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Re: JamMan memory problems, Part 2

I wrote to the list saturday about distortion problems I had after
upgrading the JamBeing to 32 seconds.

So, today I called VisionSoft (800-735-2633) and double checked the part
numbers with them, and the chips they sent are the appropriate model (The
person at VS said that he'd been getting a lot of orders for these chips by
JamMan users lately, BTW). He also said that if there was a defective chip,
I shouldn't get any output at all, and recommended that I swap the chips
again and see what happens. So I did.

This time, I got a really horrible digital distortion with random crackling
and bursts of digital noise. Much worse than the original distortion I got,
in fact it made the random crackling and bursts even with nothing in the
input. Also, the level LED showed that the unit was overloading, even with
nothing plugged in. This was bad. Actually, it was rather cool, and if I
hadn't been so freaked out, I would have taped a bit, it was really nasty
stuff. Swappped the 8 second chips back in, JamSter works fine. Swapped
32-sec chips, same as above. For good measure, I swapped the 8-sec's back
in, all OK.

So I start thinking, always a dangerous phenomenon. I hadn't really paid
attention to what order I had placed the chips into the JamMan, and that
seemed to be the only difference between the earlier mild distortion and
the current mega-nasty distortion. And if the order of the chips can create
these 2 levels of distortion, then maybe there's an order that can produce
no distortion. Figuring a maximum of 16 different permutations, I thought
I'd try them all and see what happened.

On the second permutation, I got the desired effect: 32 seconds of
glorious, distortion-free looping.

So, now I'm really curious about how this can work this way. I've talked to
several other people who have upgraded their own JamMen, and no-one has
mentioned this problem. I know a bit about how computer memory, digital
delays, etc, work, at least in theory, and I'm pretty mystified at this. I
told this story to the tech at VisionSoft, and he's says there's no
rational reason for it to behave this way. So, anyone out there got a clue?
I suppose that since it's working now, I shouldn't complain, but you know
the adage about curiosity and the cat...

Dave Trenkel : improv@peak.org  : www.peak.org/~improv/

"...there will come a day when you won't have to use
gasoline. You'd simply take a cassette and put it in
your car, let it run. You'd have to have the proper
type of music. Like you take two sticks, put 'em
together, make fire. You take some notes and rub 'em
together - dum, dum, dum, dum - fire, cosmic fire."
                                            -Sun Ra