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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using REW for some time but have recently encountered a problem getting my microphone input into REW. This problem seems very much like the one DanTheMan had with his EMU0404 in another thread in this forum. My problem is that with the Tascam box, I have no other option but "4 channel, 24-bit" so I can't switch to two channels to fix the problem like he did (I also have no control over the sliders that set the level).

This problem suddenly appeared on three different Macs (1 PPC (Leopard) and 2 Intel (1 Leopard, 1 Snow Leopard)) all of which worked fine just a couple of months ago, so I'm assuming some sort of OS update is the culprit. I've tried three different versions of REW, including the new beta, and I can't get anything input. I can select the US-144 in my sound settings, and the microphone input shows up there in the input level bar graph, but nothing makes it into REW.

As I said, the Audio Midi panel gives me no options for the channels or bit rate. I've got the latest Tascam drivers and firmware available.

Many thanks for any help or suggestions.
 

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My problem is that with the Tascam box, I have no other option but "4 channel, 24-bit"...
Four channel, what’s up with that? The 144 is a 2-channel device. :huh: Are you sure you have the right device selected in your OS’s Audio Midi?

I assume it’s the ECM8000 or similar mic you’re using?


On the 144:
Make sure the phantom power is switched on.
Make sure the Monitor is rotated to “Computer.”

In the REW:
Settings window, Soundcard tab, make sure the US-144 is selected as the USB device for input and output, and Line In for input (not mic), and Speaker Out for output.
Make sure the channel selected (right of left) is the same one you’re plugged into.

If none of that works, post us a screenshot of your Settings window taken while the problem is showing up.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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In addition to Wayne's excellent advice , try running your US-144 through an A.C. powered USB-2.0 hub .

Why ? After a quick reading of the manual , it's quite apparent that these ( quasi ) 4-chnl sound-cards from Tascam , are right on the edge of overtaxing a computers ability to deliver the needed DC "juice" ( phantom style ) to the soundcard. Tascam says this ( in their own way ) .
- When the juice isn't there / strange things will start to happen .

Additionally, if for some reason the users USB port gets (re)classified as a 1.1 type ( either real or virtually ) / the manual does say : the unit is put into a limited 2chnl mode ( where one can use either the analog connections or the digital connections / but not both at the same time ) .
- The manual says one can choose ( which sort ) but I didn't pursue where that choice gets made .

You should check out all the functions of your sound card with another piece of software to make sure it's actually working up to spec. before blaming REW as the incompatible dance partner .
- I'd suggest that you use the Cubase LE software that shipped with your soundcard to check out the cards relative health .

To summarize, I'm guessing ( okay, really stabbing in the dark ) that your card is misbehaving because it's starved for power ( for whatever reason ) .

<> cheers EarlK

BTW, I read your earlier posts here at the Shack where you mentioned wanting to use a USB microphone / I'm hoping that idea was retired a long time ago .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Guys. Many thanks for the responses!

Wayne: Yes, I'm using the ECM 8000. I have the settings as you described, except the output which right now is just defaulting to system output, but I usually use a USB DAC (which IS working). I've tried all combinations of right and left input with the right and left settings on the panel.

Earl: I haven't tried a powered hub yet, but I'd be surprised if that were the problem. I've used the Tascam many times on all three computers without a problem, and (as you'll see in the image below) the Mac OS sees the Tascam and registers the input from the microphone. But who knows, maybe the box is getting old and needs more power. I'll try that next if nothing else works.

Screenshots and debug file follow.
Thanks again, everyone.
 

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Some GRIST for the MILL

etc6849 said:
"One thing about the US-144 is I am having problems using it on a dell laptop. Windows XP keeps telling me my usb device is drawing too much current (only when I plug it in), but the device works fine on my vista HTPC. The US-144 will work with my laptop, but sometimes I have to tell XP to reset the current protection on the usb port first. "
- The latest round of JAVA updates might have pushed the units "processing-overhead" past the point where the Tascam unit can fully offer all of its promised capabilities ( ie; it's now prioritizing its' processing and shutting down some utilities, just to keep itself partially-working ) .

- The (above ) 17 month old quote confirms that the US-144 is definitely a hog for USB current-draw . Taken from this thread .

- There the author was able to keep it working by over-riding the concerns of the XP utility that managed USB current draw .

- Upshot ; do try ( among all the other things recommended ) the AC powered USB hub ( which BTW, the US-144 operators manual did outline as a remedy for some problems ) .
- A powered USB hub will satisfy all concerns about current draw .


<> cheers :)
 

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On the REW settings, best leave both input and output set to default.

It is worth trying the US-144 as both default input and default output on the Audio/Midi settings to see if that helps any, if input and output devices are different it may be necessary to configure a "composite device" from the pairing (I think that option may be under the "Configure Device" menu).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Earl -- I'll look for a powered USB hub. I may be able to get one later today.

John -- I usually do have the defaults set, but I've tried various combinations and that's just how it was set recently. I've gone back to the defaults, both input and output, with no improvement. Images and new debug file are attached.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Some GRIST for the MILL

Upshot ; do try ( among all the other things recommended ) the AC powered USB hub ( which BTW, the US-144 operators manual did outline as a remedy for some problems ) .
- A powered USB hub will satisfy all concerns about current draw .
Okay, it was worth a try but, alas, it did not solve my problem. However, my new powered USB hub is now nicely running what has always been a balky scanner, so I got something out of the deal.
 

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Here's a shot of the Control Panel for the US-144 .



Open yours up and make sure you don't see the "USB 1.1 Mode" box displayed .

If that USB 1.1 box is visible ( for whatever reason ) then you're not getting the full facilities of the sound card .

If the "1.1 Mode" box is visible , then make sure your input is selected as "analog" .

After this, I'm about out of ideas .


Too bad about the USB hub not being the easy solution .

<> cheers :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just for fun, I tried this on yet another Mac (PPC, OS X 10.5.8), one which has NOT had the latest Java update installed. It worked like a charm; I did all the same stuff, but the microphone input reads loud and clear within REW (unfortunately, this computer isn't really suitable for doing EQ since it's a desktop machine and lives in the wrong place... and someday I'll have to update the OS anyway...).

So, below are the pictures and the debug file from a WORKING version. Not sure what the deal is. The only real difference I see is that the working version only has three (non-working) level sliders in the Audio Midi panel, and the non-working version has five (non-working) sliders.

Earl, I'm also posting a picture of the Tascam control panel. It looks exactly the same on the working and non-working machines.
 

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Well cbw, I'm stumped for the time being .

Hopefully JohnM can suss this out / it does appear that it's a brand new Java problem/incompatibility .

Lets hope that it can be resolved .

<> cheers EarlK
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you connect a source to the digital input, does that trigger any activity on the REW meters?
Hi, John. If I understand your question correctly, the answer is "no."

I connected a digital cable from my DVD player to the digital in on the Tascam box and played a CD. The Tascam control panel recognized a valid 44.1 kHz signal. The Mac sound panel showed a high level of input. But there was no activity on the REW meters.

I don't know if this is a valuable data point for you or not, but I also played a DVD. That showed up as a 48 kHz signal on the Tascam control panel and Audio Midi. In the REW control panel, when set on 44.1, the US-144 was not available as an input source, but when I clicked on the 48 kHz button, the US-144 appeared in the input drop down menu. But, still, no activity on the meters.
 

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I've filed a bug report with Apple, but not had a response yet. You could try installing an earlier Java version (e.g. Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 5), otherwise looks like the only options are 2-channel cards or to use the built-in audio input, since the option to set the input format to 2-ch doesn't seem to exist for the US-144 (per your earlier post).
 

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So, are we dead in the water on this issue? Is the US-144 now a non-starter on a Mac, and I should buy a new sound card?
Found this on Amazon - check the first review.

Before you go shopping again, it's a good idea to check user reviews to make sure the interface you're considering will "play nice" with your OS. Additional info on what to look for in a review here.

Regards,
Wayne

 
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