Info for Sticknick-Soundmax and AC97 chipsets

issues-with Cakewalk aswell

I posted this here in case it got lost in the other thread
Here is some quotes off a cakewalk forum about the Sound Max chipset, and reference also to AC97. Thought this may interest you. Leads me to think if you manually diable this audio device recording, playback, midi the works and then install nTrack it may work.

- We have had to answer so many questions regarding this card, and in the process defend Music Creator [not our job] that I thought it was time to get some of this research in one place.

If you are an owner of a SoundMAX Digital Audio soundcard you are probably having problems. There are a lot of them out there. We do not have many solutions to your problems, but here is information that may help you understand the situation.

Your SoundMax, for all intents and purposes, is audio only and NOT able to do MIDI without some changes.
As a matter of fact after a bit of research I find that in most cases even SoundMax agrees. “MIDI music playback” only.…iojacks
33 Why doesn’t my MIDI port work?
Musicians sometimes use the MIDI port connector on some computers to connect to an external musical instrument. SoundMAX does not support the MIDI port of computers.
In many cases, because the MIDI synthesizer runs on the computer’s main processor, there can be a short delay between when a MIDI instrument (that is connected to the computer) plays a note and when that note plays out the speakers.
On some computers, SoundMAX includes a MIDI synthesizer (which simulates musical instruments) which can play MIDI files. Some games and web pages create audio sounds using the MIDI synthesizer.

The key here is that the SoundMax allows playback of MIDI files featuring what they call “Down Loadable Sounds” Realize this is MIDI Music Synthesis via software instead of hardware.

I do not know how SoundMax implements their MIDI synthesis. I only know of one way to get some MIDI sound out of a chip that only shows MIDI Mapper [which as you may already know will never play MIDI]. You will have to use a Soft Synth.
See how with Robomusic’s Tutorial on Soft Synths here

If you want to play YOUR keyboard, the problem to be solved is how to connect the (music) keyboard to your computer, given that there are no existing MIDI cable connections via joystick port, etc.

Does your computer have a USB port available? You can buy hardware that acts as an interface to the MIDI keyboard, and plugs into the USB port. I haven’t tried one, but I am told that they work just fine. [USB 2.0 at least]

Other sound cards will work also. [Don’t ask me as I don’t know and don’t use or own a SoundMax.]

Audio Problems also seem to plague this card, perhaps because many of them are implemented in Half-Duplex Mode – Music Creator requires Full-Duplex.

If you search the forum and suggestions like What You Hear and Input Monitoring don’t work there is most likely a problem or conflict with your sound chip. It is not a sound card, but a chip attached to the motherboard.

I suggest that if a SoundMax owner is still unconvinced that they contact SoundMax tech support directly.
and find out why their chip causes so many problems with Cakewalk products. They will probably blame Cakewalk – but this one isn’t Twelve Tones’ fault. They will also probably refer you to your computer manufacturer – as each manufacturer can implement the SoundMax in different ways. They do provide links to all the computer companies that use their chip
But in the end it’s the Tech Support world – too many keep blaming someone else, until eventually it’s all Bill Gates’ fault.

It does amaze me that people will blame Cakewalk when hundreds of thousands of people have no problem with their hardware. The prime variable is the sound card/ chip, and when problems consistently fall on a particular group of cards/ chips, and can’t be solved, it is unfair to blame Cakewalk. I have been very critical of Cakewalk when they deserve it [i.e. Documentation] and I admit that there can be software problems; however, how does it make sense to blame Cakewalk for a hardware problem? Especially when dealing with sound chips where the manufacturer doesn’t even use hardware drivers that can be updated when problems arise.

The SoundMax is a variation of the AC97 onboard sound chip, a notoriously problem plagued device. It is not always the cause of your problem, but I believe it IS more often than we would like to see. I regret that most computer makers, at least the ones that sell a lot, are using this chip. It works fine for gamers, but people like you, who only want to make music are ignored.

Sorry to say, that owners of SoundMax and AC97 onboard sound devices would save themselves a lot of frustration by simply purchasing an add-on sound card.

Someone wondered why I hate these onboard sound suckers. It’s because it is you and I who have to pay - and we deserve more for our money!

< Message edited by millerbill – 1/27/2006 4:13:42 PM >