Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Optimal Screen Resolution for WaveLab 7

Steinberg Wavelab 7 displays more information on your screen depending on your monitor's resolution. If you have a relatively low screen resolution, you might not be seeing all the default elements of your given workspace.

This is another detail about WaveLab that's infuriatingly undocumented, but through some personal experimentation, I've determined the minimum monitor resolution you need to have in order to see a complete workspace: 1280x1024.

If your monitor supports at least 1280x1024 resolution, you will see not only the core elements of any given WaveLab workspace, but you'll see the tab groups (circled below) up at the top portion of the screen as well.

If you happen to be running at a lower resolution (anything less than 1024 vertical), you can only see the tab group elements if you force them onscreen by selecting them from Workspace > Specific tool windows or Workspace > Shared tool windows.

The monitor I had when I first got WaveLab was 1600x900, and did not show the tab groups. I just recently upgraded to a Dell S2440L , which now shows the tab groups at its native resolution of 1920x1080.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steinberg Controllers for WaveLab 7

I recently bought Steinberg WaveLab 7 for an upcoming project I'm planning, and since I know I'm going to be spending many hours inside that program, I wanted some kind of hardware controller to minimize the mouse work required to edit my audio files.

Steinberg makes a number of great hardware controllers, but the devices were all primarily designed for Cubase. They are not general-purpose MIDI controllers, and in fact only recently (with WaveLab 7.2) were any of them supported by WaveLab.

I have not found ANY official location that describes the WaveLab compatibility with Steinberg's controllers, but here's the info I've gathered both through personal experience and by prodding Steinberg staff at their official forums.

The king of Steinberg's hardware controllers is the Steinberg CC121 Advanced Integration Controller. This device is fully supported in WaveLab for both Mac and PC, but on both OSes you need to have both WaveLab 7.2.1 and the 1.7.4 version of "TOOLS for CC121." When you have the 7.2.1 WaveLab update, you'll find a page called "CC121 Advanced Integration Controller" in the program's built-in help documentation, which describes all the device's mappings. One thing worth noting is that in WaveLab, the CC121's EQ controls only handle EQ duties when the "EQ TYPE" button is lit on the device and you have mouse focus on an instance of the StudioEQ plugin. If EQ TYPE is unlit, then the knobs are all mapped to different WaveLab functions.

I have found literally zero official documentation about the smaller CMC series controllers, but according to a Steinberg rep at the forums, the following CMC devices are supported by WaveLab 7.2.1: CMC-AI, CMC-CH, CMC-QC, and CMC-TP. I imagine the mappings match what Steinberg did for the CC121, so the built-in help documentation for the CC121 is probably worth a read if you have the CMC controllers.

SOLUTION: Black Borders Around Screen on Dell S2440L Monitor

I just bought a Dell S2440L Monitor , and was initially surprised (and a little apprehensive) when I unpacked it to discover that it only had VGA and HDMI ports, no DVI. (I'd previously had some bad experiences with HDMI-only connections on PCs.)

Anyway, my fears seemed confirmed when I logged into Windows for the first time with the S2440L connected. While my screen resolution was correct (1920x1080), there was a large black border around the viewable portion of my screen; the Windows desktop did not fill the whole screen.

I could not find any settings in the monitor's own menu options that made any difference, and changing refresh rates had no positive effects.

I should note that I have an ATI Radeon HD 5700 series graphics card and, and I eventually stumbled across a poorly documented feature of the ATI software that was causing the problem. Here's how to fix it on Windows 7:
  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Display.
  2. Click Adjust Resolution, then click Advanced Settings.
  3. On the Catalyst Control Center tab, click Catalyst Control Center. After a while, the Catalyst Control Center dialog should appear.
  4. On the left side of the dialog, click My Digital Flat-Panels, and then click Scaling Options (Digital Flat-Panel).
  5. On my computer, the Scaling Options slider was set somewhere in the middle. Slide it all the way to the right (the "Overscan" direction), to 0%. You should see an immediate change.
  6. Click Apply, and then close the Control Center.
UPDATE: I recently bought a Dell S2415H monitor and discovered I had exactly the same issue with it as my S2440L. I actually did a web search for my own blog post to remember how to fix it.