If you are using a PCI USB card for your Virus, which and how is it working for you?

  • Hello. I am wanting to get a little database going here of PCI based USB cards and how they are working with the Virus Ti. If you are using a PCI based USB card for use with your Virus Ti, which are you using and how is it faring? Please state the following in your post.

    -Chipset used (VIA/NEC/Other?)

    I hope this collection of information can better inform myself and hopefully others who may rely on such a card to get proper use of their Ti when all else fails using their onboard motherboard USB ports such as myself. The Ti refuses to work reliably, if at all on my brand new Asus P8P67 based board. I cannot use the USB2 ports at all. The USB3 ports take many, many tries of being unplugged then plugged back in before VC will sync with the hardware reliably etc. I have resorted to getting a PCI based USB card this week which has solved 95% of my problems. The hardware will now sync with VC 100% of the time and play sound just as it should (before I would get nothing but a rate reduced/horrible distortion type sound on output when used on my onboard ports), however, I am getting random quiet/faint crackles, clicks and pops that are not atrocious, yet still present and quite annoying. I am literally SOL to get the Virus working on my newly built system any other way then by using a PCI based USB card. Is my issue with the actual/particular PCI card I purchased? Is it the 4.5 beta software? Will another make/model of PCI card help me out? This is what I am trying to determine before I start randomly buying all sorts of different cards on a whim simply for testing purposes. I will start this collection of information going.

    -VIA VT6212L

    I thank anyone who takes part in this thread and I look forward to hearing of your replies.

  • Hey Fringe. I have tried using 2 different pci usb cards to get rid of the crackling, but with no luck. At first I thought it was the beta causing the problems, but I tried reverting as far back as 3.3 with no success. Still, I've had my Virus since '06 and never had crackling problems until pretty recently.

    Are you running Windows 7? I have a feeling 7 must have something to do with it as I upgraded both my desktop and laptop over the last year (and was likely too busy in school to really notice the problem until now).

    All of this to say, I don't think a new usb card will solve the crackling.

    I have been in contact with Access and I am going to send them an Ableton Live set this week so that they can try and identify the issue. My fingers are crossed.

    I have a thread about crackling problems here, if you're interested:


    Sorry I didn't really address your question (make/model), I'm just wondering if we're having similar problems which I believe are unrelated to port issues.

  • Thank you SOS for replying. You are the first and only. It left me wondering if I was the only one using these cards.

    I am sorry to hear that changing cards may not solve my problem, however, I guess I didn't waste any time or money from doing so either. For me, using a USB PCI card is the ONLY option since building my new system. The Ti will not work on any of the USB2 ports on the back of my computer and are very unreliable on the USB3 ports as well. Getting the PCI card has allowed me to get VC up and running with 95% clean sound, something no other port on my computer would ever allow me to do. The crackling I get is not very loud at all, and not constant, but still there none the less. It sounds like faint dirty vinyl clicking. Quite annoying when trying to do a mixdown and has left me completely depressed that even my very last resort to get the Ti working on my new system is not 100% perfect. Yes I am running Windows 7 64 bit. I would like to blame that on being the problem, but I am hearing of no other such complaints so it is not widespread enough to put my mind at ease. The Ti is so finicky and always has been. It is an amazingly powerful synth but the USB issues really hold it back. I am hoping for a solving of this issue as well. May have to live with the crackling or just ditch the Ti altogether. For heavy beat laden music I would probably never hear the crackles, but on quiet breakdowns with arps, pads etc, it is very disheartening to hear the noise it produces that it shouldn't. I was hoping it was the dodgy VIA chipset on my card that was holding me back and that getting a proper NEC one would aid me in this issue. You say you have two cards, are they both based on the same chipset? If so that really may not count as two different cards. If they both contain completely different chipsets than that is an entirely different story. Would you mind letting me know your make/model/chipset used regardless please? Are your crackles really bad or just faint like mine? I would love to hear an audio example of your crackling to compare to mine.

    Thanks again for taking the time to take part in this thread.

  • Hey Fringe,

    They are not the same cards.

    The first card I tried is this one:


    The card I just got last week is this one:


    Sounds like your crackles are exactly the same as mine (I have also described them as "vinyl" like). If you link to the youtube video I made for the other thread you can see the crackling frequency range on Live's analyzer (but probably not hear it due to video quality).

    I am really close to giving up on the Virus. Yes, I could use it through midi but then you lose the ability to automate clocked LFOs, not to mention Virus Control. I am just really attached to the Virus sound. The closest I've found in the vst world is Uhe's Zebra, which is looking better everyday. I am going to work a little more with support though, to see if this can be ironed out.

  • Thanks for the reply again.

    It seems both cards despite being different manufacturers and models are in fact using different chipsets. The Syba is a VIA like mine now, the Koutech is an NEC, like I was going to get. Doh!

    Please do reply in this thread if you happen to come to a conclusion regardless this issue.

    Thank you.

  • I've just moved to a usb pci card because I'd heard it was ment to be better... I'd say things are now worse for me.

    Cant remember what card it is but it has a firewire port on it too. Was just in my spares so thought i'd give it a try. Next OS upgrade i'll be reverting back.

  • let me just add two things to this discussion:
    - a recommendation for a PCI USB card should only be taken if the CPU board, OS and driver version matches.
    - 90% of the problems are setup related. the virus does not need a special USB connection, it just needs one which is not shared or otherwise below specs. even if it is shared, it can work as long as the other device does not consume a significant amount of bandwidth like for instance a mouse or a keyboard.

  • Hi Marc, thanks for chiming in. While this sounds plausible it is not the case on my new system. This board is brand new to the market, released January of this year, actually March since it is the new revision due to the Intel SATA recall issue. NONE of the USB2 ports work with the Virus on my motherboard, but do work with everything else. I get THIS DEVICE CANNOT START (CODE 10) in Device Manager. If I do manage to get it working I get nothing but distortion for output while playing. Sounds like rate reduction gone mad and that is all I ever get. Hooking the Virus up to the USB3 ports (NEC chipset) plays sound fine.... if it connects. I have unplug and plug the Virus back in multiple times before VC will even start up. Getting a PCI based USB card allows for VC to load each and every time like it should, as well as play sound properly 95% of the time. I still get intermittent crackles, clicks and pops here and there. If the Virus is not picky on any particular USB based device, why does it still crackle, click and pop when it is on its own dedicated card with absolutely nothing else plugged into it but the Virus? I have only had this thing since June of 09 but it has not been smooth sailing on two different systems trying to run it. It is extremely finicky and not even close to be using plug and play/user friendly.

  • If the Virus is not picky on any particular USB based device, why does it still crackle, click and pop when it is on its own dedicated card with absolutely nothing else plugged into it but the Virus? I have only had this thing since June of 09 but it has not been smooth sailing on two different systems trying to run it. It is extremely finicky and not even close to be using plug and play/user friendly.

    i can think of many reasons, for instance how the CPU board communicates with the PCI card among other possible bottleneck situations. cracking, clicks and pops can be caused by USB transmission problems which doesn't mean that the bottleneck is the USB part itself. it also can have to do with the internal USB root hub layout of those cards. did you try to put a USB2 hub in between the Virus and the PCI USB card. i know this sounds silly but ...

    as for plug and play, yes, you need drivers which certainly doesn't add to the user experience. i guess you're on it with access support (sorry, didn't read through the whole thread again)?


  • Hi Marc. I was on it with Access, but can't be bothered anymore. Jorg was polite in his answering, however, really has nothing to offer in terms of help. He keeps stating that things 'should' work 'just fine'. He mentions things have changed with the new i7 series of chips and how they handle USB but 'it shouldn't matter at all'. He also mentioned to try a powered hub which I did and it did squat. Really, nothing works as should and it is quite a bit ridiculous by now. I too was wondering about the USB root hub implementation on the PCI card itself which was exactly why I started this thread. I was hoping to gets makes/models/chipsets used so that I may try and find a suitable replacement should one exist. What I don't want is to be on a wild goose chase spending all my time and money on multiple cards that really offer nothing over what I currently have. Seems no one is using these cards, or just cannot be bothered to reply as only ONE user has replied and unfortunately different cards have offered him nothing in terms of a clean output like one would expect.

    Checking the release notes now, I see a mention of VC: improved efficiency of USB transmission protocol. Could this be an issue in the latest beta? Could this be further tweaked in future updates?

    I am sorry for sounding so brash, but $2500 just sitting hear sounding like bacon is frying in the background is a real heartbreaker. The thing is, the clicks, pops and crackles are so intermittent that it doesn't totally ruin the experience, except when one tries to mixdown and of course they are present in the final file really dampening the experience. Sometimes I will get a click after a few seconds, other times minutes will pass with nothing, but ultimately it still does it. Getting the PCI based card really was a last ditch attempt due to none of my onboard USB2 ports being able to play sound beyond distorted chaos.

    The NEC USB3 ports play clean sound, however, VC will next to never connect to the Ti when on those ports unless I repeatedly unplug and re-plug the Ti back in. Jorg tells me he seriously doubts the NEC chipset is to blame and that no driver update to the Ti should be needed when inquired about it. It seems the Ti is the perfect little thing and everything else is the problem??

  • Hey Fringe,

    It can't be coincidence that you and I are having similar problems.

    I'm curious though, what DAW are you running? Have you tested the Virus through conventional midi or are you always using Virus Control? All of my crackling goes away when the Virus is used in a traditional manner (midi/ audio outs). I would be really curious to hear if you experience the same. Of course the TI is marketed for its integration, so it's definitely not a solution.

    Also, do you use a TI 1 or 2?

    I only had one user respond in the thread I posted about crackling and they were kind enough to test a patch out for me (as Jorg told me the crackling was likely due to voice stealing). They reported back with no problems, although they are running a Mac and a TI2. Nonetheless, I don't really think the crackling I'm experiencing is from voice stealing as it happens no matter how simple the patch, even for mono patches. I also watched a video on youtube the other day of a guy demonstrating polyphony limits with his Snow and while there was clear voice stealing, there was no crackling.

  • Hi SOS. I am running a Ti1 on Cubase 6.02. I have not tried the traditional midi method though I may when I have some time. In all honesty I don't care if it works via midi as that isn't why I bought the Virus and it will be just as much hassle using it that way then with the crackling in VC mode. The total integration is a God send when it actually works and that is how I would like it to work.

  • fringe -

    i've talked to one of our programmers and asked him for his opinion. first he said that he would need more info. so please email the MSINFO file of the PC in questions to my attention. also, which buffer size and sampling rate are you using. does the issue persist when you just run the cubase tutorial project?
    thanks, marc

  • Hi Marc. Thank you very much for your time being put into helping me to get my issue resolved. I have dumped the MSINFO32 information as you requested. I have also created a short 20s MP3 of the distorted output I am getting so you guys can hear in person what I am hearing.

    To answer your question, I usually play at 256 buffer 44.1KHZ, however, at 384, 512, etc, it makes no difference. I also have two different sound cards I use and both exhibit the same behavior. Please let me know where to send this information to as your profile states I am not your friend and therefore cannot interact with you the way I would like. I look forward to your reply so we can get things rolling sooner than later.


  • Hi Marc. I did not send the MSINFO file yesterday as I was unsure where I should send it to. Since you have informed me in your above post I have just send off the email containing the MSINFO dump. I have also attached an MP3 mixdown of the noise I hear when trying to play the Ti on the USB2 ports found on the back of my board.

    Please do get in touch with me should you need to do so to ask any questions, fill me in on your findings etc. I really do appreciate all the help and I hope to hear from you guys at your earliest convenience.

    Good luck!


  • Hi Fringe,

    as I see from the MSINFO file you've sent, IRQ16 is sharing an UAD-1, an UAD-2 Card, the GTX Graphic adapter as well as one of the onboard USB Controllers.
    It is possible that this causes the problem since the IRQ times/DPC times rise too high when the computer handles all IRQ requests. This could lead to such "stutter" effects as heard in the mp3.

    You could, for a test, remove the UAD cards temporary the check, if the behaviour changes.

    With the USB3-Card we have not much experience, but it might be worth a try to get an real USB2-PCI card with no other things attached (like Firewire etc.) and check how that works out better.

    Let us know how this turns out.