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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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I have an old Focusrite Scarlett on an older PC in a vacation location. I just upgraded the motherboard, CPU and RAM and it’s a good machine again. But all the audio was distorted. Lots of emails to Focusrite Support, which has always been excellent up to now, didn’t help. We tried what I thought was everything.

Based on comments online about Focusrite, I learned that they are picky about the USB port. No USB 3, no hub (powered or not) and no USB 2 where anything else shares the port. Ok.

So I moved the USB cable to a USB 2 port on the back of the case, one directly on the motherboard. Success.

MORAL: I should have tried that first. For digital audio, the best place to plug in USB cables is on the back of the PC.

Now, about not using USB 3, this could become a problem in a few short years when motherboards don’t have USB 2 anymore. The manufacturers may think 3.1 or 3.0 is compatible, but it’s not for some digital audio devices.


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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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Matt: I had the same problem with a Scarlett 2i4 back in 2015. The sound was distorted and I had to unplug from the USB port each time to clear the problem.

After working with their tech support they told me the problem was with the Fast Boot option being on in Windows 8. This still holds true with Windows 10.

The fix is to go to the power settings and turn off Fast Boot. Once I did that, the problem disappeared for good. Had some other friends who had the same problem and the fix worked for them also.

"This issue has to do with "Fast Boot" in newer versions of Windows. Fast Boot means that when the computer shuts down it doesn't actually do a full and complete shut down, but a Hibernate state, similar to a deeper Sleep Mode. This keeps certain drivers turned on in the hibernate state, like our sound drivers, and then may not reload them properly. Unplugging the unit will cause the driver to unload and reload fresh. Turning off Fast Boot should fix this issue".


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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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Originally Posted By: jcland
Matt: I had the same problem with a Scarlett 2i4 back in 2015. The sound was distorted and I had to unplug from the USB port each time to clear the problem.

After working with their tech support they told me the problem was with the Fast Boot option being on in Windows 8. This still holds true with Windows 10.

The fix is to go to the power settings and turn off Fast Boot. Once I did that, the problem disappeared for good. Had some other friends who had the same problem and the fix worked for them also.


Yes, I have the same problem with the windows 10 fast boot option. I found the section on the focusrite site where they described how to disable fast boot, did that and the problem went away.

BUT! It came back again during one the many giant windows 10 updates, the update re-enabled fast boot.

So instead of going through the work to again to disable fast boot, which may go away during a windows update, now I just disconnect and then reconnect the USB port after Windows is up, which reloads the driver. Works like a charm.

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Interesting; I searched online and found that about Fast Boot. Several posters said disabling it worked but one said turning it ON fixed his!

Yes, sometimes unplugging then plugging back in helps.

The Focusrite hardware is excellent. The software, not always. The unit in question is an 18i20 First Generation. There have been several recent updates to the drivers in other Scarlett first generation models, but not mine.


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I'm still on my 1st Gen 18i20, Matt. When ever something freaky happens, I just restart the interface. Seems to always get it back on track.




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Thanks. Oh, I wish. We went far beyond that. But in the end, finding another port did it.


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I get the same with my Scarlett 8i6. If I select a different buffer size it goes away, weird. It seems to be a driver problem and they aren't going to fix it.


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While I’m not always pleased by Focusrite drivers, I give them credit for trying. There is a well-hidden page of beta drivers you can try. They also released patches to some of the first-generation Scarletts this spring, years after their initial release and after the development of second-generation units.


BIAB 2024 Win Audiophile. Software: Studio One 6.5 Pro, Swam horns, Acoustica-7, Notion 6; Win 11 Home. Hardware: Intel i9, 32 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Presonus Studio 192, Presonus Faderport 8, Royer 121, Adam Sub8 & Neumann 120 monitors
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