Leopard, Alesis Driver Woes

I have had a smooth ride upgrading my new MacBook Pro to Leopard. I apparently am not running any of the problem child applications. The only one I lost was pre-Leopard, that was GnuCash under Fink, and it seems to have more to do with my new Intel Mac than Leopard. Under Tiger, it would crap out immediately after launching. I can still use it remotely over X on my home network, which is how I prefer to use it anyway. I’ve just lost the ability to run it on my portable while traveling.

I have been using GnuCash for my personal finances for over four years and have not found a Mac native replacement. I have already been through this, so while you are welcome to make suggestions, I am very particular in my requirements and have looked extensively before.

I just ran my old PowerBook through the upgrade, to test GnuCash and my Alesis mixer under Leopard. GnuCash on PPC works fine. There is a font issue under Leopard’s version of X11 that has nothing to do with GnuCash or even GTK+. I found a quick and dirty hack that resolves what is only a display issue, so I know when I do upgrade my G5 desktop where I run GnuCash for the household, it will still work locally and remotely.

I was not so fortunate with my Alesis mixer. I have had bad luck with driver upgrades for this mixer. Alesis released an update earlier this year which I eagerly installed under Tiger on my G5. Then I starting noticing intermittent static coming off the mixer. I switch out mics, cables, everything and it kept happening. Fortunately, that driver package has an uninstaller and the older driver since apparently you need to run the old driver to update the firmware on the mixer itself. So I downgraded and it has been smooth sailing with Tiger and my G5.

Today I upgraded my PowerBook to Leopard as an experiment. The PowerBook was also running this stable, static free driver under Tiger. My Alesis is the Multimix 8 FireWire. This is important, because others have reported rampant static problems with the USB version of the mixer under Leopard. While testing my mixer with the PowerBook newly upgraded to Leopard reveals it does not, the breakage is distinctly not the static problem others have reported with Leopard and the USB version of the mixer. Actually, I may have that problem, too, but because of my own unique breakage I cannot tell.

Under Leopard on the PowerBook, while Garageband shows incoming signal, I am not getting anything back out to the mixer. I have my monitor turned on. This exact same project file and settings worked fine right before the upgrade. I know, I tested it specifically to make sure I had a known good baseline. And, yes, I already made sure the input and output are both routed through the Alesis driver in the preferences. Funny thing is, even if I change the output to the internal audio, I still don’t hear anything coming out.

Leopard with one of my PPC systems and the Alesis Multimix 8 FireWire simply does not work.

I need to rebuild my old PowerBook to give the wife an overdue speed bump. I cannot keep experimenting with my old PowerBook but hers just makes the requirements to run Leopard. I will use her old PowerBook to maintain an experimental Leopard system to test any new revs of Leopard and/or the Alesis drivers until something works cleanly. And in the meantime, the G5 stays on Tiger as I will not change that setup, my main podcasting rig, until I have one just as stable to replace it.

Oh, and I can absolutely confirm that Last.fm hates Leopard or vice-versa. I had to switch to another account with which I never used that particular application. If Last.fm loads at all under Leopard, get the hack saw and start cutting your foot off. I could not prevent the damn thing from loading and every single time it did post login it took Finder with it. Seriously, rip the application from your system and do a fresh reboot and login after doing so to satisfy yourself it won’t come back from the dead before upgrading to Leopard.

2 Replies to “Leopard, Alesis Driver Woes”

  1. Under Leopard on the PowerBook, while Garageband shows incoming signal, I am not getting anything back out to the mixer.

    Did you ever figure that one out? I’m experiencing the same issue and am stuck scratching my head over it.

  2. The most current drivers appear to fix the issue. Also make sure that you have the monitor turned *off* in Garageband for the track coming in off the mixer. If everything is working, you should hear anything on your mic just fine without the software monitor. During playback, though, on the mixer itself make sure you have either the y2k to mix or y2k to ctrl rm buttons depressed, otherwise while you’ll get signal into GB, it won’t come from there back out to the mixer.

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