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Focusrite 18i8 - Better connect the Helix via USB, or via the preamp guitar

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Hello

(Sorry for my English because I am French)

I have an 18i8 focusrite on an Imac logic x, and a xls1502 crown amp.
Better connect the Helix via USB, or via the preamp guitar inputs of the focusrite ?

 

How do you do ?

 

 

Thanks.

 

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I go thru the Focusrite. It's a better studio mixer, more inputs to my DAW. If you're concerned about the additional AD/DA conversions, you could use the S/PDIF. Unfortunately, I've found that using S/PDIF the audio randomly drops completely for several seconds at a time. I don't know if the problem is with the Helix or the Focusrite, but comparing recordings done both that way and thru the Focusrite analog inputs, I can't tell the difference (other than the random audio drops). If you're going thru the Focusrite analog inputs you don't need to use the instrument inputs, as the Helix is sending a line level signal. I split the guitar signal before the Helix input, sending the split to the guitar in on the Focusrite. That way I get the Helix effected signal thru XLR and a clean signal thru the guitar in for reamping, which is the main functionality that you lose by not going USB from the Helix.

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I go thru the Focusrite. It's a better studio mixer, more inputs to my DAW. If you're concerned about the additional AD/DA conversions, you could use the S/PDIF. Unfortunately, I've found that using S/PDIF the audio randomly drops completely for several seconds at a time. I don't know if the problem is with the Helix or the Focusrite, but comparing recordings done both that way and thru the Focusrite analog inputs, I can't tell the difference (other than the random audio drops). If you're going thru the Focusrite analog inputs you don't need to use the instrument inputs, as the Helix is sending a line level signal. I split the guitar signal before the Helix input, sending the split to the guitar in on the Focusrite. That way I get the Helix effected signal thru XLR and a clean signal thru the guitar in for reamping, which is the main functionality that you lose by not going USB from the Helix.

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Hi rd2rk:

 

How do you do to split the guitar signal before the Helix Input?

 

I have a Scarlett 18i8 as well, and I've been struggling to maintain it with the Helix, but as you say, as soon as you chose Asio Helix you lose the chance to use the Scarlett Asio Drivers and hence the Scarlett Mix Control, which is great for having set up separate mixes while recording.

 

I've simplified my equipment and left apart Scarlett which is simpler, though I've lost some possibilities.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I am also using an 18i8 with Helix and using spdif without dropping any audio from the Helix. Just throwing it out there that it can work with that hardware.

 

Are you guys running a gen 1 or gen 2 Scarlett? Mine is a gen 1. I bought a gen 2 18i20 and had problems with it and my original studio PC, but not related to Helix.  The weird trick I found with that machine was turning off wifi and then the drop outs I was having with the interface became very infrequent. I then upgraded too a newer laptop and the problems went away period. 

 

I ended up realizing that I did not need all that IO and went back to my first gen 18i8 with the newer machine and have been using spdif since without any drops. 

 

The problem with Spdif is only two channels out, so you still need to split the incoming signal, either with an AB/Y box before the Helix into a focusrite preamp or in the box in the Helix loosing a wet stereo out option, if you want a dry signal to reamp later.

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Hi rd2rk:

 

How do you do to split the guitar signal before the Helix Input?

 

I have a Scarlett 18i8 as well, and I've been struggling to maintain it with the Helix, but as you say, as soon as you chose Asio Helix you lose the chance to use the Scarlett Asio Drivers and hence the Scarlett Mix Control, which is great for having set up separate mixes while recording.

 

I've simplified my equipment and left apart Scarlett which is simpler, though I've lost some possibilities.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Simple ABY box.

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I am also using an 18i8 with Helix and using spdif without dropping any audio from the Helix. Just throwing it out there that it can work with that hardware.

 

Are you guys running a gen 1 or gen 2 Scarlett? Mine is a gen 1. I bought a gen 2 18i20 and had problems with it and my original studio PC, but not related to Helix.  The weird trick I found with that machine was turning off wifi and then the drop outs I was having with the interface became very infrequent. I then upgraded too a newer laptop and the problems went away period. 

 

I ended up realizing that I did not need all that IO and went back to my first gen 18i8 with the newer machine and have been using spdif since without any drops. 

 

The problem with Spdif is only two channels out, so you still need to split the incoming signal, either with an AB/Y box before the Helix into a focusrite preamp or in the box in the Helix loosing a wet stereo out option, if you want a dry signal to reamp later.

 

I'm using gen2, with a recent (gen6?) i7 laptop, and even with every optimization, the drops persist. Most annoying is, I'll be rocking along for an hour, thinking "Ah, I finally got it!" and it'll drop out again! GRRR!!! 

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I'm using gen2, with a recent (gen6?) i7 laptop, and even with every optimization, the drops persist. Most annoying is, I'll be rocking along for an hour, thinking "Ah, I finally got it!" and it'll drop out again! GRRR!!! 

 

Have you tried turning off wifi on the machine? Sounds weird and may not work for you, but it did for me. 

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Have you tried turning off wifi on the machine? Sounds weird and may not work for you, but it did for me. 

 

Turning off wifi was one of the first optimizations I did, along with making sure that sleep mode is turned off everyplace it raises it's ugly head!

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Turning off wifi was one of the first optimizations I did, along with making sure that sleep mode is turned off everyplace it raises it's ugly head!

 

Man, sorry it is not working for you. :( I see lots of people with problems with SPDIF dropping, guess I got lucky. 

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