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SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

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SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Wed May 26, 2021 7:21 am

Hey there,

I have tested my Steinberg UR242. Unfortunately I am having issues with either the two inputs in the front or back of the unit. The signals in both cases leak into the signal of the other.

If I for example record a guitar and a bass in the front inputs , the guitar signal ends up being recorded on the bass signal and the other way around.

This leaking signal has a phase that is the first differential of the original signal. If the phase of the original signal is positiv the phase of the leakage is rising and falling when the original is negative. The result is a bassy signal that is recorded on another track/instrument.

Therefore I am looking for a replacement with the following criteria:

-at least 4 separate(!) inputs
-Monitor outputs (stereo)
-Headphone output
-direct monitoring

I am thankful for any advice!
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby Wonks » Wed May 26, 2021 8:13 am

It sounds like you just need to adjust the Steinberg DSP mixer settings for the device.

Looking at the manual, (Page 8) it would appear that the default settings for the mixer are for each channel to be centre panned, so that each input goes to both the left and right USB output.

If you haven’t opened up the DSP mix panel, then do so, and set the panning to fully left for inputs 1 and 3 and fully right for inputs 2 and 4.

Also check that none of the polarity invert software switches are set.

I’m pretty sure that it’s just a software issue with the DSP mixer, and not a faulty unit.

Also, make sure you are using the latest software and drivers for the unit.

All this is available from the Steinberg website.

The DSP mixer will be sitting in between the hardware and the USB output, so you need to set it up to start with, even if you don’t use it again.
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Wed May 26, 2021 9:58 am

Thanks for your reply. Im going to go through the steps you have mentioned and will report as soon as I'm done. My impression is that it has something to do with the grounding of this product, although I cannot confirm this.
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Wed May 26, 2021 10:11 am

The DSP mixer is not available using the cubase software, since it is designed for 3rd party daws only, as far as I know. I'm using cubase.

The original signal is under -12db and the leakage under -24db
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby Wonks » Wed May 26, 2021 10:39 am

You can't access it whilst Cubase is running, so try running dspMixFx, make any panning adjustments and then close it before opening Cubase.

The pan control isn't mentioned at all in the Cubase control section of the manual (Pg 13 of the manual onwards) https://www.bhphotovideo.com/lit_files/375157.pdf so I have no idea how that would be controlled from within Cubase, so I'd try running the dspMixFx program first and see if the balance control is set centrally. It should only take a few seconds.

The block schematic definitely shows a balance control in the software, so it needs to be set from somewhere. I'm surprised that it's not mentioned in the Cubase integration section and there doesn't appear to be any balance control on the input channel strip (at least in the manual). Maybe Cubase forces an appropriate hard pan behind the scenes, but maybe it doesn't.
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Wed May 26, 2021 10:44 am

I have closed cubase, started dspMixFix, did the panning but it didn't change a thing unfortunately.

Here both signals blown up:

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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby Wonks » Wed May 26, 2021 10:51 am

It looks like the leakage is slightly before the main track signal by a few milliseconds. To me, that seems unlikely to be a hardware issue as the signals should have their peaks in the same place. It does look like some form of software routing problem to me.

Have you got any of the DSP effects enabled when recording (you said you were recording guitar so maybe you had an amp sim enabled)? If so, if you turn them all off, do you get the same issue?
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Wed May 26, 2021 11:11 am

The DSP is bypassed. Here are the settings:
Image

I'm sorry I did a little mistake. The images I have provided did have the inputs with different gain settings. Here is how it looks with the same gain settings (1. leakage; 2. original):

Image

Here with the gain of the leakage channel cranked(1. leakage; 2. original):

Image

Here the combination of the two front inputs as well as one front and one of the back inputs:
Image
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby worshiptuned » Wed May 26, 2021 7:36 pm

cremedonut wrote:The DSP is bypassed. Here are the settings:
Image

I'm sorry I did a little mistake. The images I have provided did have the inputs with different gain settings. Here is how it looks with the same gain settings (1. leakage; 2. original):

Image

Here with the gain of the leakage channel cranked(1. leakage; 2. original):

Image

Here the combination of the two front inputs as well as one front and one of the back inputs:
Image

Hi, if you set the knobs of the channels at their maximum gain, for sure you'll hear some noise....set the input gains to minimum, and then raise them till you get an acceptable gain level, not more of 70, 80% of their capacity.
Check the routing of the tracks you are recording....create 2 mono audio tracks the input of the 1 track is the channel 1 and the second track the channel 2 of the interface, that's all.
There are only 2 preamps in this unit, search in the user manual what's the meaning of the back inputs, I guess are intended to add an external mixer...not to record. Try to use only the front inputs to record.
there is only 1 high impedance input in the 2 front channels than if you record a bass and an electric guitar at once, it's not the ideal interface
follow the instructions pages 22-24 and the troubleshoot section...do you have the loopback function activated??
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/lit_files/375157.pdf

in the same price range the Steinberg UR44c has 4 inputs or a similar Focusrite 3d generation
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Wed May 26, 2021 11:02 pm

Thanks for your reply! The issue apears using both front inputs (or both back inputs). I going to go through your points tomorrow.
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Thu May 27, 2021 8:24 am

worshiptuned wrote:Hi, if you set the knobs of the channels at their maximum gain, for sure you'll hear some noise....set the input gains to minimum, and then raise them till you get an acceptable gain level, not more of 70, 80% of their capacity.
You are correct. Raising the gain level does raise the noisefloor. What I am dealing with here, however, is bleed of one Signal into another input. This does occur at 0% of the gain potiometer with the PAD option engaged.

worshiptuned wrote:Check the routing of the tracks you are recording....create 2 mono audio tracks the input of the 1 track is the channel 1 and the second track the channel 2 of the interface, that's all.
Image

worshiptuned wrote:There are only 2 preamps in this unit, search in the user manual what's the meaning of the back inputs, I guess are intended to add an external mixer...not to record. Try to use only the front inputs to record.
"[LINE INPUT 3/4] jacks For connecting to digital instrument or a mixer. These jacks can be connected to phone-type (balanced/unbalanced). You can select the input signal level of the [LINE INPUT 3/4] jacks between +4 dBu and -10 dBV. Select +4 dBu when connecting a professional audio device, and select -10 dBV when connecting a consumer device. The default initial setting is -10 dBu. To select the input signal level, use the "Setup Window"(page 11) in the section "dspMixFx UR242" or the "Settings Window" (page 16) in the "Dedicated Windows for Cubase Series."

worshiptuned wrote:there is only 1 high impedance input in the 2 front channels than if you record a bass and an electric guitar at once, it's not the ideal interface
That is true. In practical setups I'm always using some sort of device in front of these inputs that takes care of that. In the screenshots above I am pluging a guitar straight into the first input without Hi-Z engaged and the volume knob of the guitar turned all the way down. On the second input I am pluging in a preamp that is connected to a bass. The signal that I use to demonstrate the issue is the open E string of the bass played through an external preamp.


worshiptuned wrote:follow the instructions pages 22-24 and the troubleshoot section...do you have the loopback function activated??
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/lit_files/375157.pdf
I did, but unfortunately it didn't change the issue.

worshiptuned wrote:in the same price range the Steinberg UR44c has 4 inputs or a similar Focusrite 3d generation
Okay. On my UR242 I am observing this problem only while using the two front or the two back inputs. Using one back and one front input the issue does not occur.
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Fri May 28, 2021 7:48 pm

Here the same issue with dspmixfx in reaper:
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby manwilde » Fri May 28, 2021 9:17 pm

Sorry if this is a dumb question, I don´t know that software, but on dspmixfx... what are "INS FX", "CRUNCH" and "CH STRIP" doing?.
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby cremedonut » Fri May 28, 2021 9:32 pm

manwilde wrote:Sorry if this is a dumb question, I don´t know that software, but on dspmixfx... what are "INS FX", "CRUNCH" and "CH STRIP" doing?.
If I'm not mistaken, INS FX=Insert Effects (direct monitoring). CHRUNCH is a ampsim and CH STRIP is a channel strip. These are the effects of the DSP integrated within the audio interface, they can be applied to the direct monitoring signal without adding noticable latency. It also has a reverb effect. I personally dont use them.
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Re: SEARCHING: audio interface with 4 separate channels

Postby manwilde » Sat May 29, 2021 8:28 am

I'm afraid I didn't pose my question clearly enough, my bad. I know what those things "are", but was asking about what they were "doing": are they turned on, are they affecting the sound or gain structure of the incoming audio?.
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