Monday, May 31, 2010

the sad story of Mandir mixers

After the Yamaha AW4416 went for repairs and came back in the same state, it was the turn of the Tascam TM-D4000 to give problems. Then I shifted to lower-tech - an old Studiomaster Diamond Pro. The Yamaha had Midi working, so I tried to use it in Mandir. Reaper had a good solution for the "PFL" problem with soft-mixers - Cubase 4 LE only had solo, which was going into the main mix also, and Nuendo 3.0.2 did not have the "Listen" button assignable to a MIDI controller. With Reaper, I could make a custom action to mute the monitor tracks, and the monitor tracks were being sent feeds from the main mix tracks. The main mix goes to main out, monitor mix goes to monitor out as a folder. So far so good. But then, once everything was set up, the Yamaha just died. Not powering up at all. Researched and found the Tascam TM-D4000 is capable of acting as a midi controller for faders alone. But it would not physically fit into the current rack! So now I'm looking for a low cost (used?) midi controller, preferably with 16 faders and buttons like the Peavey 1600x or the Korg Nanokontrol. And of course, my flash drive also failed...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

death of a USB flash drive

The Transcend JF220 finally gave up the ghost. After all, it was being used every day. Putting it in Linux or Windows showed an unpartitioned free space. I suppose the partition table got wiped. Tried Recuva as the first step. It could not read. Then tried formatting. Windows complained that it was write-protected - 'Windows was unable to complete the format' and 'The drive cannot be formatted'. Tried various tips for getting over that by registry edits. Did not work. Tried formatting in Linux, gparted complained that it could not write the disk label. Tried wiping the first and last bytes as in the script at by doing
sfdisk -s
manually and then using that number in
off_t=`sfdisk -s $1`
(( off_t = off_t - 1024 ))

echo "Zap the first megabyte of the device."
echoeval "dd if=/dev/zero of=$1 bs=1k count=1024"
echo "Zap the last megabyte of the device."
echoeval "dd if=/dev/zero of=$1 bs=1k count=1024 seek=$off_t"
Still no go - the dd took a long time and then said completed, but apparently it was failing. Tried Transcend's own repartition tool from, that also failed. Concluding that it was a hardware failure.

Friday, May 07, 2010

streaming over GPRS

RK had complained about buffering in the stream while listening with GPRS. He was using Virtual Radio on an LG Viewty. Tried with TCPMP on my phone with buffer settings as shown.

It played for 5 minutes or so after buffering for half a minute. Then buffered for 3 minutes and played for 7 minutes. So, clearly, network is not fast enough. Downloaded a file from - 5.5 minute file, 976 kB, came through in six minutes. So, I'm getting a throughput of slightly under 24 kbps.... If I remember correctly, I got double that at Bangalore, downloading google maps on the mobile, 1.28 MB, in 3 minutes. Both RK and I are using Airtel, by the way. Airtel customer care tells me that they do not have EDGE anywhere in AP. Bangalore is clearly on EDGE.