Audirvana and multi-output devices

I am running Audirvana 3.5.50 on a core i5 Mac mini, Monterey. I would like to play through a Multi-Output Device that combines the mini’s optical out and USB. However when I select that device and hit the Play button, this message comes up: Error initializing sound device – the sound device is already hogged by another application. Unable to start playing.

Is there any way around this? And does anyone know if Audirvana Origin or Audirvana Studio can play through Multi-Output Devices?

If it’s of interest, the use case is this – The USB output feeds a miniDSP Dirac Live unit that provides room correction processing for my main system. The optical-out feeds a separate DAC that drives a headphone amp and a Topping TP20 amp for sound in the kitchen. Other sources—Tidal and Music, for example—work with this Multi-Output Device.

Thanks.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:
Try creating an “Aggregate Device” in Audio MIDI Setup…

Thanks for the suggestion. I created an aggregate device combining the mini’s built-in output and USB/miniDSP-Flex. Trying to use it in Audirvana 3.5 gave me the same error as when I tried to use the multi-output device.

Also, the other sources that did work as expected with the multi-output device—Tidal, Music, and Safari—did not work so well with the aggregate device. They only sent output to either the built-in output or the USB/miniDSP but not both. The output device that I added first when I created the aggregate device was the one that received the output.

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

Do you have all other applications shut-down that may be using one or all of the components in you system?

Why did you not create an aggregate device with the miniDSP and the DAC/HPA set-up?

Did you assign the different device outputs to the same two-channel (L/R) audio streams?

After creating the Aggregate Device with the miniDSP and the DAC/HPA set-up, try re-syncing your system by shutting down all of your target components, and then restarting the Mac, and then restarting each component… when all of the components have sync’ed, then start Audirvana… Make sure that you have the Aggregate Device chosen as your 'input and output’ device… If you want to use the built-in speakers at times, you will need to change the output device in Audio MIDI Setup when you need to use the built-in speakers.

The device that has the lowest sample-rate will be the common denominator for the whole system… for example if a device has a maximum sample-rate of 96kHz, all other devices will be governed to 96kHz… I’m presuming you have followed the directions of the Audio MIDI Setup “Help” support for Aggregate Device and Multi-Output settings…

Thanks for your advice and suggestions, Agoldnear.

Do you have all other applications shut-down that may be using one or all of the components in you system?. Yes

Why did you not create an aggregate device with the miniDSP and the DAC/HPA set-up? This is what I did. The miniDSP is on the USB output; the DAC/HPA is on the built-in optical output.

Did you assign the different device outputs to the same two-channel (L/R) audio streams? I’m fairly new to Audio MIDI Setup and don’t know see where I would configure that. The multi-output device I created works as expected—except with Audirvana, of course. Does that indicate the audio streams are assigned correctly in the aggregate device?

In Audio MIDI Setup, I found that my two devices were set to different sampling rates, so I set the built-in output to be the same as the miniDSP Flex. Then I went through the process involving restarting the system and allowing it to resync exactly as you suggested.

The result was the same, except for an odd situation that is not relevant to my purpose— distortion in Tidal playback through the aggregate device that was not present in previous trials. The following “table” summarizes the results, with the first line being the table header.

Application; Multi-Output Device result; Aggregate Device result:
Apple Music; Sound via both outputs; Sound only via first device added
Tidal; Sound via both outputs; Sound, distorted, only via first device added
Audirvana 3.5; Error message; Error message

I have found only several threads on this topic of Audirvana playing through multiple output devices, the most recent one being from 2019. In it, Audirvana support replies that “In fact the feature you are talking about is the multi-room audio which is not available in Audirvana. We had several request about it and we don’t forget it but we need to prioritize the development of feature and this one is not our priority for the moment.” So I suppose that is still the case.

…at least for the legacy Audirvana product. That is why I am curious if the current one-time purchase and subscription versions of Audirvana might be capable of outputting to multiple devices.

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

Why do you not connect both DAC’s via USB using a hub or another USB port on the MacMini?

If you need to make a long run to your kitchen system, you can use a USB to Ethernet interface at the computer or hub and visa-versa, an Ethernet to USB interface at the receiving DAC device.

Hi, Agoldnear,

Thanks for your help. You are looking down the road a bit. I do have other options. As a user of Audirvana since it was new, I was primarily interested in knowing whether Audirvana could play to multiple outputs, as other music players are able to do, since that would be the simplest and most direct solution for my use case. I wasn’t having success with it but thought I might be missing something.

I cannot directly connect the other DAC by USB because it is an older unit that does not take USB input. I did purchase a little Douk Audio D-D converter, USB to Coax and Toslink SPDIF. Unfortunately, it was not working on arrival, and I am waiting for the manufacturer to resolve the problem. Once I get that straightened out, I’ll put that between the computer and the old DAC.

Jayson

A followup – Since the Douk Digital-to-Digital converter was not recognized by my computers (plural) and Douk/NobSound did not respond to my requests for help, I sent it back. I replaced it by stepping up to the Topping D10s USB DAC. This unit also provides USB-to-SPDIF conversion with Toslink and coax outs.

I found that, just like when I wanted to send digital audio from the mini simultaneously to devices connected via optical and USB, I could not send audio to two USB destinations except by combining them as a Multi-Output Device using Audio Midi Setup. And Audirvana does not deal with Multi-Output Devices correctly.

So, now I am outputting USB audio from the Mac mini to the Topping D10, which drives the headphone amp and the amp for the kitchen system. The miniDSP that drives the main system takes its input signal from the D10 via a coax cable. I am quite satisfied with this setup, especially because I A-B compared the D10 against the old DAC that it has replaced, which in its day cost an order of magnitude more than the D10 and was regarded as quite a good DAC, and I found that I like the sound of the Topping D10 DAC a little better.

In principle, I’m still disappointed that Audirvana can’t handle Multi-Output Devices, even though that is not hindering me from enjoying my music the way I want. It cost me a little money, though, and others might find that to be more of a problem than it was for me.