Tascam M Series Mid 80s Console - Pops & Clicks

Discussion in 'TASCAM Analog Forum' started by Jaz Crossman, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Jaz Crossman

    Jaz Crossman New Member

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    Hi all,

    New to this forum but hoping someone maybe able to help.

    I recently purchased a M-320b series console for a really decent price, it appears to be fairly well looked after and no noticeable neglect problems.

    I am now experiencing a rather annoying issue though, I've now tracked drums via the desk on three separate occasions (8 channels used) and what I am finding is the desk is sending very loud pops/clicks to my interface in certain sections of the drum tracks (not always the same place though). The obvious cause would be that I am driving the desk to hard but there are a couple of factors that make me think otherwise so, no overload lights illuminate at any point, the level being recorded via my interface (which is set to line level) is VERY conservative, when trying to deliberately overload a channel to troubleshoot this issue I cannot recreate it and finally if I were really pushing the desk too hard I would expect to hear a fair amount saturation, all signals seem very clean.

    Signal routing is as follows. microphone>XLR>M320b input>direct out via 1/4" jack>interface input (UR824)>DAW

    [​IMG]
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O5eQsTeqQrpNnLR0yMwGvM2cMNrczPs7/view?usp=sharing

    I've linked a picture of the waveform to help explain better, it sounds very much like a click sound and makes the transient completely unusable.

    Any thoughts help very much appreciated!
  2. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    Mixers usually do not have this problem but digital interfaces do. I would use the M320 without interface hook up and see if it ever does it by itself- If it does then you are probably in for power supply recap and then the channels. That is going to be a big job. Electrolytics can short intermittently and cause this kind of pop. It should be located on a certain channel or if on all then a buss circuit. If not in the mixer alone then that is the interface problem and maybe overloading it- try doing the same job with 6dB lower levels to see if it persists. I used one of these mixers at a Church sound system I installed but that was in the mid 80's- that was a lot of years ago for Electrolytic caps.
  3. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    As a general statement when working with DAWs, on Windows systems you must take steps to optimize your system for audio, and of course a fast computer with more CPU cores is desirable.

    When the soundcard passes a buffer to the DAW, the DAW has to wake up, process the audio buffer, and return it to the soundcard before the soundcard needs to play it out.

    If the DAW doesn’t wake up in time, or get finished in time, then you hear a “click” or a "pop" caused by the dropout in the data stream.

    So a likely culprit: the buffer for your D.A.W. isn't large enough and your computer can't keep up.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  4. Jaz Crossman

    Jaz Crossman New Member

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    Thanks for your replies so far,

    I have been working with the same interface/Mac/DAW setup for several years with no problems and it only seems to be since the introduction of the analogue desk that this issue is occurring, for the time being I think I will run some tests using a different group of channels to hopefully help figure out if I've just been unlucky with the channels I have been using as I don't really fancy recapping this thing!

    Thanks again
  5. Arjan P

    Arjan P Veteran

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    Looking at the waveform picture, these clicks do not look like digital clicks to me, since they are very steep going up, but with a clear decay going down (digital clicks ususally also are steep going down). Also the fact that you had no issues before using the analog desk - the culprit seems to be the desk..
  6. Tangled in a tape

    Tangled in a tape New Member

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    Hi Jaz!
    Pops & Clicks? Or a clock?
    The image does not indicate the type of units used in the horizontal coordinate (time), but the three clicks it shows seem closely related to those units ...
    Sorry for my bad English!
  7. SkywaveTDR

    SkywaveTDR Well-Known Member

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    What other have not said is that the waveform you are seeing has ringing on it. It is not just a rise and fall click there is a ringing on the decay. I usually stay away from direct outs myself.