Audio clipping in Thru mode on AMX

I bought an Akai AMX as it looked like a great option to run various systems - i.e. Serato DJ, noise map control and direct CD/vinyl mixing.

It works ok with noise map and as a controller for Serato but when I play audio CDs from my Pioneer CDJs the audio is clipped or distorting as if the input level is to high.

My gain structure/all levels are fine (not in the red). Even with the level incredibly low I still hear clipping. The same audio CD played through a generic mixer is fine i.e. no clipping.

If this cannot be resolved this renders the unit not fit for its advertised purpose.

I have submitted a support ticket on 19th jan but heard nothing. I re-submitted a ticket on 25th jan - I am considering returning the unit due to lack of support.
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  • Hi Jim,

    Thanks for posting!

    Pioneer CDJs have a "hotter" than industry standard output level. There are a few threads on the Pioneer forums that mention this; it seems most often referring to CDJ-2000s (likely because those are the most widely used).

    Analog and digital metering is fast, but often very fast transient/percussive material can still clip an input without the metering "catching up". So, if the input metering is close to red it may still be clipping.

    It's not likely, but I have to just be sure. One thing that would cause this for sure is switching the input level the PHONO, so be sure both channels are on LINE on the AMX. Then, check all of the other gain stages from the AMX, which would basically be the output level to headphones and the rear output of the AMX.

    Turn down the MASTER of the AMX to see if this stops the clipping. If it does, then it's likely because you're hitting your PA or booth system too hard. Basically follow this by a process of elimination so we can best narrow down the cause.
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  • Hi Dan and thanks for the reply.

    The original fault was on CDJ 800s. I had set up the line switches correctly and checked every point in the gain stages. Even with the level meters showing only 1 green light it was distorting. I also tested the same CD through a generic mixer and it was fine.

    I have since re-tested and found no fault though. I am wondering if the line/phono switch may have not registered it's intended position without cycling? Please let me know if this is possible.

    Also please do not close this support request either. I consider these tests indicative of an intermittent issue and will continue to keep an eye on it. Especially as I have since found a new issue while playing noise map vinyl -

    The new issue is that I have twice (while scratching) had a loud pop and lost all level from one deck and the master. Level lights on the deck input I was not scratching on remained but no master. Rebooting serato fixed this but as it happened twice (each time on a different side) I am also considering this an intermittent issue.

    As an experienced user I know that it could be that there are faults in my P.A. and/or vinyl decks which have coincidentally occurred or only shown up after purchasing the AMX and so I am not laying blame on Akai. I will continue to test all the functions on the AMX and be sure it is acceptable.
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    • Im having the same issues with thru via Turntables ...
    • i am recording my vinyls with wavelab 9.5 in phono mode and a stanton T92 turntable with an ortophon concorde mkII mix head and i have no clipping in wavelab but when it goes through serato i have had some cloipping at the begginning, just adjust well your input gain.
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  • ok cool,

    also just seen this idea on the serato forum -

    "GOTO - Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup.

    In this window, can you see your controller? Can you click on it and in input, change the Format to 48Khz instead of what its set to at the moment (96Khz)"

    Would you recommend I try that too?
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  • I’m frustrated
    hey there, my question/problem has been moved here - but i ́m not having issues with through mode. trough mode works fine. what doesnt work ist the amx itself. it crackles constantly, even if you play internally, usb overload is red all the time, even though my pc specs are more than fine. my old serato works fine, the new serato dj works fine, even with the new rane mixer, so it must be a problem with akai and the drivers i guess. 3 other friends who all ordered last week and probably will return this plastic thingy soon, have the same problem, on pc as well as on macbook pros. unfortunately (overall) i ́m not happy at all with the product, akai used to make way more solid stuff back in the days :/
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  • UPDATE - Having switched the mac utilities audio midi setup to 48khz, having tested different usb cables, different headshells, cartridges, styli, phono out cables, power extensions and even buildings!
    I can tell you that whenever I did hard scratching the system popped and all audio failed... This has cost me a lot of time and effort UNTIL:

    I noticed in setup I had snap to beatgrid checked - but i never use sync or beat grids - so I unchecked snap to beat grid, and for the first time ever I had a good hour of no popping clean audio.

    Could this have solved my issue or am I still to expect intermittent pops and loss of audio?

    Haven't got back to testing thru mode as I mainly wanted this unit to be DVS for vinyl and am much more concerned about that at the moment.
    • Well I would call that a different symptom than "audio clipping". Sounds like your compute processor (I don't know what CPU you have) was having trouble processing the audio. Having the beat grid on and audio snapping to it takes more processing power and that may have pushed it over the edge.

      You can raise the buffer size setting (in the SETUP) menu to alleviate things, along with working at a lower sample rate.
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  • Hi there,

    This is still unresolved - I had another play yesterday and even with "clip to grids" unchecked the unit popped and cut out.

    This is a different issue to the audio clipping, this thread began with that issue but I then had these cutoffs rendering the unit unusable until I reboot serato - as I bought the AMX for noise map control this has become my main issue. I have not had time to test the audio clipping from CDJs in thru mode again yet.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    If I cannot use the unit for vinyl nosiemap control it doesn't matter to me if the CDJ Audio clips or not - the unit would be useless either way.

    My processor is an 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 8GB Ram
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  • The USB ports must be disconnecting the AMX at some point.

    Have you tested multiple computers? That would be the best test. Try new USB cables as well. No other USB devices connect and no USB hubs.

    Also check the Energy Saver settings in the Mac System Preferences to be sure the computer isn't shutting down ports or peripherals.

    Be sure no other programs are running, especially any that would try to access the AMX for audio input/output.
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  • it's pretty hard to test other computers when the AMX requires the DVS plug in on SDJ to test noise map - unless you can suggest other tests I can run external to SDJ?

    i have an hour to test again today - will double check all the things you mention.

    For what it's worth I also have and use NI z2 (with timecode), numark mix track pros, numark NS6, NI S2, Pioneer DDJ SX and NI Audio8(with timecode) (none at the same time as the AMX) and none of these units have any issues on this computer - only the AMX is killing me and taking up my time..
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  • Yeah, I forgot about the DVS activation!

    I think it might be best to give tech support a call to look into service options. We've done enough troubleshooting and narrowing of the symptoms such that it's possible the AMX itself has a hardware issue; just haven't seen this one before.

    Here are the phone or email contacts for support or a local distributor if you're outside those regions. Mention all the troubleshooting you already did on the forums.

    USA & Canada
    Phone: 401-658-5765
    Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 6:30PM EST

    Germany
    Phone: +49-2154-81299-20
    Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM CET

    UK/Europe
    Phone: 44(0)1252-896040
    Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 6:00PM BST

    Brazil
    Phone: +5511 - 3222-6476
    Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 6:00PM BRT

    Email
    http://www.akaipro.com/support

    International Distributors
    http://www.akaipro.com/company/intern...
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  • weird but i had a two hour test today and no pops.
    This time I had noticed my system pref sound settings were set to play internal sound effects through "selected sound output device" I switched it to "internal speakers...

    anyway, due to the intermitent nature of the fault I will do another soak test before deciding if is fixed or if i need to call the numbers supplied. Cheers Dan, I'll update here as standard whatever happens.

    Unfortunately can't do another proper soak for a week or two. but won't give up on this.
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  • Hey hey - I ran another test and thought to double chk my Mac/utilities/audio setup.

    It had reverted to 96 khz! I switched it back to 44.1 and had an hour of pop-free playing.

    Is it possible that this setting in mac utilities is reset to 96 Khz each time I plug in my AMX?

    If so it renders all my tests invalid as I had been assuming I was at 44.1.

    But from now on I will chk the utility setup is switched to 44.1 Khz and see if that has really been the source of this frustration...
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    • OK - I did mean "Audio/Midi Setup"
      - It does appear to change each time I plug my AMX in but on that one occasion it hadn't changed
      - I just updated to Serato 1.7.3 which is the latest recommended update
      - I will continue to test and will check the audio/midi setup each time but if I get another pop/cutout I will request a Return Authorisation.
      Just don't want to waste anyones time with an intermittent fault if it is something wrong at my end.
    • Hey Jim,

      Okay, did some further research and you pretty much summed it up. It's all related to simply operating at 96KHz and that this was the defaulted sample rate.

      As I understand it, the Mac and AMX don't flip to 96KHz. It's when Serato sees the AMX that is switches.

      I believe this will be addressed with the upcoming Serato DJ 1.7.4 update! I think they just put up a link to request a public beta, but I'd suggest just waiting for the official release.
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  • very interesting - The fact it switched when serato is loaded is especially news to me - I had been checking the sample rate each time I plugged the AMX in but not always after loading serato - I will continue to test but always checking sample rate is 44.1 after serato has loaded.

    Also, obviously looking fwd to the 1.7.4 update.
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  • hmmm -
    just turned on - tested sample rate - 44.1
    plugged in amx - tested sample rate - 44.1
    booted SDJ - tested sample rate - 44.1
    so the idea that it switches when SDJ "sees" the AMX does not seem exactly right - but nevertheless by ensuring sample rate is not 96 I am definetly getting better results.

    still testing...
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  • hey hey - just updated to the 1.7.4 version of SDJ - same issue with popping turned up.

    Also retested CDJs in thru mode and still getting horrid distortion.

    So have accepted an NRN number and am sending it off now for a look over.
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  • Hi, i've just purchased an amx and i'm having the same issue using through mode, there doesn't seem to be enough headroom on the line level inputs. I've tried 2 CDJs and a Stanton turntable (set to line out, phono works fine) with the same issue on all of them.
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  • Im having trouble with my amx its not reading my regular vinyl at all how do i change that cause i wanna use my super seal record
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  • Hey all,
    I'm having the same problem in through mode. Distortion no matter how far down I turn the gain. In through mode playing cdj 2000 nexus off USB. I cant work it out.

    Reading though this post it's worth mentioning that with a 2013 15" MacBook Pro you don't get enough power for the amx unless you have the power cable attached. 13" i5 and retina work fine.

    Help with my issue please.
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