Steinberg Products changing UA Apollo Clock Source

I’m not sure why but when I open a Steinberg Product in Stand Alone - Halion 6, Groove Agent 5, Cubase and now Spectral Layers - the clock source on my Universal Audio Apollo interface changes to SPDIF. It only happens with Steinberg products. It only happens when I open the above mentioned in Stand Alone. It has been happening in every version of every piece of software mentioned above for the last 4 years.

Yes all my software is up to date, yes I’ve uninstalled and re-installed. This is happening on a fresh install of all software/hardware on a brand new Intel Mac Mini 2018.

Universal Audio’s trouble shooting ideas have been fruitless. I have posted this here, and there are similar posts about this topic in the past. I am willing to pay a nominal fee to anyone who can figure this and fix it for me for good. It’s a minor annoyance, and it’s not work limiting, but it’s annoying as hell.

Please help!


What is the source before the change, please?

You said, only Steinberg software does it and you are on Mac. This leads me to the following idea: All other software is using Core Audio driver, because this is macOS native audio driver. Steinberg is the only one using its propriet ASIO driver (and translator to the Core Audio system driver).

Unfortunately I don’t know exactly where is the translation done. If the translation happens before the Audio Device Driver, then the issue would be in this CoreAudio2ASIO translator on Steinberg’s side (I would guess). Because the hardware would use the common Core Audio driver then. But, if the translation after the Audio Device Driver, then the issue would be on the UAD ASIO driver for Mac (I would guess).

I know, this is not a solution, but hopefully this could lead to somewhere.

Hi Martin. Thanks for the info and reply.

The clock source on the Apollo is always set to Internal by default. Then when I open a Steinberg app it gets changed to SPDIF.

I hadn’t considered the Asio issue. I wouldn’t know how to fix that anyway. But you’re correct, maybe someone else will see this thread and post a fix or idea!

The ASIO/Core issue may also explain the ASIO performance meter spikes I get, and overall poor performance. But I love Cubase so I will soldier on!


Frank Vitale


Could you just set the Timecode Source to Internal Timecode in the Transport > Project Synchronization Setup in Cubase?

If you are already in contact with UAD, could you ask them, how does this work on Mac? Do they use Core Audio driver and Steinberg takes care about the translation, or do they use ASIO driver on Mac? This would give us a clue.

I don’t think so. The performance shouldn’t be affected by this.

I can try the time code option. Unfortunately I won’t be able to get to it today. I am in touch with UAD and will ask them about that tomorrow as well. I’m fairly sure UAD interfaces and the Console app use Core. But I will ask and let you know what they say.

Frank Vitale


Thank you, I will be happy to learn something new again.

Btw, I’m still curious… You said, you have the same issue with HALion 6, Groove Agent 5. I’m not expert of these 2 softwares, but I don’t think, you can set them as Timecode slave.

Yea. Cubase rarely causes the clock issue. But GA 5, Halion 6 and Spectral Layers all cause the clock issue whenever I open the stand alone version. It didn’t happen when I use them as a plug-in, just the stand alone version.

I really hope a moderator or someone from Steinberg views this and has some insight!

Frank Vitale