4.5 FAQ – Troubleshooting Soundcard Issues
1. Step-by-step soundcard troubleshooting from Dave, K1TTT
0. Close Audacity, Winamp, and any other sound recording or playback programs you may have open.
DO NOT OPEN THEM AGAIN DURING THIS PROCESS.
1. There is apparently an interaction between the windows control panel and N1MM logger that I hadn’t noticed before. The key is, select the default device with the windows control panel to the one you want windows to use… then don’t change it. If you change it windows apparently renumbers the devices so the device index number that n1mm saves isn’t valid any more. So if you ever change the windows default playback or recording devices you MUST go back into the n1mm configurer and reselect the cards AND ports if you use specific devices and not the ‘default’ card option.
The same rule also applies to MMTTY setup if you have selected a device other than -1 (default) in the Option/Setup/Misc tab.
2. Start N1MM logger and go into the ‘Configurer / Audio’ tab. Select ‘1 zero or single card’ in the top list, then ‘default’ in the first ‘select device’ list. Save that settings. Close N1MM logger.
3. Plug your microphone directly into the mic input on the sound card, plug your headset directly into the speaker output.
4. Open the windows volume control, on the playback controls that come up first set all the sliders to mid range, and un-mute everything. You may have to go into options/properties to check the box to let you see the microphone and other sound sources.
5. In the volume control select options/properties, check the ‘recording’ box then make sure ‘microphone’ is checked in the list of controls. Do ok.
Check the box to ‘select’ the microphone and set it’s slider mid range. On the advanced microphone settings check the ‘mic boost’ box if you have one.
6. Now, when you talk in your mic you should be able to hear yourself in the headset. If you can’t then something is wrong with your hardware or drivers. Recheck volume and mute settings, check that the mic is plugged into the right spot, try a different mic, try different speakers, try playing other wave files using the sounds control panel app to make sure your headphones are working, get your 8 year old kid to help.
DO NOT PASS THIS POINT UNTIL YOU CAN HEAR YOURSELF!
7. Open the windows sound recorder, it is usually found in the accessories/entertainment, DO NOT open audacity, the tools that came with your sound card, or your other favorite tool… some of them play with the mixer settings and we don’t want that now that they are set.
8. Press the record button, say a couple words, then press the stop button. Press the play button and you should hear what you just said. If you didn’t there is something wrong with your hardware or drivers. Check recording control settings, adjust volume, make sure the mic is selected as the recording source, get that 8 year old back to help again!
DO NOT PASS THIS POINT UNTIL YOU CAN RECORD AND PLAY.
9. Close the windows sound recorder.
DO NOT PASS THIS POINT UNLESS YOU CAN HEAR YOURSELF IN 6 AND 8 ABOVE.
If those don’t work then N1MM likely won’t work and since n1mm is much more complicated it is harder to troubleshoot.
10. Start n1mm. Put the radio on ssb, make sure the entry window title bar says either USB or LSB. If you don’t have a radio connected type in 14000 and then USB.
11. Right click on the f1 button. In the wav file column make sure it says “C:\Program Files\N1MM logger\wav\cq-1.wav”… if not, type that in (without the quotes of course). Press ok to save it.
12. Watch the bottom of the entry window status bar. Press Ctrl+Shift+F1, status line should say ‘recording started in C:\Program Files\N1MM logger\wav\cq-1.wav’, if it doesn’t then check the error message and see if that helps and NOW you can ask for more help on the reflector or direct to me, but don’t change any settings or open another sound program or be prepared to go back through this again to make sure everything is set properly for the defaults.
13. If you got the ‘recording started’ message say a few words and press Ctrl+Shift+F1 again. Bottom of status bar should say ‘recording saved in C:\Program Files\N1MM logger\wav\cq-1.wav’. If it gives an error message check out that or contact the reflector or me.
14. Press f1. you should hear what you just recorded. If not, check the status bar for an error message and check that one or contact the reflector or me. Now, if all that worked it is up to you to figure out how to get the audio to/from your sound card through whatever adapters, sound blasters, cabling, to the radio… I can’t help with that except in very specific cases. But at this point if 11,12,13 worked then you have a working n1mm logger recording and playback system. Find the C:\Program Files\N1MM logger\wav\cq-1.wav file which should be under the n1mm logger installation folder and that is where to put other recordings, and the f1 line in the setup is how the other paths should look to the files. If you are going to do multi-op look up in the manual how to set up the macros to let each operator record their own voices separately.
2. MMTTY Soundcard Alignment by Joe, W4TV
2.1. Calibration on Windows Vista or Windows 7
If you are using Vista or Windows 7, the operating system does not
allow individual applications which share the sound card to set the
sound card’s sample rate. Instead the operating system’s hardware
abstraction layer (HAL) will *resample* the data stream (interpolate
data values) to provide audio samples to the application at the rate
the application requires.
When the sound card’s default format (Windows Control Panel, Sound,
Recording Devices, <device>, Advanced) is 48000 and an application
requests a sample rate that is not an integral divisor of the default
sample rate the clock rate will not be exact – resulting in differences
from transmit to receive.
The default format for most “motherboard” or add-in cards (PCI/PCI-E)
is set by their custom drivers (supplied by the manufacturer) and is
generally 44,100 Hz (CD Quality). However, the default format for
external (USB) sound cards is set to 48,000 Hz (DVD Quality) by the
Microsoft driver built into he operating system.
There are two solutions:
1) Set the clock rate in MMTTY (and MMVARI) to 12,000 – this removes
the offset (48000 Hz Receive, 44100 Hz transmit) between the sample
2) Reset the Windows “Default format” to 44100 Hz (CD Quality). This
also removes the offset.
Either solution will work if your only sound card digital program
is MMTTY. If you use other software – particularly if you use
multiple programs at the same time or switch between programs,
changing the MMTTY/MMVARI sample rate to 12000 may be a better idea
since there are some programs that use fixed 48000 Hz sample rates.
2.2. Calibration with Multiple Soundcards on Windows XP
If you are running multiple soundcard applications, Windows XP will
behave just like Vista/Win 7. That is, the *first* to open the sound
card will set the sample rate and XP will then virtualize the sound
card to the second and subsequent applications. If the first app
uses 48 KHz, the remaining apps will get 48 KHz samples.
The offset is because MMTTY/MMVARI/etc. think they are decoding the
requested sample rate so they transmit at the assumed rate … the
calculations are off “by that much.”
… Joe, W4TV