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Need Help w/ Protools Free & Soundblaster Live

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by gfab333, Apr 24, 2002.


  1. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I just installed protools free and upgraded to a sound blaster live card on a Compaq Presario 933mhz. although the card plays MP3s and the sample protools file with no problem, I can't seem to get an input level from my bass no matter what I do. I tried plugging my bass direct into the 1/8" input jack using a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter; I tried running my bass through the DI of my GK 1001, pre EQ, with protools in the record mode, I get no signal from my bass.

    Any other suggestions or tips?
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Check your settings in the Windows or Soundblaster mixer (Windows control center).

    Select all inputs for playback and line in for recording.

    Don't expect too much from a Creative Labs card though...
     
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Unfortunately - the Soundblaster card is nothing more than an insane headache, waiting to get worse. I have one and try to use it with Cubase - I got it to work 2 times for audio, but don't have a clue how. All settings just must have been in the right place at the right time. I wish I could be more helpful - like JMX said - keep fiddlin with Soundblaster settings and hopefully, eventually you'll find what works and remember it.

    Good news is, the card works - bad news is it's like a 10,000 piece puzzle.

    Ya might want to call creative labs and bother them about, but don't get too hopeful. Good luck.
     
  4. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    If you get too frustrated and have $180.00, you could do a lot worse than a Midiman audiophile 24/96.
     
  5. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Damn! it took several days, but I finally figured out how to get these two items to work. I've been laying tracks with a drum machine and bass.
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    One advantage of owning a Creative Labs card is that you're forced to know your system inside and out, which can be useful later on.

    But getting rid of my SBLive and buying a Midiman Audiophile was one of my best computer-related decisions.
     
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Congratulations! Do you know the exact settings you have to make it work, or was it luck? If you know what you were doing wrong, or what you're now doing right and can explain any of it - please do. It's still a hit or miss thing with me as in, "hey, I got it workig today! Cool!

    Thanks.
     
  8. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Hey Joe,

    Still hit and miss, but seems to work 90% of the time. Now I have system freeze ups 50% of the time whenI'm playing or editing. Recording works OK. So, here the stuff I fiddled with:

    in your windows settings for the SB card make sure that the volume levels for "playback" and "line in" are set at say 60% to 100%.

    In PT Free, settings in Hardware under the Setup menu are set at the highest H/W buffer size and 85% for the CPU usage limit. Settings under DAE Buffer Size under the Setup menu are set at #s 2, 4, or 8.

    Under the Operations menu, only the following are checked: loop record, auto input monitor, loop playback, link edit & timeline etc., active in background, and pre fader metering.

    I tried running my bass straight into PT Free, but the level seemed too low. So, I run it through the built-in DI in my GK 1001rb (pre EQ). It has a level control, so I boosted it some.

    One, or a combination, of these things was what it took to at least be able to record. I still have not been able to apply any built in effects, because the system freezes. I'm going to buy more ram today (and maybe an off the shelf recording software too, I'm getting tired of wasting my free time on PT Free!)).
     
  9. I'm afraid I had very little joy getting PTFree to run successfully with my SBLive. I don't really think PTFree is a particularly good sequencer. It only has a limited number of audio tracks available, and although the plug-ins are pro quality, and the editting facilities are nice, I just don't think it's worth the hassle.

    Make sure that the Windoze recording settings are for recording through the line in. This causes me headaches every time on the Platinum Live. I keep having to go back to the control panel and check what the recording input is.

    Can I recommend that you uncheck the "auto input monitor". This (I think!) allows you to hear what you're playing in as you play it. Unless your card's audio drivers are optimised for whatever standard PTFree uses (ASIO or MME or WDM?) then this will cause dropouts and worse. If you uncheck this then you won't be able to monitor what you record as you record it with all the FX and all, but it may make the system more stable.
    - I should point out that you'll still be able to hear what you play just not through FX... ;)

    I'm using (and loving it) Cakewalk SONAR. Works really nicely and has a lot of the nice editting features you get in PTFree (non-destructive editting, fades etc.) and you have unlimited audio tracks. I believe the Cakewalk Home Studio 2002 is pretty much the same as SONAR but at a fraction of the cost. Just without some of the bells and whistles.

    Anyway, Best of luck!
    Mike
     
  10. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Thanks for your comments. Where can I find the auto input monitor menu choice?
     
  11. Erk... I took PTFree off my PC a while back!

    You said: "Under the Operations menu, only the following are checked: loop record, auto input monitor, loop playback, link edit & timeline etc., active in background, and pre fader metering" so I'd guess under Operations.

    The trick is to make sure that you have the radio button for your SB "Line in" switched on (so you can hear what you play) but the monitor in PTFree or Cakewalk etc. switched off to get the latency delay. If the latency is around 100ms, which isn't uncommon, then you'll get a really annoying delay across what you're playing. Guaranteed to put you out of time!

    If you can get your hands on "Computer Music Magazine" somewhere in the US then they have really good advice, and very often free software on their cover mounted CD. Worth checking out. They're on the web as well at http://www.computermusic.co.uk/main.asp

    Happy recording!
    Mike