I am Albert Guimerà, from Spain and, as always, I have another sound related question.
Lately I’ve been messing with the Sound Devices MixPre 6 which my film school has just purchased and while working with it I came across something that I don’t quite understand. I hope you can help me.
The Sound Devices MixPre 6 is a 6 channel audio recorder and mixer that allows you to record 6 independent tracks plus a stereo downmix (so that would be a total of 8 tracks but only 6 of them are “good to use in sound post production”).
The recorder has 4 knobs which in basic mode are used as gain controls for channels 1 through 4 (recorders such as the zoom h5 or h6 have similar controls for their gain settings). This I understand perfectly.
However, when you put the recorder in Advanced mode, the knobs stop acting as gain controls and become faders that, when turned up or down only affect the volume of that particular channel within your downmix, they do not affect the gain of the actual channel track which is recorded separately. If you want to change the gain setting for a particular channel, you must access a submenu and change it using a small selector knob. This is not only slow but it’s also quite annoying since the recorder does not display your channel’s levels while you are changing the gain.
I talked to a fellow student friend of mine who is now a senior (I am a junior) and he told me that this is because, apparently, in pro shoots, sound recordists like to keep the same gain setting. But this doesn’t make any sense to me because, what if you go from recording a really quiet, intimate moment to a really loud moment within the space of one scene? Shouldn’t you change your gain settings to record both moments at a good level?
Other pro mixer-recorders such as the Sound Devices 788T are usually used with a channel mixer such as the CL8. This sounds logical to me because you have 8 knobs to control your gain settings and 8 more knobs to control the level of each channel within your downmix.
Could someone clarify all this for me? As you can probably tell, I am quite confused.
Thanks in advanced,