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Discussion in 'DAW's, Computers & Software' started by NCdan, Mar 30, 2009.


What should I do?

  1. Sell gear and get a multitrack recorder

  2. Sell a whole lot of gear and buy a nice Mac

    0 vote(s)
  3. Stop recording and go protest outside of Windows headquarters

    0 vote(s)
  4. Don't kill yourself, there's a better alternative!

    0 vote(s)
  1. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I hate to say it, but I may just give up on recording. Why? Because nothing works with freaking Vista. I wanted XP, but Dell will apparently give you Vista even if you ask for XP, and then charge you a ridiculous fee to return the computer. I got a Firewire mixer, and it didn't work with Vista. Fine, I guess I should have been more careful (but shouldn't all mixers be compatible with Vista?). So, I bought a mixer that is supposedly compatible with Vista. Um, nope. And apparently many more people are having the same issues judging from all the posts that turn up with a Google search. I have tried just about every solution I could find at this point. At this point I'm stuck with Vista, and XP is being fazed out so it's pointless to pay $200 to downgrade to XP now, right? What the heck is someone on a limited budget supposed to do now? I can't just go out and buy a Mac... What about a digital workstation? The little screens look sort of dinky, and I'm sort of guessing I'm not gonna get anywhere as near as good a DAW as Audition 3.0 on any of those digital workstations... Any computer geniuses want to help me out here? Or any suggestions are good. I could technically sell some gear I don't NEED and buy a multitrack recorder if that's a decent option (I've never used one).
  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Well, I hesitate to say much.

    I mean I know what your going through and its not fun.

    For many years I stuck with recording on a really old digidesign system with an outdated mac from 1996, it did not phase me a bit.

    Everyone is different, we all have an idea of what it takes to make good recordings. I'm a bit older, started recording in the late eighties and always stuck with going into the studio to cut a track until I got enough dough to buy a decent multitrack recorder.

    Lets put it this way, younger people at least have the advantage of utilizing modern technologies that are far beyond what we could only dream of back in the late eighties, at a fraction of the price, so count that as a blessing in disguise.

    Cheer up, your gonna have an awesome setup before you know it. I would find an old boat anchor of a computer somewhere with windows xp pro on it and swap the drive in your new machine.

    Well, I don't know if that's a viable solution, but there's got to be an easy fix, right??
  3. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    buy xp while you still can.
  4. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Nuremberg, Germany
    Home Page:
    you could wait for windows 7 and hope microsoft did better with it than with vista (though i wouldn't expect too much...)

    do you have windows 98 or me, then this might be interesting:

    i've never used vista myself, but had to deal with it on friend's computers who had problems with it. i'm really glad i switched to mac before...
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Windows 7 is wonderful.

    That said, I have three machines running Vista Ultimate without issue and they are all Dells. Dell does have some pre-installed garbage that it might behoove you to remove like the Quickset application. Power settings are also good to check out and just plain turn OFF the user control. It would be best to do a clean install -not from a restore partition but a Vista install disc.

    Don't give up. You just need some tweaking.
  6. HemlokSociety

    HemlokSociety Active Member

    May 3, 2008
    I just bought a new xp professional on http:// for 55 bucks, so I think it would be worth it for you to get it while you can. Mine works booted up perfectly.
  7. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    Did you ever consider what I have done which is set up a dual boot system? run a streamlined version of XP no virus, no internet, no non recording programs with two hard drives, does me good, can still boot up Vista for intersnot if I want download VSTs etc.

    I am very happy, happy, happy..... (maybe i should quit that...)
    Seriously, heres a link
  8. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    I understand your pain but I wouldn't put the blam on MS. Here's the thing. You are finding out after the fact that the equipment you have isn't compatible or has problems with Vista. The google searches you are doing now, would have served you better had they been done ahead of time. Presearch is the best thing you can do. Before I buy something, I research it to death. Then I don't buy it. Then I research it some more and then/i] I usually buy it. User reviews/opinions are just as important as product specs. Thanx to the internet, there are reviews or thread for just about everything on the planet.

    I recommend that you return the mixer that doesn't work. Inform the store of your problems and the problems with this device that other users have complained about. Tell them you would like to return it and pick up a new one...one that doesn't have these sorts of problems. Continue with those searches and find a mixer that does work with Vista.

    To give you a more specific recommendation, we need to know what you record and how you record. How many tracks to you need to record at one time? Do you really need a mixer or just an interface into the computer?
  9. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    My .02 -

    I know there are a lot of issues w/ Vista/Dell/certain firewire cards. I had to go through a couple of cards to get the right chipset.
    Check the site for your specific interface for the cards/chipsets that are compatible.

    I use Vista, and my main issues have been with it being a resource hog. I've disabled some programs, but it's still a bit of a pain.

    Eventually I'm gonna have someone who knows what they're doing come in and streamline it all.

    I'm sitting pat until I have the dough to get a dedicated machine, the OS I want, a DAW upgrade, and all the RAM and HDs I could ever need.
  10. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    You mean that certain interfaces won't work with certain FireWire cards? Well screw me, I guess? The Alesis website "recommends" Belkin and Adaptec FireWire cards and I have a SIIG. I wonder if that's the problem? I'm still waiting for Alesis customer support to email me back after two days. I did call their non-toll free customer support number, and was left on hold well past the expected wait time; I eventually hung up.

    That sounds like a fantastic idea. But all that is like Chinese to me. There's a 99% chance I'd completely screw something up when trying to do that. You wanna come over and do it for me? :lol:

    I really wish I could just buy a Mac for recording, but that just isn't an option right now unless I sold a lot of my gear (and then I wouldn't have anything to record on the Mac :wink: ). Unless Alesis customer support decides to return my email and actually help me fix the problem, I'm just too tired of dealing with one issue after another with Vista. If that's the case then I'll probably just wait until I can afford a Mac to record on (and I'll need new software as well, since Audition is PC only). Seriously, getting a computer with Windows Vista is like buying an electric guitar that can't be plugged into any amp.
  11. arnieguitar

    arnieguitar Guest

    To the OP, I feel your pain.
    I bought a system with XP Media Center Edition as the OS...
    It doesn't work for crap with DAW software, and I spent way to much.
    I bought it because of the performance at the time.
    For the money I spent, I could've had an awesome DAW PC.
    Like someone else has said, it's my own fault for not doing research.:oops:

    I've bought used "gaming" PC's with XP Home with good results,
    although my main DAW PC died, I have an inexpensive backup.

    Yes, I've lost some performances because of viruses killing my PC,
    but all in all, I've learned a lot the hard way.

    Buy a used gaming PC with XP Home,
    don't connect to the internet with it,
    and you'll learn to love recording again.
  12. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    It seems that people are suggesting I go out and buy an old PC with XP on it and use it only for recording. That sounds like a decent idea. And that way I could still use Audition. I suppose I'll have to get the FireWire card that is recommended by Alesis, but that shouldn't be a major expense. I actually have an Emachines computer that I might be able to repair for not too much money, although, I don't really know what's wrong with it. If Alesis customer support EVER gets back to me I can hopefully narrow down the exact issues and be as sure as possible that the mixer will indeed work with an XP computer.
  13. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    It is not a bad idea.
    1) To have a dedicated DAW computer
    2)Xp is fine for recording (not saying it is better than Vista just that it works.) When it really comes down to it the OS is just a platform to launch the software we use and for someone tracking 8 inputs as I think NCdan has said it should do just fine.
    3)Costs esp. if you can utilize some equipment you already have.
    The things you might want to check out are: CPU unit speed, RAM, Firewire card compatability, a lot of the new cards are available for the latest generation of computers so may have to hunt around for the ideal card. Another thing to think about is can you do a clean install of XP? This would be the best, format, new install. Then tweak XP for DAW recording.
    That dual boot system is not that complex to do though I can understand your reluctance.
  14. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I actually was using this computer for recording (along with everything else) before it stopped working. It's a cheap PC, but it has enough RAM and with an external drive it was doing fine with most recording. I guess I'll take it into a computer place and see what they say.
  15. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Before you do anything. Hit the Dell forums. look up your model and see if anyone is talking about installing XP on them. There may be people who have instructions for doing that. Then again, Dell may remove those types of posts since it's something they charge for. But I'll bet the info is out there somewhere.

    You can buy XP home or XP pro online for cheap. If your town has "computer shows/sales" (basically a gathering of local and traveling computer stores), go to one of them. You will definitely be able to get XP cheap there.

    What is important is that you are able to get XP versions of the drivers for your hardware. They must exist since dell offers the 'downgrade' service. You may be able to download them from manufacturers web sites or other places. Info from a forum would likely direct you to locations to get the necessary files.

    I understand that this may seem Greek to you but it's not really hard to understand or do. You just need to expose yourself to it and you'll pick it up.

    Having said all of that...What is the problem? You mentioned compatibility problems but what was it specifically? How does the problem manifest itself? Is Vista not recognizing the mixer when you plug it in? Is Vista recognizing the mixer but it's not available within Audition? Was there any installation for the mixer that failed?

    Perhaps the problem is that the mixer is conflicting with your onboard sound which is freaking out the system. I can't say if that's the problem or not but you could test it by disabling your sound card.

    Since the computer is a Dell, you've probably got onboard sound and not an actually physical sound card in the computer. This may be greek and I don't know exactly where to go in Vista but if there is a Device Manager, you should be able to go into there and disable your sound card and delete it's drivers. You may not need to delete the drivers...start with just disabling the sound card.

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