Help needed.

  • Hi everyone.

    I recently got myself a setup to be able to play guitar through my pc. I got myself a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd gen), and BIAS FX. Purpose was obviously just to be able to play in my apartment, but the idea of doing covers and playing over music (Spotify / Youtube) was a big reason too. I had to put some time into getting a proper tone w/o fuzz and such. But i've managed to do so now.

    Now my problem is that i can't seem to get good sound out of Youtube and Spotify at all. When i plug everything (input / output) into my Focusrite the music from youtube / spotify is super shit, and i can seem to able to fix it at all.

    When i plug input into Focusrite and output to pc i get proper sound from both, but i get a delay on my guitar. There's like a 1-2 second delay from when i strum.

    Is there a go-to setup to make this work? It's starting to annoy me quite a lot.

    I have tried to mess around with buffer size and such. But again, not sure if there is a go-to setup.

    Hope you can help.

  • A2

    It really depends on whether the ASIO drivers (assuming you are on windows) needed for low latency FX like BIAS allow multiclient operation like letting youtube or spotify in.

    Chances are, you have your DAW or whatever is hosting Bias at say 44khz sample rate, and youtube and spotify are sending something else. Some audio interfaces handle this just fine, some hate it.

    The whole concept of moving audio in realtime between apps has historically been one of infuriating ridiculous proportions. If the application supports ASIO, there are tricks. If not, there's a chance that VB Voicemeetr will make it work.

    And if neither works, some of us (including me for doing certain types of video captures) have gone the extra ridiculous step of sending system audio (web browsers, media player, etc out the cheapo internal soundcard on most motherboards and returning it to whatever DAW or what not needs it....Sometimes you get lucky and the onboard has SPDIF, but either way, you can force it to work.

  • I'll give the voicemeeter a shot! What tricks would you suggest me trying? If the voicemeeter turns out not working.

  • A2

    I'm going to try and plug in an 18i20 this afternoon and see if it will play a DAW under asio and youtube under system audio at the same time without trouble. I'm assuming it has the same drivers as the scarlett.

    If not, I would assume the safest thing to do would be sending system audio out the onboard built in soundcard and returning it to an unused input on the focusrite.

    Before you mess around with anything though, does your DAW or whatever you are playing Bias through show what the same plate is in realtime? I'd be interested in seeing if somehow it got unoocked while you were playing youtube. It is a common thing. Lately after a recent windows update, sometimes my main clock stops being the absolute audio timekeeping source and I get distorted garbled nonsense, requiring me to cycle the sample rate of system sounds, which makes no sense.

  • I suppose i am using Ableton as my DAW?

  • A2

    Ok, using the ASIO driver for the Scarlett, choosing sample rate in the scarlett control panel to 44k, I have also set my windows systems sounds to the scarlett's output.

    Under advanced tab in windows sound properties for that device (right click the volume icon at the bottom right corner of windows and chose "open playback devices), uncheck "allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.

    Setting in the DAW both preferences and project properties to force 44khz as the sampling rate for the project.

    I am able to play thru the DAW's FX (using various different plugins I usually test with, from the reliable to the sketchy) no problem and run youtube at the same time without issue.

    If I uncheck the forces to the sample rate, I note that opening a youtube window second after the daw tries to grab the sample rate and force it to 32khz. I'd make sure the DAW is master here

  • OK, this might sound super stupid. But in my case, is Ableton my DAW?

  • A2

    Are you using the asio drivers for the interface? It shouldn't matter in any modern daw. Under asio you should be ok

  • @pipelineaudio I am actually getting bit unsure now. Cus i couldn't find any ASIO control panel - i just tried downloading from ASIO4ALL and still can't find any control panel?

  • @voteffaf EDIT* I do have an ASIO control panel. Set to 44,1kHz and 512 buffer size.

  • A2

    So if you chose the Focusrite ASIO driver in Ableton then just enable a track with no fx running, and input monitoring on (not 100% familiar with Live so I'm not positiveit has these functions, but I believe it has something similar), when monitoring 100% THROUGH the software, is the latency acceptable to you at 512 buffers?

    If you really get stuck, I know how to work through this in REAPER, which would be easy and free to use for testing, but I think all of this can be done in Ableton

  • @pipelineaudio I'll give Reaper a go.

    However - could it be my headset isn't good enough? I have a very old, and very basic Razer headset that I had been using for gaming. Just a thought i had.

  • A2

    Are you monitoring thru the headset? Or are you just using it as a headphone for the headphone output of the Focusrite? Can you describe your entire signal chain from guitar to earballs?

  • I'll try my best to explain tomorrow, and i'll throw in some pictures etc to help me explain. But a huge thank you for taking the time to try and help me.

  • A2

    Cool, I'll try to look through how input monitoring and driver setup in Ableton works, I'm not 100% sure

  • A2

    Looks like it should be no problem!

    Thank you Ableton for providing a very comprehensive manual that shows up right away in google!

  • @pipelineaudio said in Help needed.:

    Looks like it should be no problem!

    Thank you Ableton for providing a very comprehensive manual that shows up right away in google!

    I'm sorry that i have to ask, but what exactly am i looking for in that guide? Huge thanks for all the help you provide, i do feel bit lost here, so i am very sorry that you have to cut it out in paper.

  • I just tried messing around in Ableton Live, and i f****** hate that program tbh, from a "noob" perspective it makes zero sense, and i have generally tried avoid using it. (I thought it was for recording only). Also tried using ASIO4ALL as drivers, and the config didn't help at all. Actually only made it much worse.

    I am really surprised with how not-very-beginner-friendly Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is. I sold my amp to purchase the Focusrite and BIAS FX as it made more sense for me to play through my computer, and the opportunities it would provide. I've tried contacting the support, but the info they need is so hard for me to provide cus i have zero clue what they are asking for. Had no idea it would be this complicated.

    All i really wanted was to be able to plug-in and play guitar to some of my favorite songs via youtube / spotify, i were aware that i might needed to spend some time adjusting stuff, but not in these proportions.

    I appreciate the help you've tried to provide, but i am starting to feel it may be a lost cause, cus i have no idea how to get this done. Whatsoever.

  • A2

    Its not so bad, really! This is an area with absolutely HORRID documentation, too much magic based thinking, and a sometimes too insular community....But if you think that's bad, the iOS side takes it up about 4 zillion notches worse!

    I can show you how to do it in REAPER, and then once you know you got it working, you can go back to Ableton and apply what you learned and then do whatever interpretation you need in order to follow their syntax. I don't want anyone to accuse me of steering anyone to REAPER, and I don't want it seen that way, I just want to show how it can be done in an environment that I am familiar with.

    1. If you havent already, go to and make sure you get the correct driver for your device and operating system. Get the ASIO driver, and make sure its installed! Forget ASIO4ALL, Focusrite has a mature and for the most part, stable, USB ASIO driver.

    2. Go to and download the correct version of REAPER for your operating system, note whether you are running a 32 bit or 64 bit OS and download the right one accordingly. If it is at all possible to run the 64 bit version, do it. REAPER is honorware, trying this will cost you nothing. In a month, if you decide you want to buy it, go ahead. If not, it will nag you once a day, REAPER has no copy protection and was designed to never leave someone stuck in the field with license issues

    For the next few items, these are all REAPER specific commands. There are multiple ways to get to the same commands in this DAW, and there is a context sensitive right click menu, as well as every single action can either be customized to keys or scripted, but I am going to just go through how to do it the slow and sure way, through the menu. If you decide to stick with it, you can set these commands much faster, but for now, at least this way I know it will all work with the default setup.

    1. Go to the Options menu on the toolbar. Pick preferences then choose Audio then Device. In that window click the dropdown menu "Audio System" and pick ASIO. Below there where is says "ASIO Driver" pick your Focusrite ASIO driver, NOT ASIO4All. Below that, make sure "enable inputs" is checked and set your first and last inputs to the first and last on your card, and set your first and last outputs the same way. From here it gets dicey depending on your driver, but try and click "ASIO Configuration" and see if that brings up the Focusrite ASIO control panel. For now lets try and set the buffers to 256. Finally, check the box for "Allow projects to override device sample rate

    2. Look in the toolbar icons, should be top left-ish on the screen, below the menubar and click the Project Settings icon, or click File in the menu and chose project settings. Check the box "Project sample rate" and chose 44,100, hit OK and close the window

    These instructions are based on the default theme that REAPER ships with. It may not apply if you have changed to other themes, since all controls can be moved or hidden/shown depending on how the themer decided to set things up.

    1. Sorry for all that above, but now lets test the actual round trip audio! In the menu bar pick Track then chose "Insert new track". You should see a new track in the Track Control Panel area on the left (aka the TCP) and, if your horizontal mixer is showing, you'll see this track now mirrored next to the Master track on the Mixer Control Panel (aka the MCP). Like all things REAPER, if you hover your mouse over things, you'll get a tooltip. Move your mouse towards the left side of the new track in the TCP and there should be a reddish round button, the mouse tooltip for it should say "record arm/disarm". Click it to light it up red and arm the track.

    Now we have to set the input for that track. You may have to drag the border bar between the TCP and the arrange window to see enough of the controls, but you want to find the input channel dropdown. It'll be in the bottom right of the track and hovering your mouse over it will say "record left" or possibly "record channel 1" by default. Click the dropdown arrow and hover over "Input Mono" and then from the menu that opens to the right, chose the input on your Scarlett that your guitar is plugged into. I believe it is input 1 on your particular model, but you'll know for sure if its right by the next step:

    Play your guitar! You should see that track's meters light up as you play. If not, then something has gone wrong, most likely it was the wrong input chosen. If the meters light up and you are wondering, "hey why can't I hear my guitar, or see it in the master meter?", move your mouse over to the input monitoring control, somewhere in the bottom middle of the TCP, hovering your mouse over it will say "record monitoring" and it should vaguley look like a speaker icon. Click it until it says "record monitoring ON". You should now here your guitar, and the master meters should be moving as you play as well

    If it gets this far successfully, let me know and we can continue from there

  • ASIO4ALL can go either way depending on the piece of gear. I have better or at least comparable performance from the Scarlett drivers. I don't recall the events, but ASIO4ALL is not in the list, so that says something.

    Performance: set latency as low as you can go. I know, less seems like it would be worse quality, right? Lower means faster. It also means more CPU power needed. And there's the crux: set as low as you can where the sound doesn't get weird. I have my 2i2 set at 16s/44.1khz. I can play in real-time through Bias FX as well as a few other vsts simultaneously, and my machine is a several years old dual core with the stock sound card.

    Rendering: lower latency means longer rendering times. As pipelineaudio mentioned, in Reaper there's a setting "Allow projects to override device sample rate". This allows the DAW to ignore the set latency, favoring one that allows the most oversampling = the quickest rendering.