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T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.

T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby fermata » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:14 pm

Is anyone using a new Mac (2018) for Hauptwerk? They will all have the T2 security chip. Have you noticed any audio issues?
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby larason2 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:21 pm

I’ve heard a fair bit about this on the forum, and while I don’t have a T2 mac, I use Hauptwerk with Macs. My understanding is that the issues are just with using USB 2.0 audio interfaces on the USB ports on the actual computer. USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 on an expensive Thunderbolt USB hub (with its own USB interface) should work fine. The problem is that currently most of the USB 3.0 interfaces are very expensive 200$+. I would say that if considering a Mac as a HW computer, factor in the extra cost of a compatible audio interface or USB hub, especially if you want it to work with an existing USB 2.0 interface. I still think T2 Macs would be a good option though, with those caveats in mind. Apple is supposed to be looking for a solution, but I wouldn’t hold my breath, as it looks to be a hardware more than a software issue.
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby fermata » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:54 pm

Thank you, larason. I, too, have heard that separate audio hardware can cause this problem. With the MidiWorks keyboards, however, a separate interface should not be needed, as the keyboards can go directly to the Mac via a USB 2 to USB 3 cable, which come with the MidiWorks keyboards. I really appreciate your reply as it is somewhat reassuring. Thanks!
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby IainStinson » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:56 am

Just to clarify...

The keyboards connect via midi. As you point out the MidiWorks keyboards actually carry the midi using USB. I don't believe there are any issues with the connection of USB keyboards to MACs with the "new" T2 security chip.

The audio produced by HW has to be sent out via an audio interface (such as MOTU 24O) which converts the digital signal generated by HW to analogue audio signals used by the amplifiers to drive the sound through the speakers. NB this is distinct and different from the keyboard midi input.

The reported "issues" with the T2 chips are to do with the connections from the MAC to the audio interface and not to do with the MIDI over USB connections. As larson2 describes above, apparently there can be problems with the poor quality audio with interfaces connected to the MAC. (As before see http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=17380&hilit=apple+T2 and the links in the post from orcoaffamato in that thread.) I personally don't know who serious the problems are - perhaps you could send orcoaffamato a message to get more information.
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby fermata » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:11 pm

Thank you, Iain. Yes, I have checked out those links. I was not planning to use an audio interface, but to go directly from the Mac mini to my powered Klipsch R-PMs via bluetooth connection. I have tried this already with Hauptwerk on my MacBook Pro, and it works wonderfully. (No audio cables! Yay!) I figure that since no USB ports will be used, there should be no problem. Unless, or course, there is a different problem altogether....
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby IainStinson » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:29 pm

I'm surprised that the Bluetooth connection works adequately - my experience with Bluetooth headphones was that the delay between playing the keys and hearing the sound was too long (even though I am used to long delays when playing pipe organs in large churches).
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby fermata » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:55 pm

You are quite right, Iain. I had only plunked a few notes and heard the response on my Klipsch speakers off in the living room. So now I hauled my digital piano keyboard out there and actually played something on it. Wow. Totally unacceptable latency. Sigh. Guess I'll be back to cabling speakers.
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby Grant_Youngman » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:30 pm

IainStinson wrote:I'm surprised that the Bluetooth connection works adequately - my experience with Bluetooth headphones was that the delay between playing the keys and hearing the sound was too long (even though I am used to long delays when playing pipe organs in large churches).


I've never forgotten the first time this happened to me many years ago. I was playing a large new Visser-Roland at a church in Houston, TX. Beautiful instrument to listen to, quite different to play. I finally realized the only way to deal with the delay was to ignore the sound completely and just focus on the music and/or the keyboards. It was an altogether unpleasant experience for a first timer. The organist at that church had apparently accommodated to it quite nicely and seemed to have no problems with it at all. Still … it was really unnerving since I didn't have much practice time …
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby hmzeuner » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:59 pm

According to https://www.heise.de/mac-and-i/meldung/ ... 38624.html (in German) the audio problems with the T2 chip will be resolved by the upcoming update to macOS 10.14.4
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby jkinkennon » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:01 am

hmzeuner wrote:According to https://www.heise.de/mac-and-i/meldung/ ... 38624.html (in German) the audio problems with the T2 chip will be resolved by the upcoming update to macOS 10.14.4


I'm running macOS 10.14.4 (beta) so hopefully we will hear from someone with the T2 chip any day as to whether the audio issues are resolved. My old Mac-mini doesn't have the T2 chip of course.
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Re: T2 chip audio issues on the new Macs

Postby Grant_Youngman » Fri May 24, 2019 8:03 am

Apple has released a supplemental update to macOS 10.14.5 for the 15" MacBook Pro correcting firmware issues with the T2 chip affecting, among other things, "[interference] with some professional audio interfaces".

This is only applicable to the 15" MacBook Pro models with the T2 (2018 or later).
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