Fluctuating Volume across entire system

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iunspoken, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. iunspoken macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi everyone,

    Have a weird problem. I've also found multiple forum and discussion threads on this issue dating back to 2010.

    Without any apparent reason or trigger point, the volume on my Mid-2010 Mac Pro started fluctuating on it's own.
    There is no observable factor that affects or triggers the volume fluctuation.
    I've tried deleting the iTunes plist files, done a PRAM reset, even a complete power cycle including my UPS. But nothing seems to be able to resolve it.
    It's become extremely frustrating as my creative work revolves around having to edit audio as well.

    Any one has come up with a viable solution these past 5 years?


    Mid-2010 Mac Pro
    Mac OS 10.5.5
    256GB SSD
    64GB RAM
    Audio Output: Line Out
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #2
    Any more details, or examples? What do you mean by volume fluctuating?
     
  3. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Meaning at any given point in time, the system volume will fluctuate on it's own. Going low, then back to normal.
    I do edit work on Premiere Pro CC, so you can see how this can really screw things up.
     
  4. VAGDesign macrumors 6502

    VAGDesign

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    #4
    Might seem crazy but, is your keyboard keys OK? (I mean without dust or dirt on the volume buttons)
    If you have an Apple Display (I think some have volume controls on it) is it OK?
    Any other device that might control your volume, is it functional and working OK?

    Just some thoughts...
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #5
    Is the HUD shows anything on the display when the volume change? If the system volume hasn't change (e.g. stay at 50%), but you can clearly hear that the volume is fluctuating. May be it's the cable's / speaker's problem.
     
  6. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Nope. none of those factors that were suggested were conclusive.
    the HUD doesn't come up when it happens. Definitely not the volume keys either, almost 100% certain of it.
    Thought it might be a speaker issue, so went through the cables, power supply and even an alternate audio source, not a problem there.

    the volume keys still respond accordingly, just that the unpredictable volume changes messes around with the eventual output.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #7
    Do you have another boot drive? Backup OSX or Windows? If yes, try that and see if still the same, that may be helpful to focus on software / hardware.
     
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    United States
    #8
    You're absolutely sure? Because I was having a similar issue with a pair of powered speakers on my old 2010 cMP, and a new pair of powered speakers fixed the problem for me.

    The issue was kind of subtle - it didn't go from 10 to 1, it was more like 7 to 4 and then back to 7 like it was temporarily dropping out.

    If that's definitely not the issue, one long shot thing to investigate is if you have an automatically gain-adjusting microphone - maybe it's somehow affecting the line out as well.

    Good luck with that one!
     
  9. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    That's what the Apple Support Staff said too. Eventually I either had to lug my entire Mac Pro down to a AASP, or try a full restore.
    Accordingly to him, there have been random reports of this problems, but not enough to make it an official issue. Reports date back all the way to OS 10.2. There has never been an official fix or solution though. So.

    @ixxx69 yeah that pretty much describes my problem actually. it's like a 6 to 3 then back up to 6, sometimes a 1. I'm not completely convinced it's a power speaker problem though. The speaker works fine on my iPhone.
     
  10. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    What speakers brand/model do you have?
     
  11. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Currently using a Creative GigaWorks T3.
     
  12. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #12
    'Loudness' level changes depending on the source of the sound. Different videos and audio files have their own loudness levels independent of system volume.
     
  13. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    thanks. i would know that cos i edit for a living. this level changes has nothing to do with source files, audio or video, loudness or peak levels. as it is, for now i'm editing audio based on level readouts instead of the actual audio that i'm hearing. it's frustrating but doesn't seem like i have a choice as of now.
     
  14. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #14
    I'm with you. There has been something about the OSX audio driver. In Windows on the same computer it doesn't happen.
     
  15. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    #15
    Read the negative reviews at Amazon.com for that particular speaker system and I think you'll find your answer.
     
  16. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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  17. Arron Rouse macrumors regular

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    #17
    Maybe ditch the speakers and try a pair of headphones before lugging your kit down to the service centre?
     
  18. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    have you had a solution to it though?
     
  19. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    i'm not 100% convinced that it's due to the speaker system itself really. cos with an iphone input, it works just fine. it has worked fine for the past year plus, until i upgraded to Yosemite, but even then, the problem only came in 2-3 weeks after i upgraded.
     
  20. Inutopia macrumors 6502

    Inutopia

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    #20
    You should still try with some other set of speakers. If you don't then your troubleshooting is poor.
     
  21. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    didn't say i didn't. tried with headphones, an identical pair of speakers, and a whole different set of speakers as well.
    same problem.
     
  22. Inutopia macrumors 6502

    Inutopia

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    #22
    You also never said you did, and I'm not the first person to suggest it with you not mentioning you had already tried this. Good luck with your issue, I'm out.
     
  23. iunspoken thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    might have missed it along the way. but thanks for the suggestion though.
     

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