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SD 664 Noisy Channel


Travis Williamson
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SD_664_Ch5_NTG3_Noisy.wav


I've just tried posting twice and both times somehow deleted all the text, so here's an ulltra brief run down of my issue:

 

Channel 5 of my 664 is producing a weird noise, as heard in the attached sample. It is not cable or mic related as both have been switched out. It happens with both the 416 and Rode NTG3, and any cable. It is intermittent. I first heard it two days ago, about 4 hours into a corporate shoot- single boom, in channel 5. Noise would come and go. Usually immediately after buttoning on. I switched the cable out, the problem persisted, I switched 416 out to the NTG3 and the problem dissapeared. Next day I'm using the NTG3 on a short film thinking the 416 is cooked, 12 hours into a 13 hour day I hear the noise again. Switched to channel 6 for the last hour, with no problems.

 

It's worth noting that on the second day, I had two radios on channel 1 and 2 respectively and boom (NTG3 on channel 5). Channel 1 and 2 do not contain this noise, only channel 5. Noise began immediately after buttoning on, lasted the whole take. I immediately switched to channel 6 after we cut, and stayed there for the remaining hour with no issues.

 

Clip is attached. Noise exists on channel 5 from both shoot days, on both the CF and SD media.

 

Anyone else heard this or experienced this before?

 

If I send the machine back to Sound Devices, I could end up paying for 10 hours of labour time just so they can sit and wait for the problem to occur.

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Travis: " Anyone else heard this or experienced this before? "

most probably...
sounds like ch 5 needs to be fixed...

(are you in denial?)

" I could end up paying for 10 hours of labour time just so they can sit and wait for the problem to occur. "

oh come on... you know better... they are pretty much universally appreciated for great customer service.

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The problem is a new one, within the last few days, so while I would say no, I'm not in denial of the problem Senator, I'm just trying to narrow the problem down. At this stage, I think it's reasonably clear that the problem is with channel 5, but whether it's a problem with the channel itself, or at the digital recording stage is yet to be seen. The problem has not yet repeated on any other channel of the machine, however, like I said, it's early days, and the problem is intermittent, and took a whole day of shooting to manifest the second time on channel 5. It could very well appear again on another channel if I spent a whole day listening and waiting.

 

So in summary, at this stage the problem is isolated to channel 5. When the problem first occurred, I was only running one channel- channel 5. Second time it occurred I had radios open on channel 1 and 2, neither of which contained the problem. So, yes reasonably clear that it's channel 5. Have not tried powering with internal batteries. Why would the NP1's all of a sudden effect the abilities of the machine? Why would the channel itself not work efficiently now, for that matter? I guess it's worth mentioning that in the two years I've owned the machine, i've scarcely used channel 5. The only reason I used it on these two occasions is because I've colour coded the channels with short breakout cables- the break out cable for channel 6- my green channel- failed me, so rather than using the white cable in the green channel, I just used the white channel, which happened to be channel 5. So, the OCD factor allowed me to spot an error with the machine.

 

As for the nature of the offending sound, it reminded me of RF interference too, but it's pretty clear that it is not.

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I had to shoot recently with a 664 on AA batteries, and the shotgun mic start playing up as well about similar to the sound in your files. Swapped the AAs for fresh charged ones and problem disappeared. I recall a same occasion a while ago when I had to do a quick record with a shotgun right into a Zoom h4n. Also changing the batteries solved it. So might be a 48v current demanding thing? Best way to find out I guess is to check it with a dynamic mic on the channel.

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If anyone is curious I performed some extra tests today and this is what happened:

 

a) 416 presents the same problematic noise in all channels (1-6) without exception, with a variety of cables.

B) ntg3 presented no problem in channels 5 and 6. nor did the ev676, which i brought in to me mix. i did not bother to test these two mics in channels 1-4. it would have been thorough of me, but didn't seem necessary once the 416 exhibited the same problem in all channels.

c) both the ntg3 and ev676 used the same cables as the 416, eliminating the possibility that the cable(s) were the source of the problem.

d) channel 5 was clean with both ntg3 and ev676. not to with the 416.

 

this would all be good news if not for what I now can only refer to as 'Mondays anomaly':

 

12 hours into a shoot, the ntg3 in channel 5 produced the same noise which the 416 produces without fail on all channels.

 

oh boy.

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Thanks Vincent. I also thought it may have been a power issue. However, the NP1 is almost fully charged and I'm almost certain the battery was also freshly changed when the ntg3 produced noise on Monday. Additionally, the ntg3 is fine upon testing today, and the 416 is producing noise in all channels. So that eliminates the power problem.

 

I will test both mics in my zoom h4n now.

 

The recordings I uploaded here last night are 100% ntg3 in channel 5, producing noise, the same noise the 416 produces without fail in all channels, with any cable. I can't get the ntg3 to make that noise any more.

 

Maybe the recording I uploaded is a pure anomaly and won't ever appear again- maybe the batteries were dying Monday and THAT was a power issue, but the 416 is still damaged. Confusing stuff.

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TW: " I'm not in denial of the problem Senator, I'm just trying to narrow the problem down. "

you are in denial that the unit needs to be serviced; you have it pretty well narrowed down to ch 5.

" whether it's a problem with the channel itself, or at the digital recording stage is yet to be seen. "

well, DOH, it would still need to be fixed...

if the DS Ultra Master Reset Sequence doesn't correct it, then get someone qualified to fix it.

 

" Why would the NP1's all of a sudden effect the abilities of the machine? "

who cares..?

" Why would the channel itself not work efficiently now, for that matter? "

because CRAP happens...

" I guess it's worth mentioning that in the two years I've owned the machine, i've scarcely used channel 5. "

not really

 

sorry, but you sound like you are in denial, and, a bit childish, to me.

get it fixed.

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Phantom is set at 48v.

 

From all the tests I did the other day (results scattered in the above posts), the only repeatable problem is that the 416 is dodgy no matter where or what it is plugged into. Even a zoom h4n. Now it seems that the only anomaly is the ntg3 crapping out in channel 5 one time. I'd prefer to confirm that channel 5 has a problem before I send it away, and at this stage, I can't get the problem to repeat itself in channel 5, unless it's with the 416, which as said, is problematic no matter where it's plugged in.

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Phantom is set at 48v.

 

From all the tests I did the other day (results scattered in the above posts), the only repeatable problem is that the 416 is dodgy no matter where or what it is plugged into. Even a zoom h4n. Now it seems that the only anomaly is the ntg3 crapping out in channel 5 one time. I'd prefer to confirm that channel 5 has a problem before I send it away, and at this stage, I can't get the problem to repeat itself in channel 5, unless it's with the 416, which as said, is problematic no matter where it's plugged in.

super confusing to me... sorry... 

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So is your 664 actually broken? Or is it really only the 416? Certainly your fault-finding skills need some brushing up ;)

 

I disagree that my fault finding skills need brushing up. I have a lot of information which does not lead to a concrete conclusion.

 

What I have is a 416 that is clearly broken- it malfunctions every time I plug it in, to any recorder. Initially I thought the problem was with channel 5 of the 664, because my ntg3 also malfunctioned once in this channel. I have since tested all channels of the 664 with the 416, ntg3, and another mic, the ev676.

 

The only malfunction in those tests was the 416, which performed badly universally.

 

So yes, it may seem as simple as the 416 being broken- and I think the 416 clearly is broken- but there is one anomaly among all of this which is the ntg3 malfunctioning on a shoot, in channel 5, one time. In all subsequent tests, I cannot get this malfunction to occur again with the ntg3, or with any other mic in channel 5 of the 664. The experiment is NOT repeatable. Therefore, it is an anomaly until I can get it to repeat again.

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I disagree that my fault finding skills need brushing up. I have a lot of information which does not lead to a concrete conclusion.

Well, you could've done the cross check with another recorder much earlier. Now, all you have is something that malfunctioned at some point. It may not have anything to do with the 664. you need to do further testing, or conclude that it was a one-off event
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  • 2 weeks later...

The problem occurred again, this time with an 8060 borrowed from a friend. Problem began in Channel 5, I switched out to Channel 6, problem kept persisting, so I switched again to the NTG3 and it went away. This happened in the last hour or two of a 10 hour corporate job.

 

So weird. I've contacted Sound Devices with a break down of all these experiences. I'm beginning to *think* it's a phantom power issue also. I would love to know what cooked my 416, my theory is that the 664 is doing weird things with phantom (like maybe sending too much current to the mics....)

 

I'm going to run my boom wireless on my next job. If there aren't any problems, that could indicate that it may be a phantom power issue.

 

I doubt very much that it's humidity, I live in South Australia which is the dryest state here, on one of the dryest continents in the world. It's known for it's dry heat, and thats the weather we've been having lately.

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