#1
Hey UG,

So I just upgraded to 24-bit by purchasing the Focusrite Scarlett Solo to replace my M-Audio MobilePre USB. I haven't received it yet, but in the meantime I've been seeing many problems with guitar inputs and clipping on the 2i2; there is too much gain inherent in the input. Apparently the Solo model is too new to have any reviews or feedback.

Is there anything in the specs that might give me an idea if i'll have the same problem? I'll be using an Agile 8-string with stock passive pickups.

Thanks!
Agile Intrepid 8
S-gear Scuffham Amps
#2
It doesn't appear to have the pad button that makes the 2i4 particularly good at combating peaking at the input stage. That said, their description on the website seems very aware of that issue and suggests that it doesn't have it. If you're pushing an 8-string through it, I wouldn't be surprised if you manage to push it pretty hard and experience some distortion, but there's only one way to find out and you're already halfway there. If it distorts, then just return it and get something with a pad.
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#3
Quote by Sid McCall
If it distorts, then just return it and get something with a pad.
Or with an input gain knob that goes below unity or, even better, with a pinch more input headroom.

Edit: the specs suggest you'll have no problem.
Name's Luca.

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Last edited by Spambot_2 at Sep 28, 2014,
#4
Thanks for the replies,

Yeah in looking at the specs it seems there is greater control of gain, and I've seen threads where Focusrite has clearly acknowledged the problem and will fix it on future products, i.e. the Solo. Being an 8 string I'm ok with a little distortion. I have that with my current setup and it works well for me honestly. Thanks again!
Agile Intrepid 8
S-gear Scuffham Amps
#6
Quote by Time Seller
Having the same problem with my 2i2 if I connect my guitar through DI. Is there no way to reduce the clipping?
Build yourself a simple attenuator.

Or get a new and better sounding interface.
Name's Luca.

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#7
I don't think I've ever had this issue myself. Just setting it so that the loudest peak you can make is just under clipping seems to leave it working totally fine in my experience. Are you sure the problem isn't somewhere else in your signal chain?
#8
Quote by KevinGoetz
I don't think I've ever had this issue myself. Just setting it so that the loudest peak you can make is just under clipping seems to leave it working totally fine in my experience.
The 2i2 is famous for having little input headroom and no input gain attenuation.

You may simply not be using high output pickups/mic's/whatever.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
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#9
Quote by Spambot_2
The 2i2 is famous for having little input headroom and no input gain attenuation.

You may simply not be using high output pickups/mic's/whatever.


I dunno, it's certainly got a lot of gain on tap, but I can record EMG 81/85s direct with no problem. Same with every dynamic mic I've tried. I had a couple issues with a condenser, but that seemed more like a room treatment issue than a clipping issue.

How odd. I wonder why I've never experienced this.
#10
Since there is not a good review of the Scarlett Solo yet, I'm wandering Chris Schementi what you thought of the device, did you experience any clipping? What are your thoughts on the Solo?

Quote by Chris Schementi
Hey UG,

So I just upgraded to 24-bit by purchasing the Focusrite Scarlett Solo to replace my M-Audio MobilePre USB. I haven't received it yet, but in the meantime I've been seeing many problems with guitar inputs and clipping on the 2i2; there is too much gain inherent in the input. Apparently the Solo model is too new to have any reviews or feedback.

Is there anything in the specs that might give me an idea if i'll have the same problem? I'll be using an Agile 8-string with stock passive pickups.

Thanks!
#11
I can't see it anywhere exactly where would the Focusrite Solo's product page mention that it has less clipping or more gain headroom for the instrument input as the 2i2...???

Did you mean this description?: "Plug straight into a high quality DI that minimises the risk of distortion, or switch to line level to instantly connect your mono analogue synth or outboard gear to the rest of your studio."

I wouldn't translate this at all automaticly to something like "We have fixed the clipping issue.".

Can you cite or link directly to that statement or any reference?

(I'm also into getting my first interface, so thats why so curious...)

Thanks!
#12
Quote by High9ter
I wouldn't translate this at all automaticly to something like "We have fixed the clipping issue.".

Can you cite or link directly to that statement or any reference?
It has 20dB less gain on the hi-z input.
That effectively means no guitar will overload it, likely even if it has active p/ups.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
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#13
Wasn't this a known issue on Solo/2i2/4i4? I know the 18i20 never had this issue.
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#14
I'm an owner of the Saffire Pro-24. Had this same issue for the many years of owning this thing

DI guitars and bass were impossible (clipping with gain knob at zero, no dynamics, dead sound) and whenever I asked someone a solution they gave an unhelpful or useless answer or a tone-compromising solution (e.g: "Pick lighter","get low-op pickups","turn down guitar volume").


What FINALLY solved the problem was getting a DI box, which pads the signal to microphone level and plugs in via XLR, then using the microphone preamps to boost the signal to proper level.

A more expensive one like by Countryman or Radial will obviously result in better sound but this is what I use and it does the job:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/live-wire-pdi-double-shielded-heavy-duty-passive-direct-box

Once I got that thing, EVERYTHING was better. For the longest time I thought digital VST amps were all terrible but that made not only useable but GOOD SOUNDING. So if you are still having clipping/tone issues and you own a Saffire/Scarlett get a DI box. They're very commonly employed in pro recording studios.
#15
Quote by the chemist
Wasn't this a known issue on Solo/2i2/4i4? I know the 18i20 never had this issue.
Every scarlett and saffire apart from the solo have that issue.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
What FINALLY solved the problem was getting a DI box, which pads the signal to microphone level and plugs in via XLR, then using the microphone preamps to boost the signal to proper level.
The difference between inst signal and mic signal is related to impedance tho, not signal strength.
And DI boxes output line level, not mic level more often than not.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
So if you are still having clipping/tone issues and you own a Saffire/Scarlett get a DI box. They're very commonly employed in pro recording studios.
But they are used because of other reasons, and a good one costs more than a mid scarlett or saffire.

The solution here would be not to get a scarlett or saffire really...
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
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#16
Quote by Spambot_2
Every scarlett and saffire apart from the solo have that issue.
As do many other low-level audio interfaces. They cheap out on built-in DI more than often.

The difference between inst signal and mic signal is related to impedance tho, not signal strength.
And DI boxes output line level, not mic level more often than not. But they are used because of other reasons, and a good one costs more than a mid scarlett or saffire.

The solution here would be not to get a scarlett or saffire really...
Literally every statement here is incorrect.

The impedance is different between the two levels, yes, but their actual differences for classification lie in dBu level.

DI boxes change from line or instrument level to microphone level and from Hi-Z to Lo.. And they are commonly used SPECIFICALLY for that reason. The preamp is what boosts the mic-level signal to line level.

As far as costs go nearly every Radial or Countryman (considered good-qual) I see in a search costs eveness than my Saffire and I still own the lowest in production.
#17
Quote by Spambot_2
It has 20dB less gain on the hi-z input.
That effectively means no guitar will overload it, likely even if it has active p/ups.


Which value refers to this especially?

Solo:
Frequency Response 20 Hz – 20 kHz +/-0.2dB
Gain Range -16 dB to +34 dB
THD -95 dB
Noise (EIN) -109 dB
Dynamic Range 106 dB
Max. Input level +15 dBu

2i2:

Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
THD+N -91dB (measured at minimum gain with -1dBFS input and 20Hz-20kHz bandpass filter)
Noise -104 dBu (22 Hz/22KHz bandpass filter)
Signal to Noise Ratio > 100dB
Gain Range -21dB to +29dB
Max Input Level +20dBu



I can't figure it out, cause none of these differ exactly with 20db...?
Last edited by High9ter at Aug 31, 2015,
#18
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
As do many other low-level audio interfaces.
Others may sound bad, but only the scarlett's and saffire have that problem y' know.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
The impedance is different between the two levels, yes, but their actual differences for classification lie in dBu level.
My comment was about the fact that you wrote "pads the signal to mic level", and I wanted to clarify that to bring an inst signal to a mic signal level you don't only need to reduce its intensity.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
DI boxes change from line or instrument level to microphone level and from Hi-Z to Lo.
Why would you even want to reduce the power of a line level bringing it down to mic level?
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
The preamp is what boosts the mic-level signal to line level.
Or an active DI box.
Or there might not be the need for that 'cause you're only balancing a line level signal.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
As far as costs go nearly every Radial or Countryman (considered good-qual) I see in a search costs eveness than my Saffire and I still own the lowest in production.
I was thinking more of an RNDI, and still I'd rather get an interface with better input than whatever interface + some other stuff to make the interface's flaws matter less.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#19
Quote by Spambot_2
Others may sound bad, but only the scarlett's and saffire have that problem y' know.
As have have a few Tascam interfaces I've tried (including the one I got for my boyfriend) as have M-Audio M-Boxes and FastTracks. It's common with cheaper interfaces but the Focusrites have it bad. And again, a DI box fixes not only the clipping issue but also sound quality. I'll happily provide clips for proof.


Quote by Spambot_2
Why would you even want to reduce the power of a line level bringing it down to mic level?
Or an active DI box.
Or there might not be the need for that 'cause you're only balancing a line level signal.
These statments display your inexperience in this field.

Boards almost always have line input on each channel but it's still VERY common for engineers to use DI's into preamps.

90% of active DI boxes perform the same exact function, bring the signal to mic level. If it does boost to line level, it's still a preamp.

And again no, you are not just "balancing a line level signal." DI output is Lo-Z Microphone level and/or parallel-thru.


I'd suggest gaining experience in actual studios or performing research before attempting to help people as if you know what you are talking about.
#20
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
As have have a few Tascam interfaces I've tried (including the one I got for my boyfriend) as have M-Audio M-Boxes and FastTracks.
I remember having no problem with a U-800, I've never heard of m-boxes having such issues and I have used more than a fast track countless times without incurring in this problem.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
Boards almost always have line input on each channel but it's still VERY common for engineers to use DI's into preamps.
And you know this because of your proven, extensive experience in this field?
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
90% of active DI boxes perform the same exact function, bring the signal to mic level.
Still, what I was saying is that the important part of what they do is change the signal's impedance.
And possibly lifting the ground.

And again no, you are not just "balancing a line level signal." DI output is Lo-Z Microphone level and/or parallel-thru.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
I'd suggest gaining experience in actual studios
Uuh, uuh, will that make me pretentious as you?
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#21
I guess (accoeding to their website specifications) they figured to solve the clipping issue on the 2i2 as well.: Solo: Max. Input level +15 dBu / / 2i2: Max Input Level +20dBu. I have found an info on another forum, which says that the "previous version" of the 2i2 had only +4dBu... So now I't should clip even less than the Solo...

(The Roland Duo Capture has +14dBu for comparison.)

Dunno how far we can go in reliability of these infos and how they affect the "anti-clipping matter" in the practice, but seems a good turning point regarding Focusrite's support and specially the 2i2. (If my "research" on the subject is legit and I didn't missunderstood anything. )

Now we only need some fresh sources of guitarist user infos to find out, if it's really applies at all...
#22
Quote by High9ter
I guess (accoeding to their website specifications) they figured to solve the clipping issue on the 2i2 as well.: Solo: Max. Input level +15 dBu / / 2i2: Max Input Level +20dBu. I have found an info on another forum, which says that the "previous version" of the 2i2 had only +4dBu... So now I't should clip even less than the Solo...
What you're looking at are the specs for the line inputs, while you should look at the specs for the instrument input.
Quote by focusrite website
Instrument
Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
THD+N -72dB (measured at minimum gain with -1dBFS signal and 20Hz-20kHz bandpass filter)
Noise -87dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Gain Range -4dB to +46dB
Max Input Level +4dBu
As you can see you can only feed it a 4dBu level signal before it clips.
With the scarlett solo the input gain goes lower, so you can feed it a 15-16dBu signal without any problems.

The roland duo capture can handle a 25dBu input signal according to specs, while the duo capture ex specs aren't enough to say, but the 14dB headroom thing might well mean they can handle 14dB over the converters' clipping level.

Anyway, if the specs are anything to go by they solved nothing with the 2i2.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#23
Quote by Spambot_2
I remember having no problem with a U-800, I've never heard of m-boxes having such issues and I have used more than a fast track countless times without incurring in this problem.
If you have a harder playing style then yes it becomes a problem with headroom

And what's your suggestion to that gonna be, "oh just pick lighter" like the other? If so, piss off.


Quote by Spambot_2
Still, what I was saying is that the important part of what they do is change the signal's impedance.

And possibly lifting the ground.
You explicitly claimed that DI boxes "change the signal to line level, not mic" as if you knew what you were talking about when you were flat out wrong in entirety. I not only know from personal experience but have more than a few sources to prove that.


Quote by Spambot_2
Uuh, uuh, will that make me pretentious as you?
Knowing what you're talking about and having experience so you don't is "pretentious."

Lulz.
#24
Quote by Spambot_2
What you're looking at are the specs for the line inputs, while you should look at the specs for the instrument input.
As you can see you can only feed it a 4dBu level signal before it clips.
With the scarlett solo the input gain goes lower, so you can feed it a 15-16dBu signal without any problems.


Yep, that's sadly was a missread from my side. I was so fuelled by the "rumors" I have read in other sources, that they maybe solved the clipping issue with the 2i2, that I missed to approach exhaustive while browsing through the specs...

*****************************************************

Any clues that the Solo would clip with high output pups, or is it's headroom enough even when playing with full voulume? I guess I wouldn't be able to use a DI-Box with the Solo, cause it has only one XLR input, and that would be reserved for the microphone when trying to record vocals and the guitar "simultaneously... So it makes the decision even more harder, cause even if the 2i2 has less headroom and would clip more frequently on it's own, I can still solve this with a DI-Box, since it has two XLR inputs... But what if I could just avoid this by simply getting the Solo (if it wouldn't clip)...???

Ahhh....

And thanks for any infos!
#25
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
If you have a harder playing style then yes it becomes a problem with headroom
I meant that I couldn't make it clip the input signal.
I checked, I picked as hard as I could with the highest output p/up and it didn't clip anything.
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
You explicitly claimed that DI boxes "change the signal to line level, not mic" as if you knew what you were talking about when you were flat out wrong in entirety.
Yeah that seems to have been wrong, I learned something, thanks for that.

So now are we clear that the most important thing DI boxes do is balancing signals or your experience tells you otherwise?
Quote by Cherry Vulpine
Knowing what you're talking about and having experience so you don't is "pretentious."
Having experience and dispensing info and knowledge is not.

You tho were bragging about your experience and the fact that I don't know shit because I was wrong about a thing.
That is pretentious.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#26
Quote by Spambot_2
You tho were bragging about your experience and the fact that I don't know shit because I was wrong about a thing.
That is pretentious.

Amigo, that's all you do every day around here.

Everybody needs to calm the hell down around here and take a chill pill or three.
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#27
Quote by High9ter
Any clues that the Solo would clip with high output pups, or is it's headroom enough even when playing with full voulume? I guess I wouldn't be able to use a DI-Box with the Solo, cause it has only one XLR input, and that would be reserved for the microphone when trying to record vocals and the guitar "simultaneously... So it makes the decision even more harder, cause even if the 2i2 has less headroom and would clip more frequently on it's own, I can still solve this with a DI-Box, since it has two XLR inputs... But what if I could just avoid this by simply getting the Solo (if it wouldn't clip)...???

Ahhh....

And thanks for any infos!
I'm going to give the same answer to someone else who was also looking into the Solo:


Get the 2i2. You'll be limited with the Solo and you never know when you might need that extra input. What if later down the road you wanted to stereo-mic an acoustic guitar? Or run 2 mics on a guitar amp cabinet?

And yes definitely get a DI box with the 2i2 or any Saffire. The Livewire Heavy-Duty is the lowest I would recommend. More expensive will obv be better.
#28
Quote by Cherry Vulpine

And yes definitely get a DI box with the 2i2 or any Saffire. The Livewire Heavy-Duty is the lowest I would recommend. More expensive will obv be better.

I use those with a PA system set up in a studio at my office that's used for artist showcases - they're a freaking Godsend, especially for $20 versus $100+ for the next best thing. Our main board is an old analog studio board as opposed to a normal PA board, so having outboard DIs helps me with balanced inputs and getting a 10' 1/4" guitar cable extended out with a 35' XLR.

Some of the biggest names in Nashville have complimented me on my sound, so I must be doing something right (yeah I'm bragging, deal with it, this isn't the core of my day job so I need to revel in it sometimes). Great little boxes!
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#29
Thanks for the info!

On another forum some suggested me the Palmer Pan 01 DI-Box as a very fair solution. So I guess I will go eighter the Livewire Heavy-Duty or the Palmer Pan 01. (They are in the same price and this entry level is the max I could afford right now.) Any clues how they compare?