SOLVED - Eurorack doesn't work with USB devices BSP, KS, SQ1

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StrangeAttraction
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SOLVED - Eurorack doesn't work with USB devices BSP, KS, SQ1

Post by StrangeAttraction » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:07 am

Hi,
Hope you can help.

Here's a video I made to show what the issue is:

[video][/video]

I have a MBP 2015 connected to Audient ID22 interface via USB and one of the USB-powered controllers such as Beatstep Pro or Keystep or Korg SQ1.
The moment I make a connection between one of these controllers and my Eurorack Modular (powered by Trogotronic 12u system), say I connect Pitch CV from Sequencer 1 on BSP to V/Oct on any of my oscillators whatnot, MBP drops-off my Audient audio interface.
This means that, essentially, I am not able to use any of the USB devices to control my modular.
I've already:
- cleared any potentially corrupt system files from OSX library and audio folders
- I've done NVRAM and SMC reset
No change. Issues remains.

The video cut off at the end, but could this be caused by an improperly wired sockets (e.g. no proper grounding in the wall sockets)?

Thanks in advance
Last edited by StrangeAttraction on Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mckenic
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Post by mckenic » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:30 am

(EDIT If you suspect your wall sockets may be ungrounded - buy/borrow some sort of tester as the 1st step!)

Looks like a USB power draw thing to me.
Does it happen when you have the MBP plugged it?

Do you have a powered USB hub you could attach the BSP to and then attach the hub to the MBP?

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Post by mckenic » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:36 am

mckenic wrote:(EDIT If you suspect your wall sockets may be ungrounded - buy/borrow some sort of tester as the 1st step!)

Looks like a USB power draw thing to me.
Does it happen when you have the MBP plugged it?

Do you have a powered USB hub you could attach the BSP to and then attach the hub to the MBP?
(EDIT 2 The Audent site says the interface can not be bus powered for quality reasons - is yours powered from the wall?)

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Post by StrangeAttraction » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:42 am

mckenic wrote:Does it happen when you have the MBP plugged it?

Do you have a powered USB hub you could attach the BSP to and then attach the hub to the MBP?
Yes, it happens with the MBP plugged in to power.
I have a powered USB hub (two different brands, actually), and the issue still happens. For the sake of removing variables / ruling it out, I've not used it in the video. But yeah, powered USB hub doesn't solve the issue.

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Post by StrangeAttraction » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:44 am

mckenic wrote: (EDIT 2 The Audent site says the interface can not be bus powered for quality reasons - is yours powered from the wall?)
Yes, it is powered using its own power adapter. It has to be for audio quality reasons, but also, because it simply doesn't switch on without the adapter.

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Post by mckenic » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:46 am

Sorry I couldnt be more help!
If its happening with everything getting power it wouldnt seem to be a usb power draw issue.

I'd investigate your suspicion that the grounding at the wall might be a problem as a matter of urgency.

Sorry mate!

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Post by suthnear » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:58 am

Does it work if the BSP isn't powered from the mac: e.g. if you plug it into the wall via a phone charger, say. What happens if you connect a hub to the mac and both the audient and the BSP to the hub (i.e. so that you are only using one USB port on the mac)? Try this with both USB ports.

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Post by StrangeAttraction » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:48 am

mckenic wrote:Sorry I couldnt be more help!
Thanks for your suggestions though. That means a lot! :)

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Post by StrangeAttraction » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:51 am

suthnear wrote:Does it work if the BSP isn't powered from the mac: e.g. if you plug it into the wall via a phone charger, say. What happens if you connect a hub to the mac and both the audient and the BSP to the hub (i.e. so that you are only using one USB port on the mac)? Try this with both USB ports.
Yes, it's working now! I've connected both Audient ID22 and BSP/KS to the powered USB hub and I'm connecting the hub of course to a single port on MBP. Works flawlessly.
I'd still like to understand what caused the Audient to drop off before (USB power draw or sth else)...but this appears to have solved the problem :)

Many thanks for your help!

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Post by mckenic » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:21 am

:tu:

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Post by suthnear » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:07 pm

Oh great, glad to hear that. That generation of mbp doesn't seem to like it much when you plug things into both of the USB ports at the same time. One of the ports usually seems to be better at delivering power than the other. Just for the sake of interest, you could try swapping the ports to which you have connected the audient and BSP in the video and see if it works then. But the single port approach is likely to be better anyway.

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Post by Blairio » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:20 am

I had an SQ1 / noise related problem when powering my SQ1 from an old USB phone charger. Basically I was getting noise permeating through my entire modular setup the minute I plugged the SQ1 CV and / or gate outputs into any input in my rack.

A cheap low speed USB isolator (£9 of eBay) helped diagnose the problem, and a decent quality, multi output USB power supply was the permanent fix.

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Post by StrangeAttraction » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:50 am

suthnear wrote:Just for the sake of interest, you could try swapping the ports to which you have connected the audient and BSP in the video and see if it works then. But the single port approach is likely to be better anyway.
So I've tried a number of scenarios with connecting my modular to MBP:
- Swapping ports on MBP when plugging Audient and BSP/KS (no powered hub)
- Having Audient connected to either USB port on MBP, and BSP/KS into the other USB port on MBP via a powered Hub
- plugging both Audient and BSP/KS to a powered USB hub, then plugging the hub to either port on MBP
- plugging Audient to a powered Hub and BSP/KS directly to either of the USB ports on MBP
- plugging Audient to a powered Hub and BSP/KS plugged to another powered USB hub. Both hubs go to MBP of course.

Results?

The only way Audients didn't fail in my tests was when it was connected to
a powered USB hub.
It didn't matter which port the hub was connected to, it didn't matter if BSP/KS was connected directly to MBP or the same or another powered USB hub.

It appears that the Audient ID22 needs to be plugged into MBP via a powered Hub for it to play nice with BSP/KS and modular.

There's a slight complication though, as I've connected an old HDD drive (that uses a wall socket power, it's a very old WD Elements, I think, a massive brick).
When the HDD was running off of the same powered USB hub as Audient, it caused the Audient to crash, presumably drawing too much power.

Anyway, my "conclusive suspicion" is that the Audient is rather sensitive to other devices drawing too much power, and needs a powered hub to play nice with my modular.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by StrangeAttraction on Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by StrangeAttraction » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:54 am

Blairio wrote:I had an SQ1 / noise related problem when powering my SQ1 from an old USB phone charger. Basically I was getting noise permeating through my entire modular setup the minute I plugged the SQ1 CV and / or gate outputs into any input in my rack.

A cheap low speed USB isolator (£9 of eBay) helped diagnose the problem, and a decent quality, multi output USB power supply was the permanent fix.
Thanks for this. Yeah, I've tried connecting my SQ1 in the past to a USB phone charger, and it would work fine with Audient as long as there wasn't any USB connection between my laptop/Audient and modular.

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