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Old 04-06-2010, 05:56 AM
neumannu47 neumannu47 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Default Ticking Sound in Voice Recording

It is pretty well established that some or all of the 8GB Fuze players have a low level clicking noise superimposed over the audio when the Fuze is used in the Voice Recording mode. My unit is exhibiting the problem. Unfortunately, I did not discover the problem until after I recorded my sickly,85 year old father-in-law over Easter.

Several people have suggested that the sound is external (it's not), that a firmware upgrade will fix it (it will not), that reformating the memory will get rid of the clicking (it will not), that the backlight is causing the problem (it's not), that the noise is audio clipping/digital full scale (it's not), that you can filter it out (you can't without a very sophisticaed DSP plug-in, which I don't have), and that exchanging it for a new unit will solve the problem (it will not). I've been an audio recording engineer for 30+ years. The problem that those of with the problem are hearing is a noise that is being generated internally in the Fuze. My guess is that the problem is inherent in the unit and that nothing can be done about it.

To test whether your Fuze has the problem, take your unit into a very quiet room. Place it on record for a minute. Make sure there are no external noises. Stop recording after a minute. Transfer the wave file to your PC. Open the wave file in an audio editing program, such as Adobe Audition, Sony Vegas, or Audacity. Normalize the audio file (such that the maximum peak level of any part of the file is at 99% or so. Do not clip the wave form.) Listen to the file. If you do not hear a ticking sound every 83ms or so, you do not have the problem.

If you go through this test and do not find a problem with your unit, I would very much appreciate you uploading the wave file and posting a link in this thread so that I can hear it. I will try to do the same if anyone wants to hear the ticking sound.

It is really unfortunate that these units have this problem. The recording quality of the Fuze is 22kHz 16 bit, which is excellent for voice-only recordings. The internal microphone is not bad, either. The clicking sound, however, makes the Voice Recorder feature useless. (The FM recording function does not have the problem, which indicates that the ticking sound is probably being picked up by the preamplifier for the internal microphone.)

If you have actually solved this problem or if you have heard of a solution, please post it. At this point, my assumption is that the problem is a design flaw in the Fuze. What would be helpful to know is whether some or all of these units have the flaw.

Here is a file recorded on the Fuze. The only noise in the room is the air conditioner. The ticking sound is very clear.
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