Monday, January 7, 2008

Recording with Vista

On Dec 21 my new computer arrived...a Dell Inspiron 531 (Athlon 64x2 5000+, 2GB RAM, 500GB hard drive), The operating system? Vista Home Premium! I decided I'd evetually have to make my peace with the new OS, so I went for sooner.

WELL, Adobe Audition can only be coaxed to work if you right click on the icon and choose "run as administrator". Otherwise, you're unable to save files. I can deal with that. What's REALLY strange is the way Vista deals with audio. My old HP system had a mute control. When I turned on my mic, I muted the speakers to avoid feedback. Well try to get feedback with Vista. It doesn't seem possible. First of all, when you plug in a board or mic preamp, NOTHING COMES OUT OF THE SPEAKERS UNLESS YOU'RE IN PLAYBACK. NOTHING! You can record, but NOTHING emerges from the speakers during recording.Then there's the record mixer in Vista. Actually there isn't (a recording mixer in Vista). Vista attempts to set levels on it's own. I can turn the input, and output on my mic preamp all the way down, and for most of the pots' travel Vista turns the level an aggressive AGC! But I still had to experiment before I found an input level that yielded clean audio. I CANNOT make Adobe Audition's meters reach 0dbfs, but I can sure as hell make the incoming audio sound distorted. WEIRD!

Update: A program from a small company called "Actual Solution" fixes Vista's mixer issues, by adding back all the control available in XP (and then some). "Power Mixer for Vista" is 18 bucks, and money well spent! My computer is stable now, no BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) in many days. I'm beginning to think I will actually be able to tolerate working on a Vista PC!

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