HELP with ESI MAYA44 sound interface

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Unregistered, Dec 20, 2011.

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  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    okay im a super newbie with recording. so for small start, i was recomended by my friend to buy good sound interface and dynamic microphone 1st.

    and both just arrived, but now i dont even know how to use my headphone with this new sound interface. i already bought a converter so my small pin of speaker can be plugged into the big ports of sound interface, but still i cant use my headset. please help.. :((

    #i already install driver from ESI website.

    #now first thing i want is, use my headset and HEAR some music :(

    #also, later i wanna try to do some vocal recording my microphone, can give me brief tutorial how and what should i do. like
    should i configure anything at the ESI control panel.

    THANKS :(((( i feel like i should'nt get this sound interface because everything feels TOO advance for newbie like me. i dont even know to use my headset with it T_T
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Well, you didn't really accomplish the first, and we don't know about the second.

    That really doesn't make much sense. What headphones, what pin, what speaker? What "port" are you trying to plug into?

    #1. Did you read the manual?

    #2. It looks like that thing has an 1/8" headphone jack, so not sure why you need an adapter, unless you have a set of of headphones with a 1/4" plug, but that can't be because you said something about "small pin of speaker" plugging into "big port"?
    Those "big ports" appear to be 1/4" line/instrument level analog inputs and outputs...not unpowered speaker or headphone outs.

    #3. What recording software are you using?

    #4. Did you read the instructions for setting up an interface and routing in whatever recording software you are using?

    #5. What microphone did you get, and will it connect properly to that ESI thing?

    List all the equipment you have...brand and model. Headphones, mic, speakers, cables. (We already know the ESI thing). List the recording software.

    Without all that, nobody here can guess what you really have, and what you are trying to do. Most of this can be fairly easily figured out by reading manuals. (But, then again, with those Chinese devils writing them to drive us to the outer edges of sanity...maybe not.)

    To be more clear in your reply, the small headphone jack is an 1/8" TRS (or stereo) jack. The "big ports" you refer to are likely 1/4" TS (mono) jacks. If you have a normal decent mic, it should have a 3-pin XLR socket, to plug into an XLR jack (which that ESI appears to not have) with an XLR male-to-female cable.

    Unless you have a cheezy mic with a 1/4" jack.

    Or worse yet, an even cheezier mic with an 1/8" jack.

    Or, if you have a USB mic. In which case you wouldn't need the ESI to record vocals.

    Good luck,

  3. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    #1. Yup i read the manual, but as a beginner i just understand around 70% in the manual. But mostly the manual only explain how to install the card and driver.

    #2. Yup i think my headphone has 1/8 jack, and the esi only provide 1/4 output port so i use adapter to connect into it.
    "Those "big ports" appear to be 1/4" line/instrument level analog inputs and outputs...not unpowered speaker or
    headphone outs. "
    You mean i cant use the port for headphone?

    #3. I'm using mixcraft currently because I already get used to it since I've been using to record my vocals before with
    onboard sound and cheapy mic that come with headset.

    #4. Actually since I install the sound card, I didnt try yet with the recording software since my first attention now is to
    get my headphone or speaker working.

    #5. I bought some cheap Behringer XM8500, but im sure its not a good mic. But seriously i just want to start this thing
    with very simple and slightly better than what i've been using before (onboard sound and headset's mic).
    But the mic doesnt come with cable, so im thinking to buy 1/4 to xlr cable later. But seriously i dont really mind about
    quality as long its better than my previous recording quality.

    Thanks for your response :)
  4. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Where did you copy that from? haha =,=
  5. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    OK. Good. First thing is, I looked at the USB ESI Maya 44, which has the 1/8" headphone jack, and 4 each 1/4" input and output jacks. I am now assuming that you don't have that one, but have the PCI card, instead, which has only four 1/4" TRS jacks for 4 channels as input, output and monitoring? (No wonder you're confused.) Now that I downloaded the manual, I can see that you are doing well to understand even 70% of that gobbledygook. But, it's a start.

    It appears that you need to use the bottom jack (#3/4 Output) as the headphone jack, and assign that in the software. The jacks, top to bottom, are Input 1/2, Input 3/4, Output 1/2 and Output 3/4. The TRS inputs are meant to be able to take a stereo or mono signal in (or two separate signals to their own track), and you treat as you want in the software. The outputs are basically stereo (left and right), from each output port, four separate tracks from the two output ports, or you can assign all input and recording software tracks to go out as a stereo mixdown/monitor of Output 1/2 alongside Output 3/4 to use with headphones. Look at page 16 of manual. The first order of business is to go ahead and plug headphones, with TRS (or 'stereo') 1/8"-to-1/4" adapter into the bottom jack.

    At this point, I have one tip for you. Since I suspect that's the PCI card, and it's on the back of the computer, do yourself a HUGE favor and find at LEAST a 6-foot headphone extension cable (a 12' one may be better if you want get back away from the computer noise to record vocals.). It should have a 1/4" TRS ('stereo') male plug to plug into the card, and an 1/8" TRS female jack to accept your 1/8" stereo headphones. If you only use an adapter, you'll be tethered closely to the computer...basically the length of the cable from your head to the back of the computer. You can find them at places like Radio Shack.

    OK. You have your headphones plugged into the bottom jack (Output 3/4). For future reference (since it appears you have no monitor speakers) the jack immediately above that is Output 1/2. This is where you would plug in a set of powered monitor speakers, or a power amp to unpowered monitor speakers. You would need a TRS ('stereo') 1/4" male split to two mono TS 1/4" male plugs (or whatever the powered monitors/amp uses for input). If you have no monitors, you will likely not use that output, so just avoid that one until you need it.

    They did this configuration to save real estate, and save money. They could only fit four 1/4" jacks on the back, so instead of making it just a two-channel in/out, they made it capable of doing four channels (or two stereo) in, and four channels out (or a stereo main and stereo monitor.)

    NOW, then. Go to page 12 of the manual. Follow the "To confirm the MAYA44 drivers are installed" directions to open the Sound Devices properties. Under "Sound Playback", set the Default Device to "3-ESIMAYA44 ch1234". This will direct whatever plays through the card to both the (for now) unused 'Output 1/2', and to the 'Output 3/4' that your headphones are plugged into. (Don't worry that nothing is plugged into the Output 1/2 right now. It'll be set up and ready if you decide to add an outboard monitor system later. I doubt it will degrade any quality or anything.)

    Next, under 'Sound Recording", go ahead and set the Default Device to "1-ESI MAY44 Ch12". (Actually, if it gives you a choice to select "Ch1234", try that. That may enable both of your inputs for recording...which are the top two 1/4" jacks on the card, 1/2 being the top and 3/4 right under that.)

    Just leave the MIDI device set to whatever it is, or set it to another option that may already be present on your computer that's NOT ESI (such as Microsoft GS Wavetable Software Synth, or...whatever is there). Obviously, you aren't using MIDI, but you may want MIDI sounds to play back.

    Got all that done? OK. We're not finished in there, yet.

    Go back up to "Sound Playback" and hit "Advanced" (if not grayed out). There, you may have a choice of "Speakers". You can choose "Desktop Stereo" or "Headphones" or "Monitor Stereo"...whatever. (I don't know what difference it makes, but you can always try one, and go in later and change it to see if it makes a difference. You can't hurt anything from trying different ones, except you obviously don't need "Laptop" or "Surround" modes right now.)

    Next, go to "Performance, and just make sure both sliders are full right (Full and Best).

    Now go to the "Voice" tab. Try to choose the same things you just did under the "Audio" tab.

    Hit "OK". Now, go to "Volume" under 'Voice Playback'. The Windows "Volume Control" box should pop up, and lets you adjust all the volume paremeters for all that stuff. You may have several different volume controls in there. (In fact, you may have a bunch you don't even use, and don't want activated.) What you need to concentrate on now are the:

    The leftmost one is the overall volume control for everything. EVERYTHING goes through this. Set that about 1/4 way up for now.

    (NOTE: On all the ones you wish to use, make sure the 'Balance" is set dead center, and none of them have a check in the "Mute" box. For any you DON'T use right now (SPDIF/Telephony stuff/etc.) bring their volumes down, AND 'Mute" them. If you have a bunch that are a mystery to you, please respond, tell us what they are, (or do your own research to learn better) and we'll try to help you decide if you really need them. Unused ones can actually be removed from that panel to unclutter it, if one wishes, or some may be able to be added, in the "Options" of the "Volume Control".)

    OK. You definitely want "Wave". Unmute, and set it about 1/2 way up, for now. You may want "MIDI", do the same. CD Audio, Line, and (possibly) Mic, do the same, for now.

    (Once it's determined that you have sound actually coming through from all those sources, you can go back in and fine-tune the levels for the least amount of distortion with the strongest signal.)

    At this point, try several things. You can leave the "Volume Control" mixer box up for now. You'll likely need it, but you can close down the "Sound and Audio Devices Properties" box, to get it out of the way. You're likely finished with that, though you may end up having to get into it again, if something is still wonky.

    CAUTION: Not sure how loud this is going to be IF it works, so hang your 'phones around your neck for the next step, and then bring them up to your ears after playback has started. Don't wanna blow out your eardrums! Do this for everytime you make settings changes.

    The easiest thing to start with is either a CD, or a music file (MP3/WAV, whatever). Have MP3? Bring one up your Windows Media Player (or whatever you use) and see if it plays back, and you can hear it in your headphones. if so, is the volume too high, or too low? Since we started with the Main slider below 1/2 volume, it's probably too low, so start bringing that up. If your Main slider ends up ALL the way up, and your Wave slider is half or below, you'll likely get hiss. If your Main slider is way low and your Wave slider is way high, you'll likely get distortion. You need to find a balance more to where each is more towards the middle, and if it CAN go higher, try to take them about the same approximate levels.

    Pop in a CD. Hopefully, you won't have to mess with the Main slider from here, because it's already set up with the Wave. So, adjust the CD Audio slider to hopefully get a clean robust volume. It may not be exactly the same level as the Wave, but that's OK. As long as it's not TOO low, or TOO high, you should be OK. At this point, hopefully you have sound from MP3/Wav and CD, so you know your ESI monitor to headphones is working. If it isn't, you need to go to your MAYA44 Control Panel software.

    On pages 20-22, there are several options (which are confusing as hell). And, looking at that Block Diagram on page's not clear where this thing taps off CD/Wave/etc. stuff, but I suspect it's just Windows sending it into the ESI card's Digital Audio processor, which of course excludes any input from the left or bottom of that processor, and only outputs through the digital and and DAC outputs to the right. That means that at this point, none of the ESI Mixer control for the INPUTS matters. Not until you physically plug something into Inputs 1/2 and/or 3/4.

    So, for now, let's try Output set to 'Monitor 3/4', Analog, faders up, un-muted, and the 'Master' is up, and un-muted. See if a CD or MP3/WAV plays back.

    If so. Good. If not? I dunno. Play around in there, changing one thing at a time. Try to change it to "Mix", instead of "Monitor". The manual isn't clear at all about this, but we KNOW we have already routed Windows sounds (CD, WAV/MP3, etc.) to that thing, so something should kick in.

    If it does, you may have to do some level adjusting between the Windows Mixer panel, and the ESI levels panel.

    See if you can it as far as playing back CDs and MP3/WAV files, and see if you can get good levels adjustments on everything, if you do get it to play. Remember that each stage of level adjustment affects any preceding or following stage, and that any stage too high can cause overload distortion into the next stage, and too low can cause a lot of background noise like hiss and static, etc., since the next stage is amplifying too much noise in too liitle signal. They HAVE to all be balanced out.

    Once you are able to get those to play, you can then go crazy figuring out how to set up the ESI inputs in conjuction with the Mixcraft software to work together. For now, I THINK I've gotten you near to being able to at least have the card set up with Windows to play CDs and MP3/WAV stuff.

    Good luck. And remember, the best way to learn is by DOING. Don't be afraid to choose wrong software settings. It's unlikely you'll hurt anything (unless you plug an old ribbon mic into it with that 48V phantom power activated. Leave the phantom power OFF. With a dynamic mic, you don't need it.

    Good luck.

  6. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    SUPERB DETAILED reply!!! Glad to found you here :p

    So i try follow all your instruction although some part of it make so confuse like hell. So at last with the help of your explanation i manage to get sound from my speaker now, but here comes another problem. The sound like 'breaking' and distort, im not sure whether i describe it right. I try to do like what u told, change the volume for main volume, wave and etc. But still get the same quality of sound. Any idea why this happening? Is there any possibility the probem come from the adapter?

    Thanks a lot!!! :D
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Okay i manage to get CLEAN sound when i play mp3 or any sound file in my computer. THANKS!!! But now another 1 minor problem comes, when i play any video with music on youtube or other online streaming videos, the sounds are distorted and scratchy. Please2 help me just one more step closer to solve all this shits. I will marry you if you're gay dude haha!
  8. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Okay after almost 24 hours try and error, and googling all over the net. I manage to narrow down the problem and now im quite sure that the ATI High Defination Audio Device driver that causing the "distort" sound when i play a video with music. I try to uninstall my ATI graphic driver and the ATI HDA driver also went away, and my sound became superb. But i have to reinstall my graphic driver, and the ATI HDA comes back and the problem occur again. Is there any way to completely KILL this ATI HDA driver? I try to disabled it / uninstall the driver alone, but it didnt work because it keep reinstall automatically after i reboot. Please help T_T
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Click "Disable" rather than "Uninstall" in the Device Manager entry for the device under Control Panel -> System.

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