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Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

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bussy233
KVRer
 
10 posts since 13 Apr, 2014

Postby bussy233; Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:30 am Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

:(
Running windows 8.1 64bit on a decent cpu and ram but that's probably irrelevant.

Downloaded the latest 2i2 driver. Plugged JP-8000 synthesizer into 2i2 and it sounds terrible, canned, muted sound. Plugged headphones straight into JP-8000 and it sounds a million times clearer. I tried all the configurations with the 2i2, trying it with line in or instrument adjusting gains etc. Canned faded sound.

The only guitar I have is a noisy strat, so I can't really judge that.


I notice 2i2's output sounds a tad bit better than the standard stock sound card on my motherboard when I'm just listening to youtube or something from the computer, but it might just be that it's slightly louder than the PC's soundcard that makes me think it sounds 'better/crisper'.
I read people describe 2i2 as a quiet interface but imagined it would still be much louder than my motherboard but it's still basically like plugging headphones into my cell phone.

Any ideas or is this actually how it's supposed to sound volume-wise and with the jp-8000 sounding canned? I already checked all levels in control panel > sound.

I'm considering returning but really don't want to spend much more for something louder and cleaner because I imagine that shouldn't be to hard to achieve for $150 in 2014.
timobrien
KVRian
 
1053 posts since 19 Feb, 2003

Postby timobrien; Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:46 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

If headphones sounded fine then it's likely your monitors or the room or where your monitors are in the room are lacking. (you didn't list any info on your monitors)

That wouldn't be the fault of the interface...
User avatar
Turello
KVRAF
 
2319 posts since 6 Jul, 2012, from Sick-cily

Postby Turello; Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:02 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

You could look at M-Audio Fast Track Ultra at same price (on second hand)... A power monster! ;-)
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41039 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:55 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

Great, and I've been recommending them. (maybe not a good idea)

EDIT: obviously you are using the input preamps :dog:

I wonder if you could try a couple of things and see how it shakes out. For one, if you just do the mono out is it better? Another thing is are your inputs panned in the mix control? Lastly, could you find a way to try the headphone out of the jp 8000 and see how that works?
bussy233
KVRer
 
10 posts since 13 Apr, 2014

Postby bussy233; Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:22 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

I don't think it's supposed to sound like this, it's probably just some stupid thing I need to tweak but don't feel like taking 3 days to figure out. I think I'm returning it for a steinberg. I got this as used but it seemed brand new open box or something so I don't think it was broken.

I didn't install anything from the 2i2 CD because my optical drive isn't working ever since installing stupid Windows 8 there's a problem it sometimes stops optical drives from working I read other having same problem. But I downloaded the latest driver from focusrite and the 2i2 quick start pamphlet calls the included CD just a driver CD so I don't think I'm missing anything and doubt they'd make it so the unit's useless without the original CD.

I have always been using the line in instead of the instrument setting on the 2i2. I didn't previously try the headphone output instead of the mono from the JP8K synth into the 2i2 but that didn't solve anything. I'm using $50 sennheiser headphones, not monitors.


I just tried everything I could think of and was having the same problems already described plus: can sometimes hear noise when moving the mouse, when play a patch that has delay/echo, the first note is almost unhearable but then I hear the delay sounds and it sounds terrible all around, still canned and distorted sound. Tried all different volume settings like %75 on the JP8K and %100 on the 2i2 and everything in between. If I turn something like the treble on the JP8K max, it completely craps out the 2i2 but sounds fine plugging headphones straight into JP8K.

Some have suggested to PAN the inputs on the focusrites mixer, but I see no mixer if you mean something in windows, all I seem to be able to do is change the 2i2 main volume, there's no like program for it. I tried different USB ports.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41039 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:26 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

I can just about guarantee you that if you don't have "mix control" installed and working properly that is likely your problem. DL the latest mix control (which will have the best drivers) from focusrite just in case. Or, maybe there is a reason it was returned :shrug: Either way, you certainly shouldn't be having that issue.
User avatar
fateamenabletochange
KVRAF
 
3117 posts since 13 Jul, 2003, from outer rim

Postby fateamenabletochange; Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:40 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

The sample rate.........swap everything to 24 bit 48kHz, the Scarlett 2i2 and windows control panel/sound/all the properties pages
bussy233
KVRer
 
10 posts since 13 Apr, 2014

Postby bussy233; Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:32 am Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

I'm almost certain "mix controll" isn't for the 2i2. I googled for it and it takes me to the DL page but it says it for bigger units than the 2i2, I choose 2i2 as device and the DL isn't under it's DL section.

I tried to change the sample rate but only 16 bit variations are available for the 2i2 it says (CD/DVD/studio quality) and none are "supported by this device" except the default variation when I apply them. I just checked that sample rate page with the 2i2 disconnected and it allows me to change my onboard soundcard to 24bit though.

There's an option in 2i2's sound properties in control panel to 'listen to this device - you can plug things like an MP3 player into this device", when I enable that, it's much louder but still much noisier including the 'mouse moving sound' and sounds mostly in one headphone.

I can barely hear the difference when I scroll through JP8K synth's onboard effects.

I DL'd the manual from focusrite and it says not to plug the 2i2 into the usb until DL'in g the drivers which I probably didn't do before first connecting it, so I uninstalled the 2i2 drivers and did the correct order but no fix. All else it installed was something for me to change the buffer to 10ms to 0 or somethingg which made no difference.
bussy233
KVRer
 
10 posts since 13 Apr, 2014

Postby bussy233; Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:07 am Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

someone asked about ASIO. I didn't DL it. Should I get the latest 07 june 2013 beta version from here? http://www.asio4all.com/

the latest non-beta release 2.1 12 june 2010 doesn't say it uses windows 8, i have 8.1.
User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
16479 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:16 am Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

The "mouse moving noise" is probably a ground-loop. Is your computer a laptop?
User avatar
UltimateOutsider
KVRist
 
338 posts since 4 Oct, 2009, from Portland, OR

Postby UltimateOutsider; Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:27 am Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

bussy233 wrote:I'm almost certain "mix controll" isn't for the 2i2.

Correct, only the 2i2 drivers that you downloaded are intended for that interface.

I tried to change the sample rate but only 16 bit variations are available for the 2i2 it says (CD/DVD/studio quality) and none are "supported by this device"

Where are you changing this setting? The only places you should be tweaking things are the 2i2 control panel and your DAW:
Image

If you've been tweaking Windows Sound control panel settings, you probably want to leave those at their defaults. (And if you've set your computer to use the Scarlett as your default playback device, remember that this will make ALL apps that don't have their own interface settings pump audio through your interface, which isn't always desirable.)

much noisier including the 'mouse moving sound' and sounds mostly in one headphone.

The "mouse moving sound" almost always indicates a ground loop. Easiest thing to check first is to make sure everything in your entire setup is running off the same circuit. There's lots of info about solving ground loop problems around; it's very common for people to discover it when they start using USB-connected interfaces and synths.

Sometimes the sounds are actually from RF interference, and can be often remedied with better-shielded cables and careful cable routing. Ground loop's the most likely/common reason, though.

Finally, regarding how things sound... first, if you are in your DAW and you want to listen to an external synth that you're playing live, you have two options: You can use DAW track monitoring or you can use your interface's direct monitoring. If you have both features enabled, things WILL sound crappy. Turn the Direct Monitor switch on the 2i2 OFF if you want to monitor through the DAW (note that you will now have to put up with the 2i2's crummy latency when you do this). If you wish to direct monitor, leave the switch ON, but make sure you're not monitoring the track live in the DAW.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41039 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:16 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

Sorry about the mixcontrol nonsense guys, I had assumed that all focusrite devices had something like that.
bussy233
KVRer
 
10 posts since 13 Apr, 2014

Postby bussy233; Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:17 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

ultimateoutsider, I was changing the buffer in the 2i2 control panel which is actually the only thin it lets me change. It looks just like your screenshot except all it has is the buffer.

Forgot to mention I'm not using a DAW yet, just windows explorer. I guess I can't change the sample rate just in windows and that it's always 24 bit according to this Focusrite 2i2 article:

"Is my interface in 16 bit, or 24 bit on Windows?


This article addresses concerns raised by some about 16 bit and 24 bit in Windows systems.

When using the WDM driver, only 16 bit modes are seen as an option in the Advanced section of the interface's Properties. However, this setting has absolutely no effect when recording using the ASIO driver, which users should always use in DAWs, due it's its low latency and increased peformance over WDM (Windows' own audio driver).

The audio stream captured from our USB 2.0 hardware is always 24-bit samples. These samples are not altered or processed in any way by the driver when recording via the ASIO driver. Windows audio control panel may say the device is in 16 bit mode, but the ASIO driver bypasses the Windows audio system, and is therefore not affected by this setting.

Therefore, using 24 bit depth in your recording software, while using the ASIO driver, is still 24 bit when recording/creating, where 24 bit actually matters."

I think I'm just going to return this and get either another one or a $40 roland duo capture or a steinberg ur22.
maybe it really is defective. I got it off ebay from a sort of big music store who has a lot of these saying they're used but mine was open box looked untouched. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and pay the $5 return shipping and someone else will buy it.
bussy233
KVRer
 
10 posts since 13 Apr, 2014

Postby bussy233; Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:49 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

I just returned it. I even tried DL ASIO4ALL, some said it would needed, others said it wasn't. ASIO didn't even pop up in the toolbar or anywhere. I wasn't using any DAW at all either though, but it's 24 bit always and can't be changed. Can only change the 2i2 buffer basically.

Might be a windows 8.1 driver issue others have reported. I'll try my luck with a steinberg ur22 or roland duo capture.
User avatar
UltimateOutsider
KVRist
 
338 posts since 4 Oct, 2009, from Portland, OR

Postby UltimateOutsider; Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:36 pm Re: Got a Focusrite 2i2 but it sounds terrible

I have both the Duo Capture EX (UA-22) and the UR22 and love them. UR22 gets slightly better latency numbers, and has a slightly nicer control panel, but the Roland can run on batteries and serve as an iPad interface, so it's a draw for me.
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