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Old 02-23-2024, 09:26 PM
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Default Focusrite Solo Gen 4 issue

I made the decision to start recording myself for educational purposes. Never done anything like this before. After doing some research here's what I came up with;

Focusrite Scarlett Solo gen4
1/4" TRS cables
PreSonus Eris E5 monitor speakers
Shure SM58 mic
And my trusty MacBook Air

I can get good recording of my playing with that set up and everything seems to work. EXCEPT output to the speakers. In the system setting sound section, clicking on the output botton gives me a menu containing 1)The built in speakers, and 2) the Focusrite. No matter which I select I get the same result no sound at the speakers. I also made sure the "direct" button was lit up green, but green or white, still no joy. I've switched out USB and TRS cables, changed USB ports on the Mac, all to no avail.

Can any one help me with this? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2024, 11:31 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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Not a Mac user, but what DAW are you using? Garageband? You need to be sure your input & output settings are correct in your DAW as well as for the computer settings itself.
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Old 02-24-2024, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post
Not a Mac user, but what DAW are you using? Garageband? You need to be sure your input & output settings are correct in your DAW as well as for the computer settings itself.
I can use either Garageband or Audacity. I do have both configured to use the Solo for output. Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2024, 03:29 PM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Ok so starting from scratch
First unclear what you mean by
Quote:
I can get good recording of my playing with that set up and everything seems to work
How do you know you are getting a "good recording" if you can't hear it in your monitor speakers ? Perhaps some more detail about that would help

That said

Assuming you have everything connected properly
#1 the L and R 1/4 outs from Focusrite going to the Presonus E 5 L and R In jacks --the speaker wire from the main E 5 speaker to the secondary E 5 speaker
And the USB from Focusrite to Mac Air

Then in Mac OS you have to choose
#1 Mac System Sound and for both input and output you need to choose Focusrite
#2 In Mac OS applications you need to got Utilities > Audio Midi Set Up and also choose Focusrite for input and output

Then is either GB or Audicity you have to choose the Focusrite for the Audio playback device

For GB.
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Last edited by KevWind; 02-24-2024 at 03:36 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2024, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Ok so starting from scratch
First unclear what you mean by
How do you know you are getting a "good recording" if you can't hear it in your monitor speakers ? Perhaps some more detail about that would help

That said

Assuming you have everything connected properly
#1 the L and R 1/4 outs from Focusrite going to the Presonus E 5 L and R In jacks --the speaker wire from the main E 5 speaker to the secondary E 5 speaker
And the USB from Focusrite to Mac Air

Then in Mac OS you have to choose
#1 Mac System Sound and for both input and output you need to choose Focusrite
#2 In Mac OS applications you need to got Utilities > Audio Midi Set Up and also choose Focusrite for input and output

Then is either GB or Audicity you have to choose the Focusrite for the Audio playback device

For GB.
With regard your first question; I can see the incoming signal from the mic while recording. If I then "share" the recording as an MP3, it can be played back as usual through the Mac's onboard speakers. It's "good" enough to prove the input side of the Solo is working as expected.

I have the PreSonus speakers connected as you describe. However, there is no wire/cable going from one speaker to the other. Of course the Solo is connected to the Mac via USB. It needs that connection in order to power up.

I have the system input and output set to the Focusrite as are input and output for whichever DAW I'm using.

The speakers do respond as excepted to other audio sources so I know they're and their cables OK. What I suspect is I've somehow got the setting on the Focusrite set properly. My mic's do need the 47v "phantom power" on, but I'm not clear about how the "Air" and "Direct" buttons should be set. There aren't too many permutations of those settings, and I've tried them all, I think. Is there some specific combination needed?
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Old 02-24-2024, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcrow View Post
I have the PreSonus speakers connected as you describe. However, there is no wire/cable going from one speaker to the other.
The Solo has separate L/R quarter-inch outs. You are using two 1/4" TRS cables to go from the Solo to the speakers? Both require the balanced TRS cables.

Quote:
but I'm not clear about how the "Air" and "Direct" buttons should be set. There aren't too many permutations of those settings, and I've tried them all, I think. Is there some specific combination needed?
The "Air" button is basically an EQ with a bit of mid-upper boost, so that's not an issue. "Direct" will route the input audio directly to the speakers/headphones so you can monitor your playback with zero latency (no delay between what you hear back and what you are playing), rather than making a round-trip to your DAW and back again first. But you should still hear your playback regardless of whether Direct is pressed; it only affects how you hear the input back.

Sounds to me like it is a Mac configuration issue, which I don't know much about.

An outside possibility is a defective Solo with non-functioning outputs. Have you tried sending the Solo outputs to other speakers? You can get away with using regular mono TS 1/4" cables to test with.
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Old 02-24-2024, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcrow View Post
With regard your first question; I can see the incoming signal from the mic while recording. If I then "share" the recording as an MP3, it can be played back as usual through the Mac's onboard speakers. It's "good" enough to prove the input side of the Solo is working as expected.

I have the PreSonus speakers connected as you describe. However, there is no wire/cable going from one speaker to the other. Of course the Solo is connected to the Mac via USB. It needs that connection in order to power up.

I have the system input and output set to the Focusrite as are input and output for whichever DAW I'm using.

The speakers do respond as excepted to other audio sources so I know they're and their cables OK. What I suspect is I've somehow got the setting on the Focusrite set properly. My mic's do need the 47v "phantom power" on, but I'm not clear about how the "Air" and "Direct" buttons should be set. There aren't too many permutations of those settings, and I've tried them all, I think. Is there some specific combination needed?
Your first post states you are using SM58 mics. SM58s are dynamic mics and do not use phantom power, so you can leave that off.
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Old 02-25-2024, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcrow View Post
With regard your first question; I can see the incoming signal from the mic while recording. If I then "share" the recording as an MP3, it can be played back as usual through the Mac's onboard speakers. It's "good" enough to prove the input side of the Solo is working as expected.

I have the PreSonus speakers connected as you describe. However, there is no wire/cable going from one speaker to the other. Of course the Solo is connected to the Mac via USB. It needs that connection in order to power up.

I have the system input and output set to the Focusrite as are input and output for whichever DAW I'm using.

The speakers do respond as excepted to other audio sources so I know they're and their cables OK. What I suspect is I've somehow got the setting on the Focusrite set properly. My mic's do need the 47v "phantom power" on, but I'm not clear about how the "Air" and "Direct" buttons should be set. There aren't too many permutations of those settings, and I've tried them all, I think. Is there some specific combination needed?
OK
So full disclosure the good news I do have 21 years experience in DAW recording on a Mac --The bad news is I do not use a Focusrite and do not use either Garage Band or Audacity.... so just best guessing on those.

So backing up given the info you have given so far (and understand consistency and eliminating variables is the key to efficient diagnosis)
So First I would suggest stop switching between GB and Audacity the problem does not appear to be based in which DAW you use.

The problem is likely more based in Inputs and Outputs selections and or device selections, and or routing

(NOTE) my bad on the speaker connections I had googled and clicked on a Sweetwater E5 link but it took me to the E5-BT speakers page (with an interconnect wire ) not the regular E5 speakers

BTW which OS version are you on?

So starting over
#A you say system input and output set to the Focusrite (which is a bit vague)
Once agin there are two different settings on Mac OS and you have to select in both --- so total of 4 selections both Input and Output in two different windows System Sound and Audio Midi



In my Ventura 13.2.1 they are located ---- System Settings > Sound > Output and Input

And in Applications > Utilities > Audio Midi Setup > Audio Device > Input and Output

Next you say you can see input signal (I assume you mean in the DAW) and since you say you can "share" so I also assume Garage Band ?

So if you are getting signal into your (I assume) say a mic input track
then
#1 when you record is it writing a wave form to the track ?
# 2 can you see any signal going to the Master Track ? (which in Most DAWs is the main outputs track)
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System :
Studio system Avid Carbon interface , PT Ultimate 2023.12 -Mid 2020 iMac 27" 3.8GHz 8-core i7 10th Gen ,, Ventura 13.2.1

Mobile MBP M1 Pro , PT Ultimate 2023.12 Sonoma 14.4
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2024, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Your first post states you are using SM58 mics. SM58s are dynamic mics and do not use phantom power, so you can leave that off.
The mic is fitted with a fethead to boost its signal. That requires the phantom powef
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Old 02-25-2024, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
OK
So full disclosure the good news I do have 21 years experience in DAW recording on a Mac --The bad news is I do not use a Focusrite and do not use either Garage Band or Audacity.... so just best guessing on those.

So backing up given the info you have given so far (and understand consistency and eliminating variables is the key to efficient diagnosis)
So First I would suggest stop switching between GB and Audacity the problem does not appear to be based in which DAW you use.

The problem is likely more based in Inputs and Outputs selections and or device selections, and or routing

(NOTE) my bad on the speaker connections I had googled and clicked on a Sweetwater E5 link but it took me to the E5-BT speakers page (with an interconnect wire ) not the regular E5 speakers

BTW which OS version are you on?

So starting over
#A you say system input and output set to the Focusrite (which is a bit vague)
Once agin there are two different settings on Mac OS and you have to select in both --- so total of 4 selections both Input and Output in two different windows System Sound and Audio Midi

In my Ventura 13.2.1 they are located ---- System Settings > Sound > Output and Input

And in Applications > Utilities > Audio Midi Setup > Audio Device > Input and Output

Next you say you can see input signal (I assume you mean in the DAW) and since you say you can "share" so I also assume Garage Band ?

So if you are getting signal into your (I assume) say a mic input track
then
#1 when you record is it writing a wave form to the track ?
# 2 can you see any signal going to the Master Track ? (which in Most DAWs is the main outputs track)
Thanks so much for your input. I'm running Sonoma Version 14.2.1. In Applications-->Utilities-->Audio Midi Setup-->Audio Devices, I have input and output set to Focusrite Solo. Same in System Settings-->Sound.

I had it all (input from the mic, output to the speakers) working properly last night before going to bed. This morning, I connect the Solo, power up the Mac, and bring up GB and nothing, neither input or output, works. Haven't touched a thing since last night. zGiven the intermittent nature of this problem, I'm inclined to think it's hardware related.

I respect your knowledge in this area, but when it comes to computer devices, I'm no babe in the woods, having worked for 17 years as a systems engineer at NASA Ames Research Center. I'm no stranger to network aware storage or virtual devices or farming out acres of servers over fiber. This sort of thing SHOULD be plug and play. It should not be necessary to set input and output separately in 2 different levels. Frankly, I'm about ready to pack up the whole works and send it back. After all, I play an ACOUSTIC guitar that work just fine, thank you, without maiming or molesting a single electron.
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Old 02-25-2024, 01:52 PM
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Well, maybe I'm not defeated yet. Here's what I discovered. All system and audio settings as previously reported. In GB in the panel under the tracking panel that has Track, Master, Compare, and Control buttons at it's top, If the "Track" button is highlighted, I'm presented with a "Recording Settings" panel offering a number of parameters. There's on button labeled "Input". If I click on the field next to it, I get a drop down set of options labeled No Input, and 4 other options all labeled "Scarlet Gen 4" and numbered 1-4. If I select the one labeled "2". everything works fine, mic input and output to the monitoring speakers. If I select any other numbered option, noting works at all, input or output.

OK,so that works. My question now is why 4 apparently different "Scarlet Solo Gen4" alternatives and why does #2 work when everything else doesn't. And why is this make or break setting buried 3 layers deep in the interface. There is no documentation of this "feature" in any of the GarageBand manuals I can find. In a nutshell, WTF.

Last edited by redcrow; 02-25-2024 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 02-25-2024, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcrow View Post
I respect your knowledge in this area, but when it comes to computer devices, I'm no babe in the woods, having worked for 17 years as a systems engineer at NASA Ames Research Center. I'm no stranger to network aware storage or virtual devices or farming out acres of servers over fiber.
To be fair, we couldn't tell that from your original post--there are a lot of noobs here both to recording and the required computer knowledge. It's difficult to know where to start helping without knowing where a poster is coming from, so I think most of us err on the side of not assuming anything.

That said, input & output routing actually does happen to be one of the trickier things about digital recording, especially since it varies based on OS and DAW. While I have no idea why Garageband thinks there are multiple Scarletts, it's great that you figured it out. Maybe there are some others here who are GB users who can shed more light on the mystery.
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Old 02-26-2024, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcrow View Post
Well, maybe I'm not defeated yet. Here's what I discovered. All system and audio settings as previously reported. In GB in the panel under the tracking panel that has Track, Master, Compare, and Control buttons at it's top, If the "Track" button is highlighted, I'm presented with a "Recording Settings" panel offering a number of parameters. There's on button labeled "Input". If I click on the field next to it, I get a drop down set of options labeled No Input, and 4 other options all labeled "Scarlet Gen 4" and numbered 1-4. If I select the one labeled "2". everything works fine, mic input and output to the monitoring speakers. If I select any other numbered option, noting works at all, input or output.

OK,so that works. My question now is why 4 apparently different "Scarlet Solo Gen4" alternatives and why does #2 work when everything else doesn't. And why is this make or break setting buried 3 layers deep in the interface. There is no documentation of this "feature" in any of the GarageBand manuals I can find. In a nutshell, WTF.
First incase you have not already gotten a welcome
Welcome to this record forum and the world of home recording.
Good you got it working ,, and it appears if was a routing selection issue (see below)

Second please take no offense at the very basic questions being asked because as Chipotle noted we have no way (other then the specific words and the amount of detail that you include in your posts ) of knowing what you know and especially what you know and are talking about but have not actually stated.

OK so with that aside I think I can answer some of your questions (understanding I don't have a Scarlet and don't use GB) so just guessing ( but I did take a quick look at the 4th Gen Solo Manual) ..

As far as the "tracking" panel and then Track and then Input, and there being 4 numbers Apparently there is 4 possible input options ? and those numbers represent the specific input channel numbers and can be assigned to specific tracks But you have to tell GB which input channel you want the specific track to use (again just guessing but that it how it works in most DAWs )

And since the physical XLR mic input is channel #2 on the Solo that is why only the #2 selection works in GB because that is the input channel number that is getting the mic signal .

However if say you connect a mic via XLR and your guitar (via a pickup and 1/4 jack ) then I think (unless I am way off) you would then select #2 for mic track and #1 for guitar track and presumably select "instrument" on the front button ( to match the input impedance for the Guitar output )


As far as the documentation issue it is common problem for all DAWs -----the engineers writing the manuals already know everything about the platform
Always been my contention the user guides should be proof read by someone who has no clue about the software or how to use it and then rewritten accordingly

In any case just know DAW recording is big learning curve for everyone (regardless of audio or computer experience ) BUT will get more familiar and even routine in time .

In the future you might consider using screen shots. (because a picture is worth a thousand words)
For example here is a screen shot my I/O Setup (Inputs and Outputs) and the track input selections from the last recording session in Pro Tools.
Now although the GUI is very different, but the concept is the same (assign different input channels to different tracks )


You can see in the Input tab section my Inputs 1 -2. are renamed N22 L (red arrow) and N22 R (yellow arrow) respectively -- for the left and right mic's being used

In the tracks I/O button you see I selected N22 L (input) for one mic track and N22 R for the other

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System :
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Last edited by KevWind; 02-26-2024 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 02-26-2024, 07:24 PM
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Kev,

Thanks for your very insightful reply. Things are starting to make more sense to me. The Scarlest Solo does indeed have 2 inputs, one apparently devoted to the instrument and the other for the mic input. So I understand now why GB's default setting of #1 track input didn't work and #2 which is physically connected to the mic does.

Upon further calmer and less frustrated investigation, there is indeed coverage of track inputs. It's obtuse and awkwardly written but it's there. Sorry for my minor tantrum over the documentation, but I was at my wits end at the time I wrote it. While I was working at Ames, interface documentation was the responsibility of our beta testers. Developers writing their own manuals was vigorously discouraged.

Fortunately, I've got things pretty well sorted at this point. Enough so that I was able to produce a reasonable recording of today's practice session and send it off to my instructor for evaluation.

In closing I'd like to thank everyone that tried to help. Screen shots certainly would have made the process of trouble shooting easier. Lesson learned. My tenure here is short, but everyone on this site has been friendly and extremely helpful.
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Old 02-26-2024, 07:41 PM
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After all, I play an ACOUSTIC guitar that work just fine, thank you, without maiming or molesting a single electron.
Nominated for AGF quote of the year!!!
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