[Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift answer
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:45 AM   #1
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[Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift answer

Hello IDMf, I desperately need your help

On thursday I ordered a new Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 and it came yesterday, everything was in order, the packaging undamaged, all components present.

BUT,

The interface is shit, or I'm doing something wrong and I need guidance over the weekend as I can't waste more than 200$ on stuff that's not worth it, and if it is the fault of the interface, I'll have to send it back to the other side of the country which will take time, and I'm pretty impatient.

For some background information, I previously used a random Creative 'soundcard' at the cost of 20$ because my headphone female nest (that's how you call the in in English?) in my laptop is broken and cannot be repaired. I'm using an old laptop for making music currently with a Windows XP system (I always used it, yeah, sounds hipster) and a Duo-Core 1.86Ghz processor, 2GB ram specs.

Coming back to the interface, I did everything as in the manual, downloaded and installed the drivers, then plugged in the interface via USB but it wasn't working. I unplugged it, and plugged it into another USB nest. The power LED was on so I decided to plug my headphones. I needed an extension (?) because my headphones (random Sennheisers and a better Bose ones) have small male Jack 3.5mm outs, so I needed a 3.5mm small jack female to bigger Jack male extension. I found out that two different extensions give out different sound quality, but that's not the problem.

The problem is that I need my main headphone gain to be set at about 60% because every time I turn the knob forward, the interface gives out a distorted sound like that of excessing the 0db mark on your DAW. Horrible quality!

I plugged my hi-fi to the interface the same way as my headphones and on half volume on the hi-fi and 60% gain on the interface, the sound seemed nicer and louder than when it was plugged directly to the computer.

Then, the interface causes drop-outs at times. I was so pissed that I needed to relax and play an older version of a football video game, and two times the same thing happened. At about half of the match the sound goes completely out. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens but when I go back to the desktop and play a song, the sound goes through my headphones again.

At first, the interface wasn't working in my DAW, now it does but I don't see ANY improvement in quality neither in my DAW, nor while listetning to music I know well, for comparison. I don't want to spend more than 200$ on something that isn't even working properly or improving quality.

I can't test the quality of recording, because I wanted the interface to work only for mixing in my DAW, as I'm not recording any instruments.

I haven't written to the Focusrite company yet, I want to hear what you think about it.

Oh and yes, I re-installed the drivers. Yes, I downloaded them from the company website. Yes, I'm going to kill somebody with a knife if this won't work 'till monday.

Please help me, IDMf. I don't often ask for favours but this time I'm desperate.

Edit:

What should I do really? Get an amplifier to have more power? Get better headphones? (I'm thinking of a monitor headphones, that was my next goal after the interface)

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Old 04-10-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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Re: [Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift ans

[04-10, 09:49] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
Hi, guys. Sorry to be a begging faggot but I'm pissed off to the maximum and looking for help. Can a newb count on you to answer till the end of weekend to my thread in the Gear section as I got my first interface and it's already not working properly? [04-10, 10:02] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
could you provide a link? [04-10, 10:03] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
nvm found it [04-10, 10:07] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
since its exclusievly powered thru usb, it would seem that the dropouts are happening because of faulty usb ports? [04-10, 10:10] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
also, [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
[04-10, 10:10] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
cable they ship with the unit seems top be crap, invest some 10 bucks for a good one [04-10, 10:12] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
alsplustoo, if you have a usb 3.0 port maybe try that one, laptops often do odd things with usb power it seems... (as in, dont provide the watts you would expect) [04-10, 10:14] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
alsoplusthree, make sure to check all your other usb gear since it seems to influence each other in some magical way. try to unplug/deactivate other usb gear to test that hypothesis [04-10, 10:14] [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
and thats all from me =)

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Old 04-10-2014, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: [Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift ans

Thanks a lot for your reply. Unfortunately this might cover the drop-out issue, but I can't believe that an iffy USB cable might affect the quality of the sound. Wondering what to do. Might be something with my software? Don't know what to do really

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Old 04-10-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
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Re: [Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift ans

The soundcard is not compatible with XP, says so on their website. :/

Quote:
Windows XP
No
This is untested, however it should work. In general we recommend one of the operating systems listed as compatible.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:48 PM   #5
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Re: [Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift ans

To be honest, it sounds like you have a shoddy usb port. When turn up the headphones past a certain point you get distortion... it sounds like the port itself can't supply the current that your audio interface requires to run.
The fact that you say that it works fine attached to a stereo is one of the things that tells me this. Simply put, when you put the signal into your stereo, you are working with an impedance of at least several thousand ohms, likely more 1m ohm (1,000,000). Anyway, because of the equation voltage = current x resistance, and voltage increases as you turn up the volume knob, voltage/ resistance is current. Headphones have a very low resistance (aka impedance in this case) meaning that they require a lot of current to drive. Because the stereo has a higher input impedance, current is much less than it is with headphones.

Now that you've ignored all of that, here's something you can try to make it work. Try plugging the interface into a powered usb hub (without anything else plugged in, you need the bandwidth), and turning up the headphone volume. If I'm right about it being a problem with your usb ports current, then it should work.

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Old 04-10-2014, 08:08 PM   #6
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Re: [Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift ans

faulty usb ports lead to all kinds of unexpected errors, even things you would never ever expect (like odd daw errors, odd midi behaviour, etc etc)

usb is absolutely irrational

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Old 05-10-2014, 10:49 AM   #7
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Re: [Newb] Focusrite Scarlett huge distortion and drop outs - Looking for a swift ans

I have one as well. When I first bought it I also got the distortion thing. Unfortunately I don't have a definite fix for you. For me the distortion would come every time I booted up the computer. What I had to do was then turn off the monitors, unplug the USB, replug it back in and then turn on the speakers. It worked every time. After a month it just stopped doing it. Unfortunately I don't know what the cause of the problem is. Maybe its a faulty USB cable or port? Maybe there is something wrong with the PC? meh I remember how pissed off I was when it happened to me so I hope you sort it out.

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