Zaxcom DEVA 24 & MIX-16 are now finally officially shipping

Zaxcom DEVA 24 recorder and MIX-16 fader officially shipping


Now for news at the opposite end of the pricing spectrum (almost tens times more expensive!) to the Sound Devices MixPre10M announcement today is the news that finally the Zaxcom DEVA 24 & Zaxcom MIX-16 are in stock and shipping! After what feels like YEARS of Zaxcom teasing us this coming.



With a retail price of US$12K for the Zaxcom DEVA 24 recorder this won’t be for everyone, rather will be competing against the likes of the Sound Devices 688, Sound Devices 970, Aaton Cantar X3, and others. But not directly competing though as the DEVA 24 is Zaxcom’s own take on this, the DEVA 24 is itself quite unique from those others.


Press Release:

Based on its Academy and Emmy award-winning predecessors Deva 24 can record pristine 24 track audio and has a plethora of advanced features including flexible input/output routing, ZaxNet™, NeverClip™, PowerRoll™ and MixAhead™.

Deva 24 provides 16 analog inputs, 12 of which are switchable mic or line level with adjustments for high pass filter, limiter, input delay and 48V phantom power. Four additional line level inputs can be used as returns. Thanks to NeverClip™ preamps, it offers a staggering 136 db of dynamic range.

Digitally, 24 inputs channels of AES are available on the unit, 16 support AES42. Deva 24 also accepts any unlocked AES signal with a sampling rate of 32 to 192 kHz.

10 output busses offer routing versatility through four XLR, three TA-5M and three 3.5mm connectors. Outputs feature delay settings, level attenuation and assignable output names.

Dependable delivery

Audio can be recorded to three media simultaneously. An internal 2.5” SSD (1TB max capacity) is the primary media paired with two compact flash (CF) card slots. Files are recorded as MARF II, a lossless fault tolerant recording format to the internal drive and as Broadcast Wave files (BWF) to the CF cards. An eSATA port provides an external hard drive (SSD or HDD) option that takes the place of a single CF card slot.

Immersive mixing

Deva 24 has an integrated mixer where 12 rotary faders can be assigned to act as a fader, input trim knob or a ZaxNet™ control knob. The rotary encoder allows you to adjust the compressor settings, input trim and invert the phase of an input.

8 tracks provide an infinite mix of all Deva 24 inputs, while 16 tracks are dedicated to ISO routing. Any of the 16 analog or 24 digital inputs can be assigned to an ISO track as either pre or post fader.

Familiar functionality

Users of previous Deva systems will enjoy the familiarity of its design and intuitive software. Deva 24 has a detachable front panel interface and a touchscreen menu system that’s fast, easy to learn and extremely reliable for any type of audio workflow. It also allows you to connect a compatible MAC or PC to control it remotely via a USB cable.

Seamless integration

Combined, the Mix-16 control surface is a versatile extension for Deva 24. Featuring 16 motorized faders in five banks, any combination of analog or digital input channels on the Deva 24 can be assigned to the Mix-16. This provides sound recordists with an integrated recording and mixing solution capable of solving many audio challenges.

Each fader on the Mix-16 has a bright LED input meter and the control surface is equipped with a pre fader listen (PFL) monitoring system that allows you to listen to channel audio before the fader is closed. It also has the ability to control the ZaxNet™ remote control function of Deva 24.

Pricing and availability

Zaxcom’s Deva 24 and Mix-16 are available now. Receive a $1,000 USD discount when purchasing both before April 13, 2018. This new technology and more from Zaxcom will be on display April 9-12 at NAB Show in Las Vegas, Booth C3927.

Sound Devices MixPre10M announced (a MixPre10T without the “T”, for Musicians)

Sound Devices MixPre10M Mixer Recorder for Musicians


The MixPre-10M musician’s feature set includes:

Overdubbing – including Punch In/Out
Track Laying – up to 12 tracks
Bouncing – to allow for more tracks
Premium Quality Effects – Vintage Reverbs & Vocal Air
Render (Export) – for sharing files

For existing MixPre-6 and MixPre-10T users: Sound Devices will soon be releasing a studio-grade Musician Plugin adding a new dimension of recording capabilities to the already versatile devices. For US$99, the Musician Plugin will feature all the musician-inspired features, including overdub, track laying, reverb, metronome and more.

“Sound Devices has a rich heritage of employees who are also musicians – so the MixPre-10M is truly a product designed by musicians for musicians,” says Matt Anderson, CEO of Sound Devices, LLC. “It’s an incredible device that simplifies songwriting and production to allow musicians to focus solely on creating and recording music the way it was before computers took over. With built-in overdub, metronome, and effects like premium-quality reverb and vocal air, the travel-size MixPre-10M gives musicians the ability to record 12 tracks anywhere inspiration hits – from a tour bus, backstage, to a hotel room or live performance.”

The MixPre-10M retails for US$1499 and will be available in late March.



So now I’ve read up on this latest news, the first question I then have for myself is: “would this be a recorder for me personally?”

As while I’ve been very happy with my F4 recorder, I am thinking later this year (or perhaps next year) I will be upgrading from it. And the MixPre10T has been one possibility I’ve considered (along with a new 633 or 688, or a secondhand 664 or 788T. Or even from another brand such as Zaxcom or Sonosax).

So is this MixPre10M is simply just a MixPre10T without an internal timecode generator? (just like how the MixPre6 & MixPre3 also lack it) As if so it could be a sweet way to save US$300, if you already have a timecode box to use with it (or even you could easily buy one for less than US$300, they’ve become amazingly affordable lately!).

But it seems timecode in (no timecode reader whatsoever), metadata editing, Wingman app, and camera return are all a bit crippled in some manner or another in comparison to the MixPre10T.

Oh well, that 100% killed my interest in the MixPre10M as (slightly) cheaper alternative to the MixPre10T. No surprise though, as it is targeted at musicians. And it is easy to see the appeal for musicians, if you’re not intending to do any sound for picture with your new MixPre10M.

However, this is still overall good news for users if Sound Devices are expanding their user base. As this will help support further firmware development in the future for all MixPre users by bringing down the per user cost for development (so long as they keep the base firmware the same across all the new MixPre models, so it is easy to migrate improvements for one model across to all the others as well).

Most Popular Sound Recorders on B&H in 2018?

Sound Recorders with Timecode Ranking

Being curious, I was wondering the answer to the question of which are the most popular? Handily B&H allows you to sort your search results according to “Best Sellers”. I then refined my results to those that interest me: only recorders with timecode in them. (strangely the MixPre3 is not included! But the MixPre6 is??? Odd because they both have the same timecode capabilities, neither have an internal timecode generator but can work with an external timecode source)

I’m a bit surprised at how Sound Devices has managed to out sell Zoom, even with their much higher prices for Sound Devices recorders.

The MixPre6 is DOUBLE the price (when you factor in a TC box purchase) of the Zoom F4 (even though the MixPre6 with TC in the bag, only has four input channels vs the six of the F4). The MixPre3 is even outselling the MixPre6! (MixPre3 is even out selling the F1!) Which I suppose makes sense as the MixPre3 is the cheapest of them all, but makes no sense to me personally as the MixPre3 isn’t “that much” cheaper for how much more crippled its functionality is?! Maybe the ultra miniature form factor is proving to be very popular.

Likewise the MixPre10T which is well over DOUBLE the price of a Zoom F8, yet the MixPre10T is also out selling the F8.

Guess this is why Zoom has recently put price drops on their F8 & F4! As even though I feel Zoom is out competing the low end Sound Devices when it comes to features and price, the market is speaking that the price gap needs to be even bigger if Zoom wants to out sell Sound Devices’ low end MixPre recorders.

Surprising indeed the Tascam DR701D is next on the list when the F4 is only $50 more to get (didn’t expect Tascam to be so high), but I presume this sorting by “Best Sellers” includes ALL historical data (which only makes the newer MixPre rankings even more impressive? As they came out after the F4/F8), thus perhaps the long ish time the DR701D has been around is what has helped push up its total sales volume.

Sound Devices 633 is next on this sorted list, no surprises here? As it would be easily Sound Devices most popular recorder ever, before they brought out the new MixPre recorders.

All sound recorders for music / film / tv / corporate / voice overs / ADR / whatever / etc listed!

Sadly the original Zoom H4n is the most popular recorder of all for sale?!?! :-/ Terrible. Shows how slow people can be in moving on, and instead rely upon old chinese whispers of advice.

Interestingly Tascam DR10L is #3, glad to see that is being widely picked up in the low budget world perhaps? And understandable why Zoom wants to then get a piece of that market with their Zoom F1.

A firmware update I’d love to see for the Zoom F4/F8: mirroring from one SD card slot to another.

A damn cool feature I wish would be implemented in the Zoom F4/F8

We ALL have recorders which record to more than one piece of media at once (for a safety back up), thanks to the dual card slots in the F4/F8.

But why can’t we have recorders which allow you to pull out your back up SD card then pop in whatever rubbish SD card the production has brought along (because you seriously don’t want to dare risk recording takes to their card! And losing files or locking up a recorder. As they just don’t understand your specialized media needs) to then copy over from your main card the day’s shoot into their card they brought along (and you could have the option to throttle the speed if need be). Because of course you don’t want to risk using the production’s card during the day’s shoot itself! 😮

Sound Devices MixPre10T is kinda doing that, as they have a USB port which you can copy your single SD card slot to. But what if they don’t bring a USB drive? But a SD card instead…. the MixPre10T doesn’t have two SD slots. I wonder, can the MixPre10T copy from the USB drive attached to a SD card?? Guess that would be a work around, so you could handle either a USB drive or a SD card brought along by the producer,

Anyway…. I hope Zoom could implement this feature to mirror files (or rather, whole folders! 😀 ) at the end of your day.

Much much better option than either using their card during takes, or giving them your card… only to never see it again 🙁

Which Sound Recorder to buy? A guide to various indie priced sound recorders in 2017

Wrote up a little guide for people new to this and looking to buy their first recorder as a location sound recordist. And is the way I see the world of low budget recorders is they’re ranked like this (starting from worst/cheapest to best/expensive):

Tascam DR22WL / Zoom H1 (I’d suggest skipping right over this tier of recorders! But hey, my first ever short film I did years ago was with a chinese shotgun running straight into a Zoom H1!! 😮 Shocking but true… everyone starts somewhere!)

Tascam DR60D mk2 (the DR60D mk1, before the mk2 came out, is what I myself started out using for no budget shorts as a budding location sound recordist)

Tascam DR70D (the *minimum* I’d recommend for a location sound recordist, even if you’re just a student / no budget guy. Although in desperate cases, you could scrape by with getting the DR60Dmk2, but doing the opposite and stretching for an F4 is very worthwhile. Certainly, I could travel back in time I’d just have gone straight for the Zoom F4 from the starts! *Except* the F4 didn’t come out until a few years later… you live in a very lucky time with so many wonderful options to choose from!) or Tascam DR680 (these can be found at bargain prices secondhand, which is what I did before I then later on purchased a Zoom F4 once that came out & I spotted an F4 at a good price)

Zoom F4 / Zoom F8 / Sound Devices MixPre6 (I skip right over the MixPre3, as the MixPre6 is very similar yet does so so much more at only a relatively small extra cost. Also I regard the three of F4/F8/MixPre6 as all on broadly the same level to each other, just varying slightly from each other in one area or another that ones might have a small lead over the other one. This is the tier where I’d see you’re now reaching the semi-pro level)

Sound Devices 633 / Zaxcom Maxx / Sanosax SX-R4+ (finally you have now got up to the “industry standard” when it comes to recorders people use for small shoots, especially when mixing from the bag. If you’re doing this full time as your job or hiring someone who is, then likely this is what is being used. Either that or similar gear, or even something better above this)

And if you considering ones priced above those last three…. you’re surely doing this full time as a sound recordist and getting a healthy income from that, so why are you asking us here on Frugal Filmmaker? ha! 😛 But yes, tonnes and tonnes more options exist at the higher end as well!

Finally, if you’re considering something in the budget range within what I just covered, but isn’t one of those that I mentioned, then it probably is *not* a good idea to buy if you’re intending to be a location sound recordist.

Something else only might *maybe* make sense if you’ve got in mind some other purpose for it, such as perhaps you want to record a band in a studio (which has very different needs / constraints), or you’re the rare exception which proves the rule, or you are getting lucky finding some amazingly priced deal which can make an otherwise bad purchase decision then make sense if “the price is right”.

For instance I didn’t include the Roland R88, as I feel it is extremely poor value for money in 2017! However…. there was a time at the end of 2016 when the Roland R88 got a huge price drop because it was being discontinued. Even with that massive price drop, the Roland R88 probably still wasn’t a smart purchase vs the Zoom F8, but the big drop in price at least made the R88 a somewhat competitive option worth mentioning in a round up of all the various choices. However, that sale is now long since ended, and the prices I see on eBay for a Roland R88 is even higher than what you used to be able to buy it new from B&H Photo! Clearly those eBay sellers are dreaming.

Anyway, that was just one example which might have been applicable but isn’t now, so I don’t rule out the possibilities of something like that perhaps popping up again in the future especially if you very keenly look around for secondhand deals. But for over 95% of people reading this, that won’t be applicable, and just stick to going with one of the main ones I mentioned earlier.


Such as my favourite, the Zoom F4:


Also worth a look, if you’d like an overview of the specs of some higher end recorders as well, is this guy’s blog post:


Saramonic SR-VRM1, new XLR sound recorder coming soon!

Tascam DR-10X sound recorder

Spotted this text from a Saramonic employee on Facebook: “It provides XLR connector and 48V phantom power, recording 24bit/48kHz wav audio files to MicroSDHC card, capacity up to 32GB” (minor tweak by myself to fix her typo)

The name of this new product is going to be “Saramonic SR-VRM1”.

I’m guessing as it only provides one XLR connection (assuming the grammar is correct here…. that it is singular, not plural. Not always 100% accurate to make this grammar assumption about all products out of China, but it is a reasonable conclusion to leap to!), that it is going to be a very small recorder, perhaps a competitor to the Tascam DR-10X but at an even lower price point?

What I hope for one day is a lower priced alternative out of China for the Tascam DR-10CS, which unfortunately is tied up with legal issues caused by Zaxcom in the USA which prevents its sale there, except in other countries such as the UK:ère-Microphones-Anthracite/dp/B00QV8L586/

As if priced low enough, it could provide a good budget alternative for those non-wireless “wireless” lav scenarios which people are using Zoom H1 recorders for (as I’ve done a few times myself at weddings, & similar scenarios):

A few important points I’d like to see the Saramonic SR-VRM1 have:

  1. As well as internal power (AA battery?), a way for it to be externally powered as well (even if it is as simple as a USB port to power it by. But please not mini USB! Make it be at least Micro USB sized, or even better full size USB). That way we can use it for long recording takes unattended, until the card fills up. Or can be used in your mixing bag as an small back up recording, without needing to concern ourselves about keeping batteries topped up.
  2. Some way to pass out audio (just like the Tascam DR-10CS has, and many other recorders), ideally XLR, but even just a 3.5mm output would be ok & better than nothing.
  3. Have both one XLR input, and one 3.5mm (a locking 3.5mm please!) input, so we’ve got that choice.

Saramonic confirmed it is coming soon with this tweet which links to my tweet of this blog post: