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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noiz2 View Post
    Interesting thread. The filtering makes some sense for dialog especially for a product aimed at low budget filmmaking. It would tend to minimise some of the problems inexperienced sound people often make, but I completely agree that it should be something that can be turned off.

    As a twist a good friend who is a big budget recordist got one of the earlier SD recorders and absolutely hated the sound. She thought it was too "digital and sterile", so she might actually like this EQ.

    I had always disliked the SD menu system. I find it frustrating to plow through and very counter intuitive.
    Curious what your friend prefers that sounds better? The current SD's have great headphone amps which improves perceived quality on the recorder- perhaps the earlier devices didn't? Or perhaps back then SD hadn't added their current low-mid boost high cut EQ?

    From https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...ces-722-a.html (2006):

    Nagra V - http://www.nagraaudio.com/pro/index.php
    Zaxcom Deva - http://www.zaxcom.com/
    Aaton Cantar - https://www.aaton.com/cantar-x3/overview
    Sonosax MiniR82 - http://www.sonosax.ch/


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    #12
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    Looking at the ADC spec sheet https://www.akm.com/akm/en/product/d...artno=AK5578EN :

     ● Sound Color  Four Types Digital Low-pass Filters
     - Short Delay Sharp Roll-off, GD=5/fs
     - Short Delay Slow Roll-off, GD=5/fs
     - Sharp Roll-off
     - Slow Roll-off
    Digital High-pass Filters

    ● VELVET SOUND Technology Low-distortion Technology
    The Sound Color filters are only listed as LPF/HPF: the spectral smoothing & EQ appear to be SD features ("Kashmir"?) and not part of the "Velvet Sound".


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    #13
    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcs View Post
    Curious what your friend prefers that sounds better? The current SD's have great headphone amps which improves perceived quality on the recorder- perhaps the earlier devices didn't? Or perhaps back then SD hadn't added their current low-mid boost high cut EQ?

    From https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...ces-722-a.html (2006):

    Nagra V - http://www.nagraaudio.com/pro/index.php
    Zaxcom Deva - http://www.zaxcom.com/
    Aaton Cantar - https://www.aaton.com/cantar-x3/overview
    Sonosax MiniR82 - http://www.sonosax.ch/
    What she really likes is the Nagra RtR using Nagramaster and still uses one from time to time. RtR though is just not practical most of the time. She liked the sound of the Zoom H2, which she felt was more "natural" than the SD.
    Cheers
    SK


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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcs View Post
    the spectral smoothing & EQ appear to be SD features ("Kashmir"?) and not part of the "Velvet Sound".
    I'm still interested/puzzled as to why the EQ you have noted isn't reflected in the SD spec, which shows much better linearity: Sound Devices aren't noted for publishing suspect specs, so am I missing something or what? And, as I mentioned earlier, how much discussion have you had with SD? It would interesting to understand more.

    Cheers,

    Roland


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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throwback View Post
    I'm still interested/puzzled as to why the EQ you have noted isn't reflected in the SD spec, which shows much better linearity: Sound Devices aren't noted for publishing suspect specs, so am I missing something or what? And, as I mentioned earlier, how much discussion have you had with SD? It would interesting to understand more.

    Cheers,

    Roland
    SD was informed of all these findings. I provided the serial number of the unit in case some of the issues are isolated (manufacturing). I spent many hours debugging and trying to figure out what was going on- I look forward to hearing back from them!

    Since others have noticed the EQ and reduction of detail/texture (I'd call it spectral smoothing / spectral plastic wrap since it's not just a low pass filter effect (ribbon mic sim?)), it doesn't seem like this is isolated to that particular unit. I do like the MP6 EQ vs. the Zoom F4, and the F4 sounds better when EQ'd the same way (as noted earlier in this thread). Perhaps some people like that spectral-smoothed sound; all good, just prefer to be able to turn it off since it can't be changed in post (as with EQ). Not clear why this isn't noted in their specs, seems like it's part of their "secret sauce"?

    Without an accurate known reference device, it would also be fair to say that the Zoom F4/F8 have low bass-mid and accentuated highs relative to the SD MixPre; typically called thin vs. fat sound.


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    #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noiz2 View Post
    What she really likes is the Nagra RtR using Nagramaster and still uses one from time to time. RtR though is just not practical most of the time. She liked the sound of the Zoom H2, which she felt was more "natural" than the SD.
    That's pretty cool: https://www.dandugan.com/Nagra_Master_Article.html . More discussion about velvety sound and high-rolloff. Yeah reel to reel tape has some limitations vs. the tiny recorders we have today.

    Since analog systems (tape, tube, etc.) are so popular, you'd think digital recorder makers would implement accurate filters to replicate them at the recorder level. It's possible to emulate/simulate pretty much anything now, from mics, to amps, to speakers and analog effects: https://www.fractalaudio.com/ . More sales: sell 'em as plugins for the recorder, or open up to third parties and take a cut (as with phone apps).

    Each time I've implemented real-time audio systems (PC/Mac/Phone), it so nice (fun!) to have real-time monitoring and recording of filters & effects. Having a fat-tube-tape sound live on an SD/Zoom type device would be very cool! Then you could feed that to the camera and if levels set correctly, not have to do any audio post. It's certainly possible to put analog fx between the output and into the camera- that's a lot of complexity (though could work for things we shoot in the studio on a tripod). For live streaming, OBS supports VST filters, so that's another option to get analog style fx into the mix (and of course anything goes in post).

    Or build this kind of system into the recorders: https://townsendlabs.com/products/sphere-l22/ so it's possible to live monitor with the target sound, then either bake it in to save time (or when live streaming), or allow tweaking the raw audio in post (using the same audio process).


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    #17
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I have a MixPre-6 and don't like its lack of features. I'm considering a Sound Devices 633 or Zaxcom Nova, but not sure I want to spend that kind of money since audio isn't my main gig. Would be nice to have, though.


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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    I have a MixPre-6 and don't like its lack of features. I'm considering a Sound Devices 633 or Zaxcom Nova, but not sure I want to spend that kind of money since audio isn't my main gig. Would be nice to have, though.
    +1 on this Eric. I have the MixPre-6. Used to have a 552, but that was a PITA (ie: big and heavy) for what I used it for. Something in-between a 633 and MixPre-6 would fit the bill better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcs View Post
    That's pretty cool: https://www.dandugan.com/Nagra_Master_Article.html . More discussion about velvety sound and high-rolloff. Yeah reel to reel tape has some limitations vs. the tiny recorders we have today.

    Since analog systems (tape, tube, etc.) are so popular, you'd think digital recorder makers would implement accurate filters to replicate them at the recorder level. It's possible to emulate/simulate pretty much anything now, from mics, to amps, to speakers and analog effects: https://www.fractalaudio.com/ . More sales: sell 'em as plugins for the recorder, or open up to third parties and take a cut (as with phone apps).
    ...
    My initial reaction was yes I would like that, but then I would probably never use it. I can see it as a future option on consumer recorders, because of the instant wow factor though. If I am doing the recording though I generally want the sound as "pure" as my gear can record it. If that is how it's being recorded that is the way I want to hear it. That said I am not the majority of consumers, and my "customers" are not going to want preprocessed sounds, generally.

    Where I can see it in the future though is when there is a "raw" audio format like there is for images. I might well record with a filter I thought would enhance the sound if down the line it was easy to non destructively undo that.
    Cheers
    SK


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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noiz2 View Post
    My initial reaction was yes I would like that, but then I would probably never use it. I can see it as a future option on consumer recorders, because of the instant wow factor though. If I am doing the recording though I generally want the sound as "pure" as my gear can record it. If that is how it's being recorded that is the way I want to hear it. That said I am not the majority of consumers, and my "customers" are not going to want preprocessed sounds, generally.

    Where I can see it in the future though is when there is a "raw" audio format like there is for images. I might well record with a filter I thought would enhance the sound if down the line it was easy to non destructively undo that.
    I thought of this after testing the MixPre-6 vs. the F4: the MP6 just sounds better live (EQ + better headphone amp). I've been doing tests on the computer with Logic X using a variety of effects which run with very low latency- I think it enhances the vocal performance when it sounds better / cooler / fatter / <insert favorite audio adjective here>. Same reason we switch mics & mic position for different speakers / singers: just sounds better live: helps the performance IMO.

    To your point, they could offer live EQ + filters on the device, then record raw (or raw + cooked), and offer VST/AU/RTAS plugins for post. Even store metadata so plugins in post can read and match custom settings.

    I heard back from SD tech support- they are open to working on the suggested changes; hopefully we'll see (hear!) them sooner vs. later- really think the MixPre can be a great tool for us when they do.


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