Talkback Stopped Working


Active Member
Oct 28, 2012
Bowie, MD
Gear owned
2 each SX1 LE Plus
Has anyone had this happen? If so, what did you find to be the problem?

For some reason the talkback function on my primary LE Plus machine stopped working. Unfortunately I discovered this when beginning a tracking session and used a free mic channel as a work around for the session. Since I had recently opened up the machine to install a front-mounted drive bay, I assumed that I had done something to the cable going to the internal talkback microphone. That was all fine and while i had the "hood up" I installed a fresh CR2032 battery on the motherboard so it was wasn't a totally wasted effort.

As an experiment I swapped the HD from my primary machine to the secondary one - the talk back problem moved along with the drive. Changing from the internal mic to using channel 16 did not work either. Figuring it is a software problem, I re-installed the latest version (1.52) of the OS for an LE Plus a couple of times with no joy, problem persists. I am now in the process of making sure that i indeed have everything on the primary machine's drive backed up via ftp on my iMac. I figure that the HD with the problem is about to cash it in. Once I complete the backup I pan to erase the problem drive and install the OS and see if that cures it. Since it is the original 40GB drive I will still replace it with a new 80GB that I have on hand.
Finally resolved this issue. It took me several days to make sure I had current backups of all my current client projects (34 of them) from the old OEM 40GB drive. Since doing repeated re-installs of OS 1.52 to that drive did nothing to restore talkback functions, I erased/reformatted the drive and sure enough this did fix the problem. I am pretty sure that the old drive is the original Seagate ST340810ACE as it has no date of manufacture and states on the label that it is for OEM distribution only. This means that it is likely over ten years old and I have worked it fairly hard in the studio. I am going to scrap it now that I have replaced it the 80GB drive that now has all the client projects on it that I put in the Project Folder using FTP Client on my iMac. Since both of my SX1 LE Plus machines are not easily accessible from the rear (one is in an Argosy console - see my avatar) I have installed front-mouted drive bays under the CDROM drive on them so it is now a lot more convenient to swap drives. The rear tray is now empty and the IDE ribbon cable was flipped over towards the front to connect to the rear of the drive bay. I think I remember reading that Wolf has done this with his machines too. I have attached a photo of what the StarTech drive bay looks like installed in an SX1 LE Plus. At first I was sure I had a hardware issue but this goes to show that there can be lots of little software gremlins that can result from hard drive issues - just dropping a single bit of data here or there can wreak havoc with things.

Granted - both my machines "live" in a controlled studio environment but i still think they have been really reliable for me and my clients. I still don't think there is anything out there that delivers what you get from the SX1 series machines for the cost: I paid $2700 (ten years ago) for my first one and only $1200 (seven years ago) for the second one. The integration of audio, midi and full automation is great. i have PreSonus Studio One on the iMac but I do 90% of my tracking and mixing on the Sx1 since it has a great user interface. Clients love it! StarTech Drive Bay in SX-1 LE Plus.jpg

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