Technical Support FAQ:
PowerTracks Pro Audio 2010

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Last updated:  Tuesday, 13 October 2015

All Topics

  1. No Sound / MIDI Driver Setup
  2. What is MIDI?
  3. What is digital audio?
  4. My computer locks up completely when I play a song.
  5. After installing a new sound card, PowerTracks Pro Audio freezes or crashes.
  6. How do I enter notation in PowerTracks Pro Audio?
  7. What causes a " Can't open Wave Device" or "Wave Device is already in use..." error?
  8. What is the best sequence for external effects equipment?
  9. How do I use the 1/8 inch line inputs on my sound card?
  10. How do I connect my computer to an external MIDI synthesizer?
  11. How do I use SoundFonts on my SoundBlaster sound card?
  12. When a manufacturer says a synthesizer/module has 64 voice polyphony, what do they mean?
  13. What is the difference between polyphonic and multitimbral?
  14. No drivers are listed in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog.
  15. How do I create a shortcut on my desktop to open PowerTracks Pro Audio?
  16. How do I control what I record and what I listen to?
  17. How do I control the reverb and chorus effects on my SoundBlaster Live! ?
  18. Why do I get the message 'MIDI device is currently in use by another application' when I launch the program?
  19. How do I free up system resources on Windows 98/ME?
  20. Why is there a delay between when I play a note on my MIDI keyboard, and when I hear the note play through my computer speakers?
  21. How do I record multiple MIDI or Audio tracks simultaneously, or send different tracks to separate ports?
  22. When I record audio in PowerTracks, why does it not sync up with my other audio or MIDI tracks?
  23. When using Line In/Mic In to record audio, it seems to work fine, but nothing is there when I play it back.
  24. How are the Audio effect presets stored in PowerTracks?
  25. My MIDI tracks are bleeding into the Audio Track when I record.
  26. Why do all my MIDI tracks play with the same instrument? How do I set a MIDI channel and Patch number?
  27. How do I render MIDI to wave and burn an audio CD?
  28. The chord symbols in my song don't show up when I save the song as a MIDI file and import it into another program.
  29. How do I import MP3 files, or save my finished Audio file as an MP3?
  30. When I save my files, the MIDI patch/channel information in the tracks window is not saved properly.
  31. What "sample rate" and "bit depth" should I use when I am working with digital audio?
  32. After mixing audio tracks, I hear Popping (clipping) noises on playback.
  33. How do I import a track from an audio CD?
  34. Can I make the audible message box alerts, such as "Keep Take?", silent?
  35. How can I easily raise or lower the velocity (volume) of all MIDI notes in a track?
  36. Can I use more than 16 MIDI channels? How do I use more than one MIDI output port?
  37. What is the 'Align Music to Click Track' feature for?
  38. Why can I record only two tracks of Audio at a time?
  39. What is the benefit of having more than one audio output port on my Sound card?
  40. Can I get the patterns from my drum machine into PowerTracks?
  41. Does PowerTracks Pro Audio support DirectX, DXi, or VST plugins?
  42. How do I edit the patches.ini file and create a patch map for my synthesizer?
  43. Why does my recording play too fast (sounds like the chipmunks) or too slow?
  44. Why does the Notation Window not show any notes when I select an odd or compound time signature?
  45. How do I change the default folder that PowerTracks starts up in?
  46. Why does PT play my imported *.wav file back with distortion?
  47. How do I use the MultiTrack CD's?
  48. Can I import a MIDI file into PowerTracks and have the chords displayed?
  49. What is the best way to transfer songs from one computer to another?
  50. What does PPQ (Pulses Per Quarter note) mean?
  51. How do I set up my Delta 44/66 for recording 4 tracks at once?
  52. What files are used with the Drum grid editor? What is the difference between .DP and.DG files?
  53. I'm trying to set the volume and pan using the mixer window, but the settings change whenever I play the song.
  54. How do I save my song as a Type 0 or Type 1 MIDI file?
  55. How do I load MIDI files from other PG Music programs into PowerTracks Pro Audio?
  56. How do I copy a section of one song file into a second song?
  57. How do I insert a blank measure in my song?
  58. How do I use the Punch In feature to fix a section of a recorded track?
  59. When I separate drum sounds to another track, they sound like piano notes.
  60. How do I control my MIDI sounds using the Tracks Window?
  61. How do I control MIDI fades (crescendos and decrescendos) and MIDI volume within a file?
  62. How can I load more than one MIDI file at the same time?
  63. How can I get rid of the 2 bar lead-in that gets inserted when importing a MIDI file created in Band-in-a-Box®?
  64. Can I record Digital Audio and MIDI at the same time?
  65. During playback, why is there a delay before my mixer moves (volume, pan, audio effects) are heard?
  66. How do I turn the metronome on or off? Is there a way to save my metronome settings?
  67. How do I synchronize PowerTracks with another MIDI device?
  68. When I try to record, I receive a message that says "Awaiting MIDI Sync".
  69. How can I split specific notes or other events out of one track and move them to a different track?
  70. How do I use SysEx (System Exclusive) in PowerTracks Pro Audio?
  71. How do I use PowerTracks Pro Audio to receive/save bulk SysEx data from my synth? Can PowerTracks initiate a SysEx dump request?
  72. How can I fade my Audio or MIDI tracks in or out?
  73. I am having trouble downloading files from your site.
  74. When I try to install the program, I get the message "Setup is not a valid win32 application".
  75. PowerTracks Pro Audio is crashing frequently on Windows 98/ME, with errors such as "A Win 32 API function failed" and "parameter is incorrect".
  76. I am having trouble playing the video tutorials.
  77. Does PowerTracks Pro Audio support ASIO drivers?
  78. I am getting an "access violation in module DXIRE.DLL" when I try to play a song.
  79. Why is PowerTracks Pro Audio recording an audio track when I am only trying to record MIDI?
  80. When I try to apply audio harmonies to my song, I get the message "Error or Cancelled out of routine, error code=1".
  81. Why do I get a "cannot make connection" error when I try to choose a plugin in the DirectX/VST window?
  82. Why do I get an Error Code 5 when I try to install upgrades or update patches?
  83. How do I access all of the patches available in the Roland VSC and VSC-DXi?
  84. Why do I get a PTSEQ32.DLL error when I try to open the program?
  85. When I boot my Windows 95/98/ME computer, I get an MSGSRV32.exe error naming devcon32.dll.
  86. How can I return PowerTracks Pro Audio to the factory settings?
  87. How can I improve audio performance on my computer?
  88. When I play my external MIDI keyboard, why don't I hear the sound through my selected DXi or VSTi synth?
  89. How do I use DXi and VSTi synths with PowerTracks Pro Audio?
  90. How is pitch bend data transmitted and interpreted by a MIDI synth?
  91. Where can I find a list of MIDI controllers?
  92. Error message: "Canvas does not allow drawing"
  93. What is the difference between the audio effects under the Edit menu, and the effects that you access from the Mixer window?
  94. How can I separate individual drum sounds onto their own tracks?
  95. Nothing seems to happen when I use the "Split Piano Track into LH/RH" command.
  96. What is the "S" column for in the Event List window?
  97. Error message when exiting the MIDI Driver Setup dialog: "A device ID has been used that is out of range for your system".
  98. Error message when trying to close PowerTracks: "Cannot create file ... PTToolB6.Ini"
  99. Why do I get distorted audio playback or audio dropouts when I use ASIO drivers?
  100. How do I monitor myself while recording audio with an M-Audio sound card?
  101. Can I get PowerTracks to display more realistic guitar tab and correct fingerings in the Fretboard Window?
  102. Why do I hear a buzz or hum when my computer is connected to an external speaker system?
  103. How can I return the toolbars to their default configuration?
  104. Can I use more than one MIDI channel to play drums?
  105. Error message: "There is a problem with your sound hardware. To install mixer devices, go to Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Add Hardware."
  106. How can I make my MIDI file 'compatible' with many different computers, so that it plays the way it was intended for a wide audience?
  107. I have made a patch map for PowerTracks, but I get a syntax error when I launch the program.
  108. How do I select patches on higher banks? What are MSB and LSB?
  109. When using ASIO4ALL, the ports in the ASIO Audio Driver dialog are listed as "Not Connected".
  110. When I try to use the Shift-click in the Notation Window to enter a note one semitone higher, the note is not inserted.
  111. Error message when loading the program: "GetCharWidth function call unsuccessful. Notation display may therefore have problems."
  112. The MIDI Guitar Cleanup function doesn't seem to have any effect.
  113. How can I use a single line input on a sound card to record two tracks simultaneously?
  114. Why are the CDs that I make quieter than professional CDs?
  115. When using a DXi plugin with ASIO drivers, why does realtime play-thru not work while the song is stopped?
  116. Error message when loading the program: "System cannot find file specified at..."
  117. How do I use Native Instruments Bandstand with PG Music software?
  118. When recording from an external keyboard, some notes are not being recorded, are dropping out, or are being sustained when they shouldn't be.
  119. When I try to install the program I get a message that the "setup files are corrupted".
  120. My Audio Track Categories are all listed as "unassigned".
  121. Error message when trying to open audio files: "Procedure entry point WMCreateSyncReader could not be located in the dynamic link library WMVCORE.DLL".
  122. What options do I have for creating a MIDI drum track in PowerTracks Pro Audio?
  123. There is no sound when I try to preview my audio harmonies in the TC-Helicon window.
  124. "Version mismatch" error when opening the program.
  125. After closing Band-in-a-Box®, PowerTracks, or RealBand, I get an error message saying that the application has stopped working, or the program has encountered a problem and needs to close.
  126. When using the ForteDXi, the sound cuts out every few seconds.
  127. How do I use RealDrums in PowerTracks Pro Audio?
  128. Which RealDrums styles are included in each of the RealDrums Sets?
  129. Trouble opening the help file on Windows 98 and ME.
  130. I cannot hear the metronome when using a DXi or VSTi synth.
  131. No sound in the Audio Chord Wizard, even though there is sound in the rest of the program.
  132. How do I install update patches for PowerTracks Pro Audio?

1. No Sound / MIDI Driver Setup

Click here to read a tutorial that explains what to do if you have no sound in PowerTracks Pro Audio.

2. What is MIDI?

MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. The MIDI specification is maintained by the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA). We have written a couple of short starter tutorials on MIDI:

There are many other MIDI tutorials on the internet, which you can find using any internet search engine.

3. What is digital audio?

We have written an introduction to digital audio that explains the basic concepts of sound waves, waveform diagrams, and digital recording.

4. My computer locks up completely when I play a song.

The symptoms are usually apparent if the machine is running perfectly, but locks up immediately when you play a song, or when you hit a key on your external keyboard/controller. This is most likely an IRQ or DMA conflict. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Click on the Hardware tab (Windows XP), and then click on Device Manager. Look for any yellow and black exclamation marks. If you see any, there may be a conflict, and you may need to have a system tech look at your computer setup. We have an article that explains IRQ conflicts:How do I resolve IRQ conflicts? As well, you should check on the sound card or MIDI interface manufacturer's website for any driver updates.

5. After installing a new sound card, PowerTracks Pro Audio freezes or crashes.

  • PowerTracks may be looking for your old sound card, but cannot find it. Try the following: With PowerTracks closed, open the PowerTracks folder (usually C:\pt) and delete the two files 'ptw.ini' and 'ptpa.cfg'. Launch the application, select your MIDI drivers, and perform a test to see if the problem is solved.

  • You may not have removed the old sound card drivers. To check this, right-click on My Computer and select 'Properties'. Click on Device Manager (on Windows 2000/XP, click on the Hardware tab first), and look under Sound, video and game controllers.

  • The new sound card drivers may not be installed properly, or there may be an IRQ conflict. Look in the Device Manager for any yellow and black exclamation marks. If you see any, there may be a conflict, and you may need to have a system tech look at your computer setup. We have an article that explains IRQ conflicts:How do I resolve IRQ conflicts? You should tryreinstalling the sound card. Use the most updated drivers available from the manufacturer.

6. How do I enter notation in PowerTracks Pro Audio?

Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio offer one of the quickest methods of notation input. Remember though, they were never developed to be a dedicated notation software package, so some of the problems you may run into will have to do with that limitation. For typical leadsheets though, this notation is more than adequate.

First, you need to be in editable notation mode. Open the Notation Window, and press the [N] button once to toggle from regular notation mode to editable notation mode.

When inputting notation, all you do is place your mouse arrow where you want a note and press the left mouse button. This will place a dotted whole note at that position. If it is in the second half of the bar, you will get an automatic 1/2 note rest in the first half. You will still get a dotted whole note in the second half of the bar. Don't worry if the first note you enter isn't the type of note you want it to be. The next note you place will determine the value of the first. Remember that the subsequent note placed always determines the value of the previous note. If you want to shorten a previous note, you can select the rest box and place a rest between the notes at the value you want the previous note to be. Notes inserted between other notes will automatically set the value for the previous note as well.

If you are in 'staff roll' mode, you can change the duration of a note by clicking on it with the right mouse button and then dragging the cursor to the desired end location. Click the [N] button twice to toggle into staff roll mode.

While inserting a note on the staff, holding down the [Shift] key will make the note 1 half-step sharper. Holding down the [Ctrl] key will make the note 1 half-step flatter. Holding down the [Alt] key forces the note to be a natural. Note: Starting with PowerTracks 10, Shift-click is used to highlight a range of notation. If you want to use the Shift key to insert a note a semitone higher, left-click the mouse button first (where you want to enter the note), and hold down the mouse button while pressing the Shift key. To delete a note from the Notation, hold down the delete key and left-mouse click on the note. Or you could right mouse click on the note (to edit it), then press the Delete button.

You can change the beat resolution (the number of intervals in one beat) by right-clicking in the time indicator bar above the beat that you want to change. This will allow you to enter triplets in an even feel style, or sixteenth notes in a triplet feel style. The time indicator bar is the narrow space containing the black cursor that moves across the screen as your song is playing.

Starting with PowerTracks Pro Audio 10, use can use the "Piano Roll" window. The Piano Roll window enables precise graphic editing of note timing and duration. You can also graphically edit Note Velocity, Controllers, Program Changes, Channel Aftertouch, or Pitch Bend. To open a Piano Roll window for the current track, go to Window | New | Piano Roll Window.

7. What causes a " Can't open Wave Device" or "Wave Device is already in use..." error?

There are a number of reasons why you might get this error. The device may be in use by another application, or you might have a "DMA Conflict" or "MCI DeviceConflict"

Here are some suggestions:

  • Make sure all other programs are closed. If this doesn't help, try rebooting your computer.

  • Download and install the latest update patch for PowerTracks Pro Audio.

  • A common cause of this problem is in conjunction with a Virtual Synth such as the Roland VSC. Since all software synthesizers rely on the digital audio portion of the sound card, playing MIDI and digital audio together can sometimes be a problem.

    • Go to the Control Panel | Multimedia -or- Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio. Select the same audio playback device as is showing in the recording preferences. Click the MIDI tab (Windows XP: Look in the MIDI Playback area) and select your sound card's synth, rather than the VSC88/3 (or other software synth). This will give a lesser quality for Windows playback but the VSC can be selected internally by the software rather than allowing Windows to be the default.

    • In PowerTracks, de-select the VSC from the MIDI Driver Setup, and select a non-software synth for MIDI playback.

  • Download and install the latest drivers available for your sound card. You should be able to download the latest drivers from the card manufacturer's website, usually in either the "Support" or "Downloads" section.

  • Video cards can be a major cause of DMA Conflicts. Many video cards can monopolize the bus and interfere with DMA operations. One of the first things you should do is make sure you have the latest drivers for your card. Many new drivers provide applets, which allow you to disable or modify certain settings for the card. If there is an option for PCI bus retries and/or DMA bus mastering or a similar option, you should try disabling these.

  • If you are still having problems or your video driver does not have theabove options, you can try reducing graphics hardware acceleration.

    1. Windows 95/98/ME: Go to Start | Settings |Control Panel | System | Performance | Graphics.&nbsp Windows XP: Start | Control Panel | Display | Settings | Advanced | Troubleshoot.

    2. Move the hardware acceleration slider to the left one notch and click OK. You will need to restart Windows.

    3. If the problem remains, repeat the above process until the problem issolved or the slider is all the way to the left. If this did not solve your problem, you should probably reset the slider to the highest setting (to the right).

  • A "Wave device in use" error can also occur if the Sound Mapper is selected in addition to the sound card audio drivers in the Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers dialog. Make certain the driver is selected only one time. For example, if you select the SB Live! for recording in the Windows Control Panel, select only it or the SB Live! in the Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers menu. Do not select both the Sound Mapper and the SB Live! driver.

8. What is the best sequence for external effectsequipment?

According to experts, the proper order for routing effects is as follows:

  1. Instrument

  2. Compression

  3. Pre-amps

  4. EQ

  5. Noise gate

  6. Modulation effects (chorus, flange, phaser)

  7. Delay

  8. Reverb

9. How do I use the 1/8 inch line inputs on my sound card?

The mic and/or line inputs on many sound cards are miniature stereo 1/8" jacks. Both left and right channels appear in this configuration, sharing ground (3 connections). To use these inputs, you will likely need a stereo 1/8" male-to-two mono (whatever matches your input source) adapter. On most mixers, this will mean two 1/4" male plugs, on some mixers and most home tape decks, this would mean an "RCA" audio connector. Your local electronics store is a good source for any of these adapters.

10. How do I connect my computer to an external MIDI synthesizer?

There are a few different ways you can connect your external MIDI synth or module. These days, you will probably use either a USB interface or the Joystick port on your sound card.

USB: There are many MIDI interfaces available that connect to this port on your computer. MIDI In and Out cables connect from the interface to your synth, and you may have to purchase the cables separately.

Sound card (Joystick port): The joystick port (game port) on your sound card has a built-in MIDI interface. The cable that connects to the joystick port is commonly called a Universal MIDI Sound Card Connector. Some sound cards have MIDI in and out ports so you don't need to use the joystick port. In either case, MIDI cables connect to your synth's MIDI In and Out.

MPU-401 or other internal MIDI Interface: An interface (computer card) with MIDI In(s) and MIDI Out(s). This is a small interface card that plugs into a slot inside your computer. MIDI cables are still required to connect to your external module.

Serial or Printer: There are various MIDI interfaces that can connect from these types of existing computer data ports, although the USB port is used much more frequently these days.

Some MIDI interfaces and cables can be purchased directly from PG Music Inc.:Hardware Products.

11. How do I use SoundFonts on my SoundBlaster sound card?

We've written an article on the subject. Click Here for more details.

12. When a manufacturer says a synthesizer/module has 64voice polyphony, what do they mean?

The manufacturer is referring to the number of sounds the module can play at the same time. A 64 voice module can play 64 sounds all at the same time. Some synths use more than one sound/voice to create a fuller sound for some patches. The number of partials (combinations of sounds) a patch uses will determine how many voices will be used for a single note. For example, if you press one note on a patch that has 3 sounds in it (like a layer of piano, strings and brass), you would use up 3 voices of your 64 available. Add a Bass track, (1 note, 1 voice) Drums (4 notes in some places) Guitar (3 notes) ..... well, you get the picture. You are using up the available voices as you add layers to your MIDI song. Remember, this is fluid; as notes are released, more voices become available. It is really only an issue when all tracks play all notes all at the same time. A 64 voice module has a fair number of voices to use so running out of sound is not really an issue.

13. What is the difference between polyphonic andmultitimbral?

Polyphony refers to the number of notes the unit can play simultaneously. A trumpet is monophonic, while a guitar can have up to 6 note polyphony (six strings). Your synthesizer might be 16, 32, or 64-note polyphonic. Sometimes, in a complex MIDI file, there are more than 64 notes sounding at a time. In this case, a smart synth will use an algorithm to determine which note to suspend playing so that it might continue.

A synthesizer is Multitimbral if it can produce more than one type of sound at a time. This is usually set to the number of channels the unit has. For example, on a 16 channel unit with 64 note polyphony, the synth can play 64 notes at a time, spread out over 16 different instruments.

14. No drivers are listed in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog.

First, close PowerTracks Pro Audio and try deleting a file called 'ptw.ini' from the C:\pt folder. This will restore the program's factory settings. When you next launch PowerTracks, the MIDI Driver Setup dialog should come up automatically. If there are still no drivers there, this suggests that (for whatever reason) there are no MIDI drivers installed on your computer. You can verify this by checking the Windows Control Panel.

Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000: Go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Multimedia -or- Sounds and Multimedia | MIDI.

Windows XP: Go to Start | Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio, and look under MIDI Playback.

You will likely need to re-install your sound card drivers. If you are not sure exactly how to do this, you will need to contact the sound card manufacturer. Drivers can normally be downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

Note: If you won't be recording MIDI from an external MIDI synth it is usually ok if you don't have a MIDI Input driver, as long as you do have a MIDI Output driver. To avoid getting a warning that there are no MIDI Input drivers installed in PowerTracks when you are trying to record audio, press the microphone (record audio) button to start recording, rather than the other record button.

15. How do I create a shortcut on my desktop to open PowerTracks Pro Audio?

Locate and open the PowerTracks folder on your hard drive, usually c:\pt. Find the file PTW.EXE. Right-click on this file and select Send To | Desktop (Create Shortcut). You will now have a shortcut icon on your desktop to launch PowerTracks. You can name the shortcut whatever you want by clicking once on the icon and pressing F2 on your keyboard.

16. How do I control what I record and what I listen to?

This is controlled by the Windows sound card mixer - the Record Control and Play (or 'Volume') Control panels. To open the Play Control, double-click on the speaker icon in your taskbar, usually at the bottom of your computer screen in the right-hand corner, or go to Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Volume Control. The Play Control is for OUTPUT; it allows you to choose what outputs you listen to and how loud they are.

To open the Record Control window, click on Options | Properties to open the Properties window, select the 'Recording' radio button, and press OK. The Record Control window is for INPUT; it allows you to choose what you record. For example, if you were recording audio using the line-in on your sound card, you would select 'line-in' as your recording input.

In the Properties window, you can choose which audio device you wish to control (the "Mixer device"). Normally you don't need to change this. You can also select which volume controls you want displayed in the Record/Play Control panels.

You can also open the Windows sound card mixer directly from PowerTracks Pro Audio. One way of opening it from PowerTracks is to open the VU Meters (Window | Show VU Meters) and click on the yellow speaker button in between the input and output meters.

Another way that you control audio recording and playback is by choosing your audio input and output drivers. If you only have one sound card you don't normally need to worry about this. There are two places you can choose your audio drivers:

  • In PowerTracks Pro Audio: Options | Preferences | Audio | [Drivers].

  • In the Windows Control Panel: Multimedia (Win 98/ME), Sounds and Multimedia (Win 2000), or Sounds and Audio Devices (Win XP), in the Audio section.

In PowerTracks, if you have "Microsoft Sound Mapper" selected as your audio driver, PowerTracks will use whatever is selected in the Windows Control Panel. If you have a driver *other* than the Microsoft Sound Mapper selected, PowerTracks will use that driver.

Whenever you launch the Windows sound card mixer, it always opens showing the mixer panel for the currently selected audio driver in the Windows Control Panel.

If you get an error message when you try to open the sound card mixer or nothing happens when you try to open it, this means that the selected audio driver doesn't have an associated Record or Play Control window. In this case, the audio device will usually have a separate control/mixer console that you can access from the Control Panel. You will need to check with your sound card documentation if you are not sure where to find it.

17. How do I control the reverb and chorus effects on my SoundBlaster Live! ?

The MIDI reverb and chorus effects won't work in Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio unless the sound card software is set up properly. The exact steps vary with different drivers, but the concept is the same.

  1. Open up the SB Live! "Environmental Audio" window. You need to create a new environment and name it whatever you like (Naming it with a ! at the front of the name will put it at the top of the selection list, making it much easier and faster to find in the future).

  2. Set the reverb and chorus sliders to a reasonable point. We find that 50% settings emulate the old AWE cards fairly well. Set them where they sound good to you. Remember that you will be able to control each effect from zero to the master input setting you pick now from within PowerTracks Pro Audio and Band-in-a-Box®. Check to be sure that the reverb and chorus are controlled by controllers 91 and 93 (the default for the card, but check it to be sure. You will see the numbers in the same window).

  3. Pick the tab at the top that brings up a page that has the various sound sources listed that environmental audio can affect. The object here is to pick each one other than MIDI, and tell the software to NOT apply the chosen environment to that one. This would include your CD audio, wave files, everything on the list but MIDI. Don't worry if MIDI does not appear on this list, it depends on which version of the Live drivers you have. Turn everything else to OFF, one at a time.

  4. Close the environmental audio window, saving the settings, and start upPowerTracks Pro Audio or Band-in-a-Box®. The reverb and chorus controls from within PowerTracks Pro Audio or Band-in-a-Box® will now work.

18. Why do I get the message 'MIDI device is currently in use by another application' when I launch the program?

This is usually because another program is already using the MIDI driver. A single MIDI driver can generally not be used by more than one application at the same time. The simplest solution is to close this program, then to relaunch your PG Music software. In PowerTracks, you may be able to select a different MIDI Driver in Options | MIDI Devices.

You may also be able to find third party applications through an internet search that allow multiple applications on your computer to use the same MIDI driver.

19. How do I free up system resources on Windows 98/ME?

How to check for low system resources:

  1. Right-click on My Computer, and right-click on Properties.

  2. Select the Performance Tab.

  3. If System resources are under 40% free, there may be problems.

Solution(s):

Reboot your system to free up system resources, and/or:

  • Close windows that are not in use.

  • Close programs not needed that load when you start Windows. To determine what programs are running, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and make a note of all the programs listed. Note that Explorer is the Windows operating system and Systray is the system tray located on the right-side of the taskbar. You should not [End Task] these two programs. Determine which programs must run all of the time, and then quit the remaining programs. To quit a program, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, select the program you want to quit, and then click [End Task]. Note that your computer is likely configured to load a number of these programs at startup, so that if you restart your computer after doing this, the programs will "come back". You can configure which programs get loaded at startup in the Windows System Configuration Utility (go to Start | Run, and type msconfig).

  • Clear your Clipboard. When you copy a large amount of information to the clipboard, it will remain until something else is copied onto it. To clear out a large data amount that you have copied and pasted, copy a couple of lines of text to the clipboard.

  • Don't use large bitmaps for wallpaper. Use a small bitmap and tile, or stretch it.

  • If you run an application that uses system resources every time it runs, try to keep it open instead of closing and reopening it many times during the day.

  • Disable your screen saver.

  • Avoid installing fonts that aren't needed.

20.Why is there a delay between when I play a note on my MIDI keyboard, and when I hear the note play through my computer speakers?

You are most likely using a software synthesizer such as the Microsoft GS Wavetable or the Roland VSC as your MIDI output device. One characteristic of a software synth is that it takes some time for it to express the MIDI data it receives as sound. In other words, there is a delay between when a note is sent by PowerTracks Pro Audio (and other MIDI software) and when you hear the note played. This delay is called latency, and is normally a fraction of a second.

In PowerTracks, the Synth Output Latency setting in the Options | MIDI Devices dialog is used to delay the notation and chord highlighting so that it is synchronized with the music during playback. However, note that this is only a visual setting; it doesn't change the actual latency of the driver. There will still be a delay between when you strike a key on your keyboard and when you hear the note played.

For recording or playing live from an external MIDI synth, the solution is to use a MIDI Output Driver with no noticeable latency. This could be the built-in MIDI synth on your computer's internal sound card, or your external MIDI keyboard or sound module. If you prefer the sound quality of the soft synth, you can record using a no-latency driver, and switch back to the soft synth for playback when you have finished recording.

Below is some more information about the Roland VSC and Microsoft GS Wavetable, as well as information about using a DXi or VSTi synth and ASIO drivers to resolve the problem.

Roland VSC (Virtual Sound Canvas)

This information is only applicable to the stand-alone version of the VSC, not the VSC-DXi plugin.

The Roland VSC is a software synthesizer based on the sounds from the Roland Sound Canvas hardware sound modules. The VSC's latency, or "Response Time", is adjustable. By default, the Roland VSC has a response time of about 430 to 450 ms (a little less than half a second). This is a safe setting, and will avoid audio drop-outs and glitches even on older and slow computers. If you select the Roland VSC as your MIDI Output Driver and press OK in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog, PowerTracks will automatically offer to set the latency to 430 ms.

On most modern computers, you can reduce the VSC's latency by a fair bit without experiencing any problems. Depending on how fast your computer is, you may be able to reduce this to about 100 ms or less. This is still not ideal for live playing, but is much better than 430 ms. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the VSC. You can do this by clicking on the VSC icon in your task bar and selecting 'VSC Panel', or by going to Start | Programs | Virtual Sound Canvas 3.2...

  2. Click on the [Setup] button to open the VSC Settings Window.

  3. Click on the Performance tab.

  4. Move the Response Time slider to the left. Try setting it at about 100 ms to start with.

  5. Go back to PowerTracks and try playing a song. If there are no playback problems, you can move the Response Time slider another notch to the left. 68 ms is often the minimum.

  6. The next step is to go to the Options | MIDI Devices dialog and set the Synth Output Latency setting to the same value as the VSC's Response Time. When you exit the MIDI Driver Setup dialog, PowerTracks may ask you if you want to set the driver latency to 430 ms. If so, answer "No".

If you have trouble reducing the VSC latency below 100 ms, the following adjustments in the VSC settings window may improve performance without sacrificing sound quality. See the VSC help file if you want more information on each setting:

  • Click on the Performance tab and uncheck delay and TVF.

  • Click on the Performance tab and turn the load limit up to 90%.

  • Click on the Sound Set tab and select 'Secure Memory at all times'.

  • Click on the Receive Events tab and uncheck any that you do not use (ie - delay, expression...) on all channels.

  • Click on the Device tab, and set 'Direct Sound' to off.

For best results, close as many background programs as possible.

Microsoft GS Wavetable

The Microsoft GS Wavetable is a software synthesizer included with Windows. The sounds are somewhat similar to the Roland VSC, but they are lower quality sounds, and there are fewer of them. The latency of the GS Wavetable varies between different computers with Windows XP - it is usually about 120 ms. On Windows Vista, the latency is higher, about 210 ms. As far as we are aware, there is no way to reduce the latency on any particular computer. Unfortunately, many new computers don't include a sound card with a built-in MIDI synthesizer, so choosing a "no-latency" MIDI output driver for recording may not be an option. In many cases the GS Wavetable is the only MIDI output driver choice, aside from purchasing a sound card, using an external synth/sound module for output, or using a DXi/VSTi synth and ASIO drivers.

Using a DXi (or VSTi) software synth with an ASIO driver in PowerTracks Pro Audio 10 and higher

Recent versions of Band-in-a-Box® (2006 and higher) and PowerTracks Pro Audio (10 and higher) added support for ASIO drivers. One of the main advantages to using ASIO in PowerTracks is that it allows you to play live from an external MIDI keyboard through a DXi synth with almost no latency. Previous versions of PowerTracks supported DXi synths, but you couldn't play through the DXi synth from your keyboard because there was too much latency. If your sound card supports ASIO and you have ASIO drivers installed on your computer, you can use ASIO by selecting this audio driver type in Opt. | Preferences | Audio. See the PowerTracks help file and manual for further information on setting up the ASIO audio driver dialog. If the manufacturer of your sound card doesn't have an ASIO driver, OR if you are having trouble using a specific ASIO driver, you may be able to use the ASIO4ALL driver.

Note that PowerTracks Pro Audio doesn't include a DXi synth. However if you also have Band-in-a-Box®, which comes with the Roland VSC-DXi, you have the option of installing this DXi synth and using it for MIDI output through an ASIO driver. As long as you choose a sufficiently low latency/buffer size in the ASIO Audio Driver's Control Panel, this would resolve your latency problem.

21. How do I record multiple MIDI or Audio tracks simultaneously, or send different tracks to separate ports?

If you are recording MIDI, PowerTracks Pro Audio will not record on multiple tracks, but you can record to one track and then use the Edit | Extract Channels to Tracks command to split the track into multiple tracks. This works if there is multiple channel information in the MIDI Stream.

If you are recording audio, you can record either mono (left or right) or in stereo. To access these settings, go to Options | Preferences | Audio. If you are recording both left and right channels, and your audio track is set as a MONO Audio track, the left and right channels will be recorded on to consecutive tracks. If your track is a STEREO Audio track (PowerTracks Pro Audio 8 or higher), then both channels will appear on a single track.

If you have a sound card or audio interface that has more than one input port, you can record from each port on a separate track. You can record as many tracks simultaneously as your hardware supports. To set this up in PowerTracks, go to Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers. If you are using the ASIO diver type, select each input port that you want to use by control-clicking. If you are using the MME driver type, select each input driver that you want to use, and make sure that Microsoft Sound Mapper is not selected. To record, you simply need to select a single track - PowerTracks will use as many tracks as it needs to. Note that each Input port is a stereo pair, with a left and right channel. If you select 4 Input Ports, then you would be actually getting 8 input channels, since each audio port has both a left and right channel. This would use up 8 mono-audio tracks.

Note: Multi-port audio recording will only work if (1) the current audio track is a Stereo audio track -or- the current audio track is Mono and the input channel is set to L+R (Options | Preferences | Audio) and (2) there are multiple audio input ports selected in Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers.

To use more than one MIDI output device at the same time, you first need to select all of the output drivers that you want to use. In the MIDI Driver Setup dialog (Options | MIDI Devices), you can choose more than one MIDI Output Driver at the same time. The top MIDI driver that you have selected is considered to be port 1, the second is port 2, and so on. In the Tracks window, click on the Track Info field, point to "Port", and select the port that you want to use. You will note that it is possible to send different tracks to different DXi synths as well as different hardware devices. For more information on this, see this FAQ topic.

In the same way, it is also possible to output different audio tracks to different ports, however note that if you are sending different tracks to different sound cards, you may have timing problems.

22. When I record audio in PowerTracks, why does it not sync up with my other audio or MIDI tracks?

Identify if the problem is that (1) a MIDI track is consistently out of sync by the same amount throughout your song, or (2) your MIDI and/or audio tracks drift out of sync over time.

(1) MIDI track is out of sync by the same amount throughout your song

You might be using a software synthesizer such as the Roland VSC or Microsoft GS Wavetable for MIDI playback (check this in Options | MIDI Devices). Software Synthesizers usually have noticeable latency because the sound is processed by your computer's CPU before being sent to your sound card. This means that there is a delay between when PowerTracks sends the MIDI data and when you hear it played. There shouldn't be a problem if you are consistently using the same MIDI Output Driver, but if you are having trouble syncing audio and MIDI there are a couple of settings in PowerTracks that you can use to correct the problem:

  • The Audio I/O Delay setting in Options | MIDI Devices. This will delay the start of audio playback and audio recording, which is useful if you want to attempt to keep audio playback/recording in sync with MIDI, especially if you are using a software based synth for MIDI playback. Normally, you will set this to match the Synth Output Latency Delay. If you are finding that the audio comes in before the MIDI (MIDI is slower), increase this setting. The audio will be delayed by the amount in milliseconds that you specify. You may have to experiment a little to find exactly the correct delay. Note that while the Synth Output Latency setting should normally be set to the same value as the Audio I/O delay, the Synth Output Latency setting is quite different; it is only for keeping the visual display, such as displayed times and highlighting of notes, in sync with MIDI playback. It doesn't have any effect on what you actually hear.

  • The Offset In MS setting in Options | Preferences | Audio can be used to make an adjustment to the timing for the purpose of keeping the MIDI and audio in sync. You can make an adjustment to this setting if the sound card's audio timing is early or late in comparison to the MIDI. For example, if the sound card's audio is being heard later than the MIDI, you can try increasing this setting, which will delay the MIDI timing to match the Audio timing. The default for this setting is 0.

Note:

*If you are using the Roland VSC as your MIDI Output Driver, you can adjust the VSC's response time in the VSC Settings window: Open the VSC panel, click on the Setup button, and click on the Performance tab. You may be able to get it down to slightly below 100 ms without experiencing any audio glitches, depending on the speed of your computer.

*If you have PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 or higher, you may want to consider using the VSC-DXi rather than the stand-alone VSC. In general, the DXi version is better to use when working with both MIDI and audio.

(2) MIDI and/or Audio tracks drift out of sync over time

If you are only working with audio, or your tracks don't remain consistently out of sync by the same amount as described above, check to see if you are using more than one sound card. In other words, are you are playing back different tracks through different sound cards? It is possible that the clocks on your sound cards are not perfectly in sync.

There are two places you can choose your audio drivers:

  • In PowerTracks Pro Audio: Options | Preferences | Audio | [Drivers].

  • In the Windows Control Panel: Multimedia (Win 98/ME), Sounds and Multimedia (Win 2000), or Sounds and Audio Devices (Win XP), in the Audio section.

In PowerTracks, if you have "Microsoft Sound Mapper" selected as your audio driver, PowerTracks will use whatever is selected in the Windows Control Panel. If you have a driver *other* than the Microsoft Sound Mapper selected, PowerTracks will use that driver. Make sure you don't have the Sound Mapper selected in addition to another driver. To correct this problem, you will most likely need to use a single sound card for audio playback.

Another thing that we have encountered that might cause tracks to drift out of sync, is if the sound card is recording and playing back at different sample rates. This seems to be a somewhat common issue with some SoundBlaster cards. The first thing you can try is to set PowerTracks to 48 KHz sample rate, which is done in Options | Preferences | Audio (File type pull-down). If that doesn't help, take a closer look at your sound card's software and make sure that it is set to the same sample rate as PowerTracks.

If that doesn't help, follow the suggestions in FAQ 87 for improving audio performance on your computer.

23. When using Line In/Mic In to record audio, it seems to work fine, but nothing is there when I play it back.

Most likely, your Windows Recording Control is not set up properly. You have to tell Windows what device(s) you are recording from. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the VU Meters by going to the Window menu and clicking on 'Show VU Meters'.

  2. Click on the Speaker Icon found in between the Input and Output VU meters.

  3. Select the desired input (Mic, Line In, etc...) and set the respective recording level.

  4. To ensure that you have connected properly, play a note from your instrument, or sing a couple of notes into the Microphone. Monitor the Input VU meter for a signal.

Note: You can also launch the Record Control window by doing the following:

  1. Double click on the little speaker in your System tray (right next to the clock on your desktop), or go to Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Volume Control. You should now see the Play Control Window.

  2. Go to the Options Menu and select Properties.

  3. Select Recording, then press OK. This will bring up the Record Control Window.

If you are plugging a microphone into the mic-in on your sound card and are having trouble recording, even though "mic" is selected in the Record Control window, this is probably a limitation of the microphone jack on your computer. On most computers, the microphone jack is intended for computer mics, not music mics. The solution is to plug your microphone into a pre-amp or mixer, and use a Line level out to Line-in on your sound card.

24. How are the Audio effect presets stored in PowerTracks?

This is applicable to the older non-realtime audio effects accessed under the Edit | Audio Effects menu.

The effects presets are stored in .ini files in the C:\PT folder. Each ini file is stored with a prefix of 'Pst^'. For instance, the 32 echo presets are stored in 'Pst^echo.ini' You can back up your Pst^ files to protect against a crash, or make a folder to hold auxiliary preset files. You could then drag the file you want into the PT folder, and rename it appropriately so the audio plugin can find it. Similarly, you can share a set of presets with a friend by emailing the Pst^ files. Unfortunately, the current preset format is stored in a binary format, so you can't edit or copy/paste settings between preset files with a text editor.

25. My MIDI tracks are bleeding into the Audio Track when I record.

The Windows multimedia mixer can be found at Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Volume Control. It allows you to choose what outputs or devices you want to listen to and how loud they are. From this control you can also set whichinstruments are available for recording, and their volumes.

If you have enabled a device to record in the recording section of the Windows multimedia mixer, it will get recorded along with the mic or line input. Only the input(s) that are being recorded from should be selected. In general, unless the output of the sound card is being routed back from a mixer to be recorded again, or the PCI Sound card has a different way of routing, it will be a Windows mixer issue.

26. Why do all my MIDI tracks play with the same instrument? How do I set a MIDI channel and Patch number?

When recording MIDI in PowerTracks Pro Audio on several tracks, it is best to force the channel and the instrument for each track. In the Tracks window, you can select a track by clicking on the Track Number field. If you right-click on the MIDI icon, a menu will pop up allowing you to select various parameters for the track. Point to 'Channel' and select any channel from 1 to 16. You can choose any channel, but channel 10 is reserved for the drums. If you want to have different instruments on different tracks, you need to assign unique channel numbers to each of the tracks. To choose your program/patch number/instrument, right-click on the MIDI icon, and point to 'Program'. You can also use the 'Patch Select' dialog.

27. How do I render MIDI to wave and burn an audio CD?

We've written a detailed tutorial explaining how to render your MIDI tracks to digital audio and burn a CD.

Note that the quickest and easiest way to render to wave is to go to Audio | Merge Audio and DXi Tracks to Stereo Wave File. This method requires that you are using a DXi synth for MIDI playback. As long as you are, it will convert your entire song - both audio and MIDI tracks - to a stereo wave file. For more details, please click here to read our tutorial about this.

28. The chord symbols in my song don't show up when I save the song as a MIDI file and import it into another program.

The standard MIDI file specification doesn't include a universal way to embed this type of information, so the chord names are stored in the MIDI file from PowerTracks Pro Audio and Band-in-a-Box® as 'manufacturer specific' MIDI META-events. The chord symbols will show up in all PG Music Inc. programs that display notation. Note that if you load a .MID file that contains these META events into a non-PG Music Inc. program/sequencer, and re-save the file, the META event (i.e. Chords) will not be saved into the new file.

29. How do I import MP3 files, or save my finished Audio file as an MP3?

To save your song as an MP3 file (or another compressed audio file type), select Audio | Merge Audio and DXi Tracks to Compressed File. Choose a name for your file and press [Save]. A dialog will appear asking which format you wish to compress the file in. For MP3's, choose MPEG Layer-3. This option will appear if you have an MP3 codec installed - more information on this below.

As with most audio/MIDI editing programs, PowerTracks operates on wave files in a raw format; this is necessary for cutting/copying/pasting, and other forms of waveform editing. However, PowerTracks supports the Microsoft Audio Compression Manager (ACM) facilities, which means that you can convert from (import) and to (export) any compressed-format audio file.

In order for this import/export feature to work, you must have the appropriate CODEC installed in the ACM. You can see a list of the CODECS installed in your system by accessing (Windows 95/98/ME/2000) the Control Panel | Multimedia -or- Sounds and Multimedia | Devices, or (Windows XP) Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Hardware. If you do not have an MP3 codec installed there, PowerTracks won't be able to import/convert an .MP3 file, and you will receive a "driver cannot do the requested conversion" error. If you see a codec there and you still get an error, check to see if it is a decode-only codec. On Windows XP - Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Hardware | Audio Codecs (Properties) | Properties. On Windows Vista, try going to Help | About | Technical Support Information in Windows Media Player. To solve the problem: Due to licensing restrictions and patents on MP3 technology, we can't include MP3 codecs with our software. There are a couple possible solutions - (1) The latest version of Windows Media Player includes an ACM-compatible MP3 codec, l3codecp.acm, which you should find in your Windows\System32 directory, and it can encode MP3's at high bitrates. This codec may or may not be enabled on your computer though. Or, (2) Search online for an MP3 codec that you can download and install. Or, (3) Save your file as a stereo wave file and do the conversion from wave to MP3 in a third party program.

With an MP3 Codec installed in your system, PowerTracks should be able to import and play MP3 files, and export raw Wave files (tracks) from within PowerTracks to the encoded format. If you are finding that PowerTracks is able to convert some MP3's but unable to convert others, this suggests that the MP3 codecs installed on your system can only handle certain MP3 formats. Also, PowerTracks Version 10 and earlier cannot convert some MP3 formats, such as MP3 files with variable bitrates. Version 11 and higher have an improved MP3 conversion utility which is compatible with a wider variety of MP3 formats.

30. When I save my files, the MIDI patch/channel information in the tracks window is not saved properly.

In the Options | Preferences | Files dialog, look for the setting "Don't save forced Ch META event in .MID files". When checked (enabled), this setting overrides the forced MIDI channel settings in the Tracks Window, and the forced channels won't be recalled the next time the file is loaded. This prevents PowerTracks from saving the forced MIDI channels in the Tracks Window into .MID files. This META event is only recognized by PG Music programs.

If you want the forced channels to be recalled when you open the file with PowerTracks, disable this setting. If you are saving to a MIDI file and the patch info isn't saving properly, enable this setting, and use the Edit | Rechannel All Tracks command to convert the actual MIDI data in the tracks to the forced channel so that a forced channel isn't needed.

31. What "sample rate" and "bit depth" should I use when I am working with digital audio?

Always use the highest bit-depth and sample rate for best results, but be aware that higher bit depth and sample rates mean much larger files. Also, you will want to check what your sound card is capable of recording at. Higher quality and newer sound cards will support higher sample/bit rates. In PowerTracks, you can choose your audio file format in the Options | Preferences | Audio dialog. Versions 8 and higher support up to 24-bit, 96 KHz. Versions 7 and earlier only supported up to 16-bit, 44.1 KHz.

Bit depth: The more 'bits', the better the dynamic range (i.e. difference between quietest and loudest signal- or the number of 'discrete positions' of the amplitude.)
Sample Rate: The sample rate is measured in Hertz (Hz) which is the scientific way of saying "per second". 44.1K Hz means that there are 44,100 samples in one second of music.

The Nyquist Theory, states that the highest reproducible 'frequency' is exactly half of the sample-rate. In otherwords, if you record at the 44.1K rate, the highest audible 'frequency' you would be able to 'hear' upon playback would be 22K. (assuming your speakers were even capable of responding to 22k- i.e. very good tweeters) Since our hearing usually tops out at about 16K, this isn't much of an issue (sound processing issues aside). However, if/when you record at 22K (sample rate), the resulting highest frequency reproducible would be only 11K, which is similar to FM-radio fidelity.

There are many different opinions on how much of a difference recording at higher sampling rates and bit depths makes. In general though, you will get better results if you start with a very high-quality file and sample down from there if desired.

For more information, see our introduction to digital audio

32. After mixing audio tracks, I hear Popping (clipping) noises on playback.

Clipping is due to sound card saturation. We've written a tutorial on this, called Taking out the Thwack, available in the archives.

33. How do I import a track from an audio CD?

With Version 11, all you need to do is go to File | Open. You can import your CD Audio tracks directly this way. With earlier versions of PowerTracks, it was necessary to use one of the following methods: You could record the track, or you could use third party software to convert the track to a wave file and then import the file into PowerTracks.

Many CD burning applications have a utility that "rips" tracks from any audio CD and converts them to wave files on your hard drive. See that application's help file for more information. Once you have a wave file, you can simply open PowerTracks and use the File | Open or Audio | Import Wave File command to import the wave file.

If you want to record the track, you need to first set your computer to record audio input coming from your CD-ROM drive. To do this, go to Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Volume Control. This will bring up a windows mixer utility, where you can control the way that windows receives and outputs your computer's audio. Once the mixer windows comes up, click on 'Options', then 'Properties'. Now select 'Recording,' and make sure that the 'CD Audio' check box near the bottom of the window is checked. Press 'OK'. This will bring up your input mixer. To select your CD-ROM as your input device, simply place a check in the check box under the 'CD Audio' volume fade. Note: in some cases, you may need to select Wave, rather than CD Audio.

34. Can I make the audible message box alerts, such as "Keep Take?", silent?

In Options | Preferences | General, there is a setting for "Silent Message boxes". If this is enabled, it will prevent PowerTracks from making a beeping sound in most situations in which a message box is displayed.

You can also turn off the audible alerts in Windows by going to the Control Panel | Sounds..

35. How can I easily raise or lower the velocity (volume) of all MIDI notes in a track?

To raise or lower the velocities of notes, you can use the Edit | Change Velocities command. This command lists you increase or decrease the velocity values of notes within the marked area of all selected tracks by a specified percentage. The Percentage setting determines how the velocity values are changed. For example, a percentage of 100% results in no change. A percentage of 50 would reduce the velocity values by half. A percentage of 125 would increase the velocity values in the track by 25%.

Another way you can change the velocities of notes is by using the Edit | Velocity Dynamics command. This command will 'compress' or 'expand' the velocity values of notes within the marked area of all selected tracks. PowerTracks will determine the average velocity of all notes with the marked area. The Percentage setting will cause the velocity values to be moved either closer or farther away from the average velocity. A percentage of 100% results in no change. A percentage of 50% would compress the velocity values so that they are all 50% closer to the average velocity.

In either of these cases, you can use the Data Filter to determine exactly which notes to affect.

You could also use Edit | Replace | Note to change velocities. For example, if you want to make all of the notes the same volume, you could use this command. Set the search value to 0-127, and the replacement value to a single number (for example 127-127 for maximum velocity).

36. Can I use more than 16 MIDI channels? How do I use more than one MIDI output port?

The MIDI standard uses 16 channels. These means that on each MIDI port, you can play up to 16 instruments at a time. If you want to use more than 16 instruments, you need to use more than one MIDI port. Also, if you want to use one synth to play a particular instrument, and another synth to play a different instrument, You will need to use more than one port. For example, you might want to use your drum machine to play the drum sounds while your keyboard synth plays the piano sounds.

In the Tracks window, click on the track number field to select the track, then right-click on the MIDI icon. This will produce a menu where you can choose the port. In Options | MIDI Devices | Output Drivers, select all the drivers/ports that you wish to have available. The first one in the list that's highlighted will be port 1. The second one that's highlighted will be port 2, and so on. You can "move selected devices to top" to choose the order of the ports. If you are using a DXi synth, the number of channels you can use is quite large, since multiple instances of a particular DXi can be running, each using 16 channels.

37. What is the 'Align Music to Click Track' feature for?

This command is for people who wish to align a track of music that was recorded in 'free time' to a click track. The idea is to take a free time track and then have PowerTracks adjust the times of the events so that the music becomes a normal track that is in sync to the metronome and displays nicely in the notation window.

Suppose you recorded track number 1 in free time. You could then record, or enter, a click track on track number 2. You would record or enter a C Note on the click track at the location of each beat in the song. If the song speeds up and slows down you would have to make sure the timing of the click track corresponds with the beats of the free-time track. In other words, the click track follows the pace of the free-track rather than any metronome in PowerTracks. When the Align command is executed, PowerTracks will align the free time track so that the time locations of all the events will correspond to the beats in the click track.

There is detailed information about this feature in the PowerTracks Help Files. Select Track | Align Music to Click Track, and click [Help].

Note 1: Some programs also insert tempo changes to mirror the tempo changes of the original performance - PowerTracks doesn't. This is because the artificially inserted tempo changes usually sound worse than a fixed tempo.

Note 2: Recording a click track is easiest done from an external MIDI keyboard. The note you need to use to record a click track is middle C - all other notes will be ignored. So, when recording the click track, you will be tapping the note middle C. It is also possible to record a click track without using an external MIDI synth. You can use the Drum Window to accomplish this. To open the Drum Window, click the Drum button in your toolbar. If the Drum Window button does not appear there, add it to your toolbar using the little arrow on the right-hand side of the toolbar ('Add/Remove buttons'), or use Window menu | Show View Panel in some earlier versions of PowerTracks. You can record from the Drum Window in PowerTracks simply by pressing Record and mouse-clicking on the drums in that window. Once you are finished recording, press Stop. PowerTracks will ask if you want to keep recorded notes from .dll, to which you will answer yes. You may need to move the drum window out of the way by clicking and dragging it, because the 'keep take' dialogs will appear beneath the Drum Window plugin. The 'High Bongo' drum sound is equivalent to the note C5 (middle C), so this is the drum sound you will use. You can also use the keyboard shortcut '[' instead of mouse-clicking the high bongo drum. Any other drum sound could be used as well, provided that you transpose the track to middle C after you are finished.

38. Why can I record only two tracks of Audio at a time?

Symptoms: Error messages for each port after port 1 - 'Format Info not Found', 'Cannot open ACM stream', ' Error Closing output file'.

In the audio drivers menu, (Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers) check to see that Microsoft Sound Mapper is not highlighted in addition to your sound card drivers. Only your Sound card drivers should be highlighted, unless you only want to use the default audio driver selected in the Windows Control Panel.

39. What is the benefit of having more than one audio output port on my Sound card?

The main benefit of multi-out audio cards is the ability to process effects not readily available as plugins, and in the case of PowerTracks Pro Audio version 7 or earlier, add effects on individual tracks in real-time. This is becoming less important as the availability of many different kinds of software audio effect plugins increases. As well, with PowerTracks Pro Audio 8 or higher, you can use real-time audio effects. For most people, it is more important to have multiple input ports.

To select the audio output and input ports that you want to use, go to Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers.

40. Can I get the patterns from my drum machine into PowerTracks?

If your drum machine is General MIDI compatible and has drum patterns, you can record them with PowerTracks Pro Audio and save them as *.DP files.

  1. Select Options | Sync Source and set PowerTracks to clock MIDI.

  2. Press record on PowerTracks and then start your synth pattern playing.

  3. Record the drum pattern (usually only 2 measures).

  4. Save file as a *.DP file.

  5. Remember to turn sync source back to internal.

You can now use this drum pattern in any song you create by using Edit | Fill Track with Drum Pattern. Notice that the drum patterns in the 'Drums' folder that come with PowerTracks are of two types: *.dp, and *.dg files. *.dp files are essentially just small MIDI files, whereas the *.dg files are made using the Drum Grid Editor (Action | Drum Grid Editor...). One advantage to using the Drum Grid Editor to make a drum pattern, is that you can 'randomize' some of the drum sounds so that the drum track sounds more realistic. Unfortunately, you cannot automatically convert *.dp to *.dg files; the .dg files must be made using the Drum Grid Editor. See the PowerTracks Pro Audio Help Files for detailed information on how to use the Drum Grid Editor.

41. Does PowerTracks Pro Audio support DirectX, DXi, or VST plugins?

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2010 supports Real-time DirectX and VST effects, as well as DXi and VSTi synth plugins.

42. How do I edit the patches.ini file and create a patch map for my synthesizer?

There are some patch maps available for download from our website at: http://www.pgmusic.com/support_miscellaneous.htm.

If you do not find your synth listed there, or you would like to expand on one of the patch maps already created, please see our tutorial: How to create a patch map for PowerTracks Pro Audio.

43. Why does my recording play too fast (sounds like the chipmunks) or too slow?

You may also get the error "The waveform device can't play this format" when you try to play the file. This is most likely a sample rate problem. The sample rate is the number of audio samples taken per second; the higher the sample rate, the more samples per second and higher the quality of the file. Often the problem is that you have PowerTracks Pro Audio set to record at a higher sample rate than your sound card supports for playback. The audio file type setting is found in the Options | Preferences | Audio. You may need to choose a different file type. Check the documentation or settings for the sound card to determine what the sample rate is.

44. Why does the Notation Window not show any notes when I select an odd or compound time signature?

At present, PowerTracks Pro Audio can only display notation in 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time. If you import a MIDI file that has an odd or compound time signature (such as 6/8 or 5/4), or you select one of these time signatures in PowerTracks, the notation window will not show the notes. The file will still play back correctly, and you can still edit the notes in "Piano roll mode", by clicking the [N] button twice. PowerTracks Pro Audio was designed to be a sequencer, and not a professional notation program.

45. How do I change the default folder that PowerTracks starts up in?

To get PowerTracks Pro Audio to open in a default folder other than C:\PT, right-click on the shortcut that you use to open the program and select 'Properties'. Click on the Shortcut Tab. In the 'Start in' field, type in the path that you want the program to start up in, for example: C:\MySongs.

In Version 9 and higher, there is a setting to tell PowerTracks to start up in the folder that you last loaded a song from. This is in Options | Preferences | Files - "Bootup in folder of last session".

46. Why does PT play my imported *.wav file back with distortion?

Here is one possibility: When you import a stereo wave file into PowerTracks, the panning of each track is set to center, which increases the gain on each track. If the levels are hitting over 0 db, then you will push your card into digital overdrive, and cause clipping. You may want to visit our article on clipping: Taking Out The Thwack. To fix this, you will need to pan your tracks hard left and right via the Mixer. This will reset the file to its original form.

47. How do I use the MultiTrack CD's?

The files that come on the MultiTrack CD's are not standard wave files. They contain four tracks as opposed to the stereo (two track) wave files. Most players cannot play these wav files. There are two ways to use the MultiTrack CD's.

  1. In PowerTracks, go to the Audio menu | MultiTrack Wave File Player. You can then load the file and import it to PowerTracks if you wish.

  2. Simply use the File | Open command in PowerTracks, and select the files from your CD drive (or hard drive if you have copied them from the CD).

Note: You may have to use the latter method for some of the newer MultiTracks CD's, as we have saved the songs as .SEQ files to preserve the chord symbols.

48. Can I import a MIDI file into PowerTracks and have the chords displayed?

Chord names are not stored in MIDI files, since the standard MIDI file specification doesn't include a universal way to embed this information. However, PowerTracks Pro Audio Versions 8 and higher do have a feature called the Chord Wizard that will analyze any MIDI file and interpret what the chords are. Go to the Window menu and click on Chords to open the Chords Window. Press the Opt. button to open the Chords Window Options dialog. If 'Auto interpret chords' is set to 'Always', PowerTracks will automatically interpret and display the chords for any MIDI file that you import.

You can also type in your own chords manually in the Chords or Notation window. To allow chord entry in the Notation Window, put a checkmark in the "Ch" box. You can only input chord symbols that PowerTracks recognizes - the same as those used by Band-in-a-Box®. ***Here is a list of chords recognized by PowerTracks Pro Audio.

Note: PowerTracks 7 and earlier will display the chord names for MIDI files saved from Band-in-a-Box® and other PG Music Inc. software, because we use manufacturer specific META events to embed the chord names in MIDI files saved from our software. PowerTracks 7 and earlier will not automatically display chord names for MIDI files obtained from other sources.

49. What is the best way to transfer songs from one computer to another?

MIDI files are simple to transfer back and forth due to their small size. They can be emailed as attachments or saved on floppy disks. Wave files are much larger, so they cannot be transported as easily. If you have a CD burner, then CD-R is a cheap, easy way to back up or transport large files. A zip or jaz drive, or a removable hard drive would also work.

50. What does PPQ (Pulses Per Quarter note) mean?

PPQ stands for Pulses Per Quarter note, and it is the 'fine' timing resolution of a MIDI sequencer. This number represents the number of discrete divisions a quarter note has been split into. In general, the higher the PPQ value, the more realistic the sequencer sound is. For example, a very old sequencer might only have a PPQ of 96 divisions per quarter note. This makes a MIDI performancesound stiff or quantized, even if it has never been quantized. Low PPQ maximums are especially noticeable at slow tempos. If your tempo is 60 bpm, or one beat a second, there would only be 96 divisions per second. This would limit the timing of each note. PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 and higher have PPQ values settable up to 3840, and the default is 480.

51. How do I set up my Delta 44/66 for recording 4 tracks at once?

In the Delta 44 or Delta 66 control software go into the M Audio Delta Control Panel | MultiTrack Driver Devices. Click on "Independent." This should now allow you to record 4 tracks at once. In PowerTracks Pro Audio, go to the Options Menu | Preferences | Audio | Drivers, and select the Delta 44/66 drivers.

52. What files are used with the Drum grid editor? What is the difference between .DP and.DG files?

You can load drum patterns into any song you create by using Edit | Fill Track with Drum Pattern. Notice that the drum patterns in the 'Drums' folder that come with PowerTracks are of two types: *.dp, and *.dg files. *.dp files are just small MIDI files, with the .mid file extension changed to .dp, whereas the *.dg files are made using the Drum Grid Editor (Action | Drum Grid Editor...). One advantage to using the Drum Grid Editor to make a drum pattern, is that you can 'randomize' some of the drum sounds so that the drum track sounds more realistic. Unfortunately, you cannot automatically convert *.dp to *.dg files; the .dg files must be made using the Drum Grid Editor. You can edit existing .dg files, or create new ones. See the PowerTracks Pro Audio Help Files for detailed information on how to use the Drum Grid Editor.

53. I'm trying to set the volume and pan using the mixer window, but the settings change whenever I play the song.

Your MIDI tracks have embedded volume/pan controls. Select one of your tracks and press F2 to open an event list for the track. Look near the beginning of the event list for "VolCtrl: 7" and/or "PanCtrl: 10". You will need to delete these events if you want to use the mixer window to control volume and panning. You will probably need to do this for each of your MIDI tracks; if so, a quicker way is to select all of your MIDI tracks and press F2 to open an event list for all of the tracks. This information also applies to reverb (ReverbCtrl: 91), and chorus (ChorusCtrl: 93). If you have imported a MIDI file from Band-in-a-Box®, the MIDI file will have these controllers, unless you disabled the saving of volume/reverb/chorus/panning controls in Band-in-a-Box®.

54. How do I save my song as a Type 0 or Type 1 MIDI file?

Select File | Save. In the 'Save as type' menu, select either "MIDI File" (this is type 1), or "Type 0 MIDI File". Type in a file name and save the file to the directory of your choice.

55. How do I load MIDI files from other PG Music programs into PowerTracks Pro Audio?

If you have other PG Music Inc. programs (for example, Pianist Performance series), you can load MIDI files from those programs into PowerTracks Pro Audio. You first need to find out what the file name is for the song you wish to load. To use the Latin Pianist as an example: Open the Latin Pianist and find the song "Danza for one". When you play the song, you will see the filename displayed in the title bar at the top of the screen. In this case, it is LP047.MID. You can also print out a list of song titles for convenience by going to the File menu and selecting Copy list of songs to clipboard. You can paste this list into any text editor, such as NotePad. In PowerTracks, select File | Open, and look for the file LP047.MID in your Latin Pianist (C:\lpianist) folder.

Note: If you make changes to the MIDI file that you want to keep, it is probably a good idea to use File | Save As to save the song, so that you don't overwrite the original MIDI file.

56. How do I copy a section of one song file into a second song?

If you want to copy part of a MIDI track from one song to another, you could simply use Edit | Copy and Paste:

  1. In the source file, select the part of the track that you want to copy. You can highlight the part using the Bars Window, or use the commands under the Block menu.

  2. Select Edit | Copy and choose what you want to copy in the dialog that pops up.

  3. Open the destination file, and position your cursor where you want the paste to begin.

  4. Select Edit | Paste. Use Edit | 1-Track Paste if you need to select your destination track.

To copy part of an audio track from one song to another, use the 'Save/Load Scrap' commands. You can also use this for MIDI tracks.

  1. In the source file, select the part of the track that you want to copy. You can highlight the part using the Bars Window, or use the commands under the Block menu.

  2. Select Edit | Copy. This loads the selected area into the scrap buffer.

  3. Select File | Save Scrap, and type in the file name of your choice.

  4. Open the destination song file, and select File | Load Scrap. Choose the file that you saved. This loads it into the scrap buffer.

  5. Position your cursor where you want the paste to begin and select Edit | Paste, or 1-Track Paste if you need to choose the desination track. Note: PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 and higher use 1-Track Paste automatically, so you would only need to select 1-Track Paste specifically if you wanted all of the data to be pasted into a single track.

57. How do I insert a blank measure in my song?

Version 11 and higher have a menu command to do this: Edit | Insert Blank Bars into Song.

In previous versions, it was necessary to use the following steps. Say you want to insert a measure in between bars 9 and 10 in tracks 1 through 4:

  1. In the Bars Window, highlight bar 10 in tracks 1 through 4 by clicking and dragging with the mouse.

  2. Press F7. This makes the current time the beginning of the marked (selected) area.

  3. Click the Fast Forward button to move to the end of your song.

  4. Press F8. This makes the current time the end of the marked area.

  5. Press CTRL-X (cut).

  6. Go back, position the cursor at bar 11, and press CTRL-V (Paste).

58. How do I use the Punch In feature to fix a section of a recorded track?

The Punch In dialog (Options | Punch In..) allows you to enable or disable Punch In.

  • When Punch In is disabled, recording will occur at any point within your song, and the new data will be merged with any existing events if the track is a MIDI track, or will overwrite existing data if the track is an Audio track.

  • When Punch in is enabled, recording will only take place during the period that you set as your From and Thru values in the Punch In dialog. Recording will only take place during this period, and will overwrite any existing data there.

An alternative to punching in is to record into a different track, then cut and paste the parts together afterwards.

59. When I separate drum sounds to another track, they sound like piano notes.

When you split notes out of one track, you need to make sure that you have assigned a channel to the new track. Channel 10 is usually the drum channel. On channel 10, each MIDI note corresponds to a different drum sound, instead of a different pitch of a single instrument like the rest of the channels. You set the channel by right-clicking on the MIDI icon in the Tracks Window. Every track needs to have a channel assigned in order to play the right patch or sound.

60. How do I control my MIDI sounds using the Tracks Window?

There are 6 things in PowerTracks that determine what MIDI sound you hear. These are all found in the Tracks Window. On the left hand side of each track is the Track number. Right-click on the MIDI icon beside the track number field to set the track parameters.

  1. Channel - This is where you assign 1 of 16 MIDI channels. Each track should have a unique channel number.

  2. Port - If you have more than one port, you can select it here. You use this if you are sending different tracks to different MIDI synths.

  3. Program - This is where you choose the program\patch number\Instrument. You can also use the Patch Select dialog.

  4. Bank - If your synth has patches on higher banks, you use this to access them. This is also called MSB or Controller 0. If you have a patch map for your synth, you can also use the Patch Select dialog to choose patches on higher banks.

  5. LSB - Some synths also need this number to access higher bank info. This is also called BankLSB or Controller 32.

61. How do I control MIDI fades (crescendos and decrescendos) and MIDI volume within a file?

Both controllers 7 and 11 control volume. Controller 11 (Expression) controls the varying sound values within a track, while Controller 7 (Volume) controls the mixing of sound levels with other tracks. Other more complex methods may be required where sophisticated bend and othermodeling software is used.

To obtain a fade, use Controller 11, not Controller 7. Volume should be controlled via the Mixer when ever possible. The advantage to having both a volume and an expression control is that it allows you to add dynamics to your song and still maintain the relative balance between different instruments. Ensure that all tracks have Controller 11 value 127 at the start which switches the Expression on fully each time the song is started from the beginning.

62. How can I load more than one MIDI file at the same time?

You can do this by loading the first file into PowerTracks, then loading the second file as a scrap file. With the first file loaded, go to File | Load Scrap and select the second file - you have now loaded it to the clipboard. You can use Edit | Paste or 1-Track Paste to paste the scrap file where you want it.

63. How can I get rid of the 2 bar lead-in that gets inserted when importing a MIDI file created in Band-in-a-Box®?

In Band-in-a-Box® Versions 11 and earlier, you can choose whether or not you want the 2 bar lead-in included in the MIDI file. This is done in the Opt. | Preferences dialog. Alternatively, the lead-in can be easily removed using the Bars Window in PowerTracks. Highlight the 2 bars and use Edit | Cut (Close gap) to remove the bars.

Note: If the Midi file was imported from Band-in-a-Box®, there may be important program/pan/volume controls in the first bar. You may want to think about this, and consider moving these events to the start of the third bar.

64. Can I record Digital Audio and MIDI at the same time?

Yes you can. To record Digital Audio and MIDI at the same time, first make sure you have selected the correct recording input in the Record Control mixer. Select an audio track and simply start recording your audio while playing the MIDI device. If PowerTracks receives MIDI data while you are recording, it will be placed on the next available track. Starting with Version 9, PowerTracks will offer to put recorded audio on the next available track if you are recording MIDI. You can enbable/disable this feature in Options | Preferences | Audio.

65. During playback, why is there a delay before my mixer moves (volume, pan, audio effects) are heard?

The default buffer settings ensure that playback will not stutter for users with slower computers. However, this also means that it can take a while to hear the effect of mixer changes or DirectX edits during playback. There are settings in PowerTracks that you can use to control this. Go to Options | Preferences | Audio.

  • If you reduce the 'Output Buffer Milliseconds' value, the response to mixer moves will be faster. The lower the setting, the quicker the program will respond when you change volume, pan, mute, or effects settings for an audio track. 1000 milliseconds (1 second) usually is good overall setting for fast enough response, while still leaving enough buffers to avoid audible dropouts or clicks. If you have a reasonably fast CPU (over 1 GHz), try a 'Track Buffer Size' setting of 8192 and an Output Buffer Milliseconds setting of 500. This will reduce the buffering delay substantially.

  • The 'Quick Volume Change' setting, if enabled, will cause PowerTracks to quickly stop and restart playback in response to any volume or panning changes to an audio track, or muting/unmuting of audio tracks. There may be a slight delay or glitch before the change occurs. If this setting is disabled, then there will be a delay equal to the Output Buffer Seconds setting before you hear the change.

66. How do I turn the metronome on or off? Is there a way to save my metronome settings?

The metronome settings are found in the Options | Metronome dialog. PowerTracks Pro Audio 10 and higher provide an easy method of making the metronome settings permanent. By default, the metronome settings are saved in your .SEQ files. If you would prefer to make the settings stay the same between songs and PowerTracks sessions, check the box that says "Keep these settings permanent".

For reference, PowerTracks 9 and earlier did not have this "permanent" setting. Here is how you could save your metronome settings between PowerTracks sessions in earlier versions of the program: After launching PowerTracks Pro Audio, and before bringing up or creating a project, go to Options | Metronome. Make your changes within the Metronome dialog, then go to File | Save, and save the file as "$OPTIONS.SEQ" (without the quotes). This file will automatically loaded at startup with the Metronome settings you have specified.

If you cannot hear the metronome when using a software synth, see this FAQ topic.

67. How do I synchronize PowerTracks with another MIDI device?

Sometimes it is necessary to synchronize a MIDI sequencer such as PowerTracks Pro Audio with another MIDI device so that they start at the same time, play at the same tempo, stop at the same time, and so on. A MIDI sequencer can control playback timing by sending certain MIDI timing messages to another device. The other device receives the messages and adjusts its playback accordingly so that the two stay in sync. The device that sends the MIDI messages is known as the "master". The other device is know as the "slave". There are a few different types of MIDI messages that are used. Here are some useful definitions.

SMPTE: Pronounced "Simtee". This is a standard time code developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. It uses the format hh:mm:ss:ff (hours, minutes, seconds, frames).

MTC (MIDI Time Code): This is a MIDI message used to synchronize playback between MIDI devices. It controls timing by specifying the exact location from the beginning of the song. The timing data is similar to SMPTE.

MIDI Clock: This is a MIDI message used to synchronize MIDI devices by controlling the playback rate (tempo). Unlike MTC it does not use a time code to specify the exact location from the beginning of the song.

SSP (Song Position Pointer): This is a MIDI message that tells a slave where to start playing (Position).

MIDI Start/Stop: MIDI Start and MIDI Stop messages tell a slave to start or stop playback.

MIDI Continue: This is similar to MIDI Start, but is used to start playback in the middle of a song.

To use PowerTracks as a slave, select one of the following from the Options | Sync Source menu.:

  • MIDI Sync: This will allow PowerTracks to respond to MIDI Clock and Song Position Pointer.

  • MTC/SMPTE: This will allow PowerTracks to respond to MIDI Time Code.

When you press Play with either of these options selected, PowerTracks will wait for the appropriate MIDI sync message from the other MIDI unit before starting playback.

To use PowerTracks as a master, go to the Options | MIDI Out dialog and enable one or more of the following settings:

  • Send MIDI SPP: If checked, PowerTracks will send Song Position Pointer.

  • Send Realtime messages: If checked, PowerTracks will send MIDI Clock, and also MIDI Start, Stop, and Continue messages.

  • Send MIDI Time Code: If checked, PowerTracks will send MIDI Time Code.

For more information on the settings in this dialog, click the Help button.

If you are having any trouble, you may need to consult the documentation for your other MIDI device to find out how it receives and sends these MIDI messages.

68. When I try to record, I receive a message that says "Awaiting MIDI Sync".

To resolve this problem, go to Options | Sync Source,and select 'Internal'.

69. How can I split specific notes or other events out of one track and move them to a different track?

If for example, you wanted to move all of the kick drum notes from your drum track, you would first select the whole track, then choose Cut from the Edit menu. Make sure the "Use Data Filter" box is checked. When the Data Filter dialogue comes up, make sure that only "notes" is checked, and change the note range to "C2" through "C2" (C2 is the kick drum 1 for General Midi).

Once the cut is completed, select your destination track, and choose 1-Track Paste from the Edit menu. This should paste only the kicks into the new track, and leave the original track "kickless". Note that the Data Filter can be used in a similar way to cut and paste other types of events in your track, not just notes.

70. How do I use SysEx (System Exclusive) in PowerTracks Pro Audio?

With PowerTracks Pro Audio Version 9 and higher, any SysEx data embedded in a MIDI file is transmitted in real-time while the song is playing. You can view/edit the SysEx data in the Event List window. You can also use the built-in SysEx librarian (Window menu | SysEx) to transmit, receive, and edit banks of SysEx data.

PowerTracks Pro Audio Versions 8 and earlier worked a little differently in that they could not transmit embedded SysEx in real-time. If a MIDI file contained SysEx, PowerTracks would ask you when you opened the MIDI file if you wanted to transmit the SysEx data. If you answered 'Yes', PowerTracks would send a bulk transmission of the SysEx data. The SysEx Window is available in Versions 8 and earlier, but SysEx messages do not appear in the Event List window.

SysEx Events (PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 or higher)

The Event List window can be used to view and edit SysEx data in a MIDI file. In the Event List editor, SysEx data will show up as black events on track 1. To insert a SysEx message, press the [Ins] button, select 'SysEx',and press OK. To edit a SysEx event, click on it and press the [Change] button. In either case, the SysEx Events dialog will open.

  • Load from file: This lets you load a .syx file containing SysEx data.

  • Receive: This lets you transmit SysEx data from your synth to PowerTracks.

  • Request: This launches the Dump Request dialog within which you can issue a dump request to your synth.

  • Delete: This lets you delete the event all together.

Note: If your SysEx event is very large, you may experience stuttering when it is transmitted during playback so we recommend limiting the size of the SysEx events to 128 bytes or less.

SysEx Window (all versions of PowerTracks Pro Audio)

PowerTracks also has a SysEx Window (Window Menu | SYSEX), which is actually a built-in System Exclusive librarian. It allows you to transmit or receive SysEx data. You may also load and save MIDIEX compatible SysEx files. The SysEx librarian can hold up to 24 banks of system exclusive data. Since the librarian stores all data on disk as opposed to memory, the size of the SysEx data is limited only by the amount of free disk space.

  • Receive: This command lets you receive a data dump from your synthesizer to the currently selected bank. When you execute this command, a message box will pop up to indicate that the sequencer is ready to receive the dump. You may then dump the data from your synth and all the data received will be stored in the current bank. A dialog box will show the progress of the dump. When your synth is finished dumping the data, you may then press the OK button to let the program know that the dump is finished.

  • Transmit: Sends the data in the current bank out via MIDI. A dialog box will inform you that a send is in progress. If you wish to cancel the transmission after it has started, you may press the cancel button, and the transmission will be stopped.

  • Request: This option allows you to initiate a dump request by sending a dump request to your synthesizer. Simply choose an instrument from the available choices and press ENTER. You may be prompted for the channel or patch numbers if the instrument requires them. After sending the dump request out the MIDI OUT port, the program will then receive any data that is sent from your synth as if the receive command had been executed.

  • Load: This command will load a MIDIEX compatible SYSEX file into the currently selected bank.

  • Save: This command will save the currently selected bank on disk in MIDIEX compatible format.

  • Name: Lets you choose the name for the current bank of SYSEX data.

  • Auto: When this option is enabled, the bank will automatically be transmitted via MIDI when loaded from a .SEQ file. The letter 'A' will appear to the right of the bank name if the bank is to be Auto-Transmitted.

  • Port: This setting determines the output port through which the SYSEX data will be sent out via MIDI. If the selected port is greater than the number of ports available, the data will be sent out the highest available port. For example, if the port setting for a bank is set to '2' and there is only one MIDI output driver installed, the SYSEX data in the bank will be sent out through port 1.

  • Delete: This simply deletes the data from the currently selected bank.

  • Send All: This transmits all the banks out via MIDI.

  • Edit: This command is for experienced MIDI users who wish to edit the bytes of the currently selected bank. You can also type in SYSEX data if the current bank has no data in it. A dialog box will pop up in which you can edit the bytes. The bytes are edited as hexadecimal numbers. The bytes are shown separated by spaces. The SYSEX data will look something like this example: 'F0 41 10 42 12 40 11 02 10 1D F7' . Each SYSEX message should start with 'F0' and end with 'F7'.

Note: If you save a song as a .SEQ file, the SysEx data will be saved within the file. However there are differences in the way SysEx data is saved in .MID files since it must be saved as SysEx meta events. If you save the file to a .MID, SysEx information will be saved, but the banks won't have any names when a .MID file is loaded back into PowerTracks. In addition, if a bank has multiple SysEx messages in it, such as a bulk dump, each individual SysEx message is saved separately into the .MID file. If more than the maximum number (24) of SysEx meta events are read from a .MID into PowerTracks, the additional banks will be added to bank number 24.

Some common SysEx messages you may see at the start and end of a MIDI file

  • General MIDI Mode On (resets GM devices to default settings): F0 7E 7F 09 01 F7

  • Roland GS Mode On (Resets GS devices to default settings): F0 41 10 42 12 40 00 7F 00 41 F7

  • Yamaha XG Mode On (Sets XG devices to XG Mode on): F0 43 10 4C 00 00 7E 00 F7

There is more information about SysEx in this FAQ topic.

71. How do I use PowerTracks Pro Audio to receive/save bulk SysEx data from my synth? Can PowerTracks initiate a dump request?

If your goal is just to have PowerTracks receive a dump by initiating the dump from your synth (such as by pressing a certain button on the synth, or executing a certain comand from the synth's control panel), then you would just press the [Receive] button in the Sysex window. Then it's just a matter of entering the command on the synth's control panel to get it to transmit the SysEx, and PowerTracks will download the sysex as it is received from the synth. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Plug a cable from the MIDI OUT of the synth to the MIDI IN on your computer/interface.

  2. Set the synth to send a Bulk Dump. You will have to refer to your synth documentation to find out exactly how to do this.

  3. In PowerTracks, go to the Window menu and select Sysex.

  4. Press [Receive].

  5. Select the "Send Bulk" command on the synth. PowerTracks should show "Receiving Data".

  6. Set info like 'port', if applicable

  7. Give the Bank a name and press [Save].

If your goal is to have PowerTracks itself initiate the dump request, you can use the [Request] button in the SysEx window and choose your synth from the list. We have included dump requests for some popular synths with PowerTracks - these appear in the list. If your synth is not listed there, you would first need to enter the appropriate macros in the PT.DRM file, based on the SysEx implementation chart for your synth. This should be in the User's manual for the synth. You will find the PT.DRM file in the root PowerTracks folder (ie, C:\PT), and it can be opened and edited with a simple text editor such as NotePad.

72. How can I fade my Audio or MIDI tracks in or out?

MIDI tracks:

  1. Go to the Bars window, and using the mouse, highlight the section of Bars (and Tracks) to be faded.

  2. Go to Edit | Fill, and select 'Controller'.

  3. Enter the start and end values. For example, if you were fading in, you might enter 0 as your start value (no volume), and 127 as your end value (full volume).

  4. Press OK and type '11'. Controller 11 is Expression. It is a volume control that you use within a track for fading.

Audio tracks:

  1. Go to the Bars window, and using the mouse, highlight the section of Bars (and Tracks) to be faded.

  2. Select Edit | Audio Effects | Gain Change.

  3. Select Fade In or Fade Out and press OK.

Note: You can also record mixer moves unless you have an early version of PowerTracks Pro Audio.

73. I am having trouble downloading files from your site.

Please see this sales FAQ topic for some information and suggestions for downloading files.

74. When I try to install the program, I get the message "Setup is not a valid win32 application".

If you are trying to install a program that you downloaded, you might get this error if the download did not finish properly or the file is corrupt for some reason. Delete the file that you downloaded, restart the computer, and try downloading it again.

If you get the error when trying to install a program from a CD, your computer may be having trouble reading the CD.

  • First, try rebooting your computer and closing all running applications.

  • Examine the disc for large scratches and warping. If the disc is dirty, use a disc cleaning kit or wipe the disc surface with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth. Wipe from the center to outer edge of the disc, not in circles.

  • If possible, try the CD in another drive. If it works in another drive, the original drive may not be reading it properly.

If it appears that your CD is damaged, you may contact us about obtaining a replacement CD.

75. PowerTracks Pro Audio is crashing frequently on Windows 98/ME, with errors such as "A Win 32 API function failed" and "parameter is incorrect".

If you are running Windows 95, 98, or ME, and PowerTracks Pro Audio is crashing frequently or giving you error messages such as these, it probably has to do with low system resources. Version 9 and higher are more resource intensive under Windows 95/98/ME than previous versions of the program. The GDI and some other essential resources, on Win95/98/ME, are limited to 64 K fixed-size buffers regardless of how much RAM you have installed. Every control in every window in every program you have running will use a chunk of that 64K GDI buffer. PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 and higher have lots of Windows controls. Windows XP removed these 'artificially limited-size' restrictions, so these kinds of resource shortages are not an issue on XP.

To resolve the problem, you should have as few other programs as possible running in the background when you are using PowerTracks Pro Audio. Before you run the program, restart your computer and do the following:

  1. Press Ctrl-alt-del to bring up the Close Program dialog.

  2. Click on each item listed in the window, except for "Explorer" and "Systray", and press [End Task]. You have to do this one item at a time. When you are finished, only Explorer and Systray should appear there.

  3. Try running PowerTracks Pro Audio again.

There are some additional suggestions for freeing up system resources on older computers in this FAQ topic.

76. I am having trouble playing the video tutorials.

If you hear sound but don't actually see the video while it is playing, or if you get an error message when you try to play it, you most likely don't have the TSCC codec installed on your computer. Most of our recent videos use the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec. Click here to download the TSCC codec.

If you are still having trouble playing the videos for any reason, we suggest reinstalling Windows Media Player. This is easiest done by downloading and installing the most recent version of Windows Media Player for your operating system.

Note that If you have downloaded the video from our website, you will need to extract the file with a program such as WinZip. A trial version of WinZip can be downloaded from http://www.winzip.com. Windows XP has a built-in utility for extracting files. You should then be able to then play the file in Windows Media Player. If the video doesn't run automatically when you double-click on it, open Windows Media Player (Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Windows Media Player), and use the File | Open command to open the file.

77. Does PowerTracks Pro Audio support ASIO drivers?

Yes, Version 10 and higer support ASIO. Version 9 and earlier do not. To set PowerTracks to use ASIO, go to Options | Preferences | Audio and select ASIO as the Audio Driver Type. The ASIO Audio Drivers window should open up, allowing you to choose your drivers.

78. I am getting an "access violation in module DXIRE.DLL" when I try to play a song.

We believe this is caused by an incompatibility between PowerTracks Pro Audio and a particular 3rd party DirectX plugin. Go to Options | MIDI Devices and check to see if you are routing playback to a default DXi synth. If so, make sure that FADXIRW is not selected. Also, open the DirectX window by clicking on the DXi button in the PowerTracks Pro Audio toolbar, and make sure that it is not selected there either. Alternatively, you could uninstall this plugin from your computer.

79. Why is PowerTracks Pro Audio recording an audio track when I am only trying to record MIDI?

PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 and higher have a feature that will allow audio to be recorded even when the current track is MIDI. PowerTracks will offer to keep the audio take on the nearest available blank track. This can be a "lifesaver" in those situation where you wanted to record audio, but you accidentally selected the current track as a MIDI track.To disable this feature, go to Options | Preferences | Audio, and uncheck "Always Record Audio too, if current track is midi".

Note that if you were doing the opposite - recording an audio track - PowerTracks would also record MIDI if it received MIDI data from your synth.

80. When I try to apply audio harmonies to my song, I get the message "Error or Cancelled out of routine, error code=1".

This error should not occur with PowerTracks Pro Audio Version 12 and higher.

This may occur with an earlier version of PowerTracks if one of the folders in the "Audio Temp Directory" path has a period in its name. Go to Options | Preferences | Audio, and select a different Audio Temp Directory, or use the default directory chosen by PowerTracks. To have PowerTracks select the default directory, you can return the program to the factory settings. To do this, close the program and delete the file ptw.ini from your PT folder. You may wish to make a backup of the existing ptw.ini file first.

81. Why do I get a "cannot make connection" error when I try to choose a plugin in the DirectX/VST window?

That error means that PowerTracks Pro Audio was able to find the plugin listed on the system, but when it tried to 'make a connection' to the plugin, an error occurred.

There are a few possible reasons why this could occur.

If the plugin used to work on your system:

  • The plugin may have been installed/registered at some time in the past, but was later either deleted or moved on your hard drive. Windows thinks a plugin exists if there are proper entries in the registry. If the registry entry doesn't point to the real location of the plugin (because it was deleted or moved), an attempt to connect will fail.

  • One of the PowerTracks configuration files could have an error in it.

To resolve the problem, try uninstalling and reinstalling the plugin. In the case of the PG Music DirectX plugins (for example, PG Reverb, PG Dynamics, etc.), they can be uninstalled using the Add/Remove Programs window, where they show up as "PG Music DirectX Plugins". You can install the plugins either by reinstalling PowerTracks, or by double-clicking on the file pgdx_plug_*.exe in your pt folder (* will be the version of the plugins included with your version of PowerTracks). If that doesn't help, try closing PowerTracks and deleting the DX (or DXi/VST/VSTi as the case may be) configuration file from your pt folder. The files are DXiPluginList.ini, DXPluginList.ini, VSTiPluginList.ini, and VSTPluginList.ini.

If the plugin has never worked on your system:

  • Because of the nature of the DirectX specification, there are some Microsoft plugins that sneak in on the Audio Plugin list because they fit the 'description' of a DX plugin, but were never intended to be used in an audio sequencer program as a user plugin. PowerTracks has an exclusion list that can be used to prevent particular plugins from being displayed. To edit this list, in the DirectX Window click on Options | Edit DX Exclusion List.

  • A few of the third-party-written plugins were coded as copy-protected and bundled with specific software (not PG Music Inc. software). PowerTracks can find them from Windows, since they are the right kind of plugin and they exist in the registry. But since PowerTracks doesn't know the 'secret handshake', the plugin declines an attempt to connect. You could check with the manufacturer that you obtained the plugin from to find out about this.

  • The plugin may be intended to be used with audio programs like PoweTracks, but there may be something wrong/corrupted with it. Or, for some reason it is compatible with some host the plugin writer tested with, but doesn't happen to be compatible with PowerTracks Pro Audio.

82. Why do I get an Error Code 5 when I try to install upgrades or update patches?

The complete error message may be: "An error occurred while trying to replace the existing file: DeleteFile Failed; code 5. Access is Denied".

This is usually because you have the application open when you are trying to install the update. Close the program and try installing the update again. If the application appears to be closed and you are still getting this error, reboot your computer.

83. How do I access all of the patches available in the Roland VSC and VSC-DXi?

The Roland VSC has two modes.

  • GM2 mode gives you access to the 256 GM2 patches.

  • GS Mode gives you access to around 900 patches. This is the same sound set as in the SC88Pro Sound Canvas.

To choose the mode that you want to use, launch the VSC controller window and press either the GS or GM2 mode button (stand-alone version), or press the [Setup] button (DXi plugin version). To see a list of instruments included in GS and GM2 mode, click the [Help] button in the VSC, then click on 'Instrument List'.

Click here to download Roland VSC patch maps for Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio. The following two files are included:

  • Patches.ini: This is for PowerTracks Pro Audio. Rename the existing patches.ini file in your PT folder to patches.old (this keeps a backup of it), then copy the downloaded patches.ini to the PT folder. You will then be able to choose any patch on the VSC using the Select Patch dialog in PowerTracks. There are two patch lists - one for GM2 mode and one for GS mode.

  • Roland_VSC_(GSMode).PAT: This is for Band-in-a-Box®. Copy this file to your BB folder. You will then be able to select any patch on the VSC by doing one of the following:

    1. If you have the VSC set to GM2 mode: In Opt. | MIDI Driver Setup, under the GM2 Support menu, select 'General MIDI 2 support'. This will allow you to choose any of the 256 GM2 patches by simply using the Instrument pull-down menu or GM2 button on the main screen of Band-in-a-Box®. (.PAT file not needed for this)

    2. If you have the VSC set to GS mode: In Opt. | MIDI Driver Setup, under the GM2 support menu, select 'Roland GS'. To select one of the 900 patches supported in GS mode, click the [+] button or go to Opt. | Utilities | Choose patch from higher bank and choose the Roland_VSC (GS Mode).PAT file.

84. Why do I get a PTSEQ32.DLL error when I try to open the program?

Complete error message: "This application has failed to start because PTSEQ32.DLL was not found."

This may occur if you installed an update patch into the wrong folder, or somehow moved the PowerTracks application file (PTW.EXE) outside of the main PT folder. You can resolve the problem by moving reinstalling PowerTracks or reinstalling the update patch, making sure to select the correct destination directory. By default, PowerTracks installs to C:\PT. If you aren't sure where you have PowerTracks installed, you can check by right-clicking on the shortcut you use to open the program and selecting Properties.

85. When I boot my Windows 95/98/ME computer, I get an MSGSRV32.exe error naming devcon32.dll.

Devcon32.dll is a driver for the Creative SoundBlaster Live! sound card. This problem is often encountered when you have the Roland VSC installed on your computer and you are using older SoundBlaster Live! drivers. You should be able to resolve the problem by uninstalling and reinstalling the sound card, using the latest drivers available from Creative. Download the most recent driver updates for your card from Creative's website.

Note: If Windows won't load, you can start your computer in safe mode. This is normally done by pressing F8 repeatedly while booting your computer.

If you are having trouble resolving this problem, we recommend contacting Creative for support or uninstalling the Roland VSC from your computer.

86. How can I return PowerTracks Pro Audio to the factory settings?

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2010 uses the files listed below for configuration. If you want to restore PowerTracks to the factory settings, you can delete or rename these files. The next time you launch PowerTracks, new configuration files will be created. This can help solve or troubleshoot odd and unexplainable problems you are having with the program. The files are found in the root PowerTracks folder, usually C:\pt. Important: You must have PowerTracks closed when you do this.

We recommend renaming the files (rather than deleting them) or saving a copy of them somewhere else on your hard drive so that you have a backup of your old configuration. For example, you could rename ptw.ini to ptw.old. Later, if you find that you need to restore your previous settings, you can delete the new ptw.ini file that PowerTracks will have created, and rename ptw.old to ptw.ini

Note: Some people have trouble finding the files because Windows hides file extensions. In any folder on your computer, go to the Tools menu and click on Folder Options, then click on the View tab and make sure 'Hide extensions for known file types' is unchecked. On Windows 98/ME, the Folder Options item is found under the View menu.

  • ptw.ini. This file contains most of the global PowerTracks settings, especially the settings in the Options | Preferences and Options | MIDI Devices dialogs. It also has a list of the most recently accessed song files.

  • ptpa.cfg. This file contains information about your sound card

The two files above contain most of your program settings; it is usually only necessary to delete those two files. Other settings files include:

  • PTToolB6.Ini. This file contains your main toolbar setup.

  • DEFAULT.WS. This file stores your most recent Window setup when you exit the program.

  • DXPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the DirectX audio plugins that PowerTracks has found on your computer.

  • DXiPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the DXi synthesizers that PowerTracks has found on your computer.

  • VSTPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the VST audio plugins that PowerTracks has found on your computer.

  • VSTiPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the VSTi synthesizers that PowerTracks has found on your computer.

  • pt.DRM. This file contains a list of SysEx dump request macros.

  • $Drumz.cfg. This file contains your Drum Window settings.

  • $MIDIMON.cfg. This file contains your MIDI Monitor settings.

  • Tuner.cfg. This file contains your Guitar Tuner settings.

  • $OPTIONS.SEQ. This isn't a settings file, but when the $OPTIONS.SEQ file is present in your PowerTracks folder, it will be loaded automatically as soon as you launch PowerTracks. This can be helpful, if for example you want to specify certain metronome settings or auto-send a sysex bank every time you open the program.

87. How can I improve audio performance on my computer?

Here are some suggestions to help you improve overall audio recording/playback performance on your computer. This will also help troubleshoot problem such as jerky playback and stuttering, clicks/pops/audio glitches, and out of sync tracks:

  • Some initial troubleshooting steps.

    If you are having sync problems, you should look at this FAQ topic first.

    If you are using ASIO drivers (Version 10 or higher), look at this FAQ topic first.

    Otherwise, you should start by installing the latest update for your version of PowerTracks Pro Audio. Find out what your exact version is by looking under Help | About PowerTracks Pro Audio. You can download the latest update patch from our Software Updates page.

    If you are having a serious problem, you may also want to return PowerTracks to the factory default settings to eliminate the possibility that one of the configuration files is corrupt, and to correct inadvertant changes to settings in the program. You can return the program to the factory settings by following the instructions in this FAQ topic. Even better, create a fresh installation of the program by renaming your current PowerTracks folder (ex. rename C:\pt to C:\ptOLD) and reinstalling the program to the pt folder. Note that after reinstalling from your original CD you may need to reinstall the latest available update patch.

  • Close background programs. This is probably the most common cause of audio recording and playback problems that we encounter. Close as many background programs as possible before working with any recording software. Disconnect from the internet and disable your firewall and anti-virus software. On Windows 2000/XP, look for icons in your system tray (at the bottom of your screen next to the computer clock) and close/exit/disable as many of these as possible. On Windows 98/ME:

    1. Hold down Ctrl and ALT on your keyboard, and press DEL once. This will bring up the Close Program window.

    2. Click on any item listed in this window except for "Explorer" or "Systray" and press [End Task]. If another window pops up saying that the program is not responding, press [End Task] again.

    3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each item listed in the Close Program window, EXCEPT for "Explorer" and "Systray". Note: Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del twice in a row will restart your computer. If you restart your computer accidentally during this process, most of the background programs will likely be loaded again so you will need to start over.

    Your computer probably loads a variety of different programs when it boots up. You can use the System Configuration Utility to prevent your computer from loading many unwanted programs at startup. To open the System Configuration Utility, go to Start | Run, type "msconfig", and press OK. For troubleshooting purposes, you could perform a 'selective startup', and uncheck 'load startup items'. You will need to reboot your computer. If this resolves the problem, then it's just a matter of isolating which of the programs is causing the problem. Note: The System Configuration utility was not included in Windows 2000.

  • Update the drivers for your sound card. You should reinstall your sound card (and MIDI/audio interface if you are using one) using the latest drivers for your operating system available from the manufacturer. The most recent drivers can normally be downloaded from the sound card manufacturer's website. If your sound device is integrated with the motherboard, you may need to search on the computer or motherboard manufacturer's website for appropriate drivers.

  • Clean up and defragment your hard drive. Check your hard disk space by going to My Computer, right-clicking on your hard disk, and selecting Properties. If you are getting low on space, this can slow down your computer quite a bit. Delete files that you don't need, and temporary files. You can use the Disk Cleanup utility (Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Cleanup) to delete temporary files.

    You should defragment regularly if you are working with audio. If you use more than one hard drive, be sure to defragment both. To defragment your drive:

    1. Close all programs on your computer.

    2. Get windows to check for errors on your hard disk. On Windows XP, right-click on your hard drive, select Properties, click on the Tools tab, and press the [Check now...] button. On earlier versions of Windows, run Microsoft ScanDisk by going to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | ScanDisk. This may take a while.

    3. Start the defragmenter by going to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter (or by clicking on the Defragment button on Windows XP). This may take a long time if it hasn't been done recently, and you can't do anything else on your computer while the defragemter is running.

  • Visual effects and animtions, and other performance settings. On Windows 2000/XP, these settings are found in Start | Control Panel | (Performance and Maintenance) | System | Advanced.

    • Click on the Settings button in the Performance section, and select 'Adjust for best performance'. Your operating system will not look as pretty, but will be faster.

    • You might get better sequencing and audio driver behavior if you set Processor Scheduling to 'Background services' rather than 'Programs'.

    • You might get better sequencing if you set Memory Usage to 'System cache'.

    The previous two items might be most noticeable if you have a specific problem you are trying to fix. If toggling those settings doesn't help anything, or makes matters worse, toggle them back. However, most people should get at least as good or better performance with 'Background services'.

    • Another thing that some people find helps is to click the [Change] button in the Virtual Memory section, and select 'Custom size' rather than 'System Managed Size'. System managed is the safest setting, so most people will probably want to leave it there. However if you do set it to Custom, try setting the Initial Size to the size of your RAM (for example 512 MB) and the Maximum size to twice the size of your RAM.

  • Verify that DMA is enabled for all hard drives. On Windows 2000/XP, right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Click on Hardware | Device Manager, and expand the IDE Controllers section. Click on each of the Primary and Secondary Channels and make sure that the Transfer Mode is set to DMA in the Advanced Settings tab.

  • Disable accelerated graphics. Try reducing graphics hardware acceleration: Start | Control Panel | Display | Settings | Advanced | Troubleshoot. Move the hardware acceleration slider to the left one notch and click OK. You may be prompted to restart Windows. If the problem remains, repeat the above process until the problem is solved or the slider is all the way to the left. If you experience any problems with your display, especially if you are using graphic intensive games, you may need to move it back to the right.

  • Adjust the Input and Output Buffer settings in PowerTracks. The default settings in the Options | Preferences | Audio dialog are usually ok, but you can try adjusting the Input and Output Buffer and Audio I/O Thread if you are experiencing audio glitches. Click on the [Help] button in the Audio Preferences dialog for more information about these settings.

  • Use the Aux busses for DirectX audio effects. (Not applicable to PowerTracks 7 and earlier). When applying a DirectX audio effect to multiple tracks, use the Aux 1 and 2 busses if possible, rather than applying the effect to each track individually. This will allow PowerTracks to use a single instance of the effect, rather than an instance for each track.

  • Perform system scans for Viruses, Trojans, and Spyware. Download the latest virus definitions for your Anti-virus software and perform a full system scan. You should also consider using a program that will scan for spyware and remove it from your computer. Spyware can have a significant impact on your computer's performance.

  • Check for IRQ problems. Your sound card should not share an IRQ with any other device. You can check IRQ assignments by going to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Information, and clicking on 'Hardware Resources'. Note that items listed as "Steering" and "Holder" can share the same IRQ as another device. There is more information about IRQs here. You can use the Device Manager window to quickly check for conflicts - Start | Control Panel | System | Hardware | Device Manager. If there are any yellow exclamation marks in the device manager it indicates that there is a problem (However, if you don't see any exclamation marks, it doesn't necessarily mean that there *isn't* a problem). If your sound card shares an IRQ with another device, you may need to move it to a different PCI slot.

  • Other suggestions for improving performance. There are a variety of things you can tweak on your computer that may improve performance. Below are some other miscellaneous suggestions. You can find more information by searching on the internet.

    • Disable automatic updates (Windows XP). This can be done in Start | Control Panel | System | Automatic Updates.

    • Disable your screen saver (Start | Control Panel | Display).

88. When I play my external MIDI keyboard, why don't I hear the sound through my selected DXi or VSTi synth?

You must be using an ASIO driver for "DXi/VSTi play-thru" to work, because this feature requires a low latency driver. In PowerTracks, you can set this up by going to Options | Preferences | Audio, and selecting ASIO as the Audio Driver Type. This requires that you have ASIO drivers for your sound card installed on your computer. If you aren't sure, you should check with the sound card's documentation or manufacturer.

Note that PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 and earlier do not support ASIO or MIDI thru for DXi synths. This means that if you are playing into PowerTracks 9 or earlier from an external MIDI controller, you will not hear the sound being played through the DXi synth. You will actually hear the sound played on whatever synth you have selected as your MIDI Output Driver in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog.

89. How do I use DXi and VSTi synths with PowerTracks Pro Audio?

There are basically two different ways that you can use DXi or VSTi synths for playback. You can choose a single DXi/VSTi synth to play all tracks, or you can assign DXi/VSTi synths on a track-by-track basis.

Choosing a single synth to play all tracks: The easiest way to use a single DXi or VSTi synth for all of your MIDI tracks is to go to Options | MIDI Devices and place a checkmark beside "Re-Route MIDI playback to default DXi Synth". In the "Default DXi Synth" combo box, choose the synth that you want to use and press OK. Now all of your MIDI tracks will use the DXi synth you have selected. If you want to view the control panel for the synth, you can click on the [DXi] button in the main PowerTracks toolbar. If you want to select a default VSTi synth, you must first open the DirectX Window and manually add the VSTi synth to your plugin list. To do this:

  1. Click the DXi button in the toolbar, or click any of [Edit DXi] buttons in the Track Info fields. To find the [Edit DXi] button, click the Track Disclosure button (the little triangle) in any of the Track Info fields.

  2. In the top plugin combo box, select "Add VSTi Plugin".

  3. Navigate to the location of the VSTi plugin .dll, select it, and press Open.

  4. The VSTi plugin will appear in your plugin list from now on - you won't need to do this procedure again unless you reinstall PowerTracks. It will show up near the bottom of the list as "<VSTi>synthname". Note that native VSTi plugins that you have added to the list have brackets surrounding "VSTi" and appear near the bottom of the list.

Assigning synths on a track-by-track basis: If you want, you can use different synths for different MIDI tracks, or use DXi/VSTi synths for some tracks and non-DXi/VSTi synths for other tracks. If you have PowerTracks 12 Build 10 (or higher) installed, you can find a tutorial about this in the Help file - Features and Tutorials - Using DXi and VSTi synths with PowerTracks.

Note:

  • DXi and VSTi tracks will use your audio driver for playback. In Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers, if you have Microsoft SoundMapper selected for Audio Output, playback will be through the default audio driver you have selected in the Windows Control Panel (Sounds and Audio Devices or Multimedia). If you have an audio driver other than the SoundMapper selected, playback will go through that driver.

  • PowerTracks Pro Audio 10 and higher support DXi/VSTi play-thru as long as you are using an ASIO driver. See this FAQ topic for more information.

  • If you want to render your song to a wave file, you can use the Audio | Merge audio and DXi tracks to stereo wave file command to quickly convert your DXi/VSTi and audio tracks to a wave file.

  • PowerTracks scans for DXi plugins automatically, but VSTi synths need to manually be added to the list of plugins. To add a VSTi plugin to the list:

    1. Click the DXi button in the toolbar, or click any of [Edit DXi] buttons in the Track Info fields. To find the [Edit DXi] button, click the Track Disclosure button (the little triangle) in any of the Track Info fields.

    2. In the top plugin combo box, select "Add VSTi Plugin".

    3. Navigate to the location of the VSTi plugin .dll, select it, and press Open.

    4. The VSTi plugin will appear in your plugin list from now on - you won't need to do this procedure again unless you reinstall PowerTracks. It will show up near the bottom of the list as "<VSTi>synthname". Note that native VSTi plugins that you have added to the list have brackets surrounding "VSTi" and appear near the bottom of the list.

PowerTracks Pro Audio 12, Build 10 has introduced a more intuitive method for selecting and using multiple DXi or VSTi synths in a single song. So if you have PowerTracks 12, make sure that you have the latest build installed. For older versions of PowerTracks, see the PowerTracks 11 and earlier FAQ topic.

90. How is pitch bend data transmitted and interpreted by a MIDI synth?

A Pitch bend message is encoded with two 7-bit data bytes (as per the MIDI spec). All MIDI data bytes have a range of 0 thru 127. The MIDI status bytes all have values between 128 and 255, so it is illegal to send data bytes bigger than 127, or they will be misinterpreted as status bytes (note on, note off, controller, etc). So if you want to encode values bigger than 127, the MIDI spec uses two or more data bytes. Pitch Bend uses two data bytes. The 7 bits of the MSB (most significant byte) and the 7 bits of the LSB (least significant byte) are combined to make a 14 bit possible range of values. Fourteen bytes can count from 0 thru 16383. A Pitch Bend of zero is considered to be halfway up in that range, so most software subtracts 8192 from the 'true 14 bit value' to display the pitch end value. That's why most programs, including Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTrack Pro Audio, display the pitch bend range -8192 thru +8191.

There is a pitch bend range controller message that tells a synth how far to stretch a note in response to pitch bend messages. Many synths have a front-panel setting for that if you push enough buttons. The most common setting is +/- 2 semitones, which is the GM standard, but some synths have a default of +/- 3 semitones, and some guitar controllers/synths use +/- 12 semitones. You should probably set the synth to a pitch bend range of +/-2 if you want to play third party files. The pitch bend data is the same number range in all cases (0 thru 16383), but the synth just stretches its pitch a different interval in response to the pitch bend data.

Some synthesizers may ignore the LSB in Pitch Bend messages, and only have 256 actual pitch bend locations. Even if a synth doesn't transmit or receive the LSB, that data value is just treated like it is zero. So if you had a controller that only sends 128 pitch values, the received numbers (if you slowly move the pitch bend wheel up) would be 0, 128, 256... on up to 8191. If you slowly move the pitch bend wheel down, the received numbers would be 0, -128, -256, on down to -8192. A synth which ignores the LSB would pretend that the LSB is always zero, regardless of what value the sequencer is actually transmitting.

Both Pitch Bend data bytes are encoded in each single Pitch Bend message. The MIDI spec also provides for higher-resolution of other controllers if you send two consecutive messages. It is questionable how many synths can respond to hi-res information. The first 32 controllers are MSB's, and the next 32 controllers are LSB equivalents. For instance, in theory you could transmit continuous values 0 thru 16383 for controller 1, if sending message pairs of controller 1 for the MSB, and controller 33 for the LSB. The trick would be finding a synth that does something other than ignore controller 33.

91. Where can I find a list of MIDI controllers?

Click here for a general reference of the 128 MIDI controllers, accompanied by a description of each one.

92. Error message: "Canvas does not allow drawing"

This may occur on Windows 98 and ME with Band-in-a-Box® 2004 or higher, or PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 or higher. It most likely means that your system resources are low.

You should be able to resolve the problem by closing programs you are not using and/or restarting your computer to free up resources. If you continue to experience problems, close background programs before running the program. On Windows 98/ME:

  1. Press Ctrl-alt-del to bring up the Close Program dialog.

  2. Click on each item listed in the window, except for "Explorer" and "Systray", and press [End Task]. You have to do this one item at a time. When you are finished, only Explorer and Systray should appear there.

  3. Try running PowerTracks Pro Audio again.

There are some additional suggestions for freeing up system resources on older computers in this FAQ topic.

93. What is the difference between the audio effects under the Edit menu, and the effects that you access from the Mixer window?

The audio effects that you access via Edit | Audio Effects... are not real-time effects, which means that you have to add these effects while the song is stopped, and they take some time to process. These effects are also "destructive". This means that when you apply these effects to your track, you are permanently modifying the audio data on the track. What we suggest you do is to duplicate your track before applying one of these effects - that way you have a copy of the original track if you are not happy with the results.

The audio effects that you access in the Mixer window - ie, by clicking on one of the FX buttons - are non-destructive, real-time DirectX effects. You can apply these effects and make adjustments to them in real-time while the song is playing. You can experiment with them as much as you want without modifying the raw audio data on your track.

Note: If you hear a delay between when you make a change to an effect and when you hear the change, the information in this FAQ topic may help.

94. How can I separate individual drum sounds onto their own tracks?

If you are generating the MIDI files from Band-in-a-Box®, note that Band-in-a-Box® 12 and higher have a feature that will do this automatically for you. When you save your MIDI file, simply choose 'Drums on separate tracks' from the MIDI File Type combo box. When you open the MIDI file with PowerTracks, all of the different drum sounds will appear on separate tracks.

In addition, PowerTracks Pro Audio 12 and higher have a feature that will do this automatically - Edit | Split MIDI Drums, and enter the appropriate data into the dialog box that comes up.

If you aren't using Band-in-a-Box®, and/or have an earlier version of PowerTracks, it is still possible to do but it isn't a single step. We will use the file melanbab.seq, a sample file included with PowerTracks, to demonstrate what you could do. In this file, the drum track is track 2.

  1. First, we suggest making a duplicate of your original drum track as a backup. In our example, we will duplicate the drum track onto track 6. Click on track 2, go to the Track menu and select Duplicate. Type 6 and press OK.

  2. Click on track 2 and open an Event List for that track by pressing F2.

  3. In the Event List, look at what the first note is. In our example, it is Gb3. Note that on the drum channel (usually channel 10) each MIDI note is a different drum sound rather than being a different pitch of the same instrument. Gb3 happens to be a Closed Hi-Hat in the General MIDI Standard Drum Kit. Click here to see a chart of the different drum sounds in the Standard Drum Kit.

  4. Go to the Edit menu and click on Cut. In the Options section, select 'Use Data Filter'. Make sure that the From and Thru values are 1 to 1000 - this is the whole song. Press OK.

  5. In the Data Filter dialog, uncheck everything except for 'Note'. Set the 'Range' for 'Note' to Gb3 and Gb3. Leave the Value and Duration set at the default values. This means that the Edit | Cut command will operate on all Gb3's, but not any other notes. Press OK.

  6. In our example, we will start putting the individual drum sounds on track 7. Select track 7, and go to Edit | Paste. Press OK.

  7. If you would like, you can name this track 'Closed Hi-Hat' so that you can identify it easily later.

  8. Now repeat steps 3 to 6 for each drum sound, putting them each on different tracks (Track 8, 9, 10, etc.). This should be a fairly fast process once you get the hang of it. So, in our example, the next step would be to click on track 2, press F2 to make the Event List active, and look at what the first note in the list is. Note that all Gb3's have now been removed from this track and the first note is now Eb4, which happens to be Ride Symbol in the Standard Drum Kit. Cut all Eb4's and paste them onto track 8.

When you have finished, you should end up with individual drum sounds on tracks 7 through 15; 9 tracks in total.

95. Nothing seems to happen when I use the "Split Piano Track into LH/RH" command.

When you go to Track | Split Piano Track into LH/RH, PowerTracks analyzes the track and determines what notes would most likely be played with the left and right hands. "Left hand notes" are assigned to channel 8, and "right hand notes" are assigned to channel 9. This doesn't automatically place them on separate tracks however. To put the left and right hands on separate tracks, go to Edit | Extract Channels to Tracks. Notes on channel 8 (left hand) will be placed on track 8, and notes on channel 9 (right hand) will be placed on track 9.

96. What is the "S" column for in the Event List window?

This tells you which events are in the currently selected region. If you see a little box beside an event, this means that the event is within the selected region.

97. Error message when exiting the MIDI Driver Setup dialog: "A device ID has been used that is out of range for your system".

This can occur on some systems when the MIDI Mapper is one of your selected MIDI output drivers. To resolve the problem, simply unselect the MIDI Mapper.

You should not normally have the MIDI Mapper selected at all. On Windows 95/98, it was possible to use the MIDI Mapper to send different MIDI channels to different ports. Microsoft removed most of the functionality of the MIDI Mapper on later Windows operating systems. Fortunately, PowerTracks itself has the ability to send different channels to different ports without the use of the MIDI Mapper. In the MIDI Driver Setup dialog (Options | MIDI Devices), you can choose more than one MIDI Output Driver at the same time. The top MIDI driver that you have selected is considered to be port 1, the second is port 2, and so on. In the Tracks window, click on the Track Info field, point to "Port", and select the port that you want to use.

If you get the error even if the MIDI Mapper is not selected, there is most likely a problem with the way your sound card is installed. We recommend reinstalling your sound card using the latest drivers available from the manufacturer. Check the manufacturer's website for driver updates.

98. Error message when trying to close PowerTracks: "Cannot create file ... PTToolB6.Ini"

This error message means that PowerTracks is unable to write or modify this configuration file. This may happen if the file is marked as read-only, or if you do not have "write" access to the PowerTracks folder.

Right-click on the PowerTracks folder (usually C:\pt), and select Properties. Make sure "read-only" is unchecked, and press [Apply]. You may be asked if you want the changes to apply to all subfolders and files. Yes, you do.

If that doesn't resolve the problem, you may be running PowerTracks on Windows 2000 or XP Pro under a limited (non-administrator) account. If this is the case, you may not have "write" access to the PowerTracks folder. The solution is to log onto the computer as an administrator and change the security settings for the PowerTracks folder. For instance, on Windows XP Professional, you would:

  1. Right-click on the PowerTracks folder (usually C:\pt) and select Properties.

  2. Click on the Security tab.

  3. Select the Group or User name that pertains to the limited account you are running PowerTracks on.

  4. In the Permissions window, make sure that "write" access is not denied for that group.

  5. Press [Apply].

PowerTracks should now work properly under the limited account(s). Note that the the steps above for changing security settings apply to Windows XP Professional, but not to Windows XP Home edition. Windows XP Home doesn't give you the same control over permissions for individual user accounts, because "Simple File Sharing" is always enabled. For limited users, you may need to copy the pt folder to the Shared Documents folder. All user accounts can read and modify any folders or files that are in the Shared Documents folder. For more information, right-click on a folder, select 'Sharing and Security', and click on the 'Learn More' link in that dialog. There is a way you can disable simple file sharing on Windows XP Home, however that is beyond the scope of this article.

99. Why do I get distorted audio playback or audio dropouts when I use ASIO drivers?

The two most frequent causes of this problem are (1) you have outdated, buggy, or incorrect sound card drivers installed on your computer, and/or (2) the latency is set too low in the sound card's ASIO control panel.

The first thing you should do is go to your sound card manufacturer's website and download the latest drivers available for your sound card. For some sound cards, you may have the option of downloading more than one different type of driver. If you are not sure which is the best to download, you may want to contact the sound card manufacturer.

Next, go into Options | Preferences | Audio and click on the [ASIO Driver's Control Panel] button. This should launch your sound card's control panel where you should see a latency setting. The setting may be referred to as "buffer size". Note: some cards require that ASIO not be in use when you change the latency setting. In these cases, you will need to either close PowerTracks, or select the MME driver type temporarily, then open the sound card's control panel from outside of PowerTracks. You may have an icon in your task bar to launch the control panel, or you may be able to access it from the Windows Control Panel. In any case, increase the latency setting until you don't experience any playback or recording problems.

How low you will be able to set the latency depends on how powerful your computer is, the quality of the sound card drivers, and what steps you have taken to optimize digital audio performance on your computer. There is a list of a number of things you can do to improve audio performance on your computer in this FAQ topic.

Two other settings in the ASIO Audio Driver dialog may help improve performance with specific sound cards if you are having trouble - the 'ASIO Always On' setting (try toggling this off), and the 'Resampler quality' (try setting this to BEST).

100. How do I monitor myself while recording audio with an M-Audio sound card?

This is set up in the M-Audio control panel. Open the M-Audio control panel, usually by clicking on an icon in your task bar. The specific steps may vary between cards, but the basic steps are to choose the Patchbay/Router tab, and select 'Monitor Mixer' underneath the ports that you want to monitor on. Then, click on the Monitor Mixer tab and ensure that the appropriate mixer controls are not muted and set to a good level.

Also, in PowerTracks, check that you have the correct audio drivers selected in Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers.

101. Can I get PowerTracks to display more realistic guitar tab and correct fingerings in the Fretboard Window?

For the most realistic representation of a guitar part in the Notation Window (tab) and Guitar Fretboard window, the MIDI note data needs to be on multiple channels. Usually, channel 11 is used for a note that should be played on the 1st string, channel 12 is used for the 2nd string, and so on up to channel 16. If multiple channels are not used, there is no way for PowerTracks to know for sure which string each note is supposed to be played on. PowerTracks will do its best to figure this out and this will be adequate in many cases, but you may find some places where a "live" musician would use a different string.

You can change your track into a guitar-type track by going to the Notation Window Options dialog and selecting 'Guitar' from the Tablature pull-down menu. This will show you tab, but will not modify any of your note events. You would need to either use a MIDI guitar to record your melody, or go through each note one at a time by right-clicking on the note in editable notation mode and editing the channel used by the note.

Another thing you can do is to enter the notes by opening the Guitar Fretboard window and clicking on the strings. This will input the notes into the notation window as long as (1) you are in editable notation mode, and (2) you have 'Send Notes to Notation Window' checked in the Guitar Fretboard Settings window. You need to move to the position in the Notation Window where you want each note to be inserted.

102. Why do I hear a buzz or hum when my computer is connected to an external speaker system?

This could be caused by a "ground loop". This happens when the ground on your computer and the ground on your external amplifier have a difference in potential. If you are using a laptop with a 3 prong plug and are connected to AC power, try unplugging the power cord (use battery power) and see if you still hear the buzz. If not, chances are you have a ground loop. You may be able to use an isolation transformer or even just a 3 prong to 2 prong adaptor to resolve the problem. There may be safety issues to consider, so you should consult a technician or the computer manufacturer for more specific advice.

103. How can I return the toolbars to their default configuration?

Close PowerTracks Pro Audio, and open the PowerTracks folder on your hard drive (usually C:\pt). Look for and delete the file "PTToolB6.Ini". The next time you open PowerTracks, the toolbars will be back to their factory configuration.

104. Can I use more than one MIDI channel to play drums?

By default, only channel 10 is used as the drum channel, however with many synths you can use a SysEx message to assign more than one channel to drums. Two reasons you might want to do this are: (1) It allows you to use more than one drum kit simultaneously, and (2) it allows you to affect individual drum sounds with certain MIDI controllers (volume, pan, etc.) if you have split your drums to separate tracks.

The following SysEx messages will allow you to set channel 9 or 11 to drums (in addition to channel 10). This will work for Roland GS compatible devices such as the Roland VSC and Roland SD-20. As long as you send the appropriate SysEx message, you could do this for any channel. You could check the documentation for your synth or do a search for "system exclusive" on the internet for more information.

  • Set channel 9 to drums: F0 41 10 42 12 40 19 15 02 10 F7

  • Set channel 11 to drums: F0 41 10 42 12 40 1A 15 02 0F F7

105. Error message: "There is a problem with your sound hardware. To install mixer devices, go to Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Add Hardware."

Symptoms: When you open the VU Meters and click on the yellow speaker button to try to access your recording controls, either you get this error message or nothing happens at all.

This message is given by the operating system. There may in fact be a problem with your sound card installation, but this is not necessarily the case. When you click on the speaker button in the VU Meters window, PowerTracks is trying to open the Record Control panel of the Windows sound card mixer so that you can select your recording input and set the volume level. If there is a problem accessing the mixer, either nothing will happen or you will get the error message above. This means that there isn't a Windows recording mixer installed for the currently selected Sound Recording device (you select this in the Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio tab, or in PowerTracks by going to Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers). Some sound cards install their own proprietary control panel/mixer utility that you need to use. Usually there will be an icon in your task bar to access this, or you may be able to get to it via the Windows control panel. Otherwise, select a different driver for sound recording if you have the wrong one selected.

If you continue to get the error message after your recording settings are correct, and you are in fact able to record, you can just ignore it.

106. How can I make my MIDI file 'compatible' with many different computers, so that it plays the way it was intended for a wide audience?

There are general recommendations for folks who write 'canned' MIDI files for use by 'just about anybody', for example MIDI files that you downloaded from the internet. If these recommendations aren't followed, then the MIDI file might not play properly on some computers.

General MIDI

Your file should be compatible with the minimum General MIDI specifications. General MIDI defines 128 patches, Program # 0-127. You should not use controller 0 or 32 (Bank Select MSB and LSB), since patches on higher banks are not defined in the GM spec. If you have a synth/sound card that happens to have some nice sounding patches on a higher bank, this doesn't mean that everyone else will have these same patches. Use only the 128 patches on 'Bank 0'. If the patch is not in the General MIDI list, other synths might play a different instrument than expected, or nothing at all.

General MIDI also defines 128 controllers, however to be GM compatible a synth only needs to recognize a few basic controllers: 1 (Modulation), 6 (Data Entry MSB), 7 (Volume), 10 (Pan), 11 (Expression), 38 (Data Entry LSB), 64 (sustain pedal), 100 (Registered Parameter Number MSB), 101 (Registered Parameter Number LSB), 121 (All controllers off), and 123 (All notes off). Controllers 6, 38, 100, and 101 are used for tuning and pitch bends. Some sound cards/synths may not respond to other controllers that you have in your file. For more information on the General MIDI specifications, see the MIDI Manufacturers Association.

Reset messages

Reset messages should be included in your file. The strategy is to put MIDI messages at the beginning of each MIDI file, which 'set everything to default', just in case the PREVIOUS song that the synth played did not do the polite thing and return all the channels to their default positions.

Also, to be a good citizen, you put MIDI messages at the end of each MIDI file, which set all the channels to default settings, just in case the NEXT song played doesn't bother to initialize the synthesizer. For instance, say you make a MIDI file that uses CTRL 7 (volume) or CTRL 11 (expression) to fade the ending to silence. If the next song you play doesn't initialize volume and expression, you may notice some tracks not playing, because they are still turned down to nothing from the last MIDI file that played. That's why it is nice to reset all the volumes/pans/etc maybe a beat or a bar after the song has played its last note.

Most sequencers, including Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio, automatically send quite a few reset-type messages at the beginning and end of play, but they don't necessarily cover all the bases, and you might find players that don't automatically send out all the stuff you would desire.

Many folks, if writing General MIDI files, will put the short GM Reset command at the beginning of the file, in the countoff region, so the synth has a few hundred milliseconds to completely initialize itself before it begins to play notes in the song. Some synths reset practically instantly, and others can take a moment to think about it. The GM Reset message is: F0 7E 7F 09 01 F7.

GM Reset is SUPPOSED to initialize all of a synth's settings to default, but there is no guarantee that all GM synthesizers really do that. Also, folks often use much nicer expensive synthesizers which are not General MIDI synths, but are set up to respond to a GM Patch map. In such a case, the synth might act like a great-sounding GM synth in most respects, but ignore the GM Reset command.

So 'belt and suspenders' will also send a group of messages to specifically initialize the common parameters, just in case the GM Reset doesn't do the right thing.

There are 'everything' type messages that are often included, such as the All Sounds Off (CTL 120), Reset All Controllers (CTL 121), and All Notes Off (CTL 123). However, it's the same deal - though these commands are commonly recognized by most synths, if a manufacturer doesn't recognize these messages, nobody is going to put them in jail for it.

So the final 'belt and suspenders' level is a series of controller messages to set Pan to 0 (actually 64 in absolute MIDI numbers, but most sequencers display Pan as -64 to + 63), set Bank Select LSB and MSB to 0, set Modulation to 0, set Volume to 100 (at the end of song. At beginning of song, set to desired initial volume of the track), set Sustain Pedal OFF, etc.

Some folks will make up a short dummy sequence with all these init messages for all channels, then splice the dummy sequence to the beginning and end of each file they make.

Many sequencers, including Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio, write a lot of that stuff to the MIDI file when you export a MIDI file. But there could be cases where you might want to check what is getting written, and decide if there is something else you would want in there.

107. I have made a patch map for PowerTracks, but I get a syntax error when I launch the program.

If you get a syntax error when you launch PowerTracks, this means that there is an error in your patch map file (patches.ini). This is most likely a typo - for example, if you had typed "1-Grand Piano", instead of "1=Grand Piano" (you replaced an = sign with a minus sign) anywhere in your file, you would get a syntax error. The error message gives you the line number where the error occurs in your file.

Another reason you could get a syntax error is if any one patch list in your file exceeds the limit of about 2000 patches. You will get a syntax error referring to the first line that exceeds the maximum number of patches. In this case, you may need to omit some patches, or split your patch list into two or more patch lists to cover all of the patches available. Note that you can have multiple patch lists in a single patch map file.

One more reason you could get a syntax error is if you forgot to include the default bank in one of your patch lists.

Click here to read a complete tutorial on creating a patch map and using the patch map in PowerTracks.

108. How do I select patches on higher banks? What are MSB and LSB?

Please see our tutorial: How to create a patch map for PowerTracks Pro Audio. This tutorial describes what MSB and LSB are, and how to select any patch on your synth. You may also be interested in this MIDI tutorial.

109. When using ASIO4ALL, the ports in the ASIO Audio Driver dialog are listed as "Not Connected".

You may need to enable the appropriate device in the ASIO4ALL control panel. In the ASIO Audio Drivers dialog, click the [ASIO Driver Control Panel] button. On the upper left side of the ASIO4ALL control panel, it will list your audio devices and give the status of each. If the device is available (there isn't a red cross through it), but not enabled (not highlighted in green), select it and click the Enable button. For this to take affect, you will need to exit the control panel, exit the ASIO Audio Drivers dialog, and possibly close and restart PowerTracks.

If the device is showing as unavailable, you may be able to resolve the problem by making sure the Microsoft GS Wavetable is not enabled anywhere in your setup. In PowerTracks, go to Options | MIDI Devices, and make sure the GS Wavetable is NOT selected as your output driver. If this doesn't help, close Band-in-a-Box®, go to Start | Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio, and make sure that the GS Wavetable is not selected for MIDI playback there. Also, make sure that there aren't any other programs running on your computer that might be using the GS Wavetable. The problem should be resolved next time you open PowerTracks. If not, try a reboot. Note that there is a way to disable the GS Wavetable completely using the registry editor, however this is beyond the scope of this article.

110. When I try to use the Shift-click in the Notation Window to enter a note one semitone higher, the note is not inserted.

Starting with PowerTracks 10, a shift-click feature was added to the notation window to allow you to highlight a range of notation. This makes it easy to tweak the beginning or end of a highlighted area. If you shift-click before the start of the From/Thru range, or after the end of the From/Thru range, the highlighted area will be extended. If you shift-click within the From/Thru range, the range will be reduced, and the location you clicked on will become either From or Thru depending on which boundary was closer to where you Shift-Clicked the mouse.

If you want to use the Shift key to insert a note a semitone higher, left-click the mouse button first (where you want to enter the note), and hold down the mouse button while pressing the Shift key.

111. Error message when loading the program: "GetCharWidth function call unsuccessful. Notation display may therefore have problems."

This can happen if there is a problem with the way the PG Music fonts are installed. The solution is to reboot your computer and reinstall the program using your original CD (or the installer that you downloaded when you placed your order). If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, you may also need to install the font update patch, available from our Software Updates page.

If that does not resolve the problem, you may need to update or reinstall the drivers for your video card. Drivers can normally be downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

112. The MIDI Guitar Cleanup function doesn't seem to have any effect.

The MIDI Guitar cleanup works on channels 11 through 16 by default. The notes that are interested in probably aren't on one of those channels. You can change the default channels in the MIDI Guitar Cleanup dialog.

113. How can I use a single line input on a sound card to record two tracks simultaneously?

You can do this as long as your computer has a stereo line input. Many laptops no longer have stereo audio inputs, only a mono mini-plug for a web microphone. However, almost all desktop computers DO have a stereo line-in. If you have a laptop that doesn't have stereo inputs, the following description will also work with external PCMCIA, USB, or Firewire stereo audio cards. Assuming you have a stereo input available, for sake of example assume we want to record two guitars:

  1. Plug Guitar 1 into Channel 1 of your external mixer (via direct, direct box, stompbox, amp emulator, mic, whatever). Plug Guitar 2 into Channel 2.

  2. With most mixers, it doesn't matter what channels you use, but some mixers have special use on some channels. For instance, you can find 16 channel mixers which have 12 sliders-- 8 mono channels (one input per channel), and then 4 stereo channels (two inputs per channel). In that case, it is probably simpler to use 2 of the mono channels, which gives you independent EQ and gain adjustment for each guitar.

  3. Pan the guitar 1 mixer channel hard left. Pan the guitar 2 mixer channel hard right. Just to be picky, if your mixer has special mono buttons or whatever in the master section, make sure such buttons are turned OFF.

  4. In the Options | Preferences | Audio Settings dialog -- the item 'Input Channel for Mono Tracks'-- Rather than Left or Right, set this item for 'L+R (2 Tracks)'

  5. In the Tracks window, choose the track you want for Guitar 1. Click the track icon, and set this track to be a Mono Audio Track. Click the 'Track Number' box of the track to highlight it RED, which arms this track for recording. For example, lets say you picked Track 5.

  6. Now when you record, then Keep Take, Guitar 1 will be on Track 5. If Track 6 was empty, Guitar 2 will be on Track 6. If Track 6 was not empty, PowerTracks will search up the track numbers and place Guitar 2 on the first blank track it finds.

  7. Alternately, if you made Track 5 a Stereo Audio Track, PowerTracks would have recorded Guitar 1 to the left channel of Track 5, and recorded Guitar 2 to the right channel of Track 5. There are cases where this is better, but you usually get more control with two MONO tracks.

  8. Once you have the Guitars on Tracks 5 and 6, you can insert different FX on each track, EQ, Echo, Chorus, whatever. You can pan each track to taste, and adjust the relative balance with the Track 5 & 6 level sliders. Often a good stereo spread might be '10 o'clock and 2 o'clock'. You can hear a spread in your livingroom or headphones, but if you are driving in your truck, you can still hear Guitar 2 a little bit, even though it's difficult for the driver to hear much out of the passenger-side right speaker. With more drastic stereo spread, some conditions such as vehicles or wide-spread stage PA speakers, you might not hear both guitars clearly.

114. Why are the CDs that I make quieter than professional CDs?

Most professional CDs used a lot of compression. This can increase the apparent loudness of a song by quite a bit. A compressor reduces the difference between the loud and soft parts of the music. The PG Music Dynamics DirectX plugin has a 'downward compressor' with make-up gain. Downward compressors work by making loud signals softer. After loud passages have been made quieter, you can apply make-up gain to increase the final audio level.

Another thing that you can do is use the PG Peak Limiter on the final output and push it up almost to the red. This will bring up the quieter parts, without allowing the louder parts to distort. Another consideration is that if you have a lot of bass, the music might not seem as loud. Equalization can help with this.

There is a lot of in-depth information available on the internet on the subject of mastering, and you can find many good tutorials by doing a simple search using any internet search engine.

115. When using a DXi plugin with ASIO drivers, why does realtime play-thru not work while the song is stopped?

For real-time MIDI thru to a DXi synth using ASIO, look in the Audio Settings dialog (Options | Preferences | Audio), click the [Audio Drivers] button, and in the "ASIO Audio Drivers" dialog make sure that the "ASIO Always On" checkbox is ON.

The choice whether to run ASIO all the time, or just when PowerTracks is playing/recording, is offered in case anyone has problems running ASIO constantly. If ASIO is not always on, PowerTracks will route MIDI thru to your default MIDI destination (such as the MS GS Wavetable, Creative Soundcard synth, hardware MIDI synth, etc). This is to minimize playthru latency when ASIO is not always on, and it is the way MIDI Thru behaves with MME high-latency drivers as well.

116. Error message when loading the program: "System cannot find file specified at..."

This is a Windows error that occurs when PowerTracks asks Windows to search for DirectX plugins on your computer. The problem is most likely related to an incorrectly installed DirectX Plugin.

The first thing you should do is a fresh reinstall of PowerTracks. Here is one way of doing this:

  1. Rename your existing PowerTracks folder to "ptOLD" (This will be a backup of your old pt folder).

  2. Reinstall the program (using the original CD, or the installer that you downloaded) to the default pt folder, for example C:\pt. Proceed with the DirectX Plugins installation which will launch after the main program installation. Install the plugins to the default folder.

  3. Install the latest update patch for your version of PowerTracks Pro Audio. Updates are available for download from here.

If you follow these steps, you will accomplish three main things: You will reinstall the PG Music DirectX plugins included with PowerTracks, you will ensure that there wasn't something wrong with one of the configuration files in your 'old' PowerTracks folder, and you will update PowerTracks to the latest build available. Once you have done this, launch the program to check if the error still occurs. If you still get the same error message, here are some other things that may help:

  • Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher also include a some PG Music DirectX plugins, and these should be reinstalled as well. One way to do this would be to reinstall Band-in-a-Box®. However, you can also do it without reinstalling the whole program:

    1. Open your Band-in-a-Box® folder, usually C:\bb.

    2. Search for a file that starts with "bbxxxx_dx_plug", where xxxx is your version of Band-in-a-Box® (for example, 2005).

    3. Double-click on this file, and follow the prompts to install the DirectX Plugins. Install to the default location.

  • Download and install the latest version of DirectX from Microsoft's website.

  • Check your hard disk for errors. Right Click on your hard drive and select Properties. On the Tools tab - Error Checking, click the Check Now button. Check both boxes (Fix File System Errors and Scan/attempt recovery of bad sectors). You will need to reboot the computer to run this scan.

  • If none of these suggestions have fixed the problem, there is most likely a third party (non-PG Music) DirectX plugin on your computer which was moved or deleted, or there is a problem with the plugin's registry entry. If you have recently installed any third party DirectX plugins (or software that might have included DX plugins), try uninstalling/reinstalling this software. It is possible that just one corrupt DX plugin file somewhere on your computer is causing the problem, and the next step would be to track down and uninstall all of your plugins. You may be able to find a utility that will check the registry and flag any DX plugin that has a registry entry which no longer points to a valid file.

117. How do I use Native Instruments Bandstand with PG Music software?

Please click here to read our Bandstand tutorial, which explains how to use Bandstand with Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio, and provides some troubleshooting tips.

118. When recording from an external keyboard, some notes are not being recorded, are dropping out, or are being sustained when they shouldn't be.

This might occur if the connection between PowerTracks and your external keyboard is being lost, such that note-on or note-off messages are occasionally not being received.

Here are some things to try:

  • Close PowerTracks and delete the configuration settings file "ptw.ini" from the C:\pt folder. You may want to make a backup of this file first, as this will return many global PowerTracks setting to their factory defaults. Deleting the file will cause PowerTracks to re-connect to your MIDI drivers, and eliminate the possibility that this file was corrupt.

  • Make sure that your MIDI cables and USB cable (if applicable) are firmly connected. If you are using a USB hub, try connecting the USB cable directly to a USB port on your computer.

  • Reinstall the drivers for your MIDI interface, using the latest drivers available from the interface manufacturer's website.

  • Close other programs while using PowerTracks. There may be a conflict with another program running on your computer.

  • If the problem persists, try a different MIDI interface if possible.

119. When I try to install the program I get a message that the "setup files are corrupted".

This normally occurs with downloaded programs. This error may occur when double-clicking on an installer that was downloaded from our site. It means that the setup file is the wrong size or the file failed a CRC (cyclic redundancy check). Most likely something went wrong when you were downloading the file, for example your internet connection may have been lost. Delete the file that you downloaded and try the download again. If you are still having the problem, or if this is occurring with a program that you have on CD, reboot your computer. Also, see our Sales FAQ topic for help troubleshooting download problems.

120. My Audio Track Categories are all listed as "unassigned".

When you right-click on an audio track and point to Track Category, you might find that the categories all appear as "unassigned". This can happen if you have the Windows Indexing Service disabled. To resolve the problem:

  1. Close PowerTracks Pro Audio.

  2. Right-click on the PowerTracks folder on your hard drive (usually C:\pt) and select Properties.

  3. In the General tab, Click the [Advanced] button.

  4. Place a checkmark beside "For fast searching, allow Indexing Service to index this folder" and press OK.

  5. Press Apply, and select "Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files". Press OK.

  6. Close the Properties dialog and re-open PowerTracks.

121. Error message when trying to open audio files: "Procedure entry point WMCreateSyncReader could not be located in the dynamic link library WMVCORE.DLL".

There are older, corrupt, or missing files on your computer. You can resolve this problem by download and installing (or reinstalling) the latest version of Windows Media Player from Microsoft's website.

122. What options do I have for creating a MIDI drum track in PowerTracks Pro Audio?

  • You can use one of the pre-made drum loops that are included with PowerTracks. To do this, go to the Edit menu and click on Fill Track with Drum Pattern. In this dialog you can click on the [Select Pattern] button to choose one of the drum loops, as well as define the track number and range of bars that you want the drum loop to be imported to. Notice that the drum patterns in the 'Drums' folder that come with PowerTracks are of two types: *.dp, and *.dg files. *.dp files are essentially just small MIDI files, whereas the *.dg files are made using the Drum Grid Editor.

  • You can use the Drum Grid Editor to create your own custom drum loop, or you can edit an existing drum grid (*.dg file). This is the easiest way for you to make a drum track from scratch within PowerTracks. To open the Drum Grid Editor, go to the Action menu and click on Drum Grid Editor. Each of the columns of boxes represent a beat. Each box is a drum sound. To input a drum sound, type in a number from 0-127 - this number is the 'velocity' (volume), that you want the drum sound to have. The drum files are saved as *.dg files. Note that you can make the drums sound more realistic by using the 'random' feature.

  • You could input a drum track using your mouse and computer keyboard in the notation window. To do this, you should understand a couple of things. There are 16 MIDI channels. Channels 1-9 and 11-16 are generally used for any instrument EXCEPT drums, while channel 10 is generally used as the Drum channel. On channel 10, different note pitches sound like different drum sounds rather than different pitches of the same instrument. To select different drum kits (on channel 10), you send your synth Program Change messages. Program Change #0 is the standard drum kit, and is most frequently used drum kit as it is included in any General MIDI synth. On other MIDI channels, Program Changes are used to select different instruments (piano, guitar, etc.). Using the list of drum sounds/note numbers in the General MIDI Standard Drum Kit (see the General MIDI instrument list on our website, or the instrument list in the documentation for your synth for reference) you can input drum sounds into the notation window in editable notation mode. They will sound like drums provided that you have set the track you are working on to channel 10. If you input a couple of bars that you want looped, you can use the Edit | Copy and Paste commands to copy the bars to your whole song. The Paste dialog has an option to specify the number of repetitions you want. Alternatively, you can save 2 bar drum section as a .dp file so that you can use the Fill Track with Drum Pattern feature.

  • If you have an external hardware MIDI drum machine synth, you could connect this up to your computer and record directly into PowerTracks. If your drum machine is General MIDI compatible and has drum patterns, you can record them with PowerTracks Pro Audio and save them as *.DP files.

    1. Select Options | Sync Source and set PowerTracks to clock MIDI.

    2. Press record on PowerTracks and then start your synth pattern playing.

    3. Record the drum pattern (usually only 2 measures).

    4. Save file as a *.DP file.

    5. Remember to turn sync source back to internal.

    You can now use this drum pattern in any song you create by using Edit | Fill Track with Drum Pattern. You can also record drum parts from any other synth that you might have, even if it's not a drum machine.

  • You can record from the Drum Window in PowerTracks simply by pressing Record and mouse-clicking on the drums in that window. Once you are finished recording, press Stop. PowerTracks will ask if you want to keep recorded notes from .dll, to which you will answer yes. Also answer Yes to the Keep Take dialog. You may need to move the drum window out of the way by clicking and dragging it, because the 'keep take' dialogs will appear beneath the Drum Window plugin. The Drum Window can be opened by clicking on the Drum button in the PowerTracks toolbar. If the Drum Window button does not appear there, add it to your toolbar using the little arrow on the right-hand side of the toolbar ('Add/Remove buttons'). You can also use keyboard shortcuts in the drum window rather than mouse-clicking. To show the keys to use for each drum sound, open the Settings dialog and place a checkmark beside 'Display QWERTY characters on Drums'.

  • Finally, there is always the option of using a drum track created by our program Band-in-a-Box®. In Band-in-a-Box®, select a style that has a drum track you like, mute all of the tracks except for drums, save the song as MIDI file, and import the MIDI file into PowerTracks. If you would like, you can save your Band-in-a-Box® song with each drum sound on a separate track by selecting this option in the 'choose destination for MIDI file' dialog.

123. There is no sound when I try to preview my audio harmonies in the TC-Helicon window.

The preview feature in the TC-Helicon audio harmony plugin uses the sound device selected in your Windows operating system settings. Go to the Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio tab, and make sure the appropriate audio driver is selected for sound playback. For example, it's possible that you had selected a different sound card there than you had selected in the PowerTracks program in Options | Preferences | Audio | Drivers, and you only have speakers connected to the one sound card. That explains why you might hear audio in PowerTracks, but not in the TC-Helicon plugin.

124. "Version mismatch" error when opening the program.

You can resolve this problem by reinstalling the DirectX Plugins included with your latest version of PowerTracks. For example, if you have PowerTracks Pro Audio 12, look in the pt folder and locate the file "pgdx_plug_2_0_0.exe". Double-click on this file and follow the on-screen prompts to reinstall the plugins. Alternatively, you could reinstall the PowerTracks program and this will run the DirectX plugin installer automatically.

125. After closing Band-in-a-Box®, PowerTracks, or RealBand, I get an error message saying that the application has stopped working, or the program has encountered a problem and needs to close.

This message is usually related to using the VSC-DXi synth during your Band-in-a-Box® session. You might get one of the following messages shortly after you exit the program.

  • Windows XP: This program has encountered a problem and needs to close.

  • Windows Vista/7: Band-in-a-Box® (or PowerTracks) application has stopped working.

This only happens on some systems, and usually on systems with Windows Vista. It is a harmless error message, and you can safely ignore it - there is nothing wrong with your program.

In most cases, it can be solved by downloading and installing updated graphics card drivers. Typically it happens on computers with NVIDIA devices. To check what type of graphics device you have, you can expand the "display adaptors" item in the Device Manager. To get to the Device Manager, you can right-click on My Computer and select Properties, then go to Advanced | Hardware | Device Manager. For NVIDIA products, drivers can be downloaded from www.nvidia.com.

126. When using the ForteDXi, the sound cuts out every few seconds.

This means that you have had the trial version of the ForteDXi installed on your computer for over 30 days. If you want to continue to use the ForteDXi without this restriction, you will need to purchase the full version. After you have placed your order, you will receive a registration code via email. To convert the ForteDXi into the unlimited version, right-click in the ForteDxi control panel and select 'Enter Registration Code'.

127. How do I use RealDrums in PowerTracks Pro Audio?

Please click here to read our tutorial on generating RealDrums tracks in PowerTracks.

128. Which RealDrums styles are included in each of the RealDrums Sets?

Click here to see a list of RealDrums styles and which sets they are part of. It also explains how to check which RealDrums you have installed.

129. Trouble opening the help file on Windows 98 and ME.

On some older computers, the help file may not open when you go to the Help menu and select Contents. The solution is to press the F1 hotkey to open the help file. It could also be opened from outside of PowerTracks by double-clicking on the file ptw.chm in your PowerTracks (pt) folder.

130. I cannot hear the metronome when using a DXi or VSTi synth.

Using a software synth (DXi or VSTi plugin) for the metronome is only supported when you are using ASIO drivers. To switch to ASIO drivers, go to Options | Preferences | Audio. If your computer doesn't have an ASIO driver installed, try the ASIO4ALL driver, which you can download from the internet. You will also need to set a reasonably low latency, such as 40ms or less. Then, go into Options | Metronome and set the Port number between 17 and 32, depending on which DXi/VSTi soft synth you want to use. The default soft synth is port number 32.

131. No sound in the Audio Chord Wizard, even though there is sound in the rest of the program.

The Audio Chord Wizard only uses the audio playback device that you have selected in Windows - it doesn't necessarily use the same audio driver that you have selected in the main PowerTracks program, and it doesn't use ASIO at all. If you have sound when you play an audio file with Windows Media Player, you should have sound in the Audio Chord Wizard. Check the Control Panel - Sounds and Audio Devices, and the volume levels in the Volume/Play control panel.

132. How do I install update patches for PowerTracks Pro Audio?

Update patches for PowerTracks Pro Audio can be downloaded from http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windows_pt.htm.

  1. Download the file and 'Save to disk'. You can save the file to your desktop or to your preferred folder for saving downloads.

  2. Make sure PowerTracks is closed, otherwise the update will not work.

  3. Double-click on the downloaded file and follow the prompts. When you get to the screen asking you to select the destination directory, make sure that your PowerTracks folder is selected. This is usually C:\PT, although it's possible that you have the program installed somewhere else. Continue to follow the prompts.

After installing the update patch, launch PowerTracks and go to Help | About PowerTracks Pro Audio to make sure that it installed properly.

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