Contribute
Register

DAW Tips & Tricks: Optimizing Your CustoMac Audio Workstation

BoomR

Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
1,226
Motherboard
Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Performa, Power Mac, Quadra
Mobile Phone
Android
Thanks for the great advice but could you elucidate a bit more on this? What exactly do you mean by busses? If I plug multiple USB devices into USB connections on a motherboard, does that mean that they on the same bus?
Think of a "bus" as a "circuit" - If your motherboard has several USB 3.0 connections, plus several USB 2.0 connections, plus (for example) a 1394/Firewire connection or 2, each of these types of connections has their own separate bus or circuit.

If, for example, I have a USB 3.0 (or 2.0) hard drive, as well as a USB 2.0 audio interface, one would do well to keep them on separate busses to minimize problems with 2 high-bandwidth activities: reading/writing data to your HD (high-bandwidth activity) and A/D or D/A audio traffic (also high-demand activity).

As I write this, I'm having lunch @ my "day job" where i have an "Early 2013 Retina MacBook Pro." I create training videos for our internal employees - most recently a training video on how to change your Android-based smartphone settings for our corporate Exchange Server email. I have a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Thunderbolt HDMI video capture device - this connects to my MPB's Thunderbolt "bus" and captures the HD video coming out of the Android smartphone's HDMI output. The video footage is captured and digitized by the UltraStudio and the data is written to my Seagate USB 3.0 HD - connected to one of the MBP's USB 3.0 ports - a different "bus."

Sure, I could have purchased a USB 3.0 video capture device, but then I would have wanted to use a Thunderbolt hard drive or use a Firewire hard drive connected using the Apple TB > FW800 adapter. Again, the goal here is to keep high-demand traffic on different "data highways" to minimize or eliminate the risk of digital pops/clicks, distortion, or small drop-outs where nothing is recorded at all. True - the MBP has a couple of USB High-Speed Busses - but one is for internal devices (keyboard, trackpad, FaceTime HD camera, Bluetooth, etc), and one bus for the MPB's 2 @ USB 3.0 ports.

Did that help or make any more sense? :thumbup: :thumbdown:
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
25
Motherboard
GA Z77X - UD5H
CPU
3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
Graphics
GTX 770
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Interface ?'s

Thanks man! Great set of tips especially for optimization settings.

I am looking to upgrade my audio hardware for my home studio build (i7-3770k/z77x-ud5h/ML10.8.5). Currently I'm running a Focousrite Scarlett 2i2 (2x2 - 24bit/96k) into PT10 via USB. I get by with it but the pre-amps are garbage and gain staging can be noisy even with outboard pre-amps.

I am in the market for a new interface and was wondering if you had any suggestions.

I have been looking at several interfaces with S/PDIF optical connections but I hear that optical can have bandwidth complications at higher sample rates (with lower track counts) and I am unsure if my optical port will even work.

The other route I was researching involved purchasing a FireWire expansion card for my MB and buying an interface (Like Mackie's Onyx Blackbird which is currently my #1 pick).

Which direction would you suggest? Due to budget constraints I'm leaning more towards the second option, and also because I am a big fan of Mackie.

Thanks again!
 

BoomR

Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
1,226
Motherboard
Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Performa, Power Mac, Quadra
Mobile Phone
Android
I have a Mackie Blackbird in my setup - one of the reasons I like it is because, for the price point, it's a LOT of bang for the buck (optical, word clock, inserts, plus 2 "super-pre's). I don't want to get too far off-topic here on recommendations, so send me a PM ASAP, and I'll reply to you re: the Blackbird that I have. I tried to PM you, but I think you may have that feature turned off :mrgreen:

Definitely also check the post in the Music forum on audio interfaces - there may be some remarks there about the Blackbird, too. Sorry to hear of your issues with the Focusrite, though.

--B
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3
CPU
2500K i5
Graphics
Palit GTX 770 GTX
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Hey Boomr,
thanks for you tips, great to have it bundled together.
Now I am running Automap 4.8, to communicate between my DAW (Ableton Live 9.1.2), AU-Plugins and my Controller (Novation Remote ZeRO SL MKII). Automap has two Modes, one Controlling my Plugins, and one bypassing itself sending the MIDI data straight to my DAW. now after every reboot, i have to repair permissions on my HDD inorder for both modes to work. Otherwise just one would work, and not the other (whichever i used first).
In the Protocol of disk util, it does not state anything about repairing anything related to the programm, only safari and thats it. Everything is running flawless on my Macbook running the same programs and versions.
Any Idea where to start troubleshooting?
Apart from this little problem my Computer runs absolutly perfect, much better then my actual macbook pro!
Thanks a lot
 

BoomR

Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
1,226
Motherboard
Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Performa, Power Mac, Quadra
Mobile Phone
Android
D_Cooper - can you provide some specs on your CustoMac build? Without knowing more about your setup, I have no idea where to begin to help troubleshoot :thumbup:
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3
CPU
2500K i5
Graphics
Palit GTX 770 GTX
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Sure sorry.
Im using an GA-68MX-UD2H-B3 (F9) Mainboard running OS 10.9.2.
I set everything up using multibeast and DSDT. Kext whise all i installed was USB 3.0 -Universal and patched AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement, as well as FakeSMC+Plugins. Audio Drivers were not required as im using FW audio interfaces and ethernet worked perfect right away, oh and im using the Sandy bridge i5 SSDT... System Definition is MacPro3,1.
Does that help a little?
 

BoomR

Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
1,226
Motherboard
Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Performa, Power Mac, Quadra
Mobile Phone
Android
Sure sorry.
Im using an GA-68MX-UD2H-B3 (F9) Mainboard running OS 10.9.2.
I set everything up using multibeast and DSDT. Kext whise all i installed was USB 3.0 -Universal and patched AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement, as well as FakeSMC+Plugins. Audio Drivers were not required as im using FW audio interfaces and ethernet worked perfect right away, oh and im using the Sandy bridge i5 SSDT... System Definition is MacPro3,1.
Does that help a little?
Guessing you mean GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3? I have this mobo, BTW and never a problem.

OK - a couple things:
1. Do you have rev 1.0 or rev 1.3 board? There are 2 different versions with slight hardware differences.
2. Any reason that you're using a very very old version of the BIOS? (from 7/26/2011??) Or even more importantly, why you are not using UEFI? That way you don't have to use DSDT. Even if you didn't want to go UEFI, BIOS version is up to F13...but UEFI is over a year newer and I'm sure has even more bug fixes & improvements.

I would first try updating motherboard to either a) latest F13 BIOS, or b) UEFI (preferred). Then, re-run MultiBeast & select the "No DSDT" options for UEFI. Once you do that, the do a Fix Permissions and reboot. See if that makes any difference.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3
CPU
2500K i5
Graphics
Palit GTX 770 GTX
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
cool, i will try that... kind of thought "never change a running system"... really never needed to update.
so UEFI it is :D, ill get back to you as soon as i did! thanks for ur time..
 

BoomR

Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
1,226
Motherboard
Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Performa, Power Mac, Quadra
Mobile Phone
Android
cool, i will try that... kind of thought "never change a running system"... really never needed to update.
Well now...if it were truly a perfectly running system, we wouldn't be having this discussion, eh? *wink* *wink*
:headbang:
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3
CPU
2500K i5
Graphics
Palit GTX 770 GTX
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
i cant believe it! updated to uefi bios... all working now. if you could explain to me what the bios version has to do with my automap software.. :D damn, if nothing needs fixing, it looks like i will have to go and actually do some music. this forum is such a good way of procrastination. anyway... thank you so much for ur help. it works perfectly for me!
 
Top