Emergence from Tech Hell

What a complete relief to have solved this problem! 
 It has plagued me for over a YEAR!
Over the years I have invested significantly into equipment to compose and mix midi and audio music.  I just love doing it and have been doing it when I have the time since the late 80s.
Well, about a year ago I started a podcast which I was recording at home.  No problems, everything went well for the first 2 podcasts, each of which were a half hour long.  Then on the third one I just started dropping out and couldn’t record.
I was using Cakewalk Home Studio 2004 and so I filled out a tech request form to them for help but they never responded.
Then I called MOTU who makes the Traveler interface I use.  Their tech checked it out with me and pronounced it good.
I tried to get Cakewalks attention but nothing ever came back.  I followed all the help info on cakewalk and got nowhere.
Since I was working then, I just didn’t have the time or emotional energy to devote to solving this and shelved my podcast and music till recently.
Now that I am taking a break from work I felt I had the time, once my deck was done, to get this fixed.
I submitted a giant rant to the cakewalk forums advertising how upset I was at their lack of support.  I wanted to upgrade their product but that was a significant investment and why should I update software a company doesn’t support?
Well that forum post brought up a repeating question – do you have a firewire card that doesn’t use a TI chip?
Well I just didn’t know.  I bought a cheap $15 firewire card and it said it was compliant so I assumed it was ok.  After all, I had done two successful half-hour podcasts on that card so that couldn’t be the problem right?  Wrong!
At my birthday party, Wayne, a friend, took a look at my system and discovered that the MIDI drivers were interfering with that audio performance.  He came up with a workaround for audio, but no fix for MIDI.  This led me down driver update lane, but with no results.
Well just to make sure, I finally ordered another firewire interface card that was known to use a TI chip recommended by a respondent to my cakewalk rant post.  Today I got it, stuck it in and – whalla – my woes were gone!
Moral of the story:
  1. Don’t buy really cheap interface cards to save just a few bucks.
  2. Don’t assume that because a company (MOTU) says their drivers will detect non-TI chip firewire cards and warn you at installation time, don’t believe it.
  3. Don’t assume that TI chips may not have the TI logo on them.
  4. Don’t think that just because something worked the first time, the hardward can’t be at fault.
  5. Don’t assume that support will really read your questions and help you – the info of what firewire card I was using was right there for the techs to see and none of them spotted it.
  6. If at first you don’t give up, maybe eventually you will succeed!


About sanfords

Ex Microsoft Dev for 20 years. Currently retired at my ranch in Idaho near Kooskia. I like coaching Chess for kids so let me know if you are interested in those services.
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One Response to Emergence from Tech Hell

  1. Brian says:

    About to leave for Arkansas tomorrow. Just came upon this in your email. So sorry to hear about you father in law. My dad made it through the valve replacement surgery and almost back to normal for a 76 year old. Had a good deep conversation, but does not accept Jesus as the only way :<. On your problem, I was going to say the Mac has good podcast software built in, if you get to a point where you can\’t stand the PC problems. I am loving teaching using a smart board. You can load a great teaching software free from Smarttech.com called notebook. It is what we use at school with the smart boards most of the time. I also use a few power Points as well. Can\’t believe it is almost Christmas. Sandy, You have got to see the Truth project videos. You especially would love the one on the great experiment (all about the start of the United states) great stuff. Got to go now. Hope you guys have a great holiday. Merry Christmas from the Feligs.

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