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Kmixer + ASIO4ALL + Vista


Yamadron
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Hello Audiophile members.

 

I am new here. I hope that you can bear with me. I am not experienced with audio and I wish I could find support here :)

 

OK. First of all, I am a guitar player. I transport a lot. I had an old laptop "Toshiba Satellite A110" with Windows XP SP3. I connect my guitar to the computer using a 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo cable. I run Guitar Rig 3 as my effects processor using ASIO4ALL driver to get low latency.. I was able to run Windows Media player and other audio applications along with GR3

 

Now, I sold my old laptop to get a new laptop, a "Toshiba Qosmio X300". It has Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 already installed on it. Running Audio application while GR3 is running and ASIO4ALL is operating became impossible now. I can only run one of them. I tried many things like, Foobar with WASAPI Plugin, KS Plugin as well as WinAmp with the same plugins. Nothing worked.. By the way, My audio driver is "Realtek HD Audio R2.31". Some people told me that, my chipset may not support hardware mixing, so I can't multiple stream. I doubt that. My old laptop Realtek chipset was able, How this can't ?

 

Some other people, told me Vista doesn't have a KMixer. So nothing to bypass it in first place.

 

So, Any help about that ? I am very confused now, I don't know if that is a hardware limitation or a software limitation

 

NOTE: After ASIO4ALL operates, no audio at all. Neither any music from applications nor Windows Sounds. It is like the speakers have been disabled completely

 

Thanks you guys, my hopes are in your hands now. :)

 

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Hi Yamadron,

 

After a small welcome ! it may be necessary to narrow down your problem a bit, in order to direct you to the hopefully solution. So let's start with

 

What is it you actually want to do ?

I guess GR3 is causing "a" problem, but how is it related to, well, what doesn't work ?

 

So, what do you want to do ? just play audio ?

You seem to say that while GR3 is running, you can't play audio. But I guess whether that is running or not, you can't play audio anyway, or ?

 

You say "nothing worked". But, any messages ?

 

You say "After ASIO operates, no audio at all", but this implies "without ASIO I have sound". Is that so ? I don't think so.

 

It may take a little longer, but I think we will get there. Let's start with :

 

- When for now you forget about GR3, can you play audio ?

 

At the right side in the taskbar tray there's a speaker icon. If you richtclick it and choose Playback Devices you will see a list of the devices you have. Click the one you want (propably the HD Audio device) and click Set Default. This may be more easy for operating some playback software. Notice which device you clicked, and with the player software try to find it in there too, and select it (if you can't select it anywhere it should be the selected one, because you made it the default device).

Best may be to use Foobar, but don't forget to select the means of playback, like you should have done earlier with WASAPI (File - Preferences - Output and then pick your Output Device from the combo box, but choose the one prefixed with "WASAPI:". Choose 16 bits for output. Save All - Close and now drag a file onto the playlist and click Play. This should work, no matter whether ASIO or anything else is installed (you call this "running" I suppose).

 

Do not go further with any guitar playing things YET, because with this setting this will not work.

 

Good luck with this first step, but also try to explain better what you want if just playing a file isn't enough.

Regards,

Peter

 

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Thanks Peter for your reply. My apologizes for the unclear explanation.

 

I will answer the questions you have mentioned above.

 

 

When I open Guitar Rig 3, It uses ASIO4ALL So I get low latency output. Most of the time, I open Guitar Pro - it uses speakers as default output - for music tabs to practice with. Also, I play some songs with WinAmp to play with using my guitar. As far as ASIO4ALL is operating for Guitar Rig 3 and using the HD Audio Speakers to output sound, I can't play an audio on the laptop. Even Windows Sounds don't play. It is like Speakers are no longer available and the device is disconnected for the other applications.

 

"What is it you actually want to do ?"

 

What I want to do exactly, is to be able to play my guitar along with other music playing on an Audio application such as WinAmp or Foobar2000 for example as well as Guitar Pro. That what was happening on my old XP laptop.

 

You say "nothing worked". But, any messages ?

 

Probably, I won't be able to answer you with this. Pictures will explain themselves.

 

The following pictures are taken at the same moment.

 

*Here is a gallery of the pictures, because the pictures are large a bit*

(Please, see them in order)

 

http://img268.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=55319744.png

 

 

For the last explanation, Everything is working fine. But when ASIO4ALL starts to work to output sound from GR3, Guitar Rig 3 functions and audio comes out for my guitar playing. No other audio can be listened or played. I have to disable the ASIO4ALL output device - which is the speaker in this case - to play any other sound.

 

I am sorry, Peter. I appreciate that you are trying to understand and help me with my problem :)

 

Thanks :)

 

 

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Totally clear now.

 

Well, what you should strive for, is using as much "non bit perfect" modes as possible. This may sound strange, but any method that is "bit perfect" won't be mixed, while you need that mixing ! This means : no ASIO, no WASAPI.

 

For playback software this won't be all that difficult, and Direct Sound (DS) should do fine.

For the "recording" part - because that is what you will be doing at playing the guitar - this will be more difficult, and it may be up to the GR3 software what is allowed / can be chosen.

 

Generally I would say ASIO4ALL won't do it, while using real ASIO for input and outputs (you'll have 2, one for the player and one for the guitar) will work (well, it just should). However, this won't help you because you don't have an ASIO device.

 

Also, using WASAPI all the way will work too, but, then you will need software that allows that. Output regarding player software exists, but input ... I don't know. The more expensive Pro stuff may be up to it.

FYI : WASAPI "all the way" just is possible, because I do that myself (XXHighEnd), but it needs 1. player, 2. capture, 3. mixing means of something around that player because WASAPI itself doesn't allow mixing (read : the OS won't do it for you, and btw XXHighEnd doesn't mix either).

 

So, while above two alineas are just for background information, your only bet is Direct Sound. Thus, DS for output (player), DS for input (GR3) and DS for output of the guitar (GR3).

 

There's one "issue" you must take into account, and this is the output setting in the device's properties - advanced tab; The combobox in there determines the rate you will be outputting at. I don't think this will have real implications for the means "will it play or not", but you may think about what is best for you. No matter what it will be resampled (by the OS). I can't tell how this is related to the input sample rate (guitar), but if things don't work maybe it is best to set that to the same rate as the output is set to.

Input and Output devices need not to be (physically) the same, but here too, all should imply "mixing" possibilities which counts out ASIO, unless all is ASIO and ASIO will do the mixing. But as said, you don't have a real ASIO device.

 

Lastly for now, keep in mind that 24/96 Firewire = generally ASIO, can be bought for a $100 or less. No guarantee that will work, but it will be the best starting point (just because it is made for these things).

 

I hope you can make something of this !!

Peter

 

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Well, I would like to ask, Why it was working on my old laptop ? Is Vista is the problem ? Is it limiting mixing both ? My old one has no ASIO Support. I was using ASIO4ALL too, but with windows XP SP2.

 

I tried running foobar with ASIOALL and GR3 with ASIO4ALL too. No luck. As you said, I don't have an ASIO device.

 

There is no problems regarding input. It is all about mixing both outputs. I don't care if the output quality of the player is decreased a bit. No problem with that at all.

 

Tried to have both Bit depth and Sample Rate of Output and Input the same. No luck in here either.

 

** Both Speakers output and Line In input were 16 bit, 192 KHz **

 

All thanks from my heart. I appreciate your help :)

 

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The problems you encounter under Vista will be because of the there introduced "Exclusive Mode" and the way things are protected due to that. XP didn't have such mode, hence no protection.

Protection : the phenomenon of one file wanting to play cannot expect the audio device to be in use, unless it is the internal audio engine (for Shared Mode). So, when the device is in use by something else (and it is not for Exclusive Useage) it will be an unexpected situation. I may be normally captured when it would be normal ASIO having it in use, but with ASIO4ALL things will be unpredicatble because ASIO4ALL is a layer not directly talking to the audio engine. I'm a bit speculating, but it will be close.

XP doesn't have anything like Exclusive Useage (Exclusive Mode), and *when* the device is in use there (like ASIO would do, Kernel Streaming the same) it is just a normal situation, and it could come from any direction. So, you could say, Vista knows officially what those directions can or should be, and any faking doesn't belong to that (ASIO4ALL).

Btw, it is not said (at least not by me, because I just don't know) whether ASIO4ALL takes the device "in use" as meant here. But the fact that it's not official may be enough to encounter the unexpected situations at least.

 

There is no problems regarding input. It is all about mixing both outputs.

 

I understand, but it really depends on what you are doing/trying. Thus, when you would try WASAPI/Exclusive, the input sure is related, and when things are done in the wrong sequence the device will be in use.

If you have narrowed it down to mixing the outputs being the problem, well, that's good by itself because it make things easier for further trials.

 

A thing to try may be just two players (two the same may be dangerous), and as long as you don't get that working, the GR3 will be more difficult only. But once you have two players playing (audibly), by then you might have an indication on what to do within GR3.

 

Btw, I didn't hear you talking about DS attempts. It really is the only way to go I think (or buy an ASIO device).

 

Peter

 

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Hello Peter. Thanks for the clarification about the Vista Protection.

 

*WMP + Foobar + J River MediaCenter (3 of them using DS Speakers Output) : Success.

 

I could here all of them. 3 songs are mixed together.

 

 

 

*GR3 ( DS Line In Input/DS Speakers Output) + WMP/Foobar (DS Speakers Output) : Success.

 

I could listen to both the guitar and the player. But there is latency. It is about half a second. As it is stated by GR3. It let me to adjust the latency. Output Latency was 15ms and Input Latency was 7ms. 7ms is the least latency could be set. I tried to adjust the output latency to be less, but the sound became distorted so badly and unclear at all.

 

I unchecked the mark on "Allow applications to take exclusive control over this device" in the advanced tab, but no anvil. Nothing changed. Only, When I try to disable the ASIALL output, It doesn't respond.

 

Thanks :)

 

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Aha, good !

 

But now what ... so yes, now you run into one of your first remarks ... the latency ...

 

I must honestly say I didn't think about that anymore, and this is where it may end. I mean, half a second (that wasn't a typo was it) seems to long to me for normal DS operations. But I guess you are running into the applications themselves. I mean, a random player may have some longer latency, but already that depends on how it is setup. Not that this will bother you (even if it has a latency of 10 seconds, you just start playing along 10 seconds later), but since I myself (in XXHighEnd) reach very well under 10ms with DS (that would be Engine#1) I know it can be done for any other type of software like GR3. Of course there you're dealing with output PLUS input, and IIR more than 20ms is unacceptable (for a guitar maybe a little more is allowed, but for midi it is not).

 

So, you will be definitely stuck with whatever it is GR3 expresses here ...

 

There's one little snake which may help you a bit, and that is just *knowing* that the playback side of things theoretically do rather well, but, as said before, depending on the software. For example, Foobar sure doesn't have a latency of half a second, if you only set the buffers to the minimum value (and in one of the pictures you showed earlier this wasn't set to the minimum). I only want to point out that this is about the necessity of filling a buffer, and this buffer can be controlled by you (depending on the player software). But, this is a buffer at the PC side (say, your side) while there is also a buffer at the soundcard's side. It will still be in the PC but it depends whether you can set it. And for the HD Audio you definitely can not (ok, careful ... not that I know of). Now *that* buffer can easily be 700ms, like for USB devices it can easily be that large.

 

Now, no matter how low the latency of the software is, you will be dealing with that latter buffer, because if it is, say, 500ms large, and it can't be adjusted, it is just that what you have to deal with. But :

Again it depends on the software and how it deals with that with the example of XXHighEnd again, which just turns that no matter how large buffer into a 1 ms buffer if you want. Btw, don't get confused by me mentioning that software, because that won't help you. It just prooves that things *can* be done, if only the software allows for it.

 

Now we're back to ASIO, because anything which is ASIO is just made for musicians and low latency. So, it is guaranteed that it just does the same as what I just described, and it will kind of overrule the standards a soundcard (etc.) uses. Therefore, with an ASIO capable device, you will always see a slider for this buffer setting, that being a potential tradeoff between very low latency but distorted sound because not everything can cope (depends highely on the number is channels in use, which can be dozens for real time music) and no distorted sound but all being way too late to allow for real time music performance.

 

And thus, now you know quite well how everything works, I'm afraid it is time to get that ASIO device afterall. I think any external soundcard with Firewire will do. There are more that support ASIO, but then you'd have to investigate.

I still can't guarantee how ASIO will behave for input and output at the same time under Vista, but if that doesn't work properly you should be able to find that quickly in Pro fora. If the Pro environment uses Vista (like on stage) you're good.

And don't forget to buy a soundcard that explicitly supports Vista (driver).

 

Lastly, if you bring your laptop to a Pro shop (where the guitars should be all over), I'm fairly sure you can try it in the shop yourself.

 

Peter

 

PS: Those checkboxes for Exclusive Use do nothing; Only when you are doing something with WASAPI they will.

 

PPS: ... or buy an acoustic guitar.

oops, sorry. :-)

 

 

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Well. I played with the configuration, I set the Speakers (DS) to 24 bit, 96 KHz and the Line In (DS) to 16 bit, 96 KHz. Well, Before, GR3 was set to 15ms Output latency and 7ms input latency as I told you, but It was Set to a sample of

44 KHz. I set it to 96 KHz and "HEY". It it really working but with just bearable glitches that starts to appear after 5 minutes of operating. That is better than nothing, I guess :)

 

About a Pro Laptop for musician. I had no idea that all this hassle will happen. It was working on the old laptop like a charm, So i expected that it will work on the new laptop normally.

 

About the Pro environment, they don't use Windows in first place, They use Mac OSX with Garageband :)

 

About ASIO, after I spent my money on the laptop. I can't afford expensive ASIO devices. You can say an M-Audio JamLab is my best for now. But now, DS is working, So I can live with it till I collect money for M-Audio Fast Track Pro.

 

LOL.. I can't get an Acoustic guitar for a reason. I am play electric guitar for 4 years. So it is impossible to leave it alone for just an obstacle ;). Do you play guitar or intend to ? :)

 

Well. I wanna ask something off topic a lil. In 6 months I will build a new desktop. It is designed for music actually plus all normal things, Gaming and such stuff. I was intending to get a "PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium ". It is officially supporting ASIO Drivers. What do you think ?

 

Well, some last words. Thank you, Peter. I really owe you this favor. You are the only one - actually - who helped me since 2 months in this problem.

 

God Bless YOU !!! :)

 

 

 

 

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Hey Yamadron, thanks for the nice words, and always nice if something works out.

Btw, did you try 24/192 ? hahaha it may get better of it (if your HD Audio allows for it).

 

I own a few guitars, yes, and from the time music cassette really did a good job (at Nakamichi Tri Tracers of which I still own two) I must have some Joe Jackson or whatever it was laying around, I played along and recorded it. No laptop hussle ! just analogue stuff. Tried to beat Mide Oldfield as well, on guitar only.

Today I don't have time to play instruments really, but I recall being for hours and hours playing and burried in a pile of synthesisers, being sure that the neighbours would like my beat (for hours being the same).

Bought a bass guitar last year, thinking it would be a nice lead for my son's drumming, who btw received an extensive synth/keyboard at his 1st birthday.

 

Back to business, I don't see what's wrong with an X-FI. Many praise it. I must honestly say though, that (somehow) I don't see many use it in my own environment. I'm not sure why, but I guess most perfer an outboard soundcard or pass through SPDIF to an external DAC anyway. I must add that I expect most of these guys to be crazy, just like I am. They buy 1K soundcards to pass through SPDIF only.

For specific useage I have been using an ESI [email protected] (PCI), and I used it at 48 samples latency (~1ms) at 24/192 (2 channel) over WASAPI. For somewhere just above EUR 100 you can't go wrong with it. It supports ASIO.

 

Have a great day !

Peter

 

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Actually, you don't deserve what I have said. You deserve MUCH MUCH MORE than that... But is it hard to express that on the internet :/

 

Well mmm, I have to say "Easy Come. Easy Go". After about 10 minutes of playing, the sound becomes glitchy and distorted. I wait a couple of seconds and it comes back to normal after 5 minutes, that sound returns back. Seems that potential trade off as you said comes back to knock my door. I found a temporary solution using "Reaper" to run both songs and the guitar together until I am able to afford an ASIO device. :/

 

24 bit/192 KHz is supported on my HD Audio Card. But Somehow 24 bit/96 KHz sounds louder and I liked it more. There is "Waves MaxxAudio" and "Waves MaxxEQ". They only support samples from 32KHz to 96 KHz only. Here is picture of it:

MaxxAudio : http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7383/maxxaudio.png

MaxxEQ : http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/5049/maxxeq.png/

 

It allows me to control the bass, so I like 96 KHz better than 192 KHz, :)

But, Thanks for the suggestion :)

 

 

About guitars, I use digital devices - like the laptop - for draft recordings and practicing. It is easier that way. But all my actual recordings are done using an amplifier and a condenser microphone at a nearby studio.

Good for your son to be a drummer and a keyboardist at the same time :). My sister is a keyboardist for 6 years now and I am a guitarist for 4 years. I am forming a band now.Though it is a hobby. I am not taking it seriously as a career.

 

In my point of view, You are neither crazy nor they guys are. It is your career - as I think -. You are spending such stuff for your career to be better and improve it day by day. But It is a hobby for me, so spending lot of money for just a hobby - and I am still not financially independent -. That what I call "CRAZY". I am in 1st year university; studying Computer Engineering.

 

Good luck with your career.

Cheer up your son. He could be a great drummer in the future if he practiced hard ;)

 

Thank you, Sir for your support.

 

 

 

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After about 10 minutes of playing, the sound becomes glitchy and distorted.

 

I don't know how persistent this "10 minutes" is, but you might look into something that breaks in each 10 minutes. Incoming email to name something ...

 

It is a bit of a long shot, but when another sound comes along, that too has to be mixed. For Vista it shouldn't make a difference for how that (or everthing else) is output (it should keep on following your settings), but similar as to your findings of "better matching input and output rates", this may influence. "This" ... if "it" is there in the first place. I'm just guessing.

 

If you don't recognize anything to be there "breaking in", *and* you recognize that the time indeed is always about the same, I'd dedicate it to clocks running out of line;

Think of buffers again, and imagine a buffer to hold, say, 100 samples. Now, since you are using input and output, that may use different clocks. Suppose -relative to eachother- they are off 10 samples per minute ... after 10 minutes it will go wrong and things can't "synch" anymore.

 

This too is a long shot, since I don't have any real experience on this mixing stuff (hey, we all try just to avoid that ! haha), but it could be encouraged by using the different programs. One may use a software clock (based on the CPU's cycles), the other may use a clock on the soundcard, and the next may again use a software clock but based on something else than the CPU cycles, or just use another means to calculate and its granularity may differ from the first (inurring for rounding errors and therewith being more and more off opposed to the first).

 

You may not realize it much, but keep in mind that you did everything yourself. I can only hope to feed you with some data to work with. So, with the above you may be able to again step beyond yourself ?

:-)

 

Peter

 

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Hello again, Sir

 

Honestly, It is not persistent at all. Sometimes, it becomes like that after 2 mins. Some others 5 mins and back to 3 mins. Sometimes when the guitar is idle. It is fluctuating.

 

I kept playing more and more. Every trail, I increased the output/input latency. But that didn't affect anything. Nothing was interrupting the signal at all. It just appears and disappears with no remarks actually. It is no longer the same timing. I can record for you both clear and distorted sounds

 

 

hey, we all try just to avoid that ! haha

 

That made my laugh. I try to, but at the same time, I have to too.

 

Yes, Sir. I am able to go beyond the limits if I/you wanted. But as far as there will be no hardware damage. If it is all about software. I am 100% ready for the next round.

 

Thank you again :)

 

Uhh, I hope I am not annoying you by my problem. Really ...

 

Regards,

David

 

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Hi David,

 

No, the more challenging the problems are, the better I like it. Well, if I see light at the end of the tunnel in the first place.

 

Allright, you just described what I was thinking of earlier, but didn't write down because I didn't give it much chance. Now I do ... :

 

Your guitar software will "mute" if you don't play. Thus, keep on playing !

Well, before you end up as an Iron Butterfly drummer (In-a-gadda-da-vida) maybe try to solve it differently. So, you now may assume the sound is muted while you don't push sound through, and this may make you find something (a setting) that avoids this. A setting in the GR3 software I mean. Note though this can be a "feautere" of the soundcard just the same, and that most probably won't carry a setting.

 

If there is nothing to be found, a (stupid) solution might be adding noise. Make the connection noisy, but to an amount it doesn't bother you. Lowering the input gain but turn up the volume from the pickups may do just that. And of course, as a genuine electric guitar player you may like the sound better. Oops. :-)

 

Stupid computers ...

Peter

 

PS: In the above I responded to your original text ... which you changed for probably a good reason. So, my response merely was about :

I just noticed as I play faster, the glitch appears more earlier. but sometimes when the guitar is idle, It appears

So what I said seems a bit contradictionary to this, but I think it is important to keep the status the same all the time (and keep the stream streaming).

 

PPS: I'm not so sure anymore about this (my) post ...

 

PeePeePeeS: I sure don't want to force you into it, but by this time you may try XXHighEnd. Use Engine#1 (not #3 !). That will be DS but with a minimum load on the PC. Firstly this may help (and I estimate it does), and secondly I will be knowing what is going on at least at that side (player). Note that this always plays completely from memory (and there is some Vista limit on the track size, which I forgot. Could be 128MB -> if you run into this, use Engine#2 but it is less friendly to use).

Don't feel obliged to do this only because I try to help. But it may help you ...

http://www.phasure.com/index.php?topic=887.0

 

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Well, for a mysterious -GO TO "HELL" VISTA- I set the Sample in GR3 to 44.1 kHz. and it is now working. Although I experimented it before and I said there was 500ms latency. I am playing now for about 10 minutes using it, and nothing happened. Also not noticeable latency.

 

About the Fast playing and the earlier appearance of the glitch. i observed that at first, but as I noticed it appears when idle. That could not be a factor. So I removed it.

 

Well another conclusion. I am sure of it this time. There is range of samples in GR3 settings from 11.025 kHz up to 192 kHz.

 

The range that GR3 was giving sound at was from 11.025 till 96 kHz. As I go lower in samples, latency options was increasing. In 96 kHz the minimum input was 7 ms. With 11.025. On the other side, as I go lower with samples, the sound become more realistic and much better. The best of them as I said above 44.1 in case of latency but not sound. 11.025 kHz was actually better in mean of sound - actually very close like what was ASIO4ALL is - but latency is just killing me. Exactly 1 second. I pluck the string. Say "1", sound comes out. the Line in settings was "16 bit/192 kHz"

 

For now it is working on 44.1 kHz samples, but I don't know how much that will last.

 

I hope there is really light at the end of the tunnel. Even if tiny like a particle of a sand.

Thanks again. :)

 

PS : Along all these trials. GR3 was the only application producing sound out. There was no other applications operating along with it.

 

 

EDIT: Exactly, like what I thought. The glitch actually appeared, but after a long time. I was playing the song. For the first 6 minutes, every thing was fine. Then a glitch appeared for just 1~2 seconds and came back again after 3 mins. That is on 44100 samples. On 96000, it appears quickly now.

Actually every time, the glitch appears randomly. But on lower samples, the duration between each glitch increase for some reason I don't know it.

 

EDIT2: I left the guitar connected without playing. There was no output indicator nor input. Then it happened, I found the output indicator gave sound while the input didn't. I said may be the cable has a problem. But that doesn't happen with ASIO. It keeps muted whole the time,

 

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Well, I double posted for a reason. Not to edit again.

 

Ok. I didn't give up. But I become to feel uncomfortable. You are trying to help me so badly and thing don't wanna get fixed. I actually bothered you more than enough. So we can stop now. Probably if I fixed it some day. I may send you an e-mail on Audiophile here.

 

In the meantime, I apologize for all the time I've wasted for you. Probably that was gonna be better to benefit out of it instead of wasting it with a guy like me.

 

All thanks again. I don't know how to express that actually.

 

I hope to see you again, but not for a problem; FOR an advice from someone experienced like you :-)

 

Regards,

David

 

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