Testing the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 external sound device, with my Samsung Tab S Tablet

I have tested, whether this external USB recording tool, works with my Samsung Galaxy Tab S Tablet, using a ‘StarTech.com’ OTG adapter. The results were resoundingly affirmative.

Scarlett 2i2 _1

In This Earlier Posting, I had tested the same USB Sound Card, with my Samsung Galaxy S6 Smart-Phone. At that time, an attempt also to use it with my Tab S tablet had failed. In order to get the Scarlett 2i2 to work with the Tab S, the following two conditions need to be fulfilled:

  1. The amount of current that the USB Slave Device may draw, needs to be reinforced, in principle, with a self-powered OTG adapter, or with a similar arrangement. The ‘StarTech.com’ is Not a self-powered OTG adapter, and with it, the Scarlett 2i2 is bound to draw too much current, for the likes of the Tab S. It was after all meant as an audio workstation workhorse, and not as a replacement for a simple USB Microphone.
  2. The Master / Host Device, the Tab S, needs to have the correct drivers.

Condition (1) is something I was able to fulfill for now, in a roundabout way. I bought a ‘j5create USB 3.0 4-Ports Mini HUB’, with the part number ‘JUH340′. This is a self-powered hub by default, with its own power cord, and has Type A USB connectors up-stream and down-stream. Granted, it has a special up-stream cable, that connects to the hub with a special connector, just so that the user does not get this socket confused with the down-stream sockets. But then, the far side of that cable has a standard Type A USB jack.

This USB jack can be plugged, into the far side of the OTG adapter. Since the hub is self-powered, the current requirements of the Scarlett 2i2 are met by it, and not by the OTG adapter, and thus not by the micro-USB port on the Tab S, the latter of which now faces a minimum current load.

There are people who have reported, that some USB devices will work when directly connected to a USB Host Jack, but Not when connected to a hub. Whether the hub works at all, depends on whether the Host Device, the Tab S, has drivers bundled with its kernel, for that USB hub. But in any case, such a hub still needs to be connected to the OTG adapter, and not directly to the micro-USB port on the Tab S.

There was a chance that this experiment would not work, but I knew that if it did work, I could state with certainty that the Scarlett 2i2 is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.

It did, and it is. I was automatically offered to open the sound device with “USB Audio Player Pro” when the connection of the Scarlett 2i2 to the hub was detected. Instead, I dismissed this dialog, and chose to open the app “Audio Evolution Mobile”, as I had done with my phone. Then, I succeeded at recording a small interval, of 24-bit sound, at 44.1kHz, even though 96kHz was being offered as before.


 

This tablet cooperates better with condition (2) above than my phone did. The reason for my saying this, is the fact that Audio Evolution did not offer to use the in-house ‘eXtream’ driver, as it had offered with my phone. This seems to suggest that USB sound support with Android KitKat, 4.4.2 was actually better than it is with Lollipop, and that no special drivers are needed here. It runs out-of-the-box, once the power-supply problem is solved.

Therefore, I can record a full success.


 

Now, for any future practical use, it may still be better if I wait for either the self-powered OTG adapter, or the USB Y cable to arrive, both of which I have already ordered. But I now know that on the software-level, everything works.

Dirk

 

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7 thoughts on “Testing the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 external sound device, with my Samsung Tab S Tablet”

  1. Dear Dirk,

    many thanks for going to the effort of posting this. Now in Jan ’19 I’m keen to use my Galaxy Tab S4 with my Gen 1 2i4 Scarlett and am about to purchase a self-powered hub to use with my ifi OTG cable.

    I will be using my Rode NT2A and HD650 ‘phones. Would be great if I can get it happening!

    Ideally a battery hub would give great mobility – are there any particular considerations here if you don’t mind me asking?

    Many thanks again – David – Sydney, Aust

    1. Somewhere in my postings, I did comment on a solution for the power-supply problem. What I found was, every time we substitute a different hub, we risk that the new hub might not work as well as the previous hub did. Therefore, the solution I found was actually, a USB Y-connector, one end of which had data, and the other end of which had the power-supply pins.

      Also, I should mention that the idea has been reinforced through the experience of other people, the compatibility of this hardware might depend, on the Android user using “Audio Evolution Mobile” as The App, since this app supplies some of its own drivers.

      Dirk

      1. Many thanks for replying Dirk. I will try to locate a Y splitter – may even have one around here.

        Fingers crossed!

        Cheers,
        David

    1. When I did my simplistic tests, I had my Sennheiser Headphones on. Yet, I did not hear any sound defects that could have come from the Focusrite. One reason was the relatively high level of background noise from my air conditioners. But, I never expected to be able to hear any sound defects, except for perhaps blatant malfunctions. My hearing at my age, would not be good enough to make out 24-bit sound anyway.
      Dirk

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