Do you have any issues with audio on the Mac Mini?

Do you have any issues with audio on macmini? (Internal/External audio) like clicks and pops.

  • Yes, I do have some clicks and pops occasionally

    Votes: 16 19.5%
  • Yes, I have some severe crackling sometimes during playback

    Votes: 8 9.8%
  • No, I don't have any issues

    Votes: 58 70.7%

  • Total voters
    82

8SlaiN8

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 16, 2018
69
21
Since this new computer is aimed mostly at professional or prosumer market, I'd assume some of you guys have bought it for music/audio related production/work.
Do you guys experience any micro hiccups in audio performance while using an external audio interface?
(like a focusrite scarlett, and many other usb coreaudio compilant devices) if you don't, don't worry, it's not that easily to spot, just have something on loop on logic or ableton, and do your normal system stuff, or while listening music on youtube/spotify/iTunes or watching a movie...
It happens like a small click, not really a crack, like a pop.
Lotsa folks have these issues with T2 equipped macs (i've started to have it since i've moved from 2016 to 2018 macbook pro) some people also say it's here since High Sierra and on...
Keep an eye on it and let us know in the comments please :)
Hopefully Apple did its homework right and we can hope for fixed in the future for our machines.
 
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reece204

macrumors newbie
Nov 6, 2018
2
1
Get my i7 Thursday an have a focusrite scarlett 6i6. Have friday off work an will be jamming on logic all day so will update with my findings then. Im sure someone else can help us out between now an then tho. Heard about the bad micro hiccups on the MacBooks with the t2 chip, hope they've somehow sorted the issue.
 

rmdeluca

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2018
250
396
Do you guys experience any micro hiccups in audio performance while using an external audio interface?
I've been using my PreSonus Quantum (a TB2 audio interface) with Logic on my 2018 i7 Mini and it's been awesome. My work flow (ha, work) is usually having Logic open with a guitar sim, a software piano synth for my USB MIDI keyboard, an input for a vocal mic and another input for my iPad (usually to run a metronome or simple drum track from GarageBand).

On my 2014 i7 Mini, this would often stutter and breakup if Logic was in the background or I had Facebook open in a web browser. I usually had to run buffer sizes that were borderline noticeable (128 or more) while playing the guitar. Since I've gotten the new Mini, a buffer size of 64 so far works flawlessly always. TBH I haven't even tried a 32 size buffer yet because the 64 works so well.

Definitely not experiencing any audio hitching or clicking like you're describing.
 
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F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
1,011
NYC & Newfoundland
I have an i5 mini, which I'm just in the process of testing. So far, no audio hiccups:

playing music via a Sound Devices USBPre 2 interface through fairly sensitive speakers (Focal Solo6)
listening via the same interface on sensitive headphones (Byerdynamic DT 1990 Pro)
recording to Logic with a small buffer, also via the same interface
 
Last edited:

8SlaiN8

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 16, 2018
69
21
Glad for you guys that it's working perfectly so far :) just to mention, it's really rarely happening after reboot/fresh boot
it usually doesn't depend if you're running on big or low buffer size, since it's a systemwide issue, so, you're informed, just keep an eye and let us know :) most likely you'd notice it during normal playback, 1-2h long listening sessions...
peace
 
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rmdeluca

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2018
250
396
Glad for you guys that it's working perfectly so far :) just to mention, it's really rarely happening after reboot/fresh boot
it usually doesn't depend if you're running on big or low buffer size, since it's a systemwide issue, so, you're informed, just keep an eye and let us know :) most likely you'd notice it during normal playback, 1-2h long listening sessions...
peace
Yeah I know the buffer size thing is independent of this - I was just sharing my enthusiasm :p

FYI I usually have Logic open in this configuration all day, often 12 hours or more. I'm obviously not playing the entire 12 hours, but frequently throughout the day.
 

Storm312

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2018
26
14
I've been using the built-in speaker for the past few days (not heavy use!), no issues yet.
 

Jorbanead

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2018
117
122
Since this new computer is aimed mostly at professional or prosumer market, I'd assume some of you guys have bought it for music/audio related production/work.
Do you guys experience any micro hiccups in audio performance while using an external audio interface?
(like a focusrite scarlett, and many other usb coreaudio compilant devices) if you don't, don't worry, it's not that easily to spot, just have something on loop on logic or ableton, and do your normal system stuff, or while listening music on youtube/spotify/iTunes or watching a movie...
It happens like a small click, not really a crack, like a pop.
Lotsa folks have these issues with T2 equipped macs (i've started to have it since i've moved from 2016 to 2018 macbook pro) some people also say it's here since High Sierra and on...
Keep an eye on it and let us know in the comments please :)
Hopefully Apple did its homework right and we can hope for fixed in the future for our machines.
How much RAM do you have installed? Clicks and pops are generally either a Word Clock sync issue, or not enough RAM. Make sure Logic and your Interface are at the same sample rate, then try messing with your preferences and I/O buffer.
 
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dmsea1

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2018
56
75
I have a Focusrite scarlett 6i6 as well - will be doing some editing this afternoon and will report what I get. I use either a BT Harmon Kardon speaker, or wired to a KRK satellite speaker - will try both.
 

8SlaiN8

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 16, 2018
69
21
How much RAM do you have installed? Clicks and pops are generally either a Word Clock sync issue, or not enough RAM. Make sure Logic and your Interface are at the same sample rate, then try messing with your preferences and I/O buffer.
Hello, and thanks for tanking your time :)
My machine hosts 16g of ddr4 ram (2018 15" model) though, I'd guess they're using internal clock of computer transmitted over usb, it's an entry level audio interface and nobody pretends it to perform as top tier ones, though, it was performing just fine with older 2016 mbp, and now, with this T2 replacing the smc sometimes it has problems with it. it was completely unsupportable in the beginning, like a real nightmare, i swear, but after these updates it has become almost unnoticable, though, still happens sometimes.
btw, I don't even have options to set up sample rate for the audio interface in audio/midi settings, it can be setup for system sounds but once I open Logic it sets the sample rate of project. (i know, some audio interfaces could have this problem)
it seems like more of a sudden spike, which makes core audio skip a cycle, that's it (it's systemwide)
 
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tehStickMan

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2018
321
149
Australia
Ok, for clarity, these are the things we'd like new owners to check:


1. Speaker hissing.
Can happen on internal speakers or generally any audio interface. When audio starts/stops, hissing might be present throughout (hard to hear obviously) and will start/stop just a little before/after the audio.

So the easiest way to trigger it is: System Prefs > Sound > Sound Effects ... and then click on some alerts. Click on alert, listed to the BONG or whatever alert you're familiar with. Do you hear speaker hiss (pretty faint, most people will need to assume I'm being insanely pedantic when testing this...) when the sound plays?


2. Audio stream corruption, AKA one form of crackling.
In the same Sound Effects area, rapidly click some alerts. Super-fast, kgo. Is it playing like BONGBONGBONG or BOBOBBBBBONG with every alert still nice and clear, but obviously with short gaps or premature finishes?

Or is it like BONGBONG***KKKKKRRRRRRRRR**ONGBBBONG with obviously faulty crackling in there?


3. Random audio stream corruption take#2
Enable "play feedback when volume is changed". On your KB, change the volume. You get the typical feedback sound. Now, open a youtube video with sound, and spam the hell out of the volume keys. The youtube video audio should crackle, and the volume feedback sounds will be all kinds of messed up - crackling, muted, etc.


4. Random audio stream corruption take#3
Leave youtube playing for a fairly long time. Does your Mac randomly make an 'electronic fart' noise (ergo, messed up audio) somewhere, randomly, for no reason?
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
1,011
NYC & Newfoundland
I'm in the process of doing a lot of tests on a mini, and these will include sound tests, but I don't understand why I would do the tests requested in your post. Maybe it's just me, but most of it has no obvious connection to how I use a Mac for audio.

If I could ask, who is the "we" referred to in the following sentence, and what do they actually want to know: "Ok, for clarity, these are the things we'd like new owners to check: "Ok, for clarity, these are the things we'd like new owners to check:"?

If your post is intended to be a joke (some of it reads like it), sorry for missing the jest :)
 
Last edited:

tehStickMan

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2018
321
149
Australia
The "we" is the 2018 MBP posse that has 48 pages on MacRumors alone: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macbook-pro-2018-speakers-crackling.2128234

There is thought that it could be a T2 issue, hence Air and Mini would be impacted.

issue #1 seems to go as far back as 2016, issue#2 I have 2011 and iPhones that do it (so it's for sake of completeness).



There is no joke. We're just desperate owners of $4K devices that aren't doing the job in a critical and basic aspect. We want to know if new T2 devices have similar issues. No item in my post is a joke, and all issues noted are happening.

I can only ask that people check - if they don't wanna, no problem, just move along I guess :)
 

Duncan68

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2018
372
273
I have a new i5/8GB/256GB Mac mini. I'm using it with an external DDC/DAC and headphone amp (Schiit Eitr/Modi Multibit/Vali 2) and I have been experiencing audio dropouts (what are called "hiccups" in this thread) since I got the mini.

Things I've tried are changing the USB cable, resetting SMC/NVRAM and now changing the USB port used. I just changed the USB port, so I don't know yet if that will fix it. None of the other things made any difference. Let me add, I was using all this audio equipment with a MacBook 12" 2017 (using a Multiport Adapter and a USB hub) previously with no problems. I'm hopeful that this is just a software/firmware bug and an update to Mojave will fix it.
[doublepost=1543442977][/doublepost]Update: changing the USB port used did nothing. I'm out of things to think to try. Since I sold my MacBook, I guess I just wait for an update.
 
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Henry Jones

macrumors newbie
Nov 28, 2018
3
3
Yes. 3 day old Mac Mini 2018 3.2ghz i7 with 16gb and 256gb. I’ve been testing it very carefully with long ‘sink tests’ playing soft non-transient music (much easier to spot glitching), on loops of 1 to 5 minutes and allowed to cycle until I hear any glitching.

With a USB connected RME UFX, I’ve tested buffers from 32samples to 256, in Pro Tools 12 2018.7, Ableton 10.05 and Reaper 5.93

The audio is glitching randomly anywhere from 20 seconds into looping playback, up to maybe 5 or 6 minutes in. It’s hard to define a frequency of the glitches but they are pretty bad and make the Mini unusable for audio right now.

This may be related to the T2 chip, or USB controller.

I’ve also discovered the bluetooth on the mini has an incredibly limited range, perhaps 3ft and much shorter if USB3 activity e.g. drives are connected, then the magic mouse has to practically be touching the mini to work without jittering. Fairly sure this is the classic USB3 radio interference problem.

The Mini is on 10.14.1

Otherwise the Mini is very silent, and cpu meters very low even on heavy projects, but with this glitching the machine can’t be taken seriously right now. I will be returning it in the next day or so.
 
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thirdsun

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
98
97
I'm still waiting for my Mini to arrive and will test it with an SPL Crimson interface, but to me these issues seem to be related to the individual audio interface, its OS compatibility and/or its drivers. I have a hard time believing that there's a general T2-related audio issue.
 

Jorbanead

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2018
117
122
So I’ve had my mini for about a week now. I use both ProTools and Logic for audio production and run everything through an Antelope Discrete 8 Interface.

When I first got my mini, I had a LOT of weird stuff happening with audio. Both Logic and ProTools had some weird hiccups. It sounded like the word clocks weren’t synced properly. My discrete 8 can manually change the sample rate separate from the DAW if I force it to, so I switched it back and forth and restarted ProTools. After that - I actually just got weird static/noise. So I updated the software on my discrete 8, restarted my mini, unplugged and restarted my interface, and then hooked everything back up.

Everything seems to be working fine now. Officially - Mojave is not supported yet for my interface. I have a feeling this is a Mojave issue more than a T2 issue though they could be related.

Check your drivers! Many companies don’t have official Mojave drivers yet.
 
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Duncan68

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2018
372
273
I hope I don't jinx myself, but I seemed to have solved my audio dropouts issue by having the mini forget my WiFi network and then setting it up as new again. I remembered when I first got the mini that it took a really long time, like a minute, to connect to my WiFi. It did eventually connect, but perhaps some setting(s) got corrupted (the settings were originally migrated from a MacBook 12").
 
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8SlaiN8

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 16, 2018
69
21
mojave 10.14.2 was released... let's check if it fixes some of our problems over here...
 

8SlaiN8

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 16, 2018
69
21
Here on the macbook pro 2018 side it didnt solve the problem, it appears to me like a sudden cpu spike, sometimes of all cores at a time for a millisecond so processor skips one or a few cycles of coreaudio, there we have such a crackling noise...
 

Hessel89

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2017
334
154
Arnhem
Any updates? I’m literally on the brink of selling my 2012 core i7 mini but this thread makes me anxious about it.. I’ve using my 2012 for 6 years now with 16 hour lpx sessions and it never skipped a beat.. what should I do? Wait or upgrade?
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
1,011
NYC & Newfoundland
Any updates? I’m literally on the brink of selling my 2012 core i7 mini but this thread makes me anxious about it.. I’ve using my 2012 for 6 years now with 16 hour lpx sessions and it never skipped a beat.. what should I do? Wait or upgrade?
I would suggest that you read posts 12 and 13 and decide how much weight to give this.

There is not exactly an army of mini owners reporting sound issues. Indeed, of the few contributors to this thread, there is exactly one person who reported a sound issue with the mini who has not said since that his problem has been resolved.
 
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Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
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1,394
I would suggest that you read posts 12 and 13 and decide how much weight to give this.

There is not exactly an army of mini owners reporting sound issues. Indeed, of the few contributors to this thread, there is exactly one person who reported a sound issue with the mini who has not said since that his problem has been resolved.
You don't get any dropouts?
There's some dude over at macbook pro forums that also gets drouputs.
 

Duncan68

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2018
372
273
To update my situation, I still get dropouts, but maybe only once every 5 hours. I switched to using Ethernet instead of WiFi (with it turned off) and that seems to have reduced the frequency of dropouts.
 

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