I’m frustrated.

Venom USB audio interface quits working when playing built-in synth

Hello M-Audio experts!

I have a problem with the Venom audio interface/keyboard controller with Mac OS X 10.9.5 and an old Macbook5,1. When I play sounds from the computer using the audio interface and start simultaneously playing the synth, everything is fine for a few seconds but after that distortion appears to the sound from the computer and soon the sound only plays as if somebody had put a square wave volume modulation to it. I've tried installing drivers (version 1.9.2) and new firmware to the Venom but using the 1.9.2 drivers the volume control starts to behave erratically and/or does not respond. Any suggestions how to make my Venom a usable USB audio interface?
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  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting.

    I'd recommend using the latest drivers for your Mac OSX 10.9.5:

    Venom - Mac OS X 10.9.5 Drivers

    Do you get the distortion problems with this driver? Try adjusting the buffer size a little higher in your DAW Audio device setup. I usually recommend starting at 512 and going from there. If it's still noisy, turn it up higher, if there is latency, turn it back down. You'll want to find a stable spot somewhere in the middle.

    If you can, provide some more info about your setup like your DAW or other software, hardware you might be using.

    Let me know!
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  • Hi Corey,

    and thank you for the reply. As said earlier, I tried the latest drivers v1.9.2, but with them the volume knob on the Venom stops working. I'm not using any DAW when the problems occur. I'm just listening music from Spotify and trying to play along with the music using built-in sounds of the Venom but then the distortion sets in and the audio gets choppy.

    The Venom is connected directly to the USB port on the Macbook (the port that is further away from the screen). I have other peripherals (keyboard, mouse and HD) connected to the other USB port via a passive USB hub. Venom outputs to active speakers.

    I'll try to install the 1.9.2 driver again tomorrow (for the third time) and see if increasing the buffer helps with the volume problem. I was at 512 last time I checked. I could also try and install an older version of the driver if I can get one from e.g. the CD that came along with the Venom. I'll update you when I'm done.
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  • I’m sad
    I installed the 1.9.2 drivers again. It seems that the Venom partly responds to the volume knob but often with a delay of several seconds. Also the volume increases on its own without me touching anything. Changing buffer settings in Reaper does nothing.

    With driver version 1.8.7 the volume responds faster but (as with 1.9.2) the volume drifts up on its own.

    It seems I'm left with the option of uninstalling the driver and trying not to touch the Venom while listening to music. I don't know yet what will happen if I try to use the Venom as a USB midi keyboard.
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  • Thanks for the update.

    Does the distortion issue only occur when using Spotify? Will turning down the volume in spotify change anything?

    Streaming music can have a big effect on processing and this is exactly where turning up the buffer size may help, but if that doesn't work than we'll have to look somewhere else.

    If you can try the device on a different computer to see if the problem follows that would be very helpful. I assume this doesn't happen when just using the synth portion standalone?
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  • Distortion occurs also with YouTube. In Spotify I'm playing songs that I've saved offline so that should not be and does not show as a big burden to the CPU when looking at Activity Monitor graphs.

    I also tested the Venom with my wife's HP notebook running Windows 7. It automatically downloaded some drivers from Windows Update. There was the same volume drift problem as with the Mac, using drivers 1.9.2 and 1.8.7. Response to turning the volume knob was ok. No distortion problems whatsoever.

    The distortion and other artifacts do not affect the sound of the synth. They only affect the sounds coming from the computer.

    So there are two separate problems. If either one is solved, it would let me use the interface as intended:
    1) Distortion and choppy audio when no drivers are installed and the Venom keyboard is used to play built-in sounds.
    2) Slow/poor response to volume knob and volume drift when drivers 1.8.7 or 1.9.2 are installed.

    Any ideas?
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  • There's another problem as well, at least with the 1.9.2 driver: The USB midi does not work. Sometimes playing virtual instruments e.g. in Garageband works for a few seconds and then there is a delay, which can be several seconds, before the sound comes out and all the previously played notes are crammed together. I would guess that the delay with volume control and delayed notes are somehow related.

    Previously I have had the old Keystation49 usb midi keyboard which worked just fine.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Any input on this, anyone? I haven't solved this yet.

    Another thing that I noticed is that the Mac volume controls are effective at the same time as the Venom volume knob. I would assume that the Venom Master Volume should be the only thing controlling the audio output level when the device is used as an audio interface.
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  • At this point, I need to recommend that you call or email our support team for one on one assistance. It's beginning to look like a problem with the keyboard, but it's hard to be sure from my end. They can help you dig a little deeper with this:

    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.m-audio.com/support/contact
    (service inquiries do not require a support code)

    International Distributors
    http://m-audio.com/distributors
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  • I’m sad
    Update: I contacted the support. I recorded them a video of the problems I'm having: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1...
    on the video you can see me turning the master volume down at 00:09 and the synth only reacts at 00:19. After that the volume starts to increase by itself and the music becomes audible again at 00:38. Then the audio level increases in steps at 00:58 and 01:17. I didn't record more but it gets louder still (every 20 seconds or so).

    They replied that I probably have a hardware fault with the unit. I also tried downgrading the firmware to 1.14.4. No luck.
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  • I’m frustrated
    1
    Was this solved? I've had the distorted sound issue since I updated drivers a long time ago. I ended giving up on using Venom as USB audio interface (on Windows 7 64bit).

    The problem started like a year after purchasing it back in 2012 I think, tried different buffer settings, downgrading drivers, restoring factory settings, etc. and distortion would be back after a while using the Venom as an audio interface. If I recall correctly, using ASIO4All drivers solved the problem but ocassionally crashed the DAW software.

    I thought it could be a Windows update issue, but since it happens on OSX too, it's maybe the driver/unit.

    It's still a great MIDI controller. But if USB audio driver had worked fine, I'd have save a lot of money :(

    Saludos, sorry for any mistakes on my english.
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  • Thank you for the reply! I ended up using a different audio interface for output. So the problem was not solved. I should try the asio4all drivers if I start to use the Venom with my Windows machines. Thanks for the tip!
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