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MixPre, 302 or FP33

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Steve Kownacki
MixPre, 302 or FP33
on Jul 30, 2005 at 6:02:19 pm

I'm in the process of adding a field mixer to my arsenal of tools. After some research I'm a bit confused and want a recommendation.

I've been renting a Shure FP33 with great results. I don't want to say price is no object but I get frustrated with low-quality tools. I saw a Rolls MX422 http://www.rolls.com, great price, but I think it's lacking features and has lower specs. I really like the Sound Devices MixPre http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mx2master.htm; but an earlier post suggested the Sound Devices 302 http://www.sounddevices.com/products/302master.htm because of its more flexible metering, its about double the cost - up in the range of the FP33. So... If I'm generally a 2-person crew, putting boom on a c-stand with a shotgun mic, feeding a mixer direct to the camera, what do you suggest?

Now for another question... In my research, I came across the below article about problems feeding the MixPre into a PD150. Typically I shoot with a DSR-300 DVCam or some sort of Betacam with PVV3. They mention the "impedence-balanced outputs" of the MixPre. What is it and will it be an issue with the cameras I currently use? I will probably use the chosen mixer with a HDV-FX1 (or whatever its called, the new sony hdv); same issue as the PD150?


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http://www.dvinfo.net/sony/articles/article08.php
This is the text from the above link

Interconnection with the MixPre Compact Mixer and other Impedance-Balanced Outputs

Because of a design-related issue with the PD150's audio inputs, its input cannot properly interface with impedance-balanced outputs like those on the the MixPre and MP-2. When used with a MixPre, a special cable is required for proper interface to the PD150. With the MixPre the interconnection to the PD150 will be at microphone level using a cable wired to attenuate the MixPre output by 55 dB. As shown in the table above, there is no dynamic range penalty using a mic level input to the PD150. When connecting the MixPre to the PD150, connect as follows:
1 Set the PD150 inputs to mic level, without attenuation and without phantom power.
2 Connect from the XLR output(s) of the MixPre to the XLR input(s) on the camera with a cable wired as shown:

(the female XLR (MixPre output) with the pin 1 and 3 joined; pin 1 then feeds pin 1 of the male; the addition of a 75kOhm resistor between pin 2 of the female and male XLRs; and a 150 Ohn resistor placed after the 75kOhm resistor and pin 1 and 3 of the male XLR (to the cam) are joined.)

3 Turn off the AGC on the PD150 inputs.
4 Turn on the MixPre's limiter and set the limiter threshold to the fully clockwise position (factory default).
5 Set the camera gain to the unity position.

The above interconnection will ensure that the mixer will not overload the camera's audio inputs. Besides the benefit of lower noise gain provided by the MixPre (the MixPre has considerably better EIN, equivalent input noise, than the camera) the MixPre has its breadth of routing and monitoring features that are important for production applications.
###

Thanks for the wisdom,
Steve


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre, 302 or FP33
on Aug 1, 2005 at 2:28:13 am

Fascinating. I hadn't seen this.

Ty Ford


Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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Peter Perry
Re: MixPre, 302 or FP33
on Aug 1, 2005 at 10:51:17 pm

I hadn't either....thanks for the heads up.
Peter


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Steve Kownacki
Re: MixPre, 302 or FP33, HOLY CROW
on Aug 2, 2005 at 3:43:26 am

So I'm diggin' round the Sound Devices site - what a wealth of tech info there! http://www.sounddevices.com/tech/index.html

I found an updated version of the notes I first posted, here's the interesting comment... "NOTE: MixPre's with serial numbers greater than 0507 use active-balanced output drivers and can be connected to the PD150 in the same manner as with the 442. See MixPre Changes for more information on production changes." GEEEZZZZ! Here's the full link http://www.sounddevices.com/tech/pd150.htm and here's the reason they changed the output structure http://www.sounddevices.com/tech/mixpre_changes.htm .

They gave a pretty good explanation of 'impedence balanced' too. So, I know you shouldn't assume, but I will assume that 'Active-Balanced' and 'Transformer-Balanced" mean the same (as the 422 and the FP33 are transformer balanced outs) and that any new MixPre I buy will not have the oddball 'impedence balanced' outputs required for the smaller cameras.

I've decided to get the MixPre, BTW.
Steve
ps-sorry about not copying the links correctly in the orig post. And when doing web research, "Eight Legged Freaks" is a must-see!


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre, 302 or FP33, HOLY CROW
on Aug 3, 2005 at 11:17:25 am

I may be wrong, but I think Active Balanced refers to certain active circuitry deesigned to balance the audio.

Transformer balanced means just that, a transformer.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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