SoftStep App Crashing A Lot on Win7 64bit

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Sam_K
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:48 am

SoftStep App Crashing A Lot on Win7 64bit

Postby Sam_K » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:20 am

Tonight is the first time I've really sat down and tried to spend some time with my new SoftStep. Unfortunately the SoftStep App software has been extremely unstable for me. Over the last couple of hours it has crashed more than 10 times. In fact it is not an exaggeration to say that I've spent more time killing the app and rebooting the computer than I have actually getting to use it.

I am running Win7 64bit on an ASUS P5QPL-AM motherboard, Intel Core2 Quad 2.6Ghz with 4Gb of RAM and a 128Gb SSD (using internal chipset graphics). Peripherals are an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra, an Akai MPK61 keyboard, Novation Launchpad and Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard. This system is used exclusively as my Audio Workstation and only has Ableton Live 8.2.1 and a handful of VSTis and audio related utilities installed. It was also freshly re-installed when I bought the SSD about 3 months ago.

There is no one thing I am doing that is causing it to crash. Sometimes it will crash when I return to the app after being in another app (eg, reading the PDF manual and then click back to the SoftStep app), other times it will crash as soon as I open it and try to do anything at all. One time it crashed in the middle of downloading presets in Standalone mode.

Each time it crashes I cannot run it again until I reboot the computer. Sometimes (about 1 in 3) when I reboot the computer Windows will display a "Blue Screen Of Death" error right before resetting the hardware. Sometimes it even gets in a state where after rebooting it will immediately crash again when launched and the only way to stop it from doing this repeatedly is to completely shut down the computer and disconnect the AC power (which removes USB power). Then plug it back in and boot up again.

Another odd thing I discovered while doing all of this is that sometimes it seems that the SoftStep is stopping my computer from shutting off. I will tell Windows to "Shutdown" but after windows closes, the computer Reboots instead of powering off. I've never seen it do this before. If I unplug the SoftStep while the machine is shutting down then it will power off properly. This problem does not always happen, I have not figured our the exact steps to replicate it yet.
Kaspar
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:09 am

Re: SoftStep App Crashing A Lot on Win7 64bit

Postby Kaspar » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:37 am

Sam_K wrote:
> Another odd thing I discovered while doing all of this is that sometimes it
> seems that the SoftStep is stopping my computer from shutting off. I will
> tell Windows to "Shutdown" but after windows closes, the computer
> Reboots instead of powering off. I've never seen it do this before. If I
> unplug the SoftStep while the machine is shutting down then it will power
> off properly. This problem does not always happen, I have not figured our
> the exact steps to replicate it yet.

I'm on the WinXP SP3 here, and sometimes I can't close REAPER while SoftStep is running.
When I unplug it, then REAPER closes.

Also, my computer won't boot up while SoftStep is connected - I have to always unplug it before turning the computer on.

So, a little bit similar buggy behaviour here in XP.
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SarahKMI
KMI Moderator
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:25 pm
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Re: SoftStep App Crashing A Lot on Win7 64bit

Postby SarahKMI » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:50 pm

We are currently working on version 1.2 of the SoftStep software. We've made some changes that we believe will really help with these crashing issues in Windows 7.

In the meantime I suggest using the SoftStep with the application in standalone mode just as an editor. Program a SoftStep scene with the application to work the way you want it to, save your scene and download it to your SoftStep. Then you can exit the SoftStep application and use the SoftStep without it. This will eliminate the problems that you are seeing with Ableton when the SoftStep application is open. For the purposes of editing for Standalone, the SoftStep application may behave better with no other applications open.

As always we appreciate these posts and they really help us in development. We will pay special attention to Windows crashing problems while testing the next version and we invite you to be a part of our ALPHA testing team so that you can have access to the next version early and let us know that your problems have been solved. The more computers that are out there checking the Software the better!

-Sarah Howe
Sam_K
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:48 am

Re: SoftStep App Crashing A Lot on Win7 64bit

Postby Sam_K » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Thank you for your reply Sarah. It is greatly heartening to know that you acknowledge the issues and are working on a fix. I can forgive a lot of shortcomings as long as I know they are ackowledged and being worked on.

I would be happy to be an alpha tester for you, thank you for the invitation.

I recognise that you are a small company with a new product and things don't always go according to plan and take twice as long to fix as expected (I'm a small business owner too so I feel your pain!). As long as you are honest and communicative with your users about the isues (like your reply here today :) ) then I am sure your user base will be very understanding and supportive.

I say this because I've been in this situation before with another boutique controller product by a small startup company and it did not end well. In fact it was almost the exact same situation, a very innovative and high quality piece of controller hardware that was let down badly by the application software. The worst thing this company did was to go into almost total radio silence with the user community and delete dissenting threads from their forum.

In that situation, my hunch is that inital sales did not go well and there was no money to pay for further software updates (the rumour was that the software was not develpoed in-house), but this really didn't have to be the end of the road. There were numerous calls on the forums for the company to release the specifications on how the device communicates with the software so that a community driven open source application could be developed, but the company never once replied to those requests, not even to say "no". There were even some users who partly reverse engineered the protocol and started work on a new app, but it never went far probably due to the complete lack of co-operation by the company and general ill will that this created in the community.

I heard a good piece of business advice once that went like this: Customers who have a problem with your company are a golden opportunity. If you go above and beyond their expectation in fixing their problem then you will create a customer who is 10 times more loyal to your brand than any of your customers who never had a problem.

Sorry if this comes off as telling you how to do your job, but I really want to see KMI succeed. The lack of imagination by the big controller hardware manufacturers really dissapoints me so innovative devices like the SoftStep really float my boat.

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