Scorpio FAQ

Why did you name it Scorpio?

Scorpio is the most powerful mixer-recorder we’ve ever created, so we wanted to give it an instantly memorable name. Plus, Hank Scorpio from the Simpsons is one of our favorite evil geniuses.

How big is the Scorpio?

The Scorpio is roughly the size of the 688.

What production bags fit the Scorpio?

It fits nicely in the CS-688 bag.

What are my options for powering Scorpio?

Scorpio can be powered from several sources, including two DC inputs (TA4 connectors) or two L-Mount batteries. The power sources operate in series, allowing for long run times. If the SL-6 is in use, the SL-6 4-pin Hirose DC input or NP-1 battery powers the entire system.

Can the Scorpio charge the L-Mount batteries?

Yes. There are two built-in chargers, one for each battery. These can be turned off via the menu.

Why did you choose to use the TA4 for power instead of the 4-pin Hirose on other SD products?

The Scorpio can draw a significant amount of peak current, due to its 16 full-featured mic preamps with 48 V of phantom per channel and two L-Mount battery chargers. The battery chargers can draw over 3 A alone, and 4-pin Hirose connectors are only rated for 2 A per pin. The TA4 connector provides up to 5 A per pin and allows the use of smart batteries.

How should I wire the TA4 to connect to a standard battery?

For standard, only use pins 1 and 4 for connection.

Are the new smart batteries specific for the Scorpio only?

No, you can use smart batteries from AudioRoot, Inspired Energy, etc. We have our own labeled smart battery called the XL-SmartBattery.

What battery information can the Scorpio read/display?

Various battery telemetry including accurate time remaining will be coming in a future firmware update.

Is the Scorpio difficult to operate?

No – primary design concept was ease-of-use. For users familiar with Sound Devices’ 633, 664, or 688, the Scorpio will feel very similar. The menus and physical controls are very much alike. However, due to the much greater capability, there will be some learning curve. Plan on taking a couple of hours to familiarize yourself with the Scorpio before using it in mission critical applications.

How is routing different from the 688 or 788T?

Unlike the 688 and 788T, the Scorpio has a full I/O matrix and multiple mix buses. Each physical input can be routed to any combination of buses, tracks, and outputs. Also, there is just more of everything: 16 analog inputs, 32 channels, 36 record tracks.

See Block Diagram

Can I send channels at different levels to multiple buses?

Yes. All channels feed the Left and Right mix bus post-fader. The 10 additional buses can be fed from any channel, pre-fade or post-fade, or with a unique bus send level.

32 channels?

Yes. Channels 1-16 can be fed from analog mic or line, AES3 or AES42 (XLR inputs 1 and 6), Dante, or Rtn-A, -B, or -C. Channels 1-16 are fully featured with trim, delay, polarity, high-pass filters, 3-band EQ, stereo or MS linking, and pre- and post-fade limiting. Channels 17-32 can be used to connect Dante and Return audio, and they have faders and post-fade limiting.

See Block Diagram

I see front panel controls for 12 channels. How do I control channels 13-32?

Each of the 32 channels has an associated Channel screen from which you can setup any channel parameter. Trims, faders and bus sends for Channels 13-32 are controlled through their channel screens which may be accessed via the Menu or by using the star toggle switches + PFL toggle. For physical fader and trim control of channels 13-32, use the iCON Platform M+ USB Control surface.

16 microphone preamplifiers? Do they all support 48 V phantom power?

Yes, and phantom provides a full 10 mA per channel.

Can I adjust the levels of incoming Dante audio?  

Yes. When routed to channels 1-16, Dante audio levels can be controlled with trim (pre-fade gain) and faders. If routed to channels 17-32, Dante audio can be adjusted using faders.

Can I use Scorpio as an audio interface to my computer?

Yes, via Dante, the Scorpio acts as a 32 channel in and out audio interface.USB audio is not supported.

How do I properly wire the TA5 Headset?

When wiring up a headset with the TA5 connector, it is important that the balance microphone signals are wired to shielded twisted pair *separate from the headphone signals*. Keep in mind that there can be >80 dB of amplification between the mic and the headset and just a bit of bleed between the mic signal and headphone signal can lead to oscillation.

You can also buy a premade headset, such as these options from Remote Audio.

Can I link multiple Scorpio Mixer/Recorders together?

Yes, two Scorpios can be linked via audio through Dante, ideal for an ultra-portable 32 microphone preamp recording rig. 16 preamps from one Scorpio can be routed over Dante to the second Scorpio with its 16 preamps. All 32 ISO tracks, plus 4 buses, can be recorded on the second Scorpio to three storage media simultaneously. All recorded tracks then appear on one unit and one set of media.

Does Scorpio support the SL-6?

Yes. Using the SL-Riser, the SL-6 can be fixed to the top panel of Scorpio and the six available wireless receiver outputs may be routed to channels 1-16. Scorpio supports SuperSlot. The following third-party SuperSlot-ready receivers are supported: 

  • Audio Limited A10-RX
  • Lectrosonics SRb, SRc, SRc-941
  • Sennheiser EK-6042 
  • Wisycom MCR42

Can I run an RF scan of a SuperSlot receiver from Scorpio?

Yes, RF Scan is available on the Audio Limited, Lectrosonics, and Wisycom recievers.

Will the Scorpio UI support the RF Scan of the Sennheiser EK-6042?

No. The Sennheiser EK-6042 does not provide the Scorpio with a way to trigger or display the results of the scan. Sennheiser recommends doing all scan functions from the EK-6042.

Why do I need the SL-Riser?

Mechanically, the SL-Riser positions the receivers further back so that the receivers don’t overhang Scorpio’s front panel.

Can I use my CL-1, CL-2, CL-6, CL-8, or CL-9 with Scorpio?

Scorpio is built with an entirely new architecture which does not support these products.

Will the Scorpio work with the Sound Devices CL-12 Linear Fader Controller?

Although the CL-12 was originally designed for 6-Series field mixers and features an old protocol that is incompatible with the Scorpio’s open MCU, we are pleased to announce that we have achieved cross-compatibility. The Scorpio will support the CL-12, in addition to third party MCU controllers, in a future firmware update. Follow us on our social accounts or register your product to be updated when this firmware is available.

My setup requires more AES inputs than the 4 channels the Scorpio allows, how can I use more AES sources?

An accessory that will allow for up to 8 additional channels of AES (4 AES pairs) is in development. Stay tuned for future updates.

Will you make a dedicated control surface designed specifically for the new 833 and Scorpio? 

Yes. We are currently developing a bespoke control surface to interface with the 833 and Scorpio. Follow us on our social accounts or register your product to be updated when this control surface is available.

Can I control Scorpio from a USB Control Surface with linear faders?

Yes. Sound Devices supports open protocols wherever possible. Scorpio supports the ubiquitous MCU (Mackie Control Universal) protocol which many USB-connected control surfaces use. Currently the following USB control surfaces are supported:

  • iCON Platform M+ (w D2 Display)
  • iCON Platform X+
  • iCON Platform B+
  • Behringer X-TOUCH
  • Mackie MCU Pro

Why the iCON Platform M+?

The iCON Platform M+ impressed us with its small footprint, DC powering, and bank switching that allows control of all 32 channels. From the iCON Platform, it is easy to adjust trim and fader levels of all channels and other functions, including channel soloing, mutes, record arming, bus levels, transport control, and more. This controller is being used on A-List tours and is a great value.

How much power does the Icon Platform M+ draw?

Nominal current draw is a bit less than 0.25 A at 12 V. Average power draw is about 3 W. Peak current is 2 A at 12V, but that happens only in short bursts when all motorized faders jump to another position. 

Will the control be open protocol, so customers can program their own controllers for use with Scorpio?

We conform to the MCU protocol, however Sound Devices cannot guarantee proper operation with anything other than the iCON Platform M+ due to the idiosyncrasies present in many controllers. While you are free to make your own controller, we cannot offer any technical support.

How do you get 36 tracks from 32 channels?

All 32 channels have isolated tracks, plus four mix buses (L, R, B1, B2), resulting in up to 36 available recorded tracks.

How many tracks can I record at the various sampling rates?

36 tracks at sample rates 96 kHz and below, and up to 18 tracks at 192 kHz.

Can I arm or disarm tracks during recording?

Yes. When a track is armed or disarmed during recording, a new file is created, including the added track, or excluding the disarmed track, respectively. The two files will be sample-continuous. This feature is great for reality show productions or any production where recording never stops.

It appears that most recorders have a maximum file size of 4 GB? What if I want to record long events without the files splitting at 4 GB?

Scorpio supports the exFAT file system and RF64 WAV (64-bit) files. This allows file sizes up to 16 EB (ExaBytes – 260). In other words, you can fill up the entire 256 GB internal SSD with a single file with no splits.

Is there internal storage?

Yes. The Scorpio has an internal 256 GB SSD.

Can this SSD be replaced by a user?

Any user modifications, including drive replacement, nullify the warranty. We highly recommend having Sound Devices Service replace the drive. Replacement drives will be available as a service part in the future.

What can I use as a file deliverable to production?

In addition to the internal SSD, the Scorpio can record to two SD cards which may be easily delivered to post.

What is the recommended SD cards to use with the Scorpio?

At this time, the Sound Devices SAM-32SD card is approved.

Why won’t the SD card slide easily into the slot?

Cards must be inserted label-side down.

My Read/Write speeds from my computer to the Scorpio SSD and SD cards is slower than I anticipated?

Make sure the USB-C cable in use is USB3. USB2 cables do not have all the needed conductors and will greatly reduce transfer speeds.

Can I record to an external drive or USB storage device? 

The Scorpio can record to the internal SSD, SD 1, and SD 2 simultaneously. USB Storage devices are not supported.

Can I use my XL-DVDRAM?

No. 2006 called, they want this question back.

How about Mini DVD-RAM, Orb, or Jaz drive?


I noticed when I format the SSD and SD cards I’m not seeing the full capacity advertised.

We over-provision (reserve free space on) the media for optimum performance.

Is there a mobile device remote application?

Yes. The SD-Remote companion Android application is available. Scorpio connects via USB to Android tablets providing robust data interconnect and device charging with a single cable. The app offers a large display for metering and timecode, scene, take and note editing, track arming, soloing, muting, transport control, and more.

What are the minimum Android requirements to run the SD-Remote app?

SD-Remote requires the Android tablet running 6.0 Marshmallow.

Does the SD-Remote app support Samsung DeX?

SD-Remote does not support DeX. It is recommended to disable DeX when using SD-Remote.

My Scorpio won’t connect to SD-Remote on my tablet. Is there a workaround?  

Some tablets data connection performs better when the USB current is limited to 500 mA. Try setting Menu>Power>USB-A Charge Output to 500 mA.

Does the app connect over Bluetooth?

SD-Remote will eventually be supported over Bluetooth connection.

Will SD-Remote be available for iOS?

Yes, an iOS version of SD-Remote will be available in the future.

Can I use Sound Devices Wingman?

Wingman is for 6-Series and MixPre only.

Does Scorpio have an on-board Dugan Automixer? 

Yes. It is always a pleasure working with our friend Dan Dugan. Dugan Automixing was and is a well loved feature of the 633 and 688 and there was no way we would leave it out of the Scorpio. The built in Dugan Automixer allows automixing of Channels 1-16. Automixing attenuation of each isolated channel is vividly displayed on the front panel LCD and Ring LEDs. 

Will Scorpio support MixAssist? 

Scorpio is powerful and flexible enough to accommodate MixAssist. This feature will be available in a future release.

I work outdoors, how does the LCD perform in sunlight?

We carefully selected the LCD based on size and performance – both indoors and out. The transflective LCD is clearly visible in direct sunlight.

What does the antenna connection do?

In the near future the antenna will be used to connect the Scorpio via Bluetooth to SD-Remote, the companion application for Android and iOS.

When can I get one?

Scorpio is shipping now. Contact your local reseller of choice to place your order.

Can I use a USB Keyboard, SD-Remote, and a Control Surface at the same time?

The Scorpio supports USB hubs on the USB-A connector. This means that you can connect Scorpio to a USB hub and connect any of the supported USB devices to the hub and use them simultaneously. This allows you to run SD-Remote, a USB Keyboard, the iCON Platform M+, USB lights, etc… We have not tested USB Hamster wheels, USB exercising dogs, USB warming gloves, or any other such devices.

Can the Scorpio record compressed audio files like MP3, AAC, etc. for transcription purposes?

We are planning to implement AAC in the future. AAC and MP3 are both lossy digital compression audio formats. AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) files achieve better sound quality than MP3 at a given file size. The 833 will allow real-time recording of a two-track, timecode stamped AAC file from LR or B1B2.

I see 32-bit A/D Converters listed in the specs. Is that the same thing as a 32-bit float bit depth?

The A/D converters used on the Scorpio and 833 are 32-bit resolution parts, but this is unrelated to 32-bit float files. The ability to record in 32-bit float is a future possibility.

I noticed my Scorpio can get hot when in use, is this normal?

By design, the chassis of the Scorpio gets warm, wicking away the heat from the internal components. The cooling of internal components is important for long-term reliability; this is accomplished via our electro-mechanical design utilizing high-thermal-conductivity aluminum and direct heat-sinking of critical internal components.
The Scorpio’s quiet mic preamps and powerful processing engines are state-of-the-art — all of this mixing/recording power in a compact chassis means a bit of heat being generated.
Best practices for keeping the Scorpio as cool as possible include powering down unused channels when not in use, leaving at least ½” of air space around the Scorpio when used within bags, and by opening rear/side flaps of the bags to allow air to flow.