Sound Devices Mix Pre series II First Look

The Sound Devices Mix Pre series have received a major update, adding Timecode in/out and 32-bit float recording to the device.

The Mix Pre series was the first Sound Devices mixer/recorder to be aimed at a non-professional audio audience, and the update to Series II has seen a number of improvements inside the box.

Mix Pre-3 II
The Mix Pre 3 II will happily sit underneath a mirrorless camera, and will now accept timecode over HDMI for easier syncing of picture and audio in post.

Timecode I/O now standard

Firstly, all three models of MixPre now feature timecode generators as well as timecode readers. This will make syncing up picture and audio much easier than before.

Mix Pre-3 II
Timecode is now standard across the Mix Pre II range

Previously timecode was only incorporated in the higher-end Sound Devices mixers. Now you’ll be able to jam the Mix Pre to external timecode, or provide it to an attached camera. It will also accept timecode over HDMI from mirrorless cameras.

Timecode in and out are both fed via 3.5mm jacks, and generated timecode will be retained for up to four hours if you power down for, like a break or something. Slacker.

32-bit float aka Audio Magic

The second major improvement is 32-bit float support for recordings. 24-bit files have been the standard for years and offers good dynamic range for recordings.

However, using 32-bit float to record means you can’t clip the recording even if you set the Mix Pre’s gains up to maximum. You can also record at very low levels and increase them greatly in post without raising the noise floor of the recording. Practically it’s like RAW recording for audio.

If that sounds like a bit much to swallow, check out the demo that starts at about 03m20s in the video at the top of the page. It’s genuinely impressive and shows that what would be hopelessly distorted in a 24-bit file can be rescued with a very simple gain adjustment in a 32-bit file.

The best news is you probably don’t need new software to make use of it – if you’re editing in FCP X, Premiere Pro or Resolve they all have 32-bit float support built in.

Mix Pre-3 II

Mix Pre Series II prices and availability

There are three different models in the Mix Pre Series II range, with different numbers of inputs and outputs. The Mix Pre-3 II (three inputs) costs $649 US, the Mix Pre-6 II (six inputs) costs $849 US and the Mix Pre-10 II (see where this is going?) costs $1,399 US. All models are shipping now.

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