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Nutty

I'm in a real mess...

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Nutty    1

and way over my head! My husband spent 8 hours setting up the new computer and installing FireBox. He spent more time today and I spent many hours search the net and talking to tech support to try and figure out what is going on.

At first, I thought I couldn't record at all. Now, it seems that I can record in Band In A Box (BIAB). I can't record in Power Tracks though. BIAB only lets you do one audio track, so that's not great. Sometimes the sound comes from the phones on FireBox(FB) and sometimes the speakers on the computer, although everything is set up to come through FB.

I downloaded Audacity and it didn't work. I read that for FB, I needed the beta 1.3 version. I downloaded it and it worked. Now it doesn't. I'm sure I didn't change anything.

When I can record in BIAB the volume is extremely low. I can't seem to load anything in the FB Mixer (looks like it has to be a pmx file which I have never seen before).

I called the store I bought FB from and they said I had to disable in the BIOS the computer sound card. My husband did that for Windows (not through the BIOS though?), but that didn't help. The other suggestion was to buy a Firewire PCI card. I did check the PreSonus sight and there are some hardware devices that are incompatable with FB, but none that I can see that we have in our computer.

So how do you troubleshoot something like this? My husband is great at working on computers, but music programs and hardware is not his specialty.

Any ideas would be deeply appreciated. I've been waiting so long to have all this stuff and I can't do a single thing with it.:crying2:

Thanks for listening.

Nutty

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Hi Nutty, quite a bite you've taken all at once. First thing is to stay relaxed and not let it get you down, this will take a little time to get used to.Thats a lot of new stuff to hook up and expect to work out of the box. Not only are these all new to you, they're new to your pc and each other, so conflicts will be the norm at first, your best bet is to tackle one item at a time.

Is your new pc using Vista? that can be a major problem right there as a lot of manufacturers haven't got all of their drivers totally compatible with vista yet. Go to each manufacturers site and check for any updates available.

Disabling in BIOS is not that difficult, you can google for step by step help, but its definitly not a place to experiment in if your not sure what your doing.

When you installed the newer version of audacity did you uninstall the older version?

I'm almost sure its just a matter of setting audio devices up in the proper format/order, but since I'm not familiar with your equipment I'll leave that to those who know more. Hang in there, it will all get straight eventually.

Sorry I wasn't much help, but I'm rooting for you :winkthumb:

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Nutty    1

Thanks Kenny for your support!

The thing I forgot to mention is that while picking a style in Band In a Box, I can only here the ones that are real drums. I can' hear any other style.

Still hangin in....

Nutty

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Tekker    1

Hi Nutty,

What do you mean by "can't record"? Does the Firebox not show up as a recording device, or does it show up and just won't let you record (giving an error message or somehting)?

Also, what do you mean by you can't load anything into the FB mixer? What are you trying to load?... The only thing you can load with the FB mixer are mixer presets.

-tkr

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Nutty    1

Thanks for your support Knight and Carol.

Tekker:

In answer to your questions, when I tried to record, I can see all the FireBox (FB) settings and have chosen them as the audio in and out. I have my speakers plugged in the FB as well.

When I try to open Audacity, it told me that there was a problem with my input device. I just tried it again now and it let me in this time. Tried to record a bit...it looked like it was recording, but there was no playback (i.e. no sound,,just a hum).

I can now record in Band In A Box; however, if i create a new song, it will only work with styles that have Real Drums? Lots of weird things happening.

I was trying to listen to one of the songs through FB. That's what the guy at the store was telling me...the "recording specialist" who told me to buy this stupid unit (at least at the moment...It could be Vista, so I shouldn't be so hard on the FB...lol). What is the load button for on the mixer? When I open it, it's looking for a pxm file (I think that's what it was). Maybe that file for the mixer presets you mentioned.

I don't know. I think my husband may buy a FireWire PCI card today. I've read that it's solved lots of problems for other people. I hate to spend more money, but it's worth $40 I guess to save my (in)sanity.

Nutty

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Nutty    1

thank goodness! :yeahhh:

My husband bought me a new 3 port Firewire PCI card with Texas Instrument chipset and now everything is working. I'm soooooooooooooooo happy.

The only issue is that the volume of the recording is so low. We have everything turned up as high as possible. I've added the +12 db on the FireBox settings as well. Any ideas how to fix this?

Thanks again everyone for your help and support.

Nutty

P.S. I just found this from the PreSonus sight, but I can't follow what they are saying. Looks like I might have to get another pre-amp (which tics me off a little...that's why I bought this unit)..PreSonus FAQ - Why can't I get enough gain from my FireBox pre's with my SM58?

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OldG    3

Looks like I might have to get another pre-amp (which tics me off a little...that's why I bought this unit)..PreSonus FAQ - Why can't I get enough gain from my FireBox pre's with my SM58?

I like to use this Valve preamp with my firewire interface.

I have no problem getting a decent signal level without it - but it really makes vocals sound 'human' and not computerized, try one you'll see what I mean.

Works great with guitar & bass too....

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Tekker    1
What is the load button for on the mixer? When I open it, it's looking for a pxm file (I think that's what it was). Maybe that file for the mixer presets you mentioned.

Yes, it's looking for a mixer preset. Any adjustments you make to the mixer can be saved (as a pxm file) and then recalled later after you've changed it again.

The only issue is that the volume of the recording is so low. We have everything turned up as high as possible. I've added the +12 db on the FireBox settings as well. Any ideas how to fix this?

Have you tried playing other files to make sure their volume level is ok? What recording program are you using and how do the waveforms look after you record? Do the waveforms look small? You could even try loading in an mp3 to compare the volumes (and waveforms) within the recording program (just to eliminate some setting as a possible cause).

It's possible you may need another preamp. The link you posted seemed to make it sound like they cut a lot of the volume (for some reason). If so, how much would you want to spend on a preamp?

-tkr

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Nutty    1

Thanks Kenny, OldG & Tekker. Looks like I might have to get a new pre-amp. Where does it end???? I paid $325 CDN + tax for FireBox, then $65 for the PIC Firewire card and now this!!! Oh well, I've heard the FB is worth it. My PC is brand new so I thought I wouldn't have any problems at all. Wrong again.

Here is the update. I have two (small?) problems. When I open a Band In A Box file (saved as a midi file), I cannot hear it in Power Tracks Pro Audio 12. I can record now, both the guitar and voice in Power Tracks. However, no matter what we do to adjust the voice, it is almost inaudible. I have to turn the guitar track off and then you can faintly hear the voice. I have the controls up as high as possible. I also added the +12 dB on the control panel for the mic input. I also have a decent mic (I think) Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more : ATM610 : Hypercardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Should I go with the preamp? Recommendations? How would I set it up in FB?

I don't know what else to do. I'm almost there though and not about to give up!

Thanks again.

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OldG    3
Thanks Kenny, OldG & Tekker.

Should I go with the preamp? Recommendations? How would I set it up in FB?

I don't know what else to do. I'm almost there though and not about to give up!

Thanks again.

I'm sure a preamp will sort this, as you'll be able to seriously up the input signal to the firebox.

Setting up is as easy as plugging it in between the mic and the firebox ( or guitar amp,computer,PA etc), spending around $40 should get you a Behringer or ART which will do the job nicely :winkthumb:

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Tekker    1
Here is the update. I have two (small?) problems. When I open a Band In A Box file (saved as a midi file), I cannot hear it in Power Tracks Pro Audio 12.

What are you using to play the MIDI file? MIDI contains no audio data, so you have to assign the MIDI track to a MIDI channel (1-16) and assign a sound font to that channel. The other (and much better sounding) alternative to playing MIDI tracks, is to use a VSTi (VST Instrument).

I can record now, both the guitar and voice in Power Tracks. However, no matter what we do to adjust the voice, it is almost inaudible. I have to turn the guitar track off and then you can faintly hear the voice. I have the controls up as high as possible. I also added the +12 dB on the control panel for the mic input.

So the guitar is ok in volume? The only problem is with the vocals? Are you plugging the guitar straight in or are you miking the guitar?

-tkr

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Nutty    1

YEAH TEKKER :claping: :claping: :yeahhh: :yeahhh:

"TEKKER TEKKER, he's our man" (well there are lots, here, but let Tekker have a well deserved moment here).

You don't know how many people I have dealt with in the past few days that could not figure this out for me. Driving my husband crazy, to say the least. Turns out I do have a VST setting, so I switched them over for both Power Tracks and Band In A Box and they are both working!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you. Has to be an issue with the midi - out.

The other odd thing is that I have the speakers plugged into the FireBox. However, sometimes the sounds come from the phones on the FireBox and sometimes through the stero speakers. So, if I want to hear only through the FireBox, I have to turn the volume down on the speakers. Does that make sense?

The only problem now is that the volume is still very low. I have my guitar techie teacher coming here tomorrow, so maybe he can figure out the rest.

So, now I can go back and learn more about recording. You've been warned :winkthumb:

Nutty

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Nutty    1

Here's a sample. I turned up the volume as high as possible on FireBox and in Power Tracks (volume slider). I turned the "background" music down as much as I could without losing the tune.

I don't know where else to go to get more volume. Most have suggested that I shouldn't need a pre-amp. I'm using an Audio-technica ATM610 microphone.

Thanks.

Nutty

ChanceToSayGoodbye6.mp3

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Tekker    1
You don't know how many people I have dealt with in the past few days that could not figure this out for me. Driving my husband crazy, to say the least. Turns out I do have a VST setting, so I switched them over for both Power Tracks and Band In A Box and they are both working!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you. Has to be an issue with the midi - out.

You're welcome! :winkthumb:

The other odd thing is that I have the speakers plugged into the FireBox. However, sometimes the sounds come from the phones on the FireBox and sometimes through the stero speakers. So, if I want to hear only through the FireBox, I have to turn the volume down on the speakers. Does that make sense?

Is there a way to select which sound card to use for the output in Power Tracks? For example, in my recording program in the output section of the mixer I can choose which sound card (and which channel since my sound card has multiple outputs) to use for the output.

The only problem now is that the volume is still very low.

Is the mic connector that plugs into the Firebox an XLR or a 1/4"? They do have cables that go from an XLR (mic) connector to a 1/4" (guitar) connector, so I just want to make sure that both ends have XLR.

Do you have "mic" selected as your input in the Firebox mixer (not "line")?

I found an image of the Firebox mixer, but don't see the +12 button you mentioned earlier. Is this what your mixer looks like?

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul05/images/presonusfirebox01.l.jpg

If you have everything turned up as loud as it will go and everything is setup correctly, then you might need to get a mic preamp. If this ends up being the case, how much are you willing to spend on a preamp?

-tkr

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cshude    0

Sorry I haven't been keeping up on this end of the forum- if you haven't already done so, make sure that you get over to the pgmusic forum- you've got people over there for both BIAB and PTPA that have used just about every piece of equipment and seen every bug under the sun. They'll walk you through everything.

PG Music Forums: Viewing list of forums

Ah, just popped over there and see that you have a whole bunch of things to check out. Just so you know that you're not alone, it took me a few days to sort out the PreSonus Inspire Firewire unit that I have. There are several settings that I had to adjust in order to get everything pointed in the right direction.

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Nutty    1

Thanks Tekker and Chris,

The +12 dB is on the controller. I've attached a photo. The Mic ix XLR to XLR. That was one of the resons for getting FireWire because I had to us a transformer on the mic before.

I read the manual last night on how to set up to get zero latency. I think the step I'm missing is getting the software to run through the FireBox. I tried to cut and paste but that didn't work. Here is the manual. It' on page 21. Also on Page 8 is the picture of the FireBox Controller that has rthe +12 dB that can be added. I am using Power Tracks as my software.

Quote{Is there a way to select which sound card to use for the output in Power Tracks? For example, in my recording program in the output section of the mixer I can choose which sound card (and which channel since my sound card has multiple outputs) to use for the output.{

Yes, I can select, but right now I just have the speakers in the main outputs in the back of FireBox.

I have selected PreSonus FireBox Mic/Inst 1 and 2. I don[t see a separate one for 1 and 2.

If I can figure out how to do the software thing back to PreSonus, it says I can then adjust the volume from there. So, I think I need to figure out how to do it. I've never mixed before. Just put two tracks together, without mixing.

Thanks.

Nutty

P.S. Forgot the link: http://www.presonus.com/media/manuals/04_fireboxManual1.0.pdf

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Nutty    1

The guitar teacher came over. He said the gain was low on my mic for some reason. However, he showed me two places where I could fix it. First was the mixer. It REALLY does help when you know how to use it :oops: Second, I was able to get more gain by selecting Audio/Direct VST Plug ins configuration. Had/have little information about these, but it's working. I'll have to research all this stuff later.

So, now maybe I'll finish all the songs I've been wanting to do and post them to the member's recording forum.....Hopefully, there will be a huge improvement with all this new "stuff".

Thanks again everyone for your help and support. This forum is awesome.

Nutty

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cshude    0

Quote{Is there a way to select which sound card to use for the output in Power Tracks? For example, in my recording program in the output section of the mixer I can choose which sound card (and which channel since my sound card has multiple outputs) to use for the output.

Yes, it is under the audio preferences tab. On the left side, you'll have your list of available inputs, and on the right you have the list of outputs.

Glad to hear that you're making progress!

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Nutty    1

Thanks cshude. It is a relief. I still have tons to learn, but at least I have a starting edge now.

Thanks for your help.

Nutty

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Tekker    1
The guitar teacher came over. He said the gain was low on my mic for some reason.

From the link you posted before it sounds like the Firebox doesn't have very much gain, so I'd be more suspicious of the Firebox than the mic.

And congrats on getting the problem solved!! :yeahhh:

-tkr

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