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Old January 3rd, 2002, 04:51 PM   #1
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Audio Dropout

Using Pinnacle's DV500 Plus and Adobe Premiere 6.01 to capture footage from my XL1 (via firewire) of a blues guitar and harmonica duo, I noticed a clean, 1/2 (one-half) second dropout of the audio. In other words, out of the 30 minutes of footage, there was about 1/2 second of unexpected (dead) silence when there should have been music. I was using two mono mics connected to the RCA terminals of Audio 1 - so forget about mic failure or bad connections (wait, there's more).

Later, I played the footage back directly to TV using the RCA analog output of the XL1... and there was sound at the location of the previously detected "digital" dropout. The sound reproduced via analog circtuitry was as clean as a whistle - no dropout. Repeated playbacks via RCA and firewire gave consistent results.

Anybody got a clue on what's going on here? Checking my sound levels at the digital dropout location shows about 12 dB on the onboard VU meter.

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Old January 3rd, 2002, 05:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Denver, CO
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Well obviously the problem is not the XL1. My guess (and it's only a guess) would be that it's your firewire capture card. Though I still think it is very unusual. Check the settings that came with it as all Windows hardware seems to have tons of "drivers" just to let them function and there may be one obscure option nestled far away that maybe checked/unchecked when it shouldn't.

Is it possible to record the audio using the analog outputs of your XL1 and go into the analog inputs of your computer's sound card? You could then trim and sync the audio up in Premiere. When recording via your sound card, I have found it helpful in Windows to MUTE all other input sources, like CD, MIC, everything except the input you are using at the time as they can introduce some noise.
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 07:57 PM   #3
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May not apply to your situation, but I've had a tape or two that had read errors on the digital audio - did not matter which player I used (XL1 or sony VCR), in the firewire output signal. This error was sufficient to trash the digital audio for a bit. However, the analog output was OK thanks no doubt to error correction in the camcorder playback D/A converters.
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 10:47 PM   #4
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I haven't had audio-only drops, but I've had some others that are just as puzzling.

Shortly after getting the XL-1 about a year ago, I lost the first 30 minutes of a 1-hour tape. Everything looked OK (time code rolling, etc.), but upon playback, only a blue screen -- no video or audio. Audio and video finally faded-in in pixelated horizontal segments, then was OK for the remainder of the tape. I sent the camera back to Canon, and they did some work on it. They said they changed the frame, what ever the heck that was.

Seemed OK for awhile, then started doing the same thing again, only for much shorter periods. Then it was OK for several shoots.

Recently, I have lost the first part of several tapes -- sometimes for 10-20 seconds, sometimes for several minutes. It always happens at the start of the tape. Here's another puzzle -- I usually prestripe the first 30 sec of tape, then back-up and start the actual recording at around 20 sec. On all occasions, the prestriped video is OK, but the new stuff fills-in in horizontal bands, with the prestriped stuff interlaced.

In all cases, it's OK after it finally "gets going", but I'm never sure of what disaster the start will be. In all cases, the display, timecode, etc. looks normal in the viewfinder and on the LCD monitor.

I also tried different tapes, but it isn't tape-related. I been using the Panasonic MQ Masters (white cassette) for some time now.

Looks like it's back to Canon, but of course, it's now out of warranty! Grumble......

Cheers, Vic
Vic Owen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2002, 03:03 PM   #5
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Thanks to all for the replies.

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