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Axe-Fx III USB I/O seems to disable Core Audio (Mac - more below)

plyall

Power User
Hi folks -

I have been fighting this off and on for a while. Here are the problem and the symptoms (and potential workaround)...

Problem: If the Mac is up and running already, and playing audio, powering on the Axe FX III disables audio (specifically around the time initializing effects comes on the screen).

Symptom 1: As stated, the Mac has to be already running, and the Axe has to be down. Turning on the Axe FX III seems to reshuffle things such that I get no audio.

Symptom 2: If the Mac is rebooted while the Axe FX III is still up, it apparently handles things correctly.

Theory: This may be something related to device identification/enumeation in the USB portion of Mac OS.

Background: Running MacOS Mojave (10.14.6 - need it for work in Logic).

Is there anything Fractal can do to mitigate or work around this problem?
 

vaultnaemsae

Inspired
What exactly do you mean by 'disables audio'? Do you mean it kills/reboots your core audio process?

Describing this more accurately would be helpful in diagnosis.

Also, where is the audio coming from?

Could you describe how you have your audio system set up generally speaking?
 

plyall

Power User
To answer Chris's question, yes you can change the audio device, but it still passes no audio. A reboot of the Mac is required (while the Axe FX III is already on).

To answer vaultnaemsae, pretty much what I said - audio stops coming out of the system. If a song is playing in iTunes or Spotify, the tune in progress will halt (not advance the playhead) and no more audio is heard. Coreaudio is pretty hard to kill - it will respawn if it croaks, and I don't think it's croaking - more like confused.

Regarding how the system is configured, the external audio I/O is handled by two RME Fireface 800s and the AXE-FX III in an aggregate device.

I have been running the system like this for years, even with my prior Axe-FX II in this configuration with great success. I know some folks don't trust aggregate devices, but mine have been rock solid thus far.

I have pinpointed the moment I lose audio - when the Axe III is booting, it gets to the point in the startup process where it says 'initializing effects', and audio stops.
 

plyall

Power User
Not likely, although that was my first thought. I do use an external clock unit, and I check in the Midi/Audio preferences to make sure who is the master clock.
 

VegasGuitar

Experienced
My iMac in my "Studio" is always on and when needed plays audio through a Focusrite interface. When I turn my Axe-Fx III and Kemper on there is no change in the iMac's ability to play or record audio. Running Mojave, 10.14.6, on iMac.
 

Callan

Experienced
Before you turn on the axe, where does (working) audio come from, internal speakers, or another interface ?
Have your tried changing usb ports/cables?
 

PincoTech

Experienced
I occasionally have that problem, depending on what's powered on first etc.
pull the usb out from the mac for 2 seconds, slap it back in, done.
 

getlostinsound

Inspired
Not likely, although that was my first thought. I do use an external clock unit, and I check in the Midi/Audio preferences to make sure who is the master clock.
Are all 3 devices receiving clock from the external master clock? What’s the bit/sample rate?
 

herruchs

New Member
Before you turn on the axe, where does (working) audio come from, internal speakers, or another interface ?
In my case audio is coming from internal speakers of my MacBook Pro.
Have your tried changing usb ports/cables?
Yes, no change here
pull the usb out from the mac for 2 seconds, slap it back in, done.
In my case only rebooting of the axe helps to get usb-sound back
Are all 3 devices receiving clock from the external master clock?
Nope, the axe is set to internal clock - in my case there is no third device.


the problem arises whenever the mac book is taken out of sleep after a while
 

rodzimguitar68

Fractal Fanatic
I do not have an audio interface. I connect to the Mac via usb cable. My iMac ins and outs, Blue mic, and my Axe units (III, XL+, and Mk 1) are in an aggregate device. I have noticed that if I already have my Mac on, and I turn on my Axe III, 50% of the time, I will no longer hear audio in a Logic session.

To restore audio, I have to shut down, and then restart the iMac.

Let me clarify - restarting the iMac usually does not fix the issue.

I literally have to turn it OFF. And then start it up again.

I can manage around this, as I know that it will happen, so I just turn on my axe first, and then turn on the iMac.

This has been happening for the year and a half I've owned the Axe III and this iMac, so it's not a result of the latest OS X version.
 

grape

Experienced
Op is correct. This has been the case on the Mac for some time when using usb. I have the same behavior on multiple macs, OS X versions, and axe iiis with multiple firmware versions, a variety of usb hubs (happens direct to the Mac with a single axefx as well), and a variety of aggregate audio devices. I primarily have this issue when upgrading the firmware of the axefxs bc of the reboot.

It is not a word clock issue because you can’t simply change the word clock source to something else and back to fix it like you normally could with typical word clock issues.

Like the op said, core audio stops working. As I’ve said before, while this could be Apple’s responsibility, it is quite repeatable with the Axefx so Fractal stands a chance in helping diagnose the issue to help fix it. I haven’t experienced this with other gear but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

With the frequency of fw updates, it would be nice to finally figure this out. I have my startup sequence timed so that it doesn’t occur unless I restart an axe after the fw update.
 

SacredGroove

Inspired
I recently had a frustrating and depressing bout with this issue, as well. I haven't been able to fix it but the workaround seems to be restarting my computer while the Axe III is powered on and connected, via USB. If I power cycle the Axe III, I'll lose my input signal to Logic and won't regain that signal until rebooting my computer. However, communication with Axe-Edit still remains, regardless if I power cycle the Axe III.

FWIW, I am using High Sierra 10.13.6. This doesn't seem to be only happening with Mojave 10.14
 

SacredGroove

Inspired
What happens if you unplug the USB Cable going to your Mac and then replug it ?
I haven't tried that. Will try today, after work. I still use a 2010 Mac Pro so it sits on the floor. Disconnecting/reconnecting the USB from the computer would require me to crawl under my desk - yes, it's doable but...it would kinda suck.
 

Rain

Fractal Fanatic
I haven't tried that. Will try today, after work. I still use a 2010 Mac Pro so it sits on the floor. Disconnecting/reconnecting the USB from the computer would require me to crawl under my desk - yes, it's doable but...it would kinda suck.
Understood just trying to eliminate possibilities...
 
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