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SoundGrid Recording/Playback Tips for Apple Computers

Feb 18, 2024

Starting with Mac OS Ventura, network timing & priority infrastructure introduced some changes, affecting SoundGrid driver performance. As a result, using Apple computers for recording or playback with the SoundGrid driver may exhibit intermittent audio dropouts. Apple and Waves are working in collaboration towards fixing this issue. Still, there are many systems that record/playback with Mac computers flawlessly. This article presents recommendations to try if you are experiencing audio dropouts:

  • We highly recommend using one of the approved ethernet > Thunderbolt adapters, to ensure highest possible priority by the operating system:
  • Core Audio buffer size:
    • Apple Silicon: Set the Core Audio buffer size to 128/256 samples or lower. This is done in the DAW’s preferences. Generally, lower buffer size utilizes the CPU better for audio tasks.
    • Intel: Set the Core Audio buffer size to 512/1024 samples. This is done in the DAW’s preferences. Generally, higher buffer size uses less CPU.
  • Set the Driver Network Buffer in your SoundGrid application to 512 samples. Here’s how –

QRec

QRec

SuperRack SoundGrid (Setup > Inventory)

SuperRack SoundGrid

eMotion LV1 (Setup > Inventory)

eMotion LV1
  • In an eMotion LV1 or SuperRack setup, it is advised to user a separate computer for recording/playback.
  • If using a laptop, make sure the it is connected to a power source and not running on battery power.
  • To ensure SoundGrid applications and drivers operate uninterrupted, we recommend disabling sleep/hibernation.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • Close any unnecessary programs running in the background.
  • Disable Energy Efficient Ethernet in your Mac’s network settings.
  • Apple Silicon: Make sure that the DAW you are using is fully supported with the Apple Silicon architecture. If possible, test another DAW and check if the behavior changes.
  • Apple Silicon: The default security settings of Apple Silicon Macs only allows installation of ‘user mode’ drivers, and does not allow installation of Kernel Extension (kext) drivers. The SoundGrid driver installs both ‘user mode’ and Kernel Extension drivers, but the active mode is determined by the computer’s security settings. If the driver is in user mode and you are experiencing issues, change it to Kernel Extension by following the instructions in this link (Use Kernel Driver with reduced Security Policy section). How do you know which mode is currently active? If the driver is running in user mode, a lower case ‘u’ is added to the version number at the bottom of the SoundGrid Driver Control Panel: SoundGrid Driver Control Panel

Need further assistance? contact Technical Support.