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Author Topic: Drivers for Win 8.1  (Read 924 times)

poupouye

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Drivers for Win 8.1
« on: October 25, 2013, 12:56:40 am »
Hi

will be an update provided for the new version of Win 8.1 or not necessary ?

Thanks

JP

Kevin

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 10:11:15 am »
We have not tried it for the moment but there should not be any problem.
Kevin
Soft Arturia

poupouye

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 11:46:52 pm »
Hi Kevin

have you still performed any test with Win 8.1 for my Spark ?

Regards

JP

ben arturia

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 10:17:53 am »
Hi poupouye,
No problem on 8.1 yet. Tested with cubase 7 and in standalone.
What's your favorite DAW.
.......testing.......

sethmc

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 10:15:19 am »
SparkLe works just fine on Windows 8.1. So does the new Sonar and Reason 8. Stock laptop, nothing special.

Rfaith

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2015, 06:55:57 pm »
SparkLe works just fine on Windows 8.1. So does the new Sonar and Reason 8. Stock laptop, nothing special.

That's quite an old thread you replied to there, but I would have said "in my experience" before giving SparkLE a green light even now. I'm hoping I will get to the bottom of my problems with it under W8.1, because in my experience it is not working at all well, and the problem is not with Spark2 but the controller, which almost never connects properly, and absolutely never after system boot - I always have to fiddle with settings, sometimes for hours before it either connects or I just give up because the music idea is long gone either way.

I (try) to use Sony Acid Pro 7 and Ableton 9 Lite together with an EMU 2x2 and a Focusrite 2i2 for the MIDI and audio respectively. The reason I use 2 DAWs (not at the same time) is due to having material in Acid that I still need to work on. The laptop is a bog standard Asus X75A (i3).

What I think is happening is that W8.1 is fiddling with the drivers on a regular basis even though I've disabled automatic update/configuration of drivers. Since I have been able to get it to work, I know it can work, it is just plain unreliable and the problems may be due to other components, but I ought to be able to use this setup without the connection problems I'm having.

I've not yet raised it with Arturia because I'm hoping I can figure it out, but it has been months now (I have other things to do as well!) with no sign of stability whatsoever. My personal feeling is that Arturia need to (software) engineer a rock-solid link to the controller to head off these problems without relying on MS drivers (I was a software engineer for many years), so my vote would be for a specific driver for the controller interface.

With Windows 10 around the corner, which I believe will need to be left open for updates unless we keep it offline, the chances of something changing in the system without our "permission" might raise the risks of something breaking without user intervention. The randomness of SparkLE in W8.1 (in my experience!) makes me wish I'd bought a 32-bit laptop with W7.

As it is, it is a week or two before I raise this as a support call, because it is getting crazy now.

daksha

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2015, 10:57:33 am »
Try changing usb ports. Could be a problem related to those.
I use Spark in Win 8.1 64bit everyday and it does not only run, but runs even better than with Win7 (there I had problems with menus for switching out ports) and also better than with OSX Maverics (the controller's leds sometime behaved crazy).
On Win 8.1 none of this bugs is annoying me.

Rfaith

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 12:37:36 pm »
Hi Daksha -

Just by chance I'm online when someone replies!

I read a remark elsewhere about moving USB connections and it does seem to make a difference, but it doesn't guarantee results on my system even though it improves my chances of getting the SparkLE, the Xmidi 2x2 and the Focusrite 2i2 to all play nice together. My laptop has 3 USB ports, 2 USB2 and one USB3 and one day the SparkLE will connect through one but the next day, it won't, so there always seems to be a certain amount of replugging the various devices to see what the lottery numbers are today (!).

It also seems that operation as a plugin is another randomising factor for the controller link stability. In Ableton 9 Live Lite it seems to go moderately well, but in Acid Pro 7 (a legacy thing) things are much harder to get working, and oftentimes running SparkLE standalone after I've run Acid seems to run into problems that Acid seems to leave behind, settings-wise.

I have read in a few places that Microsoft are backing away from MIDI in the sense that the ability to control MIDI settings within Windows is diminishing with each iteration; perhaps MS is recognising that manufacturers are the people who control these settings and they just need the basis for typical system setups for music consumers rather than music makers. The fact that we have to play hit & miss with USB ports suggests that Arturia need to consider keeping Microsoft out of the process drivers-wise!

One day I'm hopeful that I will be able to walk up to SparkLE and just use it, I can see the great potential there, it's just a bit frustrating to have all this barbed wire between me and nirvana.  ;D

Rfaith

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015, 07:34:20 pm »
After some more experimentation there definitely is some oddity with the driver setup and the USB ports.

With the 3 ports empty I can boot the machine and seldom if ever get the SparkLE to operate first time with Spark2, although it goes through the power-on diagnostic "thing", which is I assume what it is doing when the lights all flash in sequence. The controller may need to be swapped to another port several times before it works, sometimes even one I've already used. The problems really begin when I plug something else in, especially if it's the Focusrite 2i2, it almost always kills the controller dead, once in a long while I get it to work. The Focusrite 2i2 does not kill the EMU 2x2 if that is plugged in, although the EMU will occasionally kill the SparkLE controller in the same way as the Focusrite box. None of them are set up in Win8.1 as having exclusive use ("sound settings" in the "audio and printers" applet of the control panel) - so everything should be sharable. When the Focusrite 2i2 nukes the SparkLE controller, I often can't change the sampling rate of the 2i2 until I've chosen a different ASIO or even opted for Windows sound or Directsound before switching back to ASIO.

At least I feel as though I'm inching towards knowing enough to make some progress, but it's frustrating that I just can't switch on knowing that the system will work, and get to making music.

I'm baffled as to why the SparkLE controller is listed in device manager as a USB Composite Device when surely it just performs one function - it'd be irritating if a bogus composite device driver was loaded which was a/ unnecessary and b/ the reason the controller is flaky due to conflicts with other composite devices.

Rfaith

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Re: Drivers for Win 8.1
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 10:12:10 am »
A little more progress.

Using device manager under W8.1 (Classic Shell installed) I looked at Sound Devices in Device Manager and when I set the option to "Show hidden devices" saw that there were several entries for the Focusrite 2i2 (one active, two hidden/disconnected) and five (!) for the SparkLE interface (four hidden, one active). I deleted all the hidden devices.

I thought this would resolve the problem, but it hasn't. However...

When I started the Spark2 software neither the controller nor the Focusrite 2i2 were working, the SparkLE controller was unable to connect and the Focusrite was silent even when running its self-test.

I forced the Focusrite to refresh its setup by switching to Windows Audio and back to ASIO drivers, choosing the Focusrite drivers rather than ASIO4ALL. Did the self-check test tone and it sounded. Then tried connecting the SparkLE controller to Spark2 (all the USB connections had remained plugged in throughout - SparkLE, Focusrite 2i2 and EMU 2x2) and it connected immediately.

I expect that this configuration still won't be stable. The Focusrite 2i2 and SparkLE almost certainly have a conflict at driver level that can only be resolved by either using separate drivers (some drivers installed are common Windows ones, drmk.sys, ksthunk.sys, and portcls.sys loaded for each device) or by making either or both of the devices change their settings until it works. Obviously constantly unplugging and replugging USB to do the same thing is a bad idea (wear on the connectors over time), so for now I will have to experiment with settings each time I come to the computer - annoying when it isn't the core of my setup, hardware is.

The existence of phantom "hidden" devices for both these USB peripherals is weird (the EMU 2x2 had none) and may shed some light on what Windows is doing with each of these when they're connected. Hopefully this info might interest Arturia and perhaps help other people if they use both the SparkLE and Focusrite 2i2.

Ciao for now.

 

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