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Optimising audio on your computer for the SSL2/2+

Optimising audio on Windows 10

If you are having issues playing back audio from your PC, such as clicks and pops in your recording, you may need to optimize Windows for audio.

Please follow all of the steps below:

  • Increase the buffer sample size in your DAW settings; lower buffer sample sizes can cause clicks and pops in audio playback.
  • Disconnect any unnecessary USB devices from your PC, as these will share the same USB bus as your SSL 2 / 2+.
  • If using a USB hub, please ensure it is an externally powered USB hub. If you're not sure, try plugging your SSL 2 / 2+ directly into the USB port on the PC, and see if it resolves the issue.
  • In Control Panel > Sound, go to the sounds tab and under sounds scheme, select 'No sounds', click 'Apply' then, 'OK'.
  • In Settings > Privacy, select Background Apps and switch off the apps that you do not need to be running when recording / playing back audio.
  • In Control Panel > Power Options, choose High Performance then click the Change plan settings. Make sure both power options are set to Never.
  • In System Preferences > Network, switch off Wi-Fi, Airport, Bluetooth, etc, and see if this resolves the issue.Close any unnecessary applications, these drain your computers CPU resources and can affect performance.
  • Please ensure that all parts of the computer are up to date including motherboard BIOS.

If the issue occurs only with recorded audio (as opposed to playback from Spotify / Apple Music etc) and none of the steps above resolve the issue, it is possible that the gain control is too high for your input source.

Optimising audio on Mac

If you are having issues playing back audio from your Mac, or hearing strange clicks and pops in your recording, you may need to optimise you Mac settings for audio.

Please follow all of the steps below:

  • Increase the buffer sample size in your DAW settings; lower buffer sample sizes can cause clicks and pops in audio playback.
  • Disconnect any unnecessary USB devices from your Mac, as these will share the same USB bus as your SSL 2 / 2+.
  • If using a USB hub, please ensure it is an externally powered USB hub. If you're not sure, try plugging your SSL 2 / 2+ directly into the USB port on the Mac, and see if it resolves the issue.
  • In System Preferences > Users & Groups > *admin account* > Login Options, remove any startup items as applications running in the background could affect your Mac performance. Once you've done this, restart your Mac.
  • In System Preferences > Energy Saver set Computer Sleep to Never. Make sure "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" is not enabled.
  • In System Preferences > Network, switch off Wi-Fi, Airport, Bluetooth etc, and see if this resolves the issue.
  • Close any unnecessary applications - these drain your computers CPU resources, and can affect performance.

If the issue occurs only with recorded audio (as opposed to playback from Spotify / Apple Music etc) and none of the steps above resolve the issue, it is possible that the gain control is too high for your input source.

If after optimizing your computer you still have input issues - check below.

Why does my recording sound distorted?

If your recording is distorted, the first thing to check is the mic preamp gain control.

This amplifies the low level signal from a microphone or instrument so that it can be recorded. If the Gain is set too high, it can cause distortion the recording. 

To check this, look at the LED meter above the gain control for the channel you are recording.

If the red LED flashes, there is too much gain. Turn down the gain control until the red LED no longer flashes.

The green LED's indicate a good signal level, it should only flash orange occasionally.

 Distorted_recording_icon_1-01.jpg

 

Unterminated input noise

SSL 2 and SSL 2+ audio interfaces feature two class-leading mic amps that have a huge 62 dB of gain, extremely flat frequency response (+/-0.1 dB between 20 Hz and 20 kHz) and a super-low noise figure of -130.5 dBu EIN.

Noise performance is measured and achieved by always terminating the rear panel input with an impedance (typically a connector with resistors between ground and conductor).

This simulates the real world impedance of a connected microphone or instrument, and if this is not done you are also measuring the noise pick up of the connections between the mic amp, the rear connector, and any attached unterminated cable (which acts as an aerial without being terminated).

So if you have a cable plugged in then you need to have a device on the end of that cable or you are introducing noise to the signal.