Sound Devices 688
12-Input Field Production Mixer with 16-Track Recorder and MixAssist™ Automixing


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The Sound Devices 688 is a production sound engineer’s dream come true - a portable audio powerhouse that incorporates multi-channel mixer, auto-mixer, recorder plus optional SL-6 (sold separately) integrated powering and wireless system. By consolidating these functions, cabling requirements are significantly decreased, de-cluttering the sound mixer’s bag, increasing reliability and improving ease of use. The 688 takes the finest aspects of the acclaimed 633, 664, and 788T and creatively combines them with new technology into an unrivaled production audio tool.

Inputs and Outputs
The 688 has six high-bandwidth mic/line inputs on XLR connectors, each complete with phantom power, high-pass filter, analog input limiter and variable pan. Six additional line-level inputs on TA3 connectors offer flexibility for more complex productions.

Routing and Flexibility
All inputs are assignable, pre- or post-fade to its eight output buses, left/right plus Aux 1-6. The 688 can send its main left/right mix to three cameras simultaneously via transformer-balanced XLR and Hirose outputs.

The 688’s powerful digital processing engine delivers 12-channel auto-mixing capability using the most sophisticated algorithm on the market today. MixAssist automatically attenuates the level of inputs that are not active and helps maintain consistent background sound levels regardless of the number of open microphones. Comb filtering and phasing artifacts are also reduced when multiple mics pick up the same sound source by inteligently attenuating redundant mics.

The 688 offers 16-track, polyphonic or monophonic broadcast WAV file recording to SD and CompactFlash cards. All common sampling rates are supported, including 192 kHz on up to six tracks. The memory cards can be set independently, recording either identical material for real-time backup, or combinations of WAV and MP3 files.

The 688 incorporates exclusive PowerSafe circuitry with smart sensing of available power sources, front panel warning indication of power loss, and an integrated 10-second power reserve that will, in the event of an inadvertent power loss, allow the 688 to safely stop recording, properly end all file operations, and then automatically shut down.

Power on and start recording in less than two seconds. You never have to wait on sound.

Timecode and Metadata
The 688 features a world renowned Ambient™ timecode generator and reader supporting all common rates and modes. A helpful time code compare utility shows the difference between internal and external timecode. The 688 also generates sound reports and supports extensive metadata, via the front panel or attached USB keyboard.

For a virtually cable free bag, attach this optional power distribution and six channel wireless system. Its three slots provide powering and audio interconnection between the 688 and slot-in receivers plus fully integrated control and monitoring of SuperSlot™ compatible receivers. With its built-in RF signal distribution, the SL-6 reduces the need for multiple antenna while its NP1 battery slot, USB charging port, two 12 V isolated outputs, and two non-isolated direct battery outputs provide powering for peripheral devices.

This optional input controller attaches to the bottom of the 688 and adds six full-sized tactile fader control of channels 7-12, sunlight-viewable LED metering and big, back-lit record and stop controls. When the CL-6 is attached to a 688, the 688’s mini-faders, originally assigned as faders for 7-12, switch to trim controls.

Sound Devices 688 Features:

  • 12 analog inputs: Six mic/line preamps plus six line inputs all with front-panel faders & PFLs.
  • 16-track recording to SD & Compact Flash cards; Timecode-stamped WAV & MP3 files
  • MixAssist 12-input auto-mixer.
  • Optional Accessories: SL-6 power distribution & 6-ch SuperSlot™ wireless receiver system; CL-6 input controller with LED metering & transport controls.
  • Both SL-6 and CL-6 can be conected to the 688 at the same time. SL-6 to top panel, CL-6 to bottom panel.
  • Eight output buses: L/R mix plus Aux 1-6; transformer-balanced XLR & Hirose outs for freedom from ground loops Two AES42/AES3 inputs, eight AES3 outputs.
  • Direct menu control of SuperSlot-compatible wireless (with SL-6).
  • PowerSafe protects files from power loss.
  • 2-second power on-to-recording.
  • Flexible digital mixing and routing.
  • Supports all sample rates up to 192 kHz.
  • Adjustable input & output delay.
  • Three camera returns & dedicated COM return.
  • Internal & external slate mic inputs.
  • Ambient TC generator and reader and internal TC backup battery.
  • Easy to navigate interface, 1000-nit LCD visible in all light conditions, configurable metering.
  • USB Keyboard for metadata entry.
  • User-configurable headphone presets.
  • Light-weight, durable carbon-fiber chassis.
  • Powered by AA-battery (x5), external DC or NP1 via SL-6.

Sound Devices 688 Specifications:

  • Frequency Response:  10 Hz to 40 kHz ± 0.5 dB,-3dB @ 65 kHz (192 kHz sample rate, re 1 kHz)
  • THD + Noise:  0.09% max (1 kHz, 22 Hz–22 kHz BW, fader at 0, 0 dBu output)
  • Equivalent Input Noise:  -126 dBu (-128 dBV) maximum. (22 Hz - 22 kHz bandwidth, flat filter, trim control fully up)
  • Inputs:
    • XLR Mic:  Active-balanced for use with =600 ohm mics, 4 kOhm actual; 12V or 48V phantom power, 10 mA max
    • XLR AES:  AES3 or AES42 (10 V power), SRC
    • XLR Line:  active-balanced for use with =2k ohm outputs, 10 kOhm actual
    • TA3 Line:  active-balanced for use with =2k ohm outputs, 10 kOhm actual
    • RTN A,B,C (3.5 mm/10-pin):  unbalanced stereo for use with </= 2 kOhm outputs, 6.5 kOhm actual
    • Slate Mic (TA3):  6.5 kOhms
  • Input Clipping Level:  0 dBu minimum
  • Maximum Input Level:
    • XLR Mic:  0 dBu (0.78 Vrms)
    • XLR Line:  +40 dBu (80 Vrms)
    • RTN A, B, C (3.5 mm/10-pin):  +24 dBu (12.4 Vrms)
  • High-Pass Filters:
    • Adjustable:  80 Hz to 240 Hz, 18 dB/oct (up to 96 kHz)
    • Fixed:  50 Hz, 6 dB/oct (192 kHz)
  • Input Limiters:
    • Pre-fade (Inputs 1-6):  +16 dBu threshold fixed, soft knee/ hard knee, 20:1 ratio, 1 mS attack, 500 mS release
    • Post-fade (Inputs 1-12):  Adjustable threshold +4 dBu to +18 dBu, 20:1 ratio, 1 mS attack, 500 mS release
  • Input Delay:  Adjustable 0-30 mS for each inputin 0.1 mS steps
  • Maximum Gain:
    • Mic-In to L/R/X1/X2/X3/X4 (Line):  91 dB
    • Mic-In to X5/X6 (Line):  88 dB
    • Mic-In to L/R/X1/X2/X3/X4 (-10):  77 dB
    • Mic-In to X5/X6 (-10):  74 dB
    • Mic-In to L/R/X1/X2/X3/X4 (Mic):  51 dB
    • Mic-In to X5/X6 (Mic):  48 dB
  • Headphone Max. Gain:  63 dB (Line 1-6 input); 44dB (Line 7-12 input); 103 dB (Mic input)
  • Outputs:
    • Line (XLR and 10-pin):  transformer-balanced, 120 ohms
    • -10 (XLR and 10-pin):  transformer-balanced, 3.2 kOhm
    • Mic (XLR and 10-pin):  transformer-balanced, 150 ohms
    • TA3 (X1-X4) Mic/Line/-10:  active-balanced, 240/3.2k/120 ohms
    • TA3 (X5/X6) -10:  unbalanced, 100 ohms
    • Tape Out (3.5 mm):  unbalanced, stereo, 1.8 kOhms
    • Headphones (3.5 mm and 1/4”):  unbalanced, stereo, 60 ohms
  • Line Output Clipping Level (1% THD):  20 dBu minimum with 10 kOhm load
  • Maximum Output Level:
    • Line:  +20 dBu (7.8 Vrms)
    • -10:  +6 dBu (1.5 V rms)
    • Mic:  -20 dBu (0.078 Vrms)
    • Tape Out:  +6 dBu (1.5 Vrms)
  • Output Limiters:  L/R and X1/X2, adjustable threshold +4 dBu to +18 dBu, soft knee/hard knee, 20:1 ratio, 1 mS attack, 500mS release.
  • Output Delay:  Adjustable 0-417 mS (0-12.5 frames@ 30fps) for each output in 1 mS steps
  • Recording Tracks:
    • 16 tracks (12 inputs, 4 output buses L/R, Aux 1/2)
    • Broadcast WAV monophonic and polyphonic file format, MP3 with time code metadata
  • A/D:
    • 24-bit, 114 dB, A-weighted dynamic range typical
    • Sampling rates 44.1 kHz, 47.952 kHz, 48 kHz, 48.048 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 192 kHz
  • Digital Outputs:
    • AES3 transformer-balanced, in pairs; 1-2 (XLR-L), 3-4 (XLR-R), 5-6, (Hirose 10-pin RTN A), 7-8, (Hirose 10-pin RTN C)
    • 110 ohm, 2 V p-p, AES and S/PDIF compatible
  • Recording Storage Type:
    • SD, SDHC, SDXC Card, CompactFlash (CF)
    • FAT32 formatted (<32GB), exFAT for (>32GB), on-board memory card formatting
  • Timecode and Sync:
    • Modes Supported:  off, Rec Run, Free Run, 24h Run, External
    • Frame Rates:  23.976, 24, 25, 29.97DF, 29.97ND, 30DF, 30ND
    • Sample/Timecode Accuracy:  Ambient generator, ± 0.2 ppm (0.5 frames per 24 hours)
    • Timecode Input:  20 kOhm impedance, 0.3 V - 3.0 V p-p (–17 dBu - +3 dBu)
    • Timecode Output:  1 kOhm impedance, 3.0V p-p (+12 dBu)
    • Wordclock In/Out:  square wave; 10k/75 ohm, 1-5V p-p input; 75 ohm, 5V p-p output, at SR
    • Wordclock Termination:  75 ohm, Off
  • Power:
    • External:  10-18 V on locking 4-pin Hirose connector, pin-4 = (+), pin-1 = (-).
    • Internal:  accepts 5 AA-sized (LR6) batteries, nominal (NiMH rechargeable compatible)
    • PowerSafe:  10 second power reserve
  • Idle Current Draw:  680 mA @ 12V (8.16W) - inputs1-6 powered on, CF and SD media inserted
  • Environmental:
    • Operating:  -20°C to 60°C, 0 to 90% relative humidity (non-condensing)
    • Storage:  -40°C to 85°C
  • Dimensions (HxWxD):  2.1" x 12.7" x 5.6" (5.3cm x32cm x 19.8cm)
  • Weight:  4 lbs. 14 oz. (2.21 kg)(unpackaged, without batteries)
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