Troubleshooting Mixing Board + Scarlet 2i2

Cele

New Member
I've recently completed a painful transition to Windows 10. My old machine had an audiophile 2496 sound card, but my new motherboard doesn't support it, so I've had to start looking for external AI solutions. I have an Allen&Health Zed10FX mixer and a a hand-me-down Scarlett 2i2 (2nd gen).

My preference is to use both because they each have their benefits. However, I don't know how to route things properly such that I can record and adjust levels on the Zed10FX while the Scarlett acts as the AI. My monitors are routed from the mixing board's Main Mix outs.

As an aside, I've tried the Zed10FX separately as an AI. It only works with my DAW (Reaper) under WASAPI protocols when I have it set to Shared Loopback. When I go into the sound properties and uncheck exclusive access, Shared Loopback remains my only option. WDM is unacceptible because it introduces an ugly high pitched hum to my monitors. It's also limited to 16bit.

The Scarlett works under ASIO protocols. It works with Reaper without throwing exceptions, but the DAW won't register or record audio routed to it from the mixing board. I'm sure I'm making a rookie mistake somewhere here as I'm not terribly comfortable with hardware, but I could use some help in pinpointing it.

I've provided a diagram of my present routing for clarification. As it stands, this routing configuration allows me to adjust levels on the mixing board and use the Scarlett in Reaper, but it will not let me record audio passed through the mixing board into the Scarlett's ins, nor will it record audio sourced from the PC. Any help in troubleshooting would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Without knowing your specific equipment: calibrate the main outputs of your mixer to the inputs of your audio interface and leave them both alone. The idea is to be able to use your mixer's channel knobs to adjust your mix, but rely on the stereo meters to know that you're not overloading the audio interface - and conversely that you're feeding it a high enough level.

I can't tell you what reference level to use, but bear in mind that digital audio distorts anything above 0dBFS, so it's normal to shoot for a lower nominal level. My preference is -16dBFS, which is a healthy level but it still leaves headroom for the occasional shriek.

And as a rule of thumb, you want everything close to its nominal level - in other words, normally you want your knobs in the middle rather than way down or up.

That's the basic strategy - there's a lot more to it if you really want to get all nerdy.
 
OP
Cele

Cele

New Member
I've done as you suggested. The main mix outs now go to the scarlett, and things are working as I had hoped. Thanks!
 
OP
Cele

Cele

New Member
It may also be preferable to have your monitors connected to the 2i2 instead of your mixer.
I wish I could; all it offers in that respect is a single 1/4 inch headphone jack. Right now, I'm resorting to using the monitor outs on the mixing board which is not 100% ideal because it's PFL.
 
OP
Cele

Cele

New Member
I'm sorry I don't quite understand: the 2i2 has "outs" for monitors at the back of the device.
True enough, that they do. Unfortunately, I 'm pretty sure I need to keep those connected to the stereo ins on the mixing board if I want to use the allen&heath for its intended purpose. If I were recording an instrument using the mixer, then I could certainly do as you suggest. The problem is the mixing board on its own has no communication at all with the PC. The Scarlett does so via USB.