Ur22mkii Peak LED, minimal input gain?!

Hey all,

So not too long ago I picked up a UR22mkii primarily to record guitar and bass tracks with. I have been using it with Cubase LE Elements 9 that comes included with the purchase of the AI on my Windows PC.

The problem or issue I’ve been having is that the INPUT 2 gain (and likewise the Stereo IN channel in Cubase) is way too hot, even when the input gain knob on the interface is at its minimal setting. Even with the input gain knob at its minimal setting, the peak LED will flash/illuminate on the interface and audible clipping/distortion occurs. The Stereo In channel in Cubase is then impossible to get to below -10Dbfs without reducing fader, and normally peaks between -8.0 to -3.0 under incredibly light playing. Will peak and hit bus limiter (+6) under moderate/normal playing, and during palm mutes, other transients, etc.

I have used 5 different instruments…2 passive electric guitars, 1 passive electric bass, 1 active (EMG) electric guitar, and 1 acoustic guitar (piezo with preamp). I connect all guitars via 1/4" TRS cable directly into the interface. Active instruments I connect on INPUT 1, and the passive instruments I’ll connect on INPUT 2 (with Hi-Z switch). This issue really only occurs with the passive electrics on INPUT 2.

With active instruments on INPUT 1, I find I need to set the input gain knob between 8 and 11 o,clock to get between -18 and -12Dbfs on the stereo in bus in Cubase. The passive bass on INPUT 2 I usually have to set between minimum and 9 o’clock. If I turn the INPUT 2 gain knob to 9 o’clock with one of the passive electrics, the peak LED will almost be constantly illuminated during normal playing, and the signal sounds terrible, fuzzy, clipped, and distorted. That is with the Hi-Z switch enabled.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this should not happen, right? Any insight here is much appreciated. Is my AI faulty?

Thanks for reading.

Use a TS cable for Hi-Z input.

Thanks for the reply, and sorry for the confusion… I do use TS (unbalanced, mono) instrument cables for my guitars’ connection. I use TRS cables on the rear outputs to my monitors.

The input probably doesn’t have loads of headroom and could be clipped relatively easily but what you describe sounds like an issue with the hardware.
Is there a clear difference between hi-z being enabled or disabled?

Yes there is a difference with and without Hi-Z switch engaged. I played a simple DCG progression moderate to hard strumming. The dBfs figures below are Stereo IN peak values.

With Hi-Z on:

  • Minimum input gain: -3.2dBfs, peak LED briefly illuminating
  • Input gain @ 9 o’clock: -0.8dBfs, peak LED almost constantly illuminated

Without Hi-Z on:

  • Minimum input gain: -22.3dBfs
  • Input gain @ 12 o’clock: -5.3dBfs
    • 1 dot: -3.2dBfs
    • 2 dot: peak LED, -0.0, clip warning

I then re-engaged the Hi-Z switch and went to a lower register GFE.

Minimum input gain: -1.5dBfs, peak LED consistently flashing
Input gain @ 9 o’clock: peak LED, 1 -0.0Dbfs,

Doing a search reveals many people with similar issues. If the guitar has a fairly hot output it is apparently very easy to clip UR22.

That’s disappointing. One of the main reasons I purchased the Ur22mkii to begin with was because of the Hi-Z functionality and being able to connect an electric guitar directly into the input.

I do definitely notice that one of my guitars is much hotter than the other, by at least a few dBfs on the input bus. Clipping is also far more likely on the bridge pickup where the lowend frequencies are stronger and transients are more likely.

Looks like the only way to remedy this issue is by use of a direct box to better control the input level. Any recommendations for one that works well with the UR22mkii?