Old 09-23-2018, 05:56 PM   #1
Vasily
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Default High Sierra poor CoreAudio performance

I've recently updated two machines from Sierra to High Sierra. After things settled (Spotlight, etc.), I had to raise my latency to get rid of drop-outs that never were there before. Now it only works at 256 spls, but used to at 64.

I see same on both computers, both with USB and Thunderbolt interfaces. I see this both in Reaper and Studio One. Somehow this upgrade worsened my audio performance, though nothing else had changed. I've tried deleting CoreAudio preferences, I've tried the "delete the disk and restore 10.13 from Time Machine" path, etc. Nothing helped yet.

Did anyone had a similar problem? Or High Sierra is good and stable for you in that department?
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:03 AM   #2
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For me, just the opposite. When I first downloaded Reaper, moving GUI objects during playback caused noises, and any VST instrument not visible during playback would drop out. The next High Sierra update I received resolved everything. Super smooth now at 128/96k. That is, until last night when my interface detached itself mid-playback :-D

Thank God my monitors were not powered on at that time!

Just curious, what kinds of drop outs are they? Single hungry plugs? Huge projects? Audio / MIDI?
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:38 AM   #3
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Take a look at Activity monitor. There have been reports of batteryd taking up to 100% CPU, causing dropouts.

In that case, you can disable batteryd, but only if the Mac is on mains power.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:45 AM   #4
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1. no, that is not heavy plugins. I see this just on a project with two tracks and no plugins at all.
2. as for batteryd, thanks for suggestion, but I don't see it eating the CPU time.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:47 AM   #5
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it happens like this: everything is running normally, but a short flicker maxes out CPU and it's not available to DAW in time.

in Reaper's performance monitor I see no load. in Activity Monitor I see top processes: DAW and coreaudiod (the latter is like 25% CPU).
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:50 AM   #6
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as for now my guess is there is something in UI rendering or something like this. but not able to prove or check this yet.

both my computers have an integrated video adapter (i.e. on-board Intel).
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:53 AM   #7
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I use Focusrite Clarett Thunderbolt. checked with Scarlett USB and High Sierra also performs with it worse than Sierra did.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:50 AM   #8
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this seems to be log entry for when it fails:

HALS_OverloadMessage.cpp:159: perform: Audio IO Overload inputs: 'FocusritePCI001' outputs: 'FocusritePCI001' cause: 'Unknown' prewarming: no recovering: no

Last edited by Vasily; 09-24-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:20 AM   #9
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I was wrong: it only affects one my machine. a 2015 one, but a 2012 is still working fine after the same upgrade, which is strange, considering the 2015 is more powerful.

Time for a clear reinstall, I guess. Or any other suggestions?
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:20 AM   #10
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I always trash the DAWS Prefs as well when I upgrade the OS

Try a SMC reset and a PRAM/NVRAM reset as well
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
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@shanabit

1. It’s not a problem with user profile, as this happens with a new empty user on this system.
2. Tried that, no effect

Currently deleted disk and reinstalling HS from scratch, let’s see if the problem will be there.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:47 AM   #12
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okay, I tried to re-install HS from scratch, but it hang just after installation.
I guess, it just doesn't like this specific computer or something like this.

reverted to Sierra and everything is working. and will wait for a newer, better OS someday.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:34 AM   #13
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Interesting. I've had the same problem with High Sierra (Uad Apollo twin). Sierra better for me. I don't know why.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:09 PM   #14
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Time to try Mojave?

What's positive is that Apple seems to have noticed. I've seen accounts named "Apple Support" springing up on a few related fora...
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:59 PM   #15
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I’ve actually tried Mojave back then with same overloading problem.

Lately it’s been rumored that 10.14.4 beta 5 includes some audio fixes.
I’ll try once again when 10.14.4 is released.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:26 AM   #16
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FYI: the update is out...

https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1996?...S&locale=en_US
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:36 AM   #17
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Yeah, but some users report that they broke Mail.app and Gmail combo.

I think, I’ll wait for this to be fixed before trying to upgrade.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:57 AM   #18
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Yep. Mail.app has always been a steaming pile...
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:25 AM   #19
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hm, tried to update, but the installer of 10.14.4 does not run for me.

it runs the whole way until the first reboot dialog and then says: cannot run application, please try to run it again. restarted, running again, still the same.

I guess I'll just stick to Sierra on that very computer.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:11 AM   #20
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okay, I upgraded to Mojave 10.14.4 and my recording setup is more broken than with early Mojave.

it just constantly overloads CPU when it hears any audio input. when it's silent, it does not.

DAW monitor performance does not show devices, system activity monitor shows no active processes (and Spotlight had been run et al).
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:55 AM   #21
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Which model Mac is this exactly?
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:38 AM   #22
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MF841LL/A (13" Pro Early 15, latest gen before touchbar was introduced)

I've actually reverted back to 10.12 on that machine just to make it useful again.
it looked like mystery – nothing related in DAW resource monitor, activity monitor or logs.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #23
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I was thinking dual GPU problem. But it's a 13", so none of that...

I'm still thinking iCloud. But it isn't easy to tell you where to look, or what to disable.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:55 AM   #24
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install macOS to a usb flash drive or something and run the test again using a fresh system install
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:10 AM   #25
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This is a OSX or hardware issue, not DAW or interface as you have tried different Interfaces, Diff DAW with SAME issue on two diff boxes.

Spotlight is ALWAYS disabled here BTW so the HD is not indexing files all the time

Good luck
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