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Progress has been made. More progress will be made in a few minutes when I go upstairs with Gretchen and install the curtains in Katie's room on the Command brackets that we mounted earlier today.

In the meantime, Gretchen, Katie, and Julie put together an excellent lemon icebox pie based on a recipe from the Trib. This proved to be a fine dessert when Sam and Bonnie came by for dinner, which consisted of grilled hamburgers, chips, and sweet corn. And conversation. Lots and lots of conversation.

Back in the basement, I spent part of the early afternoon reinstalling plugins. Once everything was installed, it was time to fire up Cubase.

Oh, look! The menu is no longer vanishing. Projects open, close, and open again without crashing the system.

Of course, there were a few glitches. I had to manually point to the directories where some of the plugins were installed, but that was fairly easy once I figured out which plugin libraries were missing.

And then there was the X-Touch Extender, which was eventually persuaded to talk to Cubase and pick up all of the information that was being sent down the wire. The scribble strips were being particularly challenging.

But it appears that everything is working now.

And the weekend is over.

Maybe I'll mix something next weekend. :)
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Maybe not as much as I might have hoped, but there is progress.

  • We had softball practice this morning.
  • We picked up the rest of the school supplies for the girls.
  • Gretchen took Katie for a haircut, while I went home to throw the ball for Ruby.
  • While doing this, I read Previews, rearranged my plans for Cubs games, and checked the Internet.
  • I have now moved the laundry.
  • And I am backing up all of the data on the studio computer before I try a bare metal reinstall of Windows 10 to fix my Cubase problems.

    See, no one else is reporting Cubase problems, so I conclude that something here is corrupted. And it is likely to take less time to completely rebuild the machine and reinstall everything than continue to troubleshoot it. But this requires the data to leave this box and go off to the NAS.

    So here we are...

  • Plop

    Aug. 6th, 2017 10:38 pm
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    I got way less accomplished today after coming home from Musecon than I might have hoped, as I collapsed in bed exhausted for a nap. I conclude that I must have had fun. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    The home recording panel went well this morning. The girls have had a good time playing with assorted other little girls.

    But it is pretty much time to go to bed now. :)


    Aug. 4th, 2017 02:26 pm
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    I have taken today as a vacation day and am making progress on moving the financial paperwork for ISFiC Press. Unfortunately, one of the websites I need to get into isn't letting me, so I have sent off an appropriate e-mail and am now pretty much ready to abandon ship here and go over to Musecon.

    See some of you there!
    billroper: (Default)
    I got some help from tech support at Universal Audio, although eventually I just gave up, uninstalled the UA drivers, reinstalled the UA drivers, found that didn't help, repaired the UA drivers, found that didn't help, uninstalled the UA drivers, reinstalled the UA drivers, and finally I was able to load UA plugins inside of Cubase. Gack!

    Cubase, on the other hand, remains ill. Although I can now open a project, when I do the Windows menu vanishes from the menu bar, although you can see the individual entries as you mouse over them, so it is not so much vanished as turned invisible. When you close a project and reopen it, the Mix Console window opens up and shows nothing in the area where you would normally see the plugins, routing, and faders other than the outlines for each of those windows. Then when you try to operate on it or close it, Cubase crashes.

    Well, it worked for UA. Let's uninstall Cubase and reinstall it.

    And guess what?

    It didn't help.

    I am becoming increasingly annoyed at this supposedly stable and safe-for-business update.

    No, it appears that you can't revert to the earlier version of Windows 10 either...
    billroper: (Default)
    This seems an inherently unfair match up. There's only one of me and there are thousands of people working to make things not work when you get an OS upgrade.

    Ok, I am excessively cynical. But I am now starting to wonder if a vagrant Windows 10 update is the thing that is causing Cubase to misbehave so badly. The UA plugins simply won't load at all. The menu is MIA (although you can see individual entries by mousing over them). The program crashes every time you close it once you open a project.

    I've tried pulling the Mackie Control drivers out. That hasn't changed anything. So now I am on to checking out Windows 10 and discovering that there is a big fix to the update that they just pushed.

    Except when I try to load it, the download stops at two percent. Oh, joy.

    So I am now running a system scan to see if Windows is basically sane, in the hope that will allow me to download an update that may work better with Cubase.

    Assuming that it's Windows that is the problem.

    It could be something else, you know.

    Slow Muses

    Aug. 1st, 2017 05:01 pm
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    I have a song that desperately would like to escape. Unfortunately, I cannot find the key for the lock.

    Maybe I could bake a file into a cake...
    billroper: (Default)
    The studio continues to be down, as Cubase and the UA plugins seem not to be wanting to talk to each other properly. I have dumped off a support request to UA tonight; we'll see what I hear tomorrow.
    billroper: (Default)
    Something is seriously wrong down on the studio computer. I'm not sure what, but I'm getting errors when opening projects in Cubase 9.0.20 complaining that some of the UA plugins are disabled. There are plugins in some of the projects that I've disabled, because I have dropped them out of the mix, but wanted the option of dropping them back in. That's never been a problem before.

    Of course, I'm not sure that I've actually tried doing anything with Cubase 9.0.20 since I loaded the upgrade. I do know that the menus vanish when I open a project, although you can see each entry as you mouse across it. And some of the things seem to work, but whenever you try to close a project, Cubase hangs up in interesting ways and crashes.

    I tried loading the latest UA software, but that didn't help. I also tried loading the latest video drivers -- same result.

    It's possible that the second Mackie Control unit representing the X-Touch Extender is causing Cubase to lose its little mind. I can try disabling that later and see what happens.

    Or it could be a Windows Update that's taken the whole thing over the edge.

    But there's a whole lot that's not right at the moment.

    In other news, one of the screws broke off in the wall for the banister leading upstairs, so I have had to remove it from the wall before someone kills themselves on it.

    And I almost got four loads of laundry done today, except it looks like the last load somehow contained a load of polyester fiber fill that completely clogged the lint trap on the dryer and is going to require a lot of vacuuming and the rewashing of the entire load. I'm not sure exactly what was in there, but it clearly didn't belong there.

    I would like to know who has been feeding the mogwai after midnight.

    And who got them wet.
    billroper: (Default)
    After today's Capricon meeting, I had some free time that I used to take the Behringer X-Touch Extender down to the basement so I could try hooking it up. Naturally, I read the manual first. It was not of as much help as I might have hoped it would be, as it showed two setups. One connected the X-Touch Universal to the computer via USB and cascaded the X-Touch Extender through the first X-Touch; the other connected both units to a network hub.

    Of course, my X-Touch Universal is connected via a couple of MIDI cables that run through my Midisport 4x4, because I was never able to get the USB connection to work. Well, let's see what happens.

    I connected the Extender to the Universal via USB. Nothing recognized it.

    Well, let's try updating the firmware on the Universal. That took a while, but when I was done, it still didn't recognize the USB connection to the Extender.

    Ok, let's put them both on the network.

    Yeah, that took a while to configure. I couldn't get it to work either.

    Maybe I can get the USB connection to work if I connect the Universal to the computer directly. Of course, it still doesn't recognize it.

    Let's open Device Manager and see what's going on. Oh, look! There's the old Tranzport remote. I guess I should uninstall that. The computer still doesn't see the X-Touch.

    Oh, to heck with this. I'm running out of USB ports on the computer. I've got two of the Steinberg dongles, so I'll move all of the licenses to one of them and that'll free up a port. That didn't take long.

    Now, let's unplug everything and start plugging it back in. You there! Midisport! You are the weakest link. I only needed you to talk to the ADATs anyway.

    Look at that! Suddenly the computer sees the X-Touch.

    And when I go into Cubase, it sees both the X-Touch and the cascaded extender.

    I think I'm going to declare victory.

    I hate hardware/software conflicts...
    billroper: (Default)
    They just started shipping extenders for the Behringer X-Touch. Mine arrived in the mail today. I now need time to go downstairs and set it up, but that may be in short supply for the moment.

    We'll see.

    But I am looking forward to having more faders. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    The Cook County soda tax has been placed on hold by a local judge. The next act in our morality play is now proceeding as usual, as the Cook County government is now issuing dire warnings about the draconian cuts that will be required if this relatively small in the whole budgetary scheme amount of money isn't available.

    This includes, of course, a fifteen percent cut in personnel for the Cook County Police, because the first thing that they always threaten to cut is the police. I'm sure they'd threaten to cut the fire department too, except that Cook County doesn't seem to have a fire department to cut, based on my brief Google search. That's all controlled by various municipalities and townships. Well, you threaten where you can...

    In any case, I am old enough to remember Tom Lehrer. For those of you who don't, here's the original. And the altered lyrics follow:
    Read more... )
    billroper: (Default)
    It has been extraordinarily busy here for the last few months. It was thus that we found ourselves coming up on the end of the school year and having not yet written a song for Katie's teacher, Mrs. Sharko. We knew what we wanted to write, but actually putting pen to paper was being challenging. We had had discussion on the subject with Katie and Julie. We had nothing actually written down.

    And then on Thursday night, I started my vacation.

    And at 3 AM I woke up Gretchen and rapped out a verse to her.

    "Can I go back to sleep now?"

    "Yes. Yes, you can."

    Not much later, but much more awake, we managed to finish pulling everything together. While performing the song as a rap was a possibility, setting a tune to it was going to be a better choice. :)

    And today, Katie was able to take the recording of the song to Mrs. Sharko, who likes it.

    It is only deadline that would get me to record something with this case of bronchitis... :)

    Anyway, here are the lyrics:
    Lyrics inside... )
    billroper: (Default)
    I got back from Marcon stupidly late and then plunged back into work today.

    Work is being very cold and wet...
    billroper: (Default)
    If I can get the van packed, I can be on my way to Marcon.

    Sadly, I don't think that will be accomplished before the next meeting.


    May. 10th, 2017 11:27 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    There is nothing like preparing to go to a con and realizing that none of the electronics for the dealer table have been charged recently. Nor have I actually tried pairing the Square readers with the new phone.

    I could set up the pairing, of course, but that would require that the readers be charged.

    billroper: (Default)
    Marcon is coming up shortly and I will be driving that way soon.

    The question is: Can I finish everything that needs to be done before I leave town?

    Magic 8-Ball says: Outlook cloudy. Ask again later.


    Apr. 28th, 2017 11:55 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    It has been a complex day.

    The insurance adjuster was our early this morning to look at the wind damage from the storm last month. The result of this is that we'll be replacing the roof, which is, overall, a good thing. By the time we were done sorting all of that out, it was nearly noon.

    A bit later, Gretchen and I went out for lunch. Shortly thereafter, it was time to pick up the girls from school. Gretchen had to take Ruby to the vet for a checkup, Julie having decided to join her. I figured I would go down into the basement and try recording a vocal track. I wasn't entirely happy with the first try, so I did it again. And as I sat down to listen to it, the power went off.

    Oh, good.

    Gretchen had just come home to take the girls out for ice cream and I decided the better part of valor was to join them. While driving around, I called ComEd and discovered that they thought the power would be out for a couple of hours, so I suggested dinner. (Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. Or something like that.)

    We eventually arrived home after dinner to discover that the power was back on. This was followed by a game of Apples to Apples by candlelight, because Katie and Julie had wanted to use the candles while the power was out. After this, I spent some time following the Cardinals game on MLB Tonight.

    And finally, I went back down to the studio. I started up Cubase, loaded up the project, and discovered that the reverbs wouldn't load due to an iLok problem. A reboot didn't fix it, so I had to reinstall the iLok software. Once that was done, I started up Cubase and found that the last recording had vanished into the ether. *sigh*

    I also discovered that Cubase had dropped a maintenance upgrade yesterday. When you install an upgrade like that, all of the plugins get verified the next time the software is loaded, a process that takes far too long. So I downloaded the upgrade, installed it, and launched Cubase so that the plugins verification would be done the next time I was ready to use it.

    It has been that sort of day, I suppose.


    Apr. 26th, 2017 06:56 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    Day two of vacation back at home and I'm making some progress on an assortment of projects.

    I would be making more progress, I suspect, if I hadn't pulled a muscle in my upper right arm. I have a nice little knot up there that hurts a lot when I do the wrong thing.

    But it's getting better. :)


    billroper: (Default)

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