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USB Noise?

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Hi folks.


Firstly the setup...


Roli Keyboard, usb to mac for control.  And Stereo out to Helix Return 3 and 4.

HX USB to Mac.  (Although at the moment I'm listening directly to the HX on the Headphone socket)

Patch set to input from Return 3 and 4, sending to USB.  (And have tried Multi)


All nice and quiet, I can play and record, all good.  However, my wireless keyboard ran out of power earlier so I plugged it into another usb port on the mac and started getting loads of digital sounding crackly noise.  Just testing I plugged in the track pad and got more noise.


How and why the hell is the HX or the Keyboard picking up digital noise from my keyboard and track pad?  It's like the bad old days when on board pc sound picked up noise from your graphics card!


I have not had this problem at all before putting the HX in the loop, so is the noise coming from the very good quality balanced cables from the keyboard to the HX?  It really is most bizarre, I wouldn't have expected any noise at all with this setup.


Any ideas?



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It was working with Helix. You changed the USB port that the Roli is connected to. That's when the problem started? Change it back!

Maybe your Mac doesn't have enough power to power the Roli? This from the Roli Seaboard manual:


"You should charge your Seaboard Block as the first step before proceeding. When connected to a suitable power source, the Seaboard Block can charge additional Blocks that are connected to its DNA connectors. Plug the included USB-C cable into the Seaboard Block and plug the other end of the cable into a USB 3 charger or a computer with a USB 3 port. First connect the Seaboard Block to a USB 3 power source (like an iPad charger or Macbook USB 3 port) with the included USB-C cable. Connect the Control Block to the Lightpad or Seaboard Block via DNA connectors to begin charging it. For fastest charging times, turn the Blocks off during charging. The Seaboard Block requires 5 watts of power to run and charge the battery efficiently. Adding more Blocks via the DNA connectors will increase the demand for power, so we recommend using a higher output charger such as an iPad charger (10–12 watts) or a higher output USB 3 charger. Please note that when charging via a computer that you must use the ROLIsupplied USB cable to connect to the host computer. When using a laptop computer please make sure that it is plugged into a wall outlet and has its sleep feature disabled. Note: Please do not use an iPhone charger to charge BLOCKS, as it is not a compatible charger.":


The "very good quality balanced cables" aren't helping, as the Helix SEND/RETURN jacks aren't balance. The pictures I can find of your device don''t show audio outs, except maybe headphones?


So, you're sending MIDI to the Mac via USB, some software (in a DAW?) is converting it to audio and sending it wirelessly (bluetooth?) back to the Roli, which is sending audio from a headphone jack to the returns on the Helix, which is then sending processed signal via USB back to your Mac/DAW for recording? Maybe a better explanation of the signal chain would help?


I could be missing something here, but "crackling" is usually a problem with buffers and latency (lots of places that could become an issue in this setup), and the potential for a problem with power seems high. I'd start there looking for a solution. Maybe call Roli support?

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