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Sound Devices MixPre-3 3-Channel / 5-Track Multi-Track Field Recorder

BH #SOMIXPRE3 • MFR #MIXPRE-3
Sound Devices
Sound Devices MixPre-3 3-Channel / 5-Track Multi-Track Field Recorder
Key Features
  • Location Recording & Filmmaking
  • Analog Limiters & Low-Cut Filters
  • 3 x High-Gain, Low-Noise Mic Preamps
  • Records 3 Inputs & Stereo Mix
For independent filmmakers, field recordists, and podcasters who need pristine audio capture of up to three microphones, the Sound Devices MixPre-3 multi-track field recorder is an ideal tool. Record up to three tracks of external sources plus a stereo mix at up to 24-bit / 96 kHz, and route the mix to your camera or DSLR while monitoring the stereo mix or separate channels through headphones. Thanks to its handles and integrated 1/4"-20 threads, the MixPre-3 can be placed in a sound bag, attached to a camera/tripod, or even slung from a shoulder/neck strap.
Discontinued

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Sound Devices MixPre-3 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Basic, Advanced, and Custom Operating Modes
  • 3User Presets for Fast Configuration
  • 4Simultaneous 5-Track Recording
  • 5Audio Interface Functionality
  • 6Three XLR Mic/Line Inputs with Independent Phantom Power
  • 7Multifunction 3.5mm Aux/Mic Input
  • 83.5mm Line and Headphone Outputs
  • 9Supports SDXC Cards up to 512GB
  • 10Powered via Batteries, AC Adapter, or USB
  • 11Timecode Synchronization
  • 12Ideal for Sound Bag or Camera-Mount Configurations
  • 13Powerful Wireless/Wired External Remote Control
  • 14Expandable Functionality
  • 15Additional Features

For independent filmmakers, field recordists, and podcasters who need pristine audio capture of up to three microphones, the Sound Devices MixPre-3 multi-track field recorder is an ideal tool. Record up to three tracks of external sources plus a stereo mix at up to 24-bit / 96 kHz, and route the mix to your camera or DSLR while monitoring the stereo mix or separate channels through headphones. Thanks to its handles and integrated 1/4"-20 threads, the MixPre-3 can be placed in a sound bag, attached to a camera/tripod, or even slung from a shoulder/neck strap.

In addition to the large channel knobs and transport controls, a sunlight-readable color touchscreen ensures user-friendly access to all settings. Basic, Advanced, and Custom operating modes allow you to instantly reconfigure the MixPre-3 for different applications, making it equally useful for beginners and experienced professionals. From the three high-gain, low-noise Kashmir mic preamps to the extremely powerful headphone amplifier, everything about the MixPre-3 is optimized for peak audio performance and maximum workflow efficiency. Accurate timecode synchronization and numerous powering options make the MixPre-3 adept at handling the varied demands of modern productions. For enhanced operating convenience, you can control the MixPre-3 wirelessly via the Wingman iOS/Android app or from a compatible USB-connected MIDI controller.

Basic, Advanced, and Custom Operating Modes

Use the default Basic mode for hassle-free, plug-and-play use. New users will appreciate basic functionality minus the distraction of superfluous settings. In Basic mode, the MixPre-3 records the stereo mix at 48 kHz, and the only levels you adjust are the channel knobs.

Select Advanced mode for access to every customizable setting on the MixPre-3. Veterans can take advantage of complete personalization according to their unique needs. In Advanced mode, the MixPre-3 can record all three channels to individual tracks, and record the stereo mix to two tracks, all at rates up to 24-bit / 96 kHz. Gain-staging in this mode involves using the menu for preamp gain while the channel knobs determine the mix balance.

Switch to Custom mode to turn different sections of Advanced mode on or off in the user interface for an operating experience that never slows you down.

User Presets for Fast Configuration

To simplify reconfiguration for a variety of situations, the MixPre-3 supports presets, which store and recall all MixPre-3 settings. Save four presets to the MixPre-3's internal memory, and store virtually unlimited presets on an SD card. Once you set up and save some presets, you'll be able to switch from podcasting to location mixing to concert recording in a flash.

Simultaneous 5-Track Recording

Record all three input channels and your stereo mix at the same time in 44.1, 48, or 96 kHz resolution. The MixPre-3 utilizes BWF (Broadcast WAV) files that support embedded timecode and extensive metadata such as track names, file names, and notes. You can even hook up a USB keyboard for quick entry of metadata text. Built with precision 32-bit A/D converters, the MixPre-3 ensures audio recordings surpass those of off-the-shelf, IC-based mic preamps.

Audio Interface Functionality

When connected to a Mac or Windows computer, the MixPre-3 can serve as a 5-input / 2-output USB audio interface for your favorite audio recording software. Whether you use 44.1, 48, or 96 kHz, this can also be done while recording to an SD card in the MixPre-3 for safe, redundant recording. Need to make a backup of your SD card files? The MixPre-3 allows you to efficiently transfer files via a USB 2.0 connection to your computer.

Three XLR Mic/Line Inputs with Independent Phantom Power

The MixPre-3's Kashmir preamps deliver premium amplification with a massive 76 dB of maximum gain and an ultra-low noise level of -128 dBu. Three locking XLR 3-pin inputs, with per-channel 48V phantom power, support mic level and +4 dBu line level to accommodate external microphones or balanced outputs from high-end wireless receivers. Independently switchable polarity, analog limiting, and low-cut filtering allow you to tailor each channel for the best tone. Plus, three dedicated channel knobs with LED rings ensure fast mixing on the fly.

Multifunction 3.5mm Aux/Mic Input

A single 3.5mm mini jack serves several input functions. Through the menu system, it can be assigned to Mic, Line, Camera, or Timecode mode and routed to channel inputs as necessary. Use Mic mode if you need to hook up a lavalier mic that requires plug-in power. Line mode is ideal for recording the output of a smartphone or stereo line-level source. Switch to Camera mode to monitor the audio return from a camera or DSLR, or select Timecode mode to accept SMPTE LTC (linear timecode) at the 3.5mm input.

3.5mm Line and Headphone Outputs

The MixPre-3's two 3.5mm outputs offer simultaneous hookup to your camera and headphones. Send any channel (pre- or post-fade), the aux input, a USB source, or the stereo mix from either or both line-out channels to your camera's input. Whether your camera has a mic- or line-level input, the MixPre-3's -40 to +20 dB output gain range lets you set a proper level. The headphone output is driven by a high-power, audiophile-grade headphone amplifier, and offers its own adjustable volume and a selectable source—choose from the main mix in stereo or mono, USB channel 1 or 2, or user presets 1-4.

Supports SDXC Cards up to 512GB

For extended recording time in standard or high resolution, the MixPre-3 supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards (up to 512GB capacity). With a 32GB card, the MixPre-3 can record five tracks for over six hours at 24-bit / 96 kHz using the uncompressed, BWF-compliant WAV format.

Powered via Batteries, AC Adapter, or USB

When it comes to power options, the MixPre-3 has plenty. Use four alkaline or NiMH AA batteries in the provided 4-AA sled, opt for eight alkaline or NiMH AA batteries in an 8-AA sled, or go for one or two Sony-type L-mount batteries in an L-mount sled (all batteries, 8-AA sled, and L-mount sled available separately).

Alternatively, power the MixPre-3 via a USB Type-C or USB Type-A connection to a computer or an AC wall adapter. The MixPre-3 will automatically switch to battery power if USB Type-C powering is interrupted.

Timecode Synchronization

Timecode from a camera or master TC clock can be patched into the MixPre-3's HDMI Type-D jack or 3.5mm aux input. In either case, the MixPre-3 automatically detects the incoming timecode frame rate and stamps the recorded files accordingly. Another option is TOD (Time of Day) mode, which stamps recordings with the time of day derived from the MixPre-3's built-in date/time clock. TOD mode is used to log the time of each recording, not to synchronize files or devices.

Ideal for Sound Bag or Camera-Mount Configurations

The rugged, compact, and lightweight MixPre-3 is compatible with common setups. With all audio and power connections on the side panels, it fits handily in sound bags. Male and female 1/4"-20 threads on the top and bottom panels support tripod- or camera-mounted arrangements.

Powerful Wireless/Wired External Remote Control

Thanks to its built-in Bluetooth capabilities, the MixPre-3 supports wireless remote control via the Wingman iOS/Android app, which displays high-resolution meters, current timecode, transport buttons, and more.

For tactile mixing and transport control, connect a compatible USB MIDI controller such as Korg's nanoKONTROL Studio or nanoKONTROL 2, the Novation Launch Control XL, or the Akai MIDImix.

Expandable Functionality

Buy the Musician Plug-In from the Sound Devices online store to add in-unit music recording to your MixPre-3. The Musician Plug-In adds built-in features and effects like overdub, reverb, and vocal air. Create Music Projects to lay down backing tracks and use them live or at home for writing or practicing.

Additional Features

  • Easy configuration—press a channel knob for immediate access to that channel’s settings via the color touchscreen
  • Illuminated record, play, and stop buttons
  • All inputs fully RF-filtered and overload protected
  • Digital output limiters
  • Prerecord buffer captures up to five seconds of audio before the record button is pressed
  • Press-and-hold on headphone encoder for fast-speed scrubbing forward or backward
  • Supports automatic record start/stop triggering via timecode
  • Test tone for synchronizing files in post-production
  • Customize names and notes per track
  • Dedicated Q icon in home screen for easy creation of up to 99 cue marks per file
  • MS decoding function allows proper stereo monitoring of a mid-side mic configuration
  • Switchable bell sound in headphones for record and stop operations
  • Compatible with USB keyboards for fast track naming
UPC: 854454006237

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Specs

Portable Recorder
Number of Tracks5 (3 Inputs + Stereo Mix)
Max Sample Rate/Resolution96 kHz / 24-Bit
MicrophoneNone
Built-In SpeakerNo
Display1.6" / 4.06 cm Color LCD Touchscreen (Backlit)
Memory Card SupportSD (Up to 2 GB)
SDHC (4 GB to 32 GB)
SDXC (64 GB to 512 GB)
Internal StorageNone
Recording
Audio File FormatsBWF, WAV
Sample Rates44.1 / 48 / 96 kHz
Bit Depth16 / 24-Bit
32-Bit (AD/DA Conversion)
Signal Processing & FXLimiter, Low-Cut Filter
Timecode SupportYes
Frame Rates Supported23.976 / 24 / 25 / 29.97 / 29.97 DF / 30
Recording TimeWAV 44.1 kHz/16-Bit:
1 Hr 34.5 Mins per GB (Stereo)
38 Mins per GB (All Channels)
WAV 48 kHz/24-Bit:
58 Mins per GB (Stereo)
23 Mins per GB (All Channels)
WAV 96 kHz/24-Bit:
29 Mins per GB (Stereo)
11.5 Mins per GB (All Channels)
Connectivity
Analog I/O3 x XLR 3-Pin Female Active-Balanced Line/Mic Input (Lockable)
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Female Unbalanced Camera/Line/Mic Input
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Female Unbalanced Line Output
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Female Unbalanced Headphone Output
Digital I/O1 x HDMI Type-D Timecode Input
Phantom Power+48 V (Selectable on Individual Inputs)
Phantom Power Current10 mA per Channel
Plug-In PowerYes, 3 V
Host Connection1 x USB Type-A (Control, Text Entry)
1 x USB Type-C (I/O, USB 2.0)
BluetoothBluetooth (Remote)
Performance
Frequency Response10 Hz to 40 kHz ±0.5 dB (at 96 kHz)
Gain/Trim RangeMic Inputs:
+6 to +76 dB
Line Inputs:
-20 to +30 dB
Fader:
Up to +20 dB
Headphone Outputs:
Up to +20 dB
Recorder Max:
+96 dB
Max Input LevelMic Inputs:
+14 dBu
Line Inputs:
+40 dBu
Mic/Aux Inputs:
+10 dBu
Max Output LevelLine Outputs:
+7.8 dBu
Headphone Output Power300 mW per Channel
Dynamic RangeA/D Converters:
120 dBA
D/A Converters:
115 dBA
ImpedanceMic/Line Inputs:
4 Kilohms
Mic/Aux Inputs:
100 Kilohms
Outputs:
500 Ohms
THD0.005%
EIN-128 dBu (A-Weighted)
Power
Power OptionsBatteries, USB Bus Power, AC/DC Power Adapter
Battery Type4 x AA (Not Included)
8 x AA (Requires Optional Equipment)
2 x L Series (Requires Optional Equipment, Hot-Swappable)
AC/DC Power AdapterVDC Not Included
Physical
Mounting Options1/4"-20 Male (Top)
1/4"-20 Female (Bottom)
Operating Temperature-4 to 140°F / -20 to 60°C
Storage Temperature-40 to 185°F / -40 to 85°C
Operating Humidity0 to 90%
Dimensions5.7 x 4.4 x 1.4" / 144 x 110 x 36 mm
Weight16.8 oz / 0.5 kg (without Batteries)
Packaging Info
Package Weight2.38 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)10.5 x 7.4 x 4.15"

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Reviews

Best value in field recording

By Allen
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2019-12-15

I’ve been the owner of several low cost field mixers including those from tascam and zoom. I also produce shoots that include professional audio professionals using sound devices higher end products. For personal projects, I decided to grab a mix pre 3 and have not been disappointed!! Every other recorder I’ve owned has had marginally decent preamps and signal processing but over time you could tell that the electronic components were weakening. The sound quality reduced and inevitably buttons and other parts falling off. It takes a bit of adjusting to get iso tracks and I’ve not been able to get the timecode into it from my camera but feel like I’ll get that figured out soon. I purchased the l series battery sled which is an extremely nice upgrade especially if these are batteries you use for other things. You can record for hours on one of these. The battery sled design is a bit cumbersome to affix and detach and both this and the included AA sled relies on a simple plastic flexible latch which I hope lasts a long time. The pre-amps on this are legendary and I actually got rid of my desktop preamps in lieu of using this recorder for everything. Highly reccomended.

Excellent for Youtube Video

By Hugo
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-07-29

I have only used the basic mode. So far, so great. The interface is very lucid, the timecode function (from the C100) worked, and the preamps sound great. A huge improvement from the camera audio recording.

Thoughtfully Engineered and Highly Functional

By Charles
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-05-30

There's a lot to love about this compact recorder. The pre-amps are clean and rich, the controls are easy to use, and it's size is great for working in small spaces. It's clear from the design that a lot of thoughtful engineering went into it- for example, there's a place hidden in the battery compartment for storing a key to engage and tighten the threaded screw which normally hides inside the device. While it does go through batteries pretty quickly if you're using phantom power, the device does alert users when the batteries are running low, saving me from nasty surprises. It's a good choice for beginners who want good sound or seasoned pros who need something a little smaller.

Eats batteries for breakfast...

By Glen
Rated 1 out of 5
Date: 2018-05-29

Totally unusable for us. �We currently use an Edirol R44 which has great pre-amps and lasts 4 hours on four AA batteries. � We upgraded to the MixPre-3 for it's smaller size and ability to interface via the mobile app. �Unfortunately saying the battery life is abysmal is an understatement. �Four AA batteries were drained in less than 15 minutes, all the while I was just familiarizing myself with the menus. �I thought I had made a mistake and put used batteries in it- swapped it with four fresh AA batteries (confirmed with a battery tester) and I got about the same amount of time before I got the battery warning light flashing. � Granted this unit has brighter lights on it's buttons and a full color screen. �I expected it to use batteries at a faster rate than our R44 but not this fast. �Using the out of the box quad AA cartridge it's essentially unusable in the field. � I could upgrade to the L-series carriage but then I would lose one of the benefits I purchased it for- �it's small size.

Downgrade

By journey
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2019-02-06

The preamps are quiet, but it colors differently to Sound Devices 7xx models. I have a 702 and 788t which give much more neutral and better-sounding recordings using high-end mics.  I like that it is smaller and can even live with the short battery life. Not the sound. If this had the old preamps, it would be perfect. Im sticking to the 7xx model for now.

This thing is great.

By Allison
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-11-27

Its really that simple. Touch screen. Color. The nobs light up. Powered by USB-C. New pre-amp. Awesome.

It's just great. I love it with all my heart. Buy it.

By Kyle
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-10-23

It's just so much better than any other recorder I've used. It was worth the price. Sound is amazing, so much so that when I use something else I wonder what's wrong. Construction is excellent. There are some things that are a little awkward, like the battery situation, but these don't amount to much. If you're looking to record up to 3 devices and you can afford it, you should jump in.

what iv been nissing all along. amazing.

By Robert
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-09-17

grab one of these Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C to power the mix pre for more than 7 hours . this recorder has amazing pre amp and amazing anolog limiter. I use this to get amazing audio quality for live events and also for boom testimonial recordings.

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Date published: 2019-12-18

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I'll traveling light and won't need an official field bag for the MixPre-3. Can anyone recommend a simple, small, snug bag? (I gather it does not come with a bag or case - please correct me if I'm wrong.)
Asked by: David
Mine did not come with a case. I have a lot of small bags that I just chose one of them that fit. I am very happy with the MixPre-3.
Answered by: Anonymous
Date published: 2019-08-06

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Is it feasible/realistic to use this device as an dedicated, always-on audio interface for a computer?
Asked by: henry
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Date published: 2019-04-25

Does this device tell you your battery level?

Does this device tell you your battery level?
Asked by: Shawn
The display includes an icon of the battery which incrementally changes from all green to percentages of green and white, etc.. Not a percentage or hour meter as far as I can tell.
Answered by: David
Date published: 2019-01-31

question

I see on your site (Sound Devices) that you support the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB option. About how long will that run the Sound Devices MixPre-3? And any suggestions on mounting it? Velcro?Also, in this Q&A you've mentioned that the Sony L-series battery sled option - you've mentioned all day use with that, but is that estimate using 2 of the big f970 batteries or what?Finally, any update on release date now that it's June?
Asked by: Jamie
Using a Strut bag, they include a piece of Velcro to stick to the Anker battery, then the bottom of the bag opens to wrap the battery like a hot dog, if you will.
Answered by: Patrick
Date published: 2018-12-29

question

Can all three XLR channels be linked for a double-mid-side setup?
Asked by: Kevin R.
Hi Kevin,The MixPre-3 can link 1/2 or 1/2MS, but not 1-3. The MixPre-6 however does allow you to link 1-3 at either at the fader, or all gain stages.
Answered by: SD Tech Support Sound Devices Expert
Date published: 2018-08-27

question

Will an HDMI splitter cable work to split the timecode signal from my camera to both the MixPre-3 and an external monitor?
Asked by: Nick M.
I am not aware of any HDMI splitters that will perform this task reliably.
Answered by: Mark S.
Date published: 2018-08-27

question

Will there be an option for additional phantom power voltage settings (12v, 24v)?
Asked by: Justin
Hello! I have not used the mixpre as I am returning it (not for reasons related to the product, which I consider great for its price!), but I am pretty sure it only does 48V phantom. I understand the need for 12V if you have old mics that use that standard, but it's now rare to find devices that feed voltages other than 48V. The Sound Devices 442 and 302 have the 12V option though.
Answered by: Danilo B.
Date published: 2018-08-27
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