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    Will intense level overages hurt a pre-amp recorder?
    #1
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    I plugged my MixPre 6 into the soundboard at the wedding to capture toasts, which it did brilliantly. In the chaos I didn't get it unplugged and stopped for about an hour after that - it kept recording the output into the dance party, which obviously levels went through the roof. Even 32 bit float couldn't rescue that! (Nor did it need to, of course).

    My question is simply, can this sort of hot input over time (like an hour of hot audio like this) maxxing out the limiters on the MixPre 6 do damage to the hardware? Or is it totally fine, only resulting in clipped audio?


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    #2
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    Perhaps email SD?
    You’d think as long as you don’t exceed input analog voltage specs there’d be no issue.


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    #3
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    Would be an interesting test for the 32bit float effectiveness. Did you try a serious rescue of the clips just to see if it was possible? I thought they were supposed to be un-clippable.


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    #4
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    SD said it would be fine but I wanted to check with pros,

    I’ll try a serious recovery


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    #5
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    Good to hear about the unit!


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    #6
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    Welp, all the 32-bit float blasted out audio is still there and sounds perfect after being normalized in Adobe Audition... impressed. The levels difference was massive.


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    #7
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    Never had any preamp ever damaged by over level. It's the combination of voltage and current availability that damages equipment. You would also know about it straight away!


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    #8
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    Cool to hear about the clips being not only usable but perfect. Sheds some light on why one might want to go with a 32bit float recorder - Insurance! If you had needed those clips it would be a lifesaver. It appears audio quality is not so much different but ease of use and insurance tip the scale. Thanks for the report!


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    #9
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    Sure thing. Now that I've tasted and seen... I don't think I could ever go back to non 32 bit. We've come up with a lot of solutions (ALC, digital limiters, dedicated sound folk) to protect us. At the price of a MixPre 3, if you don't need the extra channels, I can't fathom why you would ever not use 32-bit. The file sizes are tiny in the grand scheme, you can drop it DIRECT into premiere to be treated as a 24-bit file (from what I can see, you have to go to audition to recover - but I'm sure that will change within a year)... and you basically have the impossibility of clipping your audio. With no loss in quality that I can detect. As a OMB it is such a mental freedom to know that if I just set my levels about right I can focus on the interview itself, or the shoot itself, with no further worries about sound levels.


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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    Never had any preamp ever damaged by over level. It's the combination of voltage and current availability that damages equipment. You would also know about it straight away!
    I'm in the process of trying to learn more about audio. Where would I run into the voltage/current issue that you speak of? When would this ever be directed towards my amp?

    I get that 48v phantom power if sent to some devices unnecessarily can damage them, but beyond that I am not sure what you are referring to and I want to learn


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