32 bit driver support in Big Sur

Hello, perhaps people who have the AXR4 USB with the latest USB Mac Big Sur drivers could answer:

Does 32 bit (High Percision) driver work correctly? It is my understanding Big Sur breaks 32 bit support but I was hoping someone could answer me.


32 bit audio is not the same as 32 bit software. Is that what you are referring to? Apple already ditched support for 32 bit software in Catalina and 32 bit recording is working. Completely different.

Hi, I will clarify.

Not talking at all about applications. 32 bit application support was dropped in Catalina onwards and only 64 bit software is allowed. I am talking about 32 bit non floating point BIT RATE support. There are two main drivers for AXR4 - normal and high precision. Only Steinberg products allow access to 32 bit non floating point bit rate support and this is accessed via the High Precision driver only. Part of the marketing campaign of the AXR4 was the use of 32 bit bit rate - a whole deal was made about it, and now I think in Big Sur it will not work at least not according to the Steinberg compatibility document - they noted they need to talk to Apple about it, but I have yet seen any update on this and fear it is neglected all together.

I see that Steinberg hardly ever participates in this forum, and the lack of discussion and support is problematic to say the least. Also, I have posted a question in the forum asking people who have the USB version of AXR4 to see if with the new updated Big Sur drivers the High Precision driver works or not. No answers as of yet.

I have the AXR4U and still cannot record at the 32 bit rate (Steinberg Driver v3.0.5 and Big Sur 11.5.2 on an Intel iMac). I also get kernel panic crashes every day or so that reboots the computer without warning. Really hoping that updates can fix this issue as a new Mac OS will arrive soon without this ever being resolved in Big Sur. Great sounding interface, but too many issues for the high price.

Hi BlueJava,

Thanks for the reply.
Just as I have suspected. I was hoping the new USB drivers would sort the issue out. I have no idea how this converter’s software is handled and as I said previously the lack of proper support for this flagship product is very disappointing.

Is the kernel panic a bug with big sur and the AXR4U? Is it just you or is this a known problem.

Hi Manike - Not sure - may be a combination of both. I’m thinking it could be an issue with the clock rate changing and something getting out of sync between a DAW, the Mac, AXR4 2TR PC outputs, and the AXR4U. I typically run at 48khz. It is unpredictable as to when the kernel panic occurs, but I do send a report to Apple every time it happens. I’m using the AXR4U full time again to see if it happens now that I’m running Big Sur 11.6. Hoping there is also a driver/firmware update that adds 32bit back for Mac users. As soon as I switched back from my Presonus Quantum interface to the AXR4U, I did notice the sound quality difference with the AXR4U which is awesome!

AXR4 is hands down the best sounding interface I’ve come across in ages. I previously was using Apogee Symphony I/O system also under thunderbolt and the difference is staggering,

I am positive development is underway for the interface because it really is a flagship product. The stability under Nuendo here is amazing - really no complaints. The only thing I do have complaints for is for the slow updates and the lack of information regarding 32 bit support which is not working under Big Sur - perhaps if more people email them things will change.

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I may have found what was causing my kernel panics, so I wanted to post an update. I had been using an application called SoundSource by Rogue Amoeba to control application volume and even add IK Multimedia’s ARC System to certain applications. It’s a neat program that provides for a lot of flexibility and I did not have an issue while using the Persons Quantum. I decided to not run SoundSource for the past 3 days with only the AXR4U as my audio interface. I’ve had no crashes and even noticed a latency improvement, which makes sense. Still hoping for 32bit operation to return to Big Sur, and hopefully some additional onboard DSP but happy to not have any crashes!

It doesn’t look like we can offer 32-bit on Big Sur as this would depend on Apple.
However, the AXR4U and AXR4T is officially macOS Monterey compatible with the already released TOOLS/drivers as of today and the support for 32-bit is back with macOS Monterey.

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Took the plunge on Monterey tonight. So far so good - AXR4 (High Precision) 32 bit is back in business!

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Hi AXR4U users - just a heads up that when I upgraded to Monterey 12.1 yesterday, I started having issues dspMixFx AXR and launching Cubase. I reinstalled the Tools for AXR4U V122 Mac and all is corrected. I did not have to do this with the upgrade from BigSur to Monterey 12.

Question here. Just upgraded to Monterey 12.0.1.

I notice in the Mac audio panel there now is only the one Thunderbolt driver which gives the sample rate options up to 384hz, instead of the previously two displayed drivers of Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt High Precision drivers the Mac Audio panel previously showed under Big Sur.

Is this how things are now designed or am I missing something?


Re Monterey update.
I note there is now no separate driver entry in the Mac Audio panel for Thunderbolt high precision. I assume all the changes are incorporated into the single Thunderbolt driver on Monterey 12.0.1, is that the “as designed” position now?


Hi Dave - I’ll let Ed answer as I don’t have the AXR4T, but for the AXR4U, I’ve only ever had the two options in the Mac Audio Devices (BigSur and Monterey) for AXR4 (44.1 to 384) and AXR4 2TR. I can only select the High Precision option in Cubase Pro 11.


On my iMac it always showed me 3 drivers the 2TR, Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt High Precision which is the one I knew Steinberg were working with Apple on to resolved.
I have updated all to current under Monterey but have only just noted the disappearance of the Thunderbolt High Precision in the Mac Audio panel. As the Thunderbolt driver goes up to 384 in its control panel now Im assuming the high precision now incorporated. Will test soon as the Christmas rush subsides lol.
Thanks again for response.

As @BlueJava wrote, there should be only two entries to choose from in the macOS Audio MIDI Setup.
The High Precision option is only available in Cubase in “Studio Setup” > “Audio System” > “ASIO Driver”. If you can see it there, all is well and works as intended.

Thanks for info Ed.
Yes High Precision selection showing there. So all seems good to go.

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Sorry if this is off topic, but is the AXR4T (thunderbolt version) still supported ? - The download link for the drivers gives an http/URL error and the downloads page for the “AXR4U” lists only the “U” or USB drivers.

Thanks - my bad for not seeing the link to the Thunderbolt drivers. Good to read in this support note that 32 bit audio now works in MacOS 12.X (Monterey), https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/360019642280-Steinberg-hardware-limitation-on-macOS-Big-Sur-and-Monterey