Computer Recommendations for Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 user

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by matthewbrown, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. I am doing some basic recording and mixing and I'm having problems with my current laptop when I use my brand-new Scarlett 2i2 interface. I was using Audacity, but it doesn't play well with the Focusrite interface. So I downloaded Mixpad and tried that: same problem. It won't play a Focusrite YouTube video back without all kinds of problems, and I'm trying to figure out why.

    My current laptop is a Windows 10 machine, with 64 bit, 4.0 GB RAM, i5 5200 CPU @ 2.2 GHz. I think it would be wise to upgrade, so I'm looking for specific recommendations. I am simply mixing vocals with backing tracks at this stage, but I hope to do some multi-track work later on with my instruments.
     
  2. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Your laptop should be fine, basic recording and mixing is not that demanding on a PC.

    Are you new at this? You probably need to configure the correct audio drivers, which should be ASIO and not the other flavors (which I think are MME, and Windows DirectSound). Audacity doesn't support ASIO drivers, Mixpad does. Instructions for setting up MixPad to use ASIO drivers is here: Choosing Your Audio Settings
     
    armybass and matthewbrown like this.
  3. Thanks for posting! I am very new at this. I read the article at the link you included, and I set up the ASIO in Mixpad. But I still have the same problem in Mixpad with playback. I am wondering if there is a setting that needs to be done with Windows.
     
  4. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    other than your laptop being a bit shy on ram with 4 GB (8 or 16 would be much better), I don't see why it could not work for you for basic tracking ... not too many simultaneous tracks, not a lot of VST's or virtual instruments.
     
    matthewbrown likes this.
  5. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    The other possible issue with your laptop is that it may be running other applications (programs) in the background which are using up the computer's resources, namely CPU cycles and memory (RAM). Some D.A.W.s even come with a CPU and RAM meter so computer resources can be monitored during recording or mixing.

    To check, you can hit crtl-alt-delete on your keyboard, and then select "Task Manager." Under the "performance" tab, it will show the CPU usage and RAM usage. Under the "applications" tab, it will show all currently running applications. You should be able to close any applications you aren't using, like email or "groupware" like TEAMS or Slack.

    Laptops also can have power (battery) saving features, one of which is purposely slowing down the CPU to extend battery life. I recommend when you're recording or mixing, that your laptop is set to "high performance" mode in the "Power" section in Windows' control panel.
     
    matthewbrown and armybass like this.
  6. Thanks for your suggestions -- I will definitely try them.
     
  7. Wissen

    Wissen Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Central PA
    I'm reviving a relatively old thread and you have likely solved this issue already, but I arrived here searching for specific information, so I wanted to leave my experience here for future searchers who might do the same.

    I bought a Focusrite interface to use my home desktop to record basic stuff, as you did. After three months of abject failure, I spent three hours on the phone with an incredibly patient Focusrite tech support agent. After trying absolutely everything he could think of and ten more ideas besides, he threw his hands up and said "You'll have to re-install Windows." I was not happy at the time, but having worked phone support myself, I was completely understanding.

    Problem is, he was right.

    I had other USB issues with the desktop computer in question that I had previously shrugged off. But re-installing Windows fixed everything. Every. Thing. It turns out the Windows image Lenovo put on the computer before it left the factory was garbage. That fresh install was a game changer. And now all is right with the world. So seventeen thumbs up to the Focusrite tech who spent way too much time and energy to arrive at a solution I should have tried three years before I even made that call.

    Tl:dr - Don't assume that your Windows install is good, especially if you have an off-the-shelf PC.
     
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