I Chat To Paul Isaacs About The New Sound Devices Mix Pre Series

I am once again graced with an interview with Paul Isaacs from Sound Devices to talk about the new Mix Pre line as they get ready for NAB 2017. Paul is actually heading out tomorrow so was lucky enough to grab him. I've fielded questions from around the internet.First of all Paul, thanks for taking the time to squeeze this in and how is all your prep going for NAB and where / when will be people able to find you and get their hands on some demos?

Thanks for having me Matt. Lead up to NAB is always crazy, but maybe even crazier this year with the launch of the MixPre-Series. We are at booth #C6040 from Monday 24th 'till Thursday 27th next week and of course we are very excited to be able to demo these babies to anyone who's interested.

There is lots of buzz about the new Mix Pre line on various groups and of course all groups try to tailor any new product to see if it fits their needs could you elaborate where it fits in to your other product ranges like the 6 series range:

If you are a YouTuber, Musician, Podcaster, Sound Designer, Videographer, Production Sound Mixer, Educator, or audio hobbyist that cares about great audio quality, the MixPre-Series recorder, mixer, and USB audio interface is absolutely for you.

Having said that, you wouldn't use these in place of your 6-series as a primary mixer/recorder since the 6-Series offer more extensive connectivity and time code options that are important for complex production sound setups. However, the new MixPre makes a great supplement to your sound kit either as a way to add more inputs, a backup, or a simpler second-unit recorder.


With that in mind could you highlight the main features and uses you see the Mix Pre being suited for:

The MixPre-3 and 6 can record, mix and USB stream multichannel audio all simultaneously - no other recorder in this category can do that. They are super compact so there's no excuse not to take one whereever you go and since they are made of die-cast aluminum, not plastic like so many recorders in the sub $1000 category, these will stand up to the rigors of the most testing environments - pretty much like all SD gear!

One of our main design goals for the MixPre was that we wanted to design it in such a way that less experienced audio users as well as seasoned audio professionals could capture the highest possible audio quality whilst focussing on creating content rather than getting tied down by the tech. To make this happen we needed to achieve two main things:

1. Ultra low noise, wide dynamic range mic preamps with analog limiters that anyone could achieve great noise and distortion-free sound and

2. A super intuitive UI. That is why the interface is so uncluttered and focusses on the most important controls - faders and transport. But don't be fooled - the sunlight readable touchscreen provides access to a vast  range of functionality that'll keep any audio nerd totally happy. Oh and this is probably worth a quick mention - pressing each channel fader knob gives fast access to each channel's settings including input source, trim gain, pan, PFL, arm and more.

Every musician should have one. I'm one and I use it all the time for many things. Ideal for small venue gigging, recording into a DAW via USB, capturing song ideas on the road, teaching and so much more.

Podcasters will love the ability to be able to mix and record on the device whilst receiving USB audio -  route a USB source such as Skype or FaceTime interviewee to one of the faders and mix along with your own voice and other sources - so much more fun and intuitive.

Videographers can capture the best sounding audio to their DSLR whilst simultaneously recording ISOs should they need to go back to the individuals channels to fix a mix. The MixPre's also have a captive 1/4" 20 screw for mounting on any camera or tripod. And with the addition of HDMI TC In and LTC for lip-sync sound, a DSLR/MixPre combo is a very effective videographers package.

There is also lots of excitement about the new preamps, is this build from the ground up?

The MixPre-3 and 6's Kashmir mic preamps are a brand new design. Their ultra low noise, wide dynamic range preamps with 32-bit ADCs will more than satisfy both seasoned audio pros and audio novices.  The input limiters are dual stage; first stage analog, second stage digital. Threshold is approx -3 dBFS. Output limiters are digital. The HPFs are dual stage too - they have an analog filter preceding the preamp entirely for excellent overload performance, followed by subsequent digital filters for adjustability.

Lets talks about the integration with the wingman app and basic and advanced modes:

We've actually included two modes of operation - Basic mode for audio novices and Advanced mode for those who like to get down and dirty with all the other possibilities like flexible digital routing, timecode, multichannel ISOs, HP presets, high sample rate recording (192 kHz on the 6, 96 kHz on the 3) etc

Bluetooth LE is built in so you don't need a dongle to get wireless control of your MixPre -3 from an iOS device. The same Wingman app works with the MixPre or 6-series.

There's so much I've left out here, but I've run out of time and have to pack and catch a plane to Las Vegas. If you can, come to our booth and we'll show you more.