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Lots of corrupted recordings!

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  • Lots of corrupted recordings!

    If I record from input into a pad for over a minute, every 4th or 5th recording I make cuts off early when I play it back. Then when I open it in the sample editor to see what went wrong, it shows me a blank recording with an ungodly length of 715,653,120 samples:

    Click image for larger version

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    I'm still just getting to know the Blackbox, so maybe I'm doing something wrong. But I'm at my wit's end. Here's what I'm doing:
    1. Plug MIDI Out into a synth. Plug the Synth's audio outs into the IN port on the Blackbox.
    2. Set up a pad to record:
      1. Rec Input: L+R
      2. Length: custom
      3. Rec Mon: On
      4. MIDI Out: Ch 1
    3. Press and hold Rec + Play
    4. The pad screen turns to the red "Recording: x:y or z secs"
    5. I switch to KEYS and play the synth for a bit via the touchscreen.
    6. After a minute or two I hit "Stop".
    7. Navigate back to PADS and tap the freshly recorded pad.
    8. It plays back, but cuts out after about a minute, and if I open it in the sample editor I see that blank, impossibly long wav.
    Some stats:
    • I'm running firmware 1.7.F
    • I'm powered off of the plug and cable that shipped with the Blackbox
    • My SD Card is a 256Gb SanDisk Ultra A1 U1
    • I formatted the card with SD Card Formatter
    Attached Files

  • #2
    So actually, I'm able to simplify the reproducible steps quite a bit:
    1. Go to the Info page of a pad, and start recording with "Rec" + "Play"
    2. The red "Recording: x:y or z secs" message shows.
    3. If I just stay on this page, one of two things happen:
      1. Either the message stops updating, and after a few seconds the Blackbox reboots.
      2. Or a red "Error with Recording" message is displayed:
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    I'm assuming this is an SD Card issue, though I haven't had any problems with this card before. I've ordered a new one and will see what's what in a few days when it gets here. In the mean time, if anyone has anything I can try to troubleshoot this or confirm the card's a problem, I'd appreciate it!
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Okay, got to try with two new SD cards today (SanDisk Ultra A1 U1 formatted with SD Card Formatter) and they both gave me the same problem. So not an SD card issue.

      Then I read that Chroma Cables are on the list of approved connections, and happen to have a few of those around here. So I thought, "why not?" Tried it out — it works perfectly.

      So yay. Problem solved.

      But here's the thing for the 1010 support people: I'm 90% sure it's the USB cable that shipped with the unit that was causing all the problems. I can't be certain — it's not branded or anything, right? Just a plain, black, USB-A → B cable? But after reading these forums I was pretty careful to keep them together.

      So, I don't know. Given how choosy the Blackbox is with power requirements, and how subtly wrong it goes if everything isn't just right, I really have to wonder if USB power wasn't a big mistake? Maybe just give us a DC wall wart or something in the box with version 2? I mean, generally I really prefer USB for its flexibility and interoperability. But given I'm now in the situation where I have to be sure to use a specific cable with a specific adapter or I lose recordings… it's hard not to think a wall wart would be an improvement.


      • Steve
        Steve commented
        Editing a comment
        The stock power cable should have a ferrite core and thicker gauge than your typical printer cables. They can look the same on the outside but perform very differently on the inside. The fact that the correct power cable fixed this is evidence that you likely got your factory cable mixed up with another.

        I understand the perception that power must be "just right" in order for the box to function. I would push back. The device works as advertised when it is powered with the appropriate cable. Happy to hear you solved this.

    • #4
      The device works as advertised when it is powered with the appropriate cable.
      This is very true and I didn't mean to insinuate otherwise. My point isn't so much that the Blackbox has particular requirements. It's a powerful device and thus needs power. More power to it, as it were.

      My question is, given these stringent requirements, why use USB which has so many configurations that don't meet the device’s needs?

      Of all the things I think I can do when I see USB (chain devices, power multiple devices from a hub, power and stream audio via drivers or class compliance, make use of random adapters or cables around the studio, power it from my car…) I can't do any of them with the Blackbox. That's just poor communication on a design level. It's like if you put a 1/4 jack labeled "Audio In" on the back, but if you plug in a "typical instrument cable", it constantly reboots. Nobody expects it to behave that way and may have preferred the hassle of a proprietary socket just to make it clear which cables work and which lose work.

      And there are costs to this confusing design. Reading these forums, it seems like an awful lot of support goes into educating people that their USB cables matter in the first place. And then more supporting people like me who, even having read all this before getting mine, still screwed it up (seriously, maybe put a "1010" logo on there or something). And for every person with USB troubles who comments here, you have to imagine there are many who don't and think their Blackbox just up and died. That starts to add up as well.

      There's the extra tight B socket on the back to keep power from slipping out. Don't need those with your average DC coaxial connectors because the cable’s thin enough you just add a plastic cleat to anchor it. And if you print “5V⎓2A” above a coaxial socket, there's tradition of people looking for it and matching it to the appropriate wall wart, unlike "plug and play" USB.

      All of which is to say, any of this would have made me feel much better about my Blackbox purchase than I currently do, but I'm sure I'll get over it. Just some customer feedback for the mill.


      • #5
        It is understandable. USB has some perceived baggage that we are all familiar with (plug n play, hubs, daisy-chaining, etc). I get that you had different expectations for the USB-B jack. For the record, it is labeled 'Power' because that is all it is used for. USB is not quiet or forgiving, necessarily. But it is portable and one of the nicer features of the blackbox (and bluebox) is its portability thanks to USB power. We have spent a fair amount of time, money, and resources testing the power in the blackbox, specifically. We found that the USB cable was very important. The Chroma Cable is - so far - the only 3rd party cable that we can say meets or exceeds the factory cable. I agree a sticker or label would be useful.

        Do I spend A LOT of time supporting this very issue? Yes. 100%.

        We appreciate your feedback. And we read every post. Please let me know if you need any assistance.


        • #6
          Wow, glad to have found this thread - I was using the USB-B cable that came with an Elektron TM-1, and was baffled as to why recording and loading files had became flaky all of a sudden. Sure enough, using either the factory cable or a Chroma cable cleared the problem right up. Power quality matters!