18 June 2010

PC & Making Music Tips Page 3/5 file:///C%7C/Web%20Sites/%7Bshort%20description%20of%20image%7D

I can’t record into my sequencer from my MIDI keyboard. The problems that prevent output can also prevent input, so run through the checks suggested above. In particular, input problems are often caused by IRQ conflicts, so check these as a matter of priority. Also, make sure the Input port is selected in your sequencer using the Input side of the set-up windows described above also.

I can’t playback audio files while recording, or the playback is poor. This could be one of three things.

It’s possible that the software may not support simultaneous record and playback. Most do, including all the major names, but that’s the first thing to check.

Secondly, the soundcard must support it. Technically the feature is called Full Duplex, and it should be plastered all over the box because it’s a major selling point. You should also find reference to it in the manual. Some older cards are full duplex, but you may need new drivers to activate this feature, the Creative Labs AWE 32 for example. However, if a card’s hardware doesn’t support tt, no driver will enable it.

Thirdly, if playback quality during recording is poor this, again, is likely to be down to the card. Some cards, particularly the Creative SoundBlaster and AWE cards, record at 16-bit but only playback at 8-bit while recording. Many users find this acceptable because full playback is at 16-bit, but if you don’t you need to change your card.

I’ve Cubase Audio and an AWE 64 card, but I keep getting errors about it not being able to play the audio. The most common cause of this problem is that two audio sources are fighting for one audio output. The AWE 64 has a set of sounds called the WaveSynth WG Synthesizer that use the card’s audio output.

A similar situation can arise with software synthesizers that also need an audio output.

For Cubase to play audio it also needs to access the audio outs, and if some other software has beaten it to it, you’ll get these error messages.

To allow Cubase access to the audio outs, you need to disable the WaveSynth WG (or the software synth output). To do this, run the Setup MME program, which should be in the Cubase Program Group. Use the Set Inactive button to deactivate both the Creative MIDI Instrument Mapper and the WaveSynth WG/MIDI entries (and/or any software synths). Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to move them to the bottom of the list.

Select the Device Manager in the System Control Panel and expand the Sound, video and game controllers entry. Double-click on the Creative AWE 64 16-bit Audio entry. Click on the Settings tab. Here you should find two tick boxes – one that allows full duplex operation and another that allows 3D sound. Make sure that only the Allow Full Duplex Operation box is ticked. Click the OK buttons until you’ve quit the System Control Panel. Restart the PC, and all should now be working.

If you want to play audio from Cubase and from a software synth, or the AWE’s WaveSynth WG, another option is to fit a second soundcard.

If you have an internal modem installed, this can also produce an error saying that the audio cannot be started. Cubase may try to start the audio on the modem and not the soundcard. Open the ‘System’ Control Panel Device Manager, expand the Sound, video and game controllers entry, double-click on the modem audio entry and disable it.

The audio crackles when I move or resize the screen.
This is usually caused by the graphics card. Make sure you are running in 256 colours with a screen resolution of 800 x 600. If the graphics card is in the first PCI slot, try moving it to the last slot. Some cards, particularly those based on the S3 chip, have an acceleration function that ‘borrows’ time from the processor that may be needed for audio playback. This does not usually affect applications that do not perform intensive real-time processing, such as word processing, but it can affect audio and video playback. This acceleration can usually be disabled in the graphics card’s set-up program or control panel>display>settings>advanced properties>performance and moving the slider all the way to the left.


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