Was at a private function gig last night, with my beloved CDJ-1000mk3s. Everything was going fine, up to some point that I was preparing to cue a new track on one of the decks. Right after the track was automatically cued on the deck, while listening in the headphones, I pressed CUE a few times to make sure it was at the right expected start point, and to prepare some beatmatching.
But when I pressed CUE, however, instead of the normal sound I was expecting from that track, I was surprised to hear a few seconds of garbage noise which I believe resembed white noise. I tried to press CUE a few times, and no changes. Still garbage. Keeping CUE pressed down to let the track play longer, I noticed that a few seconds later the normal track sound resumed, and that I could possibly cue it further away from the original start point to avoid playing the garbage noise.
This has happened to me once in the past four years with my decks. My first reflex in those extremely rare cases is to take note of the CD (so I can examine/reburn it laater) and immediately eject it to use another one to keep the show going. But last night I only had a single copy of that track with me, and it was on that one CD - and the audience had really been expecting it for a while, so I really wanted to play it. So I dared playing it, knowing that if there was possibly something wrong with the CD and that it could fail while playing. But it was worth the risk.
I had time before the other track on the other deck currently playing on the PA was to be finished, so I tried to eject the presumably bad CD, and immediately reinsert it back in. No luck, still the same garbage noise. So I cued it manually to the first beat of the next phrase and started from there. Except for the few seconds of garbage noise at the start which I skipped by cueing at a different position, the track finally played fine and I was relieved.
So after the CD was done playing and ejected, I looked at it and I thought - "OK, I see quite a bit of visible dirt on some parts of this CD, maybe it's just bad/old and needs to be reburnt".
So today, back at home in the studio, I took the same CD and inserted it again in the same player. NO garbage noise this time. Huh?!?
I had this happen to me once many years ago. When I did reinsert the CD at that time, it didn't play garbage noise the second time. Like the noise was due to some weird temporary problem which got "cleared" by ejecting and reinserting the CD. But as I said here the second insertion trick didn't work at the gig last night. But why can't I reproduce the problem today though?
Could it be that the track was loaded in the CDJ's memory, and reinserting the same CD right away would still use the same memory buffer that still had the "garbage" noise loaded into it? Mystery.
I'm using standard audio CDs, nothing special. This happened on a Sony CD-R that I've had burned myself several years ago, and which always worked fine up until now. I'm using the same brand of CDs 99% of the time - Sony CD-Rs, otherwise Verbatim CD-Rs. I have probably thousands and thousands of hours of play with my decks and CDs. Both brands work extremely well for me and I think I get one error message on the CDJ display on one out of every couple hundred CDs I burn - and that's about it.
Anyways - to be on the safe side, I've fetched my backup mp3s at home, decoded them to WAVs, and reburned that exact same CD so I use a brand new disc this time.
Anyone ever came across this problem with the CDJ-1000MK3s?
I've had my two CDJ-1000MK3 decks for over four years now. Never had to get them cleaned, and since I can't reproduce the problem still, I don't see a point in taking them to a Pioneer repair shop - at least yet. Any thoughts? Could this be some small dirt that happened to be "in the way" in the drive and which cleared itself?