AS CPU load extremely high, causing skipping then silence - 2012 Mac Mini/Mojave OS

I am experiencing a similar issue as the following:

However, my issue continues after I did a fresh install of Mojave (on a 2012 Mac Mini). I installed the OS, ran the High Sierra Direct Mode hack, installed a fresh version of AS, and played a track in AS. Worked fine for a bit, then…massive skipping and eventually…silence. The track continued to “play” but no audio could be heard. AS was also the only app I had running. CPU load started at about 50-70% and jumped to 100%). Also, when I quit AS and then restart (without playing music) the CPU load fluctuates between around 15% up to 48%. Since this first happened I have continued to try and successfully use AS to play music and every time…the same problem.

This happens: with Exclusive Mode on or off, with Integer Mode on or off, with Direct Mode on or off, SysOptomizer on or off. Mostly, it happens almost immediately, but sometimes it can take a while for things to go south (anywhere from right away to even up to four hours). Buffer is at 15360 MB (have tried the lower end of the spectrum and points in between and…no difference). No signal processing or upsampling.

My past setup (2010 Mini and High Sierra) worked fine and never skipped. The CPU load on that setup was very low (5%).

Not really sure what is going on, or why the CPU load is so high on the 2012 Mini with Mojave, but…sure would like to resolve the issue ASAP. Any thoughts, ideas, solutions would be most welcomed.

Thanks!

Debug Info:
Audirvana Studio 2.7.0 (20700)

macOS 10.14.6 with 16GB physical RAM

Connected account of : Gizmology

NETWORK
Status: available

SIGNAL PROCESSING:

Polarity Inversion:
	Globally: OFF
	Per track: ON
Effects plugins NOT ACTIVE

UPSAMPLING:
r8brain not in use
r8brain filter parameters
Bandwidth = 99.5%
Stop band attenuation 218dB
Phase linear

AUDIO VOLUME:
Max allowed volume: 100
Replay Gain: None
SW volume control: ON

LIBRARY SETTINGS:
Sync list: 6 folders
AUTO: /Volumes/Big Swifty/CD-Rip:Studio FLAC Files
AUTO: /Volumes/Big Swifty/Gizmo-Mixes
AUTO: /Volumes/Big Swifty/HD Audio
AUTO: /Volumes/Big Swifty/LIVE CD RIPS
AUTO: /Volumes/Big Swifty/Live:Rock Show
AUTO: /Volumes/Big Swifty/Live:Rock Show (FLACs)
iTunes/Music library synchronization: not synchronized
Library database path: /Users/audiomini/Library/Application Support/Audirvana/AudirvanaDatabase.sqlite

Local audio files fingerprinting
Fingerprinting track 2676/24046 : /Volumes/Big Swifty/HD Audio/Jimi Hendrix - Winterland (8 LP Box)/LP 2 (10-10-1968)/D3 - Purple Haze.flac

Remote Control server:
Listening on 127.0.0.1 on port 49174

ACTIVE STREAMING SERVICES
TIDAL: Connected as HiFi Plus

=================== AUDIO DEVICE ========================

Active method: Local

Max. memory for audio buffers: 13312MB

Local Audio Engine: CoreAudio
Exclusive access: ON
Integer mode: ON
Use max I/O buffer size: OFF
Actual I/O buffer frame size: 512

Preferred device:
Audio Mirror Audio Mirror
Model UID:Audio Mirror:16D0:071A
UID:AppleUSBAudioEngine:Audio Mirror:Audio Mirror:413-001:2

Currently playing in Integer Mode:
Device: 2ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32bits little endian Signed Integer, 8 bytes per frame 44.1kHz

Active Sample Rate: 44.1kHz
Hog Mode is on

Bridge settings:
Sample rate limitation: none
Sample rate switching latency: none
Limit bitdepth to 24bit: OFF
Mute during sample rate change: OFF

Selected device:Audio Mirror
Manufacturer: Audio Mirror
Model name: Audio Mirror
Model UID: Audio Mirror:16D0:071A
UID: AppleUSBAudioEngine:Audio Mirror:Audio Mirror:413-001:2
USB Vendor ID: 0x16d0
USB Product ID: 0x071a
ID 0x27

9 available sample rates up to 384000Hz
32000
44100
48000
88200
96000
176400
192000
352800
384000
Audio buffer frame size : 29 to 4096 frames
Current I/O buffer frame size : 512

Volume Control
Physical: Yes
Virtual: Yes
Max volume alert: Disabled

MQA capability
Auto-detect MQA devices: Yes
Not a MQA device, user set to not MQA

DSD capability
Unhandled (PCM conversion) with boost gain of 6dB

Device audio channels
Preferred stereo channels L:1 R:2
Channel bitmap: Ox3, layout:
Channel 0 mapped to 0
Channel 1 mapped to 1

Audio channels in use
Number of channels: 2
Use as stereo device only: No
Simple stereo device: Yes

1 output streams:
Number of active channels: 2, in 1 stream(s)
Channel #0 :Stream 0 channel 0
Channel #1 :Stream 0 channel 1

Stream ID 0x28 2 channels starting at 1
18 virtual formats:
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 384kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 352.8kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 192kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 176.4kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 44.1kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 32kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 384kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 352.8kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 192kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 176.4kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 96kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 88.2kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 48kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 44.1kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 32kHz

18 physical formats
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 384kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 352.8kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 192kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 176.4kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 44.1kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 32kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 384kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 352.8kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 192kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 176.4kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 96kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 88.2kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 48kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 44.1kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Integer 32kHz

Local devices found : 3
Device #0: ID 0x3a Built-in Output
Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
Model UID: AppleHDA:88
UID: AppleHDAEngineOutput:1B,0,1,2:0
Model name: Apple Inc. Built-in Output
Device #1: ID 0x41 HDMI
Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
Model UID: AppleHDA:88
UID: AppleHDAEngineOutputDP:1B,3,1,2:0:{6D1E-0001-01010101}
Model name: Apple Inc. HDMI
Device #2: ID 0x27 Audio Mirror
Manufacturer: Audio Mirror
Model UID: Audio Mirror:16D0:071A
UID: AppleUSBAudioEngine:Audio Mirror:Audio Mirror:413-001:2
USB Vendor ID: 0x16d0
USB Product ID: 0x071a
Model name: Audio Mirror

UPnP

UPnP devices found : 0

Chromecast

Chromecast devices found : 0

I would try resetting the Mac Mini SMC and NVRAM. Also set your buffer to 4000 MB and turn on “Use Max Core Audio I/O Buffer” in the DAC settings.

If you still get the issue post a screenshot of Activity Monitor CPU usage and Memory usage tabs when you have the issue. May help identify the cause.

Hi,

I can try this sometime tomorrow. I did take a look at the Activity Monitor CPU usage the last time it happened, but I did not see anything that looked like it was causing the issue. Mostly, it just showed AS at the top (using all the CPU power and then “mdworker_shared” next–after Activity Monitor-- using only .1%).

Are you connecting the Apple HDMI output to the Audio Mirror I²S port?

Also you will always get better performance with 4GB of playback pre-load memory, no matter what you may think is going on… And you are running a macOS hack, where all bets are off… I think you will find some threads here in the Community Forum about that not working any longer…

Also are you running the Mac Mini headless?

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

Connected to Audio Mirror via USB. HDMI from Mac is into LG TV (for monitor). I was under the impression/read that the hack still works (through Catalina). I can try to set to 4GB pre-load. Have not tried Djm1960’s suggestion of resetting the Mac’s SMC and NVRAM yet as I noticed that AS is still analyzing audio files (and am wondering if that could be contributing to/causing the issue). I read that it can take a very long time to analyze the files (or that it gets stuck completely). Today I am at 63%. I think it has only analyzed about 13% in the past 15 hours or so, so…got a ways to go, I guess.

I believe library analysis will significantly increase your CPU load. Especially on an old intel CPU. Best to wait to review what the situation is once analysis of your library is complete

Yeah, agreed. But…who knows when that will be?!? It is now at 65% (that’s only a 2% increase in five hours)! Guess I gotta be extremely patient. I’ll let you know what happens once/if it ever completes. Thanks

OK, so…after taking FIVE DAYS to complete, the library analysis finally finished and…the CPU load dropped from 50-100% back down to 2-25%. There were a few quirks where it jumped back up and then crashed AS and restarted my Mac, but…those issues have seemed to resolve themselves. I have been playing/testing AS over the last couple of days and have been able to play for over 10 hours at a pop with no further problems. Hopefully, everything will be smooth sailing from here on out! Pretty crazy that the analysis took that long and taxed my system so much. I get that it’s an older slower Mac, but…

In any case, AS really should have a warning that pops up the first time you use the app stating: “Please Note: a one-time audio analysis of your local files is currently active. This process may take a few hours (or days, depending on the age/speed of your computer) and affect CPU load, and possibly playback through Audirvana Studio. If playback is compromised, please wait until audio analysis has completed.”

Would have definitely saved me (and probably others) a lot of time and frustration.

Anyway, thanks again for the help and suggestions Djm1960 and Agoldnear! Time to go listen to some music!!

2 Likes

Audio fingerprinting does tax a CPU significantly. Even my M3 Max MBP shows CPU usage at 10-40% during this process and only 1-4% when complete. As such it will definitely be an issue on much older Intel CPU’s. Enjoy your music!

2 Likes

Thanx!!!

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