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lxm
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#1
31st May 2011
Old 31st May 2011
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Komplete Audio 6 Reviews

Dosent seem to be much info on here at all about this thing. Wanted to see what you guys think of it?

How are the pre's? Converters? It claims to be capable of very low latency's...
lxm
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#2
1st June 2011
Old 1st June 2011
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NOOOOOOOOOObody? Really?
#3
1st June 2011
Old 1st June 2011
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I believe there is another thread about it,referring to the NI forum.
Mostly positive...
Do a search.

Cheers
P.
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1st June 2011
Old 1st June 2011
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WOW. Got one of these and it smokes. WAAAAAAAAY better performance than my FF800. Blows it out of the water!

96000 @192 buffer with i7 950 CPU almost maxed and some buggy plugins rec enabled.... no pops or clicks. My FF would be going crazy at this point. I dont get why people hate on USB? I just always went with the 'experts' suggestions and used it.

A normal session(41000 - 48000) can get down to 48 buf no problem without any hiccups when recording. 32 buf is good when playing back but you will get the odd pop and click when rec enabled.

The above is an extreme example but I wanted to push it to the limit. If you do alot of VSTI/CPU/RAM hungry stuff I highly recommend this unit(so far). Its also built like a tank(heavy).
#5
26th June 2011
Old 26th June 2011
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I just got a Komplete Audio interface and it has good sound quality and latency....BUT, it has some serious driver issues.

For some reason it works fine in Ableton and when I play music out of my itunes. But in Logic, it plays for around 5 minutes or so and just starts distorting/clipping. Like someone threw a bit crusher on and slowly turned it up. I've tryin to work with NI support, but the issue has not been resolved as of yet.

I was thinkin about returning it to Guitar Center, but apparently, you can't return products that have registered software. So i'm pretty much stuck with this interface, that doesnt work like its supposed to for the moment. Hopefully i can get this all worked out. Jus thought i'd give a heads up to those considering this.
#6
3rd July 2011
Old 3rd July 2011
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I've had one for a couple of weeks now & I'm very impressed so far. It sounds amazing compared to what I was using before (M-Audio 2496 into a soundcraft Desktop mixer). Guitar & vocals sound way better than what I was getting before & the overall sound quality is better, I think this was mostly down to the Souncraft mixer.

I was gonna go for the Focusrite 8i6 but I wanted a usb interface that was very compact, bus powered & equally geared towards DJing as well as producing. The KA6 ticked all the boxes.

The only issues I've had with the drivers so far was with Presonus Studio One Artist. The GUI would freeze & you couldn't record or use midi devices when using the KA6 drivers but all was sorted with changing a setting in Studio Ones advanced preferences.
#7
15th July 2011
Old 15th July 2011
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Drop dead sexy and built like a German luxury car.

The build quality is REALLY good. Its purdy... I've had a lot of audio interfaces and this is the sexiest one I've had. It just feels like high quality German engineering.
The latency on the Komplete Audio 6 is hands down the lowest of any audio interface I've used. No competition there. I can run it at 256 samples/sec and actually track with effects(WOW!).
The mic-pres sound really good. They are very clean and transparent. Not a lot of head room but its enough to get a good signal and clip the audio.
The headphone output is not overly loud. Its loud enough for loud environments. They did design it for DJs. Its not quite as loud as a good mixer, but then again this is a bus powered card. USB only supplies 500 mA of current and that's not much. This might be a turnoff for some deft DJs.
The pops and clicks issue some brought up is actually caused by a ground loop in your computer. That is common on most audio interfaces... shitty, but its your laptop and speakers fault, not the audio interface. There is a section on it in the Komplete Audio 6 manual. just Google "USB ground loop".
I'm still trying to solve the ground loop issue myself, but I've read on the internet that a 2-port USB hub with over voltage protection will fix it. I just ordered one.
I still miss my M-Audio ProFire 610, but I'm on a windows laptop and firewire doesn't agree with my computer so much(that and I don't like expresscard firewire cards because they are flimy and problematic). One of the best things about the Komplete Audio 6 is that it has direct monitoring on all inputs. This will allow you to connect an external device like an MP3 player through it and pass it through to your speakers without having to convert from analog to digital back to analog. This is something that ProFire series and MOTU audio interfaces cannot do and is actually really important.
#8
15th July 2011
Old 15th July 2011
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Komplete Audio 6 Reviews

#9
23rd July 2011
Old 23rd July 2011
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Definalty a driver problem... they say its my computer... I call bullshit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sys40198 View Post
I just got a Komplete Audio interface and it has good sound quality and latency....BUT, it has some serious driver issues.

For some reason it works fine in Ableton and when I play music out of my itunes. But in Logic, it plays for around 5 minutes or so and just starts distorting/clipping. Like someone threw a bit crusher on and slowly turned it up. I've tryin to work with NI support, but the issue has not been resolved as of yet.

I was thinkin about returning it to Guitar Center, but apparently, you can't return products that have registered software. So i'm pretty much stuck with this interface, that doesnt work like its supposed to for the moment. Hopefully i can get this all worked out. Jus thought i'd give a heads up to those considering this.

I got the USB Hub and it did not fix the problem. After hours of troubleshooting, I finally determine the source of the glitching/clipping. It was the background DPC service for my wireless card in combination with the ACPI-battery service. Disable them in the device manager when you want to use the card... its a trade off for having the extremely low latency... but defiantly a driver bug, though they say it is not. I'm kind of pissed they made me search through all of the documentation myself after I submitted a support ticket when all they had to do is tell me that its more then lkely the cheap network card and the laptop battery service. My other USB audio interface does not do this. The build quality is superb though.

If your thinking about getting this audio interface, download DPC Latency Checker at http://www.thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml. Run it and if you see regular spikes(i.e. red columns in the graph), then this audio interface will more then likely bug out on you. The latency is extremely low however... I'm not sure about the work around for the very poorly written Arthos AR9285 driver. In support of the audio interface, I will say that if your recording audio, you need to optimize your total system latency so this isn't an issue.

There is a lot of really good info in this article by Native Instruments about optimizing your computer for audio at http://www.native-instruments.com/kn...dio+processing

Last edited by whoosyaboy; 23rd July 2011 at 07:50 AM.. Reason: error
#10
23rd July 2011
Old 23rd July 2011
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Using the DPC Latency checker is discussed here quite often, as is disabling power saving features (your battery checker) and onboard wireless/lan/etc being common culprits for issues. While those are good general rules, i don't think you can 'blame' NI for not giving you that info via support lines because there are a number of factors that contribute to these issues and other than providing general guidelines as that link you gave does, explaining system specific things like that would require they be aware of every laptop/desktop's ACPI stack, all peripheral devices' PCI Latency, the system timer setting for each driver and so on.
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#11
19th September 2011
Old 19th September 2011
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Still LOVING this thing. By FAR the best performance that I have ever got via a audio card. If you are thinking about getting one, do it!

I was getting some pops and clicks like some because of a USB issue. Got a $10 powered USB hub and its PERFECT.
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#12
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsmorning View Post
How does this compare to the rme babyface?
+1 (for D/A mostly)


i want to change from profire 610 to babyface or komplete 6 but not sure if babyface worth 2,5 times the price! (plus i dont need adat/dsp so..)

what you guys suggest ?
#13
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxm View Post
A normal session(41000 - 48000) can get down to 48 buf no problem without any hiccups when recording. 32 buf is good when playing back but you will get the odd pop and click when rec enabled.
The very fact that you can choose 32 samples buffer shows that there are additional buffers added to your choice. AFAIK the minimum time-frame/buffer Windows allows for USB/FW is 1 ms which corresponds to 48 samples at 48 KHz, which in turn is why RME USB/FW devices allow 48 samples as smallest buffer. On OS X USB can use micro-frames of 125 us, which again is what the RME driver is using, no idea about the NI Audio 6 (Apple offers a software that tells you).

Whatever buffer in samples can be chosen doesn't matter anyway, only real latency in ms matters. Check what the driver claims to use and if you want to know exactly do a loop-back test for round-trip latency.
#14
12th December 2011
Old 12th December 2011
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ironically i find myself choosing between the same two interfaces. I figure if i get the babyface i can retire my emu pci on my studio machine and use it for both live and studio work...was really impressed using an NI interface the other night at a gig that I borrowed from a friend...super low latencey but ya headphone could be louder...but deffo better than any of the focusrite stuff concerning latency in win 7...hmmmmm
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#15
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
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I will answer my question (just for the record) as i finally decided to go with Komplete Audio 6 and i have it in my hands for 3 days already .

When i disconnected the profire610 to connect the NI i didnt expect to listen any easy-noticeable difference, however after i start monitoring my latest track that i was working on for the last 15 days (it is a 100% synthesized project and i know it inside out) i heard a huge difference in the sound!
Profire sounded overall more open and deep and then NI more centered and punchy.

Of-course all the sample-rates etc settings was exactly the same to both units.
After that, i opened 4-5 more projects and all of them needed adjustments in space and width.

now i cant decide if i should sell the profire OR the NI. damn
#16
19th March 2012
Old 19th March 2012
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Trying to build a mini studio, and thinking about the Audio 6 as my audio interface.

Would my existing guitar effects pedals work through this product?
#17
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
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Yes, that would work fine, as there are Hi-Z instrument jacks on the front. You would just go from the pedal to the unit, and it would be similar to going to an amp.
#18
9th July 2012
Old 9th July 2012
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I own both RME FF400 and Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1. In the past 5 years the FF400 has given me nothing but problems. I have hardly used and today it died on me. By contrast, my AK1 has been used literally every day for 5 years and it's still going strong.

The main advantage of NI over RME is the drivers, because NI have implemented truly multi-client drivers, which means you can have several DAWs use the sound card SIMULTANEOUSLY and at the same time have it configured as you system default audio device to play mp3s or whatever. NI support any number of clients. RME claim that their devices are ASIO multiclient but you cannot have two apps sharing the same internal input of Totalmix, which means that you have to manually select the inputs for this to work, otherwise you get crackle. The NI driver simply welcomes new clients and allows them to share the outputs, it's totally hassle free.

Note also that the vast majority of ASIO audio interfaces DO NOT SUPPORT multi-client. This means that you'll need a separate sound card to use as your system sound card, which if you ask me is a PITA. NI's sound cards are just very practical.

Another benefit of the NI cards is that they don't get hot at all. RME Fireface runs so hot you can't keep your hand on it, this is not an exaggeration. For this reason, I can keep my AK1 tucked away in a confined space without fear of overheating, and it has never given me any trouble, it just works every time. If I press play I know sound is going to come out of my monitors. I tend to forget the AK1 it's there LOL. I can't say the same about the FF400, when I press play it's a lottery. In a way I am glad it died. I'll probably fix it and sell it on eBay.

Another thing to note is that my FF400 crashes quite regularly and stops working after my computer resumes from sleep. This does not happen with the NI cards. I also have a Kore 1 which has a built in sound card and essentially works equally well.

The electronics of the FF400 are higher grade though, this should be noted for professional recordings. For me NI's stuff is good enough. I think the new RME USB cards e.g. Fireface UC may be better. With Firewire I've had loads of DPC issues and BSODs back in the XP days. Since the use of USB is more widespread (it is impossible to buy a computer without USB ports, but it's hard to find one with Firewire ports!) I can only assume that USB will be more reliable as it's been tried and tested. However, RME's USB cards require external power (I like the way most of that power is converted to heat ), whereas NI's cards all run off the USB, which makes them suitable for mobile/DJ/location work.

I believe the old AK1 has better electronics than the new KA6. The layout seems better on the KA6 though, and I suspect the build quality may have been improved.

So, in short, my next audio interface is going to be a Native Instruments KA6 or another AK1 which I can get for very little money.

Incidentally, the big knob on the top adjusts channels 1/2 level, how do you adjust channels 3/4 on this thing?
#19
10th July 2012
Old 10th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoox View Post
Incidentally, the big knob on the top adjusts channels 1/2 level, how do you adjust channels 3/4 on this thing?
You cannot adjust levels on 3/4. They are always set to 0.


I picked up a KA6 today as the headphone output on my 5 year old AK1 was starting to act a bit funky. The strange thing is that the KA6 does not perform as good as the AK1. I tested them side by side and it turns out the AK1 is giving me lower latency and can be pushed harder before it pops.

Another thing is that the headphone output level is way more loud on the AK1. On the KA6 it is just a bit too soft, which is a problem as I like to mix with a lot of headroom.

Not sure what I am going to do. Maybe send the KA6 back and get another AK1 from ebay...
#20
11th July 2012
Old 11th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brannmann View Post
You cannot adjust levels on 3/4. They are always set to 0.


I picked up a KA6 today as the headphone output on my 5 year old AK1 was starting to act a bit funky. The strange thing is that the KA6 does not perform as good as the AK1. I tested them side by side and it turns out the AK1 is giving me lower latency and can be pushed harder before it pops.

Another thing is that the headphone output level is way more loud on the AK1. On the KA6 it is just a bit too soft, which is a problem as I like to mix with a lot of headroom.

Not sure what I am going to do. Maybe send the KA6 back and get another AK1 from ebay...
Seems like NI have taken a step back. If you look at the specs of the AK1 and the KA6 you'll notice that the inputs and outputs of the KA6 are noisier and have higher values of THD+N. The KA6 converters only go up to 96kHz vs 192kHz in the AK1. So corners have been cut.

Not being able to adjust outputs 3/4 level is strange, but being able to adjust 1/2 and NOT 3/4 is stupid and inconsistent. I personally have those knobs set to max on my AK1 and never touch them, but only because I have it hooked up to a mixer, HOWEVER before I had the mixer I relied on those knobs to set output levels and I should think they would be indispensable in a mobile situation where you only want to carry a laptop and the sound card. A better name for this thing would have been "Inkomplete Audio 6".

Interestingly the "1" in "Audio Kontrol 1" implies that NI foresaw a second revision of the product but, aware that users naturally expect second revisions to be better, NI conveniently called it something else thus avoiding the otherwise inevitable shitstorm of criticism. Also note how there is no easy way to view discontinued products on the NI website, so that new customers are less likely to find out that NI's latest stuff is of lower quality. Another example of this is Kore 1 vs Kore 2: Kore 1 was both a controller and an ASIO audio interface, whereas in Kore 2 they got rid of the audio interface bit and it was only a controller (while the price stayed the same). Kore 2 reportedly sported better quality buttons though.

Note also how NI conveniently and cunningly present the same information in different ways so that the novice customer has no easy way to compare the two:

AK1 Headphone output Maximum Output Level (from PDF user manual): 4.26 V rms, 100 mW @ 100 Ohms (dBu value not stated)
KA6 Headphone output Maximum Output Level (from PDF user manual): 9.3 dBu 4.26 V rms, 100 mW @ 100 Ohms
KA6 Maximum Output Level (High Impedance) (from NI website): +12 dBu, 3.0 V rms

Most folks looking to get into computer music will look at these and think "apples and bananas". But if you say the new model's headphone output level is lower, I believe that.

Many companies have got into the habit of releasing lower quality "updated" products: Novation, Steinberg, M-Audio, Microsoft, NI, etc. It's a trend.

So basically I will probably end up getting a cheaper and better AK1.
#21
11th July 2012
Old 11th July 2012
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Companies change sources for their hardware, or their design, for a variety of reasons. I won't discount that they did it for largely cost cutting, but it's having worked for hardware companies over the years it's very common to simply not be able to produce a given design anymore...for example MOTU and their TimePiece AV & Microexpress. Both use a chip that falls out of production or supply and the units go on reserve until they're redesigned with a new design. The same thing has happened to a few other units I own (like my Kurzweil Rumor)...

Also interesting to me has been watching John Bowen mature his production process has been enlightening as well because it made me more aware of how few people are behind the design and assembly/producton of modern hardware synths. But that belongs in another forum here
#22
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
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I still think NI should have included a knob for outs 3/4. Maybe they thought people wouldn't notice. Being able to adjust levels in hardware means you can protect your monitors and your ears. Before I start my DAW I always turn down the main level.

For me this stupid omission is not a problem as I have a mixer, but there will be times it may be a problem.

In summary, this audio interface looks like an upgrade but it's also a downgrade, so one cannot say the AK1 is better than the KA6 or vice versa, they are just two different products both with a different set of pros and cons.
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#23
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
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Is the knob connected to any other 'hardware' that does gain reduction, or does it just send a control signal to an internal chip?
#24
13th July 2012
Old 13th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valis View Post
Is the knob connected to any other 'hardware' that does gain reduction, or does it just send a control signal to an internal chip?
On AK1 all knobs directly adjust gain using analogue electronics. The big knob on the top can only send MIDI messages when configured using the NI controller editor. There is no page available for KA6 in the controller editor i.e. nothing to configure.
#25
14th July 2012
Old 14th July 2012
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Looking into getting the ka6 or Saffire Pro 14
I will be running the ka6 on a laptop. Intel Core 2 Duo 4gb Vista Ultimate 32 bit.
My main instrument connections will be an ac/elec guitar, dynamic mic, midi keyboard, and a synth.

I constantly run an external 1tb usb hard drive. I never disconnect it.
1. Will this cause problems with the ka6?
2. Is there an option to use a power adapter with the unit? This would be ideal for laptop users.
3. I am considering the ka6 or saffire pro 14 because my laptop has a TI 4 pin firewire input which is a Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394, which would you go for?
#26
14th July 2012
Old 14th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gears_of_slut View Post
Looking into getting the ka6 or Saffire Pro 14
I will be running the ka6 on a laptop. Intel Core 2 Duo 4gb Vista Ultimate 32 bit.
My main instrument connections will be an ac/elec guitar, dynamic mic, midi keyboard, and a synth.

I constantly run an external 1tb usb hard drive. I never disconnect it.
1. Will this cause problems with the ka6?
I used to get pops and clicks when running a particular Logitech USB webcam and my AK1 simultaneously e.g. while talking on Skype. However, I've never had any issues with USB hard drives though, and I regularly watch HD movies off an external USB hard drive whilst playing sound through my AK1 without issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gears_of_slut View Post
2. Is there an option to use a power adapter with the unit? This would be ideal for laptop users.
This is not possible. The KA6 is designed to be fully bus powered, therefore there is no DC power input. Out of curiosity, what would be the advantage of having to carry a separate power supply? Personally, one of the reasons I like my AK1 over my Fireface 400 when I use it with my laptop is that it does not require the external power supply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gears_of_slut View Post
3. I am considering the ka6 or saffire pro 14 because my laptop has a TI 4 pin firewire input which is a Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394, which would you go for?
4-pin Firewire connectors are rubbish. They are too flimsy and if you plan to do any gigs or use your set-up on the move you're bound to damage it sooner or later.

Surprisingly, most laptops with Firewire use the 4-pin version. I don't think manufacturers choose the smaller format because of space constraints, but rather because the know hardly anybody uses Firewire, this way they can save a few pence.

Furthermore, Firewire connectors are kind of wobbly, even the 6-pin ones, and it is easy to insert a Firewire 400 connector the wrong way round.

Some say that with Firewire audio interfaces you need the TI chipset otherwise you may run into performance problems. Since everybody uses USB, manufacturers ensure it works with everything. Therefore you're likely to get fewer headaches with USB. To support this argument, notice how RME's latest audio interfaces all use USB, also probably becasue Firewire has been discontinued. USB is the future. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and even 1.0, which means that if you buy the KA6 now you'll still be able to use it for many years. With Firewire you'll almost definitely need to buy a PCMCIA or Express Card adapter like I did, which means more stuff to carry around.

The other thing is that, because the 4-pin connector cannot provide bus power, you must always carry your audio interface AND it's power supply. In the studio it means more wires to manage.

For your needs I recommend the KA6 and you are very unlikely to be disappointed. It's very well built and offers hassle-free operation. For a desktop set-up or if you need more I/O and you have the extra cash I'd recommend RME's new USB interfaces e.g. Fireface UC.
#27
14th July 2012
Old 14th July 2012
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Might sound weird, but how does it compare to Ultranova's integrated audio interface?
Looking for an interface for live (not ableton), and these are my 2 options that I narrowed down.
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#28
13th September 2012
Old 13th September 2012
  #28
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Hi everyone, newbie in the forum.

Just wanted to know if any of you have had any problem with the microphone volumes on the KA6. I have to turn the headphone and mic input knobs all the way up and yet the LED only lights up when I speak really loud or tap the microphone. Needless to say, the recording appears in Ableton as a really thin, sharp-edged waveform.

I also have the clicks and pops issue, but I will buy a USB hub and see if that works.
#29
13th September 2012
Old 13th September 2012
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Hi Enx1

Regarding the microphone input low level, have you turned on 48V phantom power? I think there's a switch at the back of the unit.

Regarding the clicks and pops, don't buy a hub yet (unless you need it anyway). This problem is actually quite common (and equally annoying), and is often caused by DPC latency.

Download DPC Latency Checker and LatencyMon. Run DPC Latency Checker first to see if you are experiencing high DPC latency, represented by long red spike. You shouldn't get any red spikes, ideally. If you do, you can use LatencyMon to check what's causing the spikes and take appropriate action e.g. uninstall it or disable it.

I hope this helps.
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