Tesla1856
6 Gallium

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I am so bummed out.  I just cancelled my order.  I was so looking forward to using the Alienware Area 51 R2 with my Roland Quad Capture, Avid Eleven Rack and Pro Tools 11 this year.

 

Please let me know if they resolve this issue.  I may reorder.

 

I don't want to go Apple and I don't want to build my own PC because I want the warranty and support.  Where the heck do I get a PC with Intel Haswell i7 6-core CPU and 16GB ram that is confirmed to work with Pro Tools 11 and USB devices?

 

So disappointed.  Even though very expensive, I loved this case for the egonomics and easy of working on.

I haven't heard anything back from Dell/Alienware Engineering yet.
For a definitive/confirmed retail machine, maybe you could ask in forums that use these high-end hardware audio tools?
Instead of a "gaming system" ... a workstation-class machine from leading manufacturer might be a better fit anyway.
I also wonder if a $50 dedicated PCIe USB-3.0 card might work. It would come with it's own drivers, to match the chipset on it. NEC/Renesas is often a popular chipset on those, and some manufacturers even select it for their on-board or built-in USB chipset.


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Fezzler
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Thanks for the response.  They may fix it or your solution may work well too.  I just can't spend that kind of dough and hope it works.   I hope it get's resolved and the opportunity to be an "Alien" presents itself again.  With the high end gamer pc being a targeted group, perhaps Alien could build and test targeted audio system that help high enders record and produce music that is "out of this world."

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Mykv
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

So I have been loading up my music software and plug-ins.  I got considerable improvement by following the tips in this tutorial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnbfVFqkKOA#t=366

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZsZ5vTgOE4

I have installed both Sonar Producer x3 and Ableton Live 9 64 bit.  They seem to be working OK.  Ableton did not freeze as it did with my initial install and appears to be operating smoothly.  However, I have only loaded the demo song that came with the program and have not loaded any of my current projects with loads of tracks and vsts.  I have also installed NI Komplete 9 and a bunch of Waves plug-ins and they seem to be working fine.  When I am in my DAW I have not got the stuttering even when moving between screens as I initially reported.  I have yet to load one of my projects in as I am still loading up my system with my remaining plug-ins.  I hope to be working on my projects soon once everything is loaded and I will keep you updated. With that being said, I still get stutters when watching YouTube but not so much with streaming audio. I believe the SSD optimization tips helped. 

Fezzler - I am right there with you.  I have been using gaming rigs for both my music and video processing since 2005. I hate the hassle of building my own machines and I am always looking for better than average specs above and beyond what come with the standard workstations especially when working with music/video.  I wanted something that had the specs to handle anything and I am definitely not an Apple fan.  The Area 51 R2 has it all but I think that because everything is so new in this rig we may need to wait a bit for updates to help the process.  Also, I have a project that I will be working on soon that requires me to install Pro Tools.  I will keep you posted on how that goes. 

Tesla - Thanks for the tip on the PCIe USB -3.0 card. I may try that if I find that I am still encountering problems. 

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Fezzler
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Thank you MYKV.  Please keep me / us informed.

If they can get it resolved, I will repurchase.

Yes, smoothly playing audio is one thing.  But adding plug-ins, multiple tracks, effects, and capturing plus rendering audio are all key too.   

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Fezzler
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Well, I decided to play it safe and purchase a similar PC from PC Audio Labs out of Nashville, TN, that is tested and warranted to work with my USB audio cards.

Again, not a knock on Alienware or the Area 51 R2.  Very cool and powerful and innovative computer I was looking to leverage for audio production.  But, was not meant to be.  Sucks! 

I wonder if others will start emulating there case design?

Well what do you know?  Look at this from CES 2105.  CyberPower Trinity? 

www.pcworld.com/.../cyberpowers-fang-trinity-gaming-pc-is-simply-insane.html:550:0

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Fezzler
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

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Mykv
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

So I have been mixing, writing and recording with the Area 51 R2 (Win 8.1, 64 bit) using Ableton, Sonar X3 and Pro Tools 10 all 64 bit.  Using the settings that I had suggested earlier, which should more than likely be done when using any rig, it does work quite well.  To add I had to go into system, Advanced Settings and set for high performance.  My Area 51's audio every once in a while does briefly pause kind of like when your ASIO settings are set too fast.  However, it doesn't bug me too much because it happens and resumes very quickly and after those tweaks I made, not that often.  It usually happens when I have a plug-in window open but it does not do it with all plug-ins.  For example, one of the plug-ins that causes the audio to pause is the Waves V-EQ.  When I manipulate the dials for frequency I do get a minor audio pause.  I think because of the animation?  When you move the dials or move your cursor over the dials the little fequency volume box pops up and that's when it happens.  At times when you move your cursor from the plug-ins window back to your DAW's main screens it happens every once in a while too.  Other than that, it runs a boat load of tracks and plug-ins like a champ with no dropouts or crashes.  To give you an idea, I am currently working on a project in Sonar X3 Producer that has a total of 16 drum tracks, 15 quitar tracks, two bass tracks along with 10 aux buses.  Each track has maybe 4-5 plug-ins (Console Emulation, EQ, Compression, Tape emulation, etc).  So far they system has not tapped out and I have not had to bounce or freeze any tracks.  Even though there is that audio pause every once in a while the processing power is amazing as my renders and and bounces are consideraby faster than my old quad-core machine. 

I am using a Roland Studio Capture as my primary interface and I have tested this on my Edirol UA-101.

With all that being said, it would still be nice to have that audio issue fixed as it does kind of freak me out because an occurance like that on my old PC would have caused a dropout.  So it makes me a little paranoid when I hear it.

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Fezzler
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I don't know if home recording is too small a market, but you would think it would be a small stretch to create The Alien R51 AP  (Audio Production). 

Mykv
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Follow up - I have been working on my band's EP and the audio stutters are starting to wear on me. I am using Sonare Producer X3 and the song I am currently mixing has roughly 34 tracks, 10 busses and I am using at least 4 plug-ins on every track which my older system would never have been able to handle.  So it is bitter-sweet.  The part that gets me is my CPU and memory meters are no where close to showing that they are topping out.  That irritates me.  I have also been experiencing program freezes which causes me to reboot the system every once in a while.  Sonar also has multiple sections that I can access - edit view, console view, buss view, automations etc.  I am at a point to where the more areas I try to access with my mouse the more the audio stutters and freezes up.  If I do not move my mouse eveything is fine but when mixing I am always moving it.  No problems with rendering though and rendering time is fast!  The freezes and stutters are killing me though.  So I have ordered a USB 3.0 PCI-e card as Tesla suggested in an earlier post.  I am hoping that it works for my situation.  If it does...this would be my dream system!  I will post my results when I install it. 

I have used Pro Tools 10 (64 bit) on this system but it is not my DAW of choice.  PT 10 is a bit buggy anyway so I cannot tell if it's the program or the computer.  I am thinking it might be a combination of both. 

My computer is an Area 51 R2 running Windows 8.1 64 bit, 24 GB Ram, audio interface is a Roland Studio Capture. 

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I don't know if home recording is too small a market, but you would think it would be a small stretch to create The Alien R51 AP  (Audio Production). 

I think a Gaming System with acceptable USB-3 performance and latency would be a prerequisite to get to that step. [:)]
 
So, you guys aren't seeing any updates published in Area51-R2 Support Area? ... BIOS, Intel ChipSet, USB drivers or firmware ... anything USB related?
 
That's why I recommended the PCIe USB-3 card. Seemed like a good way to get a high-performance (and well supported) USB-3 port in the machine without waiting on Dell. I hope it works and maybe someone can report back. If it doesn't work, that means the problem is even deeper. [:(]


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.