New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
bill45
KVRAF
2349 posts since 15 Jun, 2006

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:37 pm

bill45 wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:47 am
ZenEagle wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:57 am
I've recently headed in the opposite direction of several of the commenters here: long term Windows 10 PC user, just now switching to Mac for the first time in my production life.

I received my 2018 Mac Mini just a week ago and it's been nothing but a pleasure to use so far. I'm a long time iPad/iPad Pro music production fan as well, having invested over 1k in iOS apps and plugins over the years, but I just never could get it to integrate nicely with my win10 box, Even with dedicated hardware, (iConnectMidi4++) I'd experience audio dropouts after just a few minutes of streaming.

Unlike on windows, using multiple audio interfaces as an aggregate device is natively supported on Mac -- even iPad is recognized as an audio/midi interface, not a single hiccup so far, which exponentially increases the usefulness of my iPad and iPhone w/ my setup.

Using the same amount of ram as my old box (16gb) , though the CPU I configured (6 core i7 4.6ghz turbo - 8700b) seems like more of a substantial upgrade over my old i7 3770k than benchmarks would have had me believe. CPU hogs like Softube Modular, which once pushed my system to audio dropout territory (70+ % usage on certain presets) now barely top 30-40%, leaving plenty of breathing room on the most intense factory patches.

I honestly couldn't be happier with the Mini .. I feel like I have no more artificial constraints on anything I want to do creatively. There's nothing more frustrating than having constant audio issues, which may have been the result of picking parts that conflicted with others when I built the system. If I were to ever get a windows machine again, I'd definitely go with an already configured box, perhaps from a company that specializes in building pro-audio computers. I hope Apple stays relevant in this scene though, I'm definitely a new fan on the desktop front.
Great, keep us posted on how you are doing with this what audio interface are you using?
Are you using a thunderbolt hard drive with the mac Mini.

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jancivil
KVRAF
17542 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:02 pm

I would have to be fully convinced I would be able to lower my latency to justify buying one. I'm a big skeptic now.

ZenEagle
KVRer
6 posts since 16 Mar, 2019

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:42 pm

bill45 wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:47 am
Great, keep us posted on how you are doing with this what audio interface are you using?
[/quote]

Well, it hasn't been all rosy since my last post. Now that I have Komplete 11 and everything else installed and have had more time recording, I've started to run into an issue that many others with the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini have reported, with intermittent micro audio dropouts -- It only seems to be a problem with USB audio interfaces, comes up for just a split second every 20 minutes or so and I don't think affects the recording in any way, though I'll have to have more time with it to tell for sure.

It seemed to improve, not occurring as frequently when I hooked the interface up to a USB-C to USB 3.0 hub, instead of using the built in 3.0 ports.

Audio Interface is a MOTU Ultralite MK4. So far it's no where near as bad as it was on my windows box, as the audio would completely glitch out on there and I'd have to power cycle the interface to get it to work again.

Seems like an issue that apparently Apple is aware of, having to do with the T2 security chip in the new Macs.
The first I experienced it was playing some instruments in Maschine while Native Access was downloading and installing Komplete libraries in the background -- Every time it'd finish the download and install something, audio would drop out for half a sec ...
I'm going to experiment with things to see if I can minimize the issue -- and if all else fails, I plan to eventually get a Thunderbolt 3 interface, which supposedly doesn't have this problem.

ZenEagle
KVRer
6 posts since 16 Mar, 2019

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:03 pm

In case anyone is interested: Here are my latency numbers in Maschine.

Mac mini 6 core i7, 4.6ghz turbo (top tier)
16 GB RAM, 1TB SSD
MOTU Ultralite MK4 USB, via USB-C to USB 3.0 7 port hub (mono price)

Samplerate: 48000
Buffer 64 = Input 4.6ms, Processing 1.3ms, Output 2.0ms, Total 7.9ms
Buffer 128 = Input 5.9ms, Processing 2.7ms, Output 2.0ms, Total 10.6ms
Buffer 256 = Input 8.6ms, Processing 5.3ms, Output 2.0ms, Total 15.9ms

96000
total:6.6
7.9
10.6

44100
total:8.4
11.2
17.0ms

192000
total:5.9ms
6.6ms
7.9

ZenEagle
KVRer
6 posts since 16 Mar, 2019

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:51 am

[Update: I came across a fix that stops the audio dropouts]

as per tip mentioned on
ask audio article: " is apples t2 chip ruining music producers recordings "

step one: (disables system integrity protection so you can remove the "timed" Daemon) Reboot computer holding command-R to load safe mode - open terminal via utilities menu on top. enter the command: csrutil disable
reboot your Mac.

step two: open terminal, entering following command:
sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.timed.plist

step three: (optional) send Apple an e-mail, asking them to please get their shit together. ;)

So far, no dropouts. I was nearly considering returning the computer - but so long as this works and doesn't end up causing any more headache, I'd love to stick with the mini.

p.s. This particular fix needs to be repeated every time you reboot your computer, as the "timed" daemon will reload upon system launch

sprnva
KVRian
1495 posts since 16 Jan, 2013

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:58 am

ZenEagle wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:51 am
p.s. This particular fix needs to be repeated every time you reboot your computer, as the "timed" daemon will reload upon system launch
Try sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.timed.plist

The -w switch makes the change permanent until reversed (with load -w) so you won't have to re-do it between reboots.

I haven't tried it in this particular case but it should work.
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fmr
KVRAF
8510 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:58 am

ZenEagle wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:51 am
[Update: I came across a fix that stops the audio dropouts]
p.s. This particular fix needs to be repeated every time you reboot your computer, as the "timed" daemon will reload upon system launch
What? No permanent solution? :-o
Fernando (FMR)

bill45
KVRAF
2349 posts since 15 Jun, 2006

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:34 am

I read that turbo boost is not good for audio midi.It causes clock speeds to go up and down.

randygo
KVRist
95 posts since 18 May, 2004

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:22 pm

I also just acquired a Mac Mini 2018 with the 6-core i7, 32GB RAM, and 1TB SSD.

I'm pretty happy with it. I got it pretty much exclusively to make music. I've been a Windows user since the 80s. I've been dabbling with MacOS since I got my first Mac Mini 2011.

It works wonderfully with my Focusrite Red 4Pre Thunderbolt 2 interface. Super low latency and no dropouts. It's nice that I can switch between DAW audio and browser/system audio with no disruption. On Windows I always need to switch from ASIO to WDM audio when switching contexts.

I'm running Studio One 4, Ableton Live 10, and Reaper without issues. All my plugins are working fine as well.

I'm still running my Windows 10 4-core i7 system in parallel, but I'm not enjoying it as much.

Cheers,

Randy

ZenEagle
KVRer
6 posts since 16 Mar, 2019

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:18 pm

sprnva wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:58 am
ZenEagle wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:51 am
p.s. This particular fix needs to be repeated every time you reboot your computer, as the "timed" daemon will reload upon system launch
Try sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.timed.plist

The -w switch makes the change permanent until reversed (with load -w) so you won't have to re-do it between reboots.

I haven't tried it in this particular case but it should work.
Thanks for the tip; will try that today.
Still not a single dropout so far, which is a huge relief :)

btw, Do you think it'd be a good idea to turn system integrity protection back on? I've been a bit hesitant to do so, in case it might mess up the fix.

ZenEagle
KVRer
6 posts since 16 Mar, 2019

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:27 pm

bill45 wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:37 pm
bill45 wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:47 am
Great, keep us posted on how you are doing with this what audio interface are you using?
Are you using a thunderbolt hard drive with the mac Mini.
[/quote]

No thunderbolt hard drive yet, though I've been planning to get a 4 bay OWC TB enclosure soon, to use with a 8TB & 6TB mechanical HD I have in my old computer, along with a new SSD or two. Currently only using an external 2TB 2.5 mechanical via USB.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2026 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:15 am

If the ssd is sata, thunderbolt is only slightly faster than USB 3, but significantly more expensive. To put spinning disks in a thunderbolt box is a complete waiste...
The bottleneck is sata. Max 600mb/sec it can‘t hold up to thunderbolt...

sprnva
KVRian
1495 posts since 16 Jan, 2013

Re: New Mac Mini - PC, Windows 10, OSX, can't choose..

Post Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:39 am

ZenEagle wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:18 pm
btw, Do you think it'd be a good idea to turn system integrity protection back on? I've been a bit hesitant to do so, in case it might mess up the fix.
I always have it enabled. I can't see how it would mess with the fix.

SIP isn't like the system protection in Windows where modified files would get replaced. In this case it just prevents files in system folders from being modified.
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