Lost XLR signal and The Great Slate VMS Mystery

Discussion in 'TASCAM DM-3200 & DM-4800' started by Jason King, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Hi.

    Recently, after taking a rest from recording, I discovered my tascam dm4800 no longer likes to acknowledge any kind of condenser mic. It will record on the way it always has my sm57, and Hohner harp mic.(connected via their correct xlr and line input respectively.) But refuses to accept my Gemini Il.

    I found this out when connecting a Slate VMS ONE. The Slate records guitar beautifully through its instrument input/output. But neither ML1 or ML2 will record, sound or signal. If I tap the side of the mic you do hear a faint sound.

    It seems to be anything connected through XLR.

    I know I must have shit it down in correctly last time and changed CF card.

    I’ve been through the manual and watched various YouTube videos. I have tried many combinations in myriad variations. But nothing

    Any ideas?
  2. skier

    skier Active Member

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    If the DM is working fine with your SM57, but not any condenser mic, the VERY FIRST thing I'd check is whether or not you have phantom power turned on to the XLR jack into which you've plugged that condenser. If it is on, I'd next check with a voltmeter to see if you actually have phantom power being supplied by the DM to that jack. Because the dynamic mic is working (and I'll bet so will all other dynamics, which do not need external power), you know the amplification circuitry is also working. Therefore, it definitely sounds as if phantom power is either off or not working.
  3. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply, I will try and get a voltmeter.

    The funny thing is that the slate VMS unit (And we’ve tried two) has its own phantom power built in to it. And even when activated I can get nothing.

    Very odd
  4. skier

    skier Active Member

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    Well, if you've got a Slate VMS system, it can supply its ownphantom power, so make sure it's phantom power switch is turned on (I just checked the Quick Start Guide online -- there is such a switch). Then, take its line level output and feed that into the DM. If you're using an XLR cable, make sure the DM's input you're using is a Line Input AND NOT a mic input.

    If after this you still don't get a normal signal into the DM, try an actual, separate condenser mic into a DM microphone XLR jack with the DM's phantom power turned on. If that works, the DM is ok and the problem is in the VMS system. Also, try feeding the VMS output into the input of another mixer or amp to assure it's providing an output signal.

    At this point, you should be trying to determine the source of the problem and that's best accomplished by trying the kinds of things I've just described. Good luck!
    Peter Batah likes this.
  5. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

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    Mm, interesting that the Slate says LINE OUT above both outputs as XLR and TRS connections - also they output the exact same signal. You might wanna try feeding the TRS from the Slate into a Line input on the DM.
    Peter Batah likes this.
  6. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Thanks.

    Slate phantom on. Been in contact over a week. They’re at a loss. New VMS One Unit supplied.

    Nothing. Tried rerouting mic line, Buss direct. Changed over to spare FireWire card.
    I know it’s not likely but I am at the stage where I would ware a bobble hat and moon boots if it helped.

    Oh and of course the VMS works perfectly when recording guitar through the instrument setting. Signal flow straight in as usual/norm.

    It can’t be just a Slate thing as Gemini won’t show up either with the phantom power on. Even rigged it through XLR 24. In case it was a faulty batch of four phantoms.

    Spent quite a bit and replaced every cable.

    Out of ideas
  7. Marvel

    Marvel Active Member

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    Is there anyone in your vicinity with a DM to check how things are working there? This will most likely tell you whether your DM is the problem.
  8. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    I wish there was. Unfortunately I am housebound and have to rely on the Internet for any advice or research.
  9. skier

    skier Active Member

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    Did you ever try my suggestion yesterday of plugging one or two condenser mics into the DM directly with the DM's phantom power turned on for that channel in which you plugged that condenser mic? Did it work?
  10. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Hi Skier

    Here are today’s findings. I plugged ml2 mic directly in and turned on desk phantom power. Worked perfectly. Plugged in ML1 using the same method. It was like I was recording in a wind tunnel.

    I can’t plug the gem 2 in direct as it goes in to its own power supply via an 8 to 8 pin.

    As this was the only cable I didn’t replace, I have just ordered an 8 to 8 Male to female which should be here tomorrow. The cable that takes gem to deal is fine as I tested it with the ml2

    Still nothing from VMS Unit. And yet it still records guitar input beautifully every time.

    Thanks for the help btw. Very much appreciated
  11. skier

    skier Active Member

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    Np, you're welcome for the help.

    Thanks for testing with another mic, the ML-2, in this case. This successful test plus the successful test with the SM-75 indicates that the DM4800 is working properly and is not the problem. That leaves the ML-1 or the cabling between.

    Based on the fact that the ML-2 plugged in directly to the DM worked fine and the ML-1 didn't, I'd say the problem is the ML-1 mic itself or the cabling from that mic.
  12. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Thanks. I agree. But I really would be unlucky to have a bad ML1 and 2 bad VMS UNITS!?! SX Pro in Uk have however, been amazing. And I would recommend them to anyone.

    I will report back tomorrow and let you know if 8 pin cable made any difference to Gem.

    The cable that I used on perfect ml2 test was the the same cable that gave the bad ml1 test

    If gem 2 works tomorrow I’ll just be incredibly relived it is not a phantom power probl and I can record again. It’s my only bit of fun

    Thanks again, people
  13. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Hi folks. New cable not problem. Gem is now in track 5. Phantom on. Set to mic. I am getting no input on layer one. But it’s now displaying the guitar track on playback on track 5 in bus layer.

    I’ve touted every which way.

    I’m still researching
  14. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Also. Not sure of my m/l returns. Tried a few variations. I tried to upload a photo. But it wouldn’t let me.
  15. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

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    Looks like we're dealing with multiple 'issues' here. You're talking about mic returns and guitar playback so that suggests a routing issue. Is the original problem (no mic activity on XLR input with phantom) now solved?
  16. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    No. Sorry, Arjan. Just wondered if they were related. I have learnt quite a bit tho
  17. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Anything line in works. Dynamic mics. Etc. However, the slate VMS still shows nothing - even under its own phantom power. The slate does work bower, when set to instrument/guitar. The ml1 mic works, if a little white noise. The ml2 works...but only on a line in. With Tascam phantom power. The guitar/instrument out is the same input...so the VMS half works. Gem 2. Gives no signal.

    I only asked about routing as I wondered if it could possible be a mic line input return. Still reading lots about routing on here and manual. It’s been years since I read and set all this up
  18. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Also, after a friends advice, got ml1 sitting next to bags of silica in case it’s white noise is condensation.
  19. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    So today’s weirdness update. I got the Slate VMS unit to take signal - and record - into Tascam and Logic!!! Only it will only do it with the sm57!?!

    Phantom on on the VMs and off on Tascam
    Will not read not read anything from nl1 or 2

    Will not read input on 5 (phantom power on Tascam) with the Gemini.

    Put it onto a Mackie big knob pro. Using FireWire as input and Big knob as output.

    Using SoundSource app to run things.

    It makes no sense at all
  20. Jason King

    Jason King New Member

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    Oh guitars still record perfect through slate.