Using a MIDI Monitor to Test a MIDI Device

other class compliant usb icon3A MIDI Monitor is a useful tool to quickly test if a MIDI device is properly communicating with the software. This may be useful if a MIDI keyboard or interface is either communicating intermittently (i.e. a few keys on the keyboard have stopped working) or not at all. This guide discusses one way to quickly set up and test the device.

 

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Windows 7 - Troubleshooting USB Power Saving Features

other class compliant usb iconMany computers running the Windows 7 operating system have power saving features which may attempt to disable the computer's USB ports. For those connecting USB audio and MIDI devices, this can mean pops/clicks/glitches that randomly occur in the audio, or a sudden loss of connection all together. This article walks through steps to minimize the possibility of these symptoms. 


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USB Audio Codec Installation Guide - Windows 7

Sometimes certain products may share similar drivers. This could lead to what is known as a driver conflict. These driver conflicts quite often affect the way one or more of the devices connected to the computer work.

Here is a great guide on how to re-install your USB Audio Codec drivers back to factory specs.

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Pro Tools - Trashing Your Preferences

akai eiepro protools setup protoolslogoAll DAWS need to be cleaned out once in a while. Luckily, there's an easy way to fix most cryptic error messages that may arise in Pro Tools, including Pro Tools Express Akai Professional/M-Audio Edition. This guide will walk you through deleting your Pro Tools preferences on both PC and Mac. 

 

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Troubleshooting Class Compliant USB Devices

other class compliant usb iconMost USB audio and MIDI computer peripherals are "Class Compliant" devices. This means that to communicate with the computer, they use drivers that are built right into the host computer’s operating system. These drivers are written by Microsoft (or Apple for Mac OS X), and come pre-installed on all computers. In some cases, these devices may have trouble connecting due to software settings, changes to the operating system, out-of-date system drivers and even hardware problems.

This guide discusses some common troubleshooting steps to determine the cause of these issues and provide some potential solutions.

 

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Gatekeeper - What you need to know when installing new Apps on Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 and up

yosemiteHaving trouble installing an application you downloaded from the internet? The installer won't launch or displays and error?

Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 and up (Mountain Lion, Lion, Yosemite) only allow apps that are downloaded directly from the Apple app store to launch.  Apple calls this new security feature Gatekeeper.  In this article we'll provide an overview of Gatekeeper, including a walkthrough on how to bypass it to install software or drivers you've downloaded outside the Apple App Store.

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Mac OS X - Problems with MIDI devices after an update

When installing a major Mac OS update over an existing one (not using a clean install), or when using Apple's Migration Assistant to transfer files and preferences from one Mac to another, you will often run into trouble with drivers not working properly, authorizations being lost or corrupted etc. When files are mixed between systems, or are transferred to a system they weren't specifically intended or created for, difficulty is always a possibility.

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Optimizing Your System, Improving Performance, and Managing Latency

cpuSo you bought an audio recording interface, followed all the instructions, and set everything up. Now what?

A typical PC or Mac recording setup may contain software and hardware products from a dozen or more companies. i.e. Dell, Microsoft, Belkin, Steinberg, Syncrosoft, Waves, Universal Audio, Arturia, FXpansion, Native Instruments, Akai Pro, Alesis, M-Audio.

Even with a minimalist setup, getting all the separate hardware and software components to work together smoothly can be tricky. One component’s manual might not pick up exactly where the other one left off, and there are very few manuals which will discuss how to optimize your system over-all for the best performance.

In this article, will cover some measures you can take to optimize your system for maximum recording performance, prevent audio-dropouts and manage latency.

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USB 3.0 Ports and USB 2.0 Devices

other class compliant usb icon3Since it's inception, the USB protocol has gone through three major revisions: USB 1, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0/3.1. The USB 3.0 spec requires that it be fully backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices. However, not all USB 3.0 ports or the computers they're connected to will achieve this USB 2.0 backwards compatibility properly. Here are some ways to identify and troubleshoot USB 3.0 related issues.

 

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Mac OS X - How to Re-Configure Your MIDI Studio

The Mac OS X Audio/MIDI Setup utility is responsible for all Audio and MIDI data coming to and from your Mac, which makes it a valuable troubleshooting tool. The MIDI Setup in particular can come in handy if you begin to experience limited or no response from your MIDI device or if the device is not recognized at all. This guide will demonstrate how to create a new configuration to refresh and clean up your MIDI Setup. 

 

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The Importance of Room Acoustics

Nothing can make or break the sound of your performance, your rehearsal space, a recording venue or a home entertainment system more than room acoustics. You may have the very best instruments, speakers, amplifiers and recording equipment and you may have placed it all perfectly in your space, but if your performance/recording/listening room has poor acoustics, you’re really facing an uphill battle. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to improve even the worst spaces. 

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Understanding Frequency Response - Why it Matters

All of our hardware brands have multiple units that specify their frequency response. The concepts of frequency response, frequency range, audible frequencies, how frequency relates to musical notes, etc. are absolutely central—critical—to understanding how audio equipment makes, reproduces or records sound and how that sound is related to the live sound produced by singers and instrumentalists.

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Why the “Needle” (Cartridge) Matters So Much in a Turntable

Cartridge Main2There is an undeniable attraction to playing records. Real music and equipment enthusiasts—so-called “audiophiles”—swear that nothing sounds as good, as realistic, as “organic” if you will, as a great record. Audiophiles tend to like the sound of analog records better than digital music. In this article, we discuss one of the most important pieces of the turntable and why it matters: The Cartridge.

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Virtual DJ 8 - Setup with a Numark DJ Controller

 

numark virtualdj8 mainSetting up a Numark DJ controller in Virtual DJ 8 may look intimidating but it’s a pretty easy task.  The guide below will walk you through on how to properly setup your Numark DJ controller in Virtual DJ 8.  This guide is universal for all Numark DJ controllers.  

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Serato DJ Intro - Download and Installation

numark seratodjintro iconmk2Serato DJ Intro is a powerful software that makes it quick and easy way to beatmatch, mix, and scratch music files from your computer using a wide variety of DJ controllers. This guide covers downloading and installing Serato DJ Intro.

 

 

 

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How to Setup a MIDI Keyboard in Mixcraft 6

Mixcraft 6 is a powerful music production and multi-track recording workstation that comes packed with thousands of music loops and dozens of audio effects and virtual instruments. In this guide we cover the simple steps required to setup your MIDI keyboard and begin recording. We are using an M-Audio Keystation Mini 32, but these steps can be used with any MIDI device. 

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DJ101 - Recording DJ Sets In Serato DJ

numark serato recordinginseratomainpicRecording sets in Serato DJ is a  pretty simple process though there is more to recording than to just simply press the record button.  The more familiar you are with the recording process the easier it will be keeping your mixes sounding dynamic and professional.  In this day and age your mix can be a good way to help get you gigs, create fans, promote your DJ profile, increase your skills or just to enjoy a blend of your favorite tracks. 

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Sound Synthesis and Virtual Instruments - Common Terms Explained

audio midi setupVirtual instruments play a significant role in the vast majority of the music made today.  With the ever-increasing processing power of computers, software synthesizers have become an extremely capable, convenient, and affordable option for the recording artist in comparison with their predecessors.  This article summarizes the fundamentals of sound synthesis, some of the associated terms and commonly-used acronyms, and how it is predominantly incorporated into modern recording environments.

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DJ 101 - Virtual DJ MIDI Mapping

numark vdj midimapping MIDIMappingVDJLogoVirtual DJ provides the user mapping capability to support almost any external MIDI controller today.  Virtual DJ uses its own action scripting called, “VDJScript”, when assigning the functionality of a MIDI controller.  This tutorial will demonstrate how to edit and assign controls from within the Virtual DJ software to a MIDI controller.

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Logic Pro - Managing Plugins

logic pro iconLogic Pro uses the Mac only format known as "Audio Units" to host 3rd party plugin effects and instruments. This guide provides an overview of the Audio Units Manager and some common troubleshooting.



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MIDI Basics - Common Terms Explained


other midi terms explained 1MIDI can be a very powerful tool when making music in the digital world.  Although MIDI can get very complex, the basics are easy to understand.  In this article we will cover some of the terms you may come across when reading about MIDI.  These are also the same MIDI terms you may see referenced in your product's user manual. 

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Backing up your Studio/DJ Computer

other backup hd 1One of the most important parts of studio maintenance is backing up your studio computer. It's a simple and often overlooked step that can save you the pain and frustration of losing countless hours of valuable work and time. The time and money investment is minimal to establish a regular backup plan.

 

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DJ 101 - MIDI Mapping In Serato DJ

midi-mappingThis tutorial walks through how to map a MIDI controller in Serato DJ.  This guide teaches how to map personal preferences, save them, and then load the saved settings into the Serato DJ software.

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DJ 101 - Analyzing Audio Files in Serato

other dj101 analyze main seratoThe various Serato DJ software programs offer a variety of features to help enhance your DJ performance.  One feature offered is the ability to analyze audio files prior to using them.  Analyzing an audio file prepares the waveform overviews, detects file corruption, calculates BPM values and creates Beatgrids.  This articles walks through why and how to analyze audio files in Serato.

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DJ 101: Setting Up iTunes

itunes logoWith so much music available to us DJ's, organizing our collections can be quite a headache. One of the most popular programs for this purpose is Apple's iTunes.  iTunes works both on Mac & PC platforms and provides us with a number of ways to save and organize our music. In this guide, we will cover some of the most common settings most of us DJ's find useful.

 

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DJ 101 - Making Crates in Serato

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 6.14.31 PMAll DJs know how important it is to keep their music libraries organized.  Serato makes it easy by including a feature called Crates.  Many Numark controllers such as the NS7, NS6, Mixtrack Pro I and II and the Mixdeck series, work with the Serato.  This guide walks through how to build crates and orgnize your music in the various Serato programs.

 

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DJ 101 - Hot Cue Basics

dj101 hotcues ns7 hot cueHot Cues are important for nearly every style of DJ.  This guide walks through the basics how to utilize the Hot Cues, why they are important, and how they will benefit you.

  

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Ableton Live - Using Multiple Interfaces

altAre you trying to record multiple instruments simultaneously but do not have enough inputs on your audio interface? Well, if you or a friend has a second audio interface laying around you can combine the interfaces and double the amount of inputs and outputs. The instructions below will show you how to achieve this in Ableton on a Windows and Mac. 

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Mac OS X: Accessing Hidden Library Folders

In this Tip's N Tricks article, I want to point out a very important tip for getting around one of Apple's more peculiar security precautions in Mac OS X Lion and Mountain Lion.  By default, the User Library folder is hidden in Mac OS 10.7 and above.  We'll cover a few different methods to easily access this hidden folder.

 

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Mac OS X - Terminal Tips and Tricks

This article covers some useful tips and tricks in the Mac OS X terminal. Search for hidden files, Switch between the 32 bit and 64 bit kernel, fixing kernel extensions, enabling NTFS support and more.

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Mapping Garageband Transport Controls

icon256Garageband software is a great tool on Apple computers for simple recording projects.  Since the software is designed to be easy to use there is no manual mapping parameters available to set up with your MIDI device.  This article will walk through the utility setup which will allow transport control in Garageband. 

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MIDI Interface - Unable to Connect to MIDI Driver on Mac OSX

m audio m-track mainWhen connecting your MIDI interface, for example the M-Audio M-Track or Akai MPC series controller, to a computer with a Mac operating system, you may sometimes face communication difficulties if you have previously had a DigiDesign product installed on that computer.  This article walks through some common symptoms and how to resolve those connection troubles that may occur. 

 

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32-bit vs 64-bit - Your Questions Answered

other 32 vs 64bit mainIn the world of computing, the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit anything can be quite confusing.  The following article helps to clarify the differences between 32 and 64-bit operating systems as well as between 32 and 64-bit programs.  It also explains the reasons for choosing one way or the other and walks through the steps to determine if your current operating system and/or DAW is 32-bit or 64-bit.

 

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Which video stabilization device is right for me?

Glidecam 2000 ProSome readers have asked what kind of stabilization system I use when recording video. I often use the Glidecam 2000 Pro.

The Glidecam 2000 Pro is a less expensive alternative to a Steady Cam for those floating-type shots.

There are many types of video stabilization devices availalble, each with its own set of benefits and applications.  You'll want to think carefully about what types of shooting you'll be doing.

If you are considering a Glidecam 2000 Pro, it is likely that you were inspired by a certain type of shot that you'd like to be able to achieve.

I'll cover the applicaitons and benefits of this product, as well as some alternative stabilization methods you ma want to consider if this will be your first purchase of a video stabilization device.  

Hopefully this discussion will get you thinking about some specific goals you have for your video shooting, and how a stabilizer can help you achieve them.

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Pro Tools Express - FAQ

ptexp 3

Pro Tools Express is offered with select Akai Professional and M-Audio products. To help you get up to speed with all the details, we've put together answers to your most common questions.

 

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