Sound Devices 522Announced at the Koba show in Seoul, Sound Devices has released 1.2 firmware for its 552 Production Mixer – the company’s first mixer to incorporate a fully-integrated digital audio. The firmware offers functional enhancements and important upgrades, and is available to all 552 users via a free download from the company’s website.

With the upgrade, the 552 Production Mixer has a new input mute, which allows users to quickly remove any input from the active output mix. The input's signal activity LED illuminates solid red when muted – a benefit in fast-moving reality-style productions when cast members are often moved in and out of a scene. Another important feature allows users to ease editing with Final Cut Pro, when no valid time code input is detected, as time code and speed related metadata is nulled. This prevents Final Cut from assigning a time-code rate and a possible unintended speed change. The 552 continues to store the time of day value as a start time code stamp in bEXT when no valid time code input is detected.

These improvements are in addition to the features introduced with firmware update 1.1, which initially added the ability to record time code to a track. This feature is helpful for transcriptions for network news magazine applications.

The latest firmware update also includes split ear return metering, auto-record feature on time code advance and a record-pause function.  This new firmware update also enables the slate mic on the 552 to be available during file playback, makes the ‘record time remaining’ announcement visible while still recording, and has added meter ballistics and file metadata capabilities.

Designed specifically for professional sound engineers, the mixer has five precision, high-dynamic range, transformer-balanced microphone inputs with expanded gain and headroom. The studio-grade inputs have their own limiter, sweepable high-pass filter and pre- or post-fade direct output. At the heart of each microphone input lies a high-performance Lundahl input transformer, which provides freedom from interference in even the most severe RF and EMI environments that are encountered in the field. An integrated two-track, 24-bit digital audio recorder writes Broadcast WAV files (BWF) or MP3 files to SD and SDHC media.

‘Sound Devices 552 Production Mixer is in high demand and has been quickly incorporated by our customers into production applications ranging from reality television and news magazines to sports and drama,’ says MD Jon Tatooles. ‘To date, the 552 has been Sound Devices most successful product. We have introduced our second firmware upgrade as a way to keep evolving and upgrading our products to stay ahead of the technology curve.’


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