Read on for a tale of my initial frustration, ever incresaing despair, and eventual victory in this tale of my configuration of audio devices in a Windows 7 VM guest on top of an Arch Linux host.
A few months ago, I installed the Windows 8 RC on my computer. Call me crazy, right? It was OK, but I didn’t like it enough to pay for it. So, I decided to take the plunge and install Arch Linux on my computer and commit to sticking with it for at least a month. Initial set up went fine, as I have run and set up Arch before. However, I gave up as some critical programs I need would not work in Wine and virtualization was a lot slower in 2009. Windows 8 was going to expire anyways, so I figured why not try Arch again instead of going back to Windows 7.
I recently bought a Maschine from Native Instruments, but when I tried to install the software in Wine, no go. Fine, I’ll just fire up a Windows 7 virtual machine for it. The software went fine, but for some reason, the Maschine driver was not able to start and exited with error code 10.
I have had driver problems before, so I simply re-installed the driver. Still nothing. About 3 hours of more failed attempts and I’m this close to going back to Windows 7. I posted a question on the forum for help and went to bed.
Today, I was playing around with VirtualBox again after getting some help on various forums. Turns out, in VirtualBox, you must enable EHCI (Enhanced Host Controller Interface) support for the VM. Sure enough, I had it disabled on my VM. I found the setting by looking under the USB settings for the VM and enabling it. I also had to make a USB filter for the Maschine so VirtualBox knew which devices to talk to using EHCI. After I did that, my Windows VM started the driver! Great! *BUZZ* Nope. True, the Maschine now works, but whenever I press a button, there is about a half second lag before any sound plays. Clearly, unacceptable.
Turns out, using the WASAPI sound drivers that come with Windows was the problem. To fix this, I installed ASIO4ALL, which is an alternative audio driver. Accepting the default settings immediately fixed the problems I was having! Now I have immediate feedback from all my MIDI stuff in my VM and the audio is crystal clear!
This adventure was a lot more irritating than my blog probably makes it sound, so I’m really glad I was able to remedy the situation. Hopefully this helps someone else out!