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Bluebox recording unplayable WAV files that seem to contain audio???

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  • Bluebox recording unplayable WAV files that seem to contain audio???

    I've looked through the forums to see if anyone else has had this issue, but I seem to be the only one (or I'm not good at searching the forums).

    I'm using the Bluebox as a multitrack recorder, recording different inputs from my modular synth, sending a mono out to a stereo reverb and recording that a stereo track, as well as recording the master mix. The most I've tried to record at once was probably six mono tracks, one stereo track, and the master mix. The problem is that when I go to play back a recording, some of the tracks do not play back, even though the audio from those tracks is in the master mix. When I go into the "Edit" screen, the tracks that will not play back do not appear to have files associated with them. At first this made me think that nothing had been recorded to those tracks at all. However, when move the microSD card to my computer and look at the project directory, there are files for each take on each track, including the ones that don't appear on the Bluebox. What makes this particularly bizarre is that the files that the Bluebox recorded but now cannot see are big files, similar in size to files that do play back. Something got written to memory, just not playable files.

    When I import the WAV files into Reaper, the problematic files do not play back and no waveforms appear, though the media items are the correct length. Same thing in Audacity. It makes me think Bluebox is recording corrupted files. Is it possible the Bluebox is writing the audio into the file, but not some header info that makes the file playable? Is there an upper limit to the number of tracks Bluebox can handle at a time?

    Note that none of the inputs are clipping or anything that might cause the audio to not record.

    Here's my current setup:
    Bluebox firmware 1.2.7
    SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB microSD card
    2018 Mac Mini running MacOS 12.6.3
    Reaper v6.72
    Audacity 3.2.4

    If this is a known issue and there is information in another thread about it, please point me in the right direction. Thanks for any help or ideas.

  • #2
    I don't think there is a max number of tracks, I've had my Bluebox since a few months after it was released and I've recorded using all 12 inputs across 8 tracks (4 stereo tracks and 4 mono tracks) plus the Master at various times since the earlier firmware versions to the current beta version. I've never had corruption issues (knock on wood) on the Bluebox but I have had similar issues on other gear that uses SD cards. I've even had files become corrupt when transferring from my laptop to a card.

    Thanks to recommendations of people here, I've made it a habit to backup and format my SD Cards using SD Card Formatter (overwrite format) when there is a new firmware version to install. Between that and making sure to use a good power supply/cable, I have managed to avoid any disk-related issues. (Or it may be luck.)

    I don't think this is a known issue, if it is, it's seems relatively rare. That firmware version has been the stable version since July, if it was a common issue, this forum would be packed with people complaining about it.

    I've been using the newer beta versions since November and have found them less buggy than 1.27, fwiw.


    • #3
      This can happen in some rare circumstances. How many files per session? How many takes?

      I would recommend installing the 1.2.15 firmware and trying there. We have tweaked some things behind the scenes that should help overall file handling. It looks like your microSD card is good. Consider a full format.


      • #4
        Hi caniffe,
        I have similar problems with the playback.
        sometimes tracks are not played, or there are interruptions. after a restart then everything is ok again. But the .wav files are ok.
        It also happens that the SD card is not recognized when starting the Bluebox. I have tried different SD cards, my current one is a 128GB Kingston.
        The original SD card worked fine, but was too small.

        All in all the Bluebox is not reliable, I hope this will be fixed with a firmwareupdate. I use firmware 1.2.15 beta.

        and... when recording with midi-sync, the bpm is not automatically adjusted and saved. unfortunately you have to adjust this manually.


        • #5
          Thanks for the helpful replies. And thank you, Steve - I'll try out the new firmware. There are usually anywhere from 5 to 9 tracks, plus the master mix. There can be 15 or takes, especially because I often have false starts, meaning there are lots of takes but many of those takes are 10 seconds long. One project has 138 files in it, but many are 1 or 2 MB.

          I don't think I've been practicing good microSD hygiene. I have 23 projects on a 128GB microSD card. I'll be more careful about that from now on.

          I'm glad to hear this is an unusual problem, and that it probably has an easy fix. Thank you again for your help.