Pro Audio at Consumer Price: Review of MixPre-3 from Sound Devices

The MixPre-3 is a pro audio device that serves as a mixer, recorder and audio interface. What makes the MixPre-3, and it’s big brother, the MixPre-6, unique in comparison to other field recorders/interfaces in their price range, is the ability to perform both tasks, recording and working as your audio interface, at the same time.

The MixPre-3’s multitasking capabilities are extremely useful for podcasters and live streamers who want to capture a high-quality local audio recording (in the MixPre) while streaming audio to their computer using the MixPre as an audio interface.

Sound Devices is a company with a strong reputation for making extremely high-quality audio gear that is portable and durable. The MixPre-3 measure up to this reputation. It serves as the audio hub of both my home studio and mobile rig.

The MixPre-3 is optimized to work as a field recorder for video shoots and can be paired with camcorders, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, or any other camera that has an audio input, to stream or record video and audio synced up through the camera. It also has time code for syncing your recording in the MixPre with the video recorded in the camera.

The MixPre line features Kashmir preamps for your microphones. The preamps are super quiet and powerful, providing more than enough clean gain for dynamic broadcasting microphones. The analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters are top rate and the headphone amp makes anything you listen to through the MixPre sound good.

The MixPre also has analog limiters to prevent your audio from peaking (distorting) if the levels get too hot (too loud). Analog limiters are superior to digital limiters as they prevent the distortion from taking place rather than attempt, with less than stellar results, to fix it after the fact.

While the price of the MixPre-3 may sound high at first ($649), you must factor in the cost of buying products that fill the same roles as the MixPre: a mixer, audio interface and field recorder plus a mic activator (e.g. Cloud Lifter) for additional gain for your preamps. Then consider that the MixPre-3 does it all at a pro audio level with durability to last decades and a wealth of features to cover almost any situation. Check out the MixPre-3.

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