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Author Topic: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?  (Read 3629 times)

biggy

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Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:37:20 pm »
I bought a SparkLE today, tempted by the reduced price and Spark 2 promo. I'd previously used Spark VDM as a plug-in. However, my first attempts to use it have been plagued with problems, and I'm wondering if the SparkLE/Spark 2.0 combo is really ready for serious work.

First, after plugging in the SparkLE, direct to a USB socket on my Mac (i7 MBP, OS10.9.2), the unit was not recognised, although front panel LEDs were lit. It didn't show up in Audio MIDI Setup, and standalone Spark 2.0 failed to connect. I tried restarts, different USB sockets, unplugging other USB gear, re plugging the SparkLE. No luck. Then randomly, about 20 minutes later, it started working. It has since not stopped working.

In Audio MIDI Setup the SparkLE appears as a generic 'USB MIDI Device' - not a problem, but I was surprised it wasn't descriptively named.

Thinking I'd check I had latest firmware, I opened the recent MIDI Control Center 1.1 - SparkLE appears but Firmware Revision is 'unknown' and any attempts to Sync give a 'Failed to open the device' error, and no communication seems possible, in either Spark or MIDI modes.

Worst of all, running Spark 2.0 in Presonus Studio One Pro 2.6.2, there is a bizarre and colossal lag in the GUI. Actions on the SparkLE can take place 10 or 15 seconds (!!) later in the plug-in. It's not usable.

As it stands I think I have to look at abandoning this promising product and trying to return it to the retailer. I have registered the software though so anticipate further hassle with that. But is there any prospect of the situation improving? I would *like* it to work!

Thanks - R

Kosmology

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 09:55:12 pm »
I would submit a support ticket, can you try it on a different computer?

Mr. Roboto

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 11:53:12 pm »
Yes, Spark LE very often gets not recognized immediatly. I have to press the according button two or three times. Even if the hardware has been recognized in a previous session on the computer.

Regarding the lag: OMG! Sometimes I have to wait nearly half a minute (!) before anything happens. Unbelievable!!
Less talk, more action!

Kosmology

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 12:00:30 am »
I'm not experiencing any lag but I'm sure I saw that it is a known issue.

Are you on OSX too Roboto?

Mr. Roboto

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 12:35:16 am »
No, I'm on Win7, 64-bit.
The lag I mentioned is mostly related to any "load" actions.
The library browser is also a problem as it can take 15 seconds to jump to the next entry.
Less talk, more action!

Kosmology

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 01:09:29 am »
Do you get the lag if the SparkLE is disconnected?

I have a CDM (not sparkLE) and just tried in Cubase loading projects with the jogwheel and the mouse and it worked as expected. I grabbed it so you can see if I did it the same way
http://www.screencast.com/t/Z7NyITql

Would be worth doing a vid grab of it happening if you can and sending it to the team, although if there is a release out tomorrow it might fix the OSX lag and hopefully fix yours too if it's the same issue.

Mr. Roboto

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 01:55:03 am »
I was talking about using the Spark LE controller. Using the software only without the controller I do not have these issues as I can go directly to the bank/patch/instrument I want. It seems that with the controller the software goes through all the patches/banks/etc. and is trying to load it or whatever (in case of instruments: even when autoplay is off).
Less talk, more action!

stuey

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 04:44:15 pm »
I think basically it's not ready, it should really if the truth be known, still be beta.

It's the whole way that the jog wheel works, or doesn't as the case may be. The software is fine, that works as aspected but the wheel usage from the controller is very hit and miss. Sometimes it loads kits, Instruments and projects when just rotting the wheel. Other times it will miss loading and load later. I think this is probably what you ran by lag?

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stuey

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 04:45:25 pm »
I was talking about using the Spark LE controller. Using the software only without the controller I do not have these issues as I can go directly to the bank/patch/instrument I want. It seems that with the controller the software goes through all the patches/banks/etc. and is trying to load it or whatever (in case of instruments: even when autoplay is off).

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CC4

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 08:25:28 pm »
I don't experience any lag with the SparkLE unit on Windows 8 64-bit with 8GB of RAM.  If it helps any, the current version of the Unified MIDI Control Center should be version 1.1.0 from 3-19-14.  My firmware is 1.0.0.3.

biggy

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2014, 11:43:54 pm »
Bit more time to play with the new SparkLE today, and a few more things are emerging.

1. There are no ongoing connection problems. But why it didn't work for that first 20 minutes is still a mystery.
2. The GUI lag I see only occurs with the VST version of the plug-in running in Studio One - I can't reproduce it in the AU. With the VST the sound engine still responds in real time. But the graphics start several seconds late, and can be delayed by 10 seconds or more - on-screen drum pads and level meters are flashing away long after I've pressed stop on the SparkLE. That makes the wheel, and Project, Kit and Instrument selection, totally unusable. However, sometimes after stopping playback, and interacting with the plug-in window with the mouse, the lag disappears... for a bit... before coming back. [Needless to say, I'm using the AU from now on....]
3. I have the latest version and build of MIDI Control Center, but while that sees the SparkLE as a connected device, it can't sync with it, and doesn't know its Firmware Revision. I get this any time I try:



4. My touchpad doesn't work correctly. A finger drag upwards in the middle causes the values and onscreen visual point to jump around all over the place to the left.

So maybe I have a unit that's faulty in several ways. I'll try and get a replacement from the retailer, and see if the other problems persist.

stuey

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2014, 01:08:52 am »
I would test this as standalone first, then move on to testing from within a DAW. This could be all kinds of things and not related to spark at all.

What i would tend to do is this:

Boot the software in standalone mode (Via the Spark app) not via Pro Tools, Logic etc etc.
Test just as a software app, no controller.

Then plug in the controller and reboot the app, test again.

Then finally, test from within your preferred DAW.

You should then be able to determine what is at fault. It's probably also worth doing a factory reset on the SparkLE

Stu
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biggy

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2014, 08:23:28 am »
Thanks for those suggestions. Actually I have been pretty methodical in testing this. Operation via Spark standalone is reliable, both with and without the controller connected. As a VST plug-in in Studio One it's reliable as plug-in only, but suffers the GUI lag with the controller connected. As an AU it appears to be reliable with or without the controller. So on my setup, at least, everything points to some issues with the Mac VST version of the plug-in, and specifically the way it interacts with the hardware.

Re the two Knowledgebase links - I'd already seen these linked to from other forum threads. The audio driver selection may well explain my initial connection problems. The USB tips - I'm doing all my testing using a dedicated USB socket on the Mac, and the cable Arturia supplied. In did once try via my hub - behaviour exactly the same as with the direct connection, but I did not continue working this way.

biggy

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Re: Very shaky experience with new SparkLE - any thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2014, 08:30:36 am »
It's probably also worth doing a factory reset on the SparkLE

How do you do that?

 

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