Hum with Focusrite 6i6/Cantabile

My setup:

2 MIDI controllers, Focusrite 6i6, Dell G5 (loaded), Behringer Eurorack 5x2 (tiny) mixer, 2 8" JBL monitors. When I power on Cantabile I get this twitchy-sounding hum. Power off Cantabile and it stops. So I’m thinking there’s something going on software-wise with the Focusrite/Cantabile software combo. At work (church), I use Dante instead of the 6i6 and don’t get the hum. Any ideas? TIA

It could be in several different places, but if you are running something thru Cantabile, then you power off Cantabile, it would naturally shut off the sound going thru Cantabile. Best bet is to check cabling. Either loosely connected or bad cable. Most “hums” come from there. Without knowing your routing setup, it is hard to say. Just checkout things one by one till you find it. In my case, it’s usually a guitar plugged in with volume not turned down. Also,check gain levels throughout Cantabile.

I’m a pretty good trouble shooter. The noise sounds digital. And I should clarify – when I turn on Cantabile’s engine the noise starts – when I turn the engine off the noise stops. That’s what makes me think it’s a software problem.

I’ll try a few things for good measure, but I don’t think it’s a cable problem.

I agree with Corky, that it is most likely hardware. When you turn on the engine you also pass on all audio input going through cantabile. So a few suggestions with the engine turned on:

  1. Turn down all audio inputs on the Focusrite, and/or removing audio input cables.
  2. One by one suspend racks/plugins in Cantabile.

Hope it helps, good luck.

If you really believe it’s Cantabile, unplug everything connected to your computer, including Focusrite, and pull up a blank song. Then you can monitor it on the computer output thru headphones. You will have to change audio driver from Focusrite to asio4all, or its equivalent. Load a vst, see how it does.
More than likely it is a cable, a bad connection, or gain peaked out within the chain. Check your speaker connections. Other than connections, and all gain points, there could be an interference with another electronic device nearby. If you still suspect Cantabile…reload it.

Just connect the 2 midi controllers, the Dell G5, and the Focusrite 6i6. Monitor using the headphone out on the Focusrite 6i6. If there is no noise, probably a USB ground loop. I’ve had that happen when sending the output of a USB audio interface to an external mixer.

Whodathunkit? It has something to do with my external monitor! When I unplug it the noise goes away. When I turn off Cantabile the noise goes away. So it has nothing to do with the 6I6. I’m at a loss. I’ll try a different HDMI cable and maybe a different monitor. Possibly a ground problem. I just moved into this room for my practice setup and haven’t checked the power (although it happened in my previous practice room also).

Thanks for all the input, BTW. :slight_smile:

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When you mention that the display affects the hum, then I came to think about the setting in Cantabile that involves the GPU - it caused me a lot of problems with Pianoteq (long story, I’ll skip it for now), so try to work with that to see if it makes any difference:

@TorstenH - can you elaborate about that GPU issue? I have something weird with Keyscape going on … might be related?

Sure. I was on a Lenovo laptop with a limited ram setup (I can dig out the details from all the communication with Brad if you need these), and when I opened Pianoteq in Cantabile there was crackles, if I used Pianoteq as standalone it worked perfectly. Same settings on my Focusrite etc.

In the end, Brad asked me to try resizing the Cantabile window and to minimize it completely, and resizing helped some, minimizing made the problem disappear completely. Then Brad suggsted unticking the GPU checkbox, and that solved the problem. He also spend a lot of time talking to Pianoteq getting this solved, I will have to revisit the old emails to find out what was the outcome, as I was happy with the solution he suggested, and that removed my one concern about buying Cantabile.

Hope this was the kind of information you needed to find out if it relates to your Keyscape issue.

Yup, I’ll give this a try, sounds similar!

Very timely you mention this. I was testing some issues with a few plugs 2 days ago, and ticked the GPU box, which seemed to help. I went to a rehearsal last night, and state changes were delayed about 10 seconds. Mouse was slow to respond. It completely shut down the rehearsal. When I got home, I worked on it, and in the end, I unticked the GPU box, and after reboot, everything was working as it should.

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I’ll mess with GPU settings today or tomorrow for sure. I use all the major plugs (Native Instruments, UVI, IK, EastWest, etc,), but mostly Omniphere. So trying to track down one plug would be a pain. Hopefully it’s just that one tick in GPU settings.

I’ll report back. Thanks!

It could be a ground loop between your PC and speakers. One would expect a ground loop to be a low frequency hum (50 or 60Hz), but I experienced first hand that I had a high pitch whining noise and with a DI between my audio interface and the FOH, all disappeared.

Never underestimate power. My focusrite 2i4 almost always hums at gigs unless everything connected to it is being run through a power conditioner, though it doesn’t hum at my apartment (which doesn’t have the greatest wiring).