It’s a fine line in audio production between getting the job done and going overboard preparing for every possible contingency. Personally, I’ve always loved using Sound Devices mixers and recorders in demanding settings where they are required, but for my average day-to-day use as a freelance audio tech, they’re honestly a bit more than I typically need.
A few years ago I sold my Sound Devices 442 in favor of a Tascam DR-70, simply because the 442 was being left home too often due to its size and lack of a built-in recorder. At the time, I couldn’t justify buying the new 663, as I don’t do enough “bag work” to offset the cost of such an expensive pro recorder.
Overall, I’ve been very happy using units from Tascam, Zoom and similar recorders; they really are a great value. In some situations though, I find myself longing for a handful of additional options and a bit more flexibility — more recording formats, the ability to create and record a Left/Right mix, having timecode inputs and being able to use the same unit as a computer interface while traveling are all currently on the top of my list for an upgrade.
When the opportunity came up to borrow a MixPre-6 for a few days for a first-hand look, I couldn’t turn it down. I’ve only seen these in person briefly before, so this is a very real first look from someone who is seriously considering spending his own money on something like this in the very near future. Stay tuned for more MixPre videos in the future as I use it more and get to know it better.