Seriously Messed-Up System

I have not used my studio for several months because of a large restoration job that had our main floor and basement torn apart (necessitated by a flood from a broken water pipe). We finally got it completed, and I have been putting the studio back into operation. It has been going well, but I have encountered several problems.

  1. My computer hardware consists of an HP Pavilion PC (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2-750 GB HDDs) with two monitors. This runs under Windows 7 SP1.

  2. For music hardware, I have a Roland A90EX 88-note weighted-key controller as my master keyboard (and a 76-note Korg 01/W as a secondary keyboard). There is a Roland JV-2080 synth module, an Alesis Studio 32 mixing board as well. Monitoring is with a pair of Yorkville YSM-1 passive nearfield monitors (70 watts each) and a Yorkville SR300 control-room amplifier (110W/channel at 8 ohms). Finally, my audio interface is a Presonus FireStudio Mobile connected to the computer with FireWire.

  3. The music software I use is Cubase 6.07, WaveLab 7.0, and Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 10 (with Kontakt 5.0 and assorted other virtual instruments).

FIrst, I am not able to get the MIDI to operate correctly. There is no default MIDI device shown in Cubase, and I can’t figure out how to make the FireStudio my default MIDI device. The system only shows Microsoft Wavetable GS synth, and some sort of generic Windows MIDI. I can sometimes see MIDI data being transferred, but I can’t hear anything when I play in an instrument on a MIDI track. I think something is seriously wrong in the MIDI Device setup. I am having trouble figuring out all the steps to configure a new MIDI device, as the Presonus FireStudio is not listed in the script list of available MIDI devices. I have the MIDI cables going like this: A90EX MIDI OUT 1 to MIDI IN on the FIreStudio, and MIDI OUT from the FireStudio to the JV-2080 MIDI IN. To hear tracks on the JV-2080, I have its MIX outputs L and R going to two channels of the mixing board, and then the MAIN OUTS of the mixer are going back to the LINE IN 3 and 4 on the back of the FIreStudio. The FireStudio’s MAIN OUTS 1 and 2 are going to the inputs of the control-room amp.

Second, I have pretty poor levels of monitor volume. I find that I have to crank the amp up quite high, and the FireStudio’s main volume control to nearly maximum to get an acceptable monitoring volume so I can hear myself play. I find myself pounding on the Roland keyboard to make it seem louder, but as the key mechanism of this controller is quite weak, I have broken several hammer weights over time from playing too hard.

I have also found that when I was lucky enough to get anything playing through MIDI, it would freeze up, and not respond to a reset.

I wish I could go back to a default, but there is still an M-Audio MIDI setting showing, as well as “Mobile MIDI”, and I don’t think these are working properly for me. I have tried disconnecting the audio interface and reloading its driver, but nothing seems to happen here. I find its “Universal Control” panel very unfriendly, and the owner’s manual of the interface is written in a way which ignores the use of any other DAW than Presonus’ product “Studio One”, and immediately goes into configuring the interface with a trial version of this DAW that comes on a CD with the interface. I can’t find any way to get it set up so I can use Cubase with it.

I think my system is so seriously screwed up that I can’t make it work, no matter what I try, and I find myself just shooting in the dark. I feel like throwing the entire rig in the garbage and going back to using my old 4-track cassette PortaStudio, an upright piano, and an acoustic guitar, and completely jumping off the bandwagon of the computer revolution in recording. I feel like the technology has gone beyond my understanding, and I am at my wit’s end fighting with the equipment, rather than being able to make music. Is it possible at all to make this thing work? I don’t even know of any local expert I could consult to set this system up properly for me, and I feel like I’m working in a vacuum. If anybody else on this forum could help me get it straightened out, I would really appreciate it.

If the midi in and outputs of your firestudio are not showing in cubase, then there is probably something wrong with the driver (or the audio interface itself, but let’s rule that out for now).
You don’t want to configure the firestudio as a midi device like you were trying, that doesn’t work and it’s not what that feature is for. MIDI in and outputs should be available automatically in Cubase. If they’re not, then the hardware is not recognized properly by your computer.

Continuing to what Strophoid mentioned to get your Firestudio up and running…

Go to Presonus and re-download and re-install the latest driver for your Firestudio. Restart Cubase and hopefully the driver will show in the Cubase device>device setup>vst audio system menu. Choose it in the dropdown and then go to the Cubase device>vst connections menu to set up your input and output busses. Hopefully you will be all set but… if you are still having trouble with low volume try opening the Firestudio driver hardware settings menu and see if there is a place to adjust the input level (there should be).

Regards :sunglasses: