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Help needed with Focusrite interface
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Pepperpotty
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Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 1308
Location: Suffolk, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:54 pm    Post subject: Help needed with Focusrite interface Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I've just got myself a focusrite Scarlett 18i6 audio interface. I have also just updated my pc's OS to Windows 7.

It took me ages to get the AI up and running. There were problems with the PC recognising it and it turned out that the software on the included disk was out of date and I had to go to their website to download new software.

Then there were problems with clicks and pops and other such noises. After finally getting the Scarlett mix control software to work I realised that by turning down the monitor volume on the mix control and turning up the AI's physical volume knob this seemed to resolve the problem.

So I carried on listening to music for about half an hour through iTunes just to make sure the problem was properly fixed. Then suddenly the music stops and the AI disconnects from the mix control.

The AI is still recognised in Windows volume controls but no volume can be heard from the speakers and iTunes just pauses itself. The only way to get it going again is to disconnect and reconnect to power from the AI.

This now happens again and again. Sometimes it will work for a couple of minutes, sometimes just a few seconds.

So this is what I've tried.

Changing the USB cable.
Changing USB ports.
Unplugging all other USB devices (just mouse, keyboard and wireless adapter remain)
Tried updating software again.

Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this problem?

I've emailed Focusrite support but it's unlikely they'll get back to me until Tuesday at the earliest as its a bank holiday here on Monday and I won't be able to sleep until I get this thing sorted!
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Current gear: Korg Kronos 61, Voicelive 2, Shure SM58, Alesis M1 Active 520, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
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X-Trade
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Location: Leeds, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First thought was FireWire chipset but then I realised this is a USB interface, correct?

I would try turning the wireless off as networking cards and particularly wireless cards can cause a lot of interrupts in the processor which can result in jitter or just plain latency.

It may be necessary to physically unplug it or disable it with hardware switch, or in device manager or bios, I'm not sure.


Another performance tweak is to set windows to give priority to background services (audio is one such service) rather than user applications. I think this is under advanced or performance in system settings - somewhere along the journey to the dialogue for disk cache (page file).
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Current Gear: Kronos 61, RADIAS-R, Volca Bass, ESX-1, microKorg, MS2000B, R3, Kaossilator Pro +, MiniKP, AX3000B, nanoKontrol, nanoPad MK II,
Other Mfgrs: Moog Sub37, Roland Boutique JX03, Novation MiniNova, Akai APC40, MOTU MIDI TimePiece 2, ART Pro VLA, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40.
Past Gear: Korg Karma, TR61, Poly800, EA-1, ER-1, ES-1, Kawai K1, Novation ReMote37SL, Boss GT-6B
Software: NI Komplete 10 Ultimate, Arturia V Collection, Ableton Live 9. Apple OSX El Capitan on 15" MacBook Pro
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Pepperpotty
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Location: Suffolk, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a list of things to do to help with audio problems on the focusrite site. All of which I've done. These included setting the scheduling to background services, disabling windows sounds and setting the power option to high performance. None of these have made any difference.

I'll try disabling the wireless adapter tomorrow. I've been at this for about 7 hours today and I need a break.

Focusrite recommend that you disable your Anti virus and firewall too but this seems a bit extreme surely? I'm not too keen on doing that even if I am disconnected from the Internet my Mcafee won't like it.

I could understand how it might help with the performance but I can't imagine that it would stop it from working all together would it?
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Current gear: Korg Kronos 61, Voicelive 2, Shure SM58, Alesis M1 Active 520, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
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X-Trade
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately a lot of antivirus program's are heavy on system resources. Norton is the worst, I avoid it like the plague. AVG used to be good (and free) but now it's not much better.
I've been using Avira in Windows but since switched to the Mac and Sophos have a nice free AV there that is quite light - but I still disable realtime scanning and only do weekly manual scans.
Realtime scanning can be the killer - but mainly when recording and playing back.
All good arguments for a dedicated music PC.

But It shouldn't be causing a disconnect.

Not sure what's going on there but you could try exploring the Windows Event Log. Looking around the time of a disconnect.

You can find that by right clicking 'my computer' > choose 'manage'. In the start menu.
_________________
Current Gear: Kronos 61, RADIAS-R, Volca Bass, ESX-1, microKorg, MS2000B, R3, Kaossilator Pro +, MiniKP, AX3000B, nanoKontrol, nanoPad MK II,
Other Mfgrs: Moog Sub37, Roland Boutique JX03, Novation MiniNova, Akai APC40, MOTU MIDI TimePiece 2, ART Pro VLA, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40.
Past Gear: Korg Karma, TR61, Poly800, EA-1, ER-1, ES-1, Kawai K1, Novation ReMote37SL, Boss GT-6B
Software: NI Komplete 10 Ultimate, Arturia V Collection, Ableton Live 9. Apple OSX El Capitan on 15" MacBook Pro
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X-Trade
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Location: Leeds, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, I'm pretty sure this section is supposed to be about 'mixing technique', not hardware issues Wink

I'm sure you can move your own post..
Not sure where it would go. I couldn't find an equiv for 'Mac users'.
_________________
Current Gear: Kronos 61, RADIAS-R, Volca Bass, ESX-1, microKorg, MS2000B, R3, Kaossilator Pro +, MiniKP, AX3000B, nanoKontrol, nanoPad MK II,
Other Mfgrs: Moog Sub37, Roland Boutique JX03, Novation MiniNova, Akai APC40, MOTU MIDI TimePiece 2, ART Pro VLA, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40.
Past Gear: Korg Karma, TR61, Poly800, EA-1, ER-1, ES-1, Kawai K1, Novation ReMote37SL, Boss GT-6B
Software: NI Komplete 10 Ultimate, Arturia V Collection, Ableton Live 9. Apple OSX El Capitan on 15" MacBook Pro
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xmlguy
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've tried most of the things I would try except one thing:

Completely disconnect the cables and wait for it to cool down.

Go to a nearby open window, then throw the interface out the window as hard as you can.

Then take a deep inhale of the fresh air.

It won't fix the interface, but you'll feel so much better. Unfortunately, the warrantee probably doesn't cover impact damage, so on second thought, maybe there's something else nearby that can serve as a good substitute.

A complete system wipe and a clean install of Windows from the Microsoft DVD is good to do annually for Spring Cleaning. Don't use the recovery disk provided by the hardware manufacturer, as it contains a load of old crap and third party apps you don't need or want. Clean means the Microsoft bits only, all Windows updates, and only the lasted downloaded drivers that are essential for the system hardware, nothing more. Get drive imaging software to make an image of the clean install. Only load the essential music apps and drivers, and make a music production image. Don't use that system to try out or load any software except that which you know you need. Having a dedicated music production station clears up a lot of problems by reducing the number of potential sources of bugs and conflicts.

An "upgrade" installation of Windows 7 on top of any existing version of Windows is highly discouraged. The system should be completely wiped for a fresh, new installation of Win7. This is more work, especially backing up data and reinstalling apps, but it really is a necessary step to maintain a reliable system. Limiting what you install or try on it is necessary to keep it clean.
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Pepperpotty
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so back again this morning with a fresh head. I started unplugging / turning off things one thing at a time to see if anything helped and it didn't.
I've unplugged the wireless adapter, turned off the firewall and turned off real time scanning.
Checked the event log and nothing at all is happening at the time of disconnect.

X-trade, yeah I did think that this wasn't really the right place to post but can't see anywhere better.

Xmiguy, I did try and do a clean install yesterday but Windows idea of a clean install and my idea of a clean install vary quite a lot.

According to the windows install disc if you select the custom install then it does a clean install. I have backed up all of my files on an external drive in preperation.

However, I first noticed something I wasn't expecting when I booted up and it asked me if I wanted to boot Windows 7 or Windows Vista. Once booted I realized that all of my files were still there. It's wiped all of the actuall programs but kept all of the files relating to them. And it appears to have kept the old OS too. I did think about trying to do it all again but physically wiping the disk myself but I wanted to explore other possible problems first.
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Current gear: Korg Kronos 61, Voicelive 2, Shure SM58, Alesis M1 Active 520, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
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X-Trade
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you select 'custom' install you have to make sure that you delete the partition and reformat the disk.

Actually since Vista you can just select the empty space after deleting the partition, and it will automatically choose the correct formatting for you. Saves about two clicks..

Of course, I think you have to select 'advanced' or something to get there.

If you do an in-place installation on the same partition, it usually copies the old stuff to windows.old, which can be a surprising waste of space if you already have all of your stuff backed up.
_________________
Current Gear: Kronos 61, RADIAS-R, Volca Bass, ESX-1, microKorg, MS2000B, R3, Kaossilator Pro +, MiniKP, AX3000B, nanoKontrol, nanoPad MK II,
Other Mfgrs: Moog Sub37, Roland Boutique JX03, Novation MiniNova, Akai APC40, MOTU MIDI TimePiece 2, ART Pro VLA, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40.
Past Gear: Korg Karma, TR61, Poly800, EA-1, ER-1, ES-1, Kawai K1, Novation ReMote37SL, Boss GT-6B
Software: NI Komplete 10 Ultimate, Arturia V Collection, Ableton Live 9. Apple OSX El Capitan on 15" MacBook Pro
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Pepperpotty
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Posts: 1308
Location: Suffolk, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow this thing is driving me crazy.

I decided to try reinstalling all the AI software again (for about the 4th or 5th time). And it seemed to work. I played music continually for a couple of hours and everything worked just fine.

So then I decided to have a go at setting it up for recording. Just as I have got the inputs and outputs set and am checking my levels the darn thing disconnects again! And again, and again.

I'm starting to like the idea of throwing this thing out of the window!
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Current gear: Korg Kronos 61, Voicelive 2, Shure SM58, Alesis M1 Active 520, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
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X-Trade
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be to do with the specific computer setup or chipset you have.
Are there any firmware (BIOS) updates? Are you sure you are using the latest drivers? At the very least you need the correct Chipset, graphics, and networking driver from the manufacturer's website. Not just the default ones that Windows uses to get you up and running.

Can you test it on another computer? Have you tried a different cable and/or USB port?

It seems more likely to be the computer than the device.
_________________
Current Gear: Kronos 61, RADIAS-R, Volca Bass, ESX-1, microKorg, MS2000B, R3, Kaossilator Pro +, MiniKP, AX3000B, nanoKontrol, nanoPad MK II,
Other Mfgrs: Moog Sub37, Roland Boutique JX03, Novation MiniNova, Akai APC40, MOTU MIDI TimePiece 2, ART Pro VLA, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40.
Past Gear: Korg Karma, TR61, Poly800, EA-1, ER-1, ES-1, Kawai K1, Novation ReMote37SL, Boss GT-6B
Software: NI Komplete 10 Ultimate, Arturia V Collection, Ableton Live 9. Apple OSX El Capitan on 15" MacBook Pro
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Pepperpotty
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Joined: 31 Dec 2010
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Location: Suffolk, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking it was more likely to be the pc too. Yes tried different port and cable. All drivers are up to date.

I'm going to reinstall windows 7 with a proper clean install which is what I wanted to do initially just in case it it is that.

If that doesn't work then I do have another pc I can try it on.

It's bizarre because the USB stays connected. You can still see the interface in the drivers section and in the windows volume control panel. But it just won't play anything and disconnects from the focusrite mix controller.

I have all my files saved on an external hd so I might as well try a clean install.
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Current gear: Korg Kronos 61, Voicelive 2, Shure SM58, Alesis M1 Active 520, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
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Pepperpotty
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I did a complete reinstall of Windows 7 and wiped my whole pc in the process. I tried to run the Scarlett again without loading anything else on my pc. Just Google Chrome, iTunes, Adobe reader and the Scarlett software were installed and still it doesn't work. Just works for a few seconds or minutes before disconnecting.

So I have now connected it to my old pc and I've been playing tunes for over 2 hours without one single glitch.

My old PC is running XP, it's about 6 years old and runs like a slug, but it handles the interface with ease. I'll try recording something tomorrow just to make sure it's not a fluke.

So the problem looks like it lies with my PC or Windows 7, but I really have no idea what else to try.

I have tried updating all of the drivers in the device manager. Unfortunely Acer appear to have no drivers on their website for my pc and Windows 7, so no help there.

Does anyone have any other tricks up their sleeve that I can try?
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Current gear: Korg Kronos 61, Voicelive 2, Shure SM58, Alesis M1 Active 520, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
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Darmin De'flern
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Help needed with Focusrite interface Reply with quote

Pepperpotty wrote:
Hi guys,

I've just got myself a focusrite Scarlett 18i6 audio interface. I have also just updated my pc's OS to Windows 7.

It took me ages to get the AI up and running. There were problems with the PC recognising it and it turned out that the software on the included disk was out of date and I had to go to their website to download new software.

Then there were problems with clicks and pops and other such noises. After finally getting the Scarlett mix control software to work I realised that by turning down the monitor volume on the mix control and turning up the AI's physical volume knob this seemed to resolve the problem.

So I carried on listening to music for about half an hour through iTunes just to make sure the problem was properly fixed. Then suddenly the music stops and the AI disconnects from the mix control.

The AI is still recognised in Windows volume controls but no volume can be heard from the speakers and iTunes just pauses itself. The only way to get it going again is to disconnect and reconnect to power from the AI.

This now happens again and again. Sometimes it will work for a couple of minutes, sometimes just a few seconds.

So this is what I've tried.

Changing the USB cable.
Changing USB ports.
Unplugging all other USB devices (just mouse, keyboard and wireless adapter remain)
Tried updating software again.

Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this problem?

I've emailed Focusrite support but it's unlikely they'll get back to me until Tuesday at the earliest as its a bank holiday here on Monday and I won't be able to sleep until I get this thing sorted!


I have the same 18i6 I downloaded the driver and I believe the mix control from website. I use it with windows 7 works fine with everything. I can use it for Reaper or just as a music interface i.e. plug my bass guitar in and pull up amptube and just get the bass going through the monitor speakers etc for a jam.

I know thats not allot of help to you except that to say that everything is working for me. If you need information on my exact setup or you want my driver mix revisions etc, however I would be happy to look for you.
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Rolang VA7, Roland G-70 Ver3, quad core dell lappi with 6gb mem, DAW = Reaper, Amplitube 2,3. Scarlett Fockesrite 18-6, Mackie 1604 mixer, Washburn status 1000 headless bass, Roland 2.1 Monitors, Sunheizer Mic & Monitor headphones, Korg Kronos 88.
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Pepperpotty
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Darmin,

Actually that does help me a lot. I'm now seriously thinking about either buying a new pc or building myself one but I was hesitant because I wasn't sure if the problem was with Windows 7 or my PC.

Now that I know that it works fine on your Windows 7 pc it makes me feel safer about going ahead with a new pc / build.

I tried the interface on my XP machine and it worked great for both playback and recording.
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Current gear: Korg Kronos 61, Voicelive 2, Shure SM58, Alesis M1 Active 520, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
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Darmin De'flern
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Joined: 26 Apr 2012
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Location: uk/malaysia

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pepperpotty wrote:
Hi Darmin,

Actually that does help me a lot. I'm now seriously thinking about either buying a new pc or building myself one but I was hesitant because I wasn't sure if the problem was with Windows 7 or my PC.

Now that I know that it works fine on your Windows 7 pc it makes me feel safer about going ahead with a new pc / build.

I tried the interface on my XP machine and it worked great for both playback and recording.


I read somewhere not to load the original disks to go straight from the download due to the original being buggy.

Maybe whats happen if you did put the disk one on first is that its still there or corrupted the download file? Try deleting the drivers again and putting the one from the internet straight on.

You may need to look online for help as it could have had some type of registry corruption to. So have a look for help on how to make sure that the drivers are completly wiped off the PC.

Just thinking out loud here as im sure that sometimes drivers ecepally if their buggy can cause problems if not removed properly.
_________________
Rolang VA7, Roland G-70 Ver3, quad core dell lappi with 6gb mem, DAW = Reaper, Amplitube 2,3. Scarlett Fockesrite 18-6, Mackie 1604 mixer, Washburn status 1000 headless bass, Roland 2.1 Monitors, Sunheizer Mic & Monitor headphones, Korg Kronos 88.
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