The Sound Devices MixPres have three operating modes: Basic Mode, Advanced Mode, and Custom Mode. Here's a really good way to think about this. If you're new to audio and don't know gain staging, or signal routing, or why you wouldn't want to screen [SP] tracks, then Basic Mode is for you. The Mix-Pres ship in Basic Mode, so the very first time you turn it on, you're ready to record in Basic Mode. Very little set up is required. If you know how to properly set up gain, know signal routing, know why you'd want or need time code, and how to use it, or a myriad of other things, Advanced Mode is for you. If you want to completely customize your own user experience, then Custom Mode is the way to go.
In Basic Mode, the recorders only record a left-right mix. They do not record to isolated tracks. This means that if you use all four XLR inputs on the MixPre-6 in Basic Mode, you'll be mixing those down to a left-center-right two-channel mix track. You don't get to have the individual inputs on their own tracks in Basic Mode. If you want discrete, isolated tracks, then you need to be in Advanced or Custom Mode. When you record ISO tracks, the tracks will record the audio signal that is post-gain but pre-fader to the isolated track. This is what we call pre-fader or pre-fade recording. However, you can have the ISO tracks be post-fader. You need to be in Custom Mode and enable advanced settings for both "Channel" and "Record." This makes the ISO tracks post-fader. In Advanced Mode, the MixPres are configured as either five or eight-channel recorders depending on which one you have. With user-selectable sample rates and bit [inaudible 00:01:56], you can arm individual tracks as you need them. You also have separate control over the trim control which is the gain, as well as fader control. The stereo outputs are located on the left side panel via a stereo mini connector. The outputs menu is available in Advanced Mode only and has some great routing capabilities. It is here that you can route any channel, aux input, USB input, or stereo mix to either the left, or the right, or both of the stereo outputs. You can also select if these outputs are pre-fader or post-fader. You also have gain adjustment of the stereo output. Use the encoder wheel on the right side panel of the recorder to assign which tracks and inputs you want to go to the outputs.
So that's a quick rundown on the inputs and how to get ISO tracks and your output routing.
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