Mixer

Sound Devices Scorpio - NAB 2019

As part of our coverage of the Nation Association of Broadcaster’s show in Las Vegas in April 2019, we talked with Paul Isaacs at Sound Devices about their new flagship mixer/recorder called Scorpio. This is a device which is aimed at larger budget, very demanding productions where lots of inputs and lots of outputs are required.

Please consider my sound for video classes available over at our school.

Gear discussed and used to record this episode:

Sound Devices Scorpio

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens

Electrovoice RE50L Dynamic Interview Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2017 by TVAC. Used with permission

Audio Recorders for Filmmaking 2019: Choosing a Sound Recorder for Your Video Projects

In this episode, I explain my opinions on each of the sound recorders and mixers I’ve used for filmmaking. This includes the following. Click the links to jump ahead:

00:36 Zoom H1, H1n, and Tascam DR-05 Handheld recorders

03:00 Zoom F1 lavalier and on-camera recorder

05:17 Tascam DR-10L and Lectrosonics PDR mini body pack lavalier recorders

06:43 Tascam DR-60DmkII, Zoom H4n Pro, Zoom H5, Zoom H6

11:53 Centrance Mixerface R4R

12:50 Roland R-88 (Discontinued but can find used)

13:48 Zoom F4/F8/F8n, Sound Devices MixPre, Tascam DR-701D

32:21 Sound Devices 600 Series and Zaxcom Maxx, Nomad, & Deva

Recorder/Mixer Reviews - If you want more detail:

Zoom H1n: Handheld recorder which is a good option for using it like a wireless lavalier recorder

Zoom F1: Small recorder made for recording lavalier microphones or as a camera-top shotgun mic

Tascam DR-10L: This is my favorite tiny recorder for using in place of a wireless lavalier microphone

Lectrosonics PDR: Pro level lavalier microphone recorder.

Tascam DR-60DmkII: My favorite budget recorder with XLR inputs for recording on location

Zoom H4n Pro: Ok option if your XLR microphone has a strong output signal. Not a good option for mics like the RODE NTG2

Zoom H6: Much better option than the H4n Pro. But the screen is hard to see in direct sunlight

Centrance Mixerface R4R: Incredibly durable handheld recorder with 2 XLR inputs, great preamps, but no screen

Zoom F4: 4 XLR microphone inputs. Very good preamps and timecode generator

Zoom F8n: Probably the most value for money. 8 XLR inputs with great preamplifiers and durable build

Sound Devices MixPre-6: 4 XLR inputs, very good preamplifiers, analogue limiters, and durable build

Sound Devices MixPre-10T: 8 XLR inputs, very good preamplifiers, analogue limiters, timecode generator, and durable build. This is my backup recorder/mixer for paid jobs.

Zoom F8, Sound Devices MixPre-6, and 633 Sound Sample Comparison: Hear the difference between the Zoom F, Sound Devices MixPre, and Sound Devices 633. You’ll need some good headphones or speakers.

Zoom F vs Sound Devices MixPre - Which should you buy?: A little perspective on which might be best for you.

Sound Devices MixPre Control Surfaces: If you’re at a table, desk, or cart, these control surfaces can make mixing a little easier.

Zoom F-Control Control Surface: If you’re at a table, desk or cart, these control surfaces can make mixing a little easier.

Sound Devices 633: Why pros use expensive recorders/mixers like the 633

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Fairlight and Audition, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Zoom H1n

Tascam DR-05 (Amazon)

Zoom F1

Tascam DR-10L

Lectrosonics PDR

Tascam DR-60DmkII (Amazon)

Zoom H4n Pro

Zoom H5

Zoom H6

Centrance Mixerface R4R

Zoom F4

Zoom F8n

Sound Devices MixPre-3

Sound Devices MixPre-6

Sound Devices MixPre-10T

Sound Devices 633

Zaxcom Maxx, Nomad, Deva

Anker USB-C Battery Bank (Amazon)

Aputure COB 120DII LED Light (Amazon)

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens

Panasonic GH5 (Amazon)

Panasonic GH5S (Amazon)

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

RODECaster Pro Review

In this episode, we take an in-depth look at the new RODECaster Pro recorder, mixer, and audio interface designed specifically for podcasting and recording panel discussions. I have to confess that I was originally not that enthused about the RODECaster Pro, but now that I’ve use it a for a couple of weeks, WOW! I’m surprised by the quality of sound that it produces and find the effects more effective than I expected. It is much easier to use than most mixers for those that aren’t audio engineers making this a great choice for those less interested in spending lots of time learning how to get better sound for their podcasts. And even for audio nerds like me...well, I'm buying this which was originally just on loan for the review!

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

RODECaster Pro

Sony MDR-7506 - My go-to headphones for when I’m recording

Audio Technica AT2005 Dynamic Microphone - I recorded this episode with this microphone. Amazing mic for its price!

Electrovoice RE20 - Classic broadcast dynamic microphone. Dani was recorded with this in our demo

Shure SM7b - another classic broadcast dynamic microphone. Almost everyone sounds awesome with this microphone

Electrovoice RE50L - A common reporter’s microphone. Emma was recorded with this in our demo

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - I used this to record most of this episode

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens - Used on the Pocket 4K camera

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2019 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

CEntrance MixerFace R4 Mixer/Recorder For Film & Video: Tiny Pro Level Mixer/Recorder

It has been a while since we’ve seen an innovative new handheld recorder with professional level pre-amplifiers and other features. The CEntrance MixerFace R4 and R4R, however, have done just that.

These are very compact mixer (R4) and recorder (R4R) that is very small, yet very rugged and sounds really great. They include an in-built Li Polymer batter that lasts up to 8 hours (nearly 7 hours phantom powering microphones in my tests) and provide several outputs including line and mic level, unbalanced and balanced. It includes 2 XLR microphone inputs and a 3.5mm line level input. There’s no screen, which means longer battery life, and there are physical controls to do everything you need to do.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at https://school.learnlightandsound.com including processing dialogue audio, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

CEntrance MixerFace R4 (this is JUST a mixer and audio interface to record to camera, iOS, Android, Mac, or PC)

CEntrance MixerFace R4R (this is a mixer, microSD card recorder, and audio interface to record to camera, iOS, Android, Mac, or PC)

Apple Lightning to USB 3 Adapter (Amazon) - You’ll need this if you want to record to an iOS device from the MixerFace R4 or R4R

USB C to Micro OTG Cable (Amazon) - You’ll need this if you want to record to an Android device with USB C input from the MixerFace R4 or R4R

Shure SM58 (Amazon) Dynamic Handheld Microphone - The quintessential handheld dynamic microphone

ElectroVoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone - great for podcasts and voiceover

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone - This is the shotgun microphone I use for my paid production sound jobs when shooting outdoors

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - I used this to record this episode

Aputure COB120dmkII (Amazon) - Key light in the talking head clips

Aputure Light Dome II (Amazon) - Newer version of the big soft box with faster setup and gel holder

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30 - RGB 1x1 panel light

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 (Amazon) OIS II Lens - Used on the BMD Pocket Cine Camera 4K

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (Amazon) Lens - Used on the BMD Pocket Cine Camera 4K

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Sound for Video Session: Headphone and Output Routing Demo - Zoom F8 Recorder

On your audio recorder, what is headphone routing? What about output routing? And why would you want to change it? In this session, we cover the purposes of routing and show a couple of examples of routing for specific production situations. We demonstrate this on the Zoom F8, but the same principles apply on the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders as well as the professional level recorders from Sound Devices, Zaxcom, and others.

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Zoom F8 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sanken COS-11D Lavalier Microphone- used to record my voice in this session

Sennheiser G3 Wireless Microphone System (you will need to buy the right frequency block for your region - call B&H if you need help)

Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Record Live Event Sound from a Mixing Board

How do you record sound from a mixing board at a live event? Here are the basics!

Recorders I’ve used and that can record line level from a mixing board (links to B&H, Amazon, or DVeStore):

Zoom H4n Pro (use 1/4” input only)
Zoom H5 (use 1/4” input only)
Zoom H6 (use 1/4” input only)
Tascam DR-60DmkII
Tascam DR-70D
Tascam DR-701D
Zoom F4 (use 1/4” input only)
Zoom F8 (use 1/4” input only)
Sound Devices MixPre-3
Sound Devices MixPre-6
Sound Devices MixPre-10T
Sound Devices 633

1/4” to 1/4” TRS Cable

XLR Female to 1/4” TRS Cable (XLR connects to mixing board, 1/4” to your recorder. Good choice for Zoom recorders)

XLR to XLR Cable (do NOT use this cable for Zoom recorders)

RCA to 1/4” TS Cable

Anker USB A & C Battery Bank

Radial Engineering Ice Cube Line Isolator/Transformer (need 2 for stereo mixes, one for mono)

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for the talking head shots in this episode

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount for the Ursa Mini Pro)

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

There are more sophisticated live show recording techniques. We discussed some of these with Mike Stranks here:

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Sound Devices MixPre-10T: Initial Impressions

Links to gear below. If you found this review helpful and are planning to buy one of these lights, please use one of our links below which will help fund our ongoing efforts to make high quality filmmaking gear reviews.

Sound Devices added some nice options to the prosumer audio recorder market earlier this year with the introduction of their MixPre-3 and MixPre-6. And now, they’ve added the MixPre-10T which takes the MixPre line legitimately into the professional recorder realm for $1800 USD. I pre-ordered and the 10T arrived yesterday. Let’s take an initial look with a full review to follow in a few weeks when I’ve had more time to work with it.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Voice Technologies VT Duplex Headset Microphone

RODE Reporter Handheld Dynamic Microphone

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone

Adapter Cable for Mini XLR outputs (TA3F to XLRM)

AC to Hirose Adapter (useful if you plan to use the 10T as an audio interface)

Sound Devices MixPre Battery Sled for Sony NP-F Style Batteries

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sound Devices MixPre-3 and MixPre-6: A New Standard for Sub $1000 Mixers/Recorders

Sound Devices have just announced a new series of audio recorders/computer interface for filmmaking enthusiasts, podcasters, and YouTubers called the MixPre-3 and MixPre-6. I didn't see this coming and - WOW - on paper they look impressive. They're shaking up the category that has been owned by Zoom for the last couple of years with their F8 and F4 recorders.

What makes the MixPre's unique?

  • New Kashmir preamplifier design by Sound Devices - Class A preamps with discrete components rather than off-the-shelf integrated circuit preamps
  • Analogue limiters
  • Analogue to Digital Converter - new 32-bit design
  • Touchscreen LCD Screen
  • USB audio interface for computers - Via USB-A and C
  • Basic and Advanced menu modes
  • Stream audio to computer and record to SD card simultaneously
  • Large, ergonomic potentiometers (knobs)
  • Several powering options including AA, USB, and Sony NP-F style batteries
  • Bluetooth app for iPhone/iPad to control the MixPre wirelessly
  • 1/4"-20 tap and screw to mount the recorder under your camera

Fortunately, I have an appointment to meet with the guys at Sound Devices next week at NAB so I'm planning to get a good look at the MixPre's and will have more info for you soon.

Oh, and pricing: The MixPre-3 is priced at $650 USD, the MixPre-6 at $900 USD.

Did Sound devices just kill their 6xx and 7xx series mixers and recorders with these new devices? No, not even close for a lot of reasons we can cover another time. But this is a great option for those who cannot spend $3300 for a high quality mixer/recorder and an audio interface to boot!

My friend Jonathan Morrison, for whom I've done a little bit of audio post work, was lucky enough to get an early look at the MixPre. He's coming from the perspective of a YouTuber and does a nice job outlining the benefits from a mobile creator point of view.

Sound for Video Session: Shotgun Mics, Wind Covers, Mixers, DAW Apps, Loudness

In this week's Sound for Video Session we run through several questions:

- Why is my shotgun mic picking up everything in the room?
- Why do I get clicks and noise with my wireless microphones?
- Should I use a blimp cover on my shotgun microphone indoors?
- Which DAW audio editing app should I use if I don’t want a subscription?
- How do I send sound from a mixing board to my camera?
- Which loudness standard do I use when loudness normalizing my audio?
- Which shotgun microphone and wind cover should I choose?

Links:

Broadcast Loudness Standards (tc electronic)

For internet delivery, Paul Figgiani recommends -16 LUFS for stereo, -19 LUFS for mono audio

Audio Editing Apps (DAWs)

- Logic Pro X
- Reaper
- Studio One
- Avid ProTools

Attenuation Cable to connect mixer output to camera (Panasonic GH4). You will also need a 1/4" to 3.5mm cable

Electrovoice RE50L Dynamic Microphone (Voiceover for this session was recorded with this)

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro (Recorded the talking head portion with this camera)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Saramonic SmartRig+ Audio Adapter Mixer Review

Saramonic’s SmartRig+ is a compact, light weight adapter which allows you to record professional grade XLR and 3.5mm microphones directly to your camera or smart phone. Pretty impressive little device for a very good price. 

Could be a good option for run 'n gun shooting, musicians who want to record guitar and vocals, and those on a tight budget who want to add higher quality audio to their production.

Let’s have a listen!

Gear used or mentioned in this episode (affiliate links):

Saramonic SmartRig+ Audio Adapter/Mixer

Aputure Deity Shotgun Microphone

RODE VC1 3.5mm Extension Cable (10 feet) - If you need to run a 3.5mm microphone closer to the talent.