Newbie to Sound - Mixer purpose?

Hi all,

I'm new to the world of recording audio for film and I'm not finding an answer that I understand to something.

I've been given gear which includes a MARANTZ PMD661 recorder and a Sound Devices Mixpre, however I do not yet fully understand the purpose of the Mixpre. What advantages to I get going from Mic>Mixer>Recorder as opposed to straight Mic>Recorder?

Cheers all!
 
The mic pre-amps of the MixPre are superior to those in the PMD-661. The MixPre is also better suited for "bag" work, and will supply phantom power much longer than the PMD-661.

(BTW, is it a MixPre-3 or -6?)
 
The mic pre-amps of the MixPre are superior to those in the PMD-661. The MixPre is also better suited for "bag" work, and will supply phantom power much longer than the PMD-661.

(BTW, is it a MixPre-3 or -6?)
Thank you for the info. It is neither a -3 or a -6, it is just a Mixpre. I managed to find the manual online here if that helps answer which specific unit it is http://cdn.sounddevices.com/download/guides/mixpre_en.pdf
 
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