Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tech Support? We Don't Need No Stinking Tech Support!

Ah, another day spent trying to install Cubase 4 into my iMac...FUCK!!

I should add that I'm a total friggin' ineptasaurus as far as computer recording goes. The good news is that I figured it out and all's well at Studio Pete...for now. But if this were twenty years ago, the only sound my computer would be making right now would be crunching noises as the cars going by my building run over the chunks I hurled through the window.

My journey toward techno-enlightenment started less than three years ago when Guy Fletcher convinced me that the Mac was superior to a PC. I had someone show me how to turn it on and proceeded to bluff my way through the learning process over the course of time. To make a long story short, I'm all over it a point.

I recently decided that I would like to do some writing and recording at home so I invested in a 24" iMac and bought Cubase 4 which is a highly regarded sequencing and recording software program from Steinberg. I installed it without a hitch (I thought) and curled up with the tutorials. To get audio to the computer I used an M-audio Fast-track usb interface. I followed all of the instructions and set up my vst devices, made the appropriate buses, opened a new project in cubase, added an audio track, pushed record and...nothing, nada, nix.

The meter on the transport window was seeing the guitar signal but I couldn't hear it. Double checked my buses, inputs etc. Everything looked correct. Wait a minute! This is a new Intel Mac. Maybe the M-Audio driver wouldn't work with the mac. So I went to the M-audio website and learned that the unit should work with all OSX machines. There was a driver update but was only required to run Protools. Fuck it, I updated the driver anyway and voila! Now I could see and hear the signal. But I still wasn't getting the audio to the recording channel. Man, In the old days, you just started following cables til the problem presented itself. I had visions of the crew from "Fantastic Voyage" cruising through the routing system on my hard drive and searching out the problem on a molecular level. That not being an option, I had to think...and throw something relatively inexpensive across the room. Shoes are good as long as I don't hit anything...I wear 15s.

I decided that there had to be an issue with Cubase so I went to the Steinberg website. Nothing there but circles and I went around all of them. I did find an update to Cubase 4.0.some fucking shit so I downloaded it and installed it. When I chose my hard drive as the destination, I got the message that the was "no previous installation"...the shoe just missed the lamp. I closed everything, restarted and by a fluke, hit "apple i" as I clicked the application. Hmmm, I opened the ownership pane and for some reason, the "read and write" button wasn't active and there was no owner. I clicked on the owner button and a drop down menu displayed a list of weird names, none of which was mine. At the bottom, was the word "other." I clicked it and another menu displayed a longer list of coded names. Halfway down the list, there it was! The user name that I registered the product under. I clicked it and everything in the ownership pane became active. I plugged in, played and recorded actual music into Cubase!

Nowhere in the manual, the tutorials, the installation documents, the online forums...nowhere could I find the solution. It makes me feel really stupid to think that everyone using Cubase knew this but me. Well, fuck it, I know it now. Tech support? We don't need no stinking tech support!

I just need plenty of shoes.

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