Monday, October 9, 2017

Soundflower No Audio [FIXED]



Like a lot of people I've been using Soundflower and Soundflowerbed forever to capture system audio on my Mac.  But it's not something I do very often so I didn't notice when some system update at some point broke it.

The original developer, Cycling74, handed it off to "Rogue Amoeba" which stopped developing the free, open-source "Soundflowerbed" app in favor of the proprietary pay "Loopback" app.  The free, open-source "Soundflower" driver (aka kernel extension) has continued being developed by Matt Ingalls.

Depending on what version of the Mac operating system you're using you might be able to still use the last release of Soundflowerbed (1.6.7) with the Soundflower 2.0b drivers.  But don't count on it.

The new, preferred method is to use the built-in "Audio MIDI Setup" utility (it's in your Applications/Utilities folder).

1. Click the [+] and create a "Multi-Output Audio Device"
2. Check the boxes for "Built-In Output" and "Soundflower (2ch)"
3. Set the Multi-Output Audio Device for your Sound Output (you can do this either in the MIDI utility or in the regular System Settings --> Sound --> Output control panel).
4. Set the "Soundflower (2ch)" as your Sound Input device.

Seems simple enough right?  Except no audio app would actually record the sound I was hearing!

I also tried creating a "Aggregate Device" in the MIDI Utility.  Unlike a "Multi-Output" you can select an "Aggregate Device" as an audio input source, so I created one of those with "Built-in Output" and "Soundflower (2ch)" checked.  Then selected it as the input source in my audio recorder and...nothing.  Didn't work.

After installing, uninstalling, reconfiguring, and trying everything in every troubleshooter or tutorial I could find online, fighting with this damn problem ALL DAY LONG then I stumbled onto this post: http://www.mac-forums.com/music-audio-and-podcasting/340016-solved-tricky-soundflower-giving-audio-quicktime.html

What the author of that says is they discovered that even though the Master and individual channel volumes in "Soundflower (2ch)" in the MIDI utility said they were turned up, they actually weren't!  The solution was to slide them down to nothing and then slide them back to the volume you wanted.

Somewhere behind the scenes this must write new values into a configuration file that, despite the appearance of the sliders in the Utility, were apparently actually set to nothing.

Once I slid them down and back up I was able to record system audio, while also monitoring what I was recording, just like I always have before.

You can still adjust the INPUT volume in the System Preferences --> Sound --> Input but when you select either a Multi-Output Audio Device or an Aggregate Device you lose the ability to adjust the sound OUTPUT with your volume keys or the menubar slider.  The MIDI Utility becomes the only place you can adjust the sound output.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

RE-Enable Old Default Clip Studio Materials in 1.6.7

When you install Clip Studio Paint 1.6.2 or 1.6.7 it will automatically disable all your previous default materials (that huge ZIP file you used to have to download separately and install manually) and automatically download the new default materials from their Assets “cloud” site.

Actually if the material file size is >250KB it will only download the thumbnail and overlay the “cloud” icon it, indicating you have to manually tell it download it.  However, that still means it automatically downloads a LOT of the materials with smaller file sizes.

That can be a significant problem for people who have limited internet bandwidth or low data caps on their internet service.

Ok, so how do you STOP it from disabling the materials you’ve already downloaded and installed, or at least RE-enable specific old default ones you already have?  Or make it not download everything from the cloud?

DISCLAIMER: you do this at your own risk, I make no guarantees, don’t expect Celsys or Smith Micro to help you fix it if you mess everything up.  Also keep in mind the old default 3D materials are also in a “legacy” format, while the versions from the Cloud may be in the “new” format (or will be updated to it sometime in the future).  For now that legacy format is still supported, but Celsys could drop support for them in a future release.


RE-ENABLE SPECIFIC OLD MATERIALS


Go to your “Local User” Materials folder:
/Documents/CELSYS/CLIPStudioCommon/Materials/Install/

You’ll have to drill down into each folder looking at the contents of “thumbnail” to find the material(s) you’re looking for.  When you do, one level up from the thumbnails is a file named “cloudSyncAlready” which you can open in a plain text editor.  It only has a “-1” in it.  Delete the minus sign so it just says “1” and save the file.  Repeat this process for every old Material you want to re-enable.

Open Assets app and run “Gear —> Maintenance Menu —> Organize Materials” and wait for it to finish.

Your old Material should now re-appear in your Materials list.

Note that many of them have EXACTLY the same names as the ones available in the Cloud, and if you also download the ones from the Cloud you’ll have no way (within the Materials list) to differentiate the two.


MAKING THEM PERSISTENT?


It is possible that a future update could re-disable them if they’re in the “Install” folder.  If you want to prevent that potentially happening you should drag them to your canvas and then use “File —> Register as Material” and re-register the material with a custom name or tag (something that will help you differentiate them from the originals).  They’ll be copied into a new User Material sub-folder (one of those ones with a number for a folder name like “56” or “94” etc.)  You can go ahead and delete the original ones from your Materials list in Paint if you want (note that doing so only deletes them from the Local User Materials folder, it does not delete them from the Global folder).

An update to the software should NEVER disable your custom materials, so the re-registered default material will now be treated as a custom material and won’t be automatically disabled or deleted.


RE-ENABLE ALL OLD MATERIALS


Ok, so all that stuff above is about re-enabling the old default materials, but it has no effect on Assets also downloading the Cloud versions.  But re-enabling ALL the old materials can trick the Assets app into not downloading everything.

First, get the Materials back-up from the “Global” folder:

Mac:
[MacDrive]/Library/ApplicationSupport/CELSYS_EN/Common/Material/Install/

Windows:
C:\ProgramData\CELSYS_EN\CLIPStudio\Common\Material\Install\
(Note: "ProgramData" is a hidden folder)

If you don’t see the “PAINTxxx” folders in it, try looking in the \CELSYS\ location instead, assuming you’ve never had the Japanese language versions installed, the “Install” contents there should work too.  If you can’t find them elsewhere then you can use the contents of the “Install” folder in your Documents folder, but you’d have to edit each and every one of the “cloudSyncAlready” files - and there are a LOT of them.

Navigate to the “Local User” Materials folder:

/Documents/CELSYS/CLIPStudioCommon/Material/Install2/

DELETE any sub-folders that are already in “Install2” (those are Cloud stuff) and paste the copies from the Global “Install” folder into the Local “Install2” folder.

Run “Organize Materials” operation from Assets app.  Assets will mistake the copied local materials for the identical ones it usually downloads from the Cloud.  However there are some that are different and it will still want to download those.

Subsequently, if you run “Gear —> Sync All Materials Installed from Cloud” it will still take forever and a year to go through them, but it will ONLY download the new materials that weren’t included in the original, old default download pack.  At least when I did this it didn’t overwrite any of the materials that were already present, it only added the ones I didn’t already have.  I don’t know if the Assets app does the “Sync” operation on its own or not.


RESTORING CLOUD MATERIALS


Ok, let’s say you decide this arrangement sucks or you get better internet service or whatever and you want to put it back the way it’s supposed to be.  How?

1. Inside the Local User Materials folder DELETE the “Install2” folder.  
2. Open the Assets app (if you look at “Material” many of them will be blank)
3. Go to “Gear —> Maintenance Menu —> Organize Materials” (the blank ones will be removed)
4. Go to “Gear —> Reset Materials Installed from Cloud”

It will take forever and a year, but when it’s done you should now have a bunch of materials in your list with the little “cloud” icon on them.






Friday, September 8, 2017

Clip Studio Assets 1.6.7 Adds UPLOAD Materials

The English version of Clip Studio Assets now allows users outside of Japan to upload their original materials to share with other users.  Any Material you can "register" for use in Clip Studio Paint can now be uploaded to the Assets site.  Users outside of Japan, however, still do not have non-Japanese versions of the apps for creating native 3D content.  Nor can users outside of Japan SELL their custom materials through the Assets site.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Make Avid Media Composer First open Help Docs in a specific browser (Mac)



I was going to post this on the Avid Forums, but their new "Master Account" login is a confusing mess.  Or maybe it's just me.  It asks me if I want to "Link Accounts" but after having that fail several times I realized they meant if you already HAD an account on their forums.  Well, I think I did like 1,000 years ago.  What they really meant was to use "Create Account" to create a new forum account controlled by the Master Account.  That failed several times too.  As it did for a Download Account and a Support Account.  Basically it seems like their "one login to rule them all" was coded by Orcs.

So I can't actually post this on the Avid forums right now.  Fine, I'll post it here instead.

I’m trying to familiarize myself with Media Composer | First I wanted to right+click on the “What’s this?” context menu and get the Help page about that thing. 

However, it would try to open it in my default web browser, which is Google Chrome.  Chrome will not open local files.  It requires web pages to be sent from a web server.  Obviously the solution is to open the Avid Help files in Safari (or Firefox) which WILL open local files.  But how do I do that without changing my default browser?

The first thing I tried was third-party preference pane “Choosy” but no matter what rules I set in it Avid Media Composer would always open the help documentation in Chrome, where it won’t load (you just get a pulsating blue bar across the top of the window).

The good news is you can do this with setting already IN the operating system, no third-party tools necessary.

METHOD #1 (if you want ALL local .html files to open in Safari)
1. Go to Applications —> Avid —> Media Composer First —> Help
2. Select any one of the files ending with .html, right/hold+click and select “Get Info” OR press CMD+I
3. Under “Open with:” set it to “Safari.app”
4. Click the “Change All…” button.

Now ALL local .html files will open in Safari.

But I do web development, so that wasn’t what I wanted.

METHOD #2 (if you want JUST the Avid Help files to open in Safari)
1. Go to Applications —> Avid —> Media Composer First —> Help
2. Select ALL the .html files there (Help_ix.html, Help.html, MCHelp.html - it doesn’t matter if you also select the .js file too)
3. Right/Hold+Click or Go to “File” in the menubar and while those are all still selected hold down your Option key.
4. The “Open With” will change to “Always open with”
5. Select “Safari” from the list of apps.
6. It will immediately open all of them in Safari, but you can just close/quit Safari.
7. Now, go into the “Help” sub-folder
8. Select ALL the files in that folder (CMD+A works, or select the first one, scroll down, and with the SHIFT key pressed click the last file in that folder.
9. Again Right/Hold+Click or go to “File” in the menubar, hold down the Option key, and under the “Always open with” select Safari.
10. It will try to open ALL those files in Safari (it will probably error at some point because that’s a LOT of files to have open at once).  Just close/quit Safari.

Now, when you go to “Help —> Media Composer Family Help” or Right/Hold+Click on any element of the UI and select “What’s this?” it will open the help documentation in Safari.


It would be nice if the Help documentation opened in the same Online Resources window as the Knowledge Base and Forums under the Help menu.  Why is it opening an external browser for the “Media Composer Family Help” when there’s already built-in webview window?  It makes no sense.

Oh, and the last thing is that every time I intentionally QUIT Avid Media Composer First - you know with Command+Q or selecting it from the menubar, it thinks it CRASHED instead!?  I get both a "Report this Crash" from the OS and another one from Avid's Application Manager.  Dammit, I quit the app ON PURPOSE.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

BIG BLOG UPDATE!


Now that the english-language version of CLIP STUDIO PAINT has an Assets/Launcher app, the Japanese version has actual Cloud storage, and the format for 3D Materials has changed it was time for another Big Blog Update!  Here's the rundown:

Introduction to Clip Studio Suite
More like a "re-introduction."  This is based off what was originally written on the Unofficial Translations page but has been rewritten and moved to it's own page.

Unofficial English TranslationsI have completely new english translations for both the “legacy” and 1.6.3 versions of the Japanese suite, plus I wrote patch scripts for both Windows and Mac. Should be a lot less painful process now, but still requires installing specific versions.

Installing, Sharing and Synching Materials
Again, this used to be at the bottom of the translations page, but it's grown into a enough info to be on its own page now.  It is now possible in version 1.6.3 to share installed materials between different language versions and, with a cloud storage drive, between installations on different computers.


Assets/Launcher app (Japanese version)It used to be mostly an app launcher front-end and storefront. Now it does a lot of other stuff so I dive deep.

Assets/Launcher app (English version)
This is new territory for users of the english-language version.  Unfortunately it isn't as fully featured or functional as the Japanese one, but it's a start.  We in the West *finally* have legit access to the Clip Assets Site!

Assets/Launcher app (Legacy version)
The good ol' Legacy version ain't what it used to be.  Lots of functionality has been purposely hobbled in favor of the new version.

Old vs. New 3D Model Formats
Since version 1.6.0 the native format for 3D materials has changed, as have the apps you use to create them. COORDINATE is (kind of) done.  MODELER is the future, but it's not free - except when it is.  If you're making 3D materials for PAINT you're going to want to look this over.






Monday, May 29, 2017

Clip Studio Launcher/Assets 1.6.x (Japanese Version)

Those of us outside of Japan still don’t have the other parts of the Clip Studio Suite that would allow us to MAKE most of the new materials.  However, the english-language Clip Studio Assets app won’t even let you upload and share the things we can easily make like custom brushes, patterns, or 2D backgrounds, etc.  That’s because they removed those functions from the the Clip Studio Launcher/Assets app.  So let's take a look at the original Japanese version!

NOTE: The following screenshots are of the Japanese app with the Unofficial English Translations applied to the user interface.  However, any content which is loaded from the Celsys servers is still shown in Japanese.

START SCREEN


Clip Studio Launcher 1.6.3 "Start Screen" (Japanese version w/ translation kit applied)

Clip Studio Launcher (LEGACY Version)

This post is specifically about the Clip Studio Assets/Launcher "Legacy" app.  It is the version of the Launcher used with the pre-1.5 versions of the Japanese Clip Studio Suite apps.  There is no english-language version.  Version 1.1.7 is the final release of the Legacy Launcher.  You can't download and install the Launcher by itself, but you can get it by downloading and installing the Legacy version of ACTION, which also includes the last version of COORDINATE that is compatible with the legacy apps.

For details on the current version of the Launcher see my other posts about the the Japanese 1.6.x Launcher or the English 1.6.x Launcher.  If you never installed any of the Clip Studio Suite apps prior to version 1.5 then this post isn't for you.  If you DO have the older versions of the apps installed (and you can have them installed alongside the newer ones and other language installations) then let's dig in!

NOTE: The following screenshots are of the Japanese app with the Unofficial English Translations applied to the user interface.  However, any content which is loaded from the Celsys servers is still shown in Japanese.

START SCREEN

Clip Studio Legacy Launcher 1.1.7 "Start" Screen