This article provides useful information on choosing the correct USB cable for connection between your system and your Native Instruments device. Inadequate USB cables can cause a variety of issues, including:
- Loss of USB connection
- Erratic display and LED behavior
- Audio distortion
Note: We strongly recommend using the USB cable provided with the hardware product you have purchased, as opposed to a third-party USB cable.
For devices that don't offer a dedicated power supply (e.g. KOMPLETE AUDIO 6, MASCHINE MK2, etc.) we recommend using cables with a maximum length of 2 meters (approximately 6.5 feet). If your device has a dedicated power supply (e.g. KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series Keyboards, MASCHINE Studio, etc.) the USB cable can be longer without causing any issues.
Type of Cable
Certain USB cable types are not suitable for use with our hardware devices due to the diameter of their internal power wires being too small. This draws additional power along the cable, exceeding the capacity of USB bus-powered mode. Below you can find information on how to identify the correct cable type.
Note: These specifications also apply to USB-B to USB-C cables which can be used on newer systems equipped with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Identifying the Correct Type of Cable
Most USB cables are labeled with the two identification codes following the AWG (American Wire Gauge) standard:
- The code ending with /2C (or X2C) shows the specification of the power wires in the USB cable (relevant for this test).
- The code ending with /1P (or X1P) shows the specification of the data wires in the USB cable.
The number at the beginning of the codes reflects the diameter of the internal wires:
- AWG 24: 0.511 mm
- AWG 28: 0.321 mm
Our tests have shown that you should always use USB cables carrying a /2C (or X2C) code beginning with 24 (e.g. 24/2C, 24AWGX2C, AWG 24X2C). As described above, this means the power wires have a diameter of 0,511 mm, which will reduce the power lost in the cable.
The NI-branded cables supplied with our products do not carry any of the AWG codes, however, they are specified with the larger AWG 24 diameter to ensure the best performance with your Native Instruments device. Look for the molded NI logo on the plugs to identify these cables. If your cable is showing a /2C (or X2C) code beginning with 28 (e.g. 28/2C, 28AWGX2C, AWG 28X2C), it is not suitable for use with our hardware devices.
Note: If your USB cable is not labeled with the 2C code, it may or may not be suitable for use with our hardware devices. Therefore, we recommend replacing it with a cable showing the correct 2C code.
Below you can find two examples of USB cables with different /2C (or X2C) codes. Note that the /1P (or X1P) code is not relevant for this test. Ensure to always check the first two digits of the code ending with /2C (or X2C).
- The following picture shows a cable labeled with the code 24/2C. This cable is suitable for use with your NI hardware device:
- The following picture shows a cable labeled with the code 28AWGX2C. This cable is not suitable for use with your NI hardware device: