audio kontrol 1 - Native Instruments

audio kontrol 1 - Native Instruments
The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does
not represent a commitment on the part of NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH. The
software described by this document is subject to a License Agreement and may not
be copied to other media. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or
otherwise transmitted or recorded, for any purpose, without prior written permission
by NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH, hereinafter referred to as NATIVE INSTRUMENTS.
All product and company names are trademarks of their respective owners.
Furthermore, the fact that you are reading this text means you are the owner of
legal version rather than an illegal, pirated copy. It is only through the loyalty and
honesty of people like yourself that NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH can continue
to develop and create innovative audio software. On behalf of the entire company,
thank you very much.
This document has been provided by the Native Instruments Technical Support
department. If you have further questions or remarks related to this guide, please
contact Technical Support under
© Native Instruments GmbH, 2007. All rights reserved.
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[email protected]
This Guide contains troubleshooting information that will help you to fix or
avoid common problems with the AUDIO KONTROL 1.
Whenever you encounter problems with the AUDIO KONTROL 1 the first thing
to do is to make sure that you have installed the latest update.
Updates are released regularly to fix known problems and to constantly improve the product.
AUDIO KONTROL 1 – 1.0 Minimum Requirements for the AUDIO KONTROL 1
Please make sure that your system fulfils the following minimum requirements
for our hardware devices, since otherwise the AUDIO KONTROL 1 might not
be able to run at all. Very important is that your computer is equipped with
an USB 2.0 port.
Win XP, Pentium / Athlon 1.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM Windows systems must have Service Pack 2 installed.
USB 2.0 Interface
Mac OSX 10.4.x, G4 1.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM
USB 2.0 Interface
USB 2.0 port
A USB 2.0 port is required for the AUDIO KONTROL 1. If your
AUDIO KONTROL 1 is not properly recognized on your system, it may be
because your computer does not have USB 2.0 ports available.
To determine if your PC has USB 2.0 ports, go to Start>Run and type ‘devmgmt.msc’ to go to the Device Manager, then look down to the section labelled
‘USB’ to see the list of all USB ports on your machine.
If your computer has one or more USB 2.0 ports, you will see ‘USB Enhanced
Host Controller’ listed here. If you do not see at least one ENHANCED Host
Controller listed here, then your PC does not have USB 2.0.
On a Macintosh you can find the same information by using the System
Profiler utility, which can be found in Applications>Utilities. Open the System
Profiler and go to Hardware>USB. Here you will see the list of USB hubs. If
your computer has one or more USB 2.0 ports, you will see ‘USB High-Speed
Bus’ here.
If your computer does not have a USB 2.0 port available, you may be able to get
a USB 2.0 expansion card that will enable you to use the AUDIO KONTROL 1
on your system. For a desktop computer, any USB 2.0 card should work. For a
laptop, you will need to get a Cardbus USB 2.0 card that has its own external
power supply in order to supply sufficient power to the AUDIO KONTROL 1.
AUDIO KONTROL 1 – 2 How to check if the driver is installed correctly?
On PC in the Windows Start Menu there should be a new entry called
“NATIVE INSTRUMENTS AUDIO KONTROL 1 Driver”. There you will find
the helper applications “Audio Statistics” and “Control Panel”. Make sure that
the AUDIO KONTROL 1is connected to the computer and open the Control
Panel. If all the drop-down menus are greyed out (i.e., there are no presets
in the preset drop-down list, no sample rate and bit rate values) there must
be something wrong with the connection. If the “NATIVE INSTRUMENTS
AUDIO KONTROL 1 Driver”entry in the Start Menu is missing, the driver is
most probably not installed at all.
Control Panel PC – AUDIO KONTROL 1 NOT connected
Control Panel PC – AUDIO KONTROL 1 connected
On a Mac, look into the System Preferences for the NATIVE INSTRUMENTS
USB Audio Control Panel icon. Open this control panel to see if the device is
found. If no device is found the Control Panel values will appear greyed out.
If the NATIVE INSTRUMENTS USB Audio Control Panel icon is missing here,
the driver is probably not installed at all.
If the AUDIO KONTROL 1 is not recognized, here are a few things you should
2.1 USB 2.0 required
The AUDIO KONTROL 1 is a USB 2.0 interface and will not work at all on a
USB 1.0/1.1 port.
In addition, although the minimum power specified for a USB 2.0 port is
500 mA, we have seen a few cases where the USB 2.0 ports on a particular
computer do not fulfil the minimum requirements and therefore do not meet
the official USB 2.0 specification. In this case you may see a message saying
that there is not enough power available to operate your device.
In this case the AUDIO KONTROL 1 might produce crackles or might not
even work at all.
AUDIO KONTROL 1 – 2.1.1 Disable USB energy saving mode (PC only)
It is recommended to disable power management to the USB hubs if you
are on a Windows machine, to assure that the AUDIO KONTROL 1 receive
enough power to work properly. XP turns this on by default. Go to device
manager (Control Panel/system/hardware) and right click a USB hub to bring
up properties. On the power management page, uncheck all boxes. Repeat
for each hub and reboot.
2.1.2 Using a powered USB 2.0 hub
It is best to connect the AUDIO KONTROL 1 directly to a USB 2.0 port on
your computer. However, in certain situations a powered USB hub can also
be a solution if you are having problems connecting your device to an onboard
USB port, especially if your USB 2 port does not meet the official USB 2.0
requirements as explained in paragraph 1.6. Furthermore you should avoid
connecting other devices to the hub if you can as they will take away from
the total amount of power available.
2.1.3 Tryout all USB ports
Even though your computer is equipped with USB 2.0, some ports might still
be USB 1.0, so if you have problems connecting your Hardware to the computer, please tryout different ports on your computer as not all might supply
sufficient power to the device.
Furthermore, some ports might work better than others, due to differences in
the internal connection. Some ports are placed on the mainboard, while others
are connected to the mainboard via a cable. This internal connection might be
a problem source as incorrect wiring or power loss might occur. Ports on the
rear of the computer might work better than ports that are placed on the front
side, as the ones on the front mostly are connected via an internal cable.
2.1.4 Try another USB cable
A bad USB cable can be responsible for audio dropouts and other connectivity problems. It is highly recommended that you try using a different cable if
you are experiencing difficulties; make sure to use a cable bearing the official
USB logo.
Cable with USB icon
Make sure your cable does not exceed the length of five meters; the maximum recommended size is three meters and it is not recommended to use
an extension cable.
AUDIO KONTROL 1 – 3 AUDIO KONTROL 1 running on Notebooks
In general it is not recommended to use Notebooks with shared-memory
graphic cards. A shared-memory graphic card accesses to the same memory
as the CPU. Other Graphic Cards have their own memory, so that the main
memory is reserved to the processing of audio. You want memory and processing power available for your audio project. Other names for the same issue
are TurboCaching or Hypermemory.
3.1 Notebook Check (PC only)
It is not recommended to run a notebook on battery, as the clock rate of the
CPU might be slowed down by the computer.
It is worthwhile to check if your notebook is suited to handle real-time audio
processing without occurrence of drop-outs. Drop-outs might be brought on
by certain components of your computer. Please download a tool that scans
your computer regarding suitability for audio processing here:
There is no software installation required, just launch the tool after downloading.
With all external devices disconnected the tool will report if your notebook
can handle real-time audio-streaming without drop-outs or if there might be
components that disturb a smooth processing.
In case your Computer might not be able to handle glitch free audio processing, the tool will show you red latency bars and report you so in the box on
the bottom. Run it with both settings – AUDIO KONTROL 1 connected and
disconnected - to find out about your computers capacities.
In case you get red bars, there are workarounds that might help you adjusting
your computer for audio purposes.
3.1.1 Disable Devices (PC only)
Notebooks often are equipped with built-in devices that disturb audio processing. An example is a WLAN card. In case you experience serious drop-outs,
you might need to disable these devices.
To do so, please go to the device manager (Start>Run and type ‘devmgmt.
msc’). You can disable a device, let’s say the network adapter, by clicking on
network-adapter, and then double click on the device to bring up the properties dialog. On the bottom of this pane you can disable the device via the
Sroll-Down menu. Please deactivate it and hit “OK”. You should see a red
cross over the device, which means that it is deactivated.
Common built-in devices are: network adapter, WLAN cards, bluetooth ports,
infrared ports, printer ports etc. Try to disable the network adapter and WLAN
card first, as they are the most common devices causing problems in audio
processing. Make sure that you don not disable devices that are indispensable
for your notebook to work properly. Here is a list of devices that you should not
deactivate: System timer, Keyboard, System CMOS/real time clock, Microsoft
ACPI-Compliant System, Numeric data processor, Primary IDE Channel,
Secondary IDE Channel, Graphics Controller, Ultra ATA Storage Controllers.
3.2 Adjustments on MAC
3.2.1 Energy Saver
Under the Options tab you will find a section called processor performance.
Select Highest from the list. Under the Sleep tab set all sliders to never.
Uncheck put hard disk to sleep when possible. For PowerBook/iBook owners:
Set Processor usage to maximum.
Set the processor power to maximum for AC and Battery usage. (System
preferences/ Energy saving). This option is available only on PowerBooks and
3.2.2 Turn off devices
If you have a wireless card (“Airport”) installed and Bluetooth running turn them
off while you are using the NATIVE INSTRUMENTS Hardware (you can turn
this off in the top OSX menu bar). Disconnect additional hardware (printers,
scanners etc.). Please turn off “Apple Talk” (OS X System Prefs>Network).
4. Connection of the AUDIO KONTROL 1 to equipment
Regardless how you connect the AUDIO KONTROL 1 to the mixer, amplifiers
or active speakers, make sure that you turn on these devices at last. When
you boot your computer and you turn on/connect your audio device there
might be glitches transmitted via the outputs of the card. If you turn on the
amplifier at last, these glitches will not be transmitted, which conserves your
speakers. It is the other way around, when turning off your equipment. First
turn off the amplifier, mixer or speakers.
Use balanced cables
Always use balanced audio cables if possible to connect the AUDIO KONTROL 1
to your mixer/speakers. If your mixer provides both unbalanced and balanced
inputs, avoid using the unbalanced inputs if you can. This might prevent
ground loops from occurring.
4.1 Ground Loops
Ground loops are a common problem within any environment where multiple
electrical devices are connected to the same power circuit. In complex setups
the cause of the noise can be difficult to find. Ground loops are perceived
usually as a hum or buzz in your audio signal, but this can also transmit and
amplify other sounds from the devices connected to the circuit. For example,
one very common problem is that you hear internal clicking sounds created
by your computer.
The cause of the noise is usually the computer and its internal devices, or
devices connected to the computer like external hard drives. (Note that even
if the power supply of your laptop computer is not connected, your setup
may still be vulnerable to ground noise from an external device with its own
power supply.) The cause can also be any other device (such as a television)
connected to the same mixer.
The reason why this noise is present at the monitor speakers input has to
do with a loop in the setup of electrical and audio cable connections in your
studio. Most likely this loop occurs through the ground of one or more of
these cables. With this in mind, the following points should help to eliminate
the ground loop:
Try to eliminate the loop
Assuming that you have connected the NATIVE INSTRUMENTS Device to
a mixer, a first troubleshooting step is to disconnect all devices from your
mixer which you are not currently using. This applies also to other peripheral
devices you may have connected to your computer (external data storage,
CD burners).
Break the loop (if necessary) with a DI box
If you cannot fix the ground noise problem by disconnecting equipment and
using balanced cables, you still have the possibility of using a DI (direct input)
box between the NATIVE INSTRUMENTS Device outputs and the mixer inputs.
(This is the same kind of box that is used to connect a line-level instrument
like a guitar). Most of these boxes have a ground lift switch on them, this can
be used to break the ground loop and eliminate the noise.
A DI box is especially recommended if your mixer has unbalanced inputs
In case of further questions please visit the Native Instruments Knowledge
Base on our website:
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