ASIO compatible hardware on Mac OSX?

I notice the System Requirements for Cubase Pro 10, Artist & Elements recommend “ASIO compatible hardware for low-latency performance”.
Does Cubase still not have native support for CoreAudio in OSX? This is frustrating as Steinberg Cubase has always been well supported on Apple computers, even right back to Cubase 1.0 on the first Macintosh. I’m a longtime user of Cubase running on Macintosh computers and I have always believed in the stability of Steinberg’s software on Apple’s hardware. Some of my audio interfaces are even proprietary to Mac OSX such as my Apogee products, for example the Apogee Ensemble is exclusive to CoreAudio with no ASIO compatibility. I may have to switch over to Apple Logic if Steinberg decides to keep going in this direction towards ASIO and away from CoreAudio.


There is no change on Cubase side. All CoreAudio devices are fully compatible with Cubase. There is the CoreAudio2asio component in Cubase, which takes care about it, same as it is since Cubase is on Mac platform.

I’m aware of the CoreAudio2ASIO conversion that Cubase utilizes on Mac OSX. I just wish that Steinberg would make a version of Cubase designed for native CoreAudio from the ground up similar to ProTools or even Logic for that matter so that latency performance is equal either way. Maybe it’s the VST plugin aspect that is preventing this from happening, and I know Steinberg invented the VST technology so I can’t see them ever using AudioUnits for Cubase. I’m not sure if this is actually a contributing factor or not I’m just speculating here.
Bottom line is Cubase performs better on ASIO compatible hardware than CoreAudio and that’s not very attractive to Mac users, or Apogee customers for example.


It has nothing to do with VST. Ableton Live on Mac is using CoreAudio and VST, same as Studio One, Reaper and many others.

Steinberg is also inventor of ASIO.

I don’t know, but I expect, to change to the CoreAudio on Mac would be really expensive. I can’t imagine the investment would return. That’s my only personal guess based on no data, just feeling.

Okay yes I forgot about Ableton and Reaper on the Mac, you’re right. It has obviously nothing to do with Steinberg’s VST technology, but now that you mention they also invented ASIO technology I’m thinking it most likely has more to do with that. Steinberg would definitely provide native support for their own ASIO audio protocol before Apple’s CoreAudio.

Apogee’s new Ensemble2 utilizes Apple’s Thunderbolt which provides some of lowest latency available, and I’m starting to think you need Logic or any other DAW with native CoreAudio support to fully take advantage of that. As a Cubase lover and a Mac user, I’m starting to feel torn.

You will get the same low latency with Cubase and the new Apogee’s Ensemble2 as with Logic or ProTools.
Cubase’s CoreAudio support is on pair with that of Logic or ProTools, so no reason to feel torn. It’s just the requirements page that’s not written properly.

is the next update out this week or next?

I really hope that’s true, and if so Steinberg should definitely look into rewording the System Requirements when it comes to that part; “ASIO compatible hardware recommended for low-latency performance” because that states otherwise and sounds quite concerning to Mac users.

Well I found this performance comparison video online, It’s done on Cubase Pro 8 but both tests were performed on the same computer running Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX. The audio interface is a RME Hammerfall which is both a CoreAudio device as well as being ASIO compatible hardware. The outcome is pleasantly surprising, ASIO Guard appears to be very efficient on both platforms;

I’m no expert however I do know CoreAudio is a Low Level API in OSX which is inherently different than the way ASIO audio protocol works on Windows.
I do know using a CoreAudio device on Mac basically allows the audio interface to essentially become “part of the computer” because CoreAudio is such a Low Level API within OSX. A common belief is that Cubase performs better on Windows than OSX but It appears ASIO Guard in Cubase is just as efficient if not more efficient at handling CoreAudio on OSX as it is at handling ASIO on Windows. This is apparently all thanks to CoreAudio2ASIO which is integrated much deeper into the UNIX base code of OSX than I previously realized.

I know Steinberg created the ASIO protocol but I don’t know what advantage “ASIO Compatible Hardware” would give Cubase better “Low-Latency Performance” but Steinberg has written this recommendation in the System Requirements for some reason?