The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Sound Devices MixPre-10T Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 17th April 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Sound Devices MixPre-10T

Anybody else having problems with the Sound Devices MixPre-10T?
Got ours about ten days ago and it has not been a universal success story.

Mechanical build excellent. Recorded sound quality excellent. Menu logical and effective. Ten channels of recording in a very neat and light package. Hirose external psu or plug-in battery sled on the back panel. Straight to SD card, with automatic backup to USB thumbdrive. Timecode management excellent.

Only one major problem. It only records to polyphonic wavs. If you record 192k/24 10track, it only lasts about twelve and a half mins till the 4GB filesize limit hits. At this moment everything goes wrong. The headphone monitoring drops out long enough to give you a heart attack, especially the first couple of times you hear it and there is a 'bong' noise each time as well to compound the shock - the same as you get when you start or stop recording. Then, the final blow: when you go to play the recording back it stops at the file-split moment and plays no further.

The MixPre-10T's new brother the 10M records to individual wavs which is a much better idea. So does the Zoom F8 at half the price, and the Zoom menu lets you choose.

Real shame. A 3hr concert continuously recorded at 192k/24 gives you around fifteen monitoring dropouts and bongs, and you can only play it back 12mins or so at a time. When you get the recording home it does sound really stunning (and seamless) on your DAW which is the best consolation.
Old 18th April 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Somebody should do something about file systems for audio - Microsoft/Apple don't seem interested ...

Sounds like the problem arose because they didn't have you as a beta-tester. Did they check this situation out during development? If so did they find the problem? And if so, did they not prioritise the problem and its solution in terms of perceived customer base, and get the product out, given as you say, when put into the DAW, there is no problem (yeh "we'll fix it in post!")?

However, it sounds like its "only software" (the hard part), so given your profile and SD's reputation for customer responsiveness, look out for the next firmware update. Seems like you think the hardware is pretty good.
Old 18th April 2018
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thanks, Panatrope. You are right.

I guess most film and tv sound recordists (Sound Devices' main customers before the MixPre-10T and MixPre-10M came along) rarely if ever record takes longer than a few minutes - and mostly at 48k/24. So far I have not received encouraging words from Sound Devices that they will do the helpful thing and add individual wavs as a choice in the user menu. They seem to think I am being Mr. Awkward.

We'll see, maybe someone there will try recording an hour of 10 tracks of material - possibly they never tried it. A beta tester should have spotted it. The MixPre-10T falls over itself by an hour even at 48k/24. Brings back anxious memories from the distant past - the HHB Portadrive used to get in a pickle with long takes because of poly-wavs, so did my original Tascam hard disc multitrack.
Old 18th April 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Tony,

While not the immediate and complete solution you want, quite understandably, it will be interesting to see whether the imminent Musician plug-in (which will give the MixPre-3, 6 and 10T the functionality of the 10M) will give the other MixPre recorders the option to record individual WAVs. As yet, we can only guess how this will work on the other recorders: for example, we have to assume/hope that the plug-in won't give the 6T and 10T the 10M's 96kHz limit when in musician's mode. Worth asking about this in your discussions with SD anyway.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 18th April 2018
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Did you update to the newest firmware?
Old 18th April 2018
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thank you for your helpful comments.

Updated to new firmware on Sunday evening and it does make some improvements but still stuck with 32bit poly-wavs - dropouts, bongs, and inability to play through file-splits.

Installing the MixPre-10M option does give you individual wavs, but comes with disabling several MixPre-10T functions I need because the 10M option needs processing power from its system.

Been on a video shoot today working with another crew, and they had two Zoom F8 recorders because the sound-man said he had no use for a Sound Devices MixPre-10T which used poly-wavs. Q.E.D..
Old 19th April 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 

The question of polywav.s is interesting. The Nagra VI uses that format, as does the RME UFX series (DURec), and also my new toy, a QSC Touchmix 8. These all automatically file-split when the 2GB/4GB limit is reached. As the recording function is off to the side, it does not appear to affect the monitoring as in the case of the MixPre-10T.

My biggest gripe in using the polywav. format is in post - ingesting the files to a DAW. RME has their "Multichannel Wave File batch processor" utility, but while it seamlessly stitches the individual channel files (up to the 2G/4G limit, of course), it is cumbersome where the ISOs are a mix of mono and stereo sources. The SD utility "beta" is somewhat better, but burdened with soundie stuff that I don't need. Touchmix offer a utility that does the same thing relatively painlessly but again you can't easily handle the mixed mono/stereo situation. DAW's like WaveLab and Sound Forge can ingest poly .wav but again lack useful control of partitioning. Maybe one day someone will "get" it ...

One suggestion that I have put forward in this situation is to record the ISOs as a poly file, but the 'mix' stereo as a separate normal stereo .wav file (maybe in a different directory or on separate media) for easy access for auditioning or backup purposes. (And it wouldn't hit the 'file size' limit in the same way.) Anyone else had similar thoughts?

The poly .wav does save a lot of processing effort running buffers and opening and closing files. But ultimately user convenience needs to be part of the spec when partitioning the processing budget. Ultimately depends on the company and who they see as their 'customer'.
Old 19th April 2018
  #8
Here for the gear
 

The mixpre-6 manual says SD cards larger than 32GB can (or should) be formatted in exFAT file system, with a "File size limit of 16 EiB − 1 byte (otherwise limited by maximum volume size of 128 PiB − 1 byte)" according to wikipedia. don´t ask me how much that is, exactly, but it´s a lot. as I understand it, the file can be as big as the whole card?
this should be the same for mixpre-10T. perhaps this is a solution for you?
also I don´t need the mix usually and record only ISOs, with higher sample rates this saves a lot of space as well.

That said, I would like the option to choose if I record to poly wav or individual wav files. Reaper can handle them, Ableton Live cannot. So when I record sounds for use in Ableton Live I have to split the poly in an additional step.
Old 19th April 2018
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thank you, vierpersonen. Agreed.

ExFat is no problem and the SD cards I have been using are 128GB fast Sandisks which work perfectly. The issue is the 4GB max file-size for 32bit poly-wavs. Hardly a new problem for those of us who record takes longer than 12mins. Once I get the files home they load perfectly into our SADiE DAW and play seamlessly - snap to time-code and everything goes where it should on the timeline.

The problem is when you are on the recording session, and the MixPre-10T behaves like a petulant teenager when the file-split happens. The dropout and bong in the monitoring is very scary the first couple of times, and the inability to play back over the file-split is nothing but bad attitude. Then when the next project comes along you find it still annoying but mildly funny a couple of times as a party-trick of a drunken family uncle. Thereafter it is not at all funny and you feel like throwing a brick through Sound Devices' window for being so insensitive/indifferent to customers' needs and reasonable expectations.

I am toying with just returning the MixPre to our dealer for a refund, because in its present state it is not fit for purpose in the field and really gets on my nerves - and more worrying gets clients upset.
Old 19th April 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
Installing the MixPre-10M option does give you individual wavs, but comes with disabling several MixPre-10T functions I need because the 10M option needs processing power from its system.
Interesting comment, Tony: by 'installing the MixPre-10M options' have you been sent a beta copy of the Musician Plug-in (otherwise not yet available), or have SD simply described the functionality that this plug-in will have? Or, rather, are you just comparing a MixPre-10M to the 10T?

Cheers,

Roland
Old 19th April 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
I haven't been sent a beta copy of the MixPre-10M Musician's plug-in for the MixPre-10T. I got my information direct from Sound Devices support, which I quote below.

"The Musician's plug-in converts the 10T to a 10M. Resources do not allow addition of the plug-in with retention of all 10T functionality. Overdubbing, bouncing, reverb, etc. are extremely intense operations which require 10T resources to be diverted to 10M operations. This is all necessary and by design."

This makes perfect sense we can understand. Personally speaking, I don't need overdubbing, bouncing and reverb on a battery portable. If I need overdubbing and bouncing I'll take a laptop, SADiE and our rack of Audient pre's. In any case most major recording projects need more than ten tracks, need foldback comms to the performers and I would not want to fiddle with a small battery-powered device to do tracking and mixing.
Old 19th April 2018
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for that Tony. As you say, that makes sense: the losses of functionality will include, therefore, the 192kHz sample rate and 10 simultaneous tracks (the 10M only has 8). Of the 10M features the only one that interests me is the overdubbing, where, sometimes, I just need to overdub a single vocal or instrument on location, so being laptop etc. free would be nice: I guess we all see the ideal feature sets differently.

Anyway a firmware fix sounds essential for your polywav issue: let's hope SD manage this.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 19th April 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
I would
We asked SD ten years ago for Sel Sync and at that time it was not possible their MD said
Obviously its much faster processing and lower volt working combined with vast storage makes this possible in a robust portable
Well done SD.
Roger
Old 19th April 2018
  #14
Gear Head
 

[QUOTE=panatrope;13266934]The question of polywav.s is interesting. The Nagra VI uses that format...

...and the Nagra VI also records mono files.

"FILE TYPES (Monophonic or Polyphonic)
The Nagra VI can record either a single polyphonic file containing any (or all) of the eight tracks for each .wav file, or it will record up to eight individual
monophonic files – one for each track for every recording."

TorbenH
Old 19th April 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 
celticrogues's Avatar
 

I’m curious if changing how you monitor the tracks might alleviate the issue?

Right now are you monitoring the L-R mix? I’d be curious if you set up a headphone preset to monitor the channel ISO’s themselves instead of the mix if this would change anything with the audio interruption. I haven’t had a chance to try this on my MixPre yet but I hopefully will in the next couple of days.

I haven’t used mine yet to record takes that are longer than 10 minutes, but I totally agree that it would be terrifying to listen to audio dropouts every few min. Definitely something that SD needs to address.

-Mike
Old 19th April 2018
  #16
RPC
Gear Addict
 

I ran into this when I first got my Mixpre-6. I thought switching from 32GB to 64GB cards would cure it (since it would change the file system from FAT32 to ExFAT). However, the limitation is that the Mixpres use WAV files, which are by design limited to 4GB. All it would take to "fix" this issue would be for SD to switch to RF64 files on ExFAT formatted cards.
Old 19th April 2018
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Hi Mike & RPC,

I have been monitoring the mix on headphones. My guess is that the system believes it is doing a STOP then doing a new START, so it is imposing an audio crossfade to/from silence to avoid a crack sound. On top of that it is just adding a friendly 'bong' noise to acknowledge that it has stopped then started. - consequently it will probably happen whatever you are monitoring. At least you have been pre-warned not to fall off your chair when you first hear the dropout and bong.

Re. card format, I am using 128GB Sandisk cards formatted ExFAT. The problem is (I believe) uniquely that there is a max file-size of 4GB with 32bit header wavs, and not only was this a not-so-good idea, but it has been implemented incompletely to add toxic icing to the cow-cake. I agree about 64bit header wavs as an alternative solution if SD determine that poly-wavs are their format of choice. So now we would like Sound Devices to give users three options in the user menu - 32bit poly-wavs, 64bit poly-wavs, and individual mono wavs for each track. That choice should keep everybody happy and quiet.

To try to be fair to Sound Devices most of their traditional customer-base of film/tv sound recordists do not record takes longer then ten minutes, and at 48k or occasionally 96k, so the MixPre-10T is introducing them to other genres of sound recordist with other methods and practices. Time for them to wake up to the issue. I saw two Zoom F8's on a shoot yesterday. This topic on GS has already delivered several direct emails from other users from three continents, two of whom also have bought Zoom F8's. If the MixPre-10T was developed as a response to Zoom's prices, then SD do need to sort this format business out pretty quick.
Old 19th April 2018
  #18
Here for the gear
 

I wasn´t aware poly files have this size limit and that it is still present on exFat.
I have until now recorded only stereo or 4 channels in 44.1kHz, so I haven´t had this issue.

I totally agree, this is not really OK with the and dropout while recording.
Sound Devices should give the option to record seperate mono files.
Old 21st April 2018
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Just compiled a list of portable multichannel recorders. Could someone kindly check for any errors or omissions?
Thank you very much!

Recorder / Individual wavs ?


MARANTZ PMD-706 Yes
NAGRA VI Yes
ROLAND R-88 Yes
SONOSAX SX-R4 Yes
SONOSAX SX62R Yes
SOUND DEVICES 633 Yes
SOUND DEVICES 664 Yes
SOUND DEVICES 688 Yes
SOUND DEVICES 788T Yes
SOUND DEVICES MixPre-10M Yes
SOUND DEVICES MixPre-10T No
TASCAM HS-P82 Yes
ZOOM F8 Yes
ZOOM H6 Yes

Last edited by TonyF; 21st April 2018 at 10:04 AM.. Reason: tidiness
Old 21st April 2018
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Tascam DR-680 MkI and MkII?

Or is that not what you had in mind in that these can do individual wavs and stereo wavs but not poly wavs?

Regards, Christine
Old 21st April 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Don S's Avatar
 

Hello Tony,
Thanks for posting your experiences with the 10T. I've been considering investing in this unit for a while, but some engineers have criticized the sound lacking when compared to others in it's class. You said it sounds "good", and I'm curious if were you using the onboard preamps or just the AtoD stage via line level. I hope this isn't too far off topic, but some opinion from a top notch pro would be appreciated.
Old 21st April 2018
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thank you, Christine. I had forgotten the Tascam DR-680 MkII. My only interest in making up this list was working out how many portable multitracks restricted recording to poly-wavs. Only one: the Sound Devices MixPre-10T. SD can do it for five other models in their range, so it looks strange.

To Don S, I have to say I have been very impressed by the sound quality of both of the MixPre-10T recordings we have made. The results look clean on the CEDAR Retouch spectrum screen on our DAW too - no funny business at high or low frequencies in terms of roll-offs - no untidy noise-shaping close to the Nyqvist. For me my only serious complaint concerns this daft choice of record file format, and its flawed incomplete implementation.

Last edited by TonyF; 21st April 2018 at 05:42 PM.. Reason: tidiness
Old 22nd April 2018
  #23
I've said this before, but it is the lack of playback functionality that really bugs me about the SD machines. No Pan or Level mixing in post, slow and inconvenient scrubbing, and cannot easily switch to other files for review. I think they definitely should look into a dedicated playback screen will audio scroll bar and file skip as well as fix the single file format limitation. It does not work well for those of us who press record and leave it running for 2+ hours.
Old 22nd April 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 
celticrogues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
I've said this before, but it is the lack of playback functionality that really bugs me about the SD machines. No Pan or Level mixing in post, slow and inconvenient scrubbing, and cannot easily switch to other files for review. I think they definitely should look into a dedicated playback screen will audio scroll bar and file skip as well as fix the single file format limitation. It does not work well for those of us who press record and leave it running for 2+ hours.
Not 100% sure what you mean by "No Pan or Level mixing in post", but the new firmware allows you to play back any existing file and create a new LR mix by adjusting its ISO tracks' fader levels and pans, right on the device. The new firmware also supports cue marks within a WAV file.

-Mike
Old 22nd April 2018
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
Just compiled a list of portable multichannel recorders. Could someone kindly check for any errors or omissions?
Thank you very much!

Recorder / Individual wavs ?


MARANTZ PMD-706 Yes
NAGRA VI Yes
ROLAND R-88 Yes
SONOSAX SX-R4 Yes
SONOSAX SX62R Yes
SOUND DEVICES 633 Yes
SOUND DEVICES 664 Yes
SOUND DEVICES 688 Yes
SOUND DEVICES 788T Yes
SOUND DEVICES MixPre-10M Yes
SOUND DEVICES MixPre-10T No
TASCAM HS-P82 Yes
ZOOM F8 Yes
ZOOM H6 Yes
From the specs sheet it's not immediately clear about these: CantarX3 | Aaton Digital

CantaMini | Aaton Digital
Old 22nd April 2018
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thank you, Studer58

Another two for the list!

Aaton Cantar X3 and Cantar Mini both write individual wavs. They look very comprehensive devices.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Question for a MixPre-10M owner.

Is it true that the reverb and 'air' functionalities of the MixPre-10M (also MixPre-10T with Musician's add-on) can only be used on 48k/16 files?

I knew that the 10M was limited to 24/96 (rather than the 24/192 of the 10T) and 8 active input channels (as opposed to 10), but not that the reverb and air functionality could not be used on files above 16/48 resolution.

Does anyone know what "Air" means?
Old 23rd April 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
Does anyone know what "Air" means?
Not sure if this was simply a rhetorical question, but, if not, it's a combination of EQ and compression, often adding harmonics too, so that a vocal cuts through the mix more. Here's an approach to it Vocal Air Trick In Mixing - TheRecordingRevolution.com - YouTube. Can't say that's the reason I'm looking forward to the release of the Musician Plug-in for MixPre recorders!

Cheers,

Roland
Old 23rd April 2018
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thank you, norfolksoundman9.

It wasn't a rhetorical question, I just didn't know quite what the term meant in this context. There are some effects along those lines available in Adobe Audition and various plug-ins but we don't use that sort of thing in classical music very often.

Sound Devices have clarified to me that the AIR and REVERB effects in the MixPre-10M work at both 48k/16 and 48k/24, but not at 96k.

Last edited by TonyF; 23rd April 2018 at 05:52 PM.. Reason: tidyup
Old 23rd April 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Tony,

Would you be OK with the poly files if the monitoring didn't drop and bong, and if playback were seamless? In other words, is it the problem that that the files are polys, or just the units poor (and somewhat alarming) handling of the polys?

-Tom
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump