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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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Old 07-28-2019, 01:33 PM   #26
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Hi,

I'm getting these 2 errors with high sierra on a macbook pro-

HALS_OverloadMessage.cpp:159erform: Audio IO Overload inputs: '' outputs: 'AppleHDAEngineOutput:1F,3,0,1,2:0' cause: 'Unknown' prewarming: no recovering: no
HALC_ProxyIOContext.cpp:1068:IOWorkLoop: HALC_ProxyIOContext::IOWorkLoop: skipping cycle due to overload

both visible in console. I dont see batteryd process in the activity monitor. if that is indeed whats causing the dropout then how do I unload/stop the batteryd service?

Thanks

Last edited by mtg105; 07-28-2019 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:58 AM   #27
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okay, tried to delete drive and install Mojave from scratch (like a month ago). still bad.
deleted it again and did a fresh install of High Sierra (two days ago), also bad.

I still keep a Sierra backup aside for case I could not fix it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:29 AM   #28
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The only thing I can think of is that you somehow skipped a firmware update. Installing High Sierra or Mojave should pull these from Apple's servers, but it has happened before...

So, check your firmware version.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:18 AM   #29
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hm, interesting new world:

/usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check
EFI Version: MBP121.88Z.F000.B00.1904111507
Matching allowlist not found in EFIAllowListShipping. Searching in EFIAllowListAll.
Fetching allowlist data update.
Waiting for allowlist data download to complete.
Allowlist data update failed with error = 102.
Primary allowlist version match not found for version MBP121.88Z.F000.B00.1904111507.

Boot ROM Version: 184.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system): 2.28f7

not yet sure what it means though.

UPD: the latest security update did flash something, I believe:

/usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check
EFI Version: MBP121.88Z.F000.B00.1906140921
Primary allowlist version match found. No changes detected in primary hashes.

Last edited by Vasily; 07-29-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:27 PM   #30
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There was an update on July 22. Info is scarce, however.

The current firmware MBP121.88Z.F000.B00.1906140921 seems OK. It should have been installed since May 2019 (10.13.6).

Do you still experience performance problems after this firmware update? If these persist, it's back to suspecting the GPU.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:35 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtg105 View Post
Hi,

I'm getting these 2 errors with high sierra on a macbook pro-

HALS_OverloadMessage.cpp:159erform: Audio IO Overload inputs: '' outputs: 'AppleHDAEngineOutput:1F,3,0,1,2:0' cause: 'Unknown' prewarming: no recovering: no
HALC_ProxyIOContext.cpp:1068:IOWorkLoop: HALC_ProxyIOContext::IOWorkLoop: skipping cycle due to overload

both visible in console. I dont see batteryd process in the activity monitor. if that is indeed whats causing the dropout then how do I unload/stop the batteryd service?

Thanks
Not to get off topic but any chance these errors are related? Seeing the same thing in ableton
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:41 PM   #32
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These errors are definitely related. Something's loading the system for a very short period, with a high priority.

Happens with all sorts of DAW's, even with iTunes. AppleSmartBatteryManager.kext was the culprit for some, but that should have been fixed. It's not even limited to audio. I've seen reports that Youtube or Vimeo were stuttering.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:52 PM   #33
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I've unloaded AppleSmartBatteryManager.kext as advised by this video but the error remains- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY4NnMhbCh0

is batteryd some embedded process I can't view in activity monitor? I'd like to investigate how to unload it and see if the errors are still there

Thanks
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:16 AM   #34
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What sometimes helps is

Code:
sudo rm "/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.batteryd.plist
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:47 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
Do you still experience performance problems after this firmware update? If these persist, it's back to suspecting the GPU.
okay, more of this story. I've tested what I got and I still got crackles. performance monitor? nothing. activity monitor? nothing. opened the console and there were mysterious HID errors. weird, I thought, rebooted the machine -- and had no keyboard and mouse on next reboot.

I got it to service (they fixed the same thing more than a year ago by replacing some cable) and hope to get it back fixed soon.

I'll do some testing, however the only thing I feel weird about these crackles -- is that somewhat they were not present with Sierra. I keep both a Sierra and High Sierra backup, so I will be able to test that all again when I'll have the computer repaired.

(yeah, I didn't like Mojave. something with new font rendering looks wrong to me even on a Retina display. I've tried turning fonts smoothening on and off, but still just like High Sierra better. is this the end of Macs for me? IDK yet)
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:45 PM   #36
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Thanks for keeping my curiosity satisfied!

A hardware problem sometimes shows with one OS and not with another...

That KB cable and it's nephew, SATA cable, can fail in very creative ways. I had a MB Pro that had a random kernel crash under El Capitan, but not with Mavericks. Then the SATA cable failed. After replacement, the kernel crashes were gone.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:45 AM   #37
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okay, got my MBP from repair (they replaced a cable that connects keyboard and trackpad with the motherboard). everything is okay, but real-time audio still crackles. on both old and new OS backups.

I gave up and got a ThinkPad, X1 Carbon with Thunderbolt. my audio interface seems working yet, but only time will tell about stability of new setup.

heck, I tried to avoid migrating to Windows, it has drawbacks. but somehow my 4 years old trusted Mac is not able to handle my DAW anymore. Macs used to "just work" one day, seems like Apple somehow forgot that.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:20 AM   #38
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Yeah, the latest OSes have been a mess...

Apple's latest publicity show didn't even have time for the Mac. But we've got an iphone pro now.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:02 PM   #39
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I'm on Mojave now, no batteryd plist in system/library/launchdaemons

any advice on setting a better processor state? On Windows you can set the CPU to run at best performance and this makes a massive difference with real time audio. Maybe doing the same thing on Mac would help? This would be a XCPM P state correct?
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:32 AM   #40
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It's very different on a Mac. I don't have any advice for Mojave, specifically. The newest security features and the move to 64 bit only seem to have made any previous experience obsolete. Sorry.
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