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MBP High Sierra and Mojave CoreAudio overload bug Audio Interfaces
Old 17th January 2019
  #181
Gear Nut
To echo others on here... I've had the issue on my MBP. Still on High Sierra. The first 3 months I had the machine I had no issues because the first thing I've always done is disable auto-updates from the App Store (for situations like this). The machine ran solid...

As soon as I installed Security Updates 002 and 003 in December the issue showed up 15 mins after the first reboot. App choice didn't matter either, happened in Logic, Live, iTunes, Quicktime and Chrome... Anything that produced audio kicked off the issue. (Also found it happened cyclically, like it's kicked off by a timer. At least on my machine... It kicks in about 45-50 mins consistently no matter what app I used. The last three times I documented it happening to started during the exact same song in a playlist about 50 mins in.)


I've fixed it for the moment by rolling back to a clone made before installing the updates... No issue for a couple weeks now so something was definitely deployed in those updates the kicked it off on my laptop...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles Eastwood View Post
It was tedious. But it's helpful to keep this thread up to date, and also if everyone who experiences it logs the complaint with Apple, it's more likely to be looked into...
Yup. I've started filing complaints instead of dealing with support... Support will just deny the issue exists and suck your time away.

To file a complaint call support and say 'complaint' at the prompt. You'll be transferred to Sr Advisor, ask them to transfer you to Customer Relations stating you want to file a complaint.

The only way this is going to be taken seriously is if people jam C.R. up with complaints about the issue...
Old 17th January 2019
  #182
Gear Head
 
Myles Eastwood's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zedsdeadbaby View Post
To echo others on here... I've had the issue on my MBP. Still on High Sierra. The first 3 months I had the machine I had no issues because the first thing I've always done is disable auto-updates from the App Store (for situations like this). The machine ran solid...

As soon as I installed Security Updates 002 and 003 in December the issue showed up 15 mins after the first reboot. App choice didn't matter either, happened in Logic, Live, iTunes, Quicktime and Chrome... Anything that produced audio kicked off the issue. (Also found it happened cyclically, like it's kicked off by a timer. At least on my machine... It kicks in about 45-50 mins consistently no matter what app I used. The last three times I documented it happening to started during the exact same song in a playlist about 50 mins in.)

I've fixed it for the moment by rolling back to a clone made before installing the updates... No issue for a couple weeks now so something was definitely deployed in those updates the kicked it off on my laptop...
To clarify are you experiencing issues with a USB interface, or through the MBP speakers/headphone port?

I get the feeling this thread is listing a series of issues that aren't necessarily the same thing. The main problem reported across different manufacturers' forums is glitches and drop-outs on playback and recording through USB 2.0 on 2018 MBPs and Mac Minis, regardless of whether you use third party audio drivers or a class compliant device (i.e. Apple's drivers).

The glitches disappear when switching to Thunderbolt, Firewire or USB 3.0 (which uses the internal Thunderbolt connection even when connected via Apple's USB-C to USB-A adapter). In other words, Apple seem to have messed up the implementation of USB 2 on their newest machines, probably because they didn't check the performance of continuous data streaming on a relatively old format, which is frankly lazy design.

The problem is specific to the most recent OSX updates (10.13.6 and 10.14 onwards) and the latest hardware (i.e. T2 Macs). It doesn't affect older Macs running 10.14, for example. It seems that USB 2 audio functionality has been moved to the T2 chip, though this isn't necessarily the problematic component, so it now conflicts with core functions e.g. setting date and time preferences automatically, which then interrupt data flow even when the CPU is more than capable of handling the track count.

The current solution (which Apple should note is totally unsatisfactory for a 'Pro' product) is to buy a third party Thunderbolt 3 hub for >£100, as outlined on the RME forum by the company director himself: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018 (Page 1) — FireWire & USB series — RME User Forum. This effectively provides external USB 2.0 functionality which doesn't suffer from Apple's poor implementation on OSX.

Apologies for repeating myself but I recommend any users experiencing these issues to report the issue to Apple tech support (even if they deny it) and be as specific as possible so engineers begin to take notice. It's definitely worth complaining to customer support as well because Apple's attitude is poor.

If you try any external Thunderbolt 3 hubs other than the CalDigit ones that we know work fine, it's worth reporting back here so other users know what their options are. The other computer that hasn't been mentioned yet is the new 2018 MB Air, so I'd be interested to know if these are broken. And I haven't heard a definitive answer about the older MacBooks with a single USB-C port, probably because most pro audio users avoid these like the plague.

Any other problems being reported here e.g. USB audio not working via USB-C on 2017 Macs and older are likely to be different issues (e.g. using a cheap copy of Apple's USB-C to USB-A adapter instead of the real McCoy, software/driver incompatibility like Pro Tools on 10.14 or older unsupported audio interfaces...), though no doubt equally frustrating!
Old 17th January 2019
  #183
Gear Head
 

As one more little bit of info, the bug report I had filed back in October has just been closed as its a duplicate of another one. Not sure if that's good - as in Apple has more reports of the issue, or bad - as in Apple closed it because they already have one report to ignore....

My bug report was specifically related to the timed process interrupting the audio stream.
Old 17th January 2019
  #184
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles Eastwood View Post
To clarify are you experiencing issues with a USB interface, or through the MBP speakers/headphone port?

I get the feeling this thread is listing a series of issues that aren't necessarily the same thing. The main problem reported across different manufacturers' forums is glitches and drop-outs on playback and recording through USB 2.0 on 2018 MBPs and Mac Minis, regardless of whether you use third party audio drivers or a class compliant device (i.e. Apple's drivers).

The glitches disappear when switching to Thunderbolt, Firewire or USB 3.0 (which uses the internal Thunderbolt connection even when connected via Apple's USB-C to USB-A adapter). In other words, Apple seem to have messed up the implementation of USB 2 on their newest machines, probably because they didn't check the performance of continuous data streaming on a relatively old format, which is frankly lazy design.

The problem is specific to the most recent OSX updates (10.13.6 and 10.14 onwards) and the latest hardware (i.e. T2 Macs). It doesn't affect older Macs running 10.14, for example. It seems that USB 2 audio functionality has been moved to the T2 chip, though this isn't necessarily the problematic component, so it now conflicts with core functions e.g. setting date and time preferences automatically, which then interrupt data flow even when the CPU is more than capable of handling the track count.

The current solution (which Apple should note is totally unsatisfactory for a 'Pro' product) is to buy a third party Thunderbolt 3 hub for >£100, as outlined on the RME forum by the company director himself: Distorted audio, bit crushed sound > Mojave / Mac mini 2018 (Page 1) — FireWire & USB series — RME User Forum. This effectively provides external USB 2.0 functionality which doesn't suffer from Apple's poor implementation on OSX.

Apologies for repeating myself but I recommend any users experiencing these issues to report the issue to Apple tech support (even if they deny it) and be as specific as possible so engineers begin to take notice. It's definitely worth complaining to customer support as well because Apple's attitude is poor.

If you try any external Thunderbolt 3 hubs other than the CalDigit ones that we know work fine, it's worth reporting back here so other users know what their options are. The other computer that hasn't been mentioned yet is the new 2018 MB Air, so I'd be interested to know if these are broken. And I haven't heard a definitive answer about the older MacBooks with a single USB-C port, probably because most pro audio users avoid these like the plague.

Any other problems being reported here e.g. USB audio not working via USB-C on 2017 Macs and older are likely to be different issues (e.g. using a cheap copy of Apple's USB-C to USB-A adapter instead of the real McCoy, software/driver incompatibility like Pro Tools on 10.14 or older unsupported audio interfaces...), though no doubt equally frustrating!
It is becoming clear that its more of a T2 issue though. At least for me, I have 4 Macs, 3 of which work 100%. All with High Sierra or Mojave. Only the new one gives me these issues. With USB, Thunderbolt and even those weird speaker garbles with internal audio (one of the original complaints about the machine that was "fixed" with one of the patches back in August).

Clean install seems better so far, but I haven't tried recording yet so we'll see.
Old 18th January 2019
  #185
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dven View Post
As one more little bit of info, the bug report I had filed back in October has just been closed as its a duplicate of another one. Not sure if that's good - as in Apple has more reports of the issue, or bad - as in Apple closed it because they already have one report to ignore....

My bug report was specifically related to the timed process interrupting the audio stream.
Good on you for filing bug reports. More people need to do this.
Old 18th January 2019
  #186
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Only the new one gives me these issues. With USB, Thunderbolt ...
Are you saying you have Thunderbolt issues with a new T2 Mac?
Old 18th January 2019
  #187
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Are you saying you have Thunderbolt issues with a new T2 Mac?
I have been. Thunderbolt 2. I bought a 2015 to record a 2 day session and it was flawless. I could make it roughly 45 min on the 2018 before I’d start getting the same issues described in this thread.

Haven’t tried since the clean install, but I didn’t set up my 2018 from a backup initially.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #188
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
It is becoming clear that its more of a T2 issue though. At least for me, I have 4 Macs, 3 of which work 100%. All with High Sierra or Mojave. Only the new one gives me these issues. With USB, Thunderbolt and even those weird speaker garbles with internal audio (one of the original complaints about the machine that was "fixed" with one of the patches back in August).

Clean install seems better so far, but I haven't tried recording yet so we'll see.
Yeah, the issue is surely related to bridgeOS or bugs between bridgeOS and macOS... (Proof enough for me to stay away from an ARM-based mac if they ever release one.)

The patch you mentioned from August worked great for me. The 1st 3 months I used my machine I had no distortion and the machine ran really well...

As soon as I installed Security Updates 2018-002 and 2018-003 (installed back to back) distortion started within a few mins of restarting the machine. From that point on it was a daily issue until I rolled back to my clone... (2 weeks now, no distortion...)

I've also looked at what was updated in both updates. There were changes made to all kinds of stuff... BridgeOS, firmware, macOS kernel, dyld, IOKit, IOSystemManagement (SMC), etc... Could be related to any of these...

The other thing about T1/T2 machines is that the chip now handles the SMC, (i.e USB/TB connectivity), the audio controller, SSD controller, camera, etc... All of which run on their own OS bridgeOS... Basically the machine runs an OS 'inside' an OS just to use and connect to hardware...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles Eastwood View Post
To clarify are you experiencing issues with a USB interface, or through the MBP speakers/headphone port?

I get the feeling this thread is listing a series of issues that aren't necessarily the same thing. The main problem reported across different manufacturers' forums is glitches and drop-outs on playback and recording through USB 2.0 on 2018 MBPs and Mac Minis, regardless of whether you use third party audio drivers or a class compliant device (i.e. Apple's drivers).

....

Any other problems being reported here e.g. USB audio not working via USB-C on 2017 Macs and older are likely to be different issues
Built-in audio here... Happens in headphones as well as the built-in speakers.

The behavior I've had really isn't that different. The crackle I've had isn't a 'popping' or 'crackling' sound as some posts would suggest, it's a digital/metallic distortion. Sometimes it sounds like it's fizzling out, which is where I think the term caught on from, but most of the time I'd describe it as metallic and ringy...

I also got jitter messages from Logic a number of times when the distortion would start. Logic would print a message indicating something 'external' was telling Logic to change its sample rate to nonsense numbers... And yet I had no external device connected.. The two variables could have been Sonarworks Systemwide or Audio Hijack so I uninstalled them... Still got the same jitter messages below. (Sample rate was never the same twice.)



As far as the 2017/2016...
The issue is definitely related. There are 2016 threads about 'crackle' as well, and both 2016 and 2017 machines run bridgeOS. (The 2016 had the T1 chip instead of T2...)

2016-mbp-speaker-crackling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles Eastwood View Post
though no doubt equally frustrating!
Could not agree more!!!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #189
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Update: Finally got around to trying my 2 Slate VRS8s with the clean install Macbook Pro 2018, and my issues still persist even with a clean install. Luckily I had bought a 2015 that works flawlessly! So I can keep using that.

At 256 buffer, 96K, wifi and bluetooth off, Siri off, I get clicks and clocking problems in 1 unit after 40 minutes or so. F&^ked.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #190
Gear Nut
Also...

If anyone has a pre-October 30 Time Machine backup they could try restoring to a new empty partition. Although I haven't used TM in years I don't see why it wouldn't work...

FYI I've tried clean installing HS to a new partition on my machine, (via Internet Recovery). The issue showed up on the first stress test using only iTunes. Same exact behavior, 45-50 mins in and metallic garble starts... When I launched the App store I didn't see Security Update 2018-002 available meaning it gets force-installed when you use Internet Recovery. (This update appears to be the culprit, at least for me... When I boot back to my restored volume I have no issues...)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #191
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Update: Finally got around to trying my 2 Slate VRS8s with the clean install Macbook Pro 2018, and my issues still persist even with a clean install. Luckily I had bought a 2015 that works flawlessly! So I can keep using that.

At 256 buffer, 96K, wifi and bluetooth off, Siri off, I get clicks and clocking problems in 1 unit after 40 minutes or so. F&^ked.
See above... Do you have any kind of backup pre-October 30?
That's the date Security Update 002 was released...

For anyone that does I'd give it a shot. The most you lose is a few more hours... If it works than not only are you up and running, we have a definitive answer we can give Apple in the form of complaints...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #192
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedsdeadbaby View Post
See above... Do you have any kind of backup pre-October 30?
That's the date Security Update 002 was released...
I don't! Honestly I'm going to record on my 2015 until the coast is clear with these new ones. I was hoping a clean install would do it (some of the Mac mini folks said it did for them), but alas no dice.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #193
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
I don't! Honestly I'm going to record on my 2015 until the coast is clear with these new ones. I was hoping a clean install would do it (some of the Mac mini folks said it did for them), but alas no dice.
Bummer! Really sorry to hear. Glad you at least have another machine you can work off of until they patch this f***ing problem up.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #194
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedsdeadbaby View Post
Bummer! Really sorry to hear. Glad you at least have another machine you can work off of until they patch this f***ing problem up.
Me too. I'm filling a complaint with Apple currently, definitely the thing to do. The more we bomb them with this the more they have to address it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #195
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Me too. I'm filling a complaint with Apple currently, definitely the thing to do. The more we bomb them with this the more they have to address it.
Nice. Don't be shy in reminding them their stock price has been falling steadily since October...
(Kind of hard not to see a correlation between the two..)

Anyway, best of luck!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #196
Gear Nut
Sorry, not trying to take the thread over...

One other thing people might want to do before calling support or Customer Relations is run a hardware test.
Should help drive home that the issue's almost certainly software-based...

How to use Apple Diagnostics on your Mac - Apple Support


And, you can request account data Apple has on file (including a support history):

How to request your personal data using Apple's Data & Privacy portal

Cheers...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #197
I found this thread searching for a solution to this issue.

I figured I would share my findings from the day.

I have been plagued by this issue for a while now with my Sound Devices USBPre2. My experience was every 15 minutes or so while playing audio, some sort of spike would happen and the audio signal would turn into what sounds like a garbled mess run through a progressively worsening ring modulator that if left to run would eventually just decay into the occasional clicks until either the buffer or sample rate was changed (and then changed back).

The USB clocking is pooping-the-bed, right? That's what that sounds like.

I've been troubleshooting forever (lots of variables here, system is a hackintosh on High Sierra with Dante Via for the USBPre and inter-app audio routing and several analog synths all connected via Dante). I'm not saying this is a permanent solution, but I've found something that gives me continuous, un-fubar'd audio performance for a good chunk of the day so far:

Turn off "Set date and time automatically" in System Preferences.

Looks like there's a CPU spike that happens in intervals detectable through Console when Date and Time checks to verify the time that's interrupting audio streams.

YMMV, but so far this is giving me the best, most reliable performance I've had on High Sierra.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #198
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogexplosions View Post
I found this thread searching for a solution to this issue.

I figured I would share my findings from the day.

I have been plagued by this issue for a while now with my Sound Devices USBPre2. My experience was every 15 minutes or so while playing audio, some sort of spike would happen and the audio signal would turn into what sounds like a garbled mess run through a progressively worsening ring modulator that if left to run would eventually just decay into the occasional clicks until either the buffer or sample rate was changed (and then changed back).

The USB clocking is pooping-the-bed, right? That's what that sounds like.

I've been troubleshooting forever (lots of variables here, system is a hackintosh on High Sierra with Dante Via for the USBPre and inter-app audio routing and several analog synths all connected via Dante). I'm not saying this is a permanent solution, but I've found something that gives me continuous, un-fubar'd audio performance for a good chunk of the day so far:

Turn off "Set date and time automatically" in System Preferences.

Looks like there's a CPU spike that happens in intervals detectable through Console when Date and Time checks to verify the time that's interrupting audio streams.

YMMV, but so far this is giving me the best, most reliable performance I've had on High Sierra.

Testing this now, if this works it will be huge for those of us affected.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #199
Quote:
Originally Posted by motomotomoto View Post
Testing this now, if this works it will be huge for those of us affected.
I had a session looping overnight on my system, and when I came back to it this morning, it was still looping with perfect audio.

Crossing my fingers that this is what fixes it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #200
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogexplosions View Post
I found this thread searching for a solution to this issue.

I figured I would share my findings from the day.

I have been plagued by this issue for a while now with my Sound Devices USBPre2. My experience was every 15 minutes or so while playing audio, some sort of spike would happen and the audio signal would turn into what sounds like a garbled mess run through a progressively worsening ring modulator that if left to run would eventually just decay into the occasional clicks until either the buffer or sample rate was changed (and then changed back).

The USB clocking is pooping-the-bed, right? That's what that sounds like.

I've been troubleshooting forever (lots of variables here, system is a hackintosh on High Sierra with Dante Via for the USBPre and inter-app audio routing and several analog synths all connected via Dante). I'm not saying this is a permanent solution, but I've found something that gives me continuous, un-fubar'd audio performance for a good chunk of the day so far:

Turn off "Set date and time automatically" in System Preferences.

Looks like there's a CPU spike that happens in intervals detectable through Console when Date and Time checks to verify the time that's interrupting audio streams.

YMMV, but so far this is giving me the best, most reliable performance I've had on High Sierra.
It helps, but it's not the be all end all fix. The CalDigit is the best USB fix thus far.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #201
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
I hate to say this (and repeat myself), but the USB A to C adaptors sound different. The CalDigit dock is brighter than one of the other adaptors I use. I test this by using the same dac/headphones and switching adaptors back and forth without changing volume or anything else (headphone amp runs on batteries).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #202
Lives for gear
 
maxwelldub's Avatar
 

10.14.3 same issue

confirmed on multiple MacBook pros in apple store with lpx 10.4.3
Old 4 weeks ago
  #203
I'm on a few days now without a single glitch after turning off "Set date and time automatically".

Has anyone else tried this yet to see if they're getting similar results?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #204
Gear Nut
For anyone still on 10.13.6 I'm stress testing the new security update released yesterday on a new partition with a clean install of 10.13 I did with Internet Recovery... I'm going to leave it playing audio overnight and see what happens... If anyone decides to jump on it I'd highly recommend buying a copy of CCC or something similar to clone their system before installing... Anyway, will report back..

I also found a really good free application that lets you inspect packages before you install them...
Apple made changes to these system files in the update:

AppleAVBAudio.driver
AppleTimeSyncAudioClock.driver
BridgeAudioSP.driver
iSightAudio.driver
com.apple.audio.AudioMIDISetup.axbundle
com.apple.AVKit
Audio -> Tunings -> DSP -> Graphs / Strips
AudioDSP.component
CoreAudioAUUI.bundle
USBHost.transport
AVBAudioConfiguration.App
launchservicesd
AppleAVEBridge.kext (bridgeOS...)
AppleSMBIOS
AppleSMBusController
AppleSMC
AppleAUUC.kext
BridgeAudioCommincation.kext
BridgeAudioCoontroller.kext
IOAudioFamily.kext
AudioUnit.Framework
AudioVideoBridging.Framework
AVFoundation.Framework
AVKit.Framework
CoreMIDI.Framework
IOKit.Framework
AudioServerApplication.Framework
AudioServerDriver.Framework
BridgeOSSoftwareUpdate
dyld
libAudioIssueDetector.dyld (I think this may be a new feature....)
libSMC.dyld
coreuadiod


I downloaded the 2019-001 update from: Download Security Update 2019-001 (Sierra)
And used a free app called Suspicious Package, (similar to Pacifist), to see what's inside the installer... Never used it before, damn handy little app...

Suspicious Package Link

Some screenshots from Suspicious Package...



Old 4 weeks ago
  #205
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
I hate to say this (and repeat myself), but the USB A to C adaptors sound different.
This is completely impossible. No digital format has a "sound". I tested and confirmed this years ago.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #206
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedsdeadbaby View Post
Thanks for sharing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #207
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
This is completely impossible. No digital format has a "sound". I tested and confirmed this years ago.
Might be time to redo your tests. These new computers have so many variables, because there are so many 3rd party adapters. They sound really different.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #208
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Might be time to redo your tests. These new computers have so many variables, because there are so many 3rd party adapters. They sound really different.


It might be time to do tests for yourself. Once you've done some, why don't you post the results here.

"I can hear it, trust me" won't do. Phase-cancellation tests would.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #209
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post


It might be time to do tests for yourself. Once you've done some, why don't you post the results here.

"I can hear it, trust me" won't do. Phase-cancellation tests would.
I'll try to actually. It would be good to know what I'm hearing. I'm working off battery powered DACs mostly (iFi Black Label and Mojo), but I guess I could send DAC to an ADC on another computer.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #210
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Thanks for sharing.
You bet

And... Spoke too soon. At least on HS the issue still happens with the new Security Update... It took longer to show up, but once it did it behaved the same as before.
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