Audio interface issues with 2018 Macbook Pro

Terra Oroboroz

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2016
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I'm using a Steinberg UR22 mkII USB audio interface with my 2018 Macbook Pro and I get random audio dropouts. I don't have any crackling or glitches mentioned by other users here on the forum, just this 1 second break in the audio stream randomly. One or two times in an hour. Internal speakers are fine. It doesn't matter what is the source of audio, it can be either Logic, Spotify or YouTube.

I think I managed to trace back the problem with Console. Every time a dropout occurs, the machine is fetching the current time from apple servers right before pausing core audio. I can even replicate the issue by toggling the "set date & time automatically" option in settings with Wifi enabled. Yesterday it happened right at 00:00 that's why I started to suspect the clock sync feature.

My question is:

What do you think, can this be caused by the new T2 chip?

I read somewhere that since High Sierra, Mac OS using a new method to keep the clock in sync and since this interface isn't new, it can be an incompatibility between the interface and newer versions of the OS.

I'm on Mojave 10.14.2 since yesterday, had the same problem with 14.1. Laptop arrived with later. Tried different USB-C ports, using Apple's official USB-C to USB-A cable. Using the latest available drivers from Steinberg, although that was not updated since the end of september. When I tried to use the interface without the drivers, I've got constant crackling in Logic, don't know if this helps or not.

Latest on the issue:

Disabling the network connection solves the problem for me, because it won't let the timed process sync the clock. Already reported the bug to Apple and I hope for a software fix in the near future.
 
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Ploki

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Jan 21, 2008
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Same happens on RME firewire with latest drivers and other devices as well.

Apple’s fault i reckon, you can replicate it on built in interface too if you’re persistent enough.

One of the reasons i returned mine... nobody reported such issues with the mini.
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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Hmm. I have not had this issue on my Audient iD4, but I have not done much recording with it. I guess I better test it some more.

BTW, are you only hearing this on playback. Do you have issues recording?
 
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Ploki

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Jan 21, 2008
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i didnt bother recording with it unfortunately, i just tried to return it as fast as possible because it was over 14 days.
 
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canyelles

macrumors member
Nov 8, 2011
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Terra, I know you no longer see the console messages but has it actually solved the glitch problem?


Thanks
 
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Terra Oroboroz

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2016
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canyelles

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Nov 8, 2011
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Did not have any since the "set date & time automatically" option is disabled in settings, but it's too early to tell. I'm currently testing the machine for CPU spikes mentioned here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mus...igh-sierra-mojave-coreaudio-overload-bug.html
Thanks. My issues are on a mini so I presume the battery check is irrelevant in my case.

I haven't had a problem since I changed my setting either but as you say it is early days.

I am just wondering whether this is a possible workaround for other T2 issues (including KPs)
 
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Ploki

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Jan 21, 2008
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Thanks. My issues are on a mini so I presume the battery check is irrelevant in my case.

I haven't had a problem since I changed my setting either but as you say it is early days.

I am just wondering whether this is a possible workaround for other T2 issues (including KPs)
Ohhh crap. :( i was hoping mini was immune.
 
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Terra Oroboroz

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2016
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Thanks. My issues are on a mini so I presume the battery check is irrelevant in my case.

I haven't had a problem since I changed my setting either but as you say it is early days.

I am just wondering whether this is a possible workaround for other T2 issues (including KPs)
I'm not sure how it works, but if you check the comments under this video, users reporting the same problem using an iMac. Can you please try the method shown in the video to make sure the Mini doesn't have this issue?

 
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canyelles

macrumors member
Nov 8, 2011
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My audio glitch issues are on a mini simply using iTunes. I don't have Logic PRO. Sorry if I confused the issue.

I still haven't had any problems since I turned off 'set date/time automatically'
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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A suggestion to those in this thread having the problem:
(this may help, then again, mebbe not, but might be worth a try)

1. Reboot to recovery partition
2. Open "Startup Security Utility"
3. DISABLE ALL security settings.
4. Close the SSU, reboot, and try again.
 
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dven

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2018
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I've noticed the same issue with mine (2.2, i7, 560X) ("timed" daemon spins up for the clock sync and the audio engine pauses and restarts several times). I hadn't tested turning off wifi or the auto time sync, but its encouraging that that seems to have helped in your case! I can point you to a couple of threads here and on gearslutz and logicprohelp that gives more detail about my issues if you're interested.
 
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Howard2k

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Mar 10, 2016
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I've noticed the same issue with mine (2.2, i7, 560X) ("timed" daemon spins up for the clock sync and the audio engine pauses and restarts several times). I hadn't tested turning off wifi or the auto time sync, but its encouraging that that seems to have helped in your case! I can point you to a couple of threads here and on gearslutz and logicprohelp that gives more detail about my issues if you're interested.

I'd be interested in seeing those links please.
timed replaced the NTP in High Sierra right? But this is still limited to the T2 based models?

I'm using an older MBPro (2015) and recording with a Behringer USB interface and I haven't noticed these issues. Would I literally notice a 1 second drop out on occasion?
 
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dven

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2018
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https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/1232030-usb-audio-glitches-macbook-pro-2018-a.html
https://www.logicprohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=138992

And the general "speakers crackling" thread here.

Not sure when the switch to timed was made and my older laptop was a non-T2 running Sierra, so no direct OS comparison, but these crackling/dropouts seem to be related to the T2 equipped machines, since they glitch/dropout even when not under load. The glitches/dropouts tend to be on the order of milliseconds - enough to hear a glitch, but not any audible moment of silence - at least in my case.
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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Folks, try my suggest above about disabling the t2, and get back to us.
 
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dven

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2018
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From my understanding, that only disables portions of the security handled by the T2 - mainly how the startup O/S is verified and whether external boot is allowed. It still streams encrypted data back and forth from disk and it still handles a bunch of other stuff (including audio) that used to be handled by other subsystems. Its really more of a packaged up conglomeration of the SMC, audio, etc functions, so it can't really be disabled. Granted its a complex system and the security may play into other pieces that aren't apparent.
 
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Terra Oroboroz

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 27, 2016
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Well, I just had another dropout. The last thing I can try is to disable automatic time zone switching.
 
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dven

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2018
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Maybe try turning WiFi off? That’s gonna be my last resort. I’m hoping that with WiFi off it doesn’t try to resync the clock at all....
 
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Terra Oroboroz

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 27, 2016
42
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Maybe try turning WiFi off? That’s gonna be my last resort. I’m hoping that with WiFi off it doesn’t try to resync the clock at all....
Yeah it looks like the timed event still happens, even with the automatic sync disabled in settings.

Screenshot 2018-12-08 at 9.47.40.png
 
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canyelles

macrumors member
Nov 8, 2011
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I see the same thing in the logs but turning off time sync seems to have helped me have less glitches.
My use case is probably less severe than yours though, I am only using iTunes.

I think there could well be multiple problems that affect audio. Yesterday I had a 10 second dropout.
Looking at the logs, at that time diskarbitrationd was busy writing thousands of (the same) messages to the log.
 
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Terra Oroboroz

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 27, 2016
42
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I see the same thing in the logs but turning off time sync seems to have helped me have less glitches.
My use case is probably less severe than yours though, I am only using iTunes.

I think there could well be multiple problems that affect audio. Yesterday I had a 10 second dropout.
Looking at the logs, at that time diskarbitrationd was busy writing thousands of (the same) messages to the log.
Are you using an interface as well?

I think you are right. Sadly, I bought this machine for audio production, so I think it's going back next week.

By the way the specs are: 2.6, 16GB, Vega 20, 512 SSD
 
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canyelles

macrumors member
Nov 8, 2011
46
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No interface. Just used as a music server. The 2018 mini (3.2 Ghz i7, 16gb, 256 ssd) connects directly via usb to a Devialet amplifier.
I also use it to record audio (using Audacity) sent back by the Devialet. Bi-directional usb works fine when it is working :)

Everything worked perfectly using a 2014 mini on High Sierra
 
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IdentityCrisis

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Sep 9, 2018
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No issues with my Caldigit Audio, or Daytonaudio going to my speakers from the optical interface of my Caldigit on my new MBP.
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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Terra posted a log report above, mentioning "Spotify".

What happens if you GET RID OF Spotify...?
 
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