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Q & A

Q.I just bought my first sampler (a Roland S-760) and I would like to know why all my sounds are gone after I turn the power off. Why can't it remember the sounds?
A.It is normal for all samplers to loose their sample memory (sounds) when you turn the power off. Samples are stored in dynamic volatile RAM (usually SIMMs). Dynamic RAM requires a great deal of power to maintain the information stored in the chip — significantly more power than a standard lithium backup battery can possibly provide. Engineers are now working on using FlashRAM in samplers. FlashRAM will "remember" your sounds when you power down. Hopefully more samplers will incorporate FlashRAM in the near future.

Q.I am controlling my multitrack from my computer software via MIDI Machine Control (MMC) but they do not stay in sync. I have the connected the MIDI out of the computer to the MIDI in on my recorder and I am sending MMC from the computer. Why don't they sync up?
A.You are not actually "syncing" the MDM and the computer. The MMC commands do not contain time code sync information. You need to have your MDM output MIDI Time Code (MTC) and have your sequencer set to slave to MTC. You will also need both MIDI in and out from the computer to the MDM. Here is the chain of events: 1) You press PLAY on your sequencer and it sends an MMC command to the MDM to start playing. The computer is set up to slave to incoming MTC so the computer sits idle, awaiting time code. 2) The MDM starts playing as soon as it gets the MMC start command and when it starts playing it outputs MTC. 3) The MTC from the MDM is received by the computer and the computer now starts playing, completely in sync.

Q.I have Mark of the Unicorn's Digital Performer 2.1 and an Audiomedia III card. Should I use the MOTU Audio System (MAS) or Digidesign's Audio Engine (DAE) with this setup?
A.Either. The MOTU Audio System supports the Audiomedia III card, so both systems will work. If you want to use the real-time effects and processing available with the Digital Performer software, you should use the MAS.

Q.I don't quite understand my Mackie 1604's Aux Sends and Returns. If I send a signal to my reverb unit on Aux Sends 1 and 2, should I return them on Aux Returns 1 and 2 or both to 1? The Returns appear to be a stereo pair, while the Sends appear to be mono. The manual is not very clear on this.
A.You are correct, it's not. The Aux sends are mono, and you need to use two of them if you wanted a discrete stereo signal to feed the processor. However many processors can accept a mono input and then create a "psuedo stereo" output and send it out the left and right outputs. Many of the newest processors do offer discrete stereo inputs and outputs, and special stereo algorithms to take advantage of them, so if you send these particular units discrete inputs from say, two different microphones, the results can be interesting and beautiful. In this particular case you would indeed send the signals out on the Mackie's Aux Sends 1 and 2, then return the processed signals on Aux Return 1 (stereo). However, for live use, I would doubt that you'll ever be able to discern a difference between a true stereo reverb and one that originated in mono.

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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