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Q & A

Q.I just bought my first multi effects processor and I an not sure if I plug into both inputs or do I only plug in the side labeled mono.
A.If your multieffects processor is capable of two different effects at the same time, and these effects can be applied independently to the two different inputs, then you should use both inputs. Also, if it is a "true stereo" processor, you should use both inputs. However, many processors are not true stereo and these sum the inputs to a mono signal, process it, then split the signal and send it back to left and right outs. If you are using a processor of this type then you should probably use the mono in.

Q.I am syncing my ProTools system to video that has been striped with SMPTE. I am using my MIDI interface to read the SMPTE code. The problems is that I can't get the system to stay sync'd to video - it drifts out of sync after about 8 minutes.
A.Make sure that the frame rate you selected on your MIDI interface and ProTools is matched correctly, and employ the video "pull down" feature if your interface provides one. Also, be aware that if the material was cut to the video originally, it should stay in sync, but if you are just laying in long audio files that were not "played" to the video initially, you will have to retrigger these files periodically so they don't drift out of sync. This is because SMPTE/MTC doesn't provide "phase Locked" sync on a ProTools system, it is "trigger sync" only, and once the audio file has been triggered, it "freewheels" from whatever point it started at. That is, the audio file runs off its own clock at this point, and that is independent of the MTC, which only tells it where to start.

Q.I am using a computer based hard disk recording system and I have been told I need to defragment and optimize the hard drive I am recording to. What do I need to do this?
A.Everyone working with hard disks needs to perform some regular housekeeping chores that will keep the disk running at top speed. Defragmenting is the hard disk equivalent of changing the oil in your car every 3000 miles. To defragment your hard disk you would want to use the Speed Disk tool in the Norton Utilities software pack. Speed Disk cannot be run from the start up disk if that's the drive you are optimizing. Rather, Norton has a feature that allows you to create a "start up" floppy disk to use when doing this. Another option is starting up from your Apple CD-ROM by inserting the CD and holding down the "C" key during start up.

Once you are up and running, the process is as simple as opening your Norton Utilities folder, double clicking on Speed Disk, choosing the appropriate drive and hitting the optimize button. The process of optimizing a drive can take a while, depending on the size of your drive and the state of fragmentation. We've personally found a bag of Doritos seems to help in this regard.

Got a question? Well, we've got answers! Simply mail your question to Sweetwater at 5335 Bass Rd., Ft. Wayne, IN 46808 or send e-mail to "tech_support@sweetwater.com".

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