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Potential audio problem with new iMacs
Old 11th December 2013
  #271
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You could try connecting your Quartet to the iMac through a Thunderbolt hub or just use it without the control software installed for now, but those are my only suggestions at this point.

I simply don't know yet if it will end up being fixable with a firmware/software update on either end. It's being worked on by our engineering team along with Apple. I don't get daily updates on the progress and it's all stuff that is way over my head technically, so I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable discussing it on a public forum.

I also don't know how long it might take to get more information (tech issues like this tend to be complex and can take some time to sort out), but trust me - we can sympathize with your frustration and certainly appreciate your patience! Our Support Team will let you know as soon as we have news.

If anyone else is experiencing this or a similar issue with an Apogee product, please file a Support Ticket - the more info we have about it the better!
Apogee Electronics > Product Registration & Technical Support
Old 12th December 2013
  #272
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trock's Avatar
 

I would like to say i talked to apogee today and in terms of support and honestly worrying and wanting to help this company is second to none

i am probably going to go thunderbridge. i cant give up my symphony sound and i also will be exapnding my I/O anyway with a 16x16 card and i think this is the way to go.

i want to give a shout out to Carl, who has been working my ticket from the beginning. he always responded to my ticket and he called me today to talk.

i did a whole album on it just recently and it was the best sound and stuff i ever did

these guys/gals have been very up front in talking to me/us and trying to help. i think in the end this will get resolved and it looks like all the manufacturers were taken off guard by this

i just wanted to jump in and speak up for the company that is probably pulling their hair out.

i will be sticking with them, just because of how much they really seem to care
Old 12th December 2013
  #273
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In a loosely related incident I got rid of all (so far) of my pug in related problems (CPU overload errors) running PT11HD on HD Native Thunderbolt at 96kHz and 64 buffer by taking all audio and sample drives OFF of USB3 on my Late 2013 imac (3.5GHz, i7, 256SSD, 16G ram, 27") and putting them in the Blackmagic Multidock (4 bay thunderbolt drive dock). Nothing but mice and an ilok on the USB3 chain.

I am suspecting there is something "wonky" with USB3 on the latest imacs...
Old 12th December 2013
  #274
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPower View Post
I am suspecting there is something "wonky" with USB3 on the latest imacs...
GreatI guess the mac mini's are not immune to this? or
are they?
Old 12th December 2013
  #275
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I'm wondering if the new Mac Pro will also have these USB3 problems.
Old 12th December 2013
  #276
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I have a 12 imac, but god would I be upset if I spent all that money for an upgrade and had this happen. Apple sure has been silent on this though.
Old 12th December 2013
  #277
Damn, I was all pumped to get a new iMac but now it doesn't seem to make sense.
Old 12th December 2013
  #278
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Silas Holmes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stardust View Post
Damn, I was all pumped to get a new iMac but now it doesn't seem to make sense.
Yes, me too. The most cynical aspect of this whole situation is that Apple always stated that the iMac is perfectly capable for audio work and that we really don't need a Mac Pro for audio anymore. And now this.
Old 13th December 2013
  #279
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Gentlemen.... gentlemen..... gentlemen!
Pages and pages of tearing at hair and the knashing of teeth in this forum.

The "solution" -- at least a workable solution for now -- is right there in front of you, if you care to reach for it.

If you have an iMac or Mac Mini, running Mavericks, AND
You have a "fusion drive" installed...

...Just "UN-fuse" the fusion drive using Terminal. This should solve your problems for now, and get you back to work.

I believe SOMEthing in Apple's "CORE storage" technology is the root cause of the problem. It _might_ have something to do with the way fusion "moves around" blocks of data (not "files" per se, but blocks which contain files, or _parts of_ files) from the SSD portion of the "fused drive" to the HDD and vice versa. This is unknown, Apple usually doesn't reveal exactly what they "fixed".

At some point in the future, Apple may tweak fusion to correct this issue, but no telling when that fix will be forthcoming.

In any case, it is -fusion- which is mucking up your hardware and getting into the way of regular production.

IMPORTANT:
You should know that "UN-fusing" a fusion drive will destroy all the data on BOTH the SSD and HDD drives of the fusion "combo". So you must back up first.

I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you use a "cloning" app (such as either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper) to do your backup. You'll need a bootable external backup from which to do the UN-fusing, in any case.

Once your backup is made, boot from it.

Now, use Terminal to "UN-fuse" the fusion drive. I have not had the need to do this, because I never liked the fusion concept and steered clear of it when I bought my new Mac Mini. But there are several websites out there that describe what you need to do, so investigate that and prepare first. You will need to have the ability to take written notes.

I believe the basics are thus:
- Use Disk Utility to identify the "names" of the SSD and HDD drives.
- Using Terminal, issue the appropriate commands (inserting the drive names you obtained using DU)

Once done, you will have "freestanding" SSD and HDD drives.

Now you need to rebuild using the backup that you created.

You will want to put onto the SSD:
- The OS
- Apps
- Your account(s)
- Perhaps some data (depends on how large the SSD is - you want to be sure to keep about 25% of it free)

And onto the HDD:
- Data that's not used much, or does not depend on speed for access (such as stored music files)
- Perhaps use the HDD for your "working drive"

I'm going to take a _guess_ that although 3rd-party "patches" may be available from some audio equipment suppliers, they many not cover all equipment, and may or may not work. Looks like this has to be solved at "Apple's level"...

A side note:
I believe the problems first arose when Apple introduced Mavericks (10.9), is that correct?
I've read that something (not known exactly what, but SOMEthing) in fusion got "changed" between 10.8 and 10.9. I sense that therein, lies the problem....

Side note #2:
Remember that even if you UNfuse a drive today, you can ALWAYS GO BACK in the future, when Apple gets around to fixing the problem. Of course, you would have to back up BOTH SSD and HDD first, and then "merge" the contents manually after the re-fusion of the drives was accomplished...
Old 15th December 2013
  #280
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J. albert.

That might solve the problem with the fusion drives, but does not address the issue with the USB ports.

Would like to hear from people who's had success with using usb 2.0 audio interfaces through the usb on a thunderbolt hub, such as the belkin express!
Old 15th December 2013
  #281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasmusmarshagen View Post
J. albert.

That might solve the problem with the fusion drives, but does not address the issue with the USB ports.

Would like to hear from people who's had success with using usb 2.0 audio interfaces through the usb on a thunderbolt hub, such as the belkin express!
It also does not address the situation with the Thunderbolt to Firewire adapters. I'm sure Don Spracht is a very nice guy, but it's still a mystery to me that when I bought the Haswell iMac, on the Apogee website it clearly stated that the Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter from the Ensemble to the iMac worked. It definitely does not work or at least it didn't a few weeks ago and judging by this thread still is not working. I checked all that before purchase of the iMac.


The Ensemble is Firewire. Don't know about the USB ones.

As for enquiring with the staff of the local Apple Store about the issue, I may as well have asked my cat.

And all this with the MacPro showing up any second.
Old 15th December 2013
  #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stardust View Post
Damn, I was all pumped to get a new iMac but now it doesn't seem to make sense.
That's maybe the biggest understatement so far on this thread.
Old 15th December 2013
  #283
Anyone using a RME UFX with one of these computers?
Old 15th December 2013
  #284
Actually, from other threads it looks like the issue is completely due to the fusion drive. If that's true USB interfaces should work fine if you get an internal SSD.
Old 15th December 2013
  #285
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trock's Avatar
 

its not just the fusion drive

i personally had a new imac with a fusion drive and had the degrading audio and sent it back and now have a brand new Imac with 1 TB SSD internal drive and i cannot get the symphony to work in any scenario on USB i listed above

I cannot speak to other manufacturers but that is why i am now going to a thunderbrudge to go straight Thunderbolt which i was told would work

it is not just the fusion drives
Old 15th December 2013
  #286
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iMac Nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by climber View Post
Anyone using a RME UFX with one of these computers?
I have a UFX and a brand new iMac with 3TB Fusion drive and have unbearable audio issues. I've tried the UFX with a firewire-to-thunderbolt adapter into the computer, I've tried it with the firewire plugged into the belkin thunderbolt hub, I've tried its USB into the hub and into the computer ... No success with any of these scenarios. Clicking, popping, audio drop outs, noise etc etc with logic x, spotify, iTunes, anything that plays audio. I have the newest drivers installed from RME but it appears hopeless at this point. Interestingly, the audio through the computer's internal speakers seems to be fine so far .. at least playing iTunes music.

There doesn't seem to be much activity/complaining on RME's forum so I'm not sure if they are aware of these issues and working on a fix. Perhaps I'll reach out to them for some input.

I'm distraught over this issue .. I bought all this new gear in the hopes of getting a lot of audio projects done during the december break. Doesn't look like that's going to happen unfortunately.
Old 15th December 2013
  #287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foveus View Post
There doesn't seem to be much activity/complaining on RME's forum so I'm not sure if they are aware of these issues and working on a fix. Perhaps I'll reach out to them for some input.
I believe they (RME) are aware of it.

Haswell imac27 OSX 10.9 Fireface UCX noises (Page 1) — FireWire & USB series — RME User Forum
Old 16th December 2013
  #288
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[[ I'm distraught over this issue .. I bought all this new gear in the hopes of getting a lot of audio projects done during the december break. Doesn't look like that's going to happen unfortunately. ]]

You don't need to be distraught. Rather, be logical.

Until Apple releases a fix (time frame unknown), you have two choices:
1. Return the iMac for another that DOES NOT HAVE a fusion drive, or
2. "UN-fuse" the drive yourself, using Terminal

If you choose option 2, you will end up with two "standalone" drives:
- the internal SSD, and
- the internal HDD

It's important to understand that the drives themselves are just ordinary drives. There's nothing different inside them from "un-fused" drives. "Fusion" is Apple's "CORE storage" technology that "melds" the two individual drives together, causing them to appear "as one" on your desktop (think of it as Apple's own idea of "RAID").

There are instructions on how to UN-fuse a fusion drive posted on the net (try MacWorld.com). The process doesn't look overly complicated, but you DO have to back up everything first to an external volume (I recommend you make a bootable clone using CarbonCopyCloner).

Once "split", you can restore your OS, apps, accounts to the SSD and use the HDD for other things (such as DAW project data storage).

Here's an alternative approach that could work:
1. Use Disk Utility to partition the existing fusion drive. What this does is create a seondary partition that exists on the HDD drive alone. The SSD will still be "fused" with the primary partition on the HDD.
2. Use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the contents of the fusion drive to the HDD (you will now have TWO COPIES of your stuff).
3. You should now be able to boot from either, so....
4. Boot from the HDD secondary partition, and try running that way for a while. The boot time will be slower because you are booting and running from the HDD alone. But see if you still get the audio breakups after doing so.

Let us know the results.

This alternative approach is VERY EASY to do, should not take long.
You can always erase the secondary partition if you wish at a later time.
Old 16th December 2013
  #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foveus View Post
I have a UFX and a brand new iMac with 3TB Fusion drive and have unbearable audio issues. I've tried the UFX with a firewire-to-thunderbolt adapter into the computer, I've tried it with the firewire plugged into the belkin thunderbolt hub, I've tried its USB into the hub and into the computer ... No success with any of these scenarios. Clicking, popping, audio drop outs, noise etc etc with logic x, spotify, iTunes, anything that plays audio. I have the newest drivers installed from RME but it appears hopeless at this point. Interestingly, the audio through the computer's internal speakers seems to be fine so far .. at least playing iTunes music.

There doesn't seem to be much activity/complaining on RME's forum so I'm not sure if they are aware of these issues and working on a fix. Perhaps I'll reach out to them for some input.

I'm distraught over this issue .. I bought all this new gear in the hopes of getting a lot of audio projects done during the december break. Doesn't look like that's going to happen unfortunately.
wow! I sure would be mad. It's going top be 2014 and we are still dealing with these sort of 1990's style problems? wow! It's actually quite sad for this segment of the industry. Imagine if the new high end mac pro has these same issues! That could be very ugly...
Old 17th December 2013
  #290
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Dan Eriksson's Avatar
10.9.1. is released.
Was there any improvement?
Old 17th December 2013
  #291
Looks like the update fixed mail problems, nice job apple.
Old 18th December 2013
  #292
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What about iMac 2013 with 7200hdd?Same problem?sound interface - apogee duet 2 for iOS.))
Old 18th December 2013
  #293
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NoVi's Avatar
This goes to show that Apple does not seem to be very interested in serving the (pro) Audio market. I always understood that Apple and Apogee Ensemble had some kind of special connection in the audio department, leaving Apogee to develop their products exclusively for the OSX/iOS platform. But if I read their contributions they seem to be surprised as the customers who are stuck with their iMac. I would expect that Apogee would receive new Mac models to do testing and working with Apple on problems. Makes you wonder what happens when the new MacPro has similar "features" as the iMac.
Old 19th December 2013
  #294
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I've been having the same issues as everyone else here. I tried a few things that have some what reduced the problem but not entirely. If you start to hear the clicking really bad, go System Preferences - Sound - Output - and choose Internal Speakers then go back to Duet USB. It seems to reset things for a few minutes. Annoying but it temporarily works for me at least.

I also got a message from Apogee today saying the following "A potential work around in the interim is increasing the sample rate to 96 kHz in the Maestro> System Setup tab for Core Audio Apps such as iTunes. In Live> preferences> audio increase the set sample rate to 96 kHz."

That seems to be working okay for the moment. It has still clipped and popped a few times today but not as bad as before. Give it a shot and hopefully a proper update will come soon.
Old 19th December 2013
  #295
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I recently purchased a SYMPHONY I/O 2X6 I have problems with a distortion, crackle and cut audio in the sound in Usb mode to hear music in youtube/itunes/Quicktime, etc. I have not even tested in protools, i installed the drivers 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 ,and with everything's the same issue, i have a new Imac 2013 with Usb 3.0 ports non fusion drive, when i installed the firmware updater the installer is finished succesfully and is not frozen.

Apogee Tech says: As you are aware, this issue hit us and many other audio companies by surprise. There is no adapter to include in the box. We are sincerely apologetic for this inconvenience. We are working very diligently with Apples engineers to get this solved as quickly as possible. The issue seems to be with USB and FIreWire devices. SymphonyIO's using Thunderbridge have no issues.

In this case if Apogee want to continue the selling of an interface which is supposed to work properly in Usb mode, the minimum you could do for the users, is send a thunderbridge for free, if not, they are clearly scams the users, since they are profiting from the high value of Thunderbridge, and now they are including in the new symphony in a half price, that which clearly demonstrates that the Thunderbridge is too low cost to be building. The users don't have a date or anything that assures that will solve the problem quickly, and is very implausible say that this problem is a surprise, because these Imac take a long time in the market, i'm waiting for a real solution, not for apologizes, this is really frustrating.
Old 21st December 2013
  #296
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I just installed the Mavericks update 10.9.2 beta, I was SO hopefull and even tho it's way better, it didn't entierely fix the problem . My configuration is iMac late 2013 i7 3,5Ghz 3TB FD + Apogee Duet.
I still have cracks and pops but way less than previously with 10.9.1
I'm starting to loose hope, it's directly hurting my business.
Anyone with the same configuration tried the update?
Old 22nd December 2013
  #297
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malekmusic's Avatar
after searching the whole internet to find a solution for my problem, a lot of what said here applies to me, but im using a 2013 mac mini i7, without fusiondrive, just a stock hd, os is 10.8.5

my interface is steinberg mr816, i am not able to listen to music with vlc, itunes and so on. after a couple of minutes the audio gets distorted and sounds like theres bitcrusher on the audio. steinberg doesnt reply and im going crazy. its just very interesting that the same thing which happens with the new imacs happend to my mac mini...
Old 22nd December 2013
  #298
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LeMauce's Avatar
I have no issue's like you guys, but I marked something strang with my macbook pro 2011/12. Sinds I updated to 10.8 when sending music over wifi (airplay) everything works great for the first 3a4songs then it's like the whole Itunes is losing his sync... it gets distored and all and even de songs slowing down... But wait. Even now with a USB or firewire (Focusrite scarlette, RME FF800) hooked up and listen or recording/playbackin Protools.. same problem. Isn't it a 10.8.5 OSX and Upwards problem?! Or really a hardware problem?
Old 22nd December 2013
  #299
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malekmusic's Avatar
i just hooked up a microbook2 with my mac mini via usb, and guess what??? the same distortion problem, so this is not on steinberg or firewire or whatever... this seems to be an issue on apples side :((
Old 23rd December 2013
  #300
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Not sure if this is any use to any of you, but I had some really strange issues on my Hackintosh with a Motu Microbook. Distortion in iTunes, pop and clicks on Youtube, my mouse was jumping all over the place.

I bought a powered USB hub and the problem went away.
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