So when I got my macbook I spent all evening installing BFD2, Logic Studio (with all content) and World of Warcraft (plus other blizzard games, go battle.net!). The next day (Sunday) I immediately started recording the proposal song.
First off the sound card did not seem to like being plugged in via the hard drive. I didn’t think much of it. Plugged the hard drive in via usb and sound card via firewire.
Right after adding drums the sound card started producing static and heavily distorting/detuning the output. I got afraid I was overloading the CPU/HD even though neither meter was very high. I did a lot of testing but really couldn’t get anything working that whole day.
Monday night I decided to test everything and eventually ended up uninstalling/installing the Duet’s software (plus full power offs in between of course). I also unplugged EVERYTHING including my USB mouse. The only stuff plugged into my computer was the Duet, power, DVI adaptor for second monitor and Ethernet cable. This let me play guitar for about 20 minutes before it started producing static again (I couldn’t drum cause I wanted to test without ever opening BFD2 and without using any USB midi devices). I got fed up and send lots of emails describing what I did in detail to the Apogee tech support line.
Tuesday came and the email back from Apogee impressed me. Basically it was like “This could only be a bad unit or a bad firewire cable” which proves they actually READ my novel’s worth of emails I sent and actually had nothing else to try. A+ to Apogee for not wasting my time!
I have no other 400-800 firewire cable to try but I did have my hard disk plugged in via USB that I could test. So I plugged that in via the 400-800 cable and sure enough in about 5 minutes I got the mac “Drive disconnected improperly” message even though I hadn’t touched the cable. This pretty much meant it has to be my firewire port (unlikely) or the sound card.
This morning I returned the cable for another one at the Apple Store. I want to take a second to talk about this too. I called at 8:45 to ask the Apple Store if I need to print my emailed receipt to return the cable. They said no. They don’t open till 9am so I was very happy they answered the phone. When I got there I said I needed to return an item and the guy said “You’re the one who called? Awesome, head right up and grab a new one and let me see the old one.” I go pick out another one and on the way down another employee said “You’re the one returning your cable?” to make sure I wasn’t just taking it away. He said good luck and when I got back downstairs the original guy told me to head to the back counter and they had me all set. Sure enough the guy in the back was like “Here you go” and handed me a new receipt for the cable and I was done. Talk about efficient use of my phone call and multiple employees to make my experience awesome. I love this place.
Anyway, since this morning I’ve been listening to iTunes on my laptop via the Duet at work and no static so far. Lesson learned? Always have spare cables to test with!