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Diana Chahine

Errors, errors, and more errors...

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29 minutes ago, John Vere said:

image.png.fc84db114de41b1928792dc28c82038c.png.c52e5d0fed7cb6ecf9e06a8257ac2284.png

This might explain the bad sound of the downloaded music track. I would assume it is a stereo track like shown in my video. This interleave would be stereo not mono. If it is a mono track then it might not be very good choice for a backing track. 

I did watch your video, thanks for doing that! That is how it's all set up though... 

But in terms of the Stereo vs. Mono: The imported track IS stereo, but for some reason only plays with good quality when put into Interleave Mono. When it's in Stereo it becomes metallic-y and echo-y. I've tried many tracks (which I know for a fact ARE stereo tracks), but it only plays back right when put into Interleave Mono.

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OK so the track seems to have an issue but only in this project. Possibly something went wrong with import.

Possible solution:

Insert a new audio track. Hit W to re set to start of project. 

Open the browser on the right and using the Media tab browse to where the original version of  track 2 music is stored. 

Now drag and drop that to the new audio track and it will create a stereo file etc. 

Line up the start with track 2. Mute track 2 and see what this one sounds like. 

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Like I said, with every track I import, the echo is there, unless I change the Interleave to Mono. All of these tracks are actually in Stereo, but even when I've opened new projects, with an empty template, basic template etc. the sound doesn't change unless I change it on the Console view to Interleave: Mono.

In regards to the USB/Direct knob: Even while I'm recording it still only acts as a volume knob. I've even set my gain at 9/10 giving my mic a greater input but that hasn't changed anything either.

 

 

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I'm sorry but I'm at a loss. 

I can only think 

1- Your interface is defective if you say you can't hear your mike when you turn the blend control to direct. 

You normally would be overloaded the input  when you turn a gain control up that hi. A Phantom powered condenser mike. Possibly your interface is bus powered and the mike is starved for juice? 

2- Try re installing the drivers for the interface. 

3- Try re installing CbB 

4- If you bought the interface from a store that you can return it to exchange it for a interface that has a power supply. Tell them it's not working properly. The distortion could also be related to the interface. Example I had to purchase a USB 3 PCI card for my bus powered Motu M4 to resolve garbled playback issues. It wasn't getting enough juice. Its fine now. You solution would have to be a powered USB hub. A good one. 

Edited by John Vere

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11 hours ago, John Vere said:

I'm sorry but I'm at a loss. 

I can only think 

1- Your interface is defective if you say you can't hear your mike when you turn the blend control to direct. 

You normally would be overloaded the input  when you turn a gain control up that hi. A Phantom powered condenser mike. Possibly your interface is bus powered and the mike is starved for juice? 

2- Try re installing the drivers for the interface. 

3- Try re installing CbB 

4- If you bought the interface from a store that you can return it to exchange it for a interface that has a power supply. Tell them it's not working properly. The distortion could also be related to the interface. Example I had to purchase a USB 3 PCI card for my bus powered Motu M4 to resolve garbled playback issues. It wasn't getting enough juice. Its fine now. You solution would have to be a powered USB hub. A good one. 

Yea, I have no idea what's going on! Thank you for trying though! I bought the interface online, but I think I can return it. I've tried contacting M-Audio's customer service, but so far no response from them, although I did just find out that there's an M-Audio forum, so I'll try there as a last resort.

I've seen that the reviews for the Focusrite interfaces are much better, would that be something that works better for me, you think? There' doesn't seem to be any driver incompatibilities etc...

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Yes I highly recommend Focusrite But that said the comparable model would be the 4i4. It is also only bus powered.  You would need the 8i6. So the price point takes a jump. That’s the model I want if I give up on the Motu. My other pick is the Tascam 4x4 because it has a power supply. 
you sort of have to make a wish list and go on a site like Sweetwater and look at features vs price.

my list is 

2 mike inputs 

2 or 4 line inputs 

4 outputs 

2 headphones (optional) 

good front panel controls 

midi ports

power supply 

Also some interfaces like Focusrite come with a lot of free stuff. I got nothing with the Motu. But say you pay $50 more for a Focusrite but you get that back in fee stuff 4x
 

Edited by John Vere

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On 1/17/2021 at 9:00 AM, John Vere said:

Yes I highly recommend Focusrite But that said the comparable model would be the 4i4. It is also only bus powered.  You would need the 8i6. So the price point takes a jump. That’s the model I want if I give up on the Motu. My other pick is the Tascam 4x4 because it has a power supply. 
you sort of have to make a wish list and go on a site like Sweetwater and look at features vs price.

my list is 

2 mike inputs 

2 or 4 line inputs 

4 outputs 

2 headphones (optional) 

good front panel controls 

midi ports

power supply 

Also some interfaces like Focusrite come with a lot of free stuff. I got nothing with the Motu. But say you pay $50 more for a Focusrite but you get that back in fee stuff 4x
 

Wouldn't the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 be comparable to what I have since it has 2 inputs...?

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Sort of but as I said, if your mike needs phantom power.  You need more juice which requires an interface with a power supply. The first model in the Scarlett range that comes with a power supply is the 8i6. it's price is $449 which is probably out of the range you wanted to spend. 

Tascams 4x4 is a good choice @ $249 Can.  It has a lot more features than the rest as far as I can tell. Including a power supply and midi. It looks dead simple to operate as I see lots of controls right on the front panel. It's front panel is clearly marked as to what things do as well. I have a few Tascam products and they are solid and well built. My us1641 interface has got to be over 10 years old and still works great.  It's funny as I was looking for prices Amazon is way higher than retail music stores. I don't know what country your in but make sure to compare prices and shipping. Sweetwater seems good if your in the US. We can't buy from the US right now.  

 

us-2x2_p_back.jpg

us-2x2_p_front.jpg

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Just a thought but with your microphone and headphones plugged into the interface and the direct/usb knob turned fully to direct do you hear your microphone without running cakewalk?

Most interfaces should have audio output going from the input to direct without running any software. It may perhaps only be heard in one side as sometimes input 1 goes to left and input 2 goes to right and so on. If you can hear something then chances are your direct/usb mix is working correctly as direct just gives you the signal from the input of the interface and usb will give you anything coming from your software which will be just the output or a mix of the input (possibly slightly delayed) if the input echo switch is on + the output of any other tracks.

The input (mic) track probably should be set to mono, the imported audio track set to stereo

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8 hours ago, Hatstand said:

Just a thought but with your microphone and headphones plugged into the interface and the direct/usb knob turned fully to direct do you hear your microphone without running cakewalk?

Yes, I can hear the mic without cakewalk. Interesting!! But, I never had a problem with recording input. Just the output sounds bad, and the USB/Direct knob wasn't blending...?

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1 hour ago, Diana Chahine said:

Yes, I can hear the mic without cakewalk. Interesting!! But, I never had a problem with recording input. Just the output sounds bad, and the USB/Direct knob wasn't blending...?

And I repeat- The blend knob has nothing to do with playback mixing of tracks. It is the output from the computer blended with your LIVE input.   the track balance is adjusted with track faders.  You originally led me to believe you couldn't hear your mike in the headphones saying the control turned everything up or down.  

The questions I have for you, and it's important because your interface is probably not defective

1. You  set the blend knob to the middle.  You set the headphone level at about 1 o clock and the main output volume around 10 o clock. 

2.  When you play a track from Cakewalk you can hear the playback of the track in your headphones and/or monitors.

3. You plug your mike into input 1 and set the gain up until the level is just below cliping and you can also hear that in your headphones.  

4. You can adjust the balance between your mike and playback by moving the blend control left or right. 

If this is all working then there is nothing wrong with your mike or interface. 

If you could post a sample of these wave files your using as backing tracks that might help trouble shoot. Use the insert other media or post a link to the web site you downloaded from. 

Edited by John Vere

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1 hour ago, John Vere said:

And I repeat- The blend knob has nothing to do with playback mixing of tracks. It is the output from the computer blended with your LIVE input.   the track balance is adjusted with track faders.  You originally led me to believe you couldn't hear your mike in the headphones saying the control turned everything up or down.  

The questions I have for you, and it's important because your interface is probably not defective

1. You  set the blend knob to the middle.  You set the headphone level at about 1 o clock and the main output volume around 10 o clock. 

2.  When you play a track from Cakewalk you can hear the playback of the track in your headphones and/or monitors.

3. You plug your mike into input 1 and set the gain up until the level is just below cliping and you can also hear that in your headphones.  

4. You can adjust the balance between your mike and playback by moving the blend control left or right. 

If this is all working then there is nothing wrong with your mike or interface. 

If you could post a sample of these wave files your using as backing tracks that might help trouble shoot. Use the insert other media or post a link to the web site you downloaded from. 

And as I have mentioned a few times as well, even during a LIVE input through the audio interface, turning the blend track does NOT blend the live mic input with the audio output. Turning the blend knob to the right or left only increases the volume of both tracks or decreases the volume of both tracks. 

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Hi Diana, so it looks like you have established that the direct works but if I understand you correctly you are saying that even if you have nothing plugged into an input, when you play back from Cakewalk the sounds still come through your headphones even if you have the knob turned fully to direct?

In regards to your stereo audio track sounding better in mono have a look at what is going through the hardware outputs on cakewalk. You can see this from the console view and selecting to show hardware output strips as per the screenshot below;

.master.jpg.7bb7df1f1b1e310fec8ed06ae8a6fca9.jpg;

You should see signal going through both channels of your hardware output(the red faders). If so then try pulling the fader down on the left then the right channel to check if both channels are getting through to your audio interface. If not (or the left and right both work but sound completely different) that could be your issue.

Edited by Hatstand
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14 hours ago, Hatstand said:

Hi Diana, so it looks like you have established that the direct works but if I understand you correctly you are saying that even if you have nothing plugged into an input, when you play back from Cakewalk the sounds still come through your headphones even if you have the knob turned fully to direct?

In regards to your stereo audio track sounding better in mono have a look at what is going through the hardware outputs on cakewalk. You can see this from the console view and selecting to show hardware output strips as per the screenshot below;

.master.jpg.7bb7df1f1b1e310fec8ed06ae8a6fca9.jpg;

You should see signal going through both channels of your hardware output(the red faders). If so then try pulling the fader down on the left then the right channel to check if both channels are getting through to your audio interface. If not (or the left and right both work but sound completely different) that could be your issue.

You are a GENIUS!! Turns out if I mute either the left fader or the right fader then it sounds perfectly fine!! THANK YOU!!

I'll try to explain as best I can what's going on with the Direct/USB Knob:

 - Outside of Cakewalk, I do hear the mic when the knob is turned towards Direct, however the loudest volume of the mic isn't when the knob is all the way to the Direct end - but about 80% there.

 - Within Cakewalk, (and when I'm live recording while listening to a track output), both tracks will increase in volume when turned to the Direct end. But, as I mentioned above, the loudest sound happens when the knob is turned about 80% to the Direct end. There's no sound AT ALL  when the knob is actually turned all the way to the Direct end). When turning the knob toward the USB end, both tracks decrease in volume, and I can't hear either the mic or the track.

So, in short, the blend knob doesn't actually increase/decrease each track independently, but rather increases both or decreases both.

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I have not followed this whole thread but your symptoms sound like you are getting phase cancellation in the  signal path somewhere by doubling your input. You should not use direct monitoring and input monitoring though the DAW at the same time or you are doubling  and causing potential phase issues. You may get better help if you post the project you are having trouble with to allow others to look at three rooting.

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17 hours ago, Diana Chahine said:

You are a GENIUS!! Turns out if I mute either the left fader or the right fader then it sounds perfectly fine!! THANK YOU!!

This is not the solution at all. You definitely need both outputs. That's not what @Hatstand was getting at. It was a test to see what happens. 
 

Have you followed any of the tutorials?  I think as Noel is saying you have set up a seriously wrong signal path from end to end. Try the videos from Creative Sauce. He’s excellent and easy to follow. 

Edited by John Vere

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Hi Diana, as Noel and John have pointed out, turning off one of the hardware outputs isn't a solution but does provide more information.

As far as the direct\usb knob is concerned it is strange that the volume decreases between 80% direct and 100% direct when there is no software involved as this should only be affecting the mic input volume. There can always be the possibility of volume changes when the software is involved as this depends on the output volume of the software. Even without using Cakewalk if you listen to a youtube video with the Windows speaker output set to your audio interface output at 100% and the knob turned all the way to usb, you should hear the video sound and moving the knob towards direct will decrease the video sound down to zero at 100% direct but you would still hear the mic input.

As Noel says there could be an issue with your backing track. One way to check would be to have two copies of the stereo track on separate tracks, then pan one hard left and the other hard right, both sending their outputs to the master then click the phase button on one track and see if it makes it better or worse. The phase button is a circle with a line through it.

As Noel said it may help to attach a copy of the project file to a post. There are instructions in the manual of how to save and find a project file. As John mentioned there are loads of youtube tutorials available. There are links on the forum area for tutorials.

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I noticed one thing.  You said only mono sounds good.  I saw that you have your master set mono.  It should never be mono.  Try all three - both channels and the master to stereo.  Also  you must have input monitoring turned on to cause the echo.

 

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On 1/21/2021 at 11:50 AM, Hatstand said:

Hi Diana, as Noel and John have pointed out, turning off one of the hardware outputs isn't a solution but does provide more information.

As far as the direct\usb knob is concerned it is strange that the volume decreases between 80% direct and 100% direct when there is no software involved as this should only be affecting the mic input volume. There can always be the possibility of volume changes when the software is involved as this depends on the output volume of the software. Even without using Cakewalk if you listen to a youtube video with the Windows speaker output set to your audio interface output at 100% and the knob turned all the way to usb, you should hear the video sound and moving the knob towards direct will decrease the video sound down to zero at 100% direct but you would still hear the mic input.

As Noel says there could be an issue with your backing track. One way to check would be to have two copies of the stereo track on separate tracks, then pan one hard left and the other hard right, both sending their outputs to the master then click the phase button on one track and see if it makes it better or worse. The phase button is a circle with a line through it.

As Noel said it may help to attach a copy of the project file to a post. There are instructions in the manual of how to save and find a project file. As John mentioned there are loads of youtube tutorials available. There are links on the forum area for tutorials.

I did try listening to a youtube video through the AI as the output, and the sound came out very garbled for some reason. As if someone was running water over the audio... Does that mean there's a potential problem with the interface itself??

 

Just as an update...

 - I've factory reset my laptop

 - I've re-downloaded Cakewalk and the ASIO driver for my AI

 - I've watched the Creative Sauce videos on how to set up Cakewalk and the AI.

 

And I'm still having the same problems. The audio track that was inputted sounds echo-y unless either the left fader or the right fader it muted on the hardware console, and the USB/Direct knob still isn't working correctly.

I've also encountered a new problem... if I have one track and record on that, I can hear my voice on playback, but as soon as I add in another track (without changing anything else) and record, I can't hear my voice on playback anymore, just static.

 

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