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Lanes Audio Posts

My Dell audio dilemma possibly solved

November 25, 2017 • Derek

For the last month, I have owned and enjoyed a refurbished Dell E7240 ultrabook. One of the cooler aspects of this machine is that the battery, ram, and harddrive can easily be replaced. The only disadvantage of this computer is that, like many similar Dell computers, the default audio configuration is hideous!

Take a loud obnoxious FM station, tune the radio off frequency a bit, and, short of the noise, you have the actual result of the waves max technology. The internal speakers actually sound ok…ish, but said processed audio through headphones is intolerable; not just to me, but to many others who wish to completely disable all of the “enhancements” as well.

The solution to making the audio as nice as the rest of the machine is to go in to the Dell audio control panel, and disable speaker and microphone enhancements. Two little check boxes, one big difference!
The problem is that you can’t use any screen access software to perform this deceptively simple task. Furthermore, Uninstalling the dell drivers results in 1 of 2 problems with both of the generic realtek drivers I found. One allows the speakers to work, but not the headphones, and the other gives you the opposite problem! Needless to say, installing a different driver when ever I want to switch between them will not be the thing that happens! The most reliable fix, so it seemed, was to get a friend to remote in to the machine, and uncheck the two little inaccessible boxes.

All was well until the latest windows update. Something reset the audio to it’s defaults, so obviously the “waves max” processing is, in my opinion, as stubborn as it is stupid. Uninstalling, then reinstalling the driver that I had downloaded before the windows update didn’t bring back my old settings. At least I learned from that failed experiment that this process doesn’t leave any rogue files or registry entries behind. This observation made me curious…

I asked around, and was told about regshot. This application takes two snapshots of the registry. The first is to be taken before you make a change to a system, and the second is to be taken afterward. Any number of things can be done with the results, including writing the differences to a text file, which I did. The comparison presented several changes, but I’m going to make a few assumptions and explanations about what was revealed.

  • The text file created by regshot refers to “HKLM\SOFTWARE” but that path does not exist anywhere, so I’m guessing that the keys are actually located in “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE.”
  • There are no applications or services which are referenced in all of the data added/changed, which leads me to believe that it may be possible to delete “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Waves Audio.”
  • If you were to take that risk then restart the computer, you may either be presented with no audio, processed audio with the inability to actually do anything about it, or nicely unprocessed audio.

Of course, the best thing to do before trying anything would be to export something before you play with/delete it. However, possibly for your convenience, I’ve exported the realtek and waves keys, as well as included the text file generated by regshot, which you can download. This way, if you want to make your own conclusions, or modify them in any way, you can. If I’m wrong about any of this, or you have speculations of your own that may be of use, comment on this post, or join the discussion my original post of this created on twitter.

Several have responded with very helpful solutions, which were much simpler, and effective for them. I just wasn’t that lucky, but you may be.

Categories: Uncategorized • Tags: , ,

Announcing the Behringer X32 WhatsApp group

October 25, 2017 • Derek

The Behringer X32 line of mixers are, in the words of Hugh Robjohns, “products that look set to completely overturn the market for budget digital mixing consoles.” In my opinion, they have been successful. Not only are they used by many theaters, churches, and small studios, but have also been used by several well-known bands, as discussed by this forum post. One thing which has not been
publicized anywhere is the fact that Behringer unknowingly made several UI decisions which rendered the x32 mixers accessible to blind users

  • Dedicated View buttons exist for each feature, so you can jump to specific parts of the software
  • None of the menus rap! So if you have 10 options in a menu, and you scroll to option 10, scrolling one more time does not rap you back to option 1.
  • The X32 software has a home screen, and a home button to get there. This is another nice way to keep from getting lost.
  • Although its a bit clunky, the Ipad app is accessible with VoiceOver.
  • Open standards are used to control the x32.
  • If you leave a screen, go somewhere else, then go back to your previous screen, you are returned to the exact point from which you left
  • If you power-cycle the board, it will still contain all settings as you left them, but each view button will take you to page 1 of its function.

Another thing which makes the x32 accessible and easy to use is its very well-written, though slightly out-of-date, documentation. Therein lies the problem. Most of the information is relevant, but the setup, scenes, eq and library screens have changed dramatically in the 3 years sense the manual was updated.

In order to both give and receive assistance with the orientation and use of the x32, in a way which I personally find both convenient and easy to archive, I have started The X32 Crew Whatsapp Group. The idea is that any one can join and share what they know about the x32, and get help when they need it. If/when any material is generated from this group in a published form, I’ll edit this post and link to it.

Categories: Behringer x32 • Tags: ,

Hello world, here I am.

October 11, 2017 • Derek

Welcome to the informal and slightly personal part of [The Lanes Audio web site.][1] This is the place where I will be posting anything I find interesting, amusing, useful, etc. in hopes you will enjoy them. As I have hobbies relating to the primary purpose of this site, they can be discussed here as well over the coming weeks/months. Plus, it will give me incentive to keep this blog up to date, and give you reasons to check back from time to time. Granted, that’s the theory anyway. The truth is that I’m rather bad when it comes to writing. Posting audio, sure, but writing… not so much. I have ideas though, but I want them to be something you will be able to enjoy or use.

As a blind audio engineer, I’m naturally inclined to focus on the audio, but I understand, and appreciate the need for video in a lot of cases. Sights like The reaper blog and the recording revolution are perfect examples of the kinds of presentations that I’m talking about. We shall see what happens though.

Categories: Uncategorized