Sound Devices presented expanded recording capabilities, along with greater flexibility and ease-of-use outdoors for the company’s flagship 664 Production Mixer. Sound Devices showcased the benefits of the 664’s latest firmware update, Version 1.05, at the 135th International AES Convention (Gotham Sound and Communications, Booth 2738).
Sound Devices 664 features six ultra-low-noise, high-dynamic-range preamps that accept mic- or line-level signals and include analog peak limiters, high-pass filters, input trim control and direct outputs per 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 664’s analog output compliment includes four output buses. The L and R buses are on balanced XLR, 10-Pin and TA-3M connectors and on unbalanced TA-3M or 3.5mm connectors. Secondary output buses X1 and X2 are available on balanced TA-3M connectors. Users can route inputs and buses to four AES3 connections for eight digital outputs on the XLR and 10-pin connectors.
Firmware version 1.05 brings additional features to the mixer, including greater flexibility and ease-of-use outdoors. The “LCD Daylight Display” mode incorporates a daylight-specific color scheme and solid bar metering option for improved readability in direct sunlight. Sound Devices has also incorporated additional front-panel button shortcuts, including “LCD Daylight Display” mode (HP + SELECT encoders) and Phrase list (HP + RTN B/C) for fast entry of metadata notes. Version 1.05 also incorporates the shortcut for activating different setup tone modes. Users also have new “Track Names in Meters” options (without color gradient/ramp) that are selectable for either right- or left-side display.
With version 1.05, 664 now offers users Monophonic Broadcast WAV file support, with the ability to record up to 10 tracks to two cards, with up to three seconds of record pre-roll. If a card not optimized for multichannel monophonic file recording is used, or if the monophonic 10-track limit is exceeded, a warning message is displayed on the LCD when starting a recording. Polyphonic mode or reducing track count is recommended. In addition, when formatted in the 664, SD cards 64GB and larger are now automatically formatted as ExFAT (in accordance with the SD Association’s recommendation). All CF cards and lower-capacity SD cards remain FAT32. Version 1.05 also enables a Headphone Volume or Headphone Preset default option, which sets the HP encoder to operate as headphone level or to select HP presets when rotated. Pressing the headphone encoder momentarily activates the alternative function.
Existing 664 users can download version 1.05 for free by visiting http://www.sounddevices.com/download/664-firmware/.