Problems with Sound Locks on the Analog Four

While I intend to invest in a Machinedrum from Elektron at some point in the (hopefully near) future, at the moment I’m restricted to only the Analog Four for song production.

# I’m traveling so I do not have access to my full studio. Yep, I miss my modular…

Because of this predicament I have been learning a lot about the A4, and I’m getting really impressed by its feature set. Restricting myself like this has also proven to be a very exciting way to work, but that’s for another post.

Anyway, when you are limited in the number of ‘voices’ and instruments at hand, the Sound Locks of the Analog 4 can be a real killer feature. Essentially it allows you to ‘lock’ a sound to a particular step (or ‘trig’ in the Elektron parlance) in the sequencer. Thus you can use just one of the A4 sequencer tracks to play back for example a Bass Drum, Snare and HiHat, instead of using 3 tracks. Make sense?

However, while this works great for synthesizer lead patches and many other types of sounds, I’ve run into an interesting issue with one of the Bass Drum presets.

The following video actually explains it better than I can with words:

Essentially locking the Bass Drum with any other sound on the same track causes the ‘volume’ of the BD to drop sharply as soon as the other sound plays, only to slowly come back up over time. If patch 2 is continuously triggering on the same track the Bass Drum will never return to audible lands. Note that this behavior only occurs with certain kicks.

There is also a thread on the Elektron forum discussing the same phenomenon. Essentially it would appear to related to the filter, and an effect of kicks constructed by self-oscillating it. Here’s a secondary thread that provides more info and a few other angles.

I will continue to research this but if you have run into this problem, found solutions or have any thoughts on plausible causes please share in the comments!

Clicking Harddrive Fun…

Slightly off topic, but it might help some one I guess :)

If you came to this page from a search on fuse-ext2 and “rc=2133571347”, scroll to the bottom for my advice on how to resolve that.

This morning when I tried to access my NAS I got the unpleasant response from the smb client that the share (network location) could not be found.

Long story short, when I dug out the network disk from it’s little dust-secure box in the kitchen closet (where it has been happily humming along for the past 18 months) all it would tell me was

click-click … click-click … click-click … …

A reboot gave me nothing but a sadly blinking red light. Normally this is indicative of either a Drive failure, a controller problem or something with the power supply. If it was just storage I would have simply gotten a new disk, but since I have years of photos on this disk that were not backup up more than twice during our move from Tokyo, I was not going to give up on it so easily.

NAS HDD funThe first order of business was to secure the drive it self from within the casing. This proved easy enough with some brute force and a screw driver. Next I went out and got a USB HDD docking thing so that I could simply plug the drive in and read it’s contents off of my MBP.

This is where the first problem arose. I slapped my forehead as I realized that the old Buffalo contraption I used as a NAS was in essence a Linux box, and the drive was formatted and partitioned using ext3.

Since OS X wont read ext3 natively, I ended up installing the “FUSE for OS X” and “fuse-ext2” packages, which worked as a charm for reading the first partition on the disk. However, no matter how hard I tried to mount the others partitions (including the one that actually holds all the data) it would simply fail with the return code “rc=2133571347”.

After digging through some config files on the one partition I could mount I spotted some stuff pointing to the other partitions being formatted as XFS. I verified this in the Japanese instruction manual for the drive which I found on an archived version of the JP Buffalo site.

Fortunately there is a fuse-xfs package in alpha as of a couple of months ago, so I installed this and gave it a shot. After some mucking around with different mount options and other parameters I finally got it to work and the files from the old drive are being copied over to my MBP as I write this.

One n00b gotcha to keep in mind is that if you mount a partition via sudo, you wont be able to list, copy files or otherwise work with the mount point unless you continue either via sudo or as root.

So, morale of the story is:

1. If you get the clicking drive on your hands, rip it out and plug it into another ‘host’ before you throw it out.

2. If you fail to mount a fuse-ext2 partition with the “rc=2133571347” error message, try a different file system, such as XFS.

OS X Mountain Lion Audio Gear Compatibility

Goal is to create a list of online resources where you can check audio gear / software compatibility with Mountain Lion. I will continue to add in links and other information as I find it. For now here are 3 links to get started:

Focusrite Product compatibility list:

Novation Product compatibility list:

Native Instruments compatibility list:

Please leave a comment if you know any other resources that should be on the list!

New Song (Die Morgensonne von Innsbruck)

My daughter asked me to do another Untz Untz as she calls them, so here we go… I wanted to do more with this track, such as adding another build/bridge and some more melodic stab/pluck stuff, but Maschine maxed out the CPU so bad that in the end it just got impossible to work with the project.

For the record, this track uses 2 FM8, 2 Prism, 1 Razor, 3 Massive and 3 Spark instances, and there are no pre-made loops in the dums/perc section. I could probably ease the load on the CPU by bouncing some of the parts to loops and import them back in, but that’s really hard given the scene-based workflow of Maschine…

I’m guessing it’s part me pushing maschine to do things its not meant to, part Maschine being single core and part me not using all the available tricks in the Maschine sequencer. Either way, I hope you enjoy it.

Novation Automap Pro, what’s the deal?

So if you’ve bought a new Novation product lately, chances are that in the box you found a card with a registration code for the Automap software (which is awesome btw). On that card, if you product was packaged before the release of Automap 4, there’s likely a sticker saying that you qualify for the Automap Pro upgrade, but no matter how much you search the netz and the Novation website you won’t find a download link anywhere. Also, there is no upgrade path within the software either.

So, what’s going on here?

Well, after the release of Automap 4, the Pro features where simply merged into the standard version, so there is no need to upgrade anymore. Simply grab the latest version from the Novation website, install and your good to go.

Automap 4 is replacing Automap 3 Standard and Automap 3 PRO and is a free upgrade to all Novation Automap users. All of the main functions in Automap 3 PRO remain in Automap 4, the main change is a totally revised set-up process and workflow.

(Novation website, see link below.)

There, saved you a couple of hours of frustration :).

(TC code: U3XV8HFRCUJ9)