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Messages - Altus

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Speaking of MMOs, did anyone ever play Asheron's Call 2?  It was my first MMO experience, and I still have very fond memories of that game.

Not only was the game world beautiful (amazing engine for it's time), the music was essentially generative ambient music.  And it would change depending on the situation.  If there were no enemies around, the music would be fairly calm.  Otherwise it would become more active, especially during combat.  This is very different from what most games do, where a totally different soundtrack will play/loop depending on the situation.  The music in the game never really fully changed.  It was all based on 10-20 second loops that were chosen at random.
Anyway I'm rambling, but I've yet to see such a unique music experience in a game since.  If anyone's curious to hear it, I could post a track I had compiled years ago.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Hardware loopers
« on: October 04, 2010, 07:11:22 PM »
Looks interesting but its windows only, not much use to me.  :(

He was demoing using the standalone version. A VST version is available so as long as your host supports it, you're good.

To anyone playing Oblivion on PC:

I cannot WAIT for Elder Scrolls V!

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Asus VS Apple Gaybook
« on: September 05, 2010, 08:50:33 AM »
Gaybook...  Really?  I thought we were adults here.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Audio interfaces
« on: August 13, 2010, 06:58:36 PM »
I'm happy to say the Edirol FA-101 with the TI firewire card has been rock solid.  It's always nice to be able to make music without fighting with the technology.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Is there such a thing as a "black CD"???
« on: July 23, 2010, 06:07:18 PM »
Sounds fishy to me... especially since the manager was rather defensive when you asked the question.
Burning on black CD-Rs is a good way to hide the fact it's burned.   ;)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Space Station tour
« on: June 01, 2010, 04:20:04 AM »
There's so many things to bonk your head on up there.  ;D
Very cool video.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Alien prequel
« on: May 06, 2010, 05:06:01 PM »
Fingers crossed they don't screw it up.  :P

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Press Releases
« on: May 05, 2010, 04:27:14 AM »
I am horrible when it comes to writing up some kind of description for a new release, which is why I've started using short videos (1-2 minutes) as a promo.  At the same time, the listener can hear exactly what the music sounds like... instead of me TRYING to convey it in words.  ;D

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Alien prequel
« on: May 05, 2010, 04:20:51 AM »
I am approaching these films with caution.  In a way, I don't want to know about the space jockey... I love the idea that his story is never told, yet it's such a pivotal piece of information.  A rare thing in film, especially Hollywood.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Audio interfaces
« on: May 03, 2010, 04:09:32 AM »
Heh, the reason I went with a external box is because a number of other people I spoke to said that internal cards can be more problematic.  Go figure, right?  ;)
It's a desktop system, so there's no reason I couldn't use a PCIe card.

If things really don't work out, I might take back the FA-101 and try that route to see if my problems go away.

Thanks again for your advice.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Audio interfaces
« on: May 01, 2010, 03:03:34 PM »
I can't say if that's the case, and not sure how to find out such a thing.  However, given that the video playback and audio aren't really connected (I'm not using the audio stream from the video file) I don't think it's a problem in that respect.

I forgot to mention that if I use my SB X-Fi card, the problem doesn't happen.  So once again, it's something to do with the interface.  As I said before, I'm hoping that installing the suggested TI firewire card will fix the problem.  We shall see.  ;)

Space vampires?  See Lifeforce.
Good 80s flick. :)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Audio interfaces
« on: May 01, 2010, 11:27:52 AM »
The reason I prefer to go with Firewire is because I worry about the other USB devices (mouse, keyboard, midi keyboard, security dongle) interfering with the audio interface.  I like that there's nothing else in the chain to muck things up.  ;)

In any case, I was able to purchase the FA-101 at a decent price ($150 less than MSRP) and almost all my problems are gone.  The squealing sound due to CPU usage is history, and my multitrack playback is clean.  But I still get crackling when using one plugin (video playback for writing music to picture).  Again, no amount of changes to settings for buffering and latency make it go away.

I've also noted in the manual that TI is highly suggested, so I'll just switch out my firewire card and ...hopefully... that'll fix the crackling for that one plugin.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Audio interfaces
« on: April 30, 2010, 05:54:21 PM »
Thanks for the advice, Loren.  I have a number of firewire cables hanging around so I tested them all.  Unfortunately, no change with any of them.  In my forum searches, I have heard of grounding problems with various audio interfaces and had a feeling that might be the case.

I also ran into some instructions on defeating the ground to solve the problem, but I'm interested in opening the box to do such a thing.  Ground wires are there for a reason.  ;)

Black, I have found others who have the same problem (the squealing noise) so I'm not alone.  It seems to be a rare occurrence though.

Who knows... maybe it's just a lemon?  At this point, I really don't care.  I'm just mad at this box, and I'm done trying to get it work properly.  I didn't pay anything for it (it was purchased for me), and I know someone else who could use it, despite its faults.  So I don't see it as a loss.

For anyone curious, I'll send an update once I purchase and test the Edirol.  Fingers crossed everything works out.  ;)
Thanks again everyone for your help and advice.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Audio interfaces
« on: April 30, 2010, 04:13:48 AM »
Hey Black,
Yeah, the 100microseconds is what I get while it's under load.  I get the same problem regardless of DAW.  And it only happens when I'm playing sound files (such as WAV files) within the DAW.  For example, I could be playing back some music in a DAW that doesn't have any WAV files playing.  Just synth and effect VSTs playing, minimize the program, start copying files from one drive to another, loading up a browser and check my mail all at the same time.  Clean output, no clicks.  I can even use sampler-based plugins that stream samples as they play.  It's only if I drop in a WAV file and the random clicking occurs.

I bought the system a couple of months ago:
Asus PT6
Intel i7 920
Kingston 6GB ram

Now I just took a peek at my devices again, and just realized the Startech firewire card I'm using has a VIA chipset (I thought it was TI).  I've read VIA chipsets can cause problems...  Maybe replacing that could solve some of my issues.  I checked Presonus' website, and they do support some VIA chipsets, but I can't get details chipset info from device manager.  Going to have to do some searching.

Edit:  The chipset is VIA VT6306, which is fully supported by Presonus.  Bah!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Audio interfaces
« on: April 29, 2010, 06:53:05 PM »
Forrest, I have a dedicated drive for OS, another for temp file usage, and the last for music-specific audio file storage.  Oh, and I'm quite anal about keeping on top of file fragmentation.  But it's certainly good advice for anyone.  Thanks!

Blackinfinity, thanks for the suggestion for RME, however their units are overkill for what I'm looking for.  I was pretty sure I tested with that software but I tried again.  It peaked at 100 microseconds during playback, which I believe is normal.  Thank you.

APK, sorry I should have mentioned that the same problems occur regardless of what I have my latency set to.  I can set it to 40ms (the highest option) and still get the random popping.  If it makes any sense, the popping I'm referring to sounds different than latency problems.  I've found latency problems to sound more like grinding.

I'm fairly sure my problems are driver-related, given I'm using Windows 7.

Originally I was looking at the M-Audio Firewire Solo, but I was iffy about it since I've heard a lot of bad things about M-Audio.  The reason I was looking at that device was because they just released new Windows 7 (64bit) drivers, which told me they were still planning on supporting the device.  But delving deeper, I found that anyone using the drivers said they were - for lack of a better word - shit!

So I've decided that if I want results, I need to pay for it.  So I did some checking on the Edirol FA-101, and could only find positive comments, even on tech forums.  Full Windows 7 support, and confirmations from users saying they're rock-solid.  It has way more inputs/outputs than I'd ever use, but not a big deal.

Does anyone have or heard any comments on the FA-101?
I'm still open to suggestions for alternatives.

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions and advice!  :)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Audio interfaces
« on: April 28, 2010, 07:21:36 PM »
Hey all.
I'm using a PreSonus Firebox and not very happy with the output of this thing.  I get random pops/crackles when the harddrive is active (I've confirmed it's not latency problems).  Very annoying when doing final mixes with lots of WAV files playing in the multitrack.

The output is also very noisy.  When the CPU is under load, I hear sort of a squealing noise that changes in tone depending on the load.  I've contemplated sampling it because it sounds kind of cool, but I digress...  I know it's not a shielding problem.  The 1/4" to XLR cables going from the Firebox to my monitors are fine, because the noisy output doesn't happen under I turn on the device.

On the positive side, latency is practically zero.

Anyway, I'm looking for an audio interface that "just works", and would love to hear what you guys are using/happy with.
Oh, to add to my problems, I'm using Windows 7 (64-bit) so getting driver support for a lot of these units narrows down my choices.

Thanks for any advice you might have.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Free speech samples
« on: April 21, 2010, 04:26:33 AM »
Freesound is an awesome resource.

If you're looking for NASA stuff, you can get tons of recordings off their site.
I just typed 'nasa recordings' into Google, and this came up:

I'm going to assume they had a catalogue like this for all their missions if you hunt on their site.
Just be careful using NASA stuff directly, it's very cliché... but I'm sure you knew that already.  ;)

Wow, I've never received so much feedback before.  Thank so much everyone.  :)

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