Direct monitoring on mac?

Hi folks,

Im wondering if N6 has offered a solution to direct monitoring on mac? Im just moved from pc to mac on n5.5 and i cant see how you’re supposed function when you need to record on top of an otherwise finished mix. This was no problem on PC b/c Nuendo controlled my RME Totalmix so there was zero latency monitoring at all times. I never had to touch the buffer setting.

How are Mac people getting around this?


Posting from taptalk - no signature, sorry. Using a FF800. Imac with Mavericks and N5.5.6 at the moment. If N6 solves this issue…i would be inclined to upgrade for that alone.

Hi Pier ,

on Mac computers the commonly used “Core Audio” technology doesn´t support
Direct Monitoring. Nevertheless the following Steinberg audio interfaces
MR816 X
update: and the Nuage I/O devices
bypass that limitation and provide / support Direct Monitoring on Mac computers.

As I see you are using an RME FF800 - in a simple setup you could route the
relevant input to the needed output via TotalMix manually, but of course this
isn´t as elegant as the “automatic” Direct Monitoring functionality.

I hope that info helps to clarify the situation, kind regards, Tino

Hi, Hopetown!
As Tino rightly said, the direct monitoring problem is entirely in Apple’s ballpark, I’m afraid, meaning there’s a fat chance we’re ever going to get it, as the iPad crowd don’t need it, and those are the guys Apple caters to these days, not creative professionals.
The only inconvenience for us Mac+RME users is, however, that DigiCheck can’t meter Nuendo’s output directly on the Mac.
To me personally, that sucks donkey!
But everything else, setting up a monitor mix or looping back DAW tracks to inputs, can be done quickly and easily with TotalMix. I actually prefer it to direct monitoring, and have the same workflow on my main production machine which is a PC.
Feel free to ask me if you run into problems setting up the routing for whatever you want to do.

I set my latency to low and do everything in Nuendo. For measurements I use Insight.

this has always been the case with Mac’s which is why I always used to smile wryly to myself when they were always touted as the ‘pro audio’ solution over the PC.

As pointed out: Steinberg interfaces solve this issue.


Just a short update to complete the list:

the Nuage I/O devices
also support Direct Monitoring on Mac.

cheers, Tino

Hi Folks,

I appreciate all your replies. For whatever reason I didn’t get notifications on this thread. Probably b/c I posted via…MY IPHONE :slight_smile:

Anyway, yeah it doesn’t really help me to know that I have to buy a Steinberg interface. If I were solely committing to Nuendo…it still wouldn’t solve my issues unless it has the same I/O as the Fireface. I route 16 input via ADAT from my Lynx Aurora and have the 8 analog ins on the FF - actually 10 analog for a total of 26 inputs. It happens frequently enough that I need more than 16 inputs and I certainly need all 16 from my Lynx. Even the Nuage stuff at $3,300 is only 16 channels and I already have a converter that I like.

I’m not at all familiar with the solution people are talking about regarding Totalmix and I’ve had it for a long long time. Sure you can set up zero latency bounce back but it becomes a total mess when you’re punching in. If you have a solution to this problem I’d love to hear it. Simultaneously muting the Nuendo Channel while hitting record really doesn’t work.

I was also really disappointed to see that Digicheck doesn’t work. I miss that a LOT.

At any, thanks again for trying. FWIW, the UAD Apollos would solve this problem too but…I like the lynx conversion better. My next move will probably be to a PTHD native. The Omni sees the Lynx (with a LT card) as an Avid 16 so I get all the inputs and get to keep my Lynx. The only problem there is it’s only 2 channels of low latency input. But…that actually MIGHT be enough. It’s only ever overdubbing that I have to do once a mix is put together.

Oh yeah, running on low latency doesn’t work at all. My typical projects are maxing out 6 cores of UAD, running The Grand 3, VB3 and at least a few channels of Melodyne, Lexicon PCM, etc. I need at least a 1024 buffer for it to run smoothly, and that’s on a 3.5ghz i7 imac (current model) with 16gigs of RAM. The UAD stuff gets all buggy at low latencies.

On OS X, some audio interfaces, through their own drivers/control software, allow for direct monitoring. Case in point, you can configure a direct monitoring setup with Metric Halo’s MIO Console software that controls their various audio interfaces.


Hmm. Sorry to hear that. I only do audio post for TV here, so I never needed to bounce any outs back and punch in with them, but I thought what with the latency compensation and all, that wouldn’t be a problem.
Hope you’re cool with moving to PT, I know I wouldn’t be…

Well at least I think I can help you there. You can loop back an output to an input in the Fireface and meter that input with DigiCheck. I know, It’s a bit ridiculous, but if you reeeealy miss DigiCheck…
RME says they’re working on a solution for Core Audio in that respect, but they say themselves that it’s not high priority…
Anyways, lots of success!

I see you hail from Doylestown, btw. That’s cool! :slight_smile: I grew up in Ambler. Say hi to Montgomery County from me on your next drive to Philly!

Kewl - even with the Metric Halo, the real issue is will it respond to Nuendo? I’m not sure UA has that truly figured out with the Apollos either. When you hit record on a punch-in, will it flip the monitoring from playback to the zero latency input? AFAIK only Steinberg’s hardware will do this. This has been a major crippling issue with running SB on Mac for the entire time they’ve been on Mac. If they can do it with their own hardware it seems to me they could write a spec and make it available to other manufacturers. I’m pretty sure the rest of the industry would jump on a chance to get DM working on Mac.

Heiner, thanks for the suggestion on Digicheck. Nice work around.

As for Latency compensation - that’s something entirely different. That’s compensating on playback by delaying tracks to match the one with the most latency. That doesn’t help when it comes to recording. This is really about monitor-switching when punching in.

We moved to D-town from NYC in 2008. Beautiful place to live! And the amount of space compared to the city is incredible. If you ever come home for the holidays definitely drop by.

The spec is already there and is called ASIO.
Afai understand cubase mac only supports ASIO drivers, as does cubase win.
Like on windows with their directX/MME to ASIO wrappers they provide a coreaudio to ASIO wrapper, so that audio interfaces without a dedicated ASIO driver for either win or mac can be used with the OS audio drivers.

If audio interface manufacturers provided mac ASIO drivers in addition to mac coreaudio drivers we would be able to use ADM. As cubase is the only mac daw which supports ASIO but every daw supporting coreaudio there is no real pressure for them to invest in developing dedicated ASIO drivers…

Well then the DAW manufacturers need to figure out such control using Core Audio. And this predates core audio by about a decade.

Im using an RME driver. Its ASIO but still no DM, so that’s not the issue.

There is no rme asio driver for mac

Oh, then what does “Fireface Asio driver” mean?


“When you hit record on a punch-in, will it flip the monitoring from playback to the zero latency input? AFAIK only Steinberg’s hardware will do this. This has been a major crippling issue with running SB on Mac for the entire time they’ve been on Mac.”

Not true.

I use RME (currently Fireface 800) and this is just NOT a problem, if you use Totalmix for monitoring.

I run a commercial music studio, with up to 8 separate stereo headphone feeds to the talent. Totalmix handles all of that.

For drop-ins, setting the option in Nuendo to Tape-style monitoring (it’s always set to that), I hear the recorded track until I hit record, after which I hear the new take live. Seamless punch-in, no latency.

The only downside, compared with traditional hardware desk/recorder monitoring, is that the input I hear from Totalmix isn’t identical to the playback of the recorded track (which will include effects etc in Nuendo), it’s simply the feed from the studio.

But what’s BETTER, is that I can hear the live input pre-drop-in, in case the talent isn’t ready, or whatever. With traditional monitoring, you can’t hear that, because you’re listening to the off-tape track.

I would not now bother with DM, even if it were available for RME on Mac, Totalmix does it for me.

Hmmm…ok. You do have level/fx mismatches but I would deal with that. I thought I had tried tape machine, that’s the way i always did things on PC. Happy to admit my own error if it will actually work. My experience was that on record the nuendo channel monitored its input so i get both that and the totalmix foldback with the latency issue. Ill try again.

Ok, I just tested it and it’s not working as you’ve said. I’m in tape machine mode. When the transport is stopped I hear both the direct and the delayed signal. When I hit play I only hear the direct, of course, and playback, but when I hit record I hear both input routings (direct and delayed). Nothing in Nuendo is muting the actual channel input when you hit record or when you are in stop. Is there a detail I’m missing here. I’m not using Control Room. Are you? I have no ego about this, if you can tell me exactly how you’re making this work so that I can reproduce it I would love it.

This functionality we’re discussing IS the very essence of Direct Monitoring :slight_smile:. I don’t see how it happens without it.


Ok I got it. It’s not Tape Machine, it’s “Manual”. You simply don’t engage the input monitoring and in “manual” mode…the Nuendo Channel mutes when you hit record - or rather it doesn’t switch to monitoring the channel. AWESOME! This saves me a lot of trouble. Thank you for inspiring me to figure it out. I feel a little silly but I don’t care because I have the answer. Thanks everyone for participating in the thread. Its great when you actually solve an issue on here :wink:

Sorry Pier, yes, it’s Manual not Tape Machine - long time since I set that! And yes, you don’t touch the input monitor button, except maybe to check you have the correct input set for the channel.