Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

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Clysop
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:28 pm

Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by Clysop »

I've used Voicemeeter for some time, and it has worked perfectly fine. That was until I got a sound card, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd gen). It just will not work correctly, and I can't find any way to solve it by searching the net. It seems like no one has the same issues I do, or those that do, haven't found a solution.

The problem:
Using the 2i2 as A1 output wont work correctly in any mode. The sound from any virtual input will crackle and pop frequently. Trying to set the buffer-size higher reduces the problem, but it doesn't remove it completely. It's as if Voicemeeter needs to go higher than 1024 buffering, but it can't since that's the maximum for ASIO. It behaves the same with the MME driver, where it can be fixed by setting the buffer-size higher. This solution is not one I can use, since I need low latency. Having the buffer-size at 1024 on ASIO is already to high. Using WDM mode is completely broken, the sound is completely unusable. Any other input device sounds fine, like anything retrieved from the ASIO inputs from the soundcard, or the microphone connected to the motherboard. Changing the max latency for the virtual ASIO drivers changes nothing, I've tried setting it to 7168, but that did nothing.

The strange thing is, this behavior only happens in Voicemeeter Banana. In normal Voicemeeter, the virtual input works fine, but any other input does not. It's as if the problem is reversed. Another detail is that when using the ASIO insert driver in Voicemeeter Banana, the sound would start to pop again, even though the input in Voicemeeter sounded fine. Routing an input through Cubase resulted in so much crackling that it was impossible to recognize the sound.

Other info:
I use Windows 10, latest version. All drivers for all equipment is updated, and Voicemeeter is running latest version. I've tried to change sampling rates for the hardware, virtual drivers, and voicemeeter, nothing changed. I've tried to change USB-ports for the 2i2, no difference. The problem is isolated to Voicemeeter, no other program behaves this way.

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Vincent Burel
Site Admin
Posts: 1394
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:01 pm

Re: Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by Vincent Burel »

you may try to set back ASIO preferred buffer size to "default"...
otherwise, if you have the Focusrite ASIO USB 2 driver present, try this one instead.
Shark-2
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:42 am

Re: Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by Shark-2 »

I think i have the exact same Problem with my ZEDi10. Here the link to my Post.
Unfortunately i still didn't find a solution. But i found that the crackling is recordable.
At the moment i use voicemeeter only to route my inputs.
positivelyevil
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 12:34 pm

Re: Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by positivelyevil »

Digging up a bit of an old thread here but since it I have the exact same problem and this still seems to be unresolved, I'll continue the thread here. I have the latest build of Banana. I have a Focusrite 2i2 2nd gen with the latest driver. When using this combination, sound quickly degrades into crackling and poor audio. For input sources I'm using the 2i2 (1) on WDM, Discord (2) from Virtual Cable-A on WDM and Spotify (3) on Virtual Cable-B on WDM. The applications are set to output to the respective virtual cables. I also have local PC sounds coming in on VAIO. The only way I can get the cracling/popping to stop is to unplug the 2i2 and replug, then restart the audio engine. The crackling returns within minutes. Everything has been set to 48k 16-bit across the board. I have tried having the 2i2 on A1 and also on A2 with the PC sound card on A1. Nothing works to alleviate the problem. I'm looking for suggestions on what to try at this point. I think I've tried all the basics.
mipsou
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by mipsou »

Hi,
I have à 18i20 second generation.
I have same symptom with the insert ASIO driver.
I think we need to calibrate a test with a pure source and record the results.
mipsou
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by mipsou »

Hi,
I have à 18i20 second generation.
I have same symptom with the insert ASIO driver.
I think we need to calibrate a test with a pure source and record the results.
mipsou wrote:My post
Vincent Burel
Site Admin
Posts: 1394
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:01 pm

Re: Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by Vincent Burel »

yes, there is problem with Virtual ASIO driver synchro with most of Focusrite USB device
Especially when Voicemeeter is connected to it through their ASIO driver (the WDM interface is more stable in term of time, but does not allow to manage all channels as well as the ASIO does). Because our Virtual ASIO driver are following the timing given by the main driver... so if the timing is wrong , the sound is cut.

This problem is wellknown and present with many USB devices (not only Focusrite)
we already wrote an article on this and you can also get more info on this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=506

Personnally, i don't understand why so many ASIO driver (handling USB device) are presenting such issue with callback timinig... We see no technical reason to have this problem (especially when we saw the huge internal buffering size used by these devices).

Our experience on this shows that it is not a problem for an ASIO driver to be 1 to 2ms accurate in callback management under Windows ... While we see timing error much bigger than the buffer size (5,10, 20 ms)... which is simply not working in a real time environment.
ARTFX
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:03 pm
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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Re: Problems with Focusrite 2i2, crackling sound

Post by ARTFX »

Just chiming in to let you guys know that I'm also experiencing the issue, noticed it on my last video recording. I'm running the Focusrite 2i4 with Ableton Live and Voicemeeter Banana to do livestreams, previously I would have setup Ableton to run on the MME driver of my Focusrite interface and Voicemeeter running on the ASIO driver from Focusrite. That way I get almost no clicks or distortion and I could use it that way. Recently, however, my setup has changed because I've introduced monitor speaker/headphone calibration into the setup. This is the software Sonarworks Reference and it will calibrate the sound of my speakers or headphones so I hear better what I'm doing when producing music.

Setting it all up was a pain but eventually, I figured out how to do it so that only I hear the calibrated version of the audio while my viewers hear the non-calibrated version. To achieve it I have Ableton Live running on the Voicemeeter Virtual Insert ASIO so I can call certain outputs inside Voicemeeter and send audio back and forth from Ableton. Voicemeeter is running on the Focusrite WDM driver and the main mic insert in Voicemeeter is the WDM version of my Focusrite front XLR port (input 1).

Everything is set correctly yet I get the same distortion as everybody before me had, it sounds like dropouts in the audio and that is actually it. When recording the distortion with the tape recorder in Voicemeeter and then viewing the recorded waveform you can see small bits of silence in the waveform where the audio dropped out completely. Buffer settings of the WDM driver seem to decrease or increase the speed at which the dropouts occur. This is really annoying though, I want this setup to work so I can livestream this way and open up more possibilities of stuff I can do.

So Vincent, you guys haven't found a solution yet to this issue?

EDIT: I just read the post about the Focusrite issue and man that sucks, guess I'll revert back to my old setup. Good thing I find out about this now because I was almost gonna buy myself a Focusrite 18i20 to replace my 2i4. Vincent question, do you maybe know of an audio interface that doesn't have this issue? I'm willing to upgrade to something else if that means the drivers run more stable and don't show this issue with Voicemeeter.

EDIT 2: I just played around a bit more and I did figure something out. I was thinking about how it affects the WDM driver so I tried switching the A1 inside Voicemeeter to the MME version of the Focusrite driver. Ableton Live is still running on the Voicemeeter Insert Virtual ASIO and I can send audio back and forth from Voicemeeter to tracks inside Ableton Live. Best of it all is, so far I have not heard the distortion issue when running it this way! Will have to do a longer test to confirm but so far this is looking good, the only question is how the latency will be so I'll report back when I've done a longer test using my streaming software in combination with Voicemeeter and Ableton Live.
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