timecode stuff removed so they could have done away with the bluetooth module at the same time. Or it could be sitting in there, but unusable because they don't have spare processor cycles to deal with it. Or it might just be dormant. The 'regulatory' screen might give a clue, especially as two of the codes end in '10T', but there's nothing which is obviously about bluetooth compliance.
I some ways the whole BT setup and external app isn't in the spirit of the device - it's meant to be as simple as possible at capturing and layering sounds. But I realise that's no good if you can't use the little screen because you've got big fingers.
You could shoot SD an email, maybe they'd tell you what's hidden inside. I could open mine up, but I want the warranty intact!

Dominic
Old 11th May 2018
  #127
Gear Head
 

OK, first regulatory line is FCC ID 2AKLX-739M10T
This is for bluetooth.
Does that mean the bluetooth module is in the box? Or did they just copy the same regulatory compliances from the 10T?
We don't know. So it doesn't help!

Dominic
Old 11th May 2018
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
I wish the 10T/10M had the ability to be linked to create a 16 channel recorder.
This exchange with SD is giving me pause to consider the 10T over the 10M...but the playback is still a problem.

************
Is it possible to record with more than one MixPre-3, 6, or 10 at a time and have the recordings be synchronized through timecode or otherwise?

Sure, you can connect a few MixPre-Series mixers together with timecode cables, setting the 2nd, 3rd, etc. ones up for timecode triggers. This way, once recording commences on the first MixPre, the rest will drop into record too (and stop when the first one is stopped). This way, you will have the same timecode for all devices, making it easier to sync up everything in post.

Hmmm...is it correct that this will only work with the 3, 6, or 10T but not the 10M because it does not have timecode?

Unfortunately, yes, only with the MixPre-3, 6 and 10T. I see your point. Technically, there is no easy way to link multiple "M" recorders for sync.

Does this synchronized timecode functionality extend to playback where starting or stopping play on the master starts or stops play on the slaves?

When you play back a file, the original timecode is sent out of the device. This would only trigger REC on the additional attached devices. This action will not result in synchronized playback on slaves.

Unless there is an insurmountable technical reason that this couldn't be done, synching the playback, rewind, fast forward, jump to Q point of multiple connected MixPre devices would be a desirable feature to implement in a future firmware update!
**********
Old 11th May 2018
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
I some ways the whole BT setup and external app isn't in the spirit of the device - it's meant to be as simple as possible at capturing and layering sounds. But I realise that's no good if you can't use the little screen because you've got big fingers.
You could shoot SD an email, maybe they'd tell you what's hidden inside. I could open mine up, but I want the warranty intact!

Dominic
Here's my exchange with SD on this topic…

***********
Then there is the screen…well laid out, but so so tiny. The super cool Wingman app seems to answer some of that with its channel and level control for the MixPre-3, 6, & 10T. Puzzlingly the 10M documentation is silent on Bluetooth and Wingman. Is there bluetooth smart hardware in the 10M waiting to be implemented in an update?

The 10m doesn't have Wingman features.
************

C'est la vie.
Old 11th May 2018
  #130
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I have abnormally large hands/fingers and I actually don't find the screen terribly difficult to operate. For me the encoder knob is actually more awkward -- esp. with headphones plugged in; my thumbs are huge. Obviously it is a very tiny screen and that has taken some getting used to but to me -- I'm almost always playing on the projects I track -- I find it much, much better than having to get up and walk to the computer to hit record or trying to operate a trackpad from my chair with microphones in front of me as I hold an instrument. I have mine mounted to the top of a mic stand with this: On-Stage Stands CM01 Video Camera / Digital Recorder Adapter | Sweetwater
Old 11th May 2018
  #131
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I don't have any previous experience with ta3 connectors. Is ta3 the exact same thing as "mini xlr 3 pin" ? For instance, it looks likes these cables would work: 3 Pin Mini XLR Female to XLR Male Microphone Cable | eBay

They're $12/pair vs. $90 for the Sound Devices cables.
Old 11th May 2018
  #132
Gear Head
Hey, flatpicksam, those cables are backwards for your intended purpose. Good as an extension cord from a lav mic though.
Old 11th May 2018
  #133
Gear Addict
 

This is all very interesting to follow.

I've been on the fence about getting one of these, or one of the other MixPre recorders, but on the other hand I already have most of this same functionality in my QSC Touchmix 8, which allows you to record directly to an SSD, and allows you to control everything with a tablet (including recording). Like the SD MixPre-10M, the Touchmix allows you to do overdubbing, add effects, etc -- it's basically a live sound mixer with recording and overdubbing capabilities.

The main drawbacks of the Touchmix are:

1. Needs to be plugged in (no battery option)
2. Records at 44.1 or 48 khz, 32-bit depth only. The free QSC DAW utility allows you to convert to 24-bit if necessary.
3. The preamps on the Touchmix are good but not in the same league as Sound Devices'
4. It's bigger (about the footprint of a large laptop).

The advantages of the Touchmix over the SD MixPre-10M are:

1. Much bigger screen
2. More multifunctional -- designed as a mixer for live music, but also works as a self-contained recorder/mixer or for recording tracks for later mixing in a DAW.
3. Ability to connect a tablet (via wifi; the Touchmix dongle works really well); the interface on the tablet is the same as the Touchmix's own interface, but you can hold it in your hand, which is convenient if you're playing music as well as recording.

The Touchmix is considered more of a consumer device, while SD's are considered more "professional," but I've heard some good recordings made on the Touchmix and have been pretty happy with the few tests I've done so far myself.
Old 11th May 2018
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJWeitzner View Post
Hey, flatpicksam, those cables are backwards for your intended purpose. Good as an extension cord from a lav mic though.
Nope, they're the right way round.
Thomann erroneously provided me with some Rean TA3 to XLR cables, instead of the genuine SD ones. They are the same way round as that eBay listing - Female at the TA3 end, and male at the XLR end.

One thing that is odd about these cables is that they are push fit, despite the threaded connector on the body of the 10M. They are extremely tight too; I don't know if that's these particular cables, or just TA3 in general.

I don't know if TA3 is the same as mini-XLR - there's a wikipedia page that says they are, but I haven't bought any before, so maybe there's some more research that needs doing!

Dominic
Old 11th May 2018
  #135
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
This is all very interesting to follow.

I've been on the fence about getting one of these, or one of the other MixPre recorders, but on the other hand I already have most of this same functionality in my QSC Touchmix 8, which allows you to record directly to an SSD, and allows you to control everything with a tablet (including recording). Like the SD MixPre-10M, the Touchmix allows you to do overdubbing, add effects, etc -- it's basically a live sound mixer with recording and overdubbing capabilities.

The main drawbacks of the Touchmix are:

1. Needs to be plugged in (no battery option)
2. Records at 44.1 or 48 khz, 32-bit depth only. The free QSC DAW utility allows you to convert to 24-bit if necessary.
3. The preamps on the Touchmix are good but not in the same league as Sound Devices'
4. It's bigger (about the footprint of a large laptop).

The advantages of the Touchmix over the SD MixPre-10M are:

1. Much bigger screen
2. More multifunctional -- designed as a mixer for live music, but also works as a self-contained recorder/mixer or for recording tracks for later mixing in a DAW.
3. Ability to connect a tablet (via wifi; the Touchmix dongle works really well); the interface on the tablet is the same as the Touchmix's own interface, but you can hold it in your hand, which is convenient if you're playing music as well as recording.

The Touchmix is considered more of a consumer device, while SD's are considered more "professional," but I've heard some good recordings made on the Touchmix and have been pretty happy with the few tests I've done so far myself.
Very different beasts really. To me the most significant difference would be that the QSC has comprehensive EQ - the 10M has none. And the QSC has compression - the 10M has none.

If you feed the 10M beautiful sounds from beautiful mics, and you are making a relatively sparse arrangement - jazz or singer songwriter, then you might be able to make a finished recording without it ever touching a computer. But in reality, it's likely that at some point you will have to transfer the recording to mix it. At that point, you will have some of the quietest and cleanest sounds you could hope for, waiting to be processed.

I haven't tried the QSC. But I'm guessing that it will produce a 'finished' article, if you want it to. The ultimate quality might be worse than a 10M + computer, but in most cases, it will be better than just a 10M, because you will have all those other features to hand.

Dominic
Old 11th May 2018
  #136
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
If you feed the 10M beautiful sounds from beautiful mics, and you are making a relatively sparse arranegment - jazz or singer songwriter, then you might be able to make a finished recording without it ever touching a computer. But in reality, it's likely that at some point you will have to transfer the recording to mix it. At that point, you will have some of the quietest and cleanest sounds you could hope for, waiting to be processed.
This is actually what I find tempting about it. I only record acoustic music, and generally with only a handful of instruments and voices, typically 4-6 inputs although I could see occasionally needing 8. My "high quality" recorder is a Korg MR-1000, which only records in stereo (two inputs), and it would be nice to have something as clean but with more inputs. I'm not sure the QSC cuts it for that, but on the other hand I don't know if I want to spend $2,000 (that's the price in Canada) for a MixPre-10M or even more for the 10T. I may just get the MixPre6 to get the same sound quality but fewer inputs (and I don't really need the ability to overdub etc.).
Old 12th May 2018
  #137
Gear Head
Sorry, FlatPickSam, you're right. That's for output on the Mix10. The inputs on the 788T use both female ends!
Old 13th May 2018
  #138
If Sound Devices somehow managed to roll a version of the MixPre-10 with 10 outputs as well... I would throw my interface in the river and buy one. It would almost be too fitting between the sound bag and studio.
Old 13th May 2018
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
There's no way of telling if SD have left the bluetooth module in the box. They've had the timecode stuff removed so they could have done away with the bluetooth module at the same time. Or it could be sitting in there, but unusable because they don't have spare processor cycles to deal with it. Or it might just be dormant. The 'regulatory' screen might give a clue, especially as two of the codes end in '10T', but there's nothing which is obviously about bluetooth compliance.
From SD

The Musician plug in for the 10T will allow simultaneous recording of 8 tracks. Timecode functionality is disabled, as is Bluetooth connectivity. Unless otherwise specified, maximum Sample Rate will be that of the 10M at 96kHz.

So I guess the Bluetooth answer for 10 M is that it doesn't matter because the device does not have the processing capacity to do both the Musician's functions and Bluetooth.
Old 14th May 2018
  #140
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sculptair, I too was hopeful that bluetooth could be activated at a later date.

Here's the thing, though: I believe that the wingman app basically gives you bigger meters (which undoubtedly would be very nice) and basic transport controls, which are done with the "joystick" and not on the small screen anyway. Arming tracks can be done from wingman, which would also be a nice convenience I suppose, but the procedure for this on the MixPre is really quite easy: press the fader knob and touch the arm button -- so very little interaction with the tiny screen. Metadata can be edited from wingman as well. The way this works on the device is by using the encoder knob and scrolling through a (tiny) on screen keyboard. Works okay for me but if you really hate it you can use a USB keyboard with the MixPre10M and if you do there are some keyboard shortcuts that will control other functions as well. I don't believe you can set levels from the wingman app.

So I'm not sure MixPre10M users are really missing out on too much by not having it. For me, anyway, getting away computer, ipad, iphone screens when making music feels like a good thing.
Old 14th May 2018
  #141
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I just tested the MixPre10M with a wireless keyboard that uses a USB dongle and it worked as expected so there is another option if you really want wireless remote control of the device. There are several mini keyboards like this available for cheap. Only downside to the USB keyboard is that you can't use the flash drive auto backup feature at the same time. From looking at the manual it seems that you can navigate just about any feature with the keyboard.
Old 14th May 2018
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatpicksam View Post
I just tested the MixPre10M with a wireless keyboard that uses a USB dongle and it worked as expected so there is another option if you really want wireless remote control of the device. There are several mini keyboards like this available for cheap. Only downside to the USB keyboard is that you can't use the flash drive auto backup feature at the same time. From looking at the manual it seems that you can navigate just about any feature with the keyboard.
I'd be curious if a cheap unpowered USB hub might work to give both keyboard control and USB flash backup. I'd bet that it wouldn't work, but if someone has one laying around it might be worth a shot just in case.

-Mike
Old 16th May 2018
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
One thing that is odd about these cables is that they are push fit, despite the threaded connector on the body of the 10M. They are extremely tight too; I don't know if that's these particular cables, or just TA3 in general.

Dominic
Dominic, I settled on these ebay cables.

They are easy to connect and disconnect; don't seem overly tight. Makes me think you might want to send yours back to Thomann as it seems likely that the issue is just with the particular cables you received.

I also had to scratch my head about the threaded connector.
Old 18th May 2018
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatpicksam View Post
sculptair, I too was hopeful that bluetooth could be activated at a later date.

Here's the thing, though: I believe that the wingman app basically gives you bigger meters (which undoubtedly would be very nice) and basic transport controls, which are done with the "joystick" and not on the small screen anyway. Arming tracks can be done from wingman, which would also be a nice convenience I suppose, but the procedure for this on the MixPre is really quite easy: press the fader knob and touch the arm button -- so very little interaction with the tiny screen. Metadata can be edited from wingman as well. The way this works on the device is by using the encoder knob and scrolling through a (tiny) on screen keyboard. Works okay for me but if you really hate it you can use a USB keyboard with the MixPre10M and if you do there are some keyboard shortcuts that will control other functions as well. I don't believe you can set levels from the wingman app.

So I'm not sure MixPre10M users are really missing out on too much by not having it. For me, anyway, getting away computer, ipad, iphone screens when making music feels like a good thing.
Your explanation has taken some of the mystery out of it. Thx. No doubt, it’s a super cool device. I would mainly use it to record improv jam sessions. I’m considering the 10T so that I can record 10 inputs for one of my bands, and then switch to the musicians mode for another band that only needs 8 inputs. If I find myself in a larger band I could add a 2nd MixPre 3, 6, or 10T and chain them together with Timecode for recording even more tracks simultaneously. Of course for overdubs I would use it in the 10M mode.

That being the case, would I still need to purchase the musicians plug in separately?
Old 18th May 2018
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptair View Post
If I find myself in a larger band I could add a 2nd MixPre 3, 6, or 10T and chain them together with Timecode for recording even more tracks simultaneously.
Are you sure Timecode would be sufficient for your intended multitracking? I would have thought you would want word clock for linking together multiple recorders to ensure the inputs are sample and phase accurate. In which case, only the 10T would work.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 18th May 2018
  #146
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptair View Post
That being the case, would I still need to purchase the musicians plug in separately?
We have no idea yet, nor on related matters such as can you transfer the software licence if you, say, move from a MixPre-3/6 to a 10T. We're still waiting on the release of the plug-in: let's hope SD get a move on!

Cheers,

Roland
Old 18th May 2018
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Are you sure Timecode would be sufficient for your intended multitracking? I would have thought you would want word clock for linking together multiple recorders to ensure the inputs are sample and phase accurate. In which case, only the 10T would work.

Cheers,

Roland
Hmmm...IDK about world clock. But only the 3,6, and 10T are Timecode compatible.

From SD
Sure, you can connect a few MixPre-Series mixers together with timecode cables, setting the 2nd, 3rd, etc. ones up for timecode triggers. This way, once recording commences on the first MixPre, the rest will drop into record too (and stop when the first one is stopped). This way, you will have the same timecode for all devices, making it easier to sync up everything in post.

Unfortunately, yes, only with the MixPre-3, 6 and 10T. I see your point. Technically, there is no easy way to link multiple "M" recorders for sync.
Old 18th May 2018
  #148
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptair View Post
Hmmm...IDK about world clock. But only the 3,6, and 10T are Timecode compatible.[/I]
Yes, obviously the 3, 6 and 10T only can be used with Timecode, but I suspect for your use you would need word (not world) clock, which is only available with the 10T.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 19th May 2018
  #149
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
I'll have to look into this SD unit a bit more, as the ability to overdub is all I found lacking with my F-8 units.

I have 2 F-8's and 2 x F Control mixers. Use them locked up for 16 track capture all the time.
Work perfectly, and sound pretty damn good!
Transfer of files is 1,2,3, pretty painless.
And on occasion have also used them as USB interfaces, and once again no problems at all, everything worked and sounds great.

But this overdub thing.....humm
That is a lot of tracks, though about say using a Behringer X32 Rack and recording onto a laptop instead?
Old 19th May 2018
  #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Yes, obviously the 3, 6 and 10T only can be used with Timecode, but I suspect for your use you would need word (not world) clock, which is only available with the 10T.

Cheers,

Roland
I see. Timecode aligns the tracks and word clock keeps the sampling in sync. Given that recording with multiple MixPre's will only work with 10T's that changes the cost equation. Thx Roland!
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