No sound from external sound card

Hi all,

I could really use some urgent help in fixing my problem - any advice or pointers appreciated.

I’m using Cubase 7 on a Macbook Pro (OSX v. 10.8.2). I have it hooked up to a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, connected to the Macbook by USB cable via a 7-port USB 3.0 hub. My problem is that I can’t get any sound out of Cubase via the Scarlett into my speakers.

I’m definitely receiving an input signal via the Scarlett; I have a MIDI keyboard plugged into it and I’m able to play / record with the keyboard in Cubase, so the USB cable and connection is fine. This input works fine on both MIDI tracks and instrument tracks.

I’m also definitely receiving an output signal; I can select “Scarlett 2i4 USB” as audio output in my audio preferences, and when I do then the laptop in general is able to use the Scarlett / speakers as an output (e.g. if I play a YouTube video on the Macbook, I’ll hear the sound through my external speakers via the Scarlett), but Cubase still can’t; even if the Scarlett is selected as the Macbook’s audio output, Cubase still uses the in-build speakers.

I’m able to select the Scarlett as an output on MIDI tracks, but when I do, I get no sound out of that track. I’m not able to select the Scarlett as an output on instrument tracks at all. On both MIDI and instrument tracks, when I use a different output - such as the pre-packaged HALion Sonic SE - then I get sound through the Macbook’s tinny speakers, no problem.

I’ve checked my device setup panel. The Scarlett shows “active” as an input because I’ve selected “All MIDI inputs” on all of my tracks. It shows “active” as an output if I set one of the MIDI tracks to use it as an output (as described above), but still no sound.

I’ve installed all the recommended Focusrite and Scarlett drivers and software. I’ve checked the Scarlett documentation, and it rather unhelpfully says “refer to your software’s documentation” when telling you how to set it up.

I’m sure there’s something small and stupid that I haven’t done, but I simply don’t know what it is. I’ve read other threads on this forum featuring problems of a similar nature but they haven’t been able to help me.

If anyone could help me, I’d be extremely grateful. I have a music rehearsal scheduled with some singers this Wednesday (three days from now), and I need to be able to play music through my speakers.

Thanks in advance,


Because Cubase is independant from the macbook´s settings. Cubase audio settings are configured in Cubase device setup, not in Mac OS.

Because MIDI is not sound…

That´s how MIDI works. Now you just need to setup Cubase to use your Focusrite audio device (Not MIDI) to ouput that audio via the scarlett, not the Macbook speaker, or you need to connect a sound generating device to your scarlett´s MIDI output. Explained very well in the manual, and hundrets of posts here in the forum.
Someone here even wrote a thread about MIDI basics (which you should learn first…).

Okay, I’m almost scared to post again, but …

I managed to setup Cubase to use the Scarlett as its audio output. However, when playing my project back, the project (all just MIDI sequencing so far) has been sped up - it plays about 1 whole tone higher and several beats faster than it should. It plays at normal pitch and speed when I deactivate the Scarlett. Again, I’ve read the relevant chapter in the manual but can’t figure out why this might be. Does anyone have any insight?

Thank you,


Okay, I’m almost scared to post again, but …

And I’m almost scared to post a reply after your overly sensitive (now edited) last post attacking the guy who was giving you a reasonably helpful response, but…

The speed/pitch change you are experiencing is probably a sample rate mismatch.

The sample rate set in Cubase project setup must match the sample rate set in your interface control panel. (You should find one is currently set to 44.1k and the other to 48K)

Yikes… I couldn’t help but cringe at the thought of the thought of some of the replies your post would attract. I honestly would spend a couple evenings watching YouTube videos and Googling the fundamentals of modern digital recording (terminology, interface setup, channel routing…etc) and then read the getting started manual for Cubase or look up the basics on TouTube even; you’d learn more, far quicker and would avoid condescending replies from “the elite” on this forum. If you’ve got any questions; feel free to PM me.


Hi Grim / droutloaf,

Thank you both very much for your replies, I really appreciate it. I’ll look into the solutions you suggested and see how I get on.

I agree my first response was overly sensitive, hence I deleted it, since no one needs to see me throwing a fit in a public forum. And ThinkingCap’s response was ultimately helpful, so I owe him thanks for that, but I still don’t appreciate his tone. I just don’t put up with people being rude to me, whatever the circumstances.

Thanks again,


Quick update: Grim, thank you, your observation was dead on and the problem is now fixed. Thanks.

droutloaf, thanks also for your offer, I will definitely consider it if I have any more problems that I’m not able to solve under my own steam.

And I shall have a look-out for more tutorials to help me with the more basic functionality of Cubase!


I think all of your posts are overly sensitive. Cheers.

The tone of his reply was fine. You are the one being rude.

Maybe I’m only inquiring (and fanning the flame) because I’ve had a few drinks tonight…but why did you feel the need to comment on this thread, Drac?

Because I found the original poster to be unreasonable.

If you find that offensive, you can always ignore me.

Fair enough, he must have edited it before I read it.

Okay, the more I think about it, the more I think that Draconis had a point - I was being overly defensive and ended up being rude myself.

ThinkingCap, I apologise - I realise that you were trying to help, and were probably just unimpressed at the nth person who hadn’t read the manual properly. I’m sorry for snapping at you, that wasn’t fair.

don’t take it all to heart im sure thinkingcap will forgive you and he is the only person you need to apologize and to who ever has joined in this thread it’s non of there business really

enjoy the forum