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Audio dropouts

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micdev

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostWed Jan 15, 2020 5:15 pm

Hi again David,

Have you check the link that I provided above - https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/ ... c-3635406/

Start Hauptwerk 5 then as explained on the webpage, start the activity monitor, click CPU (top pane) then sort by CPU % and check to see if a process is peaking during the drop out... play back a midi file maybe so you can concentrate on the midi monitor. More explanation about the activity here - https://www.howtogeek.com/227240/how-to ... y-monitor/

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david515mi

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostWed Jan 15, 2020 5:39 pm

I did try it, but there were no dropouts during the process...but I’ll definitely spend more time with this. Thanks so much for the great resources!

David
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mwdiers

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 2:57 pm

mdyde wrote:Hello David,
Also try disabling the Mac's T2 chip, as others have mentioned, since that was a known hardware/firmware issue on some recent Macs.


Martin, that is not possible. T2's cannot be disabled. The T2 is integral to the functioning of the machine. It cannot even boot without it.

The article in question instructs the user to turn off time synchronization in System Preferences. Presumably this is because access to the system clock is also mediated by the T2, and the thought is that when the time is being updated via NTP, audio, which also flows through the T2, could be interrupted then the T2 is updating the hardware clock. More info here: https://www.extremetech.com/computing/2 ... io-problem

By the way, you are correct that this is a system issue that has nothing to do with Hauptwerk. It happens in all audio software. It only happens with certain USB audio interfaces. My Focusrite Scarlett was not affected. The issue was supposed to be fixed with a Mojave patch, but some users are still reporting the problem in Catalina.

The OP did not mention it, but he should obviously make sure he is on the latest patch of Catalina, currently 10.15.2.
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mdyde

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 3:16 pm

mwdiers wrote:Martin, that is not possible. T2's cannot be disabled. The T2 is integral to the functioning of the machine. It cannot even boot without it.


Thanks for the information and my apologies for the confusion. (I didn't actually read the article myself, and I don't have a Mac with a T2 chip -- I just mentioned it since David had.)
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

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micdev

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 6:45 pm

Here is something that may fix your problem - https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/02/19/pro-audio-glitch-with-t2-equipped-macs-connected-to-usb-20-connections

Also the problem seems related to audio interface using USB 2. USB3 and Thunderbold aren't affected

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david515mi

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 8:09 pm

My Motu M4 interface is supposed to be usb3 compatible- but the problem persists. I’ve had the system monitor open along with the HW large audio/midi panel so I can tell more about what was going on, but no glitches have occurred during that time! I’m wondering if it would be a good idea to purchase a certified usb to Thunderbolt hub...or would I be wasting my money? An interesting thing is that the glitch occurs only once during a playing session, and only with large sample sets (eg Zutphen)- and it happens with about the first half-hour. Can we draw any conclusions from that?

David
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Re: Audio dropouts

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 2:16 am

My understanding was that USB-3 or USB-C are potentially affected by the T2 bug, however thunderbolt is not. I use a T2 Mac, which thankfully is not affected, even though I use a USB2 interface on it. I was thinking of getting one of the Caldigit docks if it was affected though. Thankfully I didn’t have to though.
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Re: Audio dropouts

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 5:29 am

Hello David,

You could try temporarily switching to using just the Mac's built-in audio output to see whether it's free from the issue (given that the built-in output presumably wouldn't be implemented via USB and so wouldn't be affected by the T2 chip problem).

Also, Hauptwerk (of necessity) keeps its data locked into physical RAM in order to prevent audio glitches (due to the data otherwise being paged out by the operating system), so it's very important that you leave enough free for the operating system to work reliably. macOS can be particularly prone to misbehaving strangely if you over-fill the RAM with a Hauptwerk sample set, and usually seems to need a bit more of the RAM kept free than Windows would -- I would suggest being wary of using more than 70-75% of the RAM for Hauptwerk. E.g. try setting all ranks to load in 16-bit (with lossless memory compression on) to reduce the amount of memory the sample set uses, just to see whether it eliminates the issue.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

[Please use email or the Contact page if you need to contact us privately, rather than private forum messages.]
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david515mi

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 4:50 pm

Hi Martin,

I hooked my headphones directly to the computer, and sure enough, no dropouts- at least not so far. So it does seem that the issue is the T2 situation. There’s definitely no problem with RAM; there’s always something like 200G free (out of 256 total). I so appreciate your good advice!

David
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micdev

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 6:47 pm

David,

Searching the web I see that this bug was first reported in February 2018... two years ago... :oops:

Can you see if you "audio shop" can lend you a Thunderbold audio interface to see if this solves the problem. While your actual audio interface is "USB 3 compatible", is it not a full USB 3 implementation - a real USB 3 wouldn't work correctly on USB2.

Also, I found that, with reference to "Set date-time automatically" and "location sync in Time zone". Maybe someone mentionned that in this thread (jumping late in it)

According to a post by Ableton certified trainer Abid Hussain, the culprit is Apple’s new T2 security chip, which is built into Apple’s newest desktop and laptop machines – the iMac Pro, 2018 Mac Mini, 2018 MacBook Air and 2018 MacBook Pro.

Hussain suggests that the manner in which the T2 chip synchronizes timing is the cause of the dropouts. The only way to alleviate the problem is to switch off “Set date and time automatically” in System Preferences, though this doesn’t completely solve it.

“Unchecking the time sync only reduces the dropouts,” Hussain says. “You need to also uncheck the location sync in the Time Zone tab, but even then you’re only reducing the dropouts. Any time the T2 chip tries to sync, it will overload the USB2.0 bus, causing dropouts. There is no way any musician should go on stage with a 2018 MBP or 2018 MacMini and a USB2.0 audio interface directly connected to it.”

A more permanent solution is to buy a Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0 or Firewire audio interface, which aren’t affected by the problem, though as CDM notes, a comparable (or less powerful) Windows machine shouldn’t have problems like this with a USB 2.0 interface. Another workaround is to plug a USB 2.0 interface into a Thunderbolt 3 hub. Apple has yet to respond to the reports.


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Virtually sharing my enthusiasm and experience with you
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david515mi

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Re: Audio dropouts

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 7:20 pm

I already disabled the time/date/time zone. I’m going to try athunderbolt usb hub as suggested, as it seems like it may very well solve the problem. If it doesn’t, I can return it for a refund.

David
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