78. Access violations, error messages or no sound when using ASIO drivers in Band-in-a-Box®.

First, you may not have a specific need to use ASIO drivers in the first place, and in this case just use "MME" drivers (Opt. | Preferences | Audio - Audio Driver Type). One of the main reasons to use the ASIO driver type instead of MME in Band-in-a-Box®, is to allow low latency play-thru (live playing) from a MIDI keyboard when using a DXi or VSTi soft synth. Some 'higher end' sound cards also support some additional features when using their ASIO drivers, and it may provide a benefit when recording audio.

The downside is that because of the way ASIO is designed, it has the potential to cause more problems then MME, and it can take some tweaking to get a particular ASIO driver working properly with a particular application that the manufacturer may not have tested it with.

You can determine if it's an ASIO specific problem by selecting the MME driver type instead and seeing if the same problems occur. Here are some ASIO tips...

  • Make sure you don't have another audio application running at the same time as Band-in-a-Box® that is also using ASIO drivers. One characteristic of ASIO drivers is that they can only be used by one application at a time. If you try to use two different programs at the same time, you'll likely get no sound and a variety of different errors. If you need to have the two programs open at the same time, try using MME in Band-in-a-Box® and ASIO in the other application.

  • The buffer size / latency setting for the ASIO driver could be too low. One indication of this is audio glitches and stuttering. You'll need to open the ASIO Driver's control panel and increase this setting. You want to set it as low as you can (for good latency), but high enough so that you aren't experience any problems. It's probably best to start with a fairly high setting and lower it gradually as you use the program if you aren't having any problems. The latency is set in the ASIO driver control panel, not in any Band-in-a-Box® setting. You can often open the control panel by going into the Band-in-a-Box® ASIO Audio Driver dialog and clicking on the control panel button, however for some sound cards you'll need to close Band-in-a-Box®, and open the control panel separately to be able to change the buffer size.

  • Make sure you have installed the latest drivers available for your sound card. You should download the drivers from the manufacturer's website - don't think that a driver CD that came with your hardware has the latest drivers on it.

  • The free ASIO4ALL driver is a great substitute for your sound card manufacturer's ASIO driver, if you are having trouble with it. ASIO4ALL works very well on most systems and at the very least well give you low latency play-thru with a DXi synth. One thing you'll want to do is make sure that the Microsoft GS Wavetable isn't selected anywhere in your setup, since this can often conflict with ASIO4ALL.

  • Try changing processor scheduling to 'background services' - Right-click on My Computer and select Properties, then click on the Advanced tab (or click 'Advanced System Settings' on Vista and higher) and go to 'Performance Settings'.

  • You might try changing the 'ASIO always on' setting in the Band-in-a-Box® ASIO Audio Drivers dialog to OFF. The ideal setting is ON, because this allows low latency play-thru while the song is stopped, however it may cause problems with some drivers when always on. Also, try setting the resampler quality to Fast. Band-in-a-Box® plays audio at 44.1 KHz sample rate, but some ASIO drivers only support higher sample rates, so Band-in-a-Box® automatically resamples the audio to the native format of the ASIO driver. Fast will use less processing power.

Alyssa - PG Music