Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Field Recorder Review

Sound Devices has disrupted the sound recording game for enthusiast and semi-pro filmmakers with their new MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 recorders. I pre-ordered the MixPre-6 and have been working with it for about 5 weeks now. This is my in-depth review after having used it on several jobs and projects.

The MixPre-6 or MixPre-3 are also potentially a very good fit for mobile musicians, podcasters, YouTube creators and videographers. Simple workflow if you want that, But many of the advanced features if you prefer that as well.

Supported Cameras (for HDMI timecode and start/stop triggering)

Powering Options for the MixPre-3 and MixPre-6

Approved Media Cards (this list is actually for the 6xx series mixers/recorders, but I've had good luck with the SD cards listed here) I use this SD card.

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sound Devices MixPre-6

Sound Devices MixPre-3

Anker USB Power Bank with USB-C Output (recommended)

Sound Devices 633 Pro-level Audio Recorder

DPA 4017B Shotgun Microphone - All of the audio in this episode was recorded with this microphone

Sound devices 8 AA Battery Sled

Sound Devices NP-F Battery Sled (to use Sony L-mount batteries)

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Set Audio Levels From Recorder to Camera with Tone

In this week's Sound for Video Session we demonstrate how to use the an audio recorder to send the audio directly to camera. This way you get the better sound quality of the dedicated audio recorder and the sound is all synced up while shooting so you don't have to sync in post.

This requires that your camera have an input, that your audio recorder has an output and that your recorder can generate a tone (sometimes called slate or slate tone).

There are some other nuances that we cover in our production sound fundamentals course on line vs microphone level and the need to match between the camera and recorder.

For details on powering your MixPre-3 or 6, please see the tech notes over at Sound Devices: https://www.sounddevices.com/tech-notes/mixpre-3-mixpre-6-powering-options


Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio Recorder/Mixer (the little brother)

Sound Devices 633 (Pro level recorder used to record my voice for this session)

Oktava MK012 Microphone (used to record my voice for this session)

Panasonic GH5 Camera - My second camera. Love this little thing!

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound Devices MixPre Sound Samples Comparison (MixPre, 633, Zoom F8)

In this episode, we have three sound samples to give you a sense for how the Sound Devices MixPre-6, Zoom F8, and Sound Devices 633 differ. The difference is not big in terms of timbre or self-noise. Have a listen!

If you’d like to listen to the original WAV audio files from the recorders, you can do that here.

Gear used to record this episode:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder & Mixer

Zoom F8 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (my pro-level outdoor mic)

Sound Devices MixPre-3 The "Little Brother" of the MixPre-6

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Set Up Sound Devices MixPre-3 & MixPre-6

In this week's Sound for Video Session we walk through set up of the Sound Devices MixPre-6 (99% of this also applies also to the MixPre-3).

For details on powering your MixPre-3 or 6, please see the tech notes over at Sound Devices:

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 - my new favorite sub $1000 audio recorder/mixer.

Sound Devices MixPre-3 - even smaller with 3 XLR inputs

Sound Devices 633 - my pro level recorder/mixer used to record my voice for this session

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone (this is the mic I used for this session)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Shockmounts, Comedy, Cameras, Timecode, and Live Streaming

In this week's Sound for Video Session we answer some of your questions:

- Are the Rycote shock mounts better at isolating boom pole movement from the microphone vs. rubber band style mounts?
- How would you record a comedy routine with a live audience?
- Which camera should I get (From the perspective of a sound guy)?
- Is timecode going to replace slates/clapperboards soon? What’s with these expensive timecode slates?
- How would you record podcast sound and livestream via Facebook live at the same time using the Zoom U-24?

Links to Gear We Discussed:

Rycote Lyre Pistol Grip Shockmount (bare bones and my go-to mount for indoor booming)

Rycote Cyclone Windshield with Lyre Shockmount (go-to for outdoor booming)

Presonus FaderPort - Hardware fader controller which works with Adobe Audition and other audio editing apps.

Panasonic FZ2500 - Fixed lens, 1” sensor, ND filters (wouldn’t be my first choice because the sensor is a little on the small side)

Panasonic G7 - Interchangeable lens, micro 4/3 sensor which is larger, no ND filters (this would be my choice over the FZ2500)

1/4" to 3.5mm TRRS cable for feeding audio from Zoom UA-24 to smartphone

Ambient Timecode Slate

Previous Near Field Monitor (speaker) Comparison

Focal CMS 40 monitors - These were my favorites in the comparison a year ago but I still wanted to first try the 6.5 inch woofer version. Remember, with monitors, they are sold individually so you need to buy 2

Focal CMS 65 - Same as the 40s but with 6.5 inch woofers and bass response that reaches a little lower on the spectrum. These are on closeout so a good time to buy if you’re in the market.

Focal Shape 65 - These are the newer versions of the CMS. Will be included in our upcoming comparison

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone (this is the mic I used for this session)

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface (This is what I used to record my sound for this session)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Three Tools for Filmmakers

Sometimes little things make a big difference when you’re shooting on location or in studio. That’s what I’ve found with the three tools for filmmakers we discuss here: Leatherman tool, Rabbit Camera Key, and Stand Daddy stabilizers for your light stands and tripod.

Gear used to record and covered in this episode:

Leatherman Wingman Multi-tool

Leatherman Sheath (Be the ninja-nerd on set who can fix anything because your multi-tool is always with you)

Rabbit Key (Camera Key - never struggle to attach or detach a quick release plate or camera cage again)

Stand Daddy Tripod/Light Stand Stabilizer System - For a limited time, exclusive discount for our little community: use coupon code 15MORE to receive 15% off

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Atomos Ninja Inferno HDMI Recorder (simplifies exposing for HDR/LOG and records amazing 4:2:2 10-bit footage from GH4 or GH5)

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder & Mixer

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (my pro-level outdoor mic)

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens (1st Generation)

Lifecharge USB Battery (for powering the MixPre-6)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Exposing for V-Log/HDR with Panasonic GH5 and Atomos Ninja Inferno

When I first added V-Log to my Panasonic GH4 a few years ago, I was disappointed with a lot of the V-Log footage because it was so noisy. I was hesitant to add V-Log to my GH5 but went ahead and spent a little more time experimenting with it to see how to get the best possible footage. With the help of an Atomos Ninja Inferno HDMI recorder, I’ve learned that it is really just a matter of making sure that you set your aperture and ISO a little differently to optimize the exposure for V-Log. And with the ATOM-HDR feature on the Ninja Inferno, it is even easier to quickly dial in the exposure for V-Log. So here’s how to shoot great looking V-Log video footage on your Panasonic GH4 or GH5.

Gear used to record this episode:

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic V-Log Firmware Upgrade

Atomos Ninja Inferno HDMI Recorder (simplifies exposing for HDR/LOG and records amazing 4:2:2 10-bit footage from GH4 or GH5)

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder & Mixer

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (my pro-level outdoor mic)

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens (1st Generation)

Lifecharge USB Battery (for powering the MixPre-6)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Mixing Headphones Compared

In this week's Sound for Video Session, we compare 6 sets of headphones for mixing film and video projects (plus a bonus set that almost nobody can afford, just for fun). We also cover why using headphones alone is not ideal and can make mixing a frustrating experience. We also underscore the importance of reviewing your mixes on lots of different playback systems: Near field monitors, hifi system, car sound system, smartphone earbuds, TV, etc.

Jump ahead to particular headphones:

06:55 AKG K240
12:37 Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro
16:10 Audio Technica ATH-R70x
20:09 Shure SRH1840
22:45 Sennheiser HD 800
25:23 Audeze LCD-X
30:40 Sennheiser HE 1 Orpheus

Gear discussed in this session:

AKG K240 Studio Pro Semi-Open Back Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro Semi-Open Back Reference Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-R70x Pro Reference Headphones

Shure SRH1840 Pro Open Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 Open Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S Open Back Headphones

Audeze LCD-X High Performance Reference Planar Magnetic Headphones

Sennheiser HE 1 Orpheus Headphones

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Reduce Reverb with Izotope RX 6

In this week's Sound for Video Session, we discuss how to reduce reverberation. The best way is to use sound blankets while recording. But if that doesn't work out, then this is how to *reduce* reverb, not eliminating it, in Izotope RX 6.

Previous session demonstrating how to use sound blankets to reduce reverb while recording:

Gear used to record this session:

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface

Sound Blankets

Spring Clamps to hang sound blanekts

Century Stand to hang the blankets

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Aputure Amaran Tri-8c LED Panel Light Review

Aputure has produced some very impressive panel and single point LED lights over the last couple of years and now thy have a new addition to their Amaran (entry level) LED panel lights: The Amaran Tri-8 series. This new series includes daylight and color tunable versions. The color quality scores nicely in our tests relative to a good old-fashioned tungsten light, we didn’t find any flicker (an issue with some LED panel lights) and found this to be a great little light to act as a fill, a hair light, an accent light, or even a key light.

Gear used to record this episode:

Aputure Amaran Tri-8 LED Panel Light

Aputure C120d (daylight hard light)

Aputure Light Storm LS1 Panel Light

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder & Mixer

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (my pro-level outdoor mic)

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens (1st Generation)

Lifecharge USB Battery (for powering the MixPre-6)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!