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BFD - Laptop compatability issues

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djarvis:
I'm new to Zendrum. I wanted it to sound as close to the real thing as I could  so I bought BFDII.
My laptop is an hp Pavilion zd8000 (80Gig +200Gig external, 3.2Ghz, 2G RAM).

My first issue was latency...so I hooked up my Line 6 Toneport ux2 so that I could use the AISO driver. That was a fix for the latency. Now I'm experiencing sudden white noise randomly. Line6 says that my laptop's chipset is not compatable. It suggests that the PCI USB ports do a great job at dumping a lot of info quickly into a hard drive or a printer but they suck at playing drums. Line6 also suggests using a PCMCIA USB controller instead of the PCI type. THAT, supposedly will kill the white noise. But they added that if my motherboard is ISA it would likely continue to make cracking and popping noises.

Has anyone else experienced these problems? Is there a fix for the kickbuttt laptop I have? or will it require me to spend big bucks on a new MAC or Drum Module.



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jeff sanders:
it gets tricky as you add more gear and computers mostly because of drivers and compatibility with hardware. check each products forum to prove all hardware is able to work with your other gear, especially chipsets( i know only that it matters but i cant explain why sorry). then when you are sure you meet manufactures min requirements for your gear go get all the latest downloads for drivers, software updates and any patches they could require to be as current as possible. careful with some older mac stuff or the updates may actually disable your working setup. confusing enuff yet? you will need to experiment with settings and get the best results for your own specific setup. it may be necessary to allow for a small amount of latency depending on how well your system performs. reduce your cpu load by turning off any screen savers, virus progs, animated cursor, system sound events or anything you see in the task manager that may rob some computing cycles from your preferred application. the setup/compatibility is still the weak link to software instruments with computers. it definitely makes or breaks the whole systems usability. if you have the jack you can buy your way outta the mess by having a professional setup a freddy receptor with your favorite instruments already onboard. then the only hard part would be choosing between all of the great kit choices once it arrived. i know this is kinda grey on details but thats cause im in plenty of clouds myself understanding it.  good luck

Bruce Richardson:
Hi gizmo,

I answered your email earlier.  I wanted to just boil down the suggestions here, so that we'd have the conversation on the forum.  I probably won't be able to check back for several days--I'll be on the road.

Here are my top ideas about your dilemma:

1)  The Line6 people probably don't realize the intensity of the MIDI you're throwing via that USB piece.  Although USB can be a little sketchier than Firewire on a laptop, the bottom line is that the Toneport is probably not made for the intensity of MIDI/Audio that you're bringing with the Zendrum.

So, my recommendation would be to perhaps check out the PCMCIA option (since you could easily return that) and see if that solves anything.  If that doesn't work, then I'd check out Firewire options from Echo.  They've got EXTREMELY fast drivers.  Ultimately, it's the quality of the drivers (ASIO in this case) as they relate to the piece of hardware and OS, much more so than any type of motherboard/hardware/chipset compatibility.  Put as politely as I can muster--they fed you a line of baloney about compatibility.  It's their drivers, not the chipset.

2)  You could look into a Receptor.  Frankly, I'm cold on that choice.  You're paying a LOT of cash for old/slow technology.  For the same cash, you can rig a killer 4-space Rackmount PC, blazing fast, with actually a lot more redundancy and faultproofing capability than you'd have with the Receptor.  No slight to the piece...it's just that music software technology continues to explode, and by this time next year, most sampling apps will not run on the Receptor you purchase today.  You have to be smart and disciplined about it, but I've been performing with a Rackmount PC since 1999, and I've seen a lot of other solutions come and go, while mine has never let me down.

THAT said...

Your problems with the laptop, I would say with almost 99% certainty, are related to the MIDI/audio interface.  If you're going to perform with any type of computer, the MIDI/audio hardware has to be rock solid with great drivers.  Echo is only one of many ways to go, but it's the one reasonably priced brand I can give a hearty recommendation for.  Personally, even with a laptop, I'd opt for something that screws into a rack, and is road-ready.  That is going to be far more secure onstage than wiring up a bunch of tabletop stuff to a laptop...which is a rather precarious stage situation.  I could see you setting up a 4-space or so rack with a power conditioner and a couple of spaces left open, so that you could actually pack your laptop in a bag inside, and just pop the lids, unpack the laptop, bang in the firewire cable, and off you rock.

I'll check back on Monday...good luck.

B.

djarvis:
Good advice guys. I really appreciate it. I'm going to look into the Echo ASIO drivers. I'm really close to selling the laptop and buying a Roland Module. But BFD is pretty sweet. Decision time!!

firemusician:
Another thing you might try, which is a free download is "ASIO4ALL" it turns your PC sound card into an ASIO driver, it works well. than a cable style USB MIDI interface. I have a Yamaha one that works well.

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