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.
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.
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.
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.