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Issue with Finale and Realtek

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Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Fri May 25, 2018 5:28 am

Hi all!

Long time user at the MakeMusic forum a long time ago. I'm gigging these days way more than using Finale, so you haven't seen me on there very often. It was surprising to go to that forum to find it had been shut down.

Anywho, I've found myself in a predicament that it seems to be common, but the standard solutions aren't working.

I just bought myself a new laptop (Dell Inspiron 15 5577), Windows 10 64-bit. Just installed Finale 2014 on it.

I've noticed when Finale is running, no other program that utilizes the sound card will work. I've contacted Dell, and they want to charge me for service, as software issues are apparently outside of the scope of a warranty. I've never had these issues on any other machine, and at this point, I'm at a loss, and am just about ready to return the laptop.

Here's what I've tried:

All drivers are up to date and I've even tried to scale the Realtek audio driver back to previous versions.
I've tried downloading a more generic driver from Realtek's website.
I've emailed Realtek to see if they might be able to help, but I'm guessing with what I now know, they won't be able to, either.
Using drivers outside of the Realtek driver: other audio programs will work, Finale's audio driver will fail to load.
Changing Finale to direct sound rather than ASIO: audio driver will fail to load.
Downloaded ASIO4All
Modified the FINMIDI.ini file...multiple times.

Any solutions that seem to work?
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby zuill » Fri May 25, 2018 5:40 am

You have to have the driver from the motherboard maker (I guess that might be Dell), not from Realtek. And for sure, don't use ASIO with Finale.

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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Fri May 25, 2018 5:43 am

Yeah, I do have the latest Dell driver. Realtek was a last ditch effort.

If I try to use either MME or DirectSound with Finale, I get the "Finale's audio engine has failed to load" message.
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby zuill » Fri May 25, 2018 6:30 am

Go into the Realtek HD Audio Manager and make sure the Sample Rate matches the chosen Sample Rate in Finale.

I use Windows 7. I recall on another laptop (not mine) there being some issues with the Realtek driver. The generic Windows driver worked much better. You then don't have the Audio manager, which is a sweet tool. But that was not anything to do with Finale, so I have no way of testing with Finale.

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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Fri May 25, 2018 6:58 am

zuill wrote:Go into the Realtek HD Audio Manager and make sure the Sample Rate matches the chosen Sample Rate in Finale.


Tried that, and having the same issue.

zuill wrote:The generic Windows driver worked much better. You then don't have the Audio manager, which is a sweet tool. But that was not anything to do with Finale, so I have no way of testing with Finale.


Now, this solution was...interesting. I did this before, but Finale kept crashing. I tried it again, and Finale worked, as well as my other audio program (in this case, Acid). But Finale won't work with headphones with this solution...weird.
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Fri May 25, 2018 7:12 am

Further, It only seems to work with ASIO4All. If I try RealtekASIO now, it crashes. DirectSound crashes. MME Crashes.

It seems Finale does NOT like anything on this sound card but ASIO.

I feel like the only solution for this laptop is to purchase an external audio device--but I feel like this shouldn't be this difficult, either, and that a return is warranted.
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby zuill » Fri May 25, 2018 7:29 am

Short of reinstalling Finale, deleting the Finale midi preferences file, and maybe the Finale preferences file, might be another test. After relaunching Finale, you'll need to re-enter your settings, but then you'll know one way or another if it works or not.

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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Fri May 25, 2018 12:40 pm

Did all of that.

I tried to watch a YouTube video this morning and the audio wouldn't play, so I had to go back to Realtek drivers. Seems like with this computer, my options are either get everything except Finale to work fine, or get Finale to kind of work and everything else kind of suffers.

Would you recommend buying an external sound device (like an audio interface)? I kind of feel like that might be overkill for a solution, though.
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby Bill Reed » Fri May 25, 2018 2:02 pm

Nothing beats a real audio interface, overkill or not. Solid ASIO drivers that are kept up to date, headphone jack, and good DACs.

An example of a $100 unit:
https://www.amazon.com/Steinberg-UR12-U ... +interface
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Fri May 25, 2018 2:36 pm

I definitely agree, and my home build has a Focusrite Scarlett that I really like, but Finale is such a low-grade audio program, it seems silly to need something like that. The intent of the laptop is to do coffee shop work. I'm currently away from home on a residency gig for the whole month, and I bought this laptop this week so I could get some transcribing done. But I haven't been able to because of these issues. My old laptops never needed anything special, just plug the headphones into the headphone jack and get to work.

My worry is that it's an extra thing to carry around. I could try one of those tiny consumer grade USB sound cards that is only a couple inches long. I used that on a previous Dell laptop with some weird sound issues.
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby zuill » Fri May 25, 2018 2:55 pm

I assume the Realtek is the built-in sound (built-in to the motherboard). I have not used a laptop, as both of my Finale installations are on desktop computers.

The reason I have avoided Windows 10 is because I have heard of many issues with its interface with Finale. Both of my desktops are running Windows 7. I know someday I will need to move to Windows 10. I'm sure I will do that kicking and screaming.

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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Fri May 25, 2018 3:03 pm

My desktop, a homebuild i7, works great with Finale. My Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 is my default audio card, and it works pretty decently. For whatever reason, I get some dropouts when the computer goes to sleep, but I just unplug and replug the device power. That model was discontinued; possibly for some issues (it happened on a previous desktop, too).

I just remembered this thread I started years ago: https://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=5&m=227147

It was another Dell, a Vostro 1700. My solution was to use a small M-Audio interface that was the size of a Zippo lighter. Worked for nine years before I retired the laptop. Looks like that might be the way to go...I'm going to a Sam Ash today to see if that solution will work.
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby bopeuph » Wed May 30, 2018 1:47 pm

So, update:

I was working on a show out of town during all this, and the drummer took me to a Microsoft Store to shop for a new laptop on our dinner break last week. I told a salesman what was going on and that I intend to return the Dell and buy something else, and he suggested I bring in the Dell and let their tech support look at it first, at no charge, since this was a warranty issue (Dell told me that this was outside of their warranty coverage and would not offer warranty service for this). I did not buy the laptop from Microsoft (got it from Costco), but he told me since Dell won't honor the warranty, they'll handle it. I know where I'm shopping for a laptop from now on.

The next day, I brought in the laptop, and their service guy did very similar things to what I did: see what happens when I open this program with that one, what happens if I do this, disable random drivers, etc.

Then the salesman that spoke with me before took him to a setting within the driver that had a box checked, saying something like "allow applications to take exclusive control of audio driver" or something like that. Unchecked it, cleared the FINMIDI.INI file, and voila! Everything is working now, and still had enough time to warm up before the matinee show.

Now, here's something interesting: I'm not sure if this was going on before in Finale with the audio issue, since I may have been distracted, but the splash screen on startup is taking a good, long while; somewhere in the lines of 45-60 seconds. I know my other machines are up and running way faster than that.

I don't have any different software settings in this laptop (actually, far less, because I have no 3rd party plugins or VSTs in it), so I'm not sure where to begin to speed up Finale's startup.

Other than this, Finale and Acid are finally playing nice with each other, and I've been able to get back to my transcribing work away from home.

Thanks for the help so far, guys.
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Re: Issue with Finale and Realtek

Postby nickrobin » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:29 am

These tips are really very effective.
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