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Audio problems with new iMacs, Thunderbolt to USB December 7, 2013

Posted by Damon Sink in : Apple, Computers, Studio Setup, Troubleshooting , add a comment

Many folks seem to be having issues with USB audio interfaces and the new iMacs, which only come with Thunderbolt. Hopefully they get this solved before shipping new Mac Pros… The new architecture (no PCIe slots) is going to require Mac users to use something like the Magma chassis. Our engineer at Western Carolina just refreshed all of our studio computers with the last gen of mac pros integrated with new Pro Tools hardware. Personally, I’ve been scouting for good deals on gently used mac pros, and now that Digital Performer is on Windows…there is no barrier to completely switching over—I already use two PCs as sample slaves for composing.

To quote Steve Jobs’ favorite songwriter: “The times they are a changing…”

If anyone is working on hardware upgrades and has any wisdom or warnings, please let us know. This will affect a lot of long time Pro Tools setups in smaller studios for sure.

Trashing Pro Tools Preferences and Databases February 16, 2011

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Avid, Pro Tools, Troubleshooting , 3comments

This is the first line of Pro Tools troubleshooting: how to trash your preferences and databases.

Most of the time, if you are experiencing a “it used to work and all of a sudden it doesn’t!” situation with Pro Tools, this is the fix.  These files are a reference for Pro Tools to see your most recent setup choices and preferences (among other things).  By deleting them, you are forcing Pro Tools to start from scratch on those prefs (basically setting it back to Default). (more…)

Avid Pro Tools 9 CoreAudio Bug Problem! February 15, 2011

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Avid, Pro Tools, Troubleshooting , 1 comment so far

EDIT: Problem solved – see bottom of the article.

Get the DEET out – we’ve got a bug.

I found this bug yesterday… I haven’t gotten a response back from Avid on a patch to fix it, but I have confirmed that other people are having the same problem.  Luckily, I’ve also figured out a workaround.  I’ve confirmed this bug on Apple Snow Leopard OSX 10.6.6 with Core Audio, but apparently it’s happening across all versions.  I’m not sure on Windows XP or Windows 7 based systems, but I’ll update this post if I get more information. 

So, the bug:


Avid (Digidesign) Pro Tools Compatibility February 11, 2011

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Avid, Pro Tools, Troubleshooting , 1 comment so far

I thought I’d put this in a post, because it helps diagnose/solve most Pro Tools problems.

Pro Tools Compatibility

Whether you are having problems on Windows XP, Windows 7, Leopard, Snow Leopard… with Pro Tools 7, Pro Tools 8, or Pro Tools 9 – this is where you need to look to find out whether your computer/OS/plug-ins/software are compatible.

Book Review: Sound Reinforcement Handbook November 9, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : General Announcements, Project Studio, Troubleshooting , add a comment

In my opinion, this book is a must-buy for any audio engineer, whether you are in live sound, studio recording, etc.  This book is also known by names like “The Yamaha Book” (and similar names), as this was originally written for Yamaha.

What? A technical book written in 1987 (last updated in 1990) is a necessity??

Answer – yes!  This book is chock full o’ great information.  Although it is technically (more…)

Basic Pro Tools Troubleshooting November 6, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Digidesign, Pro Tools, Troubleshooting , 6comments

If you multiply the number of Pro Tools versions by the number of operating system versions available, that equals a HUGE number of potential bugs and problems.  Add in plug-ins, additional hardware/software, and user preferences, and the number of potential Pro Tools problems skyrockets.  Even a simple bug can stop a session dead in its tracks.  Knowing how to identify and fix problems will help you keep your sessions running and your clients (and yourself!) happy.

While this article is aimed mostly at Pro Tools users, the general troubleshooting concepts apply to any other DAW out there.


Pro Tools Rules of Thumb June 8, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Digidesign, Pro Tools, Troubleshooting , 5comments

I thought I’d post some of the general Pro Tools rules of thumb (both for functionality and troubleshooting).  A lot of the emails and comments questions we get on The Studio Files are concerning some of these Pro Tools FAQs.  Here goes – I’ll just bullet point them in no particular order.


Getting Your Mixes to Translate February 9, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Project Studio, Troubleshooting , 2comments

We’ve all been here –

It’s the end of a long mixing day, and the mix is sounding awesome in the control room.  We burn off a quick mix and take in the car on a CD for the drive home…

YUCK! It sounds terrible!  Why does it sound bad in the car (or in headphones/boombox/etc) but awesome in the control room??

Here are some tips and techniques to help improve your mix translation. (more…)

A quick note on processor cores in Pro Tools 8 (and 7.4, among others) February 3, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Digidesign, Pro Tools, Troubleshooting , 3comments

Just a quick note – in Pro Tools 8 (and Pro Tools 7 for that matter), if you are running into a lot of errors, this might help, depending on your system.

If you have a multi-core machine, especially if you have a quad-core or dual quad-core, Digidesign recommends that you: (more…)

Is your iPhone interfering with your audio equipment? January 2, 2009

Posted by PJ in : Apple, Troubleshooting , 1 comment so far

I have a 1st gen iPhone that absolutely wreaks havoc on speakers whenever the phone sends or receives data, which is done automatically every few minutes.  The result is a buzzing, screeching pulse that is the electronic equivalent of nails on a chalk board.  Whether its $10 Dell speakers or some nice studio monitors, none are safe from the wrath of the iPhone.


H/W Buffers – friend or foe?? November 22, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Digital Audio Workstations, Project Studio, Troubleshooting , add a comment

We’ve all been here:

You are tracking a great band and they are really grooving this take (the best one of the day).  Halfway through the song, the sound glitches, recording stops, and the dreaded “H/W BUFFER ERROR” message appears… which is the equivalent of a big middle finger.

What is a H/W buffer (sometimes also called audio buffer)? Why do you need to change it? What’s the difference between a 1024 sample buffer and a 32 sample buffer?  How do buffers affect latency? (more…)

Why YOU should have a YouSendIt account August 13, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Chit Chat, Project Studio, Troubleshooting , 3comments

I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking how to transfer songs, sessions, and OMF files between computers and/or studios. Now, I’ve talked about this before, but I’d like to hit on it again, as I believe it is such an awesome tool for people in this field.

I’ll go on the record as saying: Everyone who works in pro audio should have a YouSendIt.com account. (more…)

Repair Guide: Replacing a Boss BR-1180 hard drive June 7, 2008

Posted by PJ in : Digital home recording studios, Troubleshooting , 233comments

A good friend of mine named Joe has been using a Boss BR-1180CD Digital Recording Studio for about 5 years now to record and mix his own songs. He doesn’t own a computer so this device serves as a central workstation for all of his music endeavors. Having used it extensively myself, I can say it really is a wonderful little device with plenty of inputs and really great sounding effects. The “CD” model has a built in CD-RW drive for burning tracks and also importing .wav files (a drum loop for example) and exporting recordings. Pretty neat and great for someone not willing to take the leap into computer-based recording. (more…)

Help us help you! May 26, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Chit Chat, General Announcements, Troubleshooting , 1 comment so far

Hi all,

First off, thanks a bunch for all the great discussions and input (and the traffic) you’ve given The Studio Files.  This community doesn’t happen without everyone’s contributions.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately, and I find that often I need to send 1-2 back and forth before actually getting to the “help” part.  We like to answer everyone’s questions and fix as many problems as we possibly can to get us all making music as fast as humanly possible.  Here are some things you can include in your questions that will help for an even faster response (and hopefully a solution!). : (more…)

Preparing your music for YouTube… plus some examples May 17, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Troubleshooting, Videos , 2comments

A mix that sounds awesome in your DAW can sound terrible after facing the wrath of YouTube streaming conversion.

How can you make your sounds shine on YouTube? Here are some things to check in your mixes to guarantee better youtube results. (And there are videos at the end …) (more…)

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