Creating a stable setup for your Novation USB devices

Applies to: All Products

USB connectivity issues

We understand that stability is paramount when working with your setup, particularly if you are using your equipment in a live environment. If you are experiencing problems with your Focusrite/Novation USB device, or if you would like to protect against the chance of problems occurring in the future, you may find the below information useful.

USB power

There is a finite amount of power available via your computer's USB bus. If the amount of power being drawn via USB nears or exceeds the limit available you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

An error message stating 'This device is drawing too much USB power'

Some LEDs appear dimmer than usual

The LCD screen appears dim or difficult to read

Device disconnects from the USB bus

So what can be done?

Try switching your device to a different USB port. The average laptop USB port supplies around 500 milliamps but the bus-power output can vary slightly from port to port.

Try removing USB devices from your computer and see how this affects the USB devices still connected. This may not offer a solution but it will give you a clue as to whether the issue is power related.

Try connecting your device through a powered USB hub such as the Audiohub 2x4. Some devices demand almost all the usb power available and the power output can very greatly between laptops - adding a powered hub will increase the power available and reduce the risk of power related stability issues.

USB cables

Not all USB cables are the same. The thickness of the wires that supply power to the device can be critical to both audio performance, and its resilience to static electricity. The best way to choose a cable is to look at the markings on the side. These will usually say '2725' and then another set of numbers containing 'AWG': '28AWG/1PR AND 24AWG/2C' or similar. The first number will always be 28AWG, and the second will be a number between 20 and 28. The lower this second number, the thicker the wire. If the printing just says '28AWG', this means 28AWG for both numbers. Focusrite recommends using cables where the second number is 24AWG or lower.

Further tips for avoiding drop-outs

Try raising your audio buffer size

Try switching off anti-virus, airport or other wireless devices

Ensure you have the latest driver software from the Focusrite or Novation website

Try running DPC Latency Checker (PC only) and see if there is correlation between the drop-outs and your CPU spiking

If you continue to experience problems or you would like some further information on this topic, please contact the Technical Support team HERE.

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