Focusrite Scarlett USB audio interface: disconnection problems

A simple Google search on “Focusrite Scarlett disconnect” reveals this to be a common problem with no clear solution.  I’ve experienced and solved this issue on two independent PC+Scarlett setups, and both times it boiled down to the same problem: the USB cable.

Not only do you need an A-to-B cable specifically rated for USB 2.0 (or higher) compatibility, but you need to ensure it is a short cable (I’d say 6 feet max) with at least one good ferrite core around the end that plugs into the back of the Scarlett.  Ideally you’d use a cable with two ferrite cores (one around each end).  And do not use a USB extension cable or USB hub in between the Scarlett and the computer.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “ferrite core”, just plug the following search into Amazon: “USB 2.0 A to B ferrite”.

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2 Responses to Focusrite Scarlett USB audio interface: disconnection problems

  1. Louis says:

    I was having these problems not just with a Scarlett, but also with a Presonus unit that I bought to replace it. After a lot of “testing” (I am engineer), I have determined what the true root cause of a lot of these problems is: power. I suspected power problems from the beginning because my desktop computer had previously been acting up but the issues weren’t very significant. It turns out that these USB interfaces are VERY sensitive to voltage. If you are having these problems on a desktop computer and have tried everything that is suggested on the internet with no success, the problem is probably being caused by the power in your home or studio. You have to look at the circuit that the computer is being powered from and determine if there are any major appliances that are on the same circuit (for me the issue was an air conditioner). Every time my A/C unit compressor turned on it caused a voltage dip in the circuit that was destabilizing the connection to my interfaces, and you could see it because the lights would flicker or dim briefly. Keep in mind that this A/C unit was in a different room, upstairs in my house, but plugged into the same circuit as my desktop computer. There are two solutions: 1. Use a laptop or tablet on battery power to record, or 2. Buy a UPS for your desktop computer. If you are having these kinds of problems on a laptop or tablet this probably isn’t the cause, unless you are keeping it plugged in or using a USB hub that is powered.

    • c0d3h4x0r says:

      A very good point, but as you said, it only applies to desktop PCs, not laptops (which inherently have a “built in UPS” because of their battery). This definitely wasn’t the issue in my case, however, because I already run all my equipment off UPS units. However, for maximum stability the Scarlett itself (not just the computer) should at the very least be plugged into an EMI/RFI-filtering power strip.

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