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slartabartfast

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Everything posted by slartabartfast

  1. Apparently the Catalina audio compatibility debacle presents another opportunity to chum the water in the Apple vs Windows debate. https://www.meldaproduction.com/text-tutorials/switching-from-osx-to-windows
  2. It looks like you have a vertically aligned single pixel failure, which most commonly is a screen hardware failure. Most likely you will have to live with it, unless you want to try an expensive screen replacement.
  3. This actually raises a serious question about the viability of Cakewalk. I would have expected that by now every kid with an internet connection would have downloaded CBB--if only to see how good free software could be. Such a massive user base should have pulled the plugin guys into testing their stuff on CW and proudly advertising their compatibility. The money to be made with a free DAW would seem to be in supplying plugs, and frankly I have been a bit surprised that Bandlab has not put major effort to distributing Cakewalk compatible, if not Cakewalk specific, stuff. In fact there does not seem to be a major effort to push Cakewalk to the masses at all. Free software might not generate enough revenue to justify the expense of advertising it. Perhaps that is to save support costs on software that is not generating any direct income. Perhaps it is generating enough indirect advertising revenue to justify its existence as a BandLab front end. As has been the case for years, the actual number of users of the product seems to be a state secret. I can understand why you would want to keep low numbers secret, which makes me suspect the numbers are in fact low relative to the not-much-if-any-more-capable and much-much-much-more-expensive alternatives. Without a general consensus among the add-in development community that Cakewalk users are a major market there is little incentive to even test their products with it, let alone support compatibility issues.
  4. That is not the first installer I have found that makes me chase down everything. The current version of ioBit Uninstaller will allow you to monitor the installations of most software so that you can find where it writes changes. The free version does so if you manually start the installer from within ioBit. It is annoyingly nagging, but well worth the price.
  5. Melodyne 4.2.4 download page has Windows and Mac versions. btw If it contains Cakewalk specific fixes does it not follow that there is a Windows version?
  6. https://www.vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/index.htm https://music.tutsplus.com/articles/working-with-internal-audio-routing-jack-audio--audio-20601
  7. You will want to buy (or at least decide on) your motherboard before you look for storage (unless you plan to use SATA mechanical drives only), a cpu, or memory--these items must be compatible with the MB. The best prices can usually be found on components that are about a year and a half past their release date. you cannot future proof your build by buying state of the art technology--it will be out of date in a year anyway and you will be paying a premium for bragging rights about something that is so new no one has found the flaws. If you buy really old stuff, you run into the problem that compatible parts may no longer be available, or are priced as antiques. I have always bought parts separately for my builds when they are on sale.
  8. A 32-bit OS is not aware of or able to load 64 bit programs--so it is going to assume that all program files are 32-bit and just use a folder named "program files"--there will be no folder for 64-bit programs, so distinguishing two different program file folders by storing 32-bit programs under "program files (x86) will not occur.
  9. So how "thin" does that ensemble sound performing live in a room? In the not so distant past, such events were recorded in real time with just a couple of strategically placed microphones and two tracks. Those recordings did not sound particularly "thin." The magic of sound massage available these days, and our addiction to that magic, makes doing something like that seem unthinkable. If you plan to try to double some of the instruments, you could use more tracks to create the impression of a string section playing unisons slightly detuned and time offset using more than three stereo tracks. But you can get the same effects using plugins on each of three tracks. The advantage of at least one track per instrument is that you can apply effects to each instrument independently, although there is some risk of making it sound like they are not all in the same soundspace doing that. In any case you can get a "fat" sound with no more than three tracks if you want.
  10. Clonezilla is definitely not for unsophisticated users, and the last time I used it was not even able to compress disk images meaning the backup partition had to be as big as the original...OK in those days that mattered. If you are looking for free, but not requiring a computer science background Easus ToDo Backup (limited feature free version available) is an easy to use and effective option. If you do not want to use another OS to do the backup, and are willing to take the time to understand its workings Windows still has its own System Imaging feature built in. It can also backup copies of files using File History, but I have rarely used that feature, and find the simplicity and security of managing SyncToy gives me more confidence. In the past I have had the experience of Microsoft failing to support its own features in new versions, although they typically would hide a utility in an online download source that could extract the old stuff to the new version if you looked for it.
  11. Typically USB audio devices, including microphones and headphones, each use their own audio driver. If you are using standard ASIO drivers, you are going to be limited to only using one device at a time--that is an ASIO limitation not a Cakewalk issue.
  12. Laptops in general can be more of a risk than desktops. They are more likely to contain non-standard parts, or to use solder instead of sockets, so do it yourself repairs may not be practical (or even possible). Touch sensitive screens are another area subject to wear. Often even the manufacturers will just toss them if they are returned for failure under warranty. Return and warranty with a refund option are a bit more important, and I would be very reluctant to pick one up at a flea market.
  13. It is generally accepted that any project left open for too long risks becoming stale, as it is constantly exposed to the drying effect of the air in your studio. You can slow this natural tendency by covering the monitor with a large freezer-style ZipLoc, being careful to tape the opening where the cords prevent the pinch seal from joining. That will at least keep the music from excessive drying, but the baggie is only a temporary solution. Inevitably the warm air trapped in the project will foster the development of mold. If this has not gone too far, it can sometimes be salvaged by cutting off the edges with careful application of equalization. There are also a variety of plugins designed for this purpose if you are willing to trust your work to algorithmic remediation. By far the safest method of handling half-finished projects is to put the entire computer in a refrigerator (some recommend the crisper drawer) as you would with any other perishable. Or you can just hibernate your computer.
  14. Wear points on a PC are typically fans and mechanical hard drives. I expect most of the refurbing that actually gets done is replacement of the broken part that caused the previous owner to dump it. If it is part of a fleet of machines being rotated out to make room for new stuff, I doubt that they do much more than test it superficially to see if it seems to work and depend on the buyer to return it for a replacement if they miss something. Typically you will get a short warranty, but usually long enough to uncover a problem that was already present when you bought it. If the price is attractive and you have a cheap return option for DOA it is not a bad risk--most of the parts can be replaced with new or refurbs pretty inexpensively. It may be cheaper to buy from a commercial source than used from Craig's list or Ebay--previous owners remember how much they paid for the machine and almost always want too much.
  15. I do use True Image for disk imaging (booting from a rescue CD), although I agree it is doing waaay too much most of the time if you just install it and let it run in the background. I use Synctoy to do file backups. It is reasonably fast, and once you understand the basics of it, you will be able to understand and control what it is doing. Copying every file manually is certainly something you can do, but if you have hundreds of files can be confusing and duplicative. Too many of these applications (and I include Trueimage here) are too much faith based--trust me I am automated and nothing can possibly go wrong.
  16. Well, I assume that you at least are not getting breakage fees deducted.
  17. Uninstalling just takes a few minutes, and does not leave scars on your computer. More to the point, the time it takes to figure out how to use new software is the major cost of anything new. If you spend a couple of dozen hours figuring out that the software is not really going to be useful, that is time you will never be able to buy back at any price.
  18. I sprung for Waveform 8 Basic for $26.70 a couple of years ago. I really have had almost no use for it--so free might be a reasonable price for an upgrade--but not if this is an even more basic version than Basic. In what ways is this "free" version crippled? In fairness if you are a loop style composer this might be something for you. PS was anyone actually paying $386.00 for Waveform 10 Basic?
  19. The first thing I would try when one program installation seems to break another program is to reinstall the broken program. If there is a "repair" option under "Apps & Features" under the application try that first--but that is uncommon. If a re-install fails check to see if you have everything you need to do a complete new installation and then un-install the broken program and try again. Pay attention to the locations where your installation is writing files. Often enough the problem is that a program overwrites an existing file with one that is incompatible with the older program.
  20. Back in the early days of the Gibson>Bandlab conversion there was some discussion of what would become of the other Cakewalk (the company) products. I stumbled on this recently: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/xchange-producer-collection-with-presonus-cakewalk-ik-multimedia-image-line-loop-loft-ohm-force-and-sonnox Apparently CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier has turned up in a discounted bundle. Maybe we will see the rest on one of those free free promotional DVD's from the music mags eventually.
  21. This $4.95 deal is back--or maybe it never went away and I am just getting the email. It sounds like a no-brainer price for a big pile of weird sounds, but some of the videos they show keep flashing a red banner that says "this effect requires GPU acceleration," which gives me some pause. Also I cannot find a manual on their site. Has anone actually used this thing? ps the version on sale is 1.2 so maybe the original sale was for 1.1 and this is an intro price for the new version
  22. I am afraid you missed my point. I am not saying that singers who employ a wide range of volumes in their performance are ignoramuses (ignorami?) or somehow doing something illegal--quite the contrary. My own personal taste in music is to have something when you are done that you cannot listen to in a moving car because the softest stuff falls below the wind and traffic noise threshold without the loudest stuff damaging your hearing--the kind of product turned out by every orchestra or serious non-pop singer in the history of music since the stone age. What I am saying is ignorant is to expect a real dynamic range to be reflected in a final recording that smashes the variance into a band of a few dB. If you want that kind of flattened volume range, then as a singer you should learn to produce it rather than depend on some feat of technology to achieve it from the original performance, and if you want to savor the beauty and expressiveness available in a wide dynamic range, then you need to use technology to capture it without exceeding the capacity of the technology. Look music-on-the-go and dodging-beer-bottle-venues have been major drivers of the loudness wars, and we are used to hearing stuff that is so compressed that it no longer qualifies as high fidelity. In fact radio stations for years have routinely compressed already squashed recordings and many streaming services and MP3 players routinely do the same. The days when people valued going to a sit down venue where alcohol was available only during intermissions and listening to a decent stereo in the dark filling the silence of their homes are probably long gone. Singers of pop music have in fact learned technique that makes that narrow-range product easy for engineers to produce. If the singer wants to make that flat-volume product, and still manages to clip or overload the equipment without falling below the noise floor he qualifies as out of control. Given the capability of decent equipment and the dynamic range of digital representation he also has a voice that is capable of more volume than a normal human. If he values the exploration of the range of loudness available to the human voice I applaud him. In any case, if you want to have the option to squash your performance in the box while maintaining the ability to let it stretch, then capturing the performance by recording less hot is the better way. You should realize that clipping in the digital realm is dependent on the total power at all frequencies (including those too low and high to hear), and that mixing all your tracks together is basically the process of addition. Perhaps the most effective way to avoid clipping in the final mix while getting something that is reasonably "loud" for today's listeners is to use is to use equalization in the box to filter out power at frequencies that are less important or are already occupied by other instruments so that they are not distinctly audible in the mixed track. That process subtracts dB from the final mix without requiring that loud become soft at least subjectively to the listener. You can then raise the volume of the entire mix without exceeding the clipping point. But early compression removes all the frequencies more or less indiscriminately and limits your options for that important technique in mixing.
  23. You ha Marled, bingo! That is what I am battling with So you need to ask yourself why is a singer using a wide range of dynamics. If he is just an out of control ignoramus who expects an interventionist engineer to cobble together a "normalized" gain envelope on the digital track, then compression may save you some work. But what if he intends to go from a whisper to a scream in the same song as a matter of style or musical expression. Compression anywhere is going to thwart that intent by narrowing the dynamic range of the recording more than the performance that is its source. To put it in perspective, the digital representation of audio on a 16 bit CD is capable of representing a dynamic range of 96 dB--that is roughly the range in dBspl from a whisper at six feet in a quiet room to the threshold of pain. The usual loudness range for singers is about 30-80 dB with a smash the glass opera singer maybe getting to 100. Presumably your singers are not singing so loudly without amplification that they are hurting themselves or those near them as they perform, so there should be more than enough dynamic range in the digital realm. You might have a problem if your microphones etc. are not sensitive enough to deal with the quietest parts when the loudest parts are quiet enough to avoid clipping. If the singer (or his engineer) expects the volume in his headphone feed to be normalized regardless of the loudness at his mouth hole, then it might be better to put a compressor on an analog circuit from mic to headphone and record the full dynamic range, at a lower volume for later tweaking.
  24. Just to be clear, the fact that you cannot use a software limiter on your input to avoid clipping is not a Cakewalk limitation--it derives from the mathematics of the process, and applies to all software. Software effects work only on digital data--stuff that is not audio at all but numbers that represent it in the computer. So if you send a signal from your microphone/preamp to the audio to digital (D/A) converter in your audio interface that produces a number bigger than the maximum bit depth your software uses to represent sound that is going to cause clipping (lost data) that is irretrievable in the box. Putting a limiter on the digital data stream after the clipping has occurred at the A/D will not bring the lost data back. A hardware limiter is what is needed if you want to avoid clipping on input, since it will act on the analog/electrical signal prior to it reaching the A/D. Technically you will also lose data using any kind of limiter at any point. The power/volume of the original signal is reduced and that is a characteristic of the original sound that the digital representation will not correctly encode--but reducing the analog power low enough to avoid digital overs at the A/D will prevent the nasty artifacts that digital overs produce. As others have noted the best practice is to record at lower input gain (record less "hot") and use a bit depth representation that gives you some extra zero bits at the top. You can then bring up the power of the digital data representation with software overall, or limit the variation between the softest and loudest parts of the recording using a software compressor/limiter.
  25. 76 USD is a really low price point for any contemporary audio interface with MIDI connections. Your best bet is to find a used interface at that price--even that is likely to be a stretch. The other option is to buy and pair a couple of the really cheapo audio and MIDI interfaces as separate units. If you have a firewire interface that you are not going to use, it is likely better than anything you can buy for your budget, and your best plan might be to find someone who will buy that or take it in trade to get you up to a reasonable budget. I would definitely not advise you to buy something that can be had for that cheap--try to see if you can get a job raking leaves for a few days and get into the $250 US or better range which will give you a bunch of quite usable USB connected units.
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