Guitar FX BOX - FAQ and TROUBLESHOOTING
- I get error: "Cannot open audio input device" or "Cannot open audio output device" or "DirectSound device already allocated"
Sound device is in use by another application. Close this application and try again.
Check that you specified correct devices in the Setup dialog. Do not use 'Game compatible' , 'Voice modem' or similar devices. Use WDM streaming devices if possible.
Try using different sample rate or turn on/off stereo option. Some cards support only specific formats (sample rate, stereo/mono).
Try using ASIO interface. If your sound card/drivers does not support ASIO natively, you can try free ASIO4ALL driver. You can find it on the net.
Obtain and install the latest drivers for your sound card.
- Program works (no error displayed) but no sound is produced
didn't select correct recording input (LINE/MIC). To check this, in
win9x/Me/2k/XP open up audio mixer (Windows Volume Controls) by
double clicking on the speaker icon in the tray bar or using 'open'
button in the Guitar FX BOX setup dialog. Click Options/Properties
and select Recording. Now you should see recording controls
panel. Click Select button to select desired port. Use corresponding
slider to adjust volume.
In windows Vista/7 right click tray speaker icon and choose Recording Devices. Right click anywhere in the devices list and make sure Show Disabled Devices option is checked. You should now see all available inputs. Right click on desired input and choose Set as Default Device. If that input port is disabled(grayed), first right click on it and choose Enable. Now double click the port and click Levels tab. Adjust Volume slider, click OK. After this is done CLOSE this dialog box before trying sound processing (may not be needed if you use WDM or ASIO). If you enabled/disabled ports restart Guitar FX BOX.
Warning: In windows Vista/7, if you use other inputs through wave devices in Guitar FX BOX or other applications, windows may change the default input device, so you will need to reassign it as described above.
Go to Setup dialog and check what is selected for input and output device
- I hear doubled sound - clean guitar and effect processed signal
Clean guitar you hear is direct sound card hardware
"bypass" from input to output. To disable this go to your Windows
Volume Controls and mute LineIn and MIC
inputs in the playback section. In windows Vista right click
tray speaker icon and choose Playback Devices. Double click
Speakers (device name) item, and choose Levels
tab. You should now see all available output ports controls. Locate desired
port (Line-In/Microphone) and click on speaker icon to mute/unmute port.
You should mute all ports that are not in use to minimize output noise.
- I hear only clean guitar - there is no change in sound when I start the program
- Constant or occasionally clips and gaps or just buzzy noise in produced sound
Go to setup dialog and select devices marked with "WDM streaming" if they are available.
Your system configuration(CPU speed + sound card + driver) is too slow for selected max I/O delay value. Go to setup screen and, increase this value until you get clean sound. Also try turning off some of the effects and/or lowering sample rate.
Switch to ASIO interface if your drivers support it.
Try using compatibility modes in setup->advanced options.
You may have another CPU time consuming application working in the background. Close all other applications and try again. Some resident programs constantly working in the background can also cause problems. These programs (antivirus, net and system monitoring tools etc.), are installed in the tray bar. Try removing one by one to see which one is causing troubles.
If you have more than one sound card, avoid using input from one, and output to another sound card. This is because different sound cards can have significant drift in sample rate.
Some sound cards support only one sample rate natively ( usually 48kHz) and other sample rates are emulated by software resampling. So, try using 48kHz and see if problems are gone.
- When I try to play along with some MIDI/MP3 tune I get skipping and glitches in the sound
MIDI/Mp3 players are generally low CPU consuming applications so it should work fine. However, some MIDI sequencers/players use more of valuable CPU time so, try playing your tune with standard Windows Media Player.
Use only real hardware MIDI devices. Avoid using software midi synthesizer devices as these can be very CPU time consuming. If your sound card is mixing some extra MIDI voices in software see sound card documentation for info how to disable this feature or reduce number of software voices.
Disable player visualizations or anything similar that uses CPU.
- What cable and connector do I need to connect my guitar to a PC?
You can use your existing, standard guitar cable. Guitar cables usually have 6mm, 1/4" (big) cord and sound card inputs are 3.5mm(1/8"). So, you need simple convertor 6mm->3.5mm. You can buy these in any music equipment store for 1-2$. You can also run guitar trough a pedal, preamp or similar device. In this case you should connect this device to LINE IN input of your sound card. Be careful about pedal output volume to avoid signal clipping or damaging your sound card. See Connecting Guitar to PC in the Guitar FX BOX help file.
- I get considerable in/out latency
The difference in time you pick a string and time that the note is actually heard on your speakers is called i/o latency(delay). With PC's and software real-time signal processing, total i/o latency consists of: input latency, CPU time needed for processing and output latency. Therefore, total in/out Latency is determined by your system (CPU speed + sound hardware + sound driver). You can control latency in Guitar FX BOX, but if you set it lower then your system can handle, you'll get clipping and poping.
WDM based and/or ASIO drivers willl, by the rule, provide the best results (extremely low latency!). In setup screen, use devices marked with "WDM streaming" or switch to ASIO if supported by drivers.
Some soundcards (mostly on laptop computers) implement software noise reduction for microphone input. This may lead to much increased latency, so check you mixer application and try turning this off.
Anyway, if you haven't updated sound drivers for quite a time - do it. This may drastically improve performance of your audio card.
- Is there a way to use FXBOX from within a sequencer software like Cubase, Cakewalk?
Yes, from version 2.8, VST plugin is included so that you can use FX BOX from any program that supports VST plugins. If the host supports realtime applying effects, you can use this feature for live recording of processed signal. Other hosts support only applying effects on recorded tracks.
- There is a problem with VST plugin
With version 2.8 of fxbox software, on some systems and with some host applications, there was a problem with initialization of VST plugin. There was a fix available (updated plugin vxbvst), but as update to new version is free (for registered users of v2.8), use the latest version of the software to overcome these problems.
Legacy (Win 9x/Me) FAQ:
- Program displays some warnings or errors about DirectSound driver
You don't have DirectSound compatible driver for your sound card installed in the system.
Make sure that Microsoft DirectX 8 or higher is installed. Run "Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> SystemTools -> System information". Then, from menu choose "Tools\DirectX Diagnostic Tool".
DirectSound driver does not support selected sound format (stereo/mono), or does not support 16bit sound buffers. Contact your sound card manufacturer to obtain new driver version.
Some sound cards (drivers) introduces problem with full duplex operation when DirectSound is used for output. These cards report an error if input is open before output, or the opposite way. Try to turn on/off alt duplex mode option in setup dialog.
- Switch to WDM based drivers (they run on Win98/Me/2k/XP/Vista/7). Then, in setup screen, new devices marked "WDM streaming" will appear. Select those and Guitar FX BOX won't use DirectSound any more for realtime processing.
- What are the differences between VxD DirectSound drivers and WDM based drivers?
VxD drivers can run on Win9x/Me only, and this is THE ONLY native (fastest) DirectSound support.
WDM drivers can run on Win98/Me/2k/XP/7 and they feature a new way of accessing sound card - kernel streaming (WDM streaming). This method enables extremely low latency. But, WDM drivers EMULATE DirectSound functionality so much bigger latency (+30ms or more) is introduced when applications use DirectSound through these drivers.
Guitar FX BOX works good with both solutions, if the drivers are good. So, with Win98/Me you can try both and see which drivers for your sound card works best.