I have a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen Audio Interface plugged in via USB to my motherboard, an MSI B450-A PRO MAX. Up until a couple of weeks ago, it always connected properly, but after an update I’ve been seeing serious problems.
There is another thread about a similar problem here. For clarity, I am also having that problem, but this thread is about a separate problem which is probably related, hence making a new post - I hope that’s ok.
The linked problem seems to be unique to MSI motherboards, so that’s probably at least part of the cause of this problem too. Whilst that one can be solved by a single command, my problem seems more pervasive.
When connecting my audio interface on my primary OS (manjaro kde, up to date), it reliably fails to initialise properly - meaning the hardware itself cannot process audio in or audio out. Even if I have the right audio profiles shown in PulseAudio, the interface acts like it has a power connection but no data connection, it doesn’t even illuminate its own light showing that the mic is being used, or direct the mic audio internally to the monitoring output, which is bizarre. Pulseaudio shows audio is being sent to it but the interface does nothing at all.
I’ve done some investigation, and the problem keeps getting stranger.
When using a fresh OS (namely, one which hasn’t been manually updated since approximately mid-august, which applies to new installs from the manjaro site at the moment), the device works reliably after connecting it via USB.
However, if I update that OS, the problem comes back. The alternate install I tested this on was fairly new and not heavily modified from fresh install.
The strangest part is that after restart, the audio interface usually retains its functionality from the last time it was connected, regardless which OS is running now.
Whilst running the OS in which the audio interface works properly, if it was last physically plugged in whilst in the OS in which it doesn’t work properly, it will remain inoperative until I re-plug it.
The same thing sometimes happens the other way around, though sometimes it just doesn’t appear at all, I think this varies with which kernel is active.
Because of the fact that all I had to do was run an update to recreate the problem, I am assuming the problem is being either caused or catalysed by a package, without any custom configuration.
Because of this, I assembled a list of all the packages present on the system where it works properly which were either absent or different versions on the system where it doesn’t work properly.
This means that one of the items on that list, if installed (as a downgrade) on the OS with the problem, would theoretically fix the problem. Unfortunately it’s 700 items long, but that narrows it down somewhat. Simple List | Detailed List.
I’ve tried various different kernels, disabling a bunch of motherboard settings including disabling all overclocking, every different USB port I could think of, removing peripherals and internal cards, downgrading all system packages to the start of august, and even left the audio interface unplugged for a few hours. None of these produced a long-term fix.
The only thing which reliably reproduced the problem was running the mid-august update from a fresh install.
The indications I have so far do not indicate that the audio interface is likely to be broken, I’m pretty sure this is a software configuration which, as published, is partially incompatible with most B450 MSI motherboards.