SOUND DEVICES PORTABLE MIXER - 552 - With integrated SD card recorder
Primarily intended for use with digital location recorders, this professional, five-channel location mixer has a wide range of analogue and digital connectivity. The mixer also has an on-board recorder for stand-alone use, or for simultaneously recording back-up or 'dailies' files. Recorded files are broadcast wave-compatible WAV or MP3, on removable SD or SDHC memory cards. It is powered by rechargeable cells or external DC.
The 552 mixes five microphone or line inputs to two outputs. Both analogue and digital outputs are available. Each input channel has a direct output, selectable pre- or post-fade. Channel fader, input gain and high-pass filter sweep-frequency are all adjustable with dedicated, conventional rotary controls, per-channel. The mixer has two stereo returns and flexible headphone monitoring options. The digital outputs can be synchronised to external word clock, and the recorded files are time-stamped either to the internal calendar/clock, or an external time-code source. A voice-prompt system in the headphone outputs assist menu and setup navigation without recourse to the visual display.
All controls are on the front panel. For each input, there is a large, rotary, channel-fader, rotary controls for input gain, hi-pass filter frequency, 80Hz to 240Hz, 6 or 12dB/octave, pan, and a soft-latching PFL switch. All channels have a tri-colour LED for signal presence / limiter action / overload and a blue LED indicating line input selection. Other blue LEDs indicate phantom power (12 or 48V), MS pairing mode, stereo pairing mode and phase-reverse (not all are per-channel). The master section has rotary controls for master output level, headphone source selection and headphone level, and switches for limiter in/out, stereo return PFL, line-up tone / slate microphone, and power on/off. A check button displays internal and external battery voltages and announces current date, time and unused memory. A miniature four-way cursor button controls the integral recorder, combining record, stop, play, fast forward and 'rewind' functions. A dual, 21-segment LED bar-graph meters left and right outputs; a Zoom mode, selected by a push function of the headphone source selector, increases resolution in the 0 to 20dBu range. The meter incorporates LEDs indicating output limiter activity. The meters also act as the display for all menu and setup functions. Other LEDs indicate selection of meter Zoom mode, valid time code input, active AES3 output, record mode (tri-colour), slate or tone active, power (tri-colour), stereo return signal presence / clip / monitor selected (tri-colour) and headphone clipping.
The main analogue channel connections are on the left-hand side panel. There are five XLRs for balanced microphone or line-level inputs and five TA3 connectors for balanced direct outputs. All other connections are made at the right-hand panel, which includes two XLRs for balanced analogue master outputs, which may be menu-selected as AES3 digital outputs instead. Both 6.35mm and 3.5mm 3-pole headphone jack sockets are provided. A duplicate balanced analogue master output is available on TA3 connectors (remain active if XLRs are set to AES3) and an unbalanced mono microphone mix output (for IFB transmitters, etc.) is provided on a 3.5mm 2-pole jack socket. A low-level unbalanced version of the master output 'Tape Out' is available on both a TA3 connector and a 3.5mm 3-pole stereo jack socket. A 10-pin Hirose connector provides a further, transformer-isolated, balanced master analogue output and Stereo Return A input (unbalanced). This connector may be selected to output various pre- or post-fade per-channel feeds in AES3 digital format if wished. Stereo return B input has a dedicated TA3 connector, and doubles as the time code input. There are multi-pin connectors for external power connection and linking to additional Sound Devices mixers. A set of four 3-position slide switches set the analogue output levels at the XLR and 10-pin connectors.
Microphone inputs: 0dBu maximum input level, 2000 ohms, transformer-balanced. Gain range 22dB to 72dB (trim), off to 15dB (fader). Line inputs: +40dBu maximum input level, 16000 ohms, otherwise as microphone inputs. Stereo return inputs: +24dBu maximum input level, 20000 ohms, unbalanced. Line outputs: +20dBu maximum level, 85 ohms, at the +4dBu setting; +6dBu maximum level, 3200 ohms, at the -10dBu setting; -20dBu, 150 ohms, maximum level at the microphone level setting; all transformer-balanced. Headphone outputs: 50 ohms. Mono microphone output: +6dBu maximum level, 150 ohms. Digital outputs: AES3-compliant, 100 ohms, balanced. Response: 20Hz-50kHz, +/-0.5dB; Distortion: 0.09% THD + Noise, 50Hz-20kHz, fader full, relative to +18dBu output. Recorder media: SD or SDHC memory cards, FAT32. File formats: 2-track poly WAV, 16 or 24-bit, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96kHz sample frequency; 2-track poly MP3 at 64, 128, 192, 320kbps. Power source: 4 x AA (LR6) batteries, Lithium or NiMH rechargeable, or alkaline; 5-18V DC external supply. Dimensions: 279 x 168 x 53 (w x d x h) mm. Weight: 2kg without batteries.
Required accessories: AA batteries, Lithium, NiMH or alkaline, SD or SDHC memory cards.
Optional accessories: XL-WPH3 DC power supply. The CS-5 production case has a compartment for a mixer or recorder plus an integrated accessory compartment sized for wireless transmitters, receivers, mixers or portable recorders. Additionally, there is a lower compartment suitable for an NP-type battery. It includes a bottom-side access door to exchange recording media on the 552 mixer and 7-series recorders. The CS-5 can be used over the shoulder with the included padded shoulder strap and can connect to third-party accessory cases. For cable sets and other accessories, please see 'Sound Devices Accessories'.