Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
5648 posts since 7 Jan, 2005 from Corporate States of America

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:08 am

Hanz Meyzer wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:19 am
Yes, if you are planning to use the notebook's audio out for making music, you should not buy a Macbook by Apple. Even the new 16 inch Macbook has such problems. It is caused by the heavy abstraction / emulation of a DAC inside the ARM t2 chip. Also latencies can't be better here, nothing is faster than a DAC in hardware (and much more reliable and cheaper, too).
I wasn’t aware that this was how they were doing the audio on these machines. I guess they figured “pros” will buy external audio interfaces...?
Hanz Meyzer wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:19 am
Also regarding proper cooling, a Macbook is a very bad choice. Remember that your CPU may have to calculate a lot in audio, so it will get very hot, if you use a complex song setup.
Any laptop is a bad choice. But yeah, this is what’s wrong with Apple’s computer lineup. Thermal constraints. I’ve already had a MacBook Pro die of heat fatigue. The 2019 Mac Pro is priced entirely out of the reach of prosumers and hobbyists (most of us here?), and I had been waiting for such a machine with proper thermal design for about ten years. I’m so irritated by Apple. Not irritated enough to go back to Windows (or build a hackintosh), though.

The fanatics over at Apple Insider forums all think no one needs a machine with proper thermals. They think an iMac is all anyone should need. It’s a never-ending argument over there.
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Hanz Meyzer
KVRian
1462 posts since 20 Oct, 2014

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:49 am

TheZB wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:43 pm
Bumping this thread because I couldn't find an answer: I know this issue is still present (although not as bad) in the last versions of Mojave and Catalina, but is anyone with a pre-2018 MacBook experiencing it? I read that it effects Hackintosh too, which surprised me because of the obvious lack of a T2 chip.
AFAIK it is really only affecting T2 machines, because the T2 chip is used to (poorly) emulate the DAC. Hackintosh is no problem at all, at least that's what I read. I have no idea about good recent hackintosh notebooks, but I 've seen a nice video about a Ryzen hackintosh, which even outperforms the new Mac Pro. Seems that Ryzen can run macos vanilla. There also is a new bootloader which will replace clover, but I forgot the name. It seems to be very good for Catalina (and AMD).

Usually you can find a fitting notebook at the tonymac forum, most likely though you will have to replace the wlan mpcie card, so either accept you will have to use a wlan usb stick, or buy a device, which actually has a mpcie slot at all.

I can very recommend the 2013 and 2014 mac book pros 15 inch, but these are now maybe considered outdated. Though my 2013 late runs all audio pretty fine, has proper cooling, and even HDMI, usb3 and magsafe! No adapter required, very nice. And I can smoothly stumble over the powerline without having a 2000 euro damage then.

TheZB
KVRer
6 posts since 16 Jan, 2020

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:38 am

Hanz Meyzer wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:49 am
TheZB wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:43 pm
Bumping this thread because I couldn't find an answer: I know this issue is still present (although not as bad) in the last versions of Mojave and Catalina, but is anyone with a pre-2018 MacBook experiencing it? I read that it effects Hackintosh too, which surprised me because of the obvious lack of a T2 chip.
AFAIK it is really only affecting T2 machines, because the T2 chip is used to (poorly) emulate the DAC. Hackintosh is no problem at all, at least that's what I read. I have no idea about good recent hackintosh notebooks, but I 've seen a nice video about a Ryzen hackintosh, which even outperforms the new Mac Pro. Seems that Ryzen can run macos vanilla. There also is a new bootloader which will replace clover, but I forgot the name. It seems to be very good for Catalina (and AMD).

Usually you can find a fitting notebook at the tonymac forum, most likely though you will have to replace the wlan mpcie card, so either accept you will have to use a wlan usb stick, or buy a device, which actually has a mpcie slot at all.

I can very recommend the 2013 and 2014 mac book pros 15 inch, but these are now maybe considered outdated. Though my 2013 late runs all audio pretty fine, has proper cooling, and even HDMI, usb3 and magsafe! No adapter required, very nice. And I can smoothly stumble over the powerline without having a 2000 euro damage then.
What OS on the 2013? I'll need to dual boot Windows for some of my apps, and I'm deciding between an old MBP and Hack, although I might've already written that.

Also, shouldn't using an interface bypass the DAC emulation entirely, or is the hardware that bad that it doesn't?

Winstontaneous
KVRAF
1729 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:52 pm

Hanz Meyzer wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:49 am
AFAIK it is really only affecting T2 machines, because the T2 chip is used to (poorly) emulate the DAC.
What exactly do you mean by "emulating" the DAC? I've done some Googling but Is it a circuit model or IR of a particular device? If there's digital audio in the machine and it's going to the 3.5mm analog output isn't there a real-life DAC in there somewhere? Or are you saying they offloaded those duties from a dedicated (if cheap) DAC on older models and crammed it into the T2?

Not trolling, just considering potential replacements for my 2012 MBP. One of the things I like about it is the decent 3.5mm output, which lets me be productive with headphones while traveling lightly.
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Hanz Meyzer
KVRian
1462 posts since 20 Oct, 2014

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:43 am

Updating is difficult here, of course possible, but keep in mind this: 2013 is Haswell CPU, and this generation is heavily slowed down by all those Intel security patches. The most recent even will half the performance of the included Intel gpu. So I stay with 10.13.6 (should even stayed with 10.13.4), because macos updates include CPU bios updates, which can't be reverted. You also can manually remove any hardware flash file from the installer, but didn't try that so far.

Sure, an external audiointerface skips the internal dac, but also here, recent MacBook even have dropouts thru USB 2.0 audio, don't know if that is fixed.

I don't know any details of the emulation, but a lot of usual io components are gone from these boards.

In the end, an hackintosh will be the much better solution regarding performance and reliability, but none of hardware will have such a good touchpad like a macbook, or such a good screen (until it's broken on recent MacBooks thanks to it crappy connector).

If you buy a new macbook , you should expect extremely high repair costs within the next 4 years. Repair here now starts at 800 eur, the repair possibilities of these devices are extremely poor, if you don't know a Louis Rossman. Apple also will tell you lies about the damage, it's more easto replace the whole mainboard without need.

Cinebient
KVRAF
4439 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:40 am

I also was looking for a next macbook (i wanted the 16" with 64GB RAM, 1 TB space and the 5500 GPU) but all these T2 issues and design faults and still not as good keyboard as my old device, i´m not sure if i could spend such a bunch of money. Sometimes i have the feeling it is their big masterplan to migrate all people to their iOS ecosytem and devices which indeed looking better and better for me as an option for a mobile music production mainly device beside some things it already does better as my macbook. Windows devices are just no option for me. So far i only would miss some of my favorite FX and of course some sample libraries....but in guess that will change too.

TS-12
KVRist
294 posts since 24 Apr, 2008 from USA

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:21 pm

so with external sound card there are no audio issues ?
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Forgotten
KVRAF
8486 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:22 pm

TS-12 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:21 pm
so with external sound card there are no audio issues ?
I haven’t had any issues with the onboard sound

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teilo
KVRist
426 posts since 30 Mar, 2008

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:30 pm

For the record, there is no "DAC Emulation" happening. Don't know where that idea got started. The T2 mediates access to anything that might be intercepted by malware, such as the camera and the microphone. And that means that, yes, all digital audio passes through the T2 before hitting the DAC.
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Forgotten
KVRAF
8486 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Apple’s new T2 chip causing audio issues ?

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:05 pm

teilo wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:30 pm
For the record, there is no "DAC Emulation" happening.
Probably because there's little fact checking happening either...

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