Posts by Coronado

    I'm no electrician, but I agree with Mystic38. My money would be on the power supply rack as the culprit. Probably the circuit is not completely broken, when switched off. Through ground or some other internal common connection. Using an extension cord for the Virus with an on/off switch should solve that problem.

    I am not familiar with the Safire. The easiest procedure is to set up everything using the analog input first. When that works, you switch to S/PDIF in the Virus menu. If there's still no dice, you know there's something wrong with your digital setup.

    When reading, I could not help but wonder why you would want to choose the Virus over the Korg as the audio receiver. Coincidentally I use a similar setup with the Korg M3 sometimes. It is so much easier to setup and control through the Korg. Being a workstation the Triton is designed to do just that. Never used a Triton myself, but I guess the overall structure is not that different from the M3. There will be a full fledged mixer, that gives you total control over your all audio channels,

    Advantage of this setup is that you can single out one or more Korg instruments, route them to a separate output connected to the Virus input and process or atomize... Without affecting the rest of your mix.

    Personally I prefer my audio device (Safire in this case) to be the master (to control the sample rate) in these setups. Most audio devices can be controlled easy through their control software. If you set the Virus to auto or external sync, you will never have to worry about that again. Even when you open a project with a different sample rate, the virus will automatically follow your audio device. The other way around (as described earlier) you might need to do that manually.

    Not necessarily strange, when standard modus operandi is to neglect betas. Which, thinking of that, would be a smart thing. I guess you would be pretty furious if your system got updated with a Beta that it screws up. If you're some hotshot artist, this could become a costly afar for Access...

    Google "MS Orca", Orca is a small application from Microsoft that lets you alter restrictions in msi installer packages. You can lower the OS requirements, with some luck it will work. I used it a lot when Windows 7 was relatively new and some applications just wouldn't install. There is always the chance that (because of the driver package for example) it actually just isn't compatible.

    There was a special OEM version of Sound Diver that came with the Virus. You can ask Access for the download link. Sound Diver was produced by Emagic (Logic), which is bought by Apple. Sound Diver as a product doesn't exist anymore. If you just want to save and load patches/banks you can do that within a decent DAW (that handles sysex). The manuals of DAW and Virus will show you if and how, or Google..
    Additional sounds often come in midi file format (.mid), which can be loaded in your DAW and send to your Virus. For this communication to take place there needs to be a MIDI connection between Virus and PC (both in AND out). There are several (free) sysex managers as well, if your DAW doesn't support sysex. MIDI-OX for example is my "Swiss knife" since like for ever for all my MIDI bottle necks. One of them being able to receive and send sysex. Most other applications are abandoned, because recent synths come with their own solutions and few people still bother directly with this protocol. Finding one (beside MIDI-OX) that actually does work on recent operating systems may not be so easy.

    BTW this is a great example why one should keep an old Pentium PC sitting around with DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95/98 and/or Windows 2000. Not only is it fun to play those old games, it also lets you use these abandoned applications. Although operating systems are getting more sophisticated, they also get dumbed down in some aspects. Nobody really wonders if a security update is for your benefit or "theirs". Some things we are or were doing with our computers in the future will no longer be possible, or very difficult to accomplish. For "security reasons" of course. Look for example how the MIDI section in Windows became buried over time. It feels like "we have to put it in, but let's make it invisible". I have a hard time believing that it is just being ignored. Why then? Hmmm... good question.. Hey, then again I might just be paranoid. ;)

    As suggested above you should forget about any on-board audio devices. Depending your computer, they often aren't even real audio devices, in the sense that your CPU is doing all the work. Besides they usually do not come with asio drivers. Although there are generic alternatives (Asio4all), I wouldn't recommend it, when you have an alternative like your Presonus. On-board is ok for Youtube, but other than that... naaaa.
    When you set up your Presonus as your standard audio device in your DAW (Ableton), you can monitor the sound from your DAW with it. When you create a track with the Virus, the audio of the Virus is routed to the Presonus like a VST instrument (inside your DAW), so there is no need to connect the Virus to the Presonus with cables other than USB.
    This way all should work fine.

    I'm going to enter into a realm that seems to be a very delicate subject in the music industry, auto-mastering. I suffered from the same problem. My mixes never were as good as commercial ones. I read and tried, and got better, but never reached the required level. Not so strange as there is a lot of knowledge and great ears required to produce a quality mastered product. My ears are scr*wed anyway, due to years of too loud music and although I know/learned a lot, i'm still no engineer.

    One day I stumbled on Har-Bal. Har-Bal basically is an equalizer with unlimited bands. It allows auto-mastering up to a degree. You load a commercial song, that is close in style and dynamics to the one you want to master. Har-Bal creates a profile or filter, which you than use to master your own song. Most of the time the results are quite good, but you can easily tweak it a little. I guess for a lot of people this produces great results. For me it was great education, as I could easily see where I went wrong myself. There's nothing like learning from your own mistakes. Recently they introduced a new version which supposedly is even better.

    I also used AAMS (Auto Audio Mastering System), the idea is similar to Har-Bal although the approach is quite different. Har-Bal feels more professional and easier to tweak. I got good results from both. Main difference is that Har-Bal doesn't market itself as an auto mastering system. For a good reason. Pro's will kill you.. "There is no such thing.. " Maybe not. Really I don't care how they call it. For me it worked and in some problematic cases it still does.

    When you have Har-Balled your song, you can run it through a compressor/limiter type of plugin, to get the volume level you need/want, if Har-Bal not did it sufficiently. At this point I rarely use a multiband compressor to keep the original spectrum/frequency curve as much as possible. I think that multiband compressors are the source of most of our problems. We spend time mixing and eq-ing to get a well balanced sound, after which the multiband compressor is put to work and kills the balance we created earlier. Not the compressor's fault, it's our lack of understanding and knowledge. We tend to abuse it rather than use it.

    Are these auto mastering applications professional robo-mastering engineers? Of course not. However in most cases the results sound better than non-engineer productions and leave room for your own input. For educational purposes, priceless!

    The description of your problem is a bit confusing.
    When you already have a (WAV) recording what is there to export? Same goes for freezing. Freezing an audio track doesn't really make sense. You use that with instruments mainly to save resources. Live basically records (renders) the track from MIDI to WAV. Your Virus recording already is in audio, ergo freezing doesn't make sense.

    As I have not used Ableton in a few years, I'm a little rusty. But I remember an option in preferences which makes Live save/collect all media when you save the project. If my memory serves me correct ,material automatically appears in the library. BTW, when you use a Virus recording as a loop in Live, why don't you slice it to a new midi track. My guess is, there is some conflict or inconsistency in your workflow. As Live works with a temp folder/temp files (you can search for it, probably your Virus recordings can be found there), it is not unlikely that you want to create a file that already exists in some form or another. Because as the recording exists in the form of an audio file already, there should be little to no connection to the Virus itself. Or am I missing something?

    There are many issues with Live's library/file handling, I think Live's most common complaint.. For me the main reason I ditched it. Security and commercialization of libraries seem more important than workflow and comfort. I've been a fan of ACID pro for many years, which in studio environment is so much easier to work with. It has always been underestimated as a DAW. Sadly the last years that product has been in a standstill, so it is very dated. Especially "modern" routing functions like side-chaining require a lot of time or simply are not possible. The file handling and import functions however are still without competition. A child of Live and Acid would be a killer DAW..[/offtopic]

    Having used heaps of hardware and basically every DAW around, I feel that it is neither the MIDI nor the audio part in the USB stream. I prefer fire-wire over USB any day of the week and twice on Sunday, but even on fire-wire this combination of data is not without it's troubles. I have a Korg M3, it's optional fire-wire board provides MIDI as well. Known issues are very similar to the ones encountered in USB.
    By no means do I pretend to have more than average knowledge of the underlying technical aspects of both protocols, but based on experience and shear logic, I feel that separation of those two data streams in some way or another is the big hurdle. In case of the M3, which comes with USB-MIDI as well, separating MIDI (over USB) and audio (over Fire-wire) resolved any issues. Luckily the way the M3's editor plugin is implemented allows it's full use even in this setup.

    I think synth builders should generally stay away from incorporating an audio device in their product. Provide an ADAT or S/Pdif interface, USB-MIDI and a plugin/editor that controls the synth. It would make life for (semi-) professionals a lot easier. We have our preferred audio device anyway and a bunch of other synths, of which a number probably want to be installed as an audio device as well. With 3,4, or 5 audio devices in your system you are bound to run into trouble of some sort. It is hard enough to get MIDI organized at times.

    I definitely agree with Flabberbob, I too would not waste time on the Focusrite at the moment. When the Virus works ok you can always try to get them both operational. Your Virus is too valuable to let it sit around. Better to concentrate on one thing at a time, main objective being "get Virus to work properly".

    Troubleshooting is not so easy, as there are so many things that could be spoiling your fun. Although Windows has become more versatile and one would expect maturity in the "plug and play department" over the years, occasionally ancient problems like IRQ-conflicts and such still arise. Due to the "full-automatic" nature of recent Windows versions, fewer people are aware of these issues and know how to resolve them. Even for those who do know it has become more and more difficult to control those aspects. Hidden control panels, secret key combinations, undocumented command line instructions will certainly not motivate to counter one's troubles. This might be great for technicians, as they can bill accordingly. For us average Joe's it's just a big pain in the butt.

    As every Windows PC is the sum of it's parts, basically there is no PC equal to another. Although that is exactly how we want it (if not we would have bought an Apple), this level of individualization also can complicate apparently simple things like installing new gear. If only because you are individualizing your computer yet a little more. This makes life for hardware manufacturers, driver developers and help-desk operators quite a challenge. As most of the communication occurs through e-mail and fora, without having the actual hardware at hand. One can imagine the shear desperation on both sides when things just don't seem to be working out.

    So.., how is all this going to solve your problem. It is not! Nevertheless it can help you to get a feeling for the issue at hand. The basis is to get the individualization level of your computer as low as possible. Which means, remove all that is not absolutely necessary (as we advised earlier. I can not emphasize this enough!). At that point check whether your system is running flawlessly. Maybe check with a friend who has experience in these things to help out with the troubleshooting process. It is not so difficult really when you know how the system works. It's just nearly impossible to cover all bases from a distance, because the shear number of bases can be mind boggling, as you can see in the different responses you've received here (most, if not all, where to the point and valid).

    Someone with experience does not need to cover all bases. Through simple deduction and knowing where to look and what to look for, could relatively quickly pinpoint and resolve your problem. My advice therefor, ask someone with experience to help you out. I'm pretty sure the problem is not that hard to find. My guess is, the solution has already been provided.

    Maybe you should organize a LAN-party.. chances are the right people will show up. I know, I could just have written "hey..., go ask a buddy", but that would have been way too simple.. ;)