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Thread: got new hardware today, can't get timecode to sound good for anything.

  1. #1
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    got new hardware today, can't get timecode to sound good for anything.

    Reloop RP800 Mk2 + Ortofon Concorde MKii Scratch sartridge + Numark Scratch + Serato control Vinyl Serato 2.4.3

    I've never messed with a DVS setup, but it should be easy enough to get up and working. After I had issues I did watch a few tutorials and read some articles. Here's what I've done

    Simple setup, just the 1 turntable and mixer. First I balanced the tonearm for the cartridge, since I was having horrible sound issues, I did it 2 more times to make sure it was right. I also unscrewed the Ortofon just to make sure it was connected well. When the mixer's in line /phone mode, the timecode tone sounds good. I set it to PC and went into Serato and hit estimate under audio settings and the best I could get it sounded awful. The scope showed a flat horizontal line. Which Serato says

    The right channel signal is missing. If using CDJs, ensure that the RCA cables are properly connected. If using Turntables, ensure the cables are properly connected, the wires from the cartridge to the headshell are connected and that the headshell connectors are clean and it is screwed in tightly.


    Not saying it couldn't be a bad cable, but it's brand new from the box. I don't have another with a ground wire, so I hooked up the one regular RCA cable I have and it was the same. When I try line mode, it sounds slightly better (but still awful) and plays the audio like it's being pitched up or something. Since I've never set up a DVS before I don't know 100%. But seeing how in line/phono mode the tone sounds normal, I'm thinking the problem's with my PC, but since I don't know enough to troubleshoot properly maybe it is a hardware thing. Here's my setup

    i5 3570k, 8gb ddr3, SSD, Windows 10. To eliminate it being a software or something else in my Windows install. I have a spare SSD with a clean install of Windows 10 and nothing else. I booted to it and it still sounded bad.

    I've tried 2 different USB cables and 2 different ports (a 2.0 and a 3.0) Everything was new out straight out the box. I even tried the 2nd timecode vinyl to make sure it wasn't a bad record, no improvement. IF a piece of hardware's bad and I need to replace it I don't know even know where to start to figure that out. I'm hoping someone on here can follow what my problem is and has an idea for me. I did email Serato support, but even when they're quick to respond, it can still take a long time if I gotta go back and forth with them. I'm kinda broke after buying this new shit, but if anyone here would be willing to do a 10-15 minute Skype call or something and try to troubleshoot it with me I could float a bit of money for the help.

    I'm going to hit the Goodwill tomorrow to see if they have any actual records, then I could know for sure if the turntable or cartridge are the problem.

  2. #2
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    basically you have to troubleshoot the signal path to find out where the issue is. it is a skill you will need to master being a DJ; you will do it hundreds of times.

    so yeah, test it all in as simple a setup as possible with a "real" record, from the phono output on your deck, directly to the phono input on the mixer to make sure that part of the signal path is ok.

    next test the computer going through its internal soundcard to the mixer, playing an mp3 or something, to check it is outputting sound.

    then test the serato soundcard in your mixer as the output, not using serato software, but with an mp3.

    then check the serato software without timecode playing music with the serato soundcard.

    lastly check with timecode. [make sure that the phono/line path (should you use the phono outputs on your deck?) is set up correctly coming from your deck to your mixer and configured correctly in Serato].
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  3. #3
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    Thanks for replying, will find an actual vinyl record tomorrow if it kills me lol. A bit ago I did something and unintentionally made Serato play a song thru the sound card on the Numark Scratch, and it sounded wonderful. I was ecstatic thinking it was fixed, but I quickly realized it wasn't the DVS playing DOH. Just took your advice and played a song on my PC with the Scratch line 1/2 as the output and it sounded great. So I think I can eliminate the mixer as the source of the problem.

    I noticed in Serato's audio settings in the noise sensitivity number in the upper right constantly jumps around 30-40. A few articles I read on Google said it should stay at 0. Also, not sure what the number should be at when you do a noise analysis, but last time I clicked on it it was -32db threshold. I don't know if that's normal, or good. Google isn't helping me much here. It looks like my problem's noise though, I checked both ground wires and removed and reconnected them just to be sure. I need to go to sleep and not touch it again until I have a real record in front of me to test it.

    *EDIT* As I was about to lay down I thought one last try just because. I switched the inputs to line in did the analyze and the number dropped to -60db and BOOM it finally sounded pretty decent when I played it. When I checked the calibration it's still a flat line, so I need to figure out how to get it into a circle. And that number in the right's 33 and I guess it should be zero. Playing with the L/R & P/A balance isn't helping. So looks like I got more work to do, it sucks I don't know what I did that made the big difference as I've been doing the same shit all night ha.

    You're definitely right about having to learn how to troubleshoot, Serato tool tips says if the calibration deck shows a straight line it means only 1 channel of the mixer's working. I'm getting stereo in my headphones and I have no way to test the mixer outputs at the moment. Also my number in the lower right is 0% and Serato is saying if it's calibrated properly it should read 100. I can't get it to say anything but 0. If anyone reads this and has a suggestion how I can get the noise graph thingies to come out as circle I'm all ears. I'm kind of scared to touch anything as if it goes back to how it sounded all day I don't think I can get it back to where it's at now. Also the 0 that should be 100 in the lower right corner. I've been working on this for like 12 hours and still don't have any sort of clue how to get the line into a circle. On both channels I get a line so I don't even know where to start here.

    Thank you for your help pete, you recharged my brain with ideas after I had spent 4 hours literally *plug in cable* *click noise sensitivity" *press play* *repeat 200x* I was getting nowhere.
    Last edited by j-bird; 01-04-2021 at 07:44 AM.

  4. #4
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    My guess would be that line/phono levels on the signal path are not "synchronized".
    If you take the rca from the turntable's phono out => mixer input should be set to phono (switch on the BACK).
    If you take the rca from the turntable line out => mixer input should be set to line (switch on the BACK).

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    Quote Originally Posted by stomp View Post
    My guess would be that line/phono levels on the signal path are not "synchronized".
    If you take the rca from the turntable's phono out => mixer input should be set to phono (switch on the BACK).
    If you take the rca from the turntable line out => mixer input should be set to line (switch on the BACK).
    They're synchronized, in my 4 hours of randomly trying stuff to see if anything sticks I hooked them up all possible ways. I did pay attention to what I was doing, and I knew well before I started to keep phono -> phone and line -> line. The mixer's simple. It only has a single switch per channel which gives you 2 options line/phono & PC. I was having mega problems getting phono -> phono to work. Sometime it was playing it 10x slow, sometimes it was playing it slow and backwards. And with line -> line a lot of the times it was way pitched up. Right now it's hooked up line -> line, and is giving me usable audio. But going by Serato's calibration the signals still way, and only 1 channel's working. All I know is I'm seeing a flat line and I should be seeing a circle. And all fiddling with the L/R & P/A does is move the angle of the line and further garble the audio. I'm still not counting out it could a problem with the mixer or the TT, but I believe there's some way I can get it working. But that's why I'm here asking because I'm can't figure it out what to do to troubleshoot it further. Right now I'm basically trying all sorts of shit to see if anything sticks, and I'm still in the same place.
    Last edited by j-bird; 01-04-2021 at 01:55 PM.

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    Just in case, I'll state again - there's a switch on the back of the mixer, one per channel, toggles between phono and line input. You aware of it?

    To use the dvs the switch on top should be in PC position.

    When using the phono to phono connection, do you have the ground wire attached? You should.

    Where is your mixer output plugged in? Amp, active speakers? Maybe thre's a problem there.

    Do you follow Scratch user manual, chapter "DVS"?

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    Also check if the cables are connected red to red, white to white.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stomp View Post
    Just in case, I'll state again - there's a switch on the back of the mixer, one per channel, toggles between phono and line input. You aware of it?

    To use the dvs the switch on top should be in PC position.

    When using the phono to phono connection, do you have the ground wire attached? You should.

    Where is your mixer output plugged in? Amp, active speakers? Maybe thre's a problem there.

    Do you follow Scratch user manual, chapter "DVS"?
    Yes the switch on the back is correct, the top switch is set to PC. Ground wire is attached to both devices, I triple checked them to make sure it was not lose. At the moment I don't have anything plugged into the output, just USB, power, ground and RCAs, and headphones in the front. I even tried moving the power strip that's attached to my table as far away as I could as I read interference from one can make the sound bad. It didn't change anything. And yes the cables are connected properly color wise.

    Something I just noticed, when I was trying to baby scratch, even when I'm moving the vinyl backwards, the timecode only moves forward. I looked thru Serato settings thinking this could be some scrub like option. But when I move it fast it does sound like a scratch, so I dunno there. I can't find anything on this on Google because I don't know how to word my search lol. And I don't even know if this is tied into my flat line problem or it's a Serato setting and it's suppose to do this unless you change it. If so though it seems weird to me it would function like this by default though.

    And I did try a 2nd RCA cable, it doesn't have ground wires coming from it, but Serato still showed a flat line when I hooked it up to either mixer channel. So maybe the mixer is broken. And I don't know if this is normal or not, but when I have it in line mode and play the control vinyl I only get sound from the left ear in my headphones. Which kind of makes sense to me because Serato's telling me only 1 channel's working. But, when I play music I am getting it in both ears.
    Assuming there is nothing wrong with my mixer, I'm guessing it's going to be something pretty damn basic once I figure it out.

    thank you for helping stomp, I'm going to go back to Googling and watching YT videos in the hopes something helpful will jump out.


    I followed the directions in a manual to a t, I re did them probably 20 times throughout yesterday.

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    In which position is the CUE/PGM knob top right on the mixer?

    Try inverting the cables red to white an see if any behavior changes to better, particularly the scratch issue - moving only forward.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stomp View Post
    inverting the cables red to white
    That's red from tt goes to white in the mixer and white from tt goes to red in the mixer.

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