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I have recently bought the Sound Devices MixPre-3 II* to take better audio for my videos which I take with my Sony A7 III*. The microphones I have used are the Audio-Technica BP4025* and the Sennheiser MKE Essential Omni Lavalier* which I have connected to my Rode Wireless Go Kit. The Sennheiser MKE Essential Omni has a higher input voltage than the output voltage of the Rode Wireless Go but it seems to work if I switch the input level to very high on the Rode Wireless Go. The Sennheiser Lavalier also works great when connected directly to the MixPre-3 II. Here is a video where I first talk into the Lavalier-Rode combination and later on record with the BP4025 directly into the MixPre-3 II:
Timecode and 32-bit
Some prefer to have a matched timecode between the Sony camera and the MixPre-3 II audio recorder. I have tried this as well and it works with the Atomos HDMI cable*. However, I have also tried to synchronize audio and video through Final Cut Pro and it works really well without synchronized timecode as it compares the audio waves of the audio in the video and the external audio file to find a match.
Regarding 32-bit – Final Cut Pro and Lumafusion which I use occasionally on my mobile devices are able to handle 32-bit files. If you try to avoid clipping then recording in 32-bit offers the advantage that you don’t need to adjust the gain in the field which could save you some time.
Windjammer and headphones
For my Audio-Technica BP4025, I am using a fur windjammer from Audio-Technica. Moreover, I have also purchased a Sennheiser HD-25* headphone, which I connect to my MixPre-3 II recorder.
Recording stereo nature sound
Recently, I started with a new hobby – recording nature sound in stereo. Previously, I have always used my Sennheiser MKE 600* to record nature sound but I got interested in stereo ambient sound recording. I don’t have much experience in recording yet but after reading several blogs I learned that I can attach my Clippy Stereo EM172 like ears on a tree. The tree serves as a human head. In general, I was interested in a lightweight setup and that’s why I think the Clippy Stereo EM172 is one of the best solutions for me.
However, most recently I have replaced the FEL Clippy Stereo EM172 with the Audio-Technica BP4025 as it produces better audio quality and less noise. Moreover, the setup is much easier to handle as the two mics are built into one microphone. The disadvantage is, however, that I don’t get a full omnidirectional recording but more an extended stereo recording – which is fine for me as I can direct the microphone to a certain point.
Here is my video about the first generation MixPre-3:
I found the Sound Devices MixPre-3 II the perfect audio recorder. It’s small, solid, and can be powered with normal batteries but also with a USB Power Bank such as the Anker Power Core+*. The advantage of the new MixPre-3 II, which replaced my old MixPre-3 is that it can record in 32-bit, meaning that I don’t need to care so much about the gain level and can adjust the gain in post-production without getting much more noise. Moreover, I also like that you can create a backup of your audio files on a USB thumb drive*.
If you find the MixPre-3 II too bulky then you could also try the new Zoom F2 audio recorder which also records in 32-bit. However, this device has only a 3.5mm jack so you would need an additional adapter to connect a microphone with a XLR microphone. Also, you should consider buying a microphone which has it’s own battery such as the Rode VideoMic NTG*.
And here is the audio file where I recorded with the MixPre-3 and Clippy Stereo EM172:
You can find a list of my camera gear here.