Various issues and frustrations...

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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drumandstage
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Various issues and frustrations...

Post by drumandstage » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:56 am

(GENERAL WARNINGS AND DISCLAIMERS [Humor intended]):
Good morning! I have some problems going on; some are Mixcraft issues, and some are not. To be frank, I am about ready to throw in the towel with this software. No one I know uses it, and so I can't call up a buddy and ask a for a quick fix. Also, I am limited on my home time to work on this stuff, and with most of my time spent trying to troubleshoot, it isn't making for a happy, productive experience. For the record, I have tried to search on here for prior topics about most of my complaints.


Quick details: I have a 1 week old HP 040-010 Computer with the following specs:
Powerful 4th Generation Intel Core i3-4170 processor for excellent performance
8GB memory makes computing and gaming faster
1 TB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive holds all of your personal and professional records
Intel HD Graphics 4400 makes gaming and movies much more fun and exciting
The ultra-slim tray super multi DVD burner tucks into the tower subtlety
4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports to help you connect your smartphone and flash drive
Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g/n featuring 2.4 GHz 1x1 technology connects you quickly and easily

PLEASE ADVISE TODAY if the PC is inadequate. I really don't have the budget to buy a better machine, but if this one is a no-go I can still take it back today. I am using this machine SOLELY for Mixcraft and some online searching. No other programs have been installed on the user level.

I updated the machine prior to loading MC Pro Studio.

I am using this in 64 bit (maybe unnecessarily)


Mixcraft issues:

Crashing: Yesterday I worked on programming a MIDI bass scratch track. I also had to work to sync up the original song I am trying to recreate with the metronome since the original was not recorded to a click track. 4 hours of work and when i went to try to change the sound device, the program crashed. When I reopened MC, it could not open the saved file. I was irate, to say the least.

Twice since then, the program stopped responding when I tried to close it. It is not responding as I type this.


Sound Device issues: I have really had a bad time of trying to go back and forth between ASIO for 0 latency with the MIDI keyboard and MIDI drums, and the WAVE RT Exclusive Mode. I fumble around with trying to find the right in and outputs. A simple fix (if such exists) would be awesome.



Non_Mixcraft MIDI issues:

1) I have a Behringer UMC202HD that I am using as my interface and it is connected via USB at the moment. The system stopped recognizing it and I had to physically disconnect it and reconnect it to make it recognize it again. Should I use the audio out and go into the microphone jack in the sound card? Will I sacrifice anything that way?

2) I have a KAT KT3 electronic drum set connected from the MIDI In/Out via an M-Audio Uno MIDI to USB device (cord). The system won't "see" it after a spell of non-use and rebooting the computer (for other reasons) has no effect. I presume it is either a PC or device (cord) problem since turning the drum module off and on has no effect, either. I was advised by the people at KAT the there would be an issue using a 64 bit program if I use the MIDI through USB output, but my feedback from a colleague is that the information coming out of the MIDI via USB would not be any different for 32 or 64 bit. Any additional information or perspective would be great. PROBLEM SOLVED THROUGH DRIVER DOWNLOAD

I wonder if the PC is having an issue with the USB ports, and if so, would adding a new card with additional ports solve the problem. All my USB devices are 2.0 to the best of my knowledge.

I know this is a long, multifaceted post. Please bear with me. I am running out of weekend and won't really have much time to approach this with a fresh attitude again until Saturday. I got almost nothing accomplished so far. I am debating a different program for more local support, but want to give this a try first.


THANKS!!!
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

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Acoustica Eric
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by Acoustica Eric » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:25 am

Well, there are a few things that stand out to me on first read.

1. The Core i3 is intels budget processor, not top of the line. Or even middle (which would be the i5). If the processor is dual core instead of quad or more, then I will tell you that I have personally had some dual core processor just do terrible with applications like Mixcraft or any other audio or video application.
2. It's a laptop - Laptops are just sluggish compared to desktops with the same specs.
3. The crashes and issue you explain are 99% of the time caused by hardware issues. So when you tried switching audio devices, and Mixcraft accessed the other hardware, BOOM. Crash caused by hardware, most likely.
4. Behringer :-\, in my experience, that word alone can cause issues. I run a professional studio and we've tried many behringer products over the years, and now my studio is completely without anything from that company. Although, I have never tried the UMC202HD interface you mentioned.

If you are going to buy a machine solely for the purpose of audio editing, I would definitely make it an i7 or equiveland AMD processor.
Also, if you do not need the 64 bit version, run the 32 bit version. It is easier on the processor.

Also also, if you have some security software like macafee, norton, etc. Remove it. Replace it with a very light freebie like the awesome Immunet http://www.immunet.com/
That will free up a lot of system resource.

Follow the steps in this video to free up even more https://youtu.be/XMXz81p0g28

Lastly, if you need more specific help, submit a support ticket here http://support.acoustica.com

drumandstage
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by drumandstage » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:08 am

Acoustica Eric wrote:Well, there are a few things that stand out to me on first read.

1. The Core i3 is intels budget processor, not top of the line. Or even middle (which would be the i5). If the processor is dual core instead of quad or more, then I will tell you that I have personally had some dual core processor just do terrible with applications like Mixcraft or any other audio or video application.
2. It's a laptop - Laptops are just sluggish compared to desktops with the same specs.
3. The crashes and issue you explain are 99% of the time caused by hardware issues. So when you tried switching audio devices, and Mixcraft accessed the other hardware, BOOM. Crash caused by hardware, most likely.
4. Behringer :-\, in my experience, that word alone can cause issues. I run a professional studio and we've tried many behringer products over the years, and now my studio is completely without anything from that company. Although, I have never tried the UMC202HD interface you mentioned.

If you are going to buy a machine solely for the purpose of audio editing, I would definitely make it an i7 or equiveland AMD processor.
Also, if you do not need the 64 bit version, run the 32 bit version. It is easier on the processor.

Also also, if you have some security software like macafee, norton, etc. Remove it. Replace it with a very light freebie like the awesome Immunet http://www.immunet.com/
That will free up a lot of system resource.

Follow the steps in this video to free up even more https://youtu.be/XMXz81p0g28

Lastly, if you need more specific help, submit a support ticket here http://support.acoustica.com

Thanks for the input. For the record; it's a desk top, but the other factors you mentioned are still noteworthy.

As to the Behringer comments; I have never taken Behringer very seriously and the Interface was actually part of several items I got my teenage daughter for Christmas for "youtubing"...which she never got around to doing. I commandeered the unused software (Mixcraft 7 Home) and hardware and have done some voice over commercial work, and am working on a few songs just to learn the ins and outs better. I have added an upgrade to Mixcraft 7 Pro Studio and this PC and a few musical instruments.

This is a low budget project studio intended mainly for my own entertainment,

Back to the issues; I am saving my work very time I get to a juncture where I have something worth saving, so future crashes won't be as damaging. I'll work on the rest of the things you mentioned, and certainly appreciate your input.


Thanks!
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

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Acoustica Eric
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by Acoustica Eric » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:20 pm

FYI: Every time you save, Mixcraft creates a backup of the project. It lives inside the project folder, in a folder called backup.
So next time your hardware does you wrong, you could revert to the most recent backup.

JonInc
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by JonInc » Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:29 pm

My guess is your PC, being a brand new machine, has a bunch of junk pre-installed that is taking up valuable resources. Go to task manager-startup tab and disable all the unnecessary stuff from startup.

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Rolling Estonian
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by Rolling Estonian » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:46 pm

JonInc wrote:My guess is your PC, being a brand new machine, has a bunch of junk pre-installed that is taking up valuable resources. Go to task manager-startup tab and disable all the unnecessary stuff from startup.
Very good point that most people don't address soon enough. There's lots of stuff that's not only in the start menu but are equally unnecessary. Here's a couple of the more popular programs that will take care of things and work great:

http://www.shouldiremoveit.com/
https://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

M

TheHound
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by TheHound » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:43 am

I have a core i3 and up until recently I had no issues. Even with a lot of tracks running and while recording MC reports it is using less than 30% system resources. It uses 40 - 60% when rendering music and video. That said, I'm running 6.1.

I have used a Berringer 222 UCA interface with no issues. But now MC stuttering during recording in exclusive mode though it's still reporting low resource usage even in exclusive mode. Would more RAM help?


Also, is it safe to assume that a computer rated good for gaming be good for recording? When I get MC 7 I plan on getting a new computer and maybe a desk top.

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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by JonInc » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:51 am

A couple of tips about your interface:

- Very important: Make sure you have the latest firmware and drivers from here:

http://www.music-group.com/Categories/B ... /downloads

- The UMC202HD is USB 2, so always plug into a USB 2 port. You may need to try different ports, but stick to USB 2 for the interface. (USB 3 is theoretically backwards-compatible, but a lot users are finding out that on some machines the implementation is flaky).

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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by JonInc » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:16 am

TheHound wrote:I have a core i3 and up until recently I had no issues. Even with a lot of tracks running and while recording MC reports it is using less than 30% system resources. It uses 40 - 60% when rendering music and video. That said, I'm running 6.1.

I have used a Berringer 222 UCA interface with no issues. But now MC stuttering during recording in exclusive mode though it's still reporting low resource usage even in exclusive mode. Would more RAM help?

Also, is it safe to assume that a computer rated good for gaming be good for recording? When I get MC 7 I plan on getting a new computer and maybe a desk top.
On the ram question - in general, yes. But you don't list how much ram you have. Also, are you running 32 or 64 bit? (If you're 32 bit, more than 4GB ram won't matter).

Gaming PCs are generally built for power, so yes, they should be fine for audio recording, but first make sure and remove any unnecessary junk that might steal resources (Decrapifier does this. See the earlier post for the link).

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by Mark Bliss » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:54 am

#drumandstage:
Sorry to hear of your frustrations, hang in there and be patient, you'll get it sorted.

I am going to agree with most of the replies you have gotten so far, and offer some thoughts that may only reinforce them.

First, specifically on the locking up when closing the program. While I would agree this is usually a hardware problem, I would also share that I have had some problem with this issue cropping up in one of the recent versions (Build 302 or 303) of Mixcraft where it had never been an issue before. Nothing else changed on my system. I am currently evaluating a beta for the next release and the issue seems to be gone. It has not occurred one single time while it happened nearly every time I closed the program on the prior build. So maybe there was an issue with that build on some peoples systems. I hadn't reported or focused on it much as no one else reported experiencing it here. At the time I thought it was just something affecting me. Maybe not. But if so, its going to be OK very soon. In the meantime, if this is happening to anyone, save often.........

Next thing that you should consider, definitely try reinstalling and choosing the 32 bit version of Mixcraft. It runs smoother for many people, especially those without very high performance computers. The description of your use indicates you probably have little need for trying to use the 64 bit version anyway at this point.

While you may find the i3 processor limiting at some point later in use, I seriously doubt it is causing the issues being discussed. Some of the recommendations for optimization may help here too.

The Behringer interface: some manufacturers drivers are just not stable. Check to see if they have any updated drivers on their website. If you are using the driver that came with the unit there may be some improved drivers. Addressing some of the other issues may take care of this too.
Also, you might find that the default settings for some interfaces are for very high resolution audio and that is very taxing on computer resources. Just because the interface is capable of 192k doesn't meant that's the best choice for you. Try 24 bit/44.1k or perhaps 48k for recording and see if that helps any.

I understand your frustration, and the feeling that it would be nice if someone familiar with the software could assist you directly. That's normal to feel that way when jumping into this kind of learning curve. Trust me when I say no other DAW lacks these challenges and frustrations.
You will likely find the help available here better than any other IMO however. Hang in there.
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by TheHound » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:59 pm

JonInc wrote:
TheHound wrote:I have a core i3 and up until recently I had no issues. Even with a lot of tracks running and while recording MC reports it is using less than 30% system resources. It uses 40 - 60% when rendering music and video. That said, I'm running 6.1.

I have used a Berringer 222 UCA interface with no issues. But now MC stuttering during recording in exclusive mode though it's still reporting low resource usage even in exclusive mode. Would more RAM help?

Also, is it safe to assume that a computer rated good for gaming be good for recording? When I get MC 7 I plan on getting a new computer and maybe a desk top.
On the ram question - in general, yes. But you don't list how much ram you have. Also, are you running 32 or 64 bit? (If you're 32 bit, more than 4GB ram won't matter).

Gaming PCs are generally built for power, so yes, they should be fine for audio recording, but first make sure and remove any unnecessary junk that might steal resources (Decrapifier does this. See the earlier post for the link).
4 gig RAM and 64 bit Windows 7.

I do go into task manager and shut off all the Toshiba bloatware, Spybot, Super Anti Spyware. IOBIT has turbo boost that turns off non essential programs. It frees up about 3% more power. Shutting of the Toshiba crap frees up maybe 5% more power.

When you run Decrapifier how much more power are you seeing?

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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by JonInc » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:48 pm

TheHound wrote:
When you run Decrapifier how much more power are you seeing?
I don't use decrapifier, as my system is homebuilt -- there's nothing on it I didn't put there. I suggested the utility in case you needed it.

I hate to say this, but your interface is likely the weakest link of your system. ASIO4All is actually the recommended driver for the UCA222 (and to put that in perspective, it's considered a last resort generic driver for onboard sound cards that don't have ASIO drivers. It's also notorious for causing problems on some systems).

That being said, if it was working okay before, then there's at least some hope you might be able to get it working again.

Some things to try:

-Make sure the interface is plugged into a USB 2 port (not USB3). Try different ones to see if you get better results.

-Run Latency Monitor to identify any driver issues:

http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

-If that looks okay, uninstall and reinstall ASIO4All driver.

-Disable your anti-virus and wi-fi and see if that helps.

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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by fredfish » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:56 am

JonInc wrote:
-Make sure the interface is plugged into a USB 2 port (not USB3). Try different ones to see if you get better results.

.
Completely agree with Jon. Just add also try a different cable - they do fail sometimes.

To back up Jon's statement try the usb ports on the back- the front ports on towers are often connected via an internal hub and audio interfaces often dont like operating on a hub. The USB3 socket can be identified in that it is blue.

Best of luck.

Cheers

John

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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by drumandstage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:38 pm

I am inching toward a better system, I think.

i3 core...I did some homework and I can upgrade the processor if at some point it proves necessary.

Behringer...I am stuck with this Interface for now, and the firmware and drivers are/have been the latest.

I installed the 32 bit version of the software (and updated the 64 bit to build 310) for daily use.

Kat KT 3 drum module has to go to the West Coast for driver updates. I am considering a new drum rig instead. TBD

As to the USB 2.0 and rear USB connections, I have a new USB 2.0 card coming in Thursday that will give me 3 2.0 USB aside from the 2 already in the rear of the CPU.

Haven't launched the program and tried to record lately, but I will, soon.

Thanks for all of the help so far!
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

TheHound
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Re: Various issues and frustrations...

Post by TheHound » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:25 pm

JonInc wrote:
TheHound wrote:
When you run Decrapifier how much more power are you seeing?
I don't use decrapifier, as my system is homebuilt -- there's nothing on it I didn't put there. I suggested the utility in case you needed it.

I hate to say this, but your interface is likely the weakest link of your system. ASIO4All is actually the recommended driver for the UCA222 (and to put that in perspective, it's considered a last resort generic driver for onboard sound cards that don't have ASIO drivers. It's also notorious for causing problems on some systems).

That being said, if it was working okay before, then there's at least some hope you might be able to get it working again.

Some things to try:

-Make sure the interface is plugged into a USB 2 port (not USB3). Try different ones to see if you get better results.

-Run Latency Monitor to identify any driver issues:

http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

-If that looks okay, uninstall and reinstall ASIO4All driver.

-Disable your anti-virus and wi-fi and see if that helps.
Which USB Port is which? I have one on the left and two on the right. I've been using one of them on the right.

I use Wave RT when in Exclusive mode and I get 3 ms latency. Can I get zero latency? I can live with 3ms but I notice it.

I tried ASIO4ALL and it was a trouble maker.

My biggest issue with the UCA222 is that there is no way to boost gain on the unit. What I have been doing is using the headphone out on a guitar and bass amp for more gain. It does give enough gain with active pick ups. I suppose I should get some sort of preamp for my mic and guitars which is what the head phone out is doing but I would like something more task specific. That said... I get some very good guitar tone with my Trademark 10 by TC Electronics.

I need to upgrade my computer. I was only able to find one decent Win 7 during the Win 8 fiasco so I had to settle for Toshiba with a Core i3. Overall not a bad machine. Money is tight right now cause we are moving. Also, I may be coming into a gently used free Lenovo with a 8 gig RAM and a i5 Core processor running Win 7.

When it comes to computer power is it true that it all comes down to gig flops? It's hard to get accurate info on which models have them post gigaflops.

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