Feature Request - Exclusive Access to Core Audio

Hi

Would it be possible to have an option in Wavelab’s preferences to give it exclusive access to the Core Audio inputs and outputs? Basically making sure no other apps have access to Core Audio while this option is chosen.

It seems there’s a slight degradation going on with how Apple’s Core Audio system handles things when Core Audio is open for all apps. Beeing able to give Wavelab exclusive access (making other apps not able to use Core Audio) could be a nice feature. Apps like Audionirvana and HQPlayer seem to be able to bypass much of the Core Audio layers (summing, src, dither etc) that makes them sound better, clearer and slightly less grainy (less jitter?), even with exactly the same signal path as Wavelab. These apps have options to choose Exclusive Access and Integer Mode. Basically bypassing Core Audio’s SRC, word length, summing and gain modules and pass the 24 bit integer directly from the DAW to the hardware interface.

You can read about it more in this thread on Gearspace:

+1

It was interesting to learn about HOG mode which was mentioned somewhere in this thread.

Here is more about HOG mode:
https://developer.apple.com/forums/thread/70274

I think it would be great if WaveLab could add it.

It is false to say that WaveLab goes through the whole Core Audio layers.
With WaveLab 's CoreAudio support, there is never any type of automatic sample rate conversion. That is, WaveLab will operate with the actual audio device sample rate.

On OSX, the de-facto transfer format between audio software and CoreAudio driver is 32-bit float, which means it has a precision of 24 bits. There is no loss, no conversion, and no process whatsoever happening, as far as you output 24-bit samples or less.
If you play a 32-bit float file and your driver can only handle 24-bit (like 99% of them), then there is of course a sample transformation (that would also be necessary for “hog mode”, of course).

If more than 24-bit precision is required (eg. Steinberg AXR 32-bit DAC/ADC), then WaveLab uses automatically the “Hog mode” (aka exclusive access for a single application to the audio device), to transfer 32-bit integer samples to the driver.

Therefore, in all cases, you can’t get a better audio quality than what WaveLab proposes.
This is the same for all Steinberg applications, and won’t change.

Note: there is an exception if you use an OSX aggregate device because then CoreAudio could do sample rate conversion to sync with another device, if necessary. But I guess you don’t use that.
An OSX aggregate device is a driver around other drivers.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply Phillipe! Didn´t mean to sound like I´m complaing about the sound quality of Wavelab. Not at all. I use it all day long, and have for years. Love it. Just found the sound of Audionirvana to be somewhat clearer, even with the same chain as WL. It’s just really curious that Audionirvana sounds different, even when using the same chain as WL. Maybe there’s some “enhancement” going on in that App? Strange

I´m glad to read that one can’t do better quality than Wavelab already does.

So basically having Exclusive Acces to the Core Audio in Wavelab would not change a thing sonically?

And you’re correct, I do not use aggregate device.

I’ve only seem this appear with my RME ADI-2 Pro FS for my mobile setup but it offers a High Precision mode. See attached.

RME and Steinberg were somewhat vague in explaining what it means.

It’s not available with my RME AES card for some reason, or any other interface I’ve come across.

image0

Right

This is an RME thing, hence they are the only ones that can explain the difference.

  1. So if you’re using a true 32-Bit converter like Prism Sound ADA-128 or Steinberg’s own AXR4 32-Bit interface, you can rest assured that all of the 32 bits of the device will be calculated and utilized, correct?

  2. And if that’s correct then, is there anything the user should do for this to happen, or does this happen automatically without the need to change anything?

  3. Is this true for Nuendo and Cubase as well? I read you said it was the same for all Steinberg applications, so it must be true for Nuendo and Cubase as well, correct?

  4. And finally the last question, is the “hog mode” 64-Bit floating point?

Thank you in advance. I appreciate it.

Just FYI, in Windoze 10 … it just shows up in WL as ASIO MADIface USB (no options)

Yes

Automatic.

Yes. The same Steinberg module is used for all these applications.

The hog mode allows 32 bit PCM if the final driver can, and this accuracy can only be achieved when selecting 64 bit floating point in the application (32 bit float point is limited to 24 bit PCM when lossless conversion needs to be achieved).

1 Like

Thank you for answering all my questions Phillipe. I appreciate it.