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Author Topic: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed  (Read 1706 times)

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Offline Songcatcher

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Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« on: January 13, 2015, 05:48:09 AM »
I've encountered a problem that I can't seem to figure out on my own. I was so desperate I even read the manual! If anyone can help, it's the smart people here.

I've been regularly recording a local artist (acoustic guitar, vocal, kickpad) who uses a Fender Passport PA system. The only output from the PA that doesn't drive the main speakers is a 1/8" jack on the front panel. In the past I've gone from that jack to the 1/8" input (Line 2) on the Tascam, with excellent results. Last weekend when I did the same thing, I noticed that the input levels on my deck were very high, and that even though I turned the gain control down to zero, I was still getting levels at about -30 db. I could still turn the gain up and adjust the levels even higher, but was unable to reduce them successfully. When troubleshooting the problem at home, I got the same results when connected to the line out jacks on my stereo. I thought perhaps I somehow got into an "auto" mode, but I've flipped every switch and changed every menu option without any different results. I even tried the "restore factory settings" option and things remain unchanged. It seems as if the input on line 2 has suddenly gained sensitivity. The internal uni and omni mics behave in the same fashion, but when I attach mics to the xlr mic input or line 1 setting, I can then turn the gain down to zero and get no signal, the only setting that allows me to do this. The recording I made last weekend came out distorted, even though my peaks were conservative. It sounds just like when I would brickwall the preamp in my old D7.

One wild card to throw in the mix. My friend was playing in a larger room than usual, and she was driving her PA at nearly full power trying to fill it. I thought I heard some distortion during the show, but the crowd was loud and I couldn't be certain. If her PA was clipping, I might have gotten an accurate recording of an overdriven PA. Yet I still don't understand the behavior of my line 2 input. Why can I not turn the level down to where there is no signal?

Hope there's a simple solution. I wouldn't mind being an embarrassed idiot if it fixes the problem. Big show coming up next week and I need to be good to go. Thanks for any help / advice!

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 08:17:36 AM »
First, go into menu setting and make sure you're not set to auto gain control.  See the note in the manual in the middle of page 31. 

For amplified music, make sure mic senstivity switch is in the L or Low position.  Any other position and my recordings either brick or distort, or both.  I personally make sure all of the switches are positioned to the left before recording.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 08:39:58 AM by tonedeaf »

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 08:23:26 AM »
Thanks for the reply. Those switches were the first things I checked. Does the mic sensitivity switch affect the line in as well? The settings are in the exact positions they always are in when I had no issues. All are to the left, as you suggested.

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 08:41:13 AM »
Thanks for the reply. Those switches were the first things I checked. Does the mic sensitivity switch affect the line in as well? The settings are in the exact positions they always are in when I had no issues. All are to the left, as you suggested.

Sorry I modified my response after initially responding.  Check to make sure your menu isn't set for auto level control.  There's a note on page 31 of the manual in the middle of the left hand column.

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2015, 08:49:51 AM »
One other thing is to check the switch on the bottom between the XLRs and make sure it's in the Line In position and not Mic In.  I thought that switch only applied to Line In 1, but after thinking about it more, it probably applies to both Line Inputs.  The manual really doesn't discuss the function of that switch much.

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 09:10:39 AM »
Just checked again - the recorder is set to LMT rather than auto. When I press record, the LMT icons lights, so I'm thinking it's not in auto. The manual states that when in the auto mode, the input knob is disabled, but I am still able to increase signal, so it doesn't seem to be "disabled".

If I change the switch on the line 1 setting, it has no apparent effect on line 2, unless I switch it while it's in record mode, and then the signal stops, regardless of where the input level is set. Pushing stop and then record again returns me to the standard problem.

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 09:22:05 AM »
One other thing is to check the switch on the bottom between the XLRs and make sure it's in the Line In position and not Mic In.

A mic/line mismatch seems like the only explanation for this sudden change of behavior.
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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 01:00:46 PM »
Well, the Tascam phone support was of no help either. Made me run through all the things I'd already done, admitted defeat and gave me a number for a service center. No service center within a hundred miles, so I can return it to the factory if I want it fixed. Any thoughts on if it will cost me more to fix it than the price of a new unit? I already ordered a replacement from BH so I can get that show next week. If I get this the current one fixed it will make a nice gift, as I had been planning to do just that in the near future.

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2015, 07:36:45 AM »
You learned what most of us already know...Tascam service is next to useless.  One of the reasons they have low priced products is they have the worst customer service in the industry that I've experienced.  I guess in this case, we get a decent price product, but suffer after the purchase. 

I wish you hadn't bought a new unit.  I'll be kinda surprised if you discover that the issue is that your first unit is faulty.  I'm not trying to be a second guesser here, just trying to save you the frustration of discovering that you may have wasted money trying to solve an issue. 

The issue you're having is not uncommon and I've futzed around with the menu on that unit enough to know that I've scratched my head more than once about why it wasn't reacting as I expected it to.  I suppose it's possible that something went wrong inside your unit, but my money would be on some strange setting that nobody has thought about.  It's just difficult sitting on the other side of the computer screen to help diagnose a difficult problem. 

Regardless, best of luck getting this resolved.  We've all been in your position and its frustrating as hell.

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2015, 07:42:39 AM »
I was scrambling to get connected prior to the start of the show. It wouldn't surprise me if if I had inadvertently hit a "control-alt-delete" sequence that puts the unit into a service mode. When I had issues with my GPS a couple years ago, I was astonished at the number of service option screens the representative had me access to troubleshoot the problem. Obviously, Tascam keeps that knowledge from it's customer service staff.

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2015, 07:55:33 AM »
^ LOL.  Been in that situation too.  One of the real downsides to this 'thing' we do, is that it gets really hard to go to shows without any gear.  In fact, in my case, I think I might die before the end of the show, but I'm not sure because I've never been forced to attempt to defy death by putting myself in that situation.  ;D

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Re: Tascam DR100MKII HELP! needed
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2015, 08:21:21 AM »
I recall  >:D taping a show in my early days, before I learned to pace my beer intake. Shorty into the show, I needed to hit the men's room. I fought the urge for 1.5 hours, and finally went in the break before the encore. I was stunned to find the deck was still in pause. Uncomfortable on many levels!

 

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