Latency drift problem on macbook

Discussion in 'Technical Issues' started by colB, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    897
    I've been working on some guitar related ensembles in Reaktor, but I'm having a major problem with the latency drifting.

    I have a cheap no-name USB 'guitar link' to plug the guitar into my Macbook.
    (I originally had a more expensive Alesis one, but this had the same latency issue, and other problems besides)
    I can set up the device easily enough, and to start with it's great, the latency is very low ~8ms, so not noticable. The problem is that over time while I play, the latency drifts - it usually takes a few minutes to become annoying.
    If I go into the Reaktor "Audio and MIDI settings…" menu and change the sample rate (switching between 44100 and 48000), the audio system resets and the latency is fixed again temporarily.
    The same problem happens in Guitar Rig, so it's not Reaktor specific. (I don't have any non NI apps to test with)

    When using the Alesis device, I had assumed that the issue was the input and output clocks going out of sync because I had to use the guitarlink for input but the built-in sound for output.
    My no-name USB gadget has input and output, so I assumed they would share the same clock, but the latency still drifts.

    I've gone through all the reccomendations for setting up a macbok for NI audio software, and I've done loads of googling for solution, but no luck.
    I'm wondering if there is some OS related problem, that could be fixed to solve this issue.

    Any suggestions?

    Col
  2. mlentwojt

    mlentwojt New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Same issue here

    Hi, I noticed the same strange behaviour.
    But only since I updated to Mac OS 10.8 aka "Mountain Lion". Before updating everything was fine. Tried not only the original "Mobile IO" from NI but also Mindprint TRIO USB as input device.
    First after updating nothing worked but then I installed the beta-drivers so the audio over usb started working again. But now I have the latency-drifting-issue as you also have.
    Maybe someone of native Instruments can help to fix this.

    Cheers, Marc, Germany

    EDIT: Using Guitar RIG 4 with latest updates
  3. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    897
    Does no-one have mac osx experience that can even suggest something?
    This one is really annoying me. I didn't buy this Macbook, it was inherited, but I though Macs were supposed to be good for multimedia and the like. As far as I can tell, this is not a problem with the USB link device, so it's either Reaktor (unlikely because others would be having the same issue right?), an Apple OS issue, or some sort of weird driver problem. I think it's some kind of conflict with the osx audio system, or maybe a priority issue.

    What do other folks do when they have problems with their Mac? Just pretend it's not happening because Macs are great for creative stuff? I've found a few similar complaints on the net about latency and other audio system issues, but never anyone with a solution, and the Apple forums seem to be a waste of time because problems with Macs are all imaginary.
    AARRGGHHH
  4. mlentwojt

    mlentwojt New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Me too, I have the similar issue, posted two days ago but my post was not released by the forum-administrators.

    Cheers,

    Marc

    PS: Experiencing this with USB-Device Mindprint TRIO and also with the Mobile I/O from NI and Guitar RIG with latest updates. Installed BETA-Driver from NI.
  5. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    897
    I've had the issue with an alesis guitarlink plus, and a no-name copy of a berringer guitar link.

    Do you have the same problem with other software, or just Reaktor/GuitarRig?

    I'm just downloading the amplitube demo to see if it has the same issue. If it does, then I guess we are looking at a core audio problem with USB drivers. :(

    What kind of computer are you using?
    mine is macbook core 2 duo with snow leopard.

    cheers

    Colin

    EDIT:
    I get the same problem with Amplitube which suggests its not an NI problem but an Apple osx USB/coreaudio issue.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  6. mlentwojt

    mlentwojt New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Hi,

    snow leopard? At this time everything was fine. I have the problems since Mountain Lion. My Computer is iMac late 2009 Core2Duo 3Ghz and 4 Gig RAM.
    Before updating to 10.8 everything was fine and I was able to record a whole album without noticeable latency.

    Cheers,

    Marc
  7. mlentwojt

    mlentwojt New Member

    Messages:
    14
    H, my last post was also not released by the admins. What is going on here?

    I use the combination guitar rig together with logic 9 or riffworks from sonoma wireworks. But also only playing guitar with guitar rig without using a recording/sequencing software has the drifting latency problem.

    Using iMac 2009 (24") with core2duo 3 Ghz and 4Gig RAM on Mac OS X 10.8 with latest updates.

    Cheers, Marc
  8. sowari

    sowari Moderator

    Messages:
    25,123
    sorry, there i an auto filter which is meant to hide spam but sometimes it hides legitimate posts.

    maybe you guys should contact tech support and see what they have to say.

    sowari
  9. mlentwojt

    mlentwojt New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Hi, I contacted tech support, but they say "It is not our but Apple`s problem." No further statement.

    "Go and talk to the apple guys"...

    Great help.

    Cheers, Marc

    PS: Native Instruments hardware / software is useless to me at the moment.
  10. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    897
    They said the same to me. They do have a point, it is an issue with the apple hardware/drivers IMO.
    It would be nice to receive some help or advice from NI though - Reaktor is a premium application, and is supposed to work with Mac. As an individual, I will not get a useful response from Apple. NI on the other hand have a bit more influence, and should be using it to help their customers.

    [Rant follows]
    FWIW, I will never buy an apple product (this crapbook was inherited) - the whole "they're the best for creative work" is clearly marketing BS, and if your system is a few years old like mine and there is a problem, then you're on your own. Even if the problem was always there. Apple talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk.
    I've discovered that in Macland the fact that the apple coreaudio USB codec is broken has lead not to complaints and the drivers being fixed, but instead, to a general consensus that the USB standard is no good for audio!
    This Macbook I have has a casing that cracks under normal usage - I searched google and didn't find any info on this, then started looking at other peoples similar macbooks - they ALL had the same damage. Just terrible deisgn and quality control, and as usual, Apple disciples are all blind to it - literally. The graphics hardware is feeble, and the sound system drivers clearly just don't work correctly and never have. It's a shame, because the OS is great to use, and there are some nice features, but it's just not worth the hassle and disappointment.
  11. jiggle

    jiggle Forum Member

    Messages:
    799
    Do you get audio drop outs or crackles when it drifts? Does it still happen if you increase the audio latency? Have you tried? My old MacBook air was horribly underpowered for ni gear, but if you gave it a bit more time to get stuff done it would work perfectly all day long. What are the specs of your MacBook?

    Have you got any hard drive space free?

    You can always bootcamp snow leopard on it and see if it's better? Takes less than half hour to install, It's worth a shot
    Good luck
  12. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    897
    nope
    yes yes
    core 2 duo 2.2ghz (plenty of power to expect <10ms latency from USB audio.
    yes
    I'm using Snow Leopard.
  13. mlentwojt

    mlentwojt New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Hi,

    do you have any news for me? I do not anything new. No help from apple or native.

    Cheers,

    Marc
  14. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    897
    No, I didn't find a fix. I think that the apple core audio/USB drivers are broken, but that apple are not willing to acknowledge the problem or fix it.

    My conclusion is - Don't buy Apple products for any serious creative work.
  15. magneson

    magneson Forum Member

    Messages:
    318
    I usually suck it up because the audio/midi handling in osx is actually great. As for the rest of the system, and their philosophy, I'm not that appreciative.

    If it's increasing latency, I doubt it's because of clock issues. From the clock issues I've had, the sound has been pretty mashed up/unrecogniseable (although my experiences surely doesen't count for all clock issues in the world). I would check to see if there is a memory/cpu problem instead. Go to Applications -> Tools -> Activity Monitor, launch Reaktor and provoke the latency problem. See if there is any increase in cpu activity or memory usage that seems out of the ordinary.

    I also have a '09 MBP running snow leopard, and I frequently get a CPU spike from quick-look helper. This can cause 190% CPU usage and ridiculous amounts of heat and fan noise - which doesen't help at all when it comes to free system resources in osx.
  16. mlentwojt

    mlentwojt New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Hi, Update:

    I installed 10.8.3 last night and tried GR4pro and 5pro and it seems, that there is no issue anymore. It is very annoying(?) that there was no information about that USB Bug, especially because I ordered TC firewire hardware. Now I could use my old USB stuff. ARRRRGGHHHH.

    Sorry, I am very upset.

    Cheers, Marc

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