Audio Drops / Freezes since El Capitan

I have a strange thing happening since updating to El Capitan. Both on N7 and now on N8.
Before N8 I rolled back to Yosemite and everything worked fine, so no issues until now.

I am now on Sierra and N8 and the problem is back.

When mixing a movie or just playing back a longer stretch at a time sometimes the performance meter starts peaking all of a sudden and the transport freezes including audio drops (stutters and complete silence) for about 2-3 seconds. It eventually returns to normal after that. But sometimes I have to reset the Sound Interface. That occurs sometimes after 20 minutes, sometimes every hour and sometimes after 3 minutes playing into the session. Never at the same position and completely random as of what I know.

What I have tried:

  • Higher Sample Buffer Size
  • Watching the CPU meter. While freezing no changes on CPU usage
  • App Nap disabled
  • Switched WCLK Clocking to Internal
  • Differens Interface (second Steinberg MR816x)
  • Different settings with Asio Guard etc.
  • Different File Sources (normally work from a server, but tried to copy locally)

My specs are:

Mac OS 10.12.5 Sierra
Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010)
16 GB Ram
ATI Radeon HD 5770
Blackmagic Decklink HD Extreme 3D+

Avid S3
Avid Artist Transport

Steinberg MR816x

It does not stress me when I am doing work alone, but it is really not acceptable when doing voice overs or mixing with clients.

Has anyone heard of this issue?
I am clueless… :cry:
And about to roll back to Yosemite and N7 again :frowning:

only happening to me? No thoughts what could cause this at all?

I run the same Macs with the same OS (different BM card, though and RME PCIe solution).

All fine here.

The only thing I can think of at the moment is a firewire issue.
Would it be possible to test if the internal sound of the mac (I know…, just for testing) produces the same problems?

thanks Oliver, haven’t thought about firewire itself, yet.

I will try a Steinberg UR44 (USB) we have laying around an see if the freeze still occurs.
Thanks for the pointing in a direction :slight_smile:

I had the USB Interface running the whole night (12 hours straight) rerecording what was played and these kind of dropouts did not appear in the whole recording.
So I would say: success on getting down to the problem.
I am going to do the same with the FW Interface again on monday night, just to be sure.
So maybe its time to upgrade the old interfaces.


I am still very happy with my RME Raydat PCIe solution. I don’t know if you can actually use the MR816x as standalone ADAT converters. If this is possible it would be a good idea to keep the AD/DA converter part of it.

On my personal journey through pro audio land I have not yet seen an external interface that is as reliable as the RME PCIe solutions, that also offer the lowest latencies in the native part of the industry. I have not yet worked with thunderbolt solutions, though.