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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:03 am 
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Apparently they still do:
https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT207256


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:33 am 
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I think iam going to change my USB Interface UR 22 mk1. The first Problem is really special one... actually i connect the Interface with 2 Mono TS Cables (1 Ring) to my Fostex Monitors. But i have slightly digital distortion, a silent stuttering hum. When using the mouse it is stuttering faster or pitched up a bit ... but thats not really a problem, TRS cables should do the trick and prevent me of this sh*t. So i bouth a pair Cordial TRS to XLR, the digital distortion was gone but i got a ~50% gain reduction. Phoned the PA and the Studio Hotline of a big german Music Gear Distributor and they have no idea, colleagues at work (electrical accoustic engeneers) have no clue too, tried out another TRS from Work and got the same result ... also tried out to connect right Channel with TS and left with TRS .... right one was on full pressur, the left reduced. So i changed back to TS cause i wasnt able to produce under that circumstances. Funny thing, when is was back to double TS the distortion was gone ... but just for one week, i think it must have something to do with the Line Outputs of the UR22 (but for now this was not a 100% reason to spend money for a new one, when producing i cant hear the hum so its just enoying me when the monitors are powered and i do not run something throu it.
But yesterday i was reading the Headphone Threads in here because i was not that satisfying with my Shure 840, cant build techno with it, way to less pressure, not loud enough. When i was reading that some people where building good stuff just by Headphones that might be as linear as my i thought no, how ... when i try to create Kick and Sub-fundament with my Headphones it ends in a terrible bullshit when i listen to it on my Monitors (or any other System). Yesterday night i gave it a last try and it was terrbile again. So in the Headphone threads was talked about Headphone AMPs, so i readed my specs of the interface (40 Ohms out max) and the Specs of my Headphones (44 Ohms) ... when i open the Loudness Knob for Phones it starts distortion after 50% open (known problem in the Webz) but it also laggs the pressure.
So finally, my question is do i need a Phone AMP (i.e. Pro ject Box S 100,-) or its better to directly buy a new Interface (want to spend max 250 Euros). What about the other Interfaces around 100 up to 250 Euros, anone of these have powerfull Phone Amps ? Focusrite? Roland? iD14/22
Thanks for any help, sorry for the grammar english is not my natural language.

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:36 pm 
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I don’t get your first problem to be honest. Your cables are post DA-conversion… therefore if you have issues with ‚digital distortion’ it’s either pre DA-conversion (meaning changing cables won’t do nothing), or it’s not a digital issue in the first place.
It’s hard to tell what is wrong without hearing your glitches, but things I could think of are:

- something is wrong with your electric circuit (try another power point)
- if you’re running your interface bus-powered, try plugging anything else off and see if it makes a difference
- driver issues
- your interface is broken

I don’t see the point in replacing an entry level interface with another entry level interface. A dedicated headphone amp will always be superior to an interfaces output wether it’s entry level or prosumer. So it’s an investment you’ll keep for at least a few years. It would be a different story if you’d ask if you should get a prosumer interface from a company that will provide you with years of driver updates like RME. But in your case I’d go for the amp for sure… if you solve the issues with your current interface of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:06 pm 
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Resin wrote:
I don’t get your first problem to be honest. Your cables are post DA-conversion… therefore if you have issues with ‚digital distortion’ it’s either pre DA-conversion (meaning changing cables won’t do nothing), or it’s not a digital issue in the first place.


glad someone else pointed out how much the explanation just doesn't make sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:33 pm 
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Belka wrote:
I think iam going to change my USB Interface UR 22 mk1. The first Problem is really special one... actually i connect the Interface with 2 Mono TS Cables (1 Ring) to my Fostex Monitors. But i have slightly digital distortion, a silent stuttering hum. When using the mouse it is stuttering faster or pitched up a bit ... but thats not really a problem, TRS cables should do the trick and prevent me of this sh*t. So i bouth a pair Cordial TRS to XLR, the digital distortion was gone but i got a ~50% gain reduction. Phoned the PA and the Studio Hotline of a big german Music Gear Distributor and they have no idea, colleagues at work (electrical accoustic engeneers) have no clue too, tried out another TRS from Work and got the same result ... also tried out to connect right Channel with TS and left with TRS .... right one was on full pressur, the left reduced. So i changed back to TS cause i wasnt able to produce under that circumstances. Funny thing, when is was back to double TS the distortion was gone ... but just for one week, i think it must have something to do with the Line Outputs of the UR22 (but for now this was not a 100% reason to spend money for a new one, when producing i cant hear the hum so its just enoying me when the monitors are powered and i do not run something throu it.
But yesterday i was reading the Headphone Threads in here because i was not that satisfying with my Shure 840, cant build techno with it, way to less pressure, not loud enough. When i was reading that some people where building good stuff just by Headphones that might be as linear as my i thought no, how ... when i try to create Kick and Sub-fundament with my Headphones it ends in a terrible bullshit when i listen to it on my Monitors (or any other System). Yesterday night i gave it a last try and it was terrbile again. So in the Headphone threads was talked about Headphone AMPs, so i readed my specs of the interface (40 Ohms out max) and the Specs of my Headphones (44 Ohms) ... when i open the Loudness Knob for Phones it starts distortion after 50% open (known problem in the Webz) but it also laggs the pressure.
So finally, my question is do i need a Phone AMP (i.e. Pro ject Box S 100,-) or its better to directly buy a new Interface (want to spend max 250 Euros). What about the other Interfaces around 100 up to 250 Euros, anone of these have powerfull Phone Amps ? Focusrite? Roland? iD14/22
Thanks for any help, sorry for the grammar english is not my natural language.



first of all, let me be a total cunt and say typing a tiny "I'm so sorry" for writing very bad English is just cheap.
It's ok to be bad in English, but perhaps just reading more stuff in English or just trying to write in English more often might help you get better,
instead of just ending with the tiny apology. After all, we're 2017 by now... :)
but anyway, that's just me being a total cunt, please forgive me (cue cheesy Bryan Adams track) 8-)

First thing I can think of when reading your explanation is this :
balanced cables normally give you a +4dBU signal, while unbalanced only gives you -10dBV

Quote:
Balanced cables contain three wires within the outer screen. In this configuration
a single wire is still used as a ground but the other two wires carry the
audio signal, one of which is a phase-inverted version of the original. When
this is received by a device, the phase-inverted signal is put back into phase
with the original and the two are added together. As a result, any interference
introduced is cancelled out when the two signals are summed together. This
is similar to the way two oscillators that are in phase cancel each other out, as
described in here in this chapter. That’s the theory. In practice, although this
reduces the problem, phase cancellation rarely removes all of the interference.
Another favourable advantage of using balanced cables is that they also utilize
a more powerful signal level. Commonly referred to as a professional standard,
a balanced signal uses a signal level of 4dBu rather than the semi-professional
signal level of 10dBV.


In a normal situation, you are much more likely to get that hum you're talking about when you're using your unbalanced cables, and NOT when you're using your balanced cables, and your signal level should be much higher (louder !!) when you're using balanced cables (so definitely nothing like a gain reduction you are talking about).
However : this can give you trouble when you're using unbalanced connectors and/or simply unbalanced gear.
I have no idea if your soundcard has balanced or unbalanced ins and outs, but please check this. It might clarify a lot of your problems.

To give you an example : I once made the mistake to hook up my Jomox Xbase888's outputs with balanced cables to the (obviously) balanced inputs of my mixer.
The fucking kick just made a horribly loud noisy snap and nothing else. It sounded like the thing was totally broken.
When I switched the cables to unbalanced, things were just fine again. :)
To this day I still run half of its individual outputs with unbalanced cables and half with balanced cables.

From my experience, I never had much trouble switching from unbalanced to balanced or vice versa,
but please keep the above info in mind. Problems can occur when you hook up unbalanced gear with balanced cables.

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Yeah i know about the gains with TRS (Hot Cold GND against TS with a linked Hot Cold) the physically process that happens and the signal way (PC -> UR22 -> Balanced Outputs) thats why i called it "special". But i missed the point that mouse movements are in the Signalpath before the Conversion. Further when i move the TS Cables in the Outputs the noise gets louder and quiter ... and its on the right monitor, when i unplug the right one it jumps over to the left monitor.
No differences when using another USB Slot or plugging the Monitors in seperate Power Points, same with the driver ... got an measurement Microphone, maybe i can record the noise.

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:06 am 
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Belka wrote:
Yeah i know about the gains with TRS (Hot Cold GND against TS with a linked Hot Cold) the physically process that happens and the signal way (PC -> UR22 -> Balanced Outputs) thats why i called it "special". But i missed the point that mouse movements are in the Signalpath before the Conversion. Further when i move the TS Cables in the Outputs the noise gets louder and quiter ... and its on the right monitor, when i unplug the right one it jumps over to the left monitor.
No differences when using another USB Slot or plugging the Monitors in seperate Power Points, same with the driver ... got an measurement Microphone, maybe i can record the noise.


well, your "sound" problems to me seem like simple interference from somewhere,
especially when the "hum" or whatever it is jumps over to your other cable when you take out the first.
Since your soundcard has balanced outs, I would always use balanced cabes tbh.
Regarding the loss in signal, have you checked if the settings of your soundcard aren't the problem ?
Most soundcards can be switched between -10dBV and +4dBU, make sure the output and input is set to +4dBU.
You might even need to check your monitors as well, mine have a switch at the back that lets you choose the input level (-10dBV or +4dBU).
As you can see in above quote, balanced cables aren't a perfect guarantee that you get no interference, but they should help a great deal with that.

Also, when you say your mouse movements matter.
Are you using a wireless mouse ?
I have no idea if this can cause interference on your signal, but it's well worth swapping the mouse for another one just to test this.

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:42 pm 
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Hades wrote:

Also, when you say your mouse movements matter.
Are you using a wireless mouse ?
I have no idea if this can cause interference on your signal, but it's well worth swapping the mouse for another one just to test this.


That's when using unbalanced at least in my experience, one can hear the hard drive drive working, mouse moving etc.

Belka have you tried another sound card? It sure sounds like it's at fault.

Try another interface and other cables, try taking your sound card to someone that has monitors and check it out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:15 pm 
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The noise when the mouse moves thing is a grounding issue, I think.

Are you using an Asus motherboard by any chance?

I recall something similar on a different forum where the problem went away when the unfortunate soul who and this issue swapped the metal standoffs holding his motherboard in the case with nylon standoffs. Can't remember the exact issue now but it defo sounds like a ground problem

Correction - you should use metal standoffs for the motherboard. If you're not, change them for metal ones
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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:02 pm 
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So I was testing out monitors at a nearby shop and the "audio expert" there essentially started trolling my choice of using a Focusrite 18i20 with my A7X's. I've been under the impression that it realistically didn't matter what card to use for monitor output.This guy was absolutely adamant that a better card was needed.

Now this isn't the first time I've heard that a higher-tier monitor needs to be paired with a higher-tier interface. What gives though? Is this in regards to say a 1% incremental output of clarity?


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:16 pm 
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No. The shop dude just wanted to sell you a new interface and is talking uttershite.

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:44 am 
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I figured as much.

Now does this change when a mixer is thrown into the loop? The reason I ask is because I was speaking with an individual who was raving about the Apollo Twin Mkii Quad and how "everyone" has it and it has great output.

What really justifies the price tags on these Apollo, RME, MOTU cards etc. besides the obvious Converters for people who are actually recording. I've noticed in techno-land a lot of guys have these fancy RME cards and they're simply using them for their monitors and to hook up gear to. Is it worth the 3x in price?

Point me to the right post because i'm sure this topic has been beat to death :D


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:28 am 
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terryfalafel wrote:
The noise when the mouse moves thing is a grounding issue, I think.

Are you using an Asus motherboard by any chance?

I recall something similar on a different forum where the problem went away when the unfortunate soul who and this issue swapped the metal standoffs holding his motherboard in the case with nylon standoffs. Can't remember the exact issue now but it defo sounds like a ground problem

Correction - you should use metal standoffs for the motherboard. If you're not, change them for metal ones
.



Unless i'm mistaken I don't think it matters what the standoffs are made out of - they don't come into contact with any conductive material, just empty fibreglass. If you look at the standoff holes there is a "border" around the hole where no copper enters.

Which is why it's also important to install and use the I/O shield properly, as it also stops the motherboard from conducting to the computer case. Your computer is grounded via the powersupply and mains plug, not via the case. (it creates a short if it touches the case, not a ground. EDIT: Well I guess it does create a ground, just not the ground we want!)

That said, I've always used metal and never seen nylon standoffs - metal are stronger/reusable I guess.

Regarding grounding issues and mousewheel sounds - what that is called is "Electromagnetic interference" (EMI) - This can come from poorly shielded cheaper motherboards, or just sheer luck - due to the breadth of computer components out there some combinations unfortunately cause weird issues with each other, and some "sounds" (interference) leak into the "speakers" (internal soundcard or whatever signal chain you have).

Though I've not heard of it happening with external soundcards.

Edit:

I used to get weird low level humming sounds that were amplified when I did "intense" computing work (playing a game, for example), now I remember buying "proper" shielded/balanced cables for my soundcard -> monitors chain removed that noise. Cheap cables seemed to be to blame there.


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:37 am 
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Senko wrote:
I figured as much.

Now does this change when a mixer is thrown into the loop? The reason I ask is because I was speaking with an individual who was raving about the Apollo Twin Mkii Quad and how "everyone" has it and it has great output.

What really justifies the price tags on these Apollo, RME, MOTU cards etc. besides the obvious Converters for people who are actually recording. I've noticed in techno-land a lot of guys have these fancy RME cards and they're simply using them for their monitors and to hook up gear to. Is it worth the 3x in price?

Point me to the right post because i'm sure this topic has been beat to death :D


When you have a decent soundcard like the Focusrite there is no need to upgrade to a 'better' one. The guy in the shop was just doing his 'best' to sell you a new soundcard :D .
About RME; I'm a RME user and I will buy another RME card when it dies.
The support is very good; i'm still using my HDSP9632 PCI card (in a new system).
They keep updating the drivers for a very looooooooong time. Never had any shit with that card; and it's has been moved to several new computers when I upgraded.
Also the RME forum is great for support because people post a lot over there about test results in new build systems.
In my opinion, when you don't need lots of inputs and outputs it's better to buy a card that is expandable via adat converters.
Then when needing extra inputs or/and outputs you can add a adat converter (going from ADA8200 up to audio fetish xxxx€ converters :)).

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:32 pm 
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I use the Allen&Heath ZED 10 myself. It allows me to connect and record multiple instuments/mic at the same time. for me the big advantage is I can also connect my midi controller for Serato to it as well without having to change the cables. its easy plug and play, you can bring it to a gig, the soundquality it very neat and it looks cool :).

Used to have a EMU 404 before. It has served me well, but since e-mu didnt support it annymore and i had problems with it on windows 10 i felt the need to switch.

I think its important to look at the fututre when you buy a soundcard (or any equipment for that mather), perhaps you would like to record more than 1 voice at the same time, or also use it for live play, etc. This might be hard to imagine right now, but it pays off to not feel blocked by your hardware in a year or so and having to buy new ones...

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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:53 pm 
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The one gripe I have with my 18i20 is having a separate input knobs that control levels for each channel. Most of my gear is stereo, so I have to adjust say input knob 3 & 4 to achieve unity gain and I'll always be off by like 0.5DB on say channel 4... and yeah it might not be all that noticeable audibly, but I see it visually in the mixer and it's just annoying.

What RME cards are reputable btw? I've thought about getting a mixer and taking a card with less I/O.


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:07 pm 
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on the focusrite you should be able to just leave all knobs turned completely down for line level stuff. only really need to mess with them for microphones


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:50 am 
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xonetacular wrote:
on the focusrite you should be able to just leave all knobs turned completely down for line level stuff. only really need to mess with them for microphones


I've found the audio level to be low with this method. My synth is set at max volume and is only peaking at -50 Db with the input gains at their lowest points.


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:49 am 
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does Focusrite have a software interface where these can be set to the value that you want and save as default? not sure if this would work as they seem to be pots and not encoders. the level might be "hardwired" to the knobs? or is there any way to set this up on the hardware itself? on my MOTU UltraLite i can do everything with it's onboard screen, not sure if the Focusrite works like that or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Soundcards
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:04 pm 
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it does have a software mixer interface, but you're right i don't think the knobs for the preamps affect it

It's really not a big a deal to set the levels with them though. you can definitely match stereo levels but what does it matter if it's like .5db off? there's going to be way more variation between l/r than that for a synth with stereo fx


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