Electrical power grids around the world provide electricity to their end users at a handful of different voltages and frequencies. For example, consumer electronics in the USA typically operate on 100-120 V @ 60 Hz while in the UK most everything runs on 220-240 V @ 50 Hz. In addition to the voltage and frequency variations, there are a handful of power cable plug shapes that various regions use too. People generally don’t have to concern themselves with all this information unless they are traveling or moving abroad and taking their electronics with them.
Friends of ours recently gave Katie a Roland HP107e-RW electric piano they had purchased while living in the UK. When they moved back to the USA, they brought the piano and quite a few other items with them that all ran on 230V. To power those items on the US electrical grid, they purchased a step up converter.
This particular model is the HP107e-RW. There are probably several other similar models for which this modification would work.
Instead of buying a bulky step up convertor to run the piano at our house, I wanted to convert the piano to run natively on the US electrical grid. In order to make this possible I needed to do 2 things:
Change the input voltage from 220-240 V to 110-120 V
Changing the power cable plug was easy. The power inlet on the piano is an IEC 60320 C8. Many of the electronic devices I own use the Type A cable I needed to replace the Type G cable. Swapping out the cable was simple, but that only changed the shape of the plug, not the voltage.
Interestingly, the Type G plug was actually a wrapper around the head of a Europlug (Type C) plug. This was perhaps a cost-saving measure.
A sneaky Europlug hiding inside the Type G plug.
Changing the input voltage was a little harder. Some consumer electronics have little voltage switches next to the power inlet that are easily accessible on the outside. I didn’t see one of those, but sometimes the switch (or jumper) is inside the chassis on the power PCB.
To get a look at the power situation I opened up the top of the piano. That required removing 8 screws grouped in 4 pairs along the top rear of the piano, then sliding the top board forward and lifting it off. There are no wires or other connections made to the top board.
The blue arrows indicate the 8 screws that need to be removed to take the top off the piano.
After opening up the top I found this beefy power transformer staring back at me. There was no super convenient voltage switch, but surprisingly the input pins on the transformer were labeled—an easy solution! The fix was simple…desolder the black hot wire from the 230 V pin and resolder it to the 120 V pin.
The label on the transformer indicates what voltages are expected on the input pins.
CAUTION: Before beginning this surgery, I recommend isolating the transformer from everything else. Unplug the input power cable from the wall oulet AND disconnect the output power cable connector from the main PCB. As with all things electrical, you could kill yourself if you don’t know what you are doing. Be safe! Be smart!
Out of caution I unplugged this cable connector before unsoldering and resoldering the cable to the transformer.
After moving the hot wire to the correct input pin, reconnecting the cable connector to the PCB, reattaching the top board, and plugging in the new power cable the piano fired up perfectly.
Let me know if this helped you. If you fried your keyboard or yourself, sorry, I am not responsible for your mistake. Better luck next time! 😉
A friend of mine brought over his Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 audio interface to have me look at it. The unit wasn’t working. After turning on the power switch a few LEDs would blink and an internal relay would continually click, but it wouldn’t power on fully and wasn’t recognized by the computer.
We opened up the chassis and tried powering it on. WARNING: THIS IS REEEEAALLY DANGEROUS. DO NOT ATTEMPT UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING! We looked around to see if we could spot anything suspect. There were no obvious culprits like burn marks on the PCBs, blown fuses, or exploded/leaking capacitors.
Given the symptoms, I suspected that some of the electrolytic capacitors in the PSU were dried up or had vented—a common problem in gear that has aged a few years. Bad caps in the PSU could cause the unit to be under- or over-powered, which probably was causing the relay to keep tripping and preventing the main board from fully booting. After I pulled out the PSU I could more clearly see that the largest cap was bulged on top. That probably was the problem component.
Electrolytic capacitors go bad over time. At least one cap on this board had failed—perhaps others had failed too.
Since the interface was about a decade old and discontinued from manufacturing, it was essentially out of warranty. We decided to try fixing it ourselves.
The new PSU has a cool new look and maybe some better electrical engineering too.
I found a suitable replacement PSU sold by Full Compass. This replacement PSU doesn’t look the same as the original PSU that comes in the Liquid Saffire 56 and the Liquid Saffire 56 is not specifically listed as one of the compatible units, but it is in fact compatible. A Focusrite support representative confirmed that this PSU is the correct replacement.
So my friend ordered the PSU. A few days later it arrived and I swapped the old for the new. The interface fired right up and is working like new.
Could not create a new document because Assertion in “/Volumes/Development/223020/ProTools/DFW/Views/UMenu.MacOS.mm”, line 1813. (Use the Copy button to copy this message to the clipboard.).
Pro Tools 2018 error
If you get this error, it’s likely due to Pro Tools trying to use the wrong audio interface.
Quit Pro Tools. (Not forever, just for a moment.)
Restart Pro Tools while holding the ‘N’ key. This forces Pro Tools to ask you which interface to use.
Select your interface.
Boom. No more error, hopefully.
This worked for me on a Mac Pro trashcan running macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 and Pro Tools 2018.7.0 on a Tuesday in November. The Moon phase was Waning Crescent. I had vegetable soup for lunch and was facing South at the time of the error. Your mileage may vary.
My wife Katie Nelson and I both use Neumann KMS 105 condenser microphones for live performance. We love how the microphones sound and trust the Neumann brand.
Recently Katie’s microphone was passing audio inconsistently. Sometimes it was normal, sometimes the output volume was quieter, and sometimes it would crackle as if the XLR cable was bad.
I called Sennheiser, the parent company of Neumann, to inquire about repairs. They connected me directly with a bench technician who kindly asked questions about the symptoms and then walked me through the fix. He correctly suspected that the hex screws holding the capsule to the internal printed circuit board (PCB) were loose. In fact, the capsule was completely disconnected from the PCB. I was surprised that the microphone worked at all considering there was almost no contact between the capsule and PCB.
Take out the machine screw on the side of the microphone that holds the XLR insert in place. There may be a small lock washer underneath the screw. Set them aside.
Unscrew the basket (or grille, as people often refer to it).
Slide off the black capsule cover screen.
Very carefully pull on the capsule while simultaneously pushing on the XLR insert. WARNING: BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS STEP. THE PCB HAS A SERIES OF WAVY CUTS IN IT. TOO MUCH PUSHING OR PULLING CAN BREAK THE PCB. GO SLOW. GO EASY.
Pull back the rubber ring around the brass capsule body. Remember the orientation of the ring in reference to the notch in the body.
Confirm that spring is seated properly on the capsule center pin.
Push the capsule body onto the PCB until fully seated. The hex screws should be positioned over the solder-tinned holes.
While holding the capsule and PCB together in that position, use a 0.035″ (0.89mm) hex key to tighten down the tiny set screws.
Replace the rubber ring. Make sure the orientation of the ring fits into the notch in the body.
Carefully insert the assembly back into the body. Again, be very careful. You will likely need small pliers/grips/etc. to pull the XLR insert all the way into position while simultaneously pushing the capsule into the body.
Tighten the screw through the body into the XLR insert.
Slide the capsule cover screen onto the capsule.
Screw the basket onto the body.
Test the microphone. If you still are experiencing audio problems, contact Sennheiser for service.
Disclaimer: The links to the hex key and microphone above are Amazon affiliate codes. By clicking through and purchasing, I receive a small kick back. Thank you for your support.
If you’re on a Mac running a contemporary1 version of OS X with the Firewall engaged and trying to fire up RX 5, you might encounter the following error.
Do you want the application “Neuron Plugin Scanner.app” to accept incoming network connections?
What is Neuron Plugin Scanner? The alert dialog box warns: “Clicking Deny may limit the application’s behavior. This setting can be changed in the Firewall pane of Security & Privacy preferences.”
The only solid reference to this app that I could find is a tiny thread on this forum. A guy named Jonah (possibly this guy?), who claims to work for iZotope Inc. (software developers of the amazing RX 5, Ozone, Iris, etc.), states that Neuron Plugin Scanner is a “helper application to scan your host for plugins to use” and that “it never connects to any other computer, iZotope, the internet, or anything else!”
That seems harmless, but I wanted better proof that Jonah was legit and the app wasn’t something more malicious. I contacted iZotope customer service and got this reply:
Thank you for reaching out! Yes the Neuron Plugin Scanner is related to RX 5. RX 5 has the ability to host 3rd party plugins. Those plugins have to be scanned by the Neuron Scanner before they are instantiated. Allowing this functionality is recommended.
Thank you for your time!
iZotope Customer Care
Verdict: Neuron Plugin Scanner is safe. Simply click Allow and keep making music.
It turns out the app is harmless. But clicking Allow every time you open RX 5 is a pain. Shutting off the Firewall is not wise. So if you want to make this dialog box go away forever, here is what to do.
1. Open Security & Privacy panel in System Preferences
You can find System Preferences under the Apple logo () on the far left of the menubar. Click on the Security & Privacy icon.
Click the Security & Privacy icon
2. Unlock System Preferences
If your System Preferences are locked, unlock them. Enter your system account password when prompted.
Unlock to enable changes to the Firewall
3. Open Firewall Options
Once you enter your password, the Firewall Options button will no longer be grayed out. Click it.
Click on Firewall Options
4. Find the app Neuron Plugin Scanner in the list
Scroll down until you see Neuron Plugin Scanner. It will have a red dot and the words “Block incoming connections” beside it.
Find the Neuron Plugin Scanner.app
5. Allow Incoming Connections
Toggle the setting for the Neuron Plugin Scanner app to read “Allow incoming connections” and exit out by pressing the OK button.
Set the Neuron Plugin Scanner to “Allow incoming connections”
That should fix the problem. The alert dialog for Neuron Plugin Scanner will no longer pop up…at least until iZotope updates their software or Apple changes their operating system. This is what worked for me with RX 5.00.135 running on OS X 10.10.5. Not all systems are the same. YMMV.
1Contemporary = a version released within the last few years prior to this article being publish. If these issues still exist at some point years from the publish date, I would be surprised. If so, well hello dear reader from the future. Do we have flying cars in the time you are from?
After doing a fresh install of Pro Tools and my Waves plugins, this Waves 9.2.100 Preferences dialog window (pictured below) kept popping up every time I fired up Pro Tools.
Checking the “Don’t ask me again” checkbox didn’t seem to be working.
I searched for some solutions on the Google machine and found some forums were recommending a complete uninstall and reinstall of all Waves plugins. This didn’t seem necessary. Here’s the fix I used:
Quit Pro Tools.
Trash the entire Waves Preferences folder. The folder is located in the Preferences folder in your user Library folder, not your system Library folder. A quick way to locate the folder is to switch to the Finder and hit Shift+Command+G. A Go to Folder dialog window will pop up. Copy and paste the following line in that field and hit enter.
Put that folder in the trash and empty the trash.
Start Pro Tools.
A window should pop up asking you to select the Waves 9.2 Plug-Ins folder. By default, it should be located in the Waves folder in your Applications folder.
Once you’ve located the folder, click Open.
The Waves 9.2.100 Preferences dialog window should pop up again. The “Don’t ask me again” box should be checked. If not, check it and hit OK.
To test if everything worked, quit Pro Tools and start it again. The Waves dialog window shouldn’t reappear.
Can’t get your Apple Bluetooth keyboard to pair with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? I couldn’t either. My A1255 keyboard wouldn’t connect at all. The iPhone would find the keyboard, but wouldn’t update the name of it, nor ever present the four digit code for pairing. I could only get this error:
Pairing Unsuccessful Make sure “Keyboard” is turned on, in range, and is ready to pair.
I tried a bunch of fixes I read about online and none of these worked in any combination nor configuration:
turning Bluetooth off and on
rebooting the iPhone
holding the power button on the keyboard
deleting other Bluetooth device pairing from the iPhone
clicking ‘Forget This Device’
connecting to another device and then my iPhone
replacing the batteries
holding the V, A, and R keys while powering on the keyboard
turning off Bluetooth on any other nearby devices
It seems Bluetooth under iOS 7 is broken. Lots of people are having issues with Bluetooth on iOS 7 that weren’t there in older iOS versions. Unfortunately, Apple is apparently ignoring this problem.
Here’s how I finally connected my keyboard to my iPhone.
Switch off Bluetooth on iOS device under Settings > Bluetooth.
Shut off the keyboard by pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds.
Switch on Bluetooth on iOS device.
Turn on the keyboard by pressing and holding the power button until it green light blinks.
The keyboard should appear listed under the DEVICES heading in the iPhone Bluetooth settings screen with “Not Paired” in gray next to it.
Now at this point you’re supposed to just tap on the listed device on the iPhone to begin the pairing process, but when I would do that it would time out with the “Pairing Unsuccessful” alert. Here’s the trick: repeatedly tap on the listing (maybe 5-6 times) and hopefully the “Bluetooth Pairing Request” alert will appear with the four digit code you’ll need to enter.
The pairing may fail the first time. Try again.
I also found that subsequent attempts to connect after forgetting the device worked much better after that initial connection.
I hope this fix works for you. Let me know if it does.
A friend gave me a Pro Tools session on a thumb drive. I copied the entire session folder to my external hard drive and opened it. After changing the routing to work on my system, everything played back fine. Then I tried to clean up the session.
Every time I attempted to cross fade or consolidate an audio or MIDI region, I would get an error like this:
“Could not complete your request because You do not have appropriate access privileges (-5000)…” Why do you build me up, Buttercup? Capitalize ‘You,’ then award me negative five thousand points…pssh.
Seeing the “access privileges” bit, I figured the problem was probably an operating system issue, not a Pro Tools thing. The session files were indeed set to ‘Read Only,’ which is why I could play back the session, but couldn’t do anything to the regions or fades.
Here’s how to fix the issue.
Close the session. You shouldn’t have your Pro Tools session open while changing its permissions.
Select the session folder in Finder. Make sure the session folder is highlighted, not the files inside the session.
Get Info. Hit Command-I (capital i) or from the Finder menu select File > Get Info. An Info window will pop open.
Change all privileges to ‘Read & Write.’ At the very bottom of the Info window is a box with a list of users and their privileges. They should all be set to ‘Read & Write.’ You may be asked for user password to unlock and verify the change.
Not listed are NSA permissions, which by default are set to ‘Collect All,’ but, like, totally isn’t a violation of your privacy.
Close the Info window. After making the privilege changes, try reopening your Pro Tools session and editing some regions. If you can, this fix worked for you.
Why does this error occur?
Many common problems that Macs develop are related to file permissions errors. Files are given various permissions to maintain privacy between computer users and prevent users from easily messing up the operating system.
Permissions can get wrecked when disks are removed without being ejected and during unexpected shut downs. That’s why it is important always to try to eject disks and shut down your Mac properly.
Permissions can also get messed up during copying and moving of files or while installing software. That appears to be why I experienced this error. During the copying of the files, the permissions were never changed to grant me access. Simple problem, simple fix.
After encountering this problem on several other sessions, I tried another method and found a better (and probably more proper) solution. Try this in addition to or instead of the above fix:
In the problematic Pro Tools session, pop open the Disk Allocation dialog (Setup > Disk Allocation…).
When the dialog window opens, you’ll be presented with a list of all the tracks in your session and the location where that track should be located. If you’re having problems creating fade files and getting the sort of error that brought you to this page, then you’ll probably see something like the picture below.
As you can see, not all of the tracks had their disk allocation pointing to the right place. To fix them, select all of the incorrectly allocated tracks, then click and hold the little up/down arrows on the right hand side. A little window will appear and ask you to select a folder. In my case, the session file was looking on my internal system drive instead of my external audio drive. Choose the correct location of your session files and click OK. That should solve the issue. Let me know if this worked for you.
For the record, at the time the error occurred I was running OS 10.8.4 and Pro Tools 9.0.6 on a Mac Book Pro with an iLok 2.
I had to force quit Pro Tools. Then I unplugged my iLok 2 and plugged it into a different USB jack. Presto. Working again. Not sure what caused it, nor if switching USB jacks was actually the fix, but I did get it working again after doing so. Hope this helps somebody.
I confirmed again that switching which USB jack the iLok 2 was plugged into made the difference. I would think that this is a problem with that particular USB jack, but all other USB devices work just fine plugged in there. Hmm…
After upgrading to the newly released Pro Tools 9, I couldn’t open sessions or create new ones. I got this error: “Could not complete the Open Session… command because Pro Tools could not set sample rate to specified value..” I hunted around on the web and various forums, but couldn’t find a solution that fit. […]
After upgrading to the newly released Pro Tools 9, I couldn’t open sessions or create new ones. I got this error: “Could not complete the Open Session… command because Pro Tools could not set sample rate to specified value..” I hunted around on the web and various forums, but couldn’t find a solution that fit. I found several items relating to Windows and Pro Tools 8, but nothing for a Mac running Pro Tools 9. After messing around a bit I figured out the problem was with my playback engine. Here’s how I solved it. Let me know if it works for you too.
Open the Playback Engine dialog under the Setup menu item.
From the menu bar select Setup > Playback Engine… to open the Playback Engine dialog window.
The fix is easy. Simply select the right playback engine. Your options may differ based on your setup.
In my case, I usually would edit with my Mbox 2 Micro, but since Pro Tools 9 gives us so many more options for hardware compatibility, I selected Built-in Output. I was able to edit some vocal takes using my Macbook Pro’s speakers instead of pulling out my headphones. Nice!