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Thread Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

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1 Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
I recently bought a Native Instrument Audio 6 interface which is giving me a lot of grief with intermittent pop noises. I am thinking of replacing it with the Scarlett 6i6. Two of the reasons I bought the NI Audio 6 is for it great latency and that is can do multi-client with ASIO. How does the Scarlett 6i6 compare and does it have a comparable multi-client driver so that I can output non ASIO sound from computer applications simultaneously with the ASIO streams out of my DAW?

[ Post last edited on 04/17/2014 at 00:24:18 ]

2
Hi Vrobic,

The Scarlett 6i6 is capable of multi-client playback and you can achieve low latency performance with the included ASIO driver.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Chris
Focusrite
3
1. About how low latency in milliseconds can the Scarlett 6i6 achieve, while maintaining a clean sound, round trip including the entire pipeline (MIDI in --> DAW --> VSTI --> digital audio --> analog audio --> speaker)

2. On the Focusrite web site in the downloads section for the 6i6 (https://us.focusrite.com/downloads?product=Scarlett+6i6), I see a link to download the "Mix Control 1.8" and the "Plug-in Suite 1.5" but I don't see any drivers to download. Are AISO drivers specific for this unit available? Where is the link for that?

[ Post last edited on 04/17/2014 at 00:01:38 ]

4
Hi Vrobic,

1) This is difficult to approximate as it largely depends on the spec of your computer, and relating to that, the buffer size that you end up using. The latency that you set using your buffer size (and sample rate) is not the only latency that eventually impacts the sound by the time it reaches your ears. Software can introduce latency. Some plugins cause latency. Some computers have more, or less, latency than others. Generally the better a computer is, the less latency that it will incur on its own, but this depends on the condition of the computer, and its load at the time.

Our interfaces offer Zero or Ultra Low Latency Tracking and Direct Monitor options to further help circumvent the issue of latency as much as possible.

2) The driver for the 6i6 is bundled within the Mix Control software, this reduces the amount of installs required to get you up and running.

Hope this helps
Simon // Focusrite Technical Support
5
I returned the Native Instrument Audio 6 and got the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6. I can't get the multi-client to work though. For example I can't get audio to play from my DAW simultaneously with any other application in Windows (e.g. YouTube, video players, etc.)
6
Hi Vrobic,

It sounds as though you may have a sample rate mismatch. The multi-client support relies on the Windows sound settings (Control Panel > Manage Sound devices > Properties for the Saffire) having the same sample rate as you are using in your DAW.

If you do this can you get things working properly?

Best regards,

Chris
Focusrite Support
7
I had my DAW set to 96000 Hz to help with latency and Windows to the default 44100 Hz. Changed Windows to 96000 and it works now. Thanks!

I do have another problem that I am starting to notice though. Random intermittent pops and cutout every 1 or 2 minutes. I have an 8 core AMD 4GHz CPU with 8 Gig of DDR3 RAM. My CPU utilization during the pops hovers between 10 - 20%. I initially tried 1ms buffer size but got lots of pops. I settled for 2ms which seem to have cleared the pops but like I said they are still present every once in a while. This gives me 12ms round trip latency. I really don't want to go any higher. I tried 3ms and got the same noise results and a higher latency.

My internal Realtek sound card that came with my ASUS motherboard seems to be performing better than the 6i6. With the ASIO4All driver I can run the Realtek all day in and out of the DAW with no pops or noises, just clean sound with 10ms round trip latency. I really only need the 6i6 for the multi-client support but not at the expense of noise and higher latency. What can I do to get the same performance out of the 6i6 that I get from my on board sound card?
8
Here is more info. I ran the DPC Latency and Latency Mon. In DPC Latency app, the bars are all green but every so often, just one single very high red bar appears then back to all greens for more minutes. Simultaneously the latency monitor also reports having problems. Still can't explain why the Mobo soundcard has no problems. Here are the results:

CONCLUSION___________________________________________________________________________________
Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. At least one detected problem appears to be network related. In case you are using a WLAN adapter, try disabling it to get better results. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.
LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:03:26 (h:mm:ss) on all processors.

SYSTEM INFORMATION___________________________________________________________________________
OS version: Windows 7 Service Pack 1, 6.1, build: 7601 (x64)
Hardware: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC., M5A97 EVO R2.0
CPU: AuthenticAMD AMD FX(tm)-8350 Eight-Core Processor
Logical processors: 8
Processor groups: 1
RAM: 8107 MB total

CPU SPEED____________________________________________________________________________________
Reported CPU speed: 4013.0 MHz
Measured CPU speed: 3170.0 MHz (approx.)

Note: reported execution times may be calculated based on a fixed reported CPU speed. Disable variable speed settings like Intel Speed Step and AMD Cool N Quiet in the BIOS setup for more accurate results.


MEASURED INTERRUPT TO USER PROCESS LATENCIES__________________________________________________
The interrupt to process latency reflects the measured interval that a usermode process needed to respond to a hardware request from the moment the interrupt service routine started execution. This includes the scheduling and execution of a DPC routine, the signaling of an event and the waking up of a usermode thread from an idle wait state in response to that event.

Highest measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 96909.369152
Average measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 4.176751

Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 96229.417099
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 2.043886

REPORTED ISRs_________________________________________________________________________________
Interrupt service routines are routines installed by the OS and device drivers that execute in response to a hardware interrupt signal.

Highest ISR routine execution time (µs): 61.803887
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time: dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total ISR routine time (%): 0.012404
Driver with highest ISR total time: hal.dll - Hardware Abstraction Layer DLL, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in ISRs (%) 0.029041

ISR count (execution time <250 µs): 232938
ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 500-999 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 1000-1999 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 2000-3999 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0


REPORTED DPCs________________________________________________________________________________________
DPC routines are part of the interrupt servicing dispatch mechanism and disable the possibility for a process to utilize the CPU while it is interrupted until the DPC has finished execution.

Highest DPC routine execution time (µs): 96931.900075
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: ndis.sys - NDIS 6.20 driver, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 0.062561
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: ndis.sys - NDIS 6.20 driver, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%) 0.166258

DPC count (execution time <250 µs): 1487628
DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 500-999 µs): 3
DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0

REPORTED HARD PAGEFAULTS_______________________________________________________________________________
Hard pagefaults are events that get triggered by making use of virtual memory that is not resident in RAM but backed by a memory mapped file on disk. The process of resolving the hard pagefault requires reading in the memory from disk while the process is interrupted and blocked from execution.

NOTE: some processes were hit by hard pagefaults. If these were programs producing audio, they are likely to interrupt the audio stream resulting in dropouts, clicks and pops. Check the Processes tab to see which programs were hit.

Process with highest pagefault count: javaw.exe

Total number of hard pagefaults 142
Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process: 125
Highest hard pagefault resolution time (µs): 31494.737354
Total time spent in hard pagefaults (%): 0.022404
Number of processes hit: 3

PER CPU DATA_______________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s): 6.041737
CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (µs): 55.544480
CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s): 0.241672
CPU 0 ISR count: 210034
CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (µs): 96931.900075
CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s): 2.337182
CPU 0 DPC count: 1400533
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s): 2.368130
CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (µs): 61.803887
CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s): 0.031172
CPU 1 ISR count: 3005
CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (µs): 163.598306
CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s): 0.053635
CPU 1 DPC count: 7092
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 2 Interrupt cycle time (s): 2.373910
CPU 2 ISR highest execution time (µs): 53.567157
CPU 2 ISR total execution time (s): 0.031435
CPU 2 ISR count: 2788
CPU 2 DPC highest execution time (µs): 119.625966
CPU 2 DPC total execution time (s): 0.052928
CPU 2 DPC count: 6728
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 3 Interrupt cycle time (s): 2.469032
CPU 3 ISR highest execution time (µs): 47.249439
CPU 3 ISR total execution time (s): 0.030678
CPU 3 ISR count: 3182
CPU 3 DPC highest execution time (µs): 110.165961
CPU 3 DPC total execution time (s): 0.053061
CPU 3 DPC count: 16192
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 4 Interrupt cycle time (s): 2.357016
CPU 4 ISR highest execution time (µs): 60.791677
CPU 4 ISR total execution time (s): 0.034964
CPU 4 ISR count: 3213
CPU 4 DPC highest execution time (µs): 109.556192
CPU 4 DPC total execution time (s): 0.064967
CPU 4 DPC count: 18677
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 5 Interrupt cycle time (s): 2.315916
CPU 5 ISR highest execution time (µs): 57.691752
CPU 5 ISR total execution time (s): 0.026248
CPU 5 ISR count: 2597
CPU 5 DPC highest execution time (µs): 101.230999
CPU 5 DPC total execution time (s): 0.039070
CPU 5 DPC count: 4925
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 6 Interrupt cycle time (s): 3.040111
CPU 6 ISR highest execution time (µs): 48.978071
CPU 6 ISR total execution time (s): 0.031924
CPU 6 ISR count: 3220
CPU 6 DPC highest execution time (µs): 84.538998
CPU 6 DPC total execution time (s): 0.068739
CPU 6 DPC count: 23696
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 7 Interrupt cycle time (s): 2.568662
CPU 7 ISR highest execution time (µs): 59.513830
CPU 7 ISR total execution time (s): 0.052649
CPU 7 ISR count: 4899
CPU 7 DPC highest execution time (µs): 124.825318
CPU 7 DPC total execution time (s): 0.082593
CPU 7 DPC count: 9789
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

[ Post last edited on 05/21/2014 at 05:41:47 ]

9
Hi Vrobic,

Do the dropouts improve if you increase your buffer length? Even if this is less than ideal from a latency point of view.

As per the suggestions of the latency test:

"At least one detected problem appears to be network related. In case you are using a WLAN adapter, try disabling it to get better results. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel"

We have often seen issues with network devices and other devices, including Graphics cards with out of date drivers, to cause latency issues. Please try disabling these within your device manager, checking to see if those peeks still appear. If not, gradually reintroduce your devices until the issue reappears.

Please do report back

Best regards
SImon // Focusrite Technical Support

10
No, the dropouts do not improve as I increase the buffer length. In fact if it is set too high the Windows sounds start to stutter.

I updated the LAN driver (don't have Wifi on this machine) and no longer get that warning in the latency checker about the network but still get the dropouts.

I also updated the motherboard's BIOS, disabled all CPU throttling in the BIOS and control panel. Power management is completely off. I updated my NVidia driver (graphics), and all my other chipset and motherboard device drivers to latest but no luck.

[ Post last edited on 05/22/2014 at 18:41:59 ]