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X-ray results came back today and showed nothing of interest apparently. The doctor has prescribed a lovely injection of cortisone into my stupid arm at 9:10am EST on this coming Friday.

Stay tuned for the hopeful conclusion to this really wussy and pointless injury that buy’s me no tough guy cred whatsoever with anyone ever.

Posted on - February 26, 2003 [at] 12:30 am by Brad
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My last sound card related entry in this journal ended on a hopeful note. That was a lie sent to me by God to destroy my mind and soul. In the end it turned out that 12ms was the latency I could use without it clicking, which was about what I was getting on my Darla24 with WDM drivers.

So then I decided to try the SPDIF from my Boss GT-6 to the Mia, hoping that digital audio would provide more awesome clarity and thereby justify keeping the Mia. Sure, about the same latency, same driver issues, but hey, SPDIF. I hooked it all up and not only was the sound quality not really significantly better in my opinion, but there were tiny little clicks recorded with the audio.

I had had just about enough clicking. I tried to isolate the problem, failed, decided to be done with all of this bullshit and return it. On Saturday I returned the card and found out I could only get store credit, which is something I had suspected. So I ask them to recommend me another card to try out and they suggest the Audiophile 2496. It was $50 cheaper, so I took a chance on it.

I brought it home, installed it. First of all, I noticed no real significant sound quality difference other than that the inputs seem much louder than the Darla’s. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or what.

The ASIO drivers that come with it actually work, which is kind of cool. The on card MIDI port is emulated, which is something Cubase SX tells me is bad and wrong.

When Cubase loses sync on the Darla24, there’s usually an audio dropout (click and silence) while it gets its bearings. On the Audiophile there’s a harsh, very loud buzzing noise during this drop-out period. That is stupid and annoying.

So my hopefully final decision is to return the Audiophile and be happy with what I have until the next generation of cards that promise things like stability and general awesomeness come out.

In the end, I don’t know how much of this is my fault and how much is the card’s fault. My system is a pretty standard setup with not too much strangeness, but other people claim to be running happily with these cards. I also may be demanding a bit more than the average user, but there doesn’t seem to be any higher-end option that isn’t just the same thing but with more outputs and breakout boxes tacked on.

But whatever. I’m done with all this crap and am now trying to figure out what else to blow my $300 music store credit on.

Posted on - February 24, 2003 [at] 4:36 pm by Brad
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They don’t have the results from my elbow x-ray yet. I don’t think I’m at the stage in my career where they’re worth stealing yet, so hopefully they’ll turn up on Monday.

Working on various songs. Yadda yadda. Harder with a bad arm, etc, etc.

Posted on - February 21, 2003 [at] 3:48 pm by Brad
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I went to the doctor today about my gimp arm. Then I went to the hospital and had my elbow x-rayed. In two days I should have the results. Then maybe one day I’ll be able to play guitar again. Mmm.

Posted on - February 18, 2003 [at] 8:31 pm by Brad
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There seems to have been a surprising plot twist in my battle with ASIO drivers. It turns out that the ASIO drivers for the Echo products are VASTLY INFERIOR IN EVERY WAY IMAGINABLE to the WDM drivers. Nobody seems to like to talk about this fact much because the Mia manual doesn’t mention it, Cubase doesn’t offer up that information, and the net is all about the ASIO.

With the ASIO drivers I could get the latency down low-ish, but there would be nasty erratic behavior. Last night while reading an old Sound on Sound article on latency, I found this suspicious closing remark:

In my follow-up to this feature I’m hoping to include some more feedback from manufacturers, and I’ll also be looking more closely at the situation for musicians using Windows XP, since many are now moving across with the promise of lower latencies using WDM-format drivers inside Sonar and the release of the Windows 2000/XP-only Cubase SX.

What? Hello? WDM drivers? Lower latencies? Everyone everywhere forever has told me that ASIO drivers are what I should be insanely pursuing. I’ve actually been sitting around being pissed off that the WDM drivers work perfect but that the ASIO drivers are crappy and bad when those are the ones that I want because I have been told ASIO is utterly superior to everything. The Mia manual even specifically says you should use ASIO in Cubase and Reason.

But no. That is a lie. I switch to WDM and I can crank the buffers way down to 128 samples. 2ms latency. Everything is fantastic except that I feel kind of retarded.

So I’m going to give the Mia some more time, it seems. If it keeps making me feel dumb, I may return it just to keep what’s left of my self esteem.

Posted on - February 17, 2003 [at] 6:57 pm by Brad
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So I installed this new Echo Mia card and am of course having a really rough time with it. The ASIO drivers work more reliably for it than with the Darla24, but there’s still a lot of erratic clicking and popping here and there.

Using the virtual outputs to record from Reason to Sound Forge will cause a whole bunch of clicking and then usually it will crash the whole system.

The sound quality is a bit better than the Darla24, but I don’t think it’s $350 better. I was never that unhappy with the Darla’s sound quality, just the stability when trying to push it to the limit with VSTis and also the lack of multi-channel support.

So unless something miraculous happens, I will probably be returning the Mia. I may try out a Delta 44 for the stupid hell of it. Failing that, I will quit music and become a clown.

Posted on - February 16, 2003 [at] 2:28 pm by Brad
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I have purchased an Echo Mia. Now for the installation and then the aggravation and the frustration and the crying and the so on. If you haven’t heard from me in a day, go on without me.

Posted on - February 15, 2003 [at] 4:17 pm by Brad
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I officially concede defeat in my battle of mythic proportions against ASIO drivers. All I wanted is to shave a healthy 20ms latency off my VSTi usage and not have my audio be a world of random crashing and clicking — is that really so much to ask? The answer, I now know, is totally yes definitely that was way too much to ask, Brad you ass.

I wrote a nice email to Echo Audio support over a week ago and they haven’t replied. Yet, I must note bitterly, their sales team is super quick when it comes to responding to my questions about where I might buy a Mia.

I’d even be happy if tech support would just write and say “Sorry, your card is a few years old and will always work like ass. Honestly, you got kind of hosed there. You win some you lose some. Please buy this new one from us and it will be fine.” I would respect that and I’d do what they said. Because I am their monkey bitch puppet.

But no, nothing. Silence. Possibly, if you listen the right way, mocking silence; which I’m sure you’ll agree is totally way worse.

Posted on - February 12, 2003 [at] 4:04 pm by Brad
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Given his money and fame, I think I could be way more insane than Michael Jackson. I could crazy that sucker under the table.

Posted on - February 10, 2003 [at] 10:09 am by Brad
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Note to self: Winamp v2.81 hates my sound card drivers and wants it to die.

Posted on - February 6, 2003 [at] 3:58 pm by Brad
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