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#334325 - 01/31/16 01:46 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Scarlett 2i2 interface questions
Tony Wright Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Following another thread I started on the Windows list I decided to take the advice and get an audio interface to improve ASIO performance. I acquired a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and it has removed all my issues with ASIO. However I have a couple of questions so decided to move over to this list.

1) What are some typical ASIO settings for a Scarlett interface that other users find the best for BIAB i.e. Always ON or OFF, buffer length and sample rate. I have a new I7 laptop running Win 10. Do any of these settings make a difference.

2) Has anyone tried connecting a keyboard stereo outs to the two 2i2 front inputs? When I do this from my Yamaha CP4 (using TS cables) and monitor through the 2i2 or powered speakers the stereo piano sound is terrible. I know from previous experience that the poor sound is due to the L and R channels being combined to mono. If you keep the channels separate you get the true rich piano sound. Is this just the way the 2i2 is designed or is there a way round the problem.

Regardless of the above, how well does it work to plug a guitar into one of the inputs for a live performance.

I have no plans to do any recording and am using the 2i2 as an external sound card.

Thanks
Tony

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#334412 - 02/01/16 04:52 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
jcland Online   content
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Registered: 01/15/01
Posts: 280
Loc: Springfield, MO
Tony.

I can only answer the 1st question for you.

I have both the 2I2 and the 2I4 interfaces. One for my Laptop and the other for my Desktop.

I just use the normal 'out of the box' settings for ASIO. I have tweaked them before but I did not notice any difference so I reset the back to 'factory'.

I have absolutely zero problems with these settings.

I use Reaper an Audition as my DAW. I keep BIAB set for MIME since it seems to work best there.

A friend of mine uses Sonar and he also keeps the ASIO settings at 'factory'.

My PC is the typical 3GHZ, 8 MB, Win 10 system.

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#334413 - 02/01/16 05:14 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5295
Quote:
What are some typical ASIO settings for a Scarlett interface that other users find the best for BIAB i.e. Always ON or OFF, buffer length and sample rate. I have a new I7 laptop running Win 10. Do any of these settings make a difference.

2) Has anyone tried connecting a keyboard stereo outs to the two 2i2 front inputs? When I do this from my Yamaha CP4 (using TS cables) and monitor through the 2i2 or powered speakers the stereo piano sound is terrible. I know from previous experience that the poor sound is due to the L and R channels being combined to mono. If you keep the channels separate you get the true rich piano sound. Is this just the way the 2i2 is designed or is there a way round the problem.

Regardless of the above, how well does it work to plug a guitar into one of the inputs for a live performance.

I have no plans to do any recording and am using the 2i2 as an external sound card.




Yep... getting a good interface generally solves lots of issues.

1. If the default settings work, leave them alone. Set your software programs up to use ASIO with the 2i2 by default. Only adjust the buffers and latency settings if you need to..... don't try to fix what isn't broke.

2. The front inputs should be different channels. They do not combine to mono. You have 2 mono channels.. one is left, one is right, together, they make stereo. Any mono combining would have to be done in software somewhere. I know the Focusrite interfaces have a software control panel, it might be possible to combine them to mono, but it's generally done in a DAW. However, it's not a default setting. The default is stereo....a unique right and left channel.
If the piano is connected that way and sounds terrible, something else is causing it. First thing I would look at is the level your piano is putting into the inputs. Those inputs have preamps on them and if the piano is putting out a strong signal, the pre's will overload it. I discovered this with my rig when I tried to use a mixer I had in the studio with a mic. Super distorted.... so I plugged the mic straight in and it was crystal.

Experiment.... load a DAW stereo track. Play something with the stereo piano plugged in. Unplug one channel.... does the DAW still record to both stereo channels in the track? If not.... it's not combining to mono anywhere.

Something else to try..... just connect one side of the channel.... just the left. Is it clean? Do you have a mono out? Try that.

The 2i2 doesn't seem to have midi inputs on it.... so... that would explain you using the audio inputs. Does the keyboard have a USB connection on it? If so, use that to connect the keyboard and employ a softsynth. There will be no issues with the sound quality that way. My Focusrite has midi in/out/thru, so I use the midi route 100% of the time. I have never connected my keyboard through the audio inputs.

Plugging in a guitar.... with mono instruments, you will want to plug in to ONE input. AND.... in the DAW, you will want to select THAT MONO INPUT and not the default stereo input. You can use either a software sim or mic, or any sort of guitar processor. Adjust the input level as needed.

The 2i2 is a super recording interface. Using it for playback will give you excellent synced up playback, but you're missing half of what this interface is capable of.

That's my 2 cents for now....hope it helps point you in the right direction.
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#334424 - 02/01/16 08:41 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Charlie Fogle Online   content
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4112
Loc: South Carolina
Using the 2i2, if you input a keyboard or any other line level device, be sure the input switch on the front panel is set to line in position and not mic in.

Distortion will occur if the switch is not in the correct position.
_________________________
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#334430 - 02/01/16 10:05 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Matt Finley Offline
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If I recall, in the Scarlett range, only the 200-level do not have their MixControl mixer software where you can adjust input levels. Is that correct?
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#334448 - 02/01/16 12:12 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Guitarhacker]
Tony Wright Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: jcland

I just use the normal 'out of the box' settings for ASIO. I have tweaked them before but I did not notice any difference so I reset the back to 'factory'.


Thanks for the response I also have found no need to alter any settings and if I switched to ASIO "always on" I got a stuttering start to some songs with RTs.

Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker

2. The front inputs should be different channels. They do not combine to mono. You have 2 mono channels.. one is left, one is right, together, they make stereo. Any mono combining would have to be done in software somewhere. I know the Focusrite interfaces have a software control panel, it might be possible to combine them to mono, but it's generally done in a DAW. However, it's not a default setting. The default is stereo....a unique right and left channel.
If the piano is connected that way and sounds terrible, something else is causing it. First thing I would look at is the level your piano is putting into the inputs. Those inputs have preamps on them and if the piano is putting out a strong signal, the pre's will overload it. I discovered this with my rig when I tried to use a mixer I had in the studio with a mic. Super distorted.... so I plugged the mic straight in and it was crystal.

Experiment.... load a DAW stereo track. Play something with the stereo piano plugged in. Unplug one channel.... does the DAW still record to both stereo channels in the track? If not.... it's not combining to mono anywhere.

Something else to try..... just connect one side of the channel.... just the left. Is it clean? Do you have a mono out? Try that.

The 2i2 doesn't seem to have midi inputs on it.... so... that would explain you using the audio inputs. Does the keyboard have a USB connection on it? If so, use that to connect the keyboard and employ a softsynth. There will be no issues with the sound quality that way. My Focusrite has midi in/out/thru, so I use the midi route 100% of the time. I have never connected my keyboard through the audio inputs.

Plugging in a guitar.... with mono instruments, you will want to plug in to ONE input. AND.... in the DAW, you will want to select THAT MONO INPUT and not the default stereo input. You can use either a software sim or mic, or any sort of guitar processor. Adjust the input level as needed.

The 2i2 is a super recording interface. Using it for playback will give you excellent synced up playback, but you're missing half of what this interface is capable of.

That's my 2 cents for now....hope it helps point you in the right direction.

My piano levels are fine - no clipping shown by the 2i2 or in Realband.

The Focusrite software mixer doesn't work with the 2i2

As you predicted, when I record into RB I get two channels and only one if I disconnect one input from the piano.

If I use just the Left/Mono connection from the piano I get exactly the same "cheezy" sound as with two connections. This sound is exactly the same as I get whenever I have used the L/Mono connection in the past so I know what summed to mono sounds like.

Are you suggesting I use a softsynth piano sound instead of my Yamaha CP4 pianos? I would rather stick with the great Yamaha pianos.

Although you have proved that the 2i2 does not seem to sum to mono there is definitely something going on that I don't understand. If I listen by phones plugged into the CP4 the sound is great. If I plug phones into the front 2i2 phone jack which monitors the inputs to the 2i2, the sound is "cheezy"

To be honest this is something of an academic exercise for me aimed at explaining an anomaly. My normal method is to feed the piano line outs to a mixer with left panned fully left and right fully right. This preserves the great Yamaha sound.

The 2i2 is still worth it as an external sound card.
Thanks for your input.

Tony

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#334450 - 02/01/16 12:28 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Tony Wright Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
Using the 2i2, if you input a keyboard or any other line level device, be sure the input switch on the front panel is set to line in position and not mic in.

Distortion will occur if the switch is not in the correct position.


Hi Charlie

In practice the instrument position simply gives you more gain than the line in so you can adjust the input with the gain knob while observing the halo colors.

Tony

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#334451 - 02/01/16 12:30 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Matt Finley]
Tony Wright Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
If I recall, in the Scarlett range, only the 200-level do not have their MixControl mixer software where you can adjust input levels. Is that correct?


That's correct Matt.
I have seen my problem mentioned on another forum and the Scarlett softmixer is supposed to solve it but that's no help with the 2i2.

Tony

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#334452 - 02/01/16 12:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Charlie Fogle Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4112
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Tony Wright
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
Using the 2i2, if you input a keyboard or any other line level device, be sure the input switch on the front panel is set to line in position and not mic in.

Distortion will occur if the switch is not in the correct position.


Hi Charlie

In practice the instrument position simply gives you more gain than the line in so you can adjust the input with the gain knob while observing the halo colors.

Tony


If that is the case then you should likely route the keyboard line level output through a DI box before the scarlett input. There is an impedance mismatch between line levels and mic levels. I don't own a scarlett 2i2 but do have a Presonus 22VSL and it does not have line level inputs. That makes a line level input much to hot and causes distortion. It is also likely the source of your distortion.
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#334477 - 02/01/16 04:00 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18587
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
Check your Direct monitor switch using headphones, see if changing this makes a difference. You could be hearing the piano go to the computer and back ..

The 2i2 manual is confusing in some ways.
It mixes the inst/Line level explanation in with TR/TRS connections, but it is an instrument level signal (electric guitar direct) or Line level (your keyboard) switch for the 1/4' jacks only. XLR is automatically mic level.

https://d3se566zfvnmhf.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/focusrite/downloads/7317/scarlett-2i2-user-guide-v2.pdf

/weird URL but linked from manufacturer site



Edited by rharv (02/01/16 05:44 PM)
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#334483 - 02/01/16 05:43 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5295
Yep.... since you tried the things suggested and still have distortion, See if you can borrow a DI box and try it. If you don't know anyone with a DI laying around, just pick one up from Guitar Center or Sam Ash and try it. If it doesn't work, carry it back for a full refund.

Your signal level is too hot from the keyboard and there's also very likely an impedance mismatch that may be a contributing factor.... a good DI box may just solve that problem.... it's worth a try.
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#334503 - 02/01/16 07:40 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Guitarhacker]
Tony Wright Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Yep.... since you tried the things suggested and still have distortion, See if you can borrow a DI box and try it. If you don't know anyone with a DI laying around, just pick one up from Guitar Center or Sam Ash and try it. If it doesn't work, carry it back for a full refund.

Your signal level is too hot from the keyboard and there's also very likely an impedance mismatch that may be a contributing factor.... a good DI box may just solve that problem.... it's worth a try.


I don't think it is correct to call what I am hearing as distortion. If I listen to my keyboard using a single cable from the L/mono connection it sounds EXACTLY the same as the sound from the 2i2 with L and R cables connected. The L/mono signal is definitely a stereo signal that is summed to mono within the keyboard which is why I am characterising the 2i2 sound as being similar.
Hasn't anyone got a 2i2 AND a keyboard with stereo piano sounds who can reproduce my findings?

Tony

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#334505 - 02/01/16 07:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: rharv]
Tony Wright Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: rharv
Check your Direct monitor switch using headphones, see if changing this makes a difference. You could be hearing the piano go to the computer and back ..

The 2i2 manual is confusing in some ways.
It mixes the inst/Line level explanation in with TR/TRS connections, but it is an instrument level signal (electric guitar direct) or Line level (your keyboard) switch for the 1/4' jacks only. XLR is automatically mic level.

https://d3se566zfvnmhf.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/focusrite/downloads/7317/scarlett-2i2-user-guide-v2.pdf

/weird URL but linked from manufacturer site


If you have the direct monitor switch in the wrong position you hear nothing from the 2i2 phone connection or you get a long delay if you have a DAW running so it's impossible to have this switch in the wrong position

Tony

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#334530 - 02/02/16 04:25 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5295
can you record that sound. Trying to describe it is like trying to describe a color.

Post the link to the sound here.
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www.herbhartley.com

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#334605 - 02/02/16 09:35 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Beagle Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 674
Loc: Fort Worth TX, USA
Tony - try lowering the gain knob on the right channel when you have both R/L inputs plugged in. try continuing to turn it down until you're almost off and play as you turn and see if there's a point where it sounds better.

what I found on the scarlet 2i2 that I had was that the gain knob was very "touchy" and there's a very hard point on the gain where the amp is sent into saturation.

I returned my unit as defective and bought a presonus instead (this is my backup unit while my MOTU was out for repair), but I found out that this was typical for the scarlet series to have this brick level on the gain which overdrives the amp.

so technically it probably wasn't "defective" because it seems it may be designed this way. but from a personal standpoint (and I'm an Electrical Engineer by day) I think it's a poor design of the amp.



Edited by Beagle (02/02/16 09:39 AM)

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