zedsdeadbaby

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2016
132
58
Boston
I have a 2018 MacBook Pro I purchased this fall. I'm wondering if others with the same model, who use programs like Logic, Ableton or Pro Tools, or, Adobe Premiere are seeing the following behavior:

The speakers and headphones no longer work as a single built-in audio device.
(This does not affect iTunes, Quicktime, or iMovie. Everything works as expected there. This only affects applications where you would manually select built-in audio.)

In Logic, with "System Setting" set as your output, unplugging headphones (i.e for a quick check on the built in speakers), causes Logic to unload and reload the entire project. (This is a headache for anyone using instruments that require a lot of loading time like Kontakt. It also increases the likelihood of Logic crashing while attempting to switch devices and unload/reload everything.)

In Ableton Live (and Studio One, Pro Tools, etc) you now have to open Live's audio preferences and select the speakers or headphones manually. E.g. if you had headphones plugged in and you want to do a quick 'small speaker check' using the built in speakers sound doesn't automatically re-route, you have to switch outputs wait for Live to unload and reload the built-in audio driver.

In Premiere same story, and video playback stops. Video/sound playback will not resume until you switch devices.

Trying to determine if this is an issue affecting the current model, if it only affects i9 models, or my machine has a hardware issue...

I've owned 4 previous MacBooks and have never seen this behavior before. I've checked on my 2011 MacBook Pro [High Sierra], and my 2012 MacBook Pro [Sierra], and used MBP's for years and never encountered this issue until this machine.
 
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SBruv

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2008
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I'm on an i7 13" and yes, it's exactly the same. It's something to do with the T2 processor, which now handles audio routing.
 

zedsdeadbaby

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2016
132
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Boston
That's what I thought. Glad it's not at least isolated to my machine. The weird thing is is that Chrome and Firefox re-route audio, as do iTunes, Quicktime and iMovie. Would the T2 handle audio for these apps as well?
 

SBruv

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2008
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That's what I thought. Glad it's not at least isolated to my machine. The weird thing is is that Chrome and Firefox re-route audio, as do iTunes, Quicktime and iMovie. Would the T2 handle audio for these apps as well?
I assume so, yeah.
 

vemac575

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2018
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This is probably not a hardware issue. It will likely be fixed in a logic update. If it were a hardware issue, it would effect the apps that it does not.

It happens to my i9 too, but it's not a big deal. By the way, I wouldn't be checking my mix with the newer Macbook speakers, as they are low/low mid heavier than the 2017, which were a lot more accurate.
[doublepost=1542449071][/doublepost]
That's what I thought. Glad it's not at least isolated to my machine. The weird thing is is that Chrome and Firefox re-route audio, as do iTunes, Quicktime and iMovie. Would the T2 handle audio for these apps as well?
This is exactly how we know it can be fixed in an update.
 

SBruv

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2008
518
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This is probably not a hardware issue. It will likely be fixed in a logic update. If it were a hardware issue, it would effect the apps that it does not.

It happens to my i9 too, but it's not a big deal. By the way, I wouldn't be checking my mix with the newer Macbook speakers, as they are low/low mid heavier than the 2017, which were a lot more accurate.
[doublepost=1542449071][/doublepost]

This is exactly how we know it can be fixed in an update.
I wouldn’t be checking my mix on any laptop speakers! :-D
 

vemac575

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2018
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I wouldn’t be checking my mix on any laptop speakers! :-D
Well you should. Especially on things that people will be listening to them on. The beauty is the mono of some phones and the higher frequencies and the lacking of lows in laptop speakers. You should always reference your mix in multiple consumer platforms.

Then you move to master.
 

zedsdeadbaby

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2016
132
58
Boston
Well you should. Especially on things that people will be listening to them on. The beauty is the mono of some phones and the higher frequencies and the lacking of lows in laptop speakers. You should always reference your mix in multiple consumer platforms.

Then you move to master.
Right, but it happens in Live, Studio One, DSP Quattro, Sonarworks etc too, so seems like there's a missing kext or piece of firmware that wasn't updated for these machines.

And no, although I don't use the speakers for mixing per se, I have always used them to check if things cut through on smaller speakers. Every hour or so... I've always found them to be really useful for that.
 
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vemac575

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2018
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Right, but it happens in Live and Studio One. It's definitely a missing kext/driver type of issue...

And no, although I don't use the speakers for mixing per se, I have always used them to check if things cut through on smaller speakers... They've always been really useful for that.
Yea, they have, I agree. That's the only thing I hate about this new Mac. The low end in the speakers is ridiculous. To the consumer it is fantastic, I am sure. But people like us think "damn, any louder and it's be a tiny subwoofer". I'm exaggerating for sure, but last year's model were way more balanced.
 

zedsdeadbaby

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2016
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Boston
Yea, they have, I agree. That's the only thing I hate about this new Mac. The low end in the speakers is ridiculous. To the consumer it is fantastic, I am sure. But people like us think "damn, any louder and it's be a tiny subwoofer". I'm exaggerating for sure, but last year's model were way more balanced.
I agree... I'm kind of blown away how ***** loud and low these dinky little speakers go! They're actually really good as a little speaker check, they simulate a bluetooth speaker really well...
 

vemac575

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2018
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Didn't think of that. They DO sound very bluetooth speaker like. I was referencing a track on my 2017 just days ago. Sold it and got this 2018 and was like "HUH"... I've gotten used to them already but I NOW need to get some crappy higher response computer speakers now... BOOOOOOO
 

Michaelhuisman

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2011
32
15
Netherlands
I have both an i9 2018 and a 2017 machine.

the i9 2018 let out the loudest blast of sound I've *ever* heard out of a laptop precisely the same time as MainStage crashed. Probably white noise, but it drove the internal speakers so hard it sounded like a buzzer. Folks in adjacent rooms even said "whoa!" when it happened.

Speakers blown. No high end, and only low-volume after that and it sounded mostly like paper tearing.

Apple fixed it with a topcase replacement. High end is back, but it still sounds like paper tearing. Not good and it'll have to go back. Apple stating that they continue to repair as they're the manufacturer, but I purchased from B&H this time as they had this I9 32GB 2TB machine in-stock where Apple didn't. Apple says they will *not* do a replacement. They're required to repair. Replace is B&H's responsibility according to Apple. I want a resolution that works for a musician that has prominently displayed Apple machines on stages and in studios since 1985... and to be honest, for the first time ever, Apple's exemplary customer service sounds more like Dell than Apple...

We'll see what happens next here.

Getting back to the original post. Yes, in Logic, MainStage, Live, even Sys Prefs | Sound, the built-in mic (MacBook Pro Microphone) and built-in speakers (MacBook Pro Speakers) are separate devices. They are also enumerated as separate devices in the audio window of audio MIDI setup. The mic has one input/no outputs; the speakers have two outputs/no inputs.

I don't think this will change, nor do I see this as a particular problem (although keenly interested in what the OP wrote - it just hasn't happened to me, but by design, I'm not so sure this is flawed - we set inputs and outputs separately anyway in pro audio apps).

What *does* concern me is the T2 chip operating as an audio interface. That early crackling sound that folks had sounded to me exactly like what happens when there's a clocking mismatch, 44.1k being mixed with 48k input, without software doing realtime sample rate conversion sounds exactly like what folks heard. Losing clock sync also sounds like that... It seems more like the link between T2 and macOS isn't particularly good. Look at the reported latencies, even at 64 samples or less, and they're not very good. Additionally, although this seems better on 10.14.1, on an i9 at least, setting sample buffer to anything less than 128 sends all the cores into 30%+ utilization. Why? That simply cannot be good.

Add to that my speakers blown situation, and even after repair, being obviously wrong sets off warning flags for me, especially when putting the supposed "better machine" next to my 2017 model purchased in January of this year (2018).

I'm trying, amidst my gigs/rehearsal/studio work, to get Apple to have a *good* look at this machine, because just replacing the top case didn't solve the consequences of a problem, nor has it begun to look at the root cause of the whatever happened.

To be clear, for pro work I use external audio interfaces or Dante Virtual Soundcard. Sometimes though, I'll use the internal speakers though and they should just work - always.

Will have to see what happens moving forward - but right now, I'm concerned, on multiple levels.
[doublepost=1542453473][/doublepost]wondering, based on other comment in this thread about 2018 i9 sounding "heavier" if this video plays without distorting!


"heavier" could indicate another issue - if L&R were sent more than once, in parallel to the outputs, there'd be an internal gain stage problem. If it were the slightest bit out of phase, we'd also get all kinds of phase cancellations... What I'm hearing isn't just a blown speaker (even after the repairs). It's like it's a phasing problem as well, or cheap surround emulation... It's just *bad*.

This video by the way, is amazing. That's *live* folks! I've listened to the same on in studio, my car, my iPad... all amazing, but on the 2018 i9, there's an issue, a serious one.
 
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SBruv

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2008
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Oh, you mean in that sense. I thought you meant you were actually mixing through them. :)

Well you should. Especially on things that people will be listening to them on. The beauty is the mono of some phones and the higher frequencies and the lacking of lows in laptop speakers. You should always reference your mix in multiple consumer platforms.

Then you move to master.
h
 

iMacDragon

macrumors 68000
Oct 18, 2008
1,692
277
UK
I have a 2018 MacBook Pro I purchased this fall. I'm wondering if others with the same model, who use programs like Logic, Ableton or Pro Tools, or, Adobe Premiere are seeing the following behavior:

The speakers and headphones no longer work as a single built-in audio device.
(This does not affect iTunes, Quicktime, or iMovie. Everything works as expected there. This only affects applications where you would manually select built-in audio.)

I think the other native apple apps mentioned basically handle the switch to the new default audio device internally, much as they have before when switch system outputs.