Sound Devices just announced a new version of their USBPre this week at IBC 2010 in Amsterdam. It boasts many beefed up features and a new standalone mode. But this is a USB device, so what does this have to do with field recording? I’ll tell you!
With the increasing availability of laptop based field recording software (and more increasingly powerful laptops), field and location recording on a laptop is becoming a viable option. Programs such as Metacorder and Boom Recorder create a software environment very similar to many larger format recorders (ie the Zaxcom Deva). This functionality includes metadata support, a take-based recording system, advanced routing, and multitrack capabilities. With plenty of power, laptops can scale up or down to match your recording needs. All you need is a decent audio interface.
Enter the Sound Devices USBPre 2. An upgrade from the original USBPre, the rugged USBPre 2 boasts dual microphone preamps (same ones at the 7 series recorders!), line inputs, a dynamic range of 114db, a frequency response of 10 Hz to 40 kHz (just in case!), and many other impressive tech specs. Each input individually selectable between microphone, line, and aux level signals (both channels selected simultaneously for S/PDIF connections). The unit also features dual 23 segment LED meters, a huge upgrade from the 6 segment meters on the old unit.
The USBPre 2 connects to your computer via USB 2.0, and is compatible with Mac OS, Windows, and Linux (all without drivers!). Plus, it’s bus powered. Also, none of it’s features are software only. They are all available simply by flipping a few dip switches right on the side of the unit.
If all this wasn’t enough, it also operates in standalone mode as a mic preamp or an AD converter.
So if you’re in the market for a high quality USB audio interface, this is just about as high quality as you’re going to find. With it’s rugged chassis, it’ll stand up to a beating in the field. It’s high quality inputs will beat out anything else in it’s class. It’s scheduled to hit shelves in October, so keep your eyes peeled!