Thread: DSMC2 + Mixpre 3 II

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  1. #11 TC cable? 
    Senior Member David Callahan's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what timecode cable I would need to go from the Mix Pre 3 II to my DSMC 2 Helium body?
    Thanks!
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  2. #12  
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    Yes, I always leave the limiters enabled most of the time even when utilizing 32-bit. Honestly, for scratch or live audio as a single shooter (your method), 32-bit vs 24-bit is a toss and I am not sure how often you will really utilize that wider dynamic range in those instances unless in an odd and challenging environment where people are really quiet then screaming at the same time. 32-bit float may be beneficial to bring levels down if you run hot on your gain however, but no matter what when you run heavy gain you are always going to induce excess noises which will needed to removed in post so I am not sure what the big deal is in all the 32-bit marketing at better controlling levels. 32-Bit doesn't mean cleaner audio it just means a wider recording spectrum so low/high sounds can be recording more easily without a cut-off and amplified later in post. 32-Bit being modeled as a "fail safe method of recording unintelligently where you can magically pull your levels back down in post if they clip" is kind of a joke and marketing more than anything. Where I notice the difference of 24-bit and 32-bit float is in recording foley and ambience for projects where I am actually recording with low gain to reduce noise and help reject unwanted sounds in the field and then going back pulling levels up drastically in post and amplifying particular sounds while removing others. I have a lot of confidence in the Mix-Pre ii and a good mic for allowing you to pull out some pretty impressive sounds. However, I have found with any recorder/mic combo if riding the gain towards the hot end you will always pick up lots of unwanted artifacts, handling noise, increased deflections from poor environments and more signal/self noise which just makes your job harder later in mixing. Whether recording at 24/32 bit the process is the same so the benefit of 32-bit on running levels on the higher end may not be that useful when recording live sound as you are going to be doing a lot of mixing to remove all that unwanted noise whether you can bring the levels down or not. I often don't rely on the wider dynamic range to pull levels down but rather up. If adjusting for low-noise with lower gain at the forefront I find the limiter perfect for acting as a secondary fail safe since you already are conservative by not pushing up the gain from the start. I just prefer to pull sounds out rather than make unwanted noise go away or reducing hot levels later as the work is time consuming. The end result is much cleaner by being conservative and pulling sound out of your file. However if you were doing sound of a race car exhaust, of course there may be scenarios where the higher dynamic range in upper frequencies will allow for a fatter file and more mixing/EQ flexibility in post where a limiter may actually not be what you want in that instance. However, for scratch or live audio of events for the background to say a doc or corporate event shoot you aren't going to see that much of a difference between 24-bit and 32-bit but if you have it why not use it all the time anyhow, I know I do? It's not like it makes a difference in the size of the WAV file as it is a non-issue compared to the size of R3D's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akin A View Post
    I've been using the first generation Mix-Pre-3 I on my Epic Dragon and syncing through waveforms in post.
    I've thought about getting a Mix-Pre 3 II for timecode-out and 32-bit seems like a nice bonus.

    I send Mix-Pre 3's stereo out signal to the Epic mic input as scratch audio, so I can listen to good audio while watching playback on the Epic, so I'd still need to do that anyway. And syncing by waveforms in Resolve is pretty easy and accurate in my experience w/ the latest version.

    1) Do you think timecode-out would even be worth the upgrade in my case? (If timecode is off by 2-3 frames, as mentioned above, then def not)

    Also, for those using 32-bit recording, do you also enable the limiter on the Mix-Pre 3 or are you just manually bringing the audio levels down in post, to remove the distortion?
    Theoretically, manually adjusting the audio level in post, to remove the distortion would give you more control than the Mix-Pre 3's fixed limiter settings, but

    2) Is the manual process worth the extra steps in post vs the limiter, as far as quality? Bringing those audio levels back down is manually doing the same thing that the limiter was already doing, right?
    Last edited by Andrew Reese; 05-13-2020 at 12:01 PM.
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  3. #13  
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    Hi David,

    You'd need a 3.5mm Mini jack to 4-pin LEMO.

    Here's an example, but there must be others -

    http://shop.tentaclesync.com/product/tentacle-to-red/

    It goes from the 'Stereo Out' on the MixPre-3II (set to Timecode Out in the menu) to the 'Sync' input on (for example) a RED DSMC2 V-Lock I/O Expander.
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  4. #14  
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    Akin, the limiters aren't selectable when recording in 32-bit float mode, and are only adjustable in 16 & 24-bit mode.

    Here's an explanation of 32-bit float mode - http://www.sounddevices.com/32-bit-f...les-explained/

    I'd be looking at how often you're hitting the limits of your current dynamic range to determine if 32-bit mode is worthwhile.

    Similarly, I dont think the Mix-Pre 3 II's built-in timecode alone would make the upgrade worthwhile, if you already have a workflow that doesn't need it. Changing how you work to make use of the feature could potentially be a good thing though.

    An easier upgrade choice would be the the Mix-Pre 6 II, if you needed/wanted the extra couple of inputs along with the timecode and 32-bit mode.
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  5. #15  
    Senior Member Akin A's Avatar
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    Thanks, Andrew and Les.

    I now see that the Mix-Pre 3/6 II don't have a dedicated timecode-out port. If I have to use the stereo out port to send timecode to the Epic, that's a deal breaker, since I need that stereo out port to send scratch the the camera, to check playback w/ sound.

    I'm guessing a work-around would be using the Mix-Pre's headphone out port to send scratch to the Epic mic input, at the expense of quality (?), and then monitor the sound directly through the Epic's headphone output.
    If that works, it seems annoying, lol.

    I'll just stick to my current setup.
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  6. #16 mix pre 3 
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    With respect to AA power.. make sure your phantom power is off and you'll get better life on the unit.
    We use an Anken powerpack for powering via USB-C. It lasts a day or 2 and is lower profile than the L-Batt or AA batt adapter.
    32 bit is super nice to have! The unit worked flawlessly for a 2 week shoot in Peru at 30C weather.
    One bit of caution - I filled up an 8gb sd card and this corrupted all of the audio on the card (recoverable thanks to help from a friend, data was offset)
    My unit is also 'ghosting', the buttons are pressing themselves so the unit is on it's way back to SD for repair...
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  7. #17  
    Senior Member David Callahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akin A View Post
    Thanks, Andrew and Les.

    I now see that the Mix-Pre 3/6 II don't have a dedicated timecode-out port. If I have to use the stereo out port to send timecode to the Epic, that's a deal breaker, since I need that stereo out port to send scratch the the camera, to check playback w/ sound.

    I'm guessing a work-around would be using the Mix-Pre's headphone out port to send scratch to the Epic mic input, at the expense of quality (?), and then monitor the sound directly through the Epic's headphone output.
    If that works, it seems annoying, lol.

    I'll just stick to my current setup.
    I didn't realize the audio output and TC output were the same port. I may forgo that as I also had planned on feeding my audio into my Epic as scratch/backup if the recorder died or the files became corrupt.
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  8. #18  
    Senior Member Akin A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Callahan View Post
    I didn't realize the audio output and TC output were the same port. I may forgo that as I also had planned on feeding my audio into my Epic as scratch/backup if the recorder died or the files became corrupt.
    The waveform syncing still works well, if that's an option for you.

    But yes, I just checked the user guide. It even refers to the port as "Stereo or Timecode Output" in the II series. For a dedicated timecode-out port, the next option is the Mix-Pre 10.
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  9. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Buchan View Post
    With respect to AA power.. make sure your phantom power is off and you'll get better life on the unit.
    We use an Anken powerpack for powering via USB-C. It lasts a day or 2 and is lower profile than the L-Batt or AA batt adapter.
    32 bit is super nice to have! The unit worked flawlessly for a 2 week shoot in Peru at 30C weather.
    One bit of caution - I filled up an 8gb sd card and this corrupted all of the audio on the card (recoverable thanks to help from a friend, data was offset)
    My unit is also 'ghosting', the buttons are pressing themselves so the unit is on it's way back to SD for repair...

    Cmon Thomas splurge on that 64gb Card! ;) Have you upgraded your firmware recently to possibly fix the possible issues?
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member David Callahan's Avatar
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    You’re correct Akin. I emailed Sound Designs and they confirmed what you said. I guess for redundancy I’ll forego timecode syncing and run the sound into my Epic and sync in post. I’ve never had any real issues with that in Resolve.
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