DM3200 Strange Automation Behavior


Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2012
Kansas, USA
Gear owned
DM 4800 DM 3200 MX2424s
After 5 years with very few issues, my DM3200 has started to exhibit odd behavior in automation write mode. As the mix is progressing, it will drop out of write to do a save, come back into write mode for a time and then drop out to do another save, etc. The red "write" LED never goes off, but the "save" dialog comes up in the LCD screen. Audio doesn't drop out when this occurs, but mix moves don't appear to be written when this happens. In fact, stopping the transport and performing an automation undo brings up the "no new events" dialog on the screen.

There is no way I have found to actually make it do this intentionally. It doesn't matter if a mix move has been made or not, though occasionally it seems related to making a new move in a mix, but there is no consistency to this behavior. It even happens if I'm just playing back an automated mix with write mode disabled.

I've considered doing a reset, but wanted to get some feedback from my fellow users first.


I never use automation on the board and only in my DAW and I've seen my 3200 do fader moves out of nowhere! It only happened once and I fixed it by performing an all clear of the automation. Maybe give that a try and start again
Thanks for the suggestions, cmaffia. I have tried clearing the automation completely and rebooting several times, but that doesn't seem to fix it.

I think I may have tracked it down to a faulty timecode cable/connection. While I've never actually seen the tc drop out, re-seating the cable appears to make the problem disappear. I'm going to order in a new one and keep my eye on it over the next day or so to see if that actually is the cause.

I'll update the post as I track it down.
Are you working with the MX2424 or with a DAW like Protools?

I've experienced similar issues a few years ago; in my case it had to do with USB communication interrupts causing the MTCode to get out of sync. Those write messages would accompany each event. In another case, the DMFirewire buffer was too small. But that doesn't sound relevant in your situation.

First thing to check are your MTCode settings, cables, and anything in the Automated Mix menu which may've changed since your last successful mix session.

Thanks CaptDan.

I'm using a pair of MX2424s with the DM. MX #1 is set up as the timecode source. A double check of all settings showed nothing has changed. Since it cropped up rather suddenly during a session the other day, I'm leaning toward the tc cable being the issue, as mentioned in my earlier post.

Good to have the info on the USB communication and firewire buffer!

Well, after 3 hours of mixing with only one automation drop out, I'm convinced it's the SMPTE cable. Re-seating it after the drop out immediately corrected the problem, so I'm nearly 100% certain. New cable on the way.

I'll update with the results of swapping out the cable once I've got a few hours on the new one.

Final update to this problem -- it was definitely the SMPTE cable. Problem has disappeared since connecting the new cable last week. Apparently, the dropouts were happening intermittently and too quickly for my eye to catch the time code registering them.

As I always say, it's either something silly or things are really broken. Thankfully, this was only something silly!
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