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  • Little help before my hair is gone!

    Hi Guys, my first time here. I have been enjoying reading some of the posts here, you guys certainly seem to know what you're talking about! If this post is poorly positioned, then I apologise, and could a moderator please move it to somewhere they feel might get more attention!

    Anyway of late I have been searching and searching for an answer to a specific question. I have found some part answers to be relevant for me and I have acted on some of it maybe unwisely.

    I don't want to bore you but here goes:

    I have had a hart dynamics 6.4 for a while with a td-20 module. After playing with some of th VEX kits (which were/are very good) I really wanted to get DFH running. Well its been so long that it's actually Superior Drummer 2.0.1 that I got now. I have been trying to amass the kit and money for a while. This is what I have in addition to the kit and module mentioned above:

    Laptop (a necessary evil)
    HP Pavillion dv5-1010ea
    Intel Centrino 2 Core 2 duo P7350
    4 gb RAM
    250 Gb HDD 5400rpm
    Nvidia geforce 9600m GT
    USB 2.0
    Firewire IEEE 1394

    Obviously Superior Drummer 2.0 with patch to 2.0.1 (I'll refer to it as SD2.0 from now on if you don't mind!))

    Then on some advice I bought:
    M-Audio Fast Track Pro USB 2.0 - using M-Audio ASIO drivers/software I downloaded from their site (i updated the drivers that came on disc after I wasnt happy!)

    So the story goes, I set it all up and got the MIDI set up using ch 10 for the td-20, latency (well i tried pretty much all the settings on the M-Audio and in SD2.0) I used the M-Audio ASIO as mentioned, set midi trigger to e-drum, made sure all inputs/outputs were right. I even disabled all other soundcards and inputs/outputs in the laptop. I also set the Laptop to be in high power power management settings, mains AC adapter, etc.

    What do I get? Pops, crackles, poor trigggering and port latency. I even thought I was getting somewhere but I was kidding myself! I even blamed the temperature in my garage, it was quite cold, but then I just had a small word with myself to stop being so stupid!

    I then tried it with ASIO4ALL drivers as I have seen mentioned around here a few times. At best some of the latency etc settings are similar to the M-Audio ASIO driver, at worst its shockingly bad. Unless there is some combination of setting I havent tried here yet? Back to the drawing board.

    I can't do anything about the laptop, it must stay - although it is pretty well spec'd for this job i believe. I was wondering if you guys might be able to offer me some help and advice before I make a rug out of all the damn hair I have pulled out?!

    I would like to try and get it working with the gear I have there if possible, that would make my day. If not, I would be willing to sell on this M-Audio plastic dream(!) and look at getting something else maybe a firewire to replace it with up to about 200 or whatever that is in $. The only thing I didnt come accross on the forum was a sound/midi controller for a laptop - so I just trusted the manufacturers blurb with their low latency spiel and USB is good enough? Maybe I was wrong who knows, maybe you guys do?

    So, can I fix it with what I have? If not, what can I get to fix it for as little money as possible! And guys. I'm certainly no expert with this, I'm pretty new to it, so take it a little easy - although I'm not totally dumb!

    Thanks guys, oh and if I haven't provided enough info on kit or whatever please ask what you need - Thanks again in advance.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum. I think this post would get more responses if it was in the VST forum or In the studio forum... (Mods?)


    you guys certainly seem to know what you're talking about
    Glad the illusion is still intact. Hey everyone, we're STILL getting away with it!
    Last edited by Swaledale; 01-20-09, 03:00 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Swaledale View Post
      Welcome to the forum. I think this post would get more responses if it was in the VST forum or In the studio forum... (Mods?)
      Thanks Swaledale. I wonder if a mod could move this post to a better place, again thanks.

      Sorry I forgot to mention what OS i am using on the laptop:

      It is currently Vista Home 32 bit with service pack 1.

      I am currently researching a way to get this off and run XP aslong as I can get hold of all the necessary drivers. What do you guys think about that?, Worth doing or just a waste of time?

      Comment


      • #4
        Mac326a, if the mods don't spot this thread and move it soon then here's a little tip, but don't tell everyone otherwise we'll get told off for abusing the system.
        Log on, and go to the first post in the thread and press the little red triangle in the top corner. Type in the box and say, very politely, that you would like the thread to be moved, but don't mention who told you about this.
        When you press that little triangle a big hooter goes off in the mods bunker and they all rush out to see what's going on .... so if we wake them from their sleep for frivolous reasons then they might get upset ... but since you are a newbe you can claim ignorance

        Go on.... press the triangle.... you know you want to!


        ... and you haven't seen me, OK?!

        Comment


        • #5
          What @#$% set off that >+*&^%~ klaxon just as I was snoozing off! And who put them up to it? Come on, own up.

          Originally posted by Swaledale View Post
          Glad the illusion is still intact. Hey everyone, we're STILL getting away with it!
          LOL!

          Bruce

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you tried lowering the audio buffer settings on the M-audio? If not, that would be the first thing to try. Your problem is a bit strange, as one usually has either pops and crackles or latency - not both, so I'm not sure if that will help. I can tell you that there's no inherent latency issues with USB - I've got several instruments hooked-up that way, and it's a non-issue.

            Steve
            No more V-drums; all acoustics now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Relayer View Post
              Have you tried lowering the audio buffer settings on the M-audio? If not, that would be the first thing to try. Your problem is a bit strange, as one usually has either pops and crackles or latency - not both

              Hi Steve,

              I'll try and be a bit more descriptive. Yes I have. If I turn the latency low (128 is the minimum the M-Audio will go to via its own software), Then I'm assuming I'm right in matching that in SD2.0(?) Well I even tried to knock SD2.0 down to 64 latency. For both of these the pops and crackles were unacceptable, like at the start of triggering a sample or during - on most triggered samples played.

              When I dropped it to around 256 there was a slight improvement, but by this I mean the pops and/or crackle now only really occur 'sort of after the sample has been triggered and played' (if you follow that - i can sit striking a tom for a few times and after every few it will play the pop and crackle, come to think about it, it does seem worse on tom 1 and 2 than on the otheres, but does still happen on the others just less frequently), AND not affecting every/most samples triggered as before.

              If I put the latency to anything around 512 or above, latency becomes an issue, and the sound quality is still similar to the above.

              Cheers

              Mac

              The ASIO4ALL seems to have more granularity for the latency setting, but the M-AUDIO or SD2.0 cant match those granular settings just (64), 128, 256, 512, 1024 etc etc

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a similar problem when I first ran S2.0 inside Sonar. Then it stopped. It worked fine when using Toontrack Solo, though. But now, no issues.

                I came to the conclusion that it's a memory thing... and you have to be completely sure that your computer is running in tip-top shape, otherwise you will run into problems. Here are some things to consider:

                - disable all visual effects (Vista's trying to be Mac, and falling on its face)
                - see if you can google "DAW tweaks for Vista" - there are a lot for XP, but since I'm still on XP, I don't know how to tweak Vista for maximum performance... though I know you can. Check the website www.soundonsound.com - extremely helpful.
                - M-Audio's Fast Track interfaces are GARBAGE. I know three people who own one and they ALL had problems with it (cracks and pops), so they sold them on ebay. They bought Line6 Toneport interfaces instead, at my recommendation, and wouldn't you know it? Pops and crackles--- gone. Seriously think of selling that Fast Track Pro. You won't be sorry.
                - S2.0 loads the drum samples into RAM, and you have plenty of it to go around. However, you're running a 5400RPM hard drive, which could be an issue in some cases. I don't know. I run my S2.0 on my desktop with 4gb of RAM (although Windows XP only sees 3gb of it... one thing I hate about XP).

                Try all these things and let me know your progress. Especially search for the DAW tweaks for Vista thing... "tweaking Vista for audio" or something like that. There are sites out there.

                And sell that Fast Track Pro.
                Toontrack Superior Drummer 3.0 / Reaper 5+6
                DIY hybrid kit (Sonor kit / Roland / Yamaha, DDT MS-140c snare, etc)
                Roland TD-9 / eDRUMin
                youtube.com/chriscauldermusic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh, and...

                  If I have Sonar loaded, and I'm jamming out on my S2.0... if I leave the computer untouched for hours (say, I go to work)... or I burn a CD or do some DVD backup archiving... when I go back to Sonar and try to play S2.0, I get those same buzzes/crackles/pops and S2.0 is completely unplayable. This is again because S2.0 loads its samples into RAM, so if you do some other stuff with the computer, S2.0 is no longer the "main program" running, so a simple fix is to close that Sonar project, re-open it and jam away.

                  So, once you remedy the other stuff, if you run into issues like this, a simple restart of the program could suffice...
                  Toontrack Superior Drummer 3.0 / Reaper 5+6
                  DIY hybrid kit (Sonor kit / Roland / Yamaha, DDT MS-140c snare, etc)
                  Roland TD-9 / eDRUMin
                  youtube.com/chriscauldermusic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    More tips:

                    Keep Superior running in 16-bit mode, not 24-bit (the default). Tick the little box that says use 16-bit. Since you'll more than likely be making an mp3 and/or a CD, you're going to be using 16-bit anyway.... I honestly can't tell a difference between the two, so I always run in 16-bit mode.

                    Ideally, you should be storing your Superior 2.0 sounds/content on a separate hard drive if at all possible. I have my samples on a fast external drive (7200 RPM, USB 2.0 drive), and when I do songs, I have a separate internal drive that all the audio stores to.

                    Also, before you start playing, make sure all samples load fully. Sometimes that helps with the buzz/pop/crackle issue.

                    I hope all of these tips help...
                    Toontrack Superior Drummer 3.0 / Reaper 5+6
                    DIY hybrid kit (Sonor kit / Roland / Yamaha, DDT MS-140c snare, etc)
                    Roland TD-9 / eDRUMin
                    youtube.com/chriscauldermusic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi bcmusic,

                      Really appreciate the time on your responses. I am going to set about those suggestions starting with the most simple. I have some accousic drumming to do tonight so I'll crack on again tomorrow.

                      I am in the process of downgrading the laptop to XP (maybe stupidly, but I truly dislike Vista!) - so I an going to get that completed first.

                      I'll then be able to make the changes with the hardware settings etc to see if anything is better.

                      With regards to the line6 toneport, apologies if this sounds dumb, but I dont see a midi interface on those boxes. How would I connect my TD-20 to that unit?

                      regards

                      Mac

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bcmusic View Post
                        I However, you're running a 5400RPM hard drive, which could be an issue in some cases. I don't know. I run my S2.0 on my desktop with 4gb of RAM (although Windows XP only sees 3gb of it... one thing I hate about XP).
                        The drive is SATA if that means its a bit faster - I think it does.

                        The vista was a clean install, fully patched, and I even changed the theme to the old crappy classic windows so as not to have all those graphical effects!

                        Anyway as per my previous post I'll get on with some of those suggestions asap.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ah yes, the midi thing...

                          Well, I'd go with a Toneport for audio, and then buy one of those $30 1x1 USB midi interfaces (M-Audio has one, as well as E-mu) (I have an M-Audio 4x4 since I use piano and some hardware synths)... that's the way to go. Cheap and better.

                          You have a great kit, good RAM... if you could just get Vista (or XP) tweaked, you'd be set.

                          Keep me posted.
                          Toontrack Superior Drummer 3.0 / Reaper 5+6
                          DIY hybrid kit (Sonor kit / Roland / Yamaha, DDT MS-140c snare, etc)
                          Roland TD-9 / eDRUMin
                          youtube.com/chriscauldermusic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well... I seem to have broken the laptop!! I wont bore you with the details but the HDD or something that controls it is messed up after trying to install XP. I did alot of research on it and followed the tips, I guess it just didnt work for me. Now it wont go past the BIOS unless the HDD is removed from the laptop!

                            I have to fix that asap, like today if poss. Damn I hate Vista...save mee from the disease!!!! LOL

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                            • #15
                              Little help before my hair is gone!
                              Did I just hear the sound of your last follicle expiring under the stress?

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