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aramism

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2015
26
2
Hi I have this very odd issue with a late 2013 retina 15" MBP (ME294LL/A) 16gb 2.3ghz i7


I have an apogee symphony desktop audio interface connected via USB.

It was working fine for like 6 months when I got the apogee (I bought the laptop used) and then suddenly while recording in Logic Pro X the audio interface just stops transmitting audio. It doesn't disconnect from the computer though, it still shows at connected, but there is no audio. There's also no audio if I try to listen to anything else (youtube, spotify etc.)

When I switch to laptop speakers on the spot, the audio plays. Then I switch back to apogee and it doesn't work. Only some combo of restarting the interface unit itself and/or the computer makes it work again. But it only works for a few minutes before disconnecting.

The same issue happens if I don't even use Logic and just listen to youtube or something. Again, the device itself (and it's control software) do not disconnect, just no audio.

I've contacted the manufacturer and we spent a week trying different things. They thought it was the unit so they sent me a new unit. The same issue happens with the new unit.

I've tried resetting nvram, smc etc., we've gone through all the steps with apogee tech as far as reinstalling the software. I've even tried doing a fresh install of OSX with no data being kept.

The only other usb device to test is an android phone and it connects fine and transfers data. No other USB devices are available to test.

I did an apple hardware test and it passed.

The problem happens in both usb ports.

Does anyone have any advice. Can this be due to a bad usb controller chip? It seems unlike to be at the port, as the device connects, and same issue with both ports happens.

I'm thinking maybe it needs a new logic board? Or can I take it to microcenter or something and have them replace just the usb controller chip?

It's so perpelxing what the problem could be! Any advice/insight would be helpful thanks
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,457
12,573
I may have missed it in your post above, but have you tried a different USB cable?
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,675
2,427
Baltimore, Maryland
When you got the replacement unit from Apogee did it also have a new power supply and USB cable…and if so did you use the new supply and USB cable when testing the new unit?

You didn't say if you plugged the Apogee into a different computer to test it. My guess is that it would work and that would point back to the USB on the MBP as being the issue.

You also need to test the USB ports with another audio device. My guess is that you'd see the same behavior…also pointing back to the MBP. You could order a cheap one (~$10) from Amazon or maybe a local store (Microcenter or similar) would have something.
 

aramism

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2015
26
2
I may have missed it in your post above, but have you tried a different USB cable?
Yes I have tried several
When you got the replacement unit from Apogee did it also have a new power supply and USB cable…and if so did you use the new supply and USB cable when testing the new unit?

You didn't say if you plugged the Apogee into a different computer to test it. My guess is that it would work and that would point back to the USB on the MBP as being the issue.

You also need to test the USB ports with another audio device. My guess is that you'd see the same behavior…also pointing back to the MBP. You could order a cheap one (~$10) from Amazon or maybe a local store (Microcenter or similar) would have something.
New power supply was tried

No other computer to test it on at the moment.

However the odds of two straight apogees having the same exact problem (which apogee themselves, who have great tech guys, said they never saw with this unit) is almost impossible.
 

aramism

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2015
26
2
I think you're right.

Did you try to give the USB ports a good cleaning?
yup. and again both ports malfunction. hence why I'm thikning it's the usb controller?? on intel MBP retinas aren't the USB ports shared by one controller chip? Not 100% but I for some reason assumed it was
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,457
12,573
Might be time to start looking around at OTHER audio interface units...
 

aramism

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2015
26
2
It's not the interface that's the problem as evident by both units having the same issue
 

MajorFubar

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2021
2,105
3,724
Lancashire UK
It could also be the OS, if you are running Monterey.
Monterey on my Mac Studio drops connection to my string of USB-connected devices every few days. It is a well known issue that's been posted about across twelve pages on this thread for the last ten months, by both Mx and Intel Mac users:

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...rt-connectivity-issues-with-usb-hubs.2320450/

Nothing fixes it for me other than unplugging and re-plugging the USB C cable connecting the computer to my HP G5 dock. Strangely, my monitor, which is effectively connected to the computer via the same single USB cable, never drops connection: only my USB devices, including my Motu audio interface.

I've tried plugging some devices directly into the Mac Studio's USB-A ports to see if it's a problem with my dock, but they still drop off at the same time as everything else. So it's not a dock problem, it's 100% a Monterey problem, relating to communicating with USB devices (EDIT other than to monitors, it would seem, at least in my case).
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,457
12,573
OP:

I recommend that you spend some time over at gearspace.com
That's where "the audio guys" hang out.
I predict you'll find much more info on the problem "over there"...
 

jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,257
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
If you're implying that the Apollo isn't getting enough power…the unit has it's own power supply that's required for it to operate. It doesn't rely on USB bus power.

The test of a different USB audio device on that computer should be performed.
Not implying that, rather testing a different situation to see if the problem really lies with the USB protocol or elsewhere.
 
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