Topic: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Hello

I have a problem where audio will become distorted and sounds bit crushed, changing the sample rate of the system, RME driver in USB settings or in the Core audio of Ableton. The problem occurs when playing system sounds, such as Spotify, or inside Ableton.

Digiface USB, running latest drivers and firmware.
Mojave latest version.
Mac mini 2018 i7.

It's happening on recording sessions too, so need to fix ASAP.

Thanks

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Hello

Can I expect some support on here or should I contact support email directly?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Hey iamyila, I can't help you but I have the same problem, also on a Mac mini 2018 with a Fireface 802. Did you get it to work yet?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Hi

no I didn't, I tried different USB port, I made sure everything in OS was set to correct sample rate, system sounds on the same card as the DAW, then on a different cause I though it might be that mismatch.. It does it on Spotify and in the DAW, but there's no pattern to when it happens...

I'm very disappointed with the silence in support on this forum, I've been on RME from FF800, to UFC to UFX to Babyface to Babyface pro on all manner of setups for live and studios to now digiface and only since the new computer I've had problems, which I bought to solve the old problems!...common RME, or Apple, or something!.. it's not really acceptable in a recording studio!...

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Today's OSX update seems to have improved things, it only happened twice and not every 30 mins.

There are still dropouts, and some not stable behaviour continuing.

Is there any official support present on this page?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

No still bit crushing returned this morning on a mix after 30mins..

any support here, it's like shouting into an empty tunnel.. would of though RME would of been better at this

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

happened twice today. Improvement with OS update but no fix

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

welcome to the party ...

-> https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=27426

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

except this seems to be focusing on MacBooks and battery

I have a Mac mini.

It's surprising there is no official support reply on this forum, I used RME for shows and studio setups for stability and now, well what now? Is anyone going to suggest anything?

10

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

iamyila wrote:

except this seems to be focusing on MacBooks and battery

It helps to read the whole thread. Timed and location services have nothing to do with battery and also work in a Mac Mini.

iamyila wrote:

I have a Mac mini.

No surprises with that. Why should it work differently to all the other newer hardware?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpos … stcount=18

iamyila wrote:

It's surprising there is no official support reply on this forum, I used RME for shows and studio setups for stability and now, well what now? Is anyone going to suggest anything?

If someone opens a new thread on an old, already discussed topic, we don't repeat the available info over and over again. Also a little Google quickly makes clear you are not alone:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/au … o.2159141/

http://www.motunation.com/forum/viewtop … p;start=15

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-c … bug-3.html

Currently everyone is frustrated. Both customers and all developers.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Ok, thanks for the reply and explaining. I did go through the other thread, but I don't have location services turned on at all, system time is not synced, no wifi, no a battery and I was also on the latest OSX and drivers.

It always seems to come every 30 mins or so and my console shows that it happened again exactly 30mins after logging on, here's the log it went wrong at 11:46

https://www.dropbox.com/s/huwgy0deuin6d … 8.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dy1fhl3sjbhgb … 0.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/huwgy0deuin6d … 8.png?dl=0

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

What is the progress on this?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

No major change in 10.14.2, from what I hear. So we'll have to wait. This is not something a simple driver update can fix completely.

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Hello

Ok so what is the problem exactly? I have limited my machine to literally running nothing, no internet, no services, no notifications, no iCloud, no dropbox, just the DAW, playing system sounds and the problem remains. Surely if you were able to make a driver update to control it you know the source, what can we all do to push apple? What are you doing to push apple? How is it apples fault? How can the entire professional market work with this kind of problem?

15

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

On our Mac Mini 2018 the problem is definitely the timed function, around every 30 minutes. We noticed that our former workaround is not always triggered here (it is triggered in Apple's own Class Compliant driver), and will extend the driver to also handle this error reliably. Which means that instead of lasting bitcrushing you get a short glitch (same as in Apple's Class Compliant driver). This glitch will not go away until Apple fixes it.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Thanks for the info Matthias.

Have you had any fruitful communication with Apple about this? Perhaps I'm imagining it but it does seem like OS updates are helping though not eliminating the issue. I was just wondering if you'd had any more substantial conversation.

17

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

The updated driver is available here:

http://www.rme-audio.de/download/driver_usb_mac_311.zip

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Thank you Matthias.

19 (edited by mjfe87 2018-12-14 11:19:46)

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

MC wrote:

The updated driver is available here:

http://www.rme-audio.de/download/driver_usb_mac_311.zip

Thanks for continuing the conversation RME.  Are you able to clarify whether you've submitted a developer's bug report to Apple about this timed function?

We've been editing and mixing numerous projects on tight deadlines for the last two weeks and the ADI-2 Pro glitches are so frustrating we may switch back to our UCX. But are you saying the problem will affect devices on the 3.11 driver as badly as class compliant mode?

Eastwood Records
www.eastwoodrecords.co.uk

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Thanks for explaining and the new driver.

As you say the new driver has a momentary glitch, but it is happening much much more regularly than the old bit crushing sound, which happened only twice yesterday with driver 3.10. I can't decide which is the lesser of two evils here, or which sound I hate more.. good vibes have gone in the studio

21

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

The glitches did not change at all. Means you had them before but didn't notice them.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

22

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

mjfe87 wrote:

Are you able to clarify whether you've submitted a developer's bug report to Apple about this timed function?

We have, but it is not only timed causing it.

mjfe87 wrote:

We've been editing and mixing numerous projects on tight deadlines for the last two weeks and the ADI-2 Pro glitches are so frustrating we may switch back to our UCX. But are you saying the problem will affect devices on the 3.11 driver as badly as class compliant mode?

Exactly. I am a bit astonished you have so many of them with the ADI-2 Pro, though.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

23 (edited by mjfe87 2018-12-14 15:37:11)

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

MC wrote:
mjfe87 wrote:

Are you able to clarify whether you've submitted a developer's bug report to Apple about this timed function?

We have, but it is not only timed causing it.

mjfe87 wrote:

We've been editing and mixing numerous projects on tight deadlines for the last two weeks and the ADI-2 Pro glitches are so frustrating we may switch back to our UCX. But are you saying the problem will affect devices on the 3.11 driver as badly as class compliant mode?

Exactly. I am a bit astonished you have so many of them with the ADI-2 Pro, though.


We're getting drop-outs once every 20min or so.

The UFX was much more stable when we used it for a recording session last week, which included playback.  Maybe I was lucky with the timing on each take?

Eastwood Records
www.eastwoodrecords.co.uk

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Matthias - thanks for the communication on the issues. Really helps. This must be annoying as hell for you guys.

25

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

mjfe87 wrote:

We're getting drop-outs once every 20min or so.

The UFX was much more stable when we used it for a recording session last week, which included playback.  Maybe I was lucky with the timing on each take?

Bingo, you are right. The current scheme will cause a reset no matter what error shows up (basically you can not differ between them all). The former driver did not react with reset on an error that causes the effective buffer size to get smaller. With this kind of error there is no audible click when the error happens, but at some point the buffer size gets so small that you end up in continued distortion. If the sample shift is small then you can continue working without noticing the error. If you do recording without software monitoring the biggest buffer size available will prevent you from running into problems caused from this specific error for a long time.

This leaves me with two comments:

- you could continue to use driver 3.10 if it suits your work and setup better (but you will have the bitcrushing sooner or later)

- although inaudible the mentioned error is an OS/hardware problem that could (once again) only be fixed by Apple

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

…do you know if this problem also affects hdsp(e) interfaces connected via usb-c?...
best
b

27

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

According to our research (still ongoing) Thunderbolt and everything behind it (PCI, PCIe adapter enclosures, or docking stations/dongles with USB derived from the TB part of USB-C) do not show these problems.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Hey Mattias - May I ask which TB docks you've tried?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

...thanks for the quick reply!

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Ok just to clarify,

3.11. Will have dropouts, but will these problems affect recording and will audio quality change over time, is something happening to the sample rate? Or is the driver re-setting itself? - Can this problem be ignored and continue to work without something happening deeper in the audio?

3.0 major but crushing fail sound, reset sample rate of system, back to normal until next crash

So dongles on USB-C ports (Thunderbolt) will not have these problems? I hated the fact of buying a million dongles that's why I went with the Mac mini and usb A ports, so that's the solution right now?

31 (edited by JL 2018-12-17 13:19:38)

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

At least only using simple USB-C dongles does not help with Macbook Pro. USB-C is just the connector type for what's Thunderbolt 3 in new macs, meaning that it can transport data in different protocols, usb 3.1 (backward compatible to usb 2), but also PCI express, Displayport 1.2, network and power. To my understanding if you use USB-C to USB 2 adapter you just will use USB controller in your mac, and core of the problems is system tasks stressing it so that it can't handle audio properly. Anyway i guess docks that connect to mac via USB-C have their own USB controller in PCI bus (via thunderbolt), and according to MC these don't have the same issues as mac's internal usb controller. I may not be perfectly precise here technically...

Anyway great to know that maybe there's a way around it and also that research is ongoing, eve though best would of course be a proper fix from apple.

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

MC wrote:

According to our research (still ongoing) Thunderbolt and everything behind it (PCI, PCIe adapter enclosures, or docking stations/dongles with USB derived from the TB part of USB-C) do not show these problems.

Thanks MC.  Are you able to recommend any specific hubs?  I realise this is ongoing research but something portable would be great.

NB the ADI-2 Pro dropouts are almost every 5min but have improved since I turned off Bluetooth (though still show up occasionally).

Eastwood Records
www.eastwoodrecords.co.uk

33

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Here is some info on the current situation with Apple's Mac Mini 2018 and 10.14.2.

- USB 2 is not usable for audio on any port.*

- USB 3 is not usable for audio on the two USB-A sockets.*

- USB 3 works as expected on all USB-C ports using a USB-C to USB-A adapter**

If you use an USB-C to USB-A adapter and connect a USB 2 device it is internally connected to the same bus/hub where all the other USB 2 sockets are connected to - and thus won't work. You can gain basic knowledge about the internal structure and connections by using the Mac's System Report/System Information, USB. Connect your USB device and look where it is shown in the nested structure.

In clear words: there is currently no way to have a Mac Mini 2018 working without audio errors when using USB 2, neither directly nor with the standard USB-C to USB-A adapters.

But there is a workaround. Devices connected to Thunderbolt do not show audio errors as with the internal USB 2. So all you have to do is use 'external' USB. Two examples:

- A Thunderbolt 3  to PCIe enclosure (Sonnet, NetStore) with a simple USB PCIe card added. Of course that is kinda overkill unless you own such a system already and just have to add the USB card.

- A more simple Thunderbolt 3 'dongle' with a USB port. The one we tested also seems to be the currently cheapest one:

https://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3/ … splayPort/

This device uses the PCIe bus of Thunderbolt and derives USB with its own USB chip, so is totally decoupled from the broken USB 2 in the Mac Mini 2018. Which is why it also doesn't show the infamous USB disconnect problem (USB hangs until reboot).

A word of advice: there are a zilllion cheap docks with USB, HDMI etc available, that often have 'Thunderbolt 3' in their name or description. These are NOT Thunderbolt 3 devices! To recognize real TB3 is quite easy:

- Thunderbolt 3 is mentioned on the package
- the USB-C connector has the Thunderbolt flash symbol on it
- the product description clearly mentions TB3 and 40 GB/s
- the display ports support 60 Hz, not only 30 Hz
- the price is above 100$


Here are some examples of NONE TB3 docks/adapters that won't fix USB audio:

https://www.amazon.de/sicotool-Thunderb … B07FCGFQJP

https://www.amazon.de/CableDeconn-Thund … B07B66LNRS

https://www.amazon.de/CableDeconn-Thund … B07BK4TRG8

https://www.amazon.de/UGREEN-Thunderbol … B077FZQS95

https://www.amazon.de/QacQoc-Thunderbol … B07KC5V3GR

This last one from QacQoc is presented as real TB3 solution, but on the second look it's a scam. The flash symbol stands for power (it's not the Intel flash). The first USB-C to USB-C connection is most probably a wired pass-through, violating the TB3 specification (but it's not TB certified anyway). The other ports are connected to the second USB-C and are therefore not derived from TB3.


Alternative to the CalDigit dock (not tested):

https://www.amazon.de/Elgato-Thunderbol … 07GS9XM54/

We are still continuing our tests.


* All USB 2, and USB3 in the two USB-A sockets, is derived from the Intel chipset,  Device ID 0xA36D, Cannon Lake PCH USB 3.1 xHCI Host Controller.

** USB 3 within USB-C is derived from the TB3 chip, Device ID 0x15EC, a Titan-Ridge Thunderbolt 3 Controller.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

34

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Great stuff, thanks! I presume most about mac mini 2018 also applies to mbp 2018?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Thanks, so that answers one question, and yuck having to buy a dock/dongle! in the meantime can you answer these to which working solution is better:

3.11. Will have dropouts, but will these problems affect recording and will audio quality change over time, is something happening to the sample rate? Or is the driver re-setting itself? - Can this problem be ignored and continue to work without something happening deeper in the audio?

3.0 major but crushing fail sound, reset sample rate of system, back to normal until next crash, but are they any effects on playback of audio / recording until the failure?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Seems the only solution for Firewire 800 devices is the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock at around £300:
https://www.owcdigital.com/products/thu … k-firewire

Anyone tried that one? I fear we're approaching new thunderbolt audio interface territory price and reliability-wise.

37

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

I have that dock and it works for me. But for me also the double dongles that don't work for you do work. So there might be something different going on with your FireWire problem.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

38

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

As stated in the other thread driver 3.13 is now available, also on our website. It includes slightly increased Safety Offset buffers to ensure reliable operation with some TB3 docks at lower buffer settings.

http://www.rme-audio.de/download/driver … 5_b1_3.zip

Edit: 3.13 has been replaced with 3.14, as audio playback did not start at all in certain situations.

Edit 2: Link updated to current 3.15b1.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

I just connected my UFX II today, in the exact same setup as the UC it replaced. Playback works fine, but recording doesn't (recorded audio gets bitcrush distortion). Any idea why this might affect recording only? I have updated to the latest drivers.

The interface is running on a USB2-hub (same as the UC was)

40

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Edit: Rewrite of this post as it contained wrong information.

The UFX II transmitts 30 channels of audio, the UC only 18. That might already be the reason for the different behaviour. Follow these threads, try all ports and other suggested tips that might help.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

MC wrote:

Here is some info on the current situation with Apple's Mac Mini 2018 and 10.14.2.

- USB 2 is not usable for audio on any port.*

- USB 3 is not usable for audio on the two USB-A sockets.*

- USB 3 works as expected on all USB-C ports using a USB-C to USB-A adapter**

Thanks MC for such thorough research.  This explains why our MADIface Pro (USB 2) was causing problems and the MADIface XT (USB 3) was fine, even for larger channel counts.

It would help if you amend the official statement to include 2018 MacBook Pros, and I think it's still important we hound Apple with Console logs etc so they identify and fix the shortcomings sooner than later.

Will the Thunderbolt 3 solution fix glitches on the ADI-2 Pro and other class compliant devices too?

Eastwood Records
www.eastwoodrecords.co.uk

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

iamyila wrote:

Thanks, so that answers one question, and yuck having to buy a dock/dongle! in the meantime can you answer these to which working solution is better:

3.11. Will have dropouts, but will these problems affect recording and will audio quality change over time, is something happening to the sample rate? Or is the driver re-setting itself? - Can this problem be ignored and continue to work without something happening deeper in the audio?

3.0 major but crushing fail sound, reset sample rate of system, back to normal until next crash, but are they any effects on playback of audio / recording until the failure?

Can I get an answer to this, will my audio bounces contain errors with 3.11, am I hearing true audio or subtle errors all the time whilst mixing? Or are the errors corrected after the dropout?

43

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Nobdy said that the driver workarounds remove audio errors. They just make them less annoying.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

that's what I'm asking, are Audio errors present all the time, in the audio itself? It's less annoying, but maybe not the best solution if there are more errors that aren't so obvious vs the 3.10 driver where at least you know it's gone wrong, do you see my question?

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

I am using a MacMini 2018 with an older Thunderbolt Dock by Akitio (connected via Apple's Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter and a 5m Thunderbolt Cable by Corning). I did not experience any distortion or dropouts so far with my Digiface USB (Driver v3.10) plugged into one of the USB 3 ports of the Dock.

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Hi, could it be a solution to connect the 802 by firewire to thunderbolt adaptor? Better than usb2 to thunderbolt 3? Thanks in advance.

47 (edited by florian_heinen 2018-12-22 15:26:00)

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

ubeyaudio wrote:

Hi, could it be a solution to connect the 802 by firewire to thunderbolt adaptor? Better than usb2 to thunderbolt 3? Thanks in advance.

Yes, that's the setup I am working with (except that I have a MBP 15", 2018). I still have audio dropouts due to CPU spikes. But at least it is functional. When I connected my FF 802 via USB it was impossible to work or stream any audio with it.

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

florian_heinen wrote:
ubeyaudio wrote:

Hi, could it be a solution to connect the 802 by firewire to thunderbolt adaptor? Better than usb2 to thunderbolt 3? Thanks in advance.

Yes, that's the setup I am working with (except that I have a MBP 15", 2018). I still have audio dropouts due to CPU spikes. But at least it is functional. When I connected my FF 802 via USB it was impossible to work or stream any audio with it.

Do the spikes show in Activity Monitor? I was under the impression the commonly reported USB dropouts do not accompany visible CPU spikes and are due instead to OSX background checks taking priority on the same thread?

Eastwood Records
www.eastwoodrecords.co.uk

49 (edited by florian_heinen 2018-12-22 18:46:17)

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

You have to look at the CPU meter directly in Logic. It occurs at low buffer size. But maybe that is a Macbook specific issue.
You can watch this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXGyq6EsECk
This guy reproduces the bug on a MacBook Pro 2018. I don't know if this is the same on the Mac mini.

Re: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018

Did anyone try to put artificial load on the CPU yet, like suggested before? This is meant to beat OS X' aggressive power-management.