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Old October 1st, 2002, 04:04 PM   #1
Matt Chapman
 
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Help - Bad sound and digital "chips" in picture?

had my XL1 for about a little under a year now, and need some help with a recurring problem. could be just heads need cleaning, based on other posts but i am wondering if anyone has any other suggestions:

i did a shoot with a Sennheiser MA-60 mic into the MA-200. at the beginning of the shoot i had the audio on "Auto", and after i noticed a lot of noise i switched it to "Manual" and reduced the recording level.

Now, when i go to capture the footage in to the PC, the beginning of the tape is OK (i think while it was on "Auto"), but the second half gets bad and starts having digital distortion and the image gets "blocky".

when i re-seat the tape and rewind, and try again, different sections of the tape experience similar distortions, but specific words that were being muted previously will come in crystal clear (meaning the distorted sections change after the tape is re-inserted... which gives me hope that the tape itself is OK).

anyone had problems with switching the audio level after a shoot has started? side note, the mic is plugged into the left channel, and then i used a splitter out of the left channel to simulate stereo sound. is this bad? i guess i could record only one channel and duplicate it in post, but listening to only one ear during a shoot can be maddening.

thanks
chap
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Old October 1st, 2002, 08:04 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
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No problem changing audio level modes mid tape. Best to stay with one mode (e.g., 16-bit or 12-bit) for a give tape.

May be time to join the XL1 owners club annd send your XL1 in for a routine service/maintenance. Be sure to mention the image problems which do sound like dirty heads.

As to audio distortion, after you get the cleaning, run some controled tests to see if you can isolate the conditions that cause it.
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Old October 11th, 2002, 09:50 PM   #3
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Could there be a problem with the tape itself despite the randomness of the audio distortion. Is your time code intact? Is your sound in sync? I have had tapes that had problems with the second half while the first half was fine. The problem seems to be a mechanical problem with the cassette rather than the actual tape itself. I'm still looking for a consistantly reliable Mini DV tape manufacturer. Right now I'm trying Panasonic.
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Old October 11th, 2002, 09:58 PM   #4
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P.S. I would lose the splitter. It may cause some impedance matching problem. (I'm not sure how you have it wired). They used to make headsets with a stereo/mono switch. Unfortunately they don't seem to do this any more. Maybe you could wire one up.
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