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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #1
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VX2000 Sound Snipping/Dropouts

One of my vx2000 cameras has tiny little snippets missing from its sound track scattered throughout a recording. It totally destoys the usefulness of the sound. Any similar experiences and hopefully solutions?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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Are you playing back on the same device it was recorded on? Or, has anything happened to the camera inbetween recording and playing?

I had an issue with tapes recorded on a PD170 and played back on a Pany deck that sounds like what you're describing. Alas, I never resolved that issue--just used the PD170 to play back.

In my case, analog out was unaffected. If that is true for you, could you capture the audio separately?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply.
Analog has the same dropouts.
Dropouts exist regardless of the camera used to play back / capture the tape, once it's been recorded with this specific camera.
Dropouts also occur regardless if the on board mic or external mics are used.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #4
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You describe the classic problem caused by dirty heads -- a thorough cleaning would be my first solution. Note that a thorough cleaning is not one performed by a 'head cleaning tape' -- a professional examination of the entire tape path may well indicate build up on the rollers or elsewhere causing the problem.

I have twice had problems caused the 'tape brand mixing issue' often described as the wet/dry lube problem -- both times a good cleaning, and a discard of all the problematic brand of tapes, solved thee issue.

HTH

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Old April 14th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #5
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Thank you for your reply.
Is this a shipping it off procedure? Local camera shop issue? Cotton swab and some kid of cleaner issue? Which direction would you steer me to check?
Thanks :-)
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Old April 14th, 2009, 01:59 PM   #6
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I would take it to a 'Sony Authorized' repair facility -- in my community, that is a pro repair shop that is Sony-certified, in some other cities it may in fact be a Sony shop -- or if you have a working relationship with a rental house that carries the same model I wouldn't hesitate to have a skilled technician with experience take the door off the drive mechanism and perform a good clean ... I would NOT suggest you try it yourself. Helical scan heads are remarkably fragile, and even modest pressure in the wrong direction will wreck them.

This all assumes you are beyond warranty -- and that you will take a hard look at whether your tape handling habits (recycled tape, mixed brands, tapes stored in heat, excessive humidity) maybe the cause of the dirty heads.

Cheers,
GB
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Old April 14th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #7
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Thanks,
I'm mildly rural here as far as "authorized" repair facilities, but I'll start checking around in that direction.
Except for the very first 3 or 4 tapes a couple of years ago, I've stuck to Sony tapes ever since I found out about the mixing lubes issue, and ran a head cleaner through it then. Not sure what's triggered the symptoms I've been having.
Thanks for your help!
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:00 PM   #8
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solved

well...
I confirmed a new discovery today.
I captured into Vegas from my vx2000 (yes, still milking them!)
i had a critical sound trak with too many dropouts to use.
I recaptured with Vegas' audio preview disabled, and it captured cleanly.
go figure.
I had listened with headphones to the audio while playing back on the camera, and it sounded fine.
I captured the audio from the rca jacks into a digital recorder and it was clean.
My previous "analog" attempt had still been into vegas with audio preview turned on, so that must have been why it failed back then too.
This gremlin's been torturing me for a long time!
Good riddance!
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 11:01 PM   #9
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There are several things that produce these kinds of audio problems with VX 2000 footage.

One is the version of Vegas you are using and the hardware your are using it on. I used to run into this every so often with Vegas 7 and 8 when I was running it on my older WinXP system (4 gig RAM, ATI 9600 video card). The VX 2000 would play the tape with no drop outs but Vegas stuttered like crazy during capture, but the cpatured video & audio were usually fine.

Second, when the skipping is on the tape, the first thing to check is dirty heads in the VX2000. A pass or two with a cleaning tape will tell you if this is the problem. If recording and playback are fine after running a cleaning tape, you've fixed the problem yourself.

Finally, when the heads get worn and out of alignment, the audio dropouts seem to be the initial symptom of impending age-related camera failure. My VX 2000 was 8 years old when this happened to me. (I also had the same problem with my old TRV 900 when it reached its 8th year.) I phoned a Sony repair facility. They indicated that the audio skipping issue was a known age-related problem and they quoted me a price of $515 for reconditioning the camera.

In my case, it was time for new equipment. I milked the VX2000 for another year, but didn't use it's audio.

So, if it is just Vegas, you can milk that VX2000 for a while longer.
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