PC & Making Music Tips
Buy Intel - If your buying a PC for
making music get one with Intel Inside - cheaper alternative processors
may seem attractive but history shows that these invaribly have proved
inferior in this specialist area. You can bet your bottom dollar than
manufacturers will optimize their software/hardware performance for Intel
processors and have you ever seen a patch from anyone to fix a problem
with an Intel processor ?, I haven't though have seen numerous for other
processors. No I don't have shares in them either !
I can't hear anything.This
situation could arise after an initial installation or it could happen
to an existing set-up after installing new software, an upgrade, or new
hardware. There are a multitude of possible problems, but here are the
checks you should make:
- All audio cables
between synths, sound modules, amps, mixers and speakers should be working
and connected correctly. It wouldnt be the first time a professional
studio had looked for a computer fault only to trace the problem to
a dodgy cable.Make sure any devices are installed correctly. Switch
off the computer and check that the card, for example, is pushed firmly
into the ISA or PCI slot.
- If using an external
synth or sound module, make sure all the MIDI cables are connected correctly.
If using a soundcard with a MIDI adapter, make sure the adapter is properly
- If youre
using a soundcard, open the mixer (most soundcard software includes
a mixer application) and make sure the output is not muted and the volume
is turned up.
- Check that the
MIDI driver for the soundcard and/or MIDI interface is correctly installed.
To do this, open the Multimedia Control Panel and select the devices
tab. Expand the MIDI Devices and Instruments entry, and make sure the
driver is there. If it isnt, youll have to install it. Follow
the instructions that came with the device.
- If youre
using the MIDI Mapper (the Multimedia Properties box in the Control
Panel in Windows 95/98), make sure the device you want to use is selected
here. Select the Device Manager in the System Control Panel and expand
the sound, video, and game controllers entry. You should see the device
listed there. If there is a yellow exclamation mark next to it, it means
it is not correctly installed. Double-click on it and the window may
tell you what the problem is.
- One of the most
common problems is an IRQ conflict. Plug and Play should resolve these
automatically most of the time but it doesnt always, especially
if you have an older card, an older PC, or if your PC is stuffed to
the gunnels with other cards. Select the Device Manager in the System
Control Panel, double-click on the Computer icon at the top of the list
to view the devices by IRQ, I/O, and DMA settings. This will enable
you to check if there are any conflicts. If there are, refer to the
hardwares instructions for changing these.
- You can probably
do it via software from the PC, but some devices may require you to
change jumper settings on the card itself.You should now be able to
play a MIDI file or a Wave file from the Media Player.
can play files with the Media Player but theres no output from my
Most sequencers allow you to route output to several different devices
simultaneously and you may have to tell it what devices to use. In Cakewalk
for example, select MIDI Devices (in the Tools menu in v7/8) and highlight
the device or devices you want to use in the Output Ports list. In the
Cubase family, open Setup MME, which should be in the Cubase Program Group.
In the MME Outputs section, highlight the devices you want to use. Emagic
Logic automatically selects all MIDI devices by default.