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Sonosax SX-M2D2 - how practical?
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #31
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh ➡️
Assuming you have the Telinga handle with the XLR cable, I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to use it with the M2D2 (you'll need an XLR to TA3 cable, because the M2D2 only has TA3 inputs), but I wouldn't use the MixPre 6 as the recorder. Use a phone or tablet instead; here's why:

The M2D2's line out has gone through A/D and D/A conversion--you can't bypass the converters like you can with, for example, the Sound Devices USBPre 2 in standalone mode. So whatever your mic is recording will go through the M2D2's A/D and D/A converters, then into the MixPre 6, where it will undergo A/D conversion again using the MixPre's converters.

A better solution is to go into a phone or tablet. I'd recommend an Apple phone or tablet, using the Apogee Metarecorder app. On Android you'd have the advantage of USB-C in many Android phones (some of the Apple iPads now have USB-C too), so no need for an adapter. But I'm not aware of any recording apps in Android that save 24-bit files. The Sonosax-recommended app for Android, Field Recorder, records at 24-bit but dithers those recordings down to 16-bit in the process of saving them. On Apple, you'll get 24-bit files. (There may be some recording apps on Android that do save 24-bit files, I'm just not aware of them.)

If you dont have an Apple phone or tablet, the cheapest good solution is to get a refurbished iPod Touch, which is perfect for this task. If you have Dropbox, you can save your recorded files to a Dropbox folder directly from the Apogee Metarecorder app.

Will you hear a difference? For recording birdsongs and other distant sounds, maybe. The MixPre is no slouch; I do hear differences with my M2D2 (mainly in terms of a bit more detail and a sense of openness) but no night-and-day differences.

If you decide to record from the M2D2 into the MixPre 6 anyway, you can set up the M2D2 to deliver one balanced channel to the line out. That would be the best setup, since then you can go (using a TA3 to XLR cable) into one of the XLR inputs in the MixPre 6; you'll need to assign that input as a line rather than mic input in the MixPre 6 (press on the channel fader knob in the MixPre 6 and press Input in the menu to go to the channel assignment menu). The alternative is to use a TA3 to 3.5mm cable to go into the MixPre's 3.5mm input (also the approach to use if you're using the default stereo unbalanced line out from the M2D2), but based on what I've read you won't get quite as good sound through that input.

Bottom line: for the purest "Sonosax sound," go from the M2D2 into a phone, tablet, or laptop, rather than into the MixPre recorder.
_________________
Per the Mixpre-6 II Manual it can record the USB stream from a computer directly to the SD card. Any reason he couldn't record the M2D2 USB-C output (supposedly class compliant) to the MixPre-6? This would of course avoid the extra AD to DA conversions.

If this doesn't work then recording via USB through the Apple "Camera Connection Kit"
(an adapter cable that goes into the Lighning port of an Apple device and simultaneously allows feeding power to the phone from a USB to lightning power source/battery) and using the Apogee Metacorder APP works well.

Last edited by Folkie; 2nd January 2021 at 12:46 PM.. Reason: additional information
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #32
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie ➡️
Per the Mixpre-6 II Manual it can record the USB stream from a computer directly to the SD card. Any reason he couldn't record the M2D2 USB-C output (supposedly class compliant) to the MixPre-6? This would of course avoid the extra AD to DA conversions.
I wondered about that myself, but the problem is that when you plug USB-C into the MixPre-6 it becomes a bus-powered unit. I don't think the M2D2 can supply bus power and I'm not willing to risk blowing up my M2D2 to see if this is true. ;-)

This would not be an issue with the MixPre 10, by the way, which is not capable of being bus powered. It would be interesting to see if that would work on a MixPre 10.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #33
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Probably worth a call to Sound Devices tech support to see if the bus powering is primary if battery power is available?

From the Manual :

"Power Switchover and Priority
MIXPRE-3 II AND MIXPRE-6 II
To preserve battery power, USB-C power sources take priority over
batteries if both are connected with one exception - if the USB-C power source does not meet the full power requirements of the MixPre
II, you can choose to power from battery or continue to power from
USB-C. An underpowered MixPre II will be able to use two of the three
or four channels with 48 V phantom mics. Other channels can still be
used with dynamic mics and line level, Aux, or USB sources. In a low
power state, the MixPre II automatically:
1. Dims LCD and LED Brightness.
2. Disables USB-A port.
3. Disables HDMI TC port.
For protection against accidental loss of power, the MixPre II incorporates circuitry to automatically switch over from USB-C to batteries."

It looks like you can over-ride the USB-C as priority power source and use battery pwer instead but best to confirm with tech support.

Last edited by Folkie; 2nd January 2021 at 01:12 PM.. Reason: additional information
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie ➡️
Probably worth a call to Sound Devices tech support to see if the bus powering is primary if battery power is available?
Bus powering is indeed primary if battery power is available; I've already verified that. When you use the MixPre 6 as an interface, it switches to bus power automatically even when batteries are attached and there is no way (that I know of) to bypass this behavior. The MixPre comes with a splitter cable that does allow you to use another power source but I don't think that'll help in this particular case...but now that I think it through, it might work. I'll experiment later today.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #35
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Somewhere in the manual there was something about designating the USB-C as Power or Audio.
The USB-C Y to 2 USB-A is because a single USB-A doesn’t supply enough power. I don't see how that Y cable is helpful in this circumstance.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #36
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie ➡️
Somewhere in the manual there was something about designating the USB-C as Power or Audio.
The USB-C Y to 2 USB-A is because a single USB-A doesn’t supply enough power. I don't see how that Y cable is helpful in this circumstance.
You're right! I see it in the manual now:

"If the USB-C power source does not meet the full power requirements of the MixPre, you can choose to power from battery or continue to power from USB-C."

I was going to try the Y cable with one end of the Y connected to a USB power bank, the other end into the M2D2 (using a standard USB-to-USB-C end adapter), but going direct from the M2D2 into the MixPre 6's USB-c input would of course be simpler. I'm going to try it shortly and will report back. This would actually be a great solution for me, especially with the Musician plugin, allowing zero-latency overdubs and track layering with the M2D2 for example.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 
I tried it, but no dice. The Mixpre 6 does stay on battery power, which is good, but the M2D2 does not show a USB connection even though I'm going from the audio out on the M2D2 into the USB-C input on the MixPre, using a standard USB-C to USB-C cable. So no signal is going out from the M2D2 into the MixPre. I have channels 5 and 6 on the MixPre set to USB 1 and USB 2, respectively, but there is no signal showing.

FYI, I don't think this is related to the bug in firmware version 1.4 that disables outputs after powering down; I did the usual workarounds that work when I'm connected to a computer but they have no effect in this case. Sonosax is working on new firmware that they hope to release this month and I can try again after that but I don't think it's the problem.

Last edited by bradh; 2nd January 2021 at 03:13 PM.. Reason: Added info on the firmware bug
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #38
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kriszuki's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How is the latency with the m2d2?
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriszuki ➡️
How is the latency with the m2d2?
I haven't done a loopback test for latency, but in frequent use into a DAW I have never noticed any latency. My headphone settings monitor the live inputs and USB playback, and I disable record-monitoring in the DAW. I don't normally use any plugins when tracking; occasionally I'll add a touch of reverb. I've enjoyed effectively zero-latency monitoring this way when multitracking virtual instruments (Pianoteq, not big sample libraries) and overdubbing and multitracking acoustic instruments. This works for my particular needs; it may not work for yours.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #40
Gear Head
 
Eric D's Avatar
 
Hello,

I have the SX-M2D2 and the MixPre 6 (first generation) .
It is not possible to record the USB audio output of the SX-M2D2 on the MixPre 6, because this output only works when connected to an equipment that has an operating system (computer, smarphone, tablet) .
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #41
Gear Nut
 
kriszuki's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh ➡️
I haven't done a loopback test for latency, but in frequent use into a DAW I have never noticed any latency. My headphone settings monitor the live inputs and USB playback, and I disable record-monitoring in the DAW. I don't normally use any plugins when tracking; occasionally I'll add a touch of reverb. I've enjoyed effectively zero-latency monitoring this way when multitracking virtual instruments (Pianoteq, not big sample libraries) and overdubbing and multitracking acoustic instruments. This works for my particular needs; it may not work for yours.
thanks bradh
Im used to using rme converters + totalmix and never worry about latency when tracking/multitracking audio inputs, it just always works.
looking at a phone and converter setup and the m2d2 is so dinky..
Old 4th January 2021 | Show parent
  #42
Here for the gear
 
Hey Bradh,


wow.

your post could not have been more helpful and instrumental for me.

Thanks for your kind support and 4 walking me through all this. Without your help I would not have been able to wrap my head around this one.

Thanks for recommending Apogee and for your advice on file management.

I decided to purchase a M2D2 and an Ipad.


Cheers
Mat
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #43
Gear Addict
 
wilcofan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I asked many questions to the Sonosax team before buying because I pretty much couldn’t believe it was so capable. Well I have one as of today and extremely impressed.

I got permission from Jacques to post the latency numbers they gathered to me.


ADC
48kHz 19 samples @ 48kHz
96kHz 19 samples @ 96kHz
192kHz 15 samples @ 192kHz

DAC
48kHz 6 samples @ 48kHz
96kHz 6 samples @ 96kHz
192kHz 6 samples @ 192kHz

DSP
48kHz 7 samples @ 48kHz
96kHz 7 samples @ 96kHz
192kHz 7 samples @ 192kHz

MIC/line in to AES out
48kHz 26 samples @ 48kHz
96kHz 26 samples @ 96kHz
192kHz 22 samples @ 192kHz


Mic/Line input to Line output
48kHz 32 samples @ 48kHz
96kHz 32 samples @ 96kHz
192kHz 28 samples @ 192kHz

AES in to Line output
48kHz 13 samples @ 48kHz
96kHz 13 samples @ 96kHz
192kHz 13 samples @ 192kHz

AES in to Line output
48kHz 13 samples @ 48kHz
96kHz 13 samples @ 96kHz
192kHz 13 samples @ 192kHz
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #44
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilcofan ➡️
[SIZE="2"]I asked many questions to the Sonosax team before buying because I pretty much couldn’t believe it was so capable. Well I have one as of today and extremely impressed.
Thanks for posting the latency numbers. Being new, your M2D2 may have come with the new (v. 1.5 beta) firmware; if not you should send an email to Sonosax and request the beta version of the update (the final does not appear to have been released yet on the Sonosax website). Version 1.5 fixes several bugs in the firmware that I think are mainly (or possibly only) experienced at sample rates higher than 48k. I've been testing v. 1.5 beta for a couple of weeks with no issues.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #45
Lives for gear
 
Following up on the post below, Sonosax released v. 1.5 firmware for the M2D2 a couple of days ago; it's available on the M2D2 page of the Sonosax website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh ➡️
Thanks for posting the latency numbers. Being new, your M2D2 may have come with the new (v. 1.5 beta) firmware; if not you should send an email to Sonosax and request the beta version of the update (the final does not appear to have been released yet on the Sonosax website). Version 1.5 fixes several bugs in the firmware that I think are mainly (or possibly only) experienced at sample rates higher than 48k. I've been testing v. 1.5 beta for a couple of weeks with no issues.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #46
Lives for gear
I also wonder how M2D2 preamps compare to Gordon Model 5 and Pueblo JR2/2+.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #47
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfghdhr ➡️
I also wonder how M2D2 preamps compare to Gordon Model 5 and Pueblo JR2/2+.
Would it be a fair comparison? The M2D2 is a miniaturized Swiss Army knife type interface with excellent mic pres and many valuable features that go beyond being just a mic amp.

The Gordon and Pueblo, both of which I have here, are full 19" sized very sophisticated mic preamps. That's all they do and they do function in the top top class.

One Swiss Army knife product operating on batteries sells for $1300 and the other mic amps you ask about sell for many times that amount.

When I record I would use any of these mic pres and be very happy. The reason I can use them interchangeably is that I know where to place the microphones. The preamp only amplifies where I place them.

I also use the Sonosax SX-R4+ recorder and Sonosax AD8+ eight channel preamp / converter. This is a 16 track system.
To me, this is the best sound available in the world today. Package costs $11,500.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #48
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
Would it be a fair comparison? The M2D2 is a miniaturized Swiss Army knife type interface with excellent mic pres and many valuable features that go beyond being just a mic amp.

The Gordon and Pueblo, both of which I have here, are full 19" sized very sophisticated mic preamps. That's all they do and they do function in the top top class.

One Swiss Army knife product operating on batteries sells for $1300 and the other mic amps you ask about sell for many times that amount.

When I record I would use any of these mic pres and be very happy. The reason I can use them interchangeably is that I know where to place the microphones. The preamp only amplifies where I place them.

I also use the Sonosax SX-R4+ recorder and Sonosax AD8+ eight channel preamp / converter. This is a 16 track system.
To me, this is the best sound available in the world today. Package costs $11,500.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
It has the top sound available today. The best mic amps in the world and the best conversion in the world.
You’re right, it’s not a fair comparison. And I guess that’s why I was curious. Because in the second post you mentioned rather unequivocally “M2D2 having the best preamp and conversion in the world” I immediately wondered how it would compare to the best two pres that I know of. So I guess it’s kind of fair to at least wonder.
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