I’m a bit frustrated.

Alesis Vortex USB device not appearing on Win 7 Pro

Plugging Vortex into USB on Dell Latitude E6500 laptop with Windows 7 Professional. Vortex powers up OK but OS does not "see" the device at all. No "USB device plug-in" sound, and no change to devices list in Device Manager. The Vortex just does not appear, and so (obviously) it does not appear in any MIDI devices lists of VST hosts.

I have tried all three USB ports on the laptop with no joy. I have ruled out the USB cable (tested both a short and long cable and both are known-good). The USB ports on the laptop do work with other USB devices (an audio interface). Also, the Vortex works just great on my studio PC (an i7 920 desktop, Gigabyte motherboard) - on that machine, it appears as "Vortex" under "Sound, Video, and Game Controllers", and sends out MIDI messages like a big-dog on MIDI-OX.

The problem is similar to the one posted here:
http://community.alesis.com/alesis/to...
...EXCEPT that in that post, the device DID show up but was not recognized. But here, it's not showing up AT ALL. BTW, I tried the solutions involving "ksthunk" and they don't apply here - the registry already has that key.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
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  • I’m now a bit confused.
    Quick update... when I tried it using the long cable that was supplied with the Vortex, it worked! I didn't try that cable earlier because it was connected to the studio desktop PC.

    That is great of course, but it leaves me wondering why it didn't work my other cables - mind you, cables that are known to work with other devices (e.g. USB external disk drives). My concern is that the Vortex currently works with only one cable in my arsenal, and that cable is rather long for some anticipated applications for the Vortex. And of course, if that cable gets crunched, I need to know how to replace it properly.

    So... any clues as to why it only works with the Alesis-supplied cable? Anything special about that cable?
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  • Hello Carlos,

    You may just have a bad cable. The USB cable that comes with your Vortex is just a standard USB 2.0 printer cable. Any one of these cables should work with your Vortex. If you need to replace your USB cable, you can simply visit your local computer store to purchase another one or you can contact our parts department at 401-658-3131 ext. 1407.

    Ensure that only your Vortex is plugged into your computer via USB when using this. Other devices may interfere with the connection.
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  • Hi Chris, thanks for the info about the Alesis-supplied cable.

    I tried three completely different cables and none of them worked with the Vortex. (One of them was brand new, with a cool angle-plug on the Vortex end to keep things neat and sleek-looking .. I'd love to be able to use that one.) Those cables DID work, however, with an external USB drive. I think it's unlikely that all three cables could be bad AND also work properly with another device.

    I can't help but conclude that there's something different between those cables and the Alesis cable - maybe power draw down the cable? I'm grasping at straws here...

    Also, yes, I did only have the Vortex plugged in when I was trying this. But certainly you must mean to do that only as a troubleshooting guide, right? I mean, in the real world, a lot of setups (mine included) rely on external USB audio interfaces to make things happen.
    • Hello Carlos,

      Are you familiar with the three-position switch to power the unit on/off? When the switch is set to the left position, the unit will be battery-powered. When set to the middle position, the unit will be off. When set to the right position, the unit will be powered through USB or a power adapter - (sold separately).



      If so, double check that those cables are USB 2.0. This cable will connect your Vortex to your computer and power it on when you set the switch to the right position. You are correct, you'll need to connect an audio interface for your sound output.
    • The power switch was in the correct (right) position. I am not using batteries, so this is the only position that would work anyway (and like I said, it did work with the long cable supplied by Alesis).

      The cables are indeed USB 2.0. I'll see if they work when the Vortex is not being powered by the USB cable, but even if that works, it would be mysterious as to why. I mean, is the Vortex THAT finicky about cables?
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