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USB-C to ethernet adapter/AVB not working with new MacBook Pro
Old 24th May 2017
  #1
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USB-C to ethernet adapter/AVB not working with new MacBook Pro

Trying to connect the new Presonus SL 3 series desk to a new MBP with a Anker USB-C hub and it doesn't work. Network device browser says "AVB is not enabled".

I did a bit of googling and found this note on the Presonus website.
"NOTE #2 : USB-to-Ethernet adapters cannot be used because the Mac's USB chip set does not support AVB Ethernet."

Im assuming that this means even Apple brand adapters will not work. If this is true, then that is very disappointing. One of the best things about AVB was the plug and play capability with Mac.

Is anyone else finding this hard to believe?
Old 24th May 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
not hard to believe at all really.

That said, if you can find dongle that uses thunderbolt for the transport rather than USB, you may have more luck (although, I know with DVS, you have to ensure that the specific device is selected as the network interface, not the bridge/composite/whatevertheycallit thing)
Old 25th May 2017
  #3
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Originally Posted by azlan121 View Post
not hard to believe at all really.

That said, if you can find dongle that uses thunderbolt for the transport rather than USB, you may have more luck (although, I know with DVS, you have to ensure that the specific device is selected as the network interface, not the bridge/composite/whatevertheycallit thing)
The new MacBooks are all USB-C, which is also Thunderbolt 3 - same port.

sounds like a good reason to check before buying the newest from Apple.

Glad I updated from a 2011 to a 2013 MB Pro - Personally I can't stand the new keyboards, and didn't want to play Russian roulette with USB-C and audio interfaces, etc. It's nice to just plug in an HDMI cable, my iPhone cable, etc. without yet another dongle.
Old 25th May 2017
  #4
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Originally Posted by nedorama View Post
The new MacBooks are all USB-C, which is also Thunderbolt 3 - same port.
I know, but thunderbolt 3 and USB C are different technologies, they just happen to use the same connector. The main difference if I remember is that thunderbolt uses PCIE lanes directly to access the processor, whereas USB-C goes through a controller on the chipset.

My line of thinking is that since the thunderbolt device wouldn't be going through the USB controller on the motherboard, and instead would be using PCIE (like most proper NIC's), the latency and network performance would be substantially improved, as the chipset won't be having to buffer and retransmit the data.
Old 26th May 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azlan121 View Post
I know, but thunderbolt 3 and USB C are different technologies, they just happen to use the same connector. The main difference if I remember is that thunderbolt uses PCIE lanes directly to access the processor, whereas USB-C goes through a controller on the chipset.

My line of thinking is that since the thunderbolt device wouldn't be going through the USB controller on the motherboard, and instead would be using PCIE (like most proper NIC's), the latency and network performance would be substantially improved, as the chipset won't be having to buffer and retransmit the data.
That makes sense, it's worth a shot for sure. Has anyone tried? Is anyone sucessfully connecting the new MBP to a Dante or AVB network?

Only having 4 USB-C ports is proving to be a serious problem. For my most basic setup, all four ports are tied up. I need one for an audio interface, one for the Anker hub which has 3xUSB and a ethernet port (neither of which work right). I mentioned the ethernet not working; the usb doesn't work right either. When my wireless mouse is plugged in the hub, it lags to much to use so I have to use a dedicated USB-C port with a single USB-C>USB adapter. So, the wireless mouse uses the third USB-C port and the fourth is for charging.

Hopefully manufacturers are working on devices that solve these issues. It seems though, that if you want to use the latest tech in audio today, you should consider buying an old computer.
Old 26th May 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
Hopefully manufacturers are working on devices that solve these issues. It seems though, that if you want to use the latest tech in audio today, you should consider buying an old computer.
Just dawned on me, this is for live use? Only two types of people who use home computers for anything live except casual recording: People who only use gear with a solid two year track record, and people who wind up wishing they did.

But of course, everyone wants the newest Apple out of vanity, which is exactly why they stripped their best laptops of all useful ports in favor of one proprietary one. That same vanity doesn't demand buying Apple dongles. Apple isn't responsible if your hardware doesn't work with 3rd party dongles.

The last interface Apple developed that was beneficial to the customer was Firewire 400. They'll never make another as long as vanity sells more product. They'll just make proprietary crap to make money off licensing.
Old 26th May 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azlan121 View Post
I know, but thunderbolt 3 and USB C are different technologies, they just happen to use the same connector. The main difference if I remember is that thunderbolt uses PCIE lanes directly to access the processor, whereas USB-C goes through a controller on the chipset.
Sounds to me like when there's a malfunction from faulty 3rd party dongles/devices it can fry your CPU and Apple isn't responsible for that either. Of course you want a buffer on plug'n'play accessories!

Firewire isn't just a buffer, it governs transfers much like native command queuing, just like SCSI and eventually SATA, taking load off the CPU. Now with Thunderbolt they're going the other direction, fully relying on the CPU to manage transfers, and no buffer whatsoever? Amazing what crap can be sold in a flashy case...
Old 26th May 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2SPL View Post
Just dawned on me, this is for live use?
Yeah, I'm hoping to use it live with an UAD Apollo for inserts and buss sends. Not being able to connect to the Presonus SL32 via AVB was the original reason for posting. AVB has a lot to offer live sound. I've considered the new MOTU AVB for monitors sends' DSP that you control remotely via the app and/or use the inputs as a remote stage box. With those latency numbers, you can do some cool things with AVB you probably shouldn't try with Dante. The ultimate goal is for everything to be integrated and easy to manage. I'm really hoping that this "pro" laptop will be able to talk to these networks. If I can't use AVB, or setup a Dante network, the guys at work are going to make fun of me. lol

Last edited by Nielsbeard; 26th May 2017 at 03:35 AM.. Reason: further explanation
Old 26th May 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
That makes sense, it's worth a shot for sure. Has anyone tried? Is anyone sucessfully connecting the new MBP to a Dante or AVB network?

Only having 4 USB-C ports is proving to be a serious problem. For my most basic setup, all four ports are tied up. I need one for an audio interface, one for the Anker hub which has 3xUSB and a ethernet port (neither of which work right). I mentioned the ethernet not working; the usb doesn't work right either. When my wireless mouse is plugged in the hub, it lags to much to use so I have to use a dedicated USB-C port with a single USB-C>USB adapter. So, the wireless mouse uses the third USB-C port and the fourth is for charging.

Hopefully manufacturers are working on devices that solve these issues. It seems though, that if you want to use the latest tech in audio today, you should consider buying an old computer.
This is why most people never update their computer before checking. Studios around the world are still on Pro Tools 8, 9 and 10HD because it works and the Macs running it aren't connected to the internet. And with the new MacBooks, you're getting new ports, but no faster chipset, so the worst of all worlds.

Why did you upgrade first before checking?
Old 26th May 2017
  #10
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Checking what? The only sources available at the time tell you everything is going to work great. As is usually the case for new audio toys, I have to buy something to figure it out. Hopefully this discussion keeps others from assuming Ethernet ports won't be a problem.

I do love using the machine and I'm optimistic that there is a way to connect to networked audio systems.
Old 26th May 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
Checking what? The only sources available at the time tell you everything is going to work great. As is usually the case for new audio toys, I have to buy something to figure it out. Hopefully this discussion keeps others from assuming Ethernet ports won't be a problem.

I do love using the machine and I'm optimistic that there is a way to connect to networked audio systems.
I've never heard of any professional buying a new computer, especially one with new ports, without fully researching and discussing this with manufacturers, etc. or seeing reports of it working first. This would be in pro audio, video, 1000+ attendee corporate presentations - no one I know in any of these fields buys new without understanding if the new tech will work for its intended purposes. And given there was no performance benefit to the new MacBooks, there's not even a justification of a faster machine.

Hearing "everything is going to work great" is far different from manufacturers publicly stating that it works with their system or has been tested/qualified with their gear.

If you're making money from your gear, let the amateurs figure this stuff out first or people who have to be bleeding-edge early adopters. Reminds me of the Avid DUC where people would scream that an OS X update had made Pro Tools unusable on day one of the software update.

Sorry this isn't working for you, but I'm sure you could sell your current machine and get an equally powerful early 2016 MacBook Pro that would work with AVB.
Old 26th May 2017
  #12
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So we may have a solution?
https://www.apple.com/shop/question/...2YD9H4JYC2YAAK

Seema you have to use a apple brand USB-c to thunderbolt 2 adapter and the thunderbolt 2 to Ethernet adapter. No known current way to use just one adapter.

Dante works fine for others using different brand adapters, so that's all good news!
Old 28th May 2017
  #13
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Lazerface's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
It seems though, that if you want to use the latest tech in audio today, you should consider buying an old computer.
Or buy a PC!

The new MacBook Pros are actually named "MacBook Pro-sumer"

I'm quickly losing faith in macs as a professional product. It started when they launched Final Cut Pro X, got worse when the mac trashcan came out, got really bad when they went to the metal API instead of quicktime, and now these new macbook pros and their limited thunderbolt 3 ports.
Old 13th March 2018
  #14
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After much testing and sleuthing, I find out that while using AVB on a Macbook pro with High Sierra, that 96k and 192k speeds do not work. The Mac disabled these higher recording speeds under High Sierra operating system.

The higher speeds are available when using a Mac with Sierra operating system.
Old 20th March 2018
  #15
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Thanks for the info, Plush. Wow, I wonder why they did that?

I'm pretty dispointed that the headphone jack out is limited to 48khz on the MBP too. I was hoping I would be able to mix on my laptop without being tied to an external interface. It was one of the main reasons for getting a laptop, besides using it for FX.
Old 20th March 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
Thanks for the info, Plush. Wow, I wonder why they did that?

I'm pretty dispointed that the headphone jack out is limited to 48khz on the MBP too. I was hoping I would be able to mix on my laptop without being tied to an external interface. It was one of the main reasons for getting a laptop, besides using it for FX.
I’d hardly let that stop you. Chances are no sample rate can improve the Mac headphone jack. If this is really a concern (it really should not be), get a SPDIF amp.
Old 16th June 2018
  #17
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For AVB on MacBook Pro only the 10Gb Ethernet interfaces are genuine Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet. All the USB-C 1Gb Ethernet adapters or Ethernet ports on Thunderbolt 3 hubs show up as USB Ethernet and will not support AVB. The best and cheapest option I've found is the Sonnet 10G Solo ($199) which uses the same exact 10Gb ethernet chip that is on the 2017 iMac Pro and therefore it has native macOS driver support and is compatible with 5Gb, 2.5Gb, 1Gb, and 100Mb speeds. Sonnet specs specifically say it supports AVB. The Sonnet Solo 10G only has a single Thunderbolt 3 port. The Sonnet Twin 10G has dual 10Gb Ethernet ports and provides two genuine Thunderbolt 3 ports but is more expensive.

Another alternative is for those who already have a Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe chassis you can buy the Sonnet Presto 10Gb Solo PCIe card ($89).

Last edited by MarkH; 20th June 2018 at 03:22 AM.. Reason: Edited to list proper Ethernet speeds
Old 19th June 2018
  #18
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Originally Posted by MarkH View Post
... and is compatible with 5GB, 2.5GB, 1Gb, and 100Mb speeds. ...

...you can buy a 1GB PCIe Ethernet adapter for about $25 that is supported natively in macOS ...
Your mixed capitalization threw me off for a minute. All the 10Gbps, and NBASE-T (5Gbps, 2.5Gbps) and 1Gbps stuff should be lower case to indicate 'bits' per second.

This somewhat pedantic nit-pick can become another avenue of confusion for the dizzying swirl of specifications that we have to navigate in the audio/video world. Just so you know; this is coming from an extra-sensitive person, I had to rant about it in one of my articles as a matter of personal stress management.

Thanks for the product info!
Old 19th June 2018
  #19
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Thanks, Gary. You are absolutely right and it can easily cause confusion. I corrected the speed abbreviations so they are bits not Bytes.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
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AVB is apparently 10GbE or T1

I recently bought a series 3 and have a MacPro that is AVB. In searching for options to use my series 3 with a macbook pro I discovered standard adapters will only accommodate upto 5Gb/s transfer rate and are not AVB compatible. The industry standard for AV transfer for Dante and AVB is apparently 10Gb/s and network pros refer to it as 10GbE. It is used for business that require high internet or computer network capacity. Do a search for [ usb-c to 10GbE ] but beware... these adapters are not hubs, but single purpose devices and they start around $200 and go up from there.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howjam45 View Post
I recently bought a series 3 and have a MacPro that is AVB. In searching for options to use my series 3 with a macbook pro I discovered standard adapters will only accommodate upto 5Gb/s transfer rate and are not AVB compatible. The industry standard for AV transfer for Dante and AVB is apparently 10Gb/s and network pros refer to it as 10GbE. It is used for business that require high internet or computer network capacity. Do a search for [ usb-c to 10GbE ] but beware... these adapters are not hubs, but single purpose devices and they start around $200 and go up from there.
5Gb/s is not the problem. AVB and Dante both work reliably on 1Gb Ethernet. Every Dante interface on the market from Focusrite, Yamaha, Allen & Heath, Waves, Avid, Lynx, Behringer, Mackie, are all 1GbE.

If you tried a USB-C Ethernet adapter that looks like Thunderbolt 3 they will not support AVB because AVB itself doesn't work with the USB protocol. AVB requires PCIe either in the form of internal PCIe or a genuine external Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter as Thunderbolt relies on the PCIe specification. Unfortunately it's easy to be misled because USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 use the same physical connection type and what may look like a Thunderbolt 3 1GbE Ethernet adapter is almost guaranteed to be USB-C. When looking on the desktop at About This Mac > System Report you will see 1Gb USB-C Ethernet adapters show up as USB whether it's a single Ethernet adapter or embedded into a Thunderbolt 3 dock.

My research shows that currently every external USB-C port type 10GbE adapter available for Mac at this point is genuine Thunderbolt 3. I have not found an external 10GbE adapter for Mac is this actually using the USB protocol. This includes Sonnet Solo 10G, Sonnet Twin 10G, Promise Sanlink, ATTO Thunderlink, and Akitio Thunder3 10G. They all support 10GbE wire speed as well as N-BaseT 5GbE, 2.5GbE, 1GbE, and 100Mb Ethernet.

The nice thing about the Sonnet Thunderbolt 3 10G ($199) and Sonnet Solo 10G PCIe ($99) adapters is they use the same 10GbE interface as the iMac Pro. No third party drivers required. I haven't looked into the other manufacturers. Sonnet specifically states support for AVB on Mac.
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