USB 3.0 workaround for audio devices

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by relbbircs, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. relbbircs macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    My 2012 MBA couldn't connect w/ USB 3.0 to a new RME UCX mixer. According to various discussion threads on the internet, Apple's implementation of USB 3.0 causes trouble for various audio devices.

    I thought -- in theory this seemed sensible -- that using a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter would allow a connection. The adapter I ordered arrived today and I can report it doesn't, at least not with the UCX. No connection and, moreover, some strange pulsing feedback in my headphones.

    But just for the heck of it I thought perhaps a USB 2.0 hub might coax the MBA into talking with the UCX. I tried it, with a Belkin mini hub, and I'm happy to report that this works.

    Your mileage may vary.
  2. bradPiano macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2011
    Great news! Thanks for reporting this!

    I plan on using the 2012 air that's on it's way as a primary recording device, and I had become concerned with all of the reported audio interface issues with USB 3.0.

    Like you, I had planned on trying my USB 2 hub in the event that any of my devices failed to mount.
  3. relbbircs thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    Just fyi, for some reason this morning this fix stopped working. Perhaps it's unstable RME drivers, I don't know. Updating to the latest RME drivers helped some but caused new problems. On various audio forums there's a recommendation to fiddle with the USB kext, but as far as I can tell that's only for Lion and Snow Leopard, but not Mountain Lion. In any case, I don't feel like fooling with kext files and using third party software the provenance of which I don't know.

    I'm thinking a real fix may have to wait for Apple to release an update that includes corrected USB drivers. (And, btw, there are reports of people using bootcamp and the latest Intel drivers who have their ports working properly, so it is a software, not a hardware, issue.)

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