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Marc Harris

the horror of going back to Windows from a Mac mini

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I'd forgotten just how awful times were just trying to get Windows and Bandlab Cakewalk to actually produce sound...I've got a MOTU M4 ,...I want to use ASIO mode as I did in the MAC, and it scans it and gives me some obscure notification that outputs are not available...huh?...Playing back an old file, the meters jump but no sound. And changing off ASIO to something else then back creates a loud pop....when I had my Mac mini, it was plug in, go, and playback worked smoothly EVERY time. Such a drastic drastic downgrade to go back to windows! But unfortunately I had to sell the Mac mini....everything about it was so much better...I don't fault Bandlab though, most of it is just the inferiority of Windows, ala, having to using the God-awful ASIO4all.dll driver , if you have seperate I/O devices, which a Mac does right out of the box, no ASIO4all driver needed. ...I remember clicks, pops, inconsistent playback, times where no sound was inexplicably heard and spend an hour experimenting why.. Stuff that literally never happened once ever with the MAC mini (not to mention the superior design to where an 8 gigs of memory and M1 CPU chip literally outperformed my $1000+ pc machine I put together at least for multi-track audio performance in a DAW...ugh. This literally kills my desire to record myself. The only downside of the Mac mini for me was unscalable display size , if you want a run a nice widescreen at max resolution, and why wouldn't you, that's what it looks best at...as it is, the picture quality is superior to my windows machine with a modest AMD video card and two 3440 X 1440 widescreen displays. ...I do like windows file structure much much better though...in 3 months, I never could find the most efficient way to find sort and save various files whereas Windows make that easy.....tradeoffs I guess.

Edited by Marc Harris

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Clearly you should get another Apple computer. But if you must stay with Windows, ASIO4ALL is never a good idea.  Get the MOTU-approved ASIO driver from their website. It should work better, and it may solve all your problems.

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ASIO4ALL is known problematic.  That's your issue right there. Why in God's name would anyone use it when their interface's manufacturer supplies a proper ASIO driver?

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20 hours ago, Marc Harris said:

I'd forgotten just how awful times were just trying to get Windows and Bandlab Cakewalk to actually produce sound...I've got a MOTU M4 ,...I want to use ASIO mode as I did in the MAC, and it scans it and gives me some obscure notification that outputs are not available...huh?...Playing back an old file, the meters jump but no sound. And changing off ASIO to something else then back creates a loud pop....when I had my Mac mini, it was plug in, go, and playback worked smoothly EVERY time. Such a drastic drastic downgrade to go back to windows! But unfortunately I had to sell the Mac mini....everything about it was so much better...I don't fault Bandlab though, most of it is just the inferiority of Windows, ala, having to using the God-awful ASIO4all.dll driver , if you have seperate I/O devices, which a Mac does right out of the box, no ASIO4all driver needed. ...I remember clicks, pops, inconsistent playback, times where no sound was inexplicably heard and spend an hour experimenting why.. Stuff that literally never happened once ever with the MAC mini (not to mention the superior design to where an 8 gigs of memory and M1 CPU chip literally outperformed my $1000+ pc machine I put together at least for multi-track audio performance in a DAW...ugh. This literally kills my desire to record myself. The only downside of the Mac mini for me was unscalable display size , if you want a run a nice widescreen at max resolution, and why wouldn't you, that's what it looks best at...as it is, the picture quality is superior to my windows machine with a modest AMD video card and two 3440 X 1440 widescreen displays. ...I do like windows file structure much much better though...in 3 months, I never could find the most efficient way to find sort and save various files whereas Windows make that easy.....tradeoffs I guess.

I'm guessing this rant was intended for your blog and not this forum. Suggest you move it there.

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On 11/28/2021 at 3:26 PM, Marc Harris said:

I'd forgotten just how awful times were just trying to get Windows and Bandlab Cakewalk to actually produce sound...I've got a MOTU M4 ,...I want to use ASIO mode as I did in the MAC.

Weird...the OP uses ASIO4ALL on Windows, and ASIO instead of CoreAudio on the Mac.  Perhaps he was using ASIO4ALL to aggregate I/O, which the Mac does really well, but on Windows, you have to use the native drivers instead of ASIO. Then again, I don't think you can aggregate interfaces with ASIO on the Mac, so...I don't get it.

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Funny. I've just returned to Cakewalk after 5 months of pure frustration with an M1 Mini and a Scarlett 18i20. Surely a very powerful machine with superb performance and graphics, but, oh, what utter nonsense MacOS is! And as for Logic.. Illogic would be more apt.

I made the initial move as my trusty old Dell finally gave up after over 10 years' (15, even?) faithful service.  The thing that pushed me over to Mac was not being able to find a new PC with a PCI slot. Yes, a PCI slot for my 20-yr-old RME Multiface! Well, that and the reviews the M1 Mac was getting and the pretty unbeatable price.

However, about a month ago I saw a used Gigabyte PC with a decent enough spec and - oh man! - two PCI slots, for 70€. I immediately called and ran over to buy it. . Praises be..  finally  back home on dear old Cakewalk, which I've been with since CWPA6. I've finished more work this month than I did in 6 using Logic Pro.  What a POS! The workflow is an absolute joke with that ridiculous timeline. Just thinking about it now still makes me angry! Don't get me started on assigning key commands, un-naming clips - sorry, "events" (ffs) - or the Mac filing system..

My new/old PC with a 20-year-old Multiface gives me great performance.  I got an offer for the Mac and the Scarlett together, so the Scarlett has gone, sadly. That was pretty good I have to say, even if Focusrite Control was a labyrinth. I did try to run Cakewalk on the Mac using Parallels, but it wouldn't install. But, oh my, what did run on that Mac-Parallels-W11 set up was lightning fast: I've never seen anything like it. If they can really make Windows run flawlessly on the M1, I'll buy another Mac immediately. I'm not holding my breath..

Back to the original poster. You're using a soundcard with ASIO4ALL??!! What is it? A Soundblaster?!

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3 minutes ago, Matt Rayner said:

Back to the original poster. You're using a soundcard with ASIO4ALL??!! What is it? A Soundblaster?!

A MOTU M4. Talk about stupid....

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I have the M4. It is a Mac Centric company as I found out. But it most certainly works with the ASIO driver and CbB. I log 1,000 of hours on it mostly with out issues. 

It is not as great as I was expecting and was not really the upgrade from my 1st gen Focusrite 6i6 I was thinking I would get. 
I have to run at a higher buffer which is 2 notches above what the 6i6 can run at on the exact same project. 
I also had to buy a PCIe USB 3 card because it’s buss powered. 

The other complaint I have is it hates sharing the driver with other apps. Never have that issue with Focusrite. I have to totally re boot to get Audio back when it goes south. 
I would switch back to the Focusrite but it doesn’t have loop back and ya I hate having to use the software mixer just to balance cue mixing of input and playback. 
The M4 has what all interfaces should have A blend control right on the front. Oh well. It’s never a smooth ride when it comes to Windows and Audio. 

Edited by John Vere

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To have best experience with audio under Windows, the computer should not be "put together", but constructed specially for audio by people which know how to do this. That is major difference between "PC" and "Apple", the first can be constructed by anyone... the result is unpredictable.

On Windows there is RME Audio interfaces and "other" audio interfaces. Again, if great result (in flexibility, latency, etc.) is expected out of the box and the user has "no time" for tweaking, especially on not "audio special" computer, the interfaces has to be RME. Apple lovers should understand that situation.

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2 hours ago, azslow3 said:

On Windows there is RME Audio interfaces and "other" audio interfaces. Again, if great result (in flexibility, latency, etc.) is expected out of the box and the user has "no time" for tweaking, especially on not "audio special" computer, the interfaces has to be RME. Apple lovers should understand that situation.

Agree - my 14 years old RME Fireface 400 is still running fine and has never caused me any headaches, although production stopped around 2010-11 RME provided a driver as late as 2019, that's dedication to the products and the users.

ASIO & multiple interfaces?

Does it work at all? I remember that it wasn't officially supported when I thought about getting another interface a gazillion years ago, however (if my memory is right?) WDM drivers did but the latency depended on the slowest driver if you combined different interfaces.

When it comes to the Mac vs PC "debate" I've seen both kinds of systems crash at professional studios, IMO it comes down to what the user feels most comfortable with and setting up whatever OS you use for the purpose - if you don't want to do it yourself for one reason or another there are companies that can do it for you (like Jim Roseberry's Studiocat for instance).

 

I wish there was a dedicated OS for DAW's BTW.

Edited by Per Westin

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13 hours ago, Per Westin said:

ASIO & multiple interfaces?

Does it work at all? I remember that it wasn't officially supported when I thought about getting another interface a gazillion years ago, however (if my memory is right?) WDM drivers did but the latency depended on the slowest driver if you combined different interfaces.

Windows native drivers do support aggregation. It's actually easier to set up than on the Mac - you just plug in your interfaces, and they show up as input or output devices. But, the latency is an issue compared to ASIO.  I haven't tested aggregation with WASAPI but it should work. 

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1 hour ago, bdickens said:

Drive-by troll

Looks like an improvised variation of the "When will there be a native M1 version of CbB !" 

Not to diss Apple, but it really has become a high maintenance environment as of late. 

 

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Forgot about this rant!...anyway, I want to use ASIO..it's the best option  for windows and has the lowest latency and stability and is considered the only 'pro' option for windows fwiw, unless I'm not up to date on something better. But it does NOT support aggregate I/O devices...from google:

On Windows, it's not possible to create aggregate devices at a system level. If using the MME/DirectX driver, you can select two different devices for input and output. However if using the ASIO driver, it's only possible to select one device as both input and output in Live's preferences.

 

 

...this is a bummer, because in this day and age of ,say, guitar amps that can produce a 1000 great sounds , and have them go into your DAW , no mic'ing necessary, well that necessitates the DAW, OS, and apparently audio drivers supporting the seperate guitar amp (with USB output into the pc), and your audio interface for monitoring/playback (MOTU M4).  Maybe that will clarify things. But the details of the recording process still stand, for me... much, MUCH smoother and easier on the MAC Mini M1, and I've used windows versions prior to that for 20 years.

...

Edited by Marc Harris

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On 12/1/2021 at 4:58 AM, azslow3 said:

To have best experience with audio under Windows, the computer should not be "put together", but constructed specially for audio by people which know how to do this. That is major difference between "PC" and "Apple", the first can be constructed by anyone... the result is unpredictable.

On Windows there is RME Audio interfaces and "other" audio interfaces. Again, if great result (in flexibility, latency, etc.) is expected out of the box and the user has "no time" for tweaking, especially on not "audio special" computer, the interfaces has to be RME. Apple lovers should understand that situation.

 

Not at all. I've 'rolled my own' for two decades. The parts are a mobo, memory , storage and video card. That's not rocket science.

 

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On 12/1/2021 at 7:45 AM, Per Westin said:

 

 

I wish there was a dedicated OS for DAW's BTW.

There used to be. ...a long forgotten, very lightweight in terms of coding compared to windows OS calle BeOS. Never took hold.

Edited by Marc Harris
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49 minutes ago, Marc Harris said:

Forgot about this rant!...anyway, I want to use ASIO..it's the best option  for windows and has the lowest latency and stability and is considered the only 'pro' option for windows fwiw, unless I'm not up to date on something better. But it does NOT support aggregate I/O devices...from google:

On Windows, it's not possible to create aggregate devices at a system level. If using the MME/DirectX driver, you can select two different devices for input and output. However if using the ASIO driver, it's only possible to select one device as both input and output in Live's preferences.

Somebody at Google must have forgotten to tell RME....

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5 hours ago, Marc Harris said:

Not at all. I've 'rolled my own' for two decades. The parts are a mobo, memory , storage and video card. That's not rocket science.

Mobo, memory, storage, video card and audio interface should be selected carefully for audio (real-time) applications.  All related BIOS and Windows settings should be tuned for that exact hardware combination. The result can be 'pro'.

Apple does that for your with Apple computers. There are people/companies which does that for you with Windows computers.

You have 'rolled your own' and then blame Microsoft/Steinberg for the result...

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