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XDJ-RX Recordings Clipping at Low Volume

I am using Rekordbox DJ 4.3.0 on a MacBook Pro running OS Yosemite 10.10.5.  The recordings made with my XDJ-RX to a Corsair Survivor 16GB USB drive appear to be clipping, even at a low volume.  

Prior to using the XDJ-RX, I used a Z1 mixer with Traktor (Master Gain -8db, Recording Gain -12db), and did not have this issue.  To demonstrate, I recorded the same track using Traktor (with levels as indicated above) and the XDJ-RX (with the trim knob adjusted down to "9 o'clock," channel volume peaking at -15db), and then opened both tracks in Audacity:


[First track: Traktor with Z1 mixer, second track Rekordbox DJ with XDJ-RX]

It appears that there is plenty of headroom with the recording made from the XDJ-RX.  Then I enlarged the waveforms to show the detail, and they show up as follows:


[First track: Traktor with Z1 mixer, second track Rekordbox DJ with XDJ-RX]

The appearance of "clipping" is particularly noticeable after the track's intro. This was using an AIFF file purchased at Beatport. The recording made with Traktor displays the full waveform, but the recording made with the XDJ-RX cuts off the waveform even though the trim was set to -15db.  

Any ideas what might be causing this, or suggestions for further troubleshooting?  Defective unit, perhaps?  I really want to love the XDJ-RX, but must go back to using my Traktor Z1 to record without this "clipping" issue.   

Don Herman 回答済み

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Update:  I have also tested the XDJ-RX in standalone mode, recording from USB (left side) to USB (right side).  Still having the same issue.  XDJ-RX firmware version is 2.20. 

The track I have used for testing is "Let Go" Deadmau5, Grabbitz (Extended Mix), format: AIFF, should anyone else want to try it and see if the results are the same:

https://www.beatport.com/track/let-go-extended-mix/8699453

Don Herman 0 票
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I performed another test, recording directly using Rekordbox (Aggregate Device setup), in order to further isolate the issue and remove the USB drives as a possible source of the problem.  

I kept the trim knob on the XDJ-RX at 9 o'clock, and the Rekordbox DJ master gain  and recording level meters peaked under halfway across, which should allow for plenty of headroom while recording:


[Rekordbox DJ master gain (upper right) and recording level (bottom middle) meters]

After recording the same track again, I opened the version previously recorded using Traktor with the Z1 mixer, and this new one using Rekordbox DJ with the XDJ-RX and enlarged the waveforms to be around the same size.  Looking at the part of the track just beyond the intro section, here is the result:


[First track: Traktor with Z1 mixer, second track Rekordbox DJ with XDJ-RX]

So my guess is that the issue is either with Rekordbox DJ analyzing the tracks (although the waveform in Rekordbox DJ looks fine while the track is playing), or something with the XDJ-RX (e.g.:  firmware, hardware) is causing this.  

I have gone back to using Traktor with my Z1 mixer until this issue can be resolved.  It's rather disappointing that the XDJ-RX recorded audio quality is worse than that of the Z1 mixer, especially since the Pioneer unit is over three times the price of my Traktor equipment (Z1 mixer and X1 controller).  

If there are still no suggestions here, I'm ready to open a support ticket with Pioneer, return the unit for warranty repair, etc.  I believe there was a similar issue with the DDJ-SR that was fixed with firmware revision 1.08, so perhaps something similar is going on with the XDJ-RX?   



Don Herman 0 票
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Today, I performed another test using the XJD-RX in standalone mode.  This time, I copied the same AIFF track as used during previous testing (original file, not yet analyzed with Rekordbox DJ) directly to a Transcend USB drive.  Then I inserted this drive into the USB slot on the left side and used my Corsair Survivor USB drive on the right side to record.  

The unit showed a message that Quantize would not be available since the track had not been analyzed by Rekordbox.  After recording with the trim knob at 9 o'clock and noting that the signal peaked at -15db or less, I opened the track in Audacity and it is still being clipped, here's a screenshot of this recording:


[XDJ-RX used in standalone mode, track was not analyzed by Rekorbox]

So I believe this would indicate that Rekordbox DJ is not the issue, and that it's either with the XDJ-RX and/or its firmware (currently latest version v. 2.20).  I have filed support ticket with Pioneer, but am continuing to update this post as well in case others might be having the same issue, or if there are any other ideas for troubleshooting. 
Don Herman 0 票
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My guess is that the audio clipping (or hot brickwall limiting) was present in the original audio track.

That's exactly what it was. Look at the squares on that original waveform!

Try using something that's not a brick. ;)

Pulse 0 票
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Here's the other track mentioned in the previous post that was recorded twice in two different sessions on the XDJ-RX.  The waveforms from Audacity have been enlarged to show more of the detail, but the original recordings showed plenty of headroom since these were recorded with the trim knobs turned down.  In the first recording, the track looks normal, very similar to recordings made with Traktor.  In the second recording, the track looks clipped (the beginning and ends of the waveform will look different since this track was part of a continuous mix):


I made a couple more recordings of this track, first using my Pioneer CDJ800's (with track burned to CD) and a DJM600 mixer.  This was recorded to a Zoom H4n Pro (right channel recording level was probably set a little low), then opened and enlarged in Audacity.  The second recording below is another one made from the XDJ-RX.  


It's strange how the XDJ-RX recorded the same track differently in the first example.  This recording was made a few months ago, but I believe that the trim knobs were set to 10 o'clock with channel faders up and the levels peaking around 0db.  

But the recording of the same track using the CDJ800 doesn't look clipped.  Another recording of the same track on the XDJ-RX with the trim knob set at 9am (peaking at -15db) does look clipped.  I also recorded the track on the left and right channel separately to see if there might be any difference, but both looked the same (clipped).  The only way I know to test it further would be with a different XDJ-RX unit, and I only have one.  But it does seem that the audio is being clipped abnormally, except for the one occasion where it didn't happen in the first recording.  

I have stopped using the XDJ-RX at this point.  I know that the Traktor Z1 gives consistent results and the audio is never clipped unless the trim knobs are pushed way too high.  The XDJ-RX, on the other hand, does not appear to be providing suitable audio recordings.  I've spent many hours testing this unit out and don't know what else to try with it.  

Please let me know if there is any new firmware update for the XDJ-RX that might address this issue, or if the unit should be returned for repair/replacement.       

Don Herman 0 票
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Thanks much, I loaded the four tracks that I had last analyzed in Audacity into Ableton Live 9 and got similar results.  Here are a couple of screenshots:


Same as above, but zoomed in for more detail:


1) Original AIFF file purchased from Beatport.  Gain:  -2.2
2) Recording from CDJ800 into DJM600 Mixer using Zoom H4n Pro (right channel recording volume looks to have been set a little low)  Gain:  24
3) XDJ-RX (USB to USB recording)  Gain:  8.5
4) XDJ-RX (USB to USB recording)  Gain:  10.7

The fourth recording is the one that appeared to be "flatline clipped" when viewed in Audacity.  Oddly, it was recorded around the same time on the XDJ-RX as the third recording above, but they were recorded into different files. 

I have tried recording this same track a couple more times using the XDJ-RX, but the recordings come out similar to the fourth track above, even when recorded at different volumes.  I just can't figure out what was different with the third recording, which was the same track, also recorded with the same XDJ-RX.  

But what I'm seeing with the waveforms in Ableton is more of a "squaring" when recorded with the XDJ-RX.  So rather than "clipping," I suppose the D/A converter in the XDJ-RX is processing the signal differently than the CDJs or Traktor Z1.  I know these must all have different brands of converters, which may account for the difference.  

There have been some comments in the Pioneer XDJ-RX thread about the audio sounding "thin" in comparison to other controllers.  I don't know if this might be due to this "squaring" effect from the D/A converter, or if it's instead user speculation.  

What I'll try next is recording some audio as close to the same volume as possible using the Traktor Z1 and the XDJ-RX and doing some A/B listening.  My controllers are connected with Tara Labs cables to a Yahama RX777 receiver that powers a pair of B&W DM601 speakers, so the sound is pretty clean and if there's any discernible difference then I'll plan on going with the best one for future recordings. 

If you happen to get any more information on why the recordings from the XDJ-RX are more "squared" and how this might impact the audio fidelity, I'd be curious to know about it.  Thanks again for your help!  

Don Herman 0 票
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A friend of mine who owns a Pioneer XDJ-RX offered to record the track mentioned above and send me the result.  His XDJ-RX has firmware v. 2.10 and the trim knob was set to 10 o'clock while recording.  The recording was made from USB to USB, not using Rekordbox.  

I recorded the same track using my XDJ-RX again tonight.  Same trim knob setting, but my firmware is v. 2.20.  The recording was also made from USB to USB, not using Rekordbox.  

Here's a screenshot of the track from Audacity, no adjustments made for volume other than the trim level set at 10 o'clock on the XDJ-RX.  Recording from my friend's XDJ-RX is first, mine is second:


Then I zoomed in one level on my recording only, and it shows up as follows:  


My observations are as follows:

1) My XDJ-RX seemed to record at a lower volume, even though we both set the trim knob to 10 o'clock (minor variation expected with the manual knob adjustment, but this seems to be a significant volume difference)

2) The recording from his XDJ-RX doesn't show any "clipping" or squared waveform, much unlike my recording.  

We both used Rekordbox to analyze the track before recording.  My friend has RB version 3.4.1 and I have version 3.4.0.  I was going to update my version to 3.4.1 so they would match, but version 4.4.0 was recently released.  Neither of us are comfortable upgrading to that one yet, and there's no way that I know of to upgrade to a prior version, but the versions are close at least.  

These results lead me to believe that the issue may be caused by the firmware (2.10 for his recording vs. 2.20 for my recording), or perhaps a different brand D/A converter was used for the production of his unit vs. mine?  

In any event, his recordings do not show "squared" waveforms.  A screenshot of his entire mix (1 hour, 30 minutes) showed a normal looking waveform similar to the first recording shown above.  A screenshot of my entire mix (1 hour) showed "squared" waveforms for 9 out of 10 tracks in the mix.  

I will next attempt to normalize both recordings of this track to the same volume and splice parts of them together for an A/B listening comparison.  It does seem that my XDJ-RX is not producing a "normal" recording though, as compared to the recordings made with my friend's XDJ-RX, my Pioneer CDJ-800's and my Tracktor Z1.  The waveform doesn't look "squared" with any of those.  So this leads me to question whether my XDJ-RX could be defective, or if there's an issue with firmware v. 2.20 that might be causing this?  






Don Herman 0 票
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New test after updating the XDJ-RX to new firmware v. 2.21:  Same track as above, recorded with trim knob at 9 o'clock.  Now the waveform in Audacity looks normal for the first 15 seconds of the track, but then changes to "squared off" again.  The sound is flat and thin to me.  No knobs or settings were touched during this recording other than to turn the Master Record off at the end.  



I have stopped using the XDJ-RX and have gone back to using my Traktor Z1 and X1.  I really regret buying the XDJ-RX, was a lot of money for a piece of equipment that I'm not using, except for trying to diagnose the problem with it.  It is now just outside of the original warranty period, but I bought it with a credit card that has "Warranty Manager" protection for an additional year.  

If we could conclude that it is "broken," I could probably take it to a repair facility and VISA would reimburse for the repair costs.  It doesn't seem right to me that 15 seconds of the audio seem to be recorded normally, and then it goes "flat."  Especially when my friend recorded the same track using a different XDJ-RX and his waveform looked normal, similar to how it appeared when I recorded the track played back from my CDJ800's.  Any further recommendations here welcome.    

Don Herman 0 票
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And here is the same recording as above, but zoomed in on approximately the first minute to show how the recording changed after 15 seconds.  On my friend's recording of the same track using a different XDJ-RX, there was no "squaring off" after 15 seconds.  Something is wrong with this unit, in my opinion.  

Don Herman 0 票
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