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.

1 Like

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!