Hello, I'm kicking myself
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:39 AM   #1
MikeFish
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Hello, I'm kicking myself

Hello there. This is my first post to this forum as I'm seriously in need of some advice/help/something.
The story so far - many years back, I used to dabble with midi music production using an Atari 1080STE Steinberg pro24 and an old Roland D10. I never went very far, being held back by lack of money to buy more equipment. I dropped this hobby but always had a plan to pick it up again if I ever had a decent job that would allow me to buy the kit.
Time passes and virtual instruments are created....
Last month, I bought myself a new laptop with pretty good specs (5th gen i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSHD Windows 10, USB3) and thought to myself that I'd look into DAWs and VSTs to see if I could pick up from where I left off back in the 90s. So far so good. However, on setting up Reaper and checking in forums, it looks like an ASIO driver is needed for lowest latency (I've already noticed some clicks in bits of music that I've made). I found 'ASIO4All and downloaded it. It won't install at all - there's no tray icon and I can't select it within Reaper settings.
On top of this, I was considering getting Reason 8 as the current deal gives you shed loads of free instruments ($500 or 300 worth) if you buy before the end of the year. On looking through the specs needed, it states 'ASIO driver'.
I thought that perhaps an external sound card might help but other forums mention that these are only really useful for external connections (guitar, bass, etc) and I'm only interested in virtual music (dance, trance, etc).
The installed sound card is RealTek High Definition Audio.
I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't check the sound card driver compatibility thing before I bought the laptop but I had no idea at the time. Still...
So, how do I fix my problem without resorting to opening the laptop (and voiding the warranty!) and putting a new sound card in? I've already gone to Device Manager and tried to update the driver from there but Windows tells me that the best driver is already installed (huh?)
Any ideas?
Thanks folks.

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Old 12-14-2015, 12:05 PM   #2
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

Cheers and welcome.

You might want to post your question in hardware & gear. I know others are using ASIO4all, but I can't help you there. Personally, I was able to avoid such challenges as I already had a Mac.

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Old 12-14-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

Cheers for the reply. Oddly enough, Reaper has now decided to see the Asio driver and it can be selected. However, there is no sound being registered when using the virtual keyboard (nothing showing on the meters) and no output to my headphones. I had both when using 'Wave Out'.
I don't expect a reply to this - I'll now start searching for a solution to my new problem - but I thought I'd let you know that my issue below is sort of fixed-ish.

It's never easy, eh?
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

Welcome!

Yes, I remember the bollox I had with MoBo soundcards back in the day. Frustrating.

Since ASIO4all doesn't want to be installed(?), I would strongly suggest buying/getting a dedicated audio interface. With this new "external soundcard" you will get ASIO, better audio and lower latency. Basically your life will improve overall.

There are some pretty good budget USB audio interfaces out there that does the job. Prices range from fairly cheap to bloody expensive, where the latter exceeds in quality of converters and number of I/O (ins and outs), etc.
Example: http://www.thomann.de/gb/usb_audio_interfaces.html

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Old 12-14-2015, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

I don't have a windows 10 laptop, but my older laptop has ASIO4ALL installed on it. It is running the realtek drivers with no problem. According to the site Asio4all is working on Windows 10. Perhaps you had an install problem? Try deinstalling and reinstalling (2.13 version if you haven't already). Sorry I couldn't be more helpful than that.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

I don't think ASIO4ALL shows up in the task bar unless something is active through it. However, if you can't even get it installed, this is a moot point.

As mentioned above, an external Audio Interface is just the ticket for a lot of reasons and is probably your first port of call. You can get a freeware DAW and VSTs to get you started.

Without an external audio interface you may be plagued by performance issues. Decent ones can be found for around the 100 mark and older and second-hand even cheaper.

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Old 12-15-2015, 08:34 PM   #7
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

IMHO Stock soundcards are not going to cut it for you.

Look at an external usb soundcard as mentioned not going to break the bank(or firewire if your have a ti firewire chipset on your laptop, although unlikely).

Anopther option is to look at an synth module or keyboard/synth with usb and asio support, all depends on your budget.

Personally speaking RME will always be my goto for soundcards.

PS Asio4all will give you high latency!

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Old 12-16-2015, 12:04 AM   #8
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

Hello "kicking myself". You can call me "full of bad jokes". Welcome!
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:06 AM   #9
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

Even though i feel like i'm beating a dead horse here, I'm going to have to agree and say get a dedicated AI, as this will benefit you in the long run and will ultimately sound better.

And like it was already mentioned if you're running a windows computer it is highly recommended to look into RME.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:25 AM   #10
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audilepsy View Post
beating a dead horse
Well well, what a wonderful opportunity to introduce you to the latest IDMf Netlabel release, Flogging a Dead Horse. Click right here. It's full of wonderful remixes of wonderful songs by yours truly.

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Old 12-16-2015, 02:56 PM   #11
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

Yeah I'll just re-emphasize "high latency" - if you ever want to work with a midi controller, the internal sound card is just going to drive you crazy with delay between the time you press something on the controller and the time the sound is affected by it.

The standard gear you have to layout money for is:

Laptop
External Sound Module
Monitors
DAW
Controller

with monitors being the most expensive thing at least what you should skimp the least on...

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Old 12-17-2015, 06:49 PM   #12
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Re: Hello, I'm kicking myself

buy a used mbox or something. We all have gone through this type of thing when we started.

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