The new Sound Devices 664 production mixer will make its first professional audio debut at the 133rd AES Convention this week in San Francisco 2012 (booth 934).
The flagship 664 mixer offers expanded input/output connectivity and recording capabilities, along with greater flexibility and ease-of-use. Its six input channels have dedicated controls for trim, fader, pan and PFL. The inputs and four output buses are all recordable, for a total of 10 tracks of recording.
The 664 contains six ultra-low noise, high-dynamic range and transformer-less preamps, which accept mic- or line-level signals and include analog peak limiters, high-pass filters, input trim control and direct outputs on every channel.
Featuring full analog audio paths for high-performance audio and superb power efficiency, the 664 also has numerous digital capabilities. Inputs 1 and 6 can be selected as AES3 or AES42 inputs for digital microphones, each with its own SRC for simplicity in system clocking.
The analog output compliment includes four output buses. The L and R buses are on balanced XLR, 10-Pin and TA-3M connectors; unbalanced on TA-3M or 3.5mm connectors. Secondary output buses X1 and X2 are available on balanced TA-3M connectors. Inputs and buses can be routed to four AES3 connections for eight digital outputs on the XLR and 10-pin connectors.
The 664 can record up to 10 tracks of 16- or 24-bit broadcast WAV files to SD and/or CompactFlash cards. All inputs and outputs are individually selectable for recording, enabling the mixer to record all 10 channels of audio. With its dual card slots, content can be recorded to either or both cards simultaneously, with the added ability to assign different tracks to each memory card.
The 664 includes a high-precision, Ambient-based time-code generator/reader for multi-camera and double-system sound applications. All common production time-code rates and modes are supported.
Sound Devices also introduces a companion accessory, the CL-6 input expander for the 664, which is designed specifically to add six analog line-level inputs to the mixer.
With the CL-6 attached, the direct output connectors are available as inputs, controlled by faders located on the CL-6 front panel.
The CL-6 also offers additional LED output metering and duplicate-recording transport controls. With the 664 connected to the CL-6 users can now record all 12 input channels and four outputs, for a total of 16 tracks.
The 664 features an abundance of connectivity options in addition to the main audio I/O, catering to the complex productions becoming more common today.
It has expanded return-monitoring capabilities, with three separate camera returns as well as a dedicated private-line communications connection. The 664, like the 552, has a built-in slate microphone and tone oscillator, and includes a dedicated input for an external slate mike. The internal or external slate mike can be routed to either outputs or to the dedicated comm output.
The 664 can easily build a private-line communication with a comm return input, separate from camera returns.
“Our customers are looking for more inputs, connectivity, flexibility and power in the field,” says Jon Tatooles, managing director, Sound Devices. “We have taken the strengths and knowledge gained from our existing mixer line and continue to evolve the technology to meet the growing needs of sound mixers. The 664 is how we see the future of high-performance field mixers; they need to have recording capabilities in order to be a fully functional tool in the field.”
The front panel of the 664 has an intuitive LCD menu enabling users to simply adjust input settings. It also offers the capability to see how an input is routed and connected when its settings are altered.
The LCD display also allows users to quickly activate the individual tracks that are to be recorded. Dedicated front panel controls are provided for gain, trim and faders, as well as full-size XLR connectors. The mixer is powered by five AA batteries or external DC power.
The 664’s top and bottom chassis panels are made from molded, metalized carbon fiber for superior durability and weight reduction. The chassis panels are also gasketed for water resistance.