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noiseannoys



Joined: 11/01/13
Posts: 3
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping
      #1028207 - 11/01/13 09:56 PM
Hi all, newbie here. I'm hoping one of you clever chaps can help me out here. I'm relatively new to digital recording (though I've used Macs forever). I recently purchased a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 to use with my imac (2008/9) for the specific purpose of being able to just plug in my guitar and record, using the internal models for tone should I so require. Despite what Focusrite claim, you can't do it. Even with the gain knob, and guitar volume, right down, clipping occurs and this seems to be a common complaint across the web. Am I missing something here? Common advice seems to be to buy a DI box, which I don't want to do (as good ones cost as much as the Scarlett). I'm just so disappointed. I've tried using the line out from my guitar amp and inputting with the socket set to line, but it's just too noisy. I assume micing the amp will have the same result. Short of sending the thing back to Amazon, I'm out of ideas.

--------------------
Duh!


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Frog



Joined: 29/01/06
Posts: 67
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1028209 - 11/01/13 10:13 PM
Edit, sorry my mistake.
The 2i2 automatically switches between mic and instrument inputs depending on the input plug you use. The xlr is automatically switched to low level(for mics) and the jack input is higher level for instruments. For a guitar input you will need jack to jack.
Sean

Edited by Frog (11/01/13 10:20 PM)


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nar



Joined: 21/05/10
Posts: 23
Loc: Manchester
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1028213 - 11/01/13 10:35 PM
I have a 2i2 as well, the problem is that there's a bit too much gain even with it at zero. What pickups do you have? I have the same problem, but only if I dig in quite hard, so your pickups must have a very high output for it to be unusable. When it's too hot I usually just lower the volume on my guitar a bit and it's ok, or use a compressor pedal set to just be a clean cut.

If your guitar's active then you wouldn't need to use the instrument setting on the preamp.

If you're feeling adventurous you could even make something like this:

http://www.musikding.de/Kits/Musikding-Kits/Tools/Volume-Swi...

Or even just mod your guitar volume with a treble bleed so it doesn't reduce treble when turned down (it's quite simple).

Using a mic would (should) not clip at all with the gain on it's lowest setting - if it does then the 2i2 is definitely faulty.

--------------------
thenovasons.bandcamp.com

Edited by nar (11/01/13 10:36 PM)


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noiseannoys



Joined: 11/01/13
Posts: 3
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: nar]
      #1028222 - 12/01/13 12:19 AM
Quote nar:

I have a 2i2 as well, the problem is that there's a bit too much gain even with it at zero. What pickups do you have? I have the same problem, but only if I dig in quite hard, so your pickups must have a very high output for it to be unusable. When it's too hot I usually just lower the volume on my guitar a bit and it's ok, or use a compressor pedal set to just be a clean cut.

If your guitar's active then you wouldn't need to use the instrument setting on the preamp.

If you're feeling adventurous you could even make something like this:

http://www.musikding.de/Kits/Musikding-Kits/Tools/Volume-Swi...

Or even just mod your guitar volume with a treble bleed so it doesn't reduce treble when turned down (it's quite simple).

Using a mic would (should) not clip at all with the gain on it's lowest setting - if it does then the 2i2 is definitely faulty.




Hi,

I'm actually using a 1960s vintage Hofner that has low-power single coil pick-ups, so I don't think that pickup output is the problem. Yes, I do dig in but that is the way I play. And I have the problem even with the gain on O and the guitar volume on about 1. Single notes, fine, hit a chord with even a little enthusiasm, and the clipping ring goes red!

I know I'd avoid the problem by miking the amp but then I'd have a noise issue (though I suppose I could gate it). This just shouldn't be an issue though. I think the problem is actually bad design/marketing on Focusrite's part, which is a bit annoying. A fine product if you want to mic up for acoustic guitar and vocals, but not so good for electric. Oh well. Thanks for the comments.

--------------------
Duh!


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Frog



Joined: 29/01/06
Posts: 67
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1028242 - 12/01/13 10:59 AM
There are a number of videos on you tube showing people plugging an electric guitar into the 2i2 with no problems, I can't help feeling either the unit is faulty or there is a setting somewhere that needs switching.
I will try mine later today and see if I can help.


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noiseannoys



Joined: 11/01/13
Posts: 3
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Frog]
      #1028300 - 12/01/13 06:09 PM
Quote Frog:

There are a number of videos on you tube showing people plugging an electric guitar into the 2i2 with no problems, I can't help feeling either the unit is faulty or there is a setting somewhere that needs switching.
I will try mine later today and see if I can help.





Beats me! I've tried switching everything that can be switched. Short of turning the guitar off completely. Latest drivers. Maybe it's firmware or something.

Plenty of people have the same problem. I'm not a metalhead btw - this is the first one I came across.
http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/backline/796363-help-focusrite-scarlett -clipping-problems.html

However, I've just tried running via a Zoom pedal with the gain on that turned right down and it seems to have solved the problem... phew. Thanks. I'll check out Youtube because if other people are plugging straight in with no issues, well, dunno what to say.
Anyhow, thanks one and all.

--------------------
Duh!


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 20849
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1028312 - 12/01/13 07:06 PM
I have brought this thread to the attention of the Focusrite boffins and have been told they will respond here early next week.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Jim Lockhart
member


Joined: 03/06/03
Posts: 35
Loc: Menlo Park, California
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1028842 - 16/01/13 04:36 AM
I tried my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (on a PC) with a Fender Stratocaster plugged in through a standard guitar cord. The Inst/Line switch on the 2i2 was set to Inst, and I turned up the guitar volume knob to maximum and set the 2i2 input level about 1/3 of the way up. Chords hit very hard on the guitar did not send the level ring into the red. By advancing the 2i2 input level to about halfway, I was able to get the level ring into the red with very hard chords.

I assume you are connecting your guitar to the 2i2 via a standard guitar cable. If you try to use a phone plug to XLR adapter cable, you will get very high preamp gain and the kind of input clipping that you describe.

--------------------
The Sound Physicist


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1028847 - 16/01/13 08:23 AM
i have a focusrite scarlett 2i4 and its the business. i use it for vocals, guitar and some keys.
i recorded this ( http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/eclipsed ) directly from a yamaha m06 as a L/R line in directly to the 2i4 and it came out a treat.
you may have got unlucky and accidentally bought a faulty product (it DOES happen) but man, i know a few ppl with the 2i2 and the 2i4 and theyre all happy as larry..
it could have been damaged from bad handling (seeing as you bought it off amazon)
i plug my guitar in and even without my DAW open it comes out through the interface straight to my monitors, so yeah i dont know man, i think you just drew the short straw. get in touch with focusrite/novation would be my only advice really..
unless you havent tried troubleshooting on google - which i assume you have and thats what led you here..
it could also be your guitar? mine has a bit of trouble picking up the bass strings when recording via xlr.. but i think its cos its a custom built semi acoustic and its just a shoddy pickup/installation, cos everything i mic up and everything else that works properly (my mc-303 & M06 etc) comes through all warm and rich and lush... so yeah haha i dont know what to suggest..
best of luck man!

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1028850 - 16/01/13 08:31 AM
Quote noiseannoys:

Quote Frog:

There are a number of videos on you tube showing people plugging an electric guitar into the 2i2 with no problems, I can't help feeling either the unit is faulty or there is a setting somewhere that needs switching.
I will try mine later today and see if I can help.





Beats me! I've tried switching everything that can be switched. Short of turning the guitar off completely. Latest drivers. Maybe it's firmware or something.

Plenty of people have the same problem. I'm not a metalhead btw - this is the first one I came across.
http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/backline/796363-help-focu...

However, I've just tried running via a Zoom pedal with the gain on that turned right down and it seems to have solved the problem... phew. Thanks. I'll check out Youtube because if other people are plugging straight in with no issues, well, dunno what to say.
Anyhow, thanks one and all.





ACTUALLY TRY THIS!!
next to the main large volume dial theres a smaller dial that says "direct monitoring"
whats it set to? try always leaving it around 50% and controlling all the volume with the larger knob to the right of it..
when i first got mine i thought it was broken cos the vol was like barely audible but the direct monitoring dial is really small and it was my first interface so i didnt check it.. if youre getting ridiculous clipping, you might have the direct monitoring dial all the way on full, it could also be a case of just adjusting the volume on your guitar corresponding with the gain, instrument switch on the input, and the main volumes...
hope you sort it out.

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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Elliot- Focusrite



Joined: 17/01/13
Posts: 1
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1029115 - 17/01/13 05:43 PM
Although the 2i2 instrument input was designed to work with a wide range of guitars in mind. Due to electric guitars having such a wide dynamic range over models, the input will occasionally clip with certain guitars with higher outputs.
We are aware of this issue with the 2i2 and all we can suggest is to use a D.I box or turn down the output level of the guitar, but we are looking into improving this with future Scarlett products.

Elliot // Focusrite Tech Support


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 20849
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Elliot- Focusrite Tech Support]
      #1029117 - 17/01/13 05:44 PM
Thanks for finding the time to come on and contribute to this thread, Elliot. I'm sure it's greatly appreciated.

hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Huge Longjohns
long-serving member


Joined: 10/04/03
Posts: 1736
Loc: Where the black rocks stand gu...
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1029124 - 17/01/13 06:26 PM
Quote:

Although the 2i2 instrument input was designed to work with a wide range of guitars in mind. Due to electric guitars having such a wide dynamic range over models, the input will occasionally clip with certain guitars with higher outputs.
We are aware of this issue with the 2i2 and all we can suggest is to use a D.I box or turn down the output level of the guitar, but we are looking into improving this with future Scarlett products




Hmmm, nice of him to appear on the forum but what a design cock-up! I had mentally pencilled in the Saffire 40 as my next interface and now I wonder if that suffers from the same issue? I DI guitars and basses A LOT with my Tascam 1804 and it's got bags of headroom to spare with even very hot pickups. I only need to change it at some point because Tascam, bless em, aren't supporting 64 bit a la Mountain Lion for the 1804 as it's so old.

--------------------
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Elliot- Focusrite Tech Support]
      #1029158 - 18/01/13 12:18 AM
Quote Elliot- Focusrite Tech Support:

Although the 2i2 instrument input was designed to work with a wide range of guitars in mind. Due to electric guitars having such a wide dynamic range over models, the input will occasionally clip with certain guitars with higher outputs.
We are aware of this issue with the 2i2 and all we can suggest is to use a D.I box or turn down the output level of the guitar, but we are looking into improving this with future Scarlett products.

Elliot // Focusrite Tech Support





Elliott,

As someone using the scarlett 2i4, is this a problem i might run into as well? i find that when i connect my semi-acoustic via XLR the bass notes hardly get picked up, which is the opposite of clipping, but that could be that its a custom pickup built into an acoustic.. but i was wondering if there was also an issue with the 2i4 with its ability regarding semi-acoustic guitar? ive been told its better to mic them, and it sounds great mic'd up, but in terms of direct cable connection, is this something i should be concerned about?

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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Huge Longjohns
long-serving member


Joined: 10/04/03
Posts: 1736
Loc: Where the black rocks stand gu...
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1029180 - 18/01/13 08:53 AM
Having done a bit of online research it seems that clipping is a bit of an issue for new Focusrite interfaces generally at the moment, on mics dealing with louder sources (with no pad) as well as on instruments. Hugh, et al, is there anything that will indicate this might be an issue when one is looking at the specs of an interface? I don't want to buy an interface, Focusrite or any other make, and then find it won't handle a) DI guitars and b) loud drums which seems to be a lot of users' experience.

--------------------
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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Huge Longjohns
long-serving member


Joined: 10/04/03
Posts: 1736
Loc: Where the black rocks stand gu...
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: noiseannoys]
      #1029197 - 18/01/13 10:30 AM
OK, did a bit more research (much more fun than working at the day job). The Scarlett 2i2 instrument input is, according to their website, rated at a maximum input level of -3dB. Whereas my old Tascam's discrete guitar input is rated at +18 db. The next Scarlett (the 2i4) has the same rating as the 2i2 but also has a pad (10dB). Looking at other manufacturers, the M Audio 2626 is 13.7dB (without pad) and the new Tascam US2000 is +16dB (without pad). So if I'm reading these right, the OP's problems are explained by these specs? Is this correct Elliot?

--------------------
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
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Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1029225 - 18/01/13 11:54 AM
Yes. The DI input on the 2i2 appears to have the same gain range and sensitivity as the mic input, so I presume there is just a high-impedance input buffer on the DI input which then feeds the signal straight into the mic gain stage. As you say, a maximum input level of -3dBu isn't really high enough for a high-output guitar, so I can see why people are having problems.

If the guitar's own volume control can't be turned down sufficiently to cure the problem, then an external volume control would probably help -- the Boss FV500H, for example. Or you could make up a DIY in-line attenuator using a 250K log pot in a box with some TS sockets. Of course, there is always the chance that the additional resistance will cause unacceptable changes to the HF response, and there is some additional expensive involved....

Alternatively -- and I think this would be my preferred solution -- use a DI box and connect via the mic input itself... Given the cost of the 2i2 an expensive box is probably not a realistic option. However, I can strongly recommend the Orchid Electronics Micro DI box at £25 including VAT and postage.

http://www.orchid-electronics.co.uk/micro.htm

It's a well designed and good-sounding DI box powered directly by phantom power and it won't break the bank.

Here's my review:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may12/articles/orchid-di-boxes.htm

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1029226 - 18/01/13 11:56 AM
Quote Skerrick:

i find that when i connect my semi-acoustic via XLR the bass notes hardly get picked up




The XLR mic input has a very low impedance which is totally unsuited to a passive guitar pick-up, and will have a very significant affect on the tonality. If you want to use the XLR input you should use a DI box between the guitar and mic input.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1029340 - 19/01/13 03:19 AM
Quote Huge Longjohns:

Having done a bit of online research it seems that clipping is a bit of an issue for new Focusrite interfaces generally at the moment, on mics dealing with louder sources (with no pad) as well as on instruments. Hugh, et al, is there anything that will indicate this might be an issue when one is looking at the specs of an interface? I don't want to buy an interface, Focusrite or any other make, and then find it won't handle a) DI guitars and b) loud drums which seems to be a lot of users' experience.




there is a pad button/function on the 2i4 to combat this problem with mic gain i believe?

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1029341 - 19/01/13 03:21 AM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote Skerrick:

i find that when i connect my semi-acoustic via XLR the bass notes hardly get picked up




The XLR mic input has a very low impedance which is totally unsuited to a passive guitar pick-up, and will have a very significant affect on the tonality. If you want to use the XLR input you should use a DI box between the guitar and mic input.

H




cheers man ill give this a try
generally if found that you get a better sound with a mic'd up acoustic anyway but i figure for ease of recording environment and the room im using that id be better off with xlr or 1/4"
cheers dude!

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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chris...
active member


Joined: 12/03/03
Posts: 4491
Re: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 clipping new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1029364 - 19/01/13 11:31 AM
Quote Skerrick:

for ease of recording environment and the room im using that id be better off with xlr or 1/4"



What happens when you plug the guitar into the 1/4" ("instrument input") ? Isn't this what it's designed for ?

(as opposed to the XLR, which as noted above, will sound wrong)


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