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Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

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Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:38 pm

:headbang: (That's me donning my humble hat, before I launch into this rather frustrated request for help.)
I'm trying to move over from a multitrack system to a PC + Daw: I have a Scarlett 18i, and I'm using Reaper for the moment.
I can record from a keyboard going through the Scarlett into Reaper (via USB) but I can't hear any monitoring or playback signal via the PC speakers.
In Reaper, I've tried changing from ASIO to Directsound: I can hear it, but then the latency is too high for recording. I've also had a look at FR's MixControl on the PC, but that just makes my head spin.
I then tried attaching jack cables from the Scarlett to the PC speaker's jack inputs - no luck. (Surely the routing should be going via USB within the PC? But then what do I know!)

Is it something basic that I'm missing? Do I need to configure both Reaper, via Prefs, and the Scarlett, via MixControl?
I find this all rather disheartening, as I'd assumed that everything would just work on a kind of plug-and-play / auto-detect basis.
And I haven't even mentioned the unresponsive touch-screen yet!
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:57 pm

Ok, based on my 8i6 / Reaper set up:
Reaper > Preferences > Audio > Device:
Audio system: ASIO
ASIO Driver: Focusrite USB
Select your input and output ranges to the limits of the machine.
Check sample rates etc.
Apply.

Focusrite Mix Control:
2nd last pair of faders at the RH side of the screen:
Set left to DAW 1 and right to DAW2 from the drop down.
Last pair of faders, set left to whatever output you have your monitors plugged into.
Section below the faders:
Keeping it simple for now, set Mix 1(L) to monitor output 1 and (R) to 2.
Ditto for the headphone and Line options.

This will depend a little bit on what monitors, headphones, grotboxes you have connected but does that make sense with your set up?
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:14 pm

Of the 2 fader pairs, you mention, the 1st is set as Daw 1 and 2, and the 2nd pair as Mon 1 and 2, but that hasn't changed anything.
Ho hum, brain the size of a planet (Pluto), and I still can't figure this basic stuff out.
Thing is, if I switch back to Direcstsound, the playback is audible, but the latency is too high for input monitoring. Aargh!
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:23 pm

It sounds like Reaper isn't sending its outputs to the right channels in the Focusrite.

H
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:23 pm

Any chance of a screenshot of your mix control? And can you confirm what outputs you've got your monitors plugged into?

EDIT a screenshot of your device page in Reaper would be good too (thanks Hugh).
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:41 pm

Er, my speakers are USB Alesis jobbies straight into the PC. As I say, I tried using jacks from the FR outs into the speakers, but no luck.
I'm afraid I don't have a way of embedding images...
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:05 pm

Ah, right sorry. Hmmm.
Hmmm.
Have you got a WASAPI driver you can select in Reaper?

EDIT scratch that edit, just re-read your first post. :headbang:
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby The Elf » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:15 pm

Windows audio applications can only use one ASIO device at a time, so under ASIO you won't be able to use your audio interface and speakers at the same time from Reaper.

WASAPI might be an option, but I don't know how you would address the interface and speakers separately.

ASIO is pretty much the way most people, including myself, do it. Then you connect everything to your audio interface, including speakers. If you could rustle up a pair of speakers that connect directly to the audio interface that would be a quick solution.
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:28 pm

blinddrew wrote:Ah, right sorry. Hmmm.
Hmmm.
Have you got a WASAPI driver you can select in Reaper?

EDIT scratch that edit, just re-read your first post. :headbang:

Well, that worked, sort of! At least after I'd toggled through Shared Mode and all the other WASAPI permutations. That's the problem troubleshooting these things - so many perms...

It says the latency is only 5ms, but my "newly" recorded audio is still behind the playback, so I'd have to realign every time I recorded. Hmm...
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:31 pm

The Elf wrote:Windows audio applications can only use one ASIO device at a time, so under ASIO you won't be able to use your audio interface and speakers at the same time from Reaper.

WASAPI might be an option, but I don't know how you would address the interface and speakers separately.

ASIO is pretty much the way most people, including myself, do it. Then you connect everything to your audio interface, including speakers. If you could rustle up a pair of speakers that connect directly to the audio interface that would be a quick solution.

Blimey, I wasn't aware of that! I wish all those YT tutos had told me that! So most people use 2 pairs of speakers, I guess? What a revelation...
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:38 pm

FrankF wrote:Blimey, I wasn't aware of that! I wish all those YT tutos had told me that! So most people use 2 pairs of speakers, I guess? What a revelation...
Main monitors in output 1&2, grotbox (THR10 in my case) in 3&4.
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:46 pm

Aargh, this is too stressful! My tinnitus is loving the stress...

Elf, I tried what you suggested, but w. headphones on the Scarlett - no luck. Surely I still have to route the Reaper playback to the Scarlett, which is back to my original prob?

Blinddrew, I'm afraid you lost me there.
Maybe I should just go away and read the Scarlett manual...
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:30 pm

FrankF wrote:Elf, I tried what you suggested, but w. headphones on the Scarlett - no luck. Surely I still have to route the Reaper playback to the Scarlett, which is back to my original prob?
Ugh yes. You're trying to route your output through the pc for your speakers but through the focusrite for the headphones. Sadly I don't think there's anyway to make that fly as i don't think Reaper will let you select two output devices.
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:03 pm

So how on earth do people hook things up? My setup isn't unusual, I've got an audio i/f and a daw, what am I doing wrong?
Can s/o describe to me a typical setup? If you have a mixture of in the box and external instruments, surely you must monitor from the daw in order to sync playback with externally recorded input?
OK, I think I'll go and have a lie down. :roll:
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby Logarhythm » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:30 pm

Most people will be feeding their monitors through the audio interface. In effect your monitors have their own interface built in, and Windows/Reaper can only handle one interface at a time so it's forcing you to chose the interface on the monitors or the Scarlett.
What model are your monitors? I'd be very surprised if they don't have some connection options other than the USB one, so that will almost certainly give you a way to make everything play nicely together and allowing you to use the monitors and the Scarlett simultaneously :thumbup:
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:30 pm

Most people, i guess, run their monitors directly from the output of the interface rather than going back into the computer. Either running active monitors or using an amplifier and passive speakers.
That way everything routes through the interface, inputs, daw outputs, and any other sound sources from the PC.
Being old fashioned i have my CD player and minidisc feeding into the interface as well.
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby The Elf » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:06 pm

It's as the guys above say - most audio-centric users connect everything to their audio interface, including their speakers and headphones. This then presents a single ASIO interface to the audio software.

Having a USB connection to your monitors really isn't the done thing, I'm afraid, and will inevitably lead to the kind of issues you're experiencing.
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby James Perrett » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:59 am

If you are using the Alesis M1 Active USB monitors then simply disconnect the USB cable and the plug in the main monitor outputs of your Focusrite into the jack inputs on the back of the speaker. Choose the Focusrite ASIO driver and make sure that all the inputs and outputs are enabled in Reaper (sometimes it defaults to only enabling one or two when you change to a different interface).
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby CS70 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:53 am

FrankF wrote:So how on earth do people hook things up? My setup isn't unusual, I've got an audio i/f and a daw, what am I doing wrong?

While most PCs come with a basic built-in audio interface, I dont know of anyone who uses both speakers connected to the interface and a different pair connected to the pc.
It makes no sense duplicating, and if you do, every time you have to tell Windows where to send audio, which is boring.

So forget the built-in audio: simply connect the speakers (and headphones) to the interface, and use them for everything - in Reaper, select the Scarlett ASIO driver; for the rest of Windows applications, you go to Sound setting and select the Scarlett as sound output.

Once you've done it, it's set. If you want, you can even go as far to disable the built-in audio (in Device Manager) so that it doesn't appear at all in Windows.

That way. both the DAW and the regular applications will send the sound to the interface, and it will come out from speakers/headphones connected to the interface.

You can also look at the recent thread (https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 20&t=67424) to understand why ASIO and Windows are separate and parallel subsystems which exist in order to avoid recording latency.
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Re: Migrating from multitrack to PC: I can't get no (output) satisfaction

Postby FrankF » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:48 am

Many thanks for all the replies, chaps: I'll work on it this morning.
I think part of the problem is that I'm converting a long-standing work/entertainment PC into a music PC, without realising that the Scarlett needs to be the centre of all things audio.
I guess I just need to focus right. :oops:
I'm only doing this 'cos the multitrack is getting old and unrepairable.
But then aren't we all, boom boom!
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