[SOLVED] Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

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karm
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[SOLVED] Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

Post by karm »

Hello Everyone,

I am trying to bring my Scarlett 6i6 back to life on an Archlinux system. I did my fair share of googling but it seems issues people have with this unit are different than mine...
  • Long story short:
  • It worked out of the box on both Linux Desktop computer and Windows Laptop. I would hear some clicks & pops when it "starts", but then it would play ok.
  • I installed Scarlett MixControl program on Windows which asked me to do a firmware update, which I performed.
  • Since then whenever I plug in the card to my Linux Desktop, I can hear some clicks&pops in the beginning like I used to earlier, but after that it's silent.
  • Hardware is recognized by both PulseAudio and Jack when I run it. It seems to work, I just don't hear anything.
  • When I faced this issue for the first time on Linux box, I connected the card back to Windows Laptop. It did not output any sound. But when I started MixControl App, I heard one click and it started working. It is now just working on this laptop without any issues.
I read that this MixControl program can configure the hardware. Any idea what I would need to change there to make this card work again? It seems to me that it's either firmware issue or just some setting that got changed and audio is simply send somewhere else..

Thanks for any ideas/suggestions.
Last edited by karm on Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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karm
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Re: Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

Post by karm »

Interesting development: I tried using the interface with Ubuntu Studio live cd and it worked. So there is something wrong with my audio configuration. I will try to find out and post here for future reference...
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karm
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Re: Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

Post by karm »

Still an outstanding issue, but there are new developments and since some folks started pointing others to this topic I thought I will keep you updated.

Turns out I have issues with this interface on Windows too. Audio is freezing at random times. Just to remind you, I am using it on Linux Desktop and Windows laptop. I reached out to Focusrite Tech Support team, they are very supportive and respond quickly. While they noted that Linux is not supported, they provided me with some tips for Windows - notably related to power options and USB. Following Focusrite advice I prohibited Windows from suspending power for USB ports. We will see if that helps.

When I get a chance I will take a look at power settings on my ArchLinux system too and see if that helps.
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karm
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Re: Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

Post by karm »

Some time has passed, what has changed?

Still not fixed. However:
  • Tweaking power options on Windows did not fix the issue. Following Focusrite Support's advice, I measured DPC lattency on Windows laptop. It is horrible. No surprise though, as this is enterprise hardware, meaning it is destined to suck :) What I learned from couple of tests is that the interface works unless DPC latency is high. Therefore it is clear that one need a truly low latency system to make this card work.
  • This explains why the interface works on Ubuntu Studio. They run 3.19 RT kernel as far as I recall. I am able to use the card on this distro. Would be nice though to make it work on my actual OS...
  • ... which is for some reason a pain. On my arch box I tried running 3.18 RT LTS kernel, 4.1.10 RT kernel and Arch default kernel. All of them are no good. 3.18 is especially troublesome as my machine freezes on it at random times. Not good.
This makes me wonder: what is so good about Ubuntu Studio configuration that it just works contrary to my Arch installation...
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glowrak guy
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Re: Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

Post by glowrak guy »

There are quite a few monitoring options in 6i6. In windoze, I'd try inputting a long-playing/looping audio file,
and verify that all the focusrite software and hardware controls are working as the manual describes,
at their default values. Then try to replicate the condition on linux, and watch linux mixers for muted audio ports.

You might verify from tech-support/manual what needs to be the state of the unit
during firmware updates, and ask them if the phantom power circuit
is protected well enough to switch on/off when the unit is powered. Some interfaces are not.

You might also test the output of the power supply.

Compare settings between text files in Arch/Ubuntu: /etc/security/limits.conf, .asoundrc
and .jackdrc -Periods/Buffer setting should be 3 for usb in .jackdrc)
Compare which snd and usb kernel modules listed by the command lsmod

Also, /etc/modprobe.d folder may have textfiles that can block (blacklist) certain types of devices.

Then comes hardware irq sharing, which will likely be different on the two computers.

Perhaps Arch and Ubuntu have different default values for pulse audio,
and routing issues, or jackd version differences are at work?

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pu ... o/Examples

https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fe ... _JACK.html

Don't be shy about selling off a daft computer, when stardom, sanity, or happiness, is in the balance :wink:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep13/a ... arlett.htm
Cheers
asbak
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Re: Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

Post by asbak »

Try disabling power management in the BIOS, check that you're not using any USB3 ports in Windoze, try moving to different USB ports to see if that makes a difference, try disconnecting all other USB peripherals.
Perhaps spend more time checking BIOS options, Windows Power Settings Configurations etc (get rid of all the green settings), because it's kind of unusual for it to work that badly in Doze.

I'd guess that chances of success will also decrease if there's only one USB Bus on the laptop, particularly if it's IRQ sharing with something else.
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karm
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Re: Scarlett 6i6 - no audio after firmware update

Post by karm »

I found that it works just fine on a Arch Live CD. I was not emotionally attached to my OS so I decided to start from scratch. My guess is that I had messy Systemd config launching jack more than once or something of this sort. As mentioned above, it's not worth wasting your life on troubleshooting something that you are not attached to, so I will just start over.

I will mark this as solved and also thank you all for contributing.
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