Smooth Sound for Wedding Videos

Review by Erik Vlietinck

Sound Devices is renowned for its range of professional sound-mixing and -recording equipment for the movie and broadcast markets. We had the opportunity to try out a more entry-level MixPre-6, a recorder that can handle six input channels and four output channels. It’s perfect for documentary makers and wedding photographers who want to deliver the best sound to go with their video.

MixPre recorders have Sound Devices’ Kashmir pre-amps on board, which deliver a smooth, clear, brilliant, high-quality sound. It’s one of the main reasons why anyone serious about sound quality should consider this recorder. From the MixPre-6 and higher, you also get a full 192-kHz sample rate at a 24-bit depth.

The device can be triggered by a timecode capable camera, such as the Sony A7s and Panasonic GH4/GH5, and it adapts to whatever environment you throw at it. I doubt if there’s any situation where the MixPre wouldn’t deliver.

The device is surprisingly small and lightweight when powered by its standard four AA cells. It has four (phantom-power-capable) XLR inputs, two channels that accept a mini-jack, a micro-HDMI port for timecode recordings, and a USB port that also accepts input, e.g. from a computer.

There are six isolated tracks on which to record. I first tested the MixPre-6 with three microphones: two sE Electronics sE2200a large-diaphragm condenser mics and a video mic. For all my tests, I put the MixPre-6 in Advanced mode, but for beginners it’s best to start in the stereo-only Basic mode. Advanced mode gives you loads of control over your recordings, but can be a little daunting at first.

The Kashmir pre-amps are really wonderful. They have a –130 dB noise floor, and the sound you get from them is very silky, warm but not overdone, clear, detailed, and with just the right amount of lows. ■