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USB Audio Glitches - Macbook Pro 2018 Audio Interfaces
Old 25th September 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

USB Audio Glitches - Macbook Pro 2018

Splitting this off into its own thread to prevent cluttering up the Mojave thread.

Summary of what I've seen/learned on Macrumors and in some PMs with other users.

Focusrite Solo (1st gen) & 2i2 (2nd gen), RME UCX, NI Komplete Audio 6 all have users reporting USB audio glitches - typically micro dropouts - in most/all audio (including Logic, youtube, safari, spotify, etc). These glitches do not appear when using the internal speakers.

For adapters I've tried the cheapo amazon basics c->a and a trianium hub.

The *potentially* good news - I had a PM with a user on another forum and he reports that an RME Fireface 400 with a FW400->FW800->TB2->TB3 works as expected, backing up the idea that this is USB specific. He also reports that a Steinberg UR12 works with either an IcyBox c->a or a CalDigit TS3, which may indicate that the issue is an adapter problem or manufacturer specific.

I've ordered a UR12 and an apple c->a adapter to test and see and will report back when it shows this weekend.
Old 27th September 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 

So. I did some more digging and here are some error logs (attached) which point to Apples audio handler.

I don't see anything before this that points to a different culprit that might be a different root cause for the issue, though there are a ton of log entries related to launchservicesd right before the audio glitch error log. For example.

info 08:15:46.157063 -0400 launchservicesd CLIENT: 0x7fb041f04760/29001 Received message on connection from our client: <private>
info 08:15:46.157087 -0400 launchservicesd CLIENT: 0x7fb041f04760/29001 Mapped requested session to session id 100008

I'm not sure what those are about at this point.
Attached Files
File Type: txt USBAudioErrorLog.txt (7.6 KB, 247 views)
Old 27th September 2018
  #3
Is a common known problem with "T2 chip" models, Apple is currently working on it, although the have released a patch which supposed partially fix it.
Old 27th September 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 

The odd thing about my case is that it only applies to external USB devices - the internals (speakers and phones) are fine. I'm testing a few other brands even though Focusrites (what I'm using) are supposed to be class compliant.

I do have the supplemental 2 update installed, but that was from day 1, so I don't know if that had any mitigation factor for me.
Old 27th September 2018
  #5
Gear Head
 

I may have a bit more information.

I did what I should have done in the first place and created a new user account to test under. No glitches for external USB audio. So I switched back over to my usual account and disabled the following:

bluetooth
bluetooth PAN (networking)
iCloud

Still glitches. The I realized I was still running macs fan control. Turned it off. So far after an hour of running continuous audio, the *only* other glitch I've seen appears to be related to an SMCRTC (system management control real time clock) event.

So my theory is that the T2 SMC controlled functions (yeah related to the KPs some users have had) is still flaky and that anything (ie macs fan control) that interacts with it aggravates the issue.

Last edited by dven; 27th September 2018 at 10:49 PM..
Old 28th September 2018
  #6
Gear Head
 

I ran another hour plus test and the only time the error occurred again was right after/during a system clock sync event (timed is the daemon which in turn appears to be kicked off by dasd). The glitch sort of makes sense since I'm running off of the internal clock and if the sync adjusts the overall internal clock, perhaps its not gracefully syncing any real time audio clocks depending on it. But that's some wild speculation on my part!
Old 21st October 2018
  #7
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I just upgraded to a MacBook Pro 2018 15-inch base model and experiencing glitches and drop-outs in Logic Pro X 10.4 using an RME UFX.
Is there anything that I can do?

thanks
Old 21st October 2018
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by midmost View Post
I just upgraded to a MacBook Pro 2018 15-inch base model and experiencing glitches and drop-outs in Logic Pro X 10.4 using an RME UFX.
Is there anything that I can do?

thanks
I have experienced it only a few times in my MBP 13 2018 only through an usb-c to hdmi adapter, and just by changing the sample rate in the "audio midi config" it solves it. Try if it works for you.
Old 18th November 2018
  #9
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usb class compliant audio interface's crackle too

Got a Novation Audio Hub 2x4 and a Akai EIE (the red one). Both are usb class compliant audio interfaces and both work 100% glitch free on my old macbook 13" 2009 and Macbook Pro 15" 2010. Just picked up a MacBookPro 15" 2018 and every 5 to 15 minutes a have a audio dropout on both these interfaces in Logic Pro... The internal headphone jack does not have these dropouts.
Old 18th November 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendiezel View Post
Got a Novation Audio Hub 2x4 and a Akai EIE (the red one). Both are usb class compliant audio interfaces and both work 100% glitch free on my old macbook 13" 2009 and Macbook Pro 15" 2010. Just picked up a MacBookPro 15" 2018 and every 5 to 15 minutes a have a audio dropout on both these interfaces in Logic Pro... The internal headphone jack does not have these dropouts.
have you installed the update/patch from the appstore?
It helped me..
Old 18th November 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midmost View Post
have you installed the update/patch from the appstore?
It helped me..
What is that patch called?
Old 18th November 2018
  #12
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midmost's Avatar
Just update your OS X to the latest version via the appstore. If there is nothing shown, then you're already up to date
Old 18th November 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midmost View Post
Just update your OS X to the latest version via the appstore. If there is nothing shown, then you're already up to date
Yes i did ;-)

Just contacted Apple Support (nice fooks) and followed all their instructions. Did a clean install of the OS just to make sure i didnt install anything funny. Nothing else. Launched Safary and played a youtube and the problem still persist. Send a System diagnostics to them...

If the problem remains i get my money back...
Old 3rd December 2018
  #14
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ckett's Avatar
 

Is this problem only happening on USB Audio interfaces? I am considering getting a thunderbolt interface and was wondering if people are having glitches with thunderbolt as well.

I am currently using an RME UFX (original version) connected USB to a 2018 Mac Mini. I get a glitch about every 5-15 minutes of playback.
Old 3rd December 2018
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckett View Post
Is this problem only happening on USB Audio interfaces? I am considering getting a thunderbolt interface and was wondering if people are having glitches with thunderbolt as well.

I am currently using an RME UFX (original version) connected USB to a 2018 Mac Mini. I get a glitch about every 5-15 minutes of playback.
I've been using a Thunderbolt interface, (Antelope Audio Zen Tour) with my 2018 Macbook Pro without any problems, glitches, or dropouts... even through long sessions.
Old 3rd December 2018
  #16
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ckett's Avatar
 

Thanks xZenx! I think there are issues with newer Macs and USB. It may be related to the new T2 chip. Glad to hear thunderbolt is working fine.
Old 4th December 2018
  #17
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ckett's Avatar
 

xZenx, are you using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter in your setup?
Old 4th December 2018
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckett View Post
xZenx, are you using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter in your setup?
Yep exactly TB3/USB-C - > TB2 dongle connected directly to the interface
Old 11th December 2018
  #19
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Identical issue here, MB Pro 2018, Mojave (though was same on High Sierra). Interface is UR22 (mk1 or mk2, both do the same). Second-long pauses in audio in Live 10. Interesting to note that where I've been recording audio within Live at the time of the glitch, the recorded audio shows no sign of the pause / glitch at all. Also to add, when running a load of external gear connected via USB, everything re-syncs immediately without skipping a beat.

Interested to learn that Thunderbolt interfaces appear to not have the issue. Sounds like an expensive upgrade I'm going to have to make if they don't fix this soon, kind of sick of live shows having these audio pauses!!!
Old 11th December 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graeme_ncl View Post
Identical issue here, MB Pro 2018, Mojave (though was same on High Sierra). Interface is UR22 (mk1 or mk2, both do the same). Second-long pauses in audio in Live 10. Interesting to note that where I've been recording audio within Live at the time of the glitch, the recorded audio shows no sign of the pause / glitch at all. Also to add, when running a load of external gear connected via USB, everything re-syncs immediately without skipping a beat.

Interested to learn that Thunderbolt interfaces appear to not have the issue. Sounds like an expensive upgrade I'm going to have to make if they don't fix this soon, kind of sick of live shows having these audio pauses!!!
Turning off Wifi will "solve" your problem. It is caused by the OS's clock syncing feature. I know because i'm using the same interface with the same MBP. Already sent a bug report to Apple about it. Here's a thread I created for the issue not long ago on Macrumors.

Audio interface issues with 2018 Macbook Pro | MacRumors Forums
Old 11th December 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Oroboroz View Post

Turning off Wifi will "solve" your problem. It is caused by the OS's clock syncing feature. I know because i'm using the same interface with the same MBP. Already sent a bug report to Apple about it. Here's a thread I created for the issue not long ago on Macrumors.

Audio interface issues with 2018 Macbook Pro | MacRumors Forums
Great, thanks for this. I hope they sort it soon! Cheers
Old 11th December 2018
  #22
Gear Head
 

I've also submitted a bug report to Apple and specified that turning off wifi "solves" the issue (or blocking timed with a firewall rule), while also pointing out the clock syncing that's the root of the issue. More voices is good, so file a bug report if you can!
Old 11th December 2018
  #23
Gear Head
 

A thought just occurred to me. I wonder if its possible to set the USB device as master clock? I haven't checked in Audio/Midi setup to see if that's possible or what the default is on my nonTB MBPro. Even if its not possible for USB, I wonder if it is for some Thunderbolt interfaces and that might be why some of those don't show the issue?
Old 11th December 2018
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dven View Post
I've also submitted a bug report to Apple and specified that turning off wifi "solves" the issue (or blocking timed with a firewall rule), while also pointing out the clock syncing that's the root of the issue. More voices is good, so file a bug report if you can!
I've just reported to Apple, spoke to 3 different support folks, each progressively more technical, and I've been asked to submit logs via their Capture Data tool as and when this happens. I've also sent the engineer looking at my case this thread plus others on Macrumors, Steinberg and Logic Pro sites to read for more background. As you say, the more who log it, the more chance we all have of resolution!
Old 11th December 2018
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dven View Post
I've also submitted a bug report to Apple and specified that turning off wifi "solves" the issue (or blocking timed with a firewall rule), while also pointing out the clock syncing that's the root of the issue. More voices is good, so file a bug report if you can!
Did the same, however I'm not a developer so I can't submit a proper one. Will call them tomorrow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dven View Post
A thought just occurred to me. I wonder if its possible to set the USB device as master clock? I haven't checked in Audio/Midi setup to see if that's possible or what the default is on my nonTB MBPro. Even if its not possible for USB, I wonder if it is for some Thunderbolt interfaces and that might be why some of those don't show the issue?
Sadly for the ur22 the only option is default.
Old 11th December 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
How often does the skip occur and for how long? Could it be happening but i'm missing it? Does it only happen at certain times of day (time sync thing)? What's the best way to reproduce it?

I'm using a brand new i5 Mac Mini , latest Mojave, Soundcraft mixer's USB interface, Cubase 10. I spend about 3hrs a day listening, recording, mixing, etc and haven't noticed any issues.
Old 11th December 2018
  #27
Gear Head
 

It depends on how much your internal clock drifts from the time servers. And its a *very* short glitch - milliseconds. Audible if you're listening at the right moment, but if you're not actually playing anything when the sync occurs you won't hear it. It sounds a bit like one of the stutters that happen when you start to get CPU overloads in a project in Logic. That sort of glitch with sometimes slowdown of the playback thing (if you use Logic anyway).
Old 11th December 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbdan View Post
How often does the skip occur and for how long? Could it be happening but i'm missing it? Does it only happen at certain times of day (time sync thing)? What's the best way to reproduce it?

I'm using a brand new i5 Mac Mini , latest Mojave, Soundcraft mixer's USB interface, Cubase 10. I spend about 3hrs a day listening, recording, mixing, etc and haven't noticed any issues.
For me the best way is to toggle the "set date & time automatically" option. Without wifi there's no break in the audio, with wifi enabled, there's a 1 sec silence. It happens nearly every time the Macbook is fetching the current time. I see the timed event in Console every 30 minutes.
Old 11th December 2018
  #29
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Oroboroz View Post
For me the best way is to toggle the "set date & time automatically" option. Without wifi there's no break in the audio, with wifi enabled, there's a 1 sec silence. It happens nearly every time the Macbook is fetching the current time. I see the timed event in Console every 30 minutes.
1 Second! Wow. That's a huge lag. Didn't realize it could be that obvious a glitch. Guess I got "lucky" with only milliseconds.
Old 11th December 2018
  #30
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Oroboroz View Post
For me the best way is to toggle the "set date & time automatically" option. Without wifi there's no break in the audio, with wifi enabled, there's a 1 sec silence. It happens nearly every time the Macbook is fetching the current time. I see the timed event in Console every 30 minutes.
By wifi i assume you mean any network connection? My Mac Mini is on hardwired ethernet.
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