Sound Devices SCORPIO: Why do Pros Use Gear Like This?

In April 2019, Sound Devices announcement their new flagship audio mixer/recorder called Scorpio. Sound Devices caters to TV and film production sound mixers - the professionals working on large budget productions. The Scorpio has a lot of new features which are really exciting and help production sound mixers do things that they haven’t been able to do before or it simplifies things that were previously more complicated. But all this comes at what would seem like a hefty price from the perspective of a self-funded, passion project filmmaker: $8995 USD. In this episode, we run through the features of the Scorpio, and why for some pros working on the larger budget projects, the expense is easily justified.

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 Adobe Audition and DaVinci Resolve/Fairlight, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Gear used and mentioned in this episode:

Sound Devices Scorpio - B&H

Sound Devices 688 - B&H

Sound Devices 633 - B&H

Sound Devices MixPre - the more affordable line of high quality recorders for indie filmmakers - B&H

Allen & Heath DT168 Dante Stage Box - One example of a Dante device with 16 inputs and 8 outputs, all controllable by Scorpio - B&H

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone - B&H

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - B&H

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - Amazon

Get a free trial of the best music for your videos at Musicbed

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are, B&H Photo, or other affiliate links.

Sound for Video Session: Control Surfaces for Sound Devices MixPre

For those of you who record with one of the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders, good news: You can now use a variety of MIDI controllers as a control surface with your MixPre. This will make it easier for you to make a quality stereo mix while still recording your isolated microphone channels. This is especially helpful when recording interviews, panel discussions, or lectures. Let’s give you a quick overview!

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

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode:

Novation LaunchControl XL (Amazon) - This is the controller we used in this demonstration.

Akai MIDIMix (Amazon)

Korg nanoKontrol Studio (Amazon)

Korg nanoKontrol 2 (Amazon)

Sound Devices MixPre Recorders

Blackmagic Pocket cinema Camera 4K - used to shoot this episode

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Sunday by Young Rich Pixies on Amazing Journey

Sound for Video Session: Sound Devices MixPre Re-Mix Demo

In the V2.10 firmware for the MixPre-3, 6, and 10T, Sound Devices added a handy set of new features called re-mix and re-record. This allows you to create a new mix of a previously recorded sound clip. Here’s how it works.

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Sound Devices MixPre-3 - Audio Recorder & Mixer with 3 XLR and one 3.5mm inputs
Sound Devices MixPre-6 - Audio Recorder & Mixer with 4 XLR and one 3.5mm inputs
Sound Devices MixPre-10T - Audio Recorder & Mixer with 8 XLR and one 3.5mm inputs plus an integrated timecode generator
RODE Reporter Microphone - sounded really mid-range focused on this piece. This is the mic I used when explaining things.
Electrovoice RE-20 - Channel 1 microphone with high pass filter on the mic turned on
Shure SM57 - Channel 2 microphone
Audio Technica AT2005 - Channel 3 microphone, I’m always surprised at how well this holds up to much more expensive microphones. Can also be used as a USB mic in a pinch, though it doesn't sound as good with it's in-built analogue to digital converter.

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

SoundDevices MixPre 10M - NAB 2018

Last year Sound Devices announced and shipped their MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 recorders and then later added the MixPre-10T with a few additional hardware features for professional sound engineers. One question I received several times was, "Can I use this to record my band and does it have overdub and punch in features? Any effects like reverb?"

In this episode, Paul Issacs talks with Cary Judd, my brother who is a profession music producer in addition to filmmaker. The MixPre-10M looks a lot like the 10T, but the operating system is re-designed from the ground up and optimized for multitrack music recording.

As a bonus for those who already own a MixPre-3, 6, or 10T, you will be able to add all of these music recording features with a plugin that runs $99. The plugin will be available some time in the summer of 2018.

Gear covered and used to shoot this episode:

Sound Devices MixPre-10M for musicians

Sound Devices MixPre-10T - 8 XLR/TRS inputs, timecode

Sound Devices MixPre-6 - 4 XLR/TRS inputs + stereo 3.5mm input

Sound Devices MixPre-3 - 3 XLR inputs + stereo 3.5mm input

RODE Reporter Microphone

RODE iXLR Adapter - Record a dynamic XLR microphone to iPhone or iPad

Panasonic GH5 - My favorite small camera for shooting events

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5S most of the time

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 Announces the MixPre-10T

Wow, I wasn't expecting this, especially this soon after the release of the MixPre-3 and 6!

Sound Devices' new MixPre-10T is very interesting from a few different standpoints. First, the 10T adds several features usually required by pros to the MixPre line including an in-built timecode generator, redundant storage, and a locking hirose power input. Of course there are more inputs - 8 XLR/TRS mic/line and another 3.5mm stereo unbalanced input. Oh, and balanced XLR outputs (on mini-TA3). Those were the main concerns I had about using the MixPre-6 for professional location gigs but it looks like they just addressed them all.

The second and perhaps more interesting thing is that with these additional features, the MixPre-10T potentially cannibalizes some of their 6xx series sales. This is a $1,800 recorder/mixer. The 633 sells for $3300, almost double the price.

It takes a bold company to make a decision like this and from my perspective, they're doing something good for their potential customers. Now I'm still not suggesting that the 10T completely replaces the 633 entirely. Maybe it does for many workflows, but I definitely plan to hold on to mine. Nevertheless, I'm really impressed that they are forward looking enough to move this direction.

Now I've got to figure out how to get my hands on one for review!

Sound Devices MixPre-3 and MixPre-6: Overview at NAB 2017

Sound Devices just announced a new set of audio recorders/mixers called the MixPre series. In this episode, we stopped by the Sound Devices booth at the 2017 NAB show where Paul Isaacs gave us an overview of the new mixers for filmmaking enthusiasts, podcasters, musicians, and even production mixers.

It was an honor to have Paul run through the features and capabilities of the MixPre as he is the lead designer for Sound Devices.

We have a MixPre pre-order in so that we can review them in the next few weeks. Can't wait to get my hands on them!

Gear used to film this interview:

SoundDevices MixPre-3 Audio Mixer/Recorder

SoundDevices MixPre-6 Audio Mixer/Recorder

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens

RODE Reporter Microphone

RODE iXLR Audio Adapter for iPhone


VideoDevices PIX-E 4K Recorders and PIX-LR XLR Audio Inputs

At NAB 2016, we talked with Jon Tatooles of VideoDevices about their PIX-E series of 4K recorders and their new PIX-LR Audio Mixer which integrates with the PIX-E recorders. The PIX-LR looks especially interesting to me and runs only $399 USD for a dual XLR input/dual XLR output audio mixer with the legendary quality Sound Devices preamplifiers, analogue limiters, high pass filters, and build quality of SoundDevices mixers and recorders.

Special thanks to Scott Vanderbilt who was kind enough to bring his brand new Sony FS5 camera to film this series.

Pricing for those interested:

PIX-E5H 5 inch 4K Recorder

DVeStore: VideoDevices PIX-E5H (5 inch HDMI 4K Recorder)

B&H Photo: VideoDevices PIX-E5H (5 inch HDMI 4k recorder)

PIX-E5 5 inch SDI/HDMI 4K Recorder

DVeStore: PIX E5 5 inch SDI/HDMI 4K Recorder

B&H Photo: PIX E5 5 inch SDI/HDMI 4K Recorder

VideoDevices PIX-E7 (7 inch SDI/HDMI 4K Recorder)

DVeStore: VideoDevices PIX E7 (7 inch SDI/HDMI 4K Recorder)

B&H Photo: VideoDevices PIX E7 (7 inch SDI/HDMI 4K Recorder)

VideoDevices PIX-LR (dual XLR input audio add-on for PIX-E recorders)

B&H Photo: VideoDevices PIX LR (dual XLR input audio add-on for PIX-E recorders)

Sound Devices 633: Why do the Pros Use Gear Like This?

Because I love sound and am aiming to take on more jobs as a mixer, I recently bought the Sound Devices 633 mixer/recorder. This is a much more capable mixer and recorder than my previous recorders including the Zoom F8, the Tascam DR-60DmkII, and others. The Sound Devices will be my primary recorder and the Zoom F8 my backup recorder.

One question I’ve heard several times, and indeed, a question I’ve asked myself is, why does a mixer/recorder like the 633 cost so much more than something like a Tascam DR-60DmkII. Why $3000 more?!

In this episode, we cover some of the features on the 633 that make it the type of device that professional sound recordists and mixers choose.