Origin and Direct Mode

Does Audirvana Origin have an equivalent to Direct Mode that is part of A+? I’m running A+ 3.5.50 on Mac OS 10.15.7, the last OS version you could hack to retain Direct Mode. I’m interested in whether Origin is able to restore the Direct Mode functionality, or at least an equivalent.

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As you might of guess, no, it doesn’t exist like it was before.
But if you look for those 2 words, they are still in the Debug info of my Audirvana…

You can download it for free and try…
it won’t erase or touch your 3.5.50 version, nor its database.

here is some parts of my Debug info from Origin…

Audirvana Origin 1.0.3 (10003)
macOS 12.3.1 with 20GB physical RAM

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

Direct Mode audio path, buffer I/O frame size: 512

Max. memory for audio buffers: 15316MB
Exclusive access: Enabled
Integer mode: Enabled

Thanks for sharing this info. Honestly, I have yet to find a decent explanation for what Direct Mode does. I’ve seen third-party stabs at an explanation, something along the lines of “bypassing Apple’s core audio processor…blah, blah, blah…and using something that Damien created”. Maybe Damien or Antoine can weigh-in here and explain what Direct Mode did/how it functioned and how Origin does the same or similar thing or why it doesn’t need to. I have been hesitant to upgrade my Mac’s OS because I don’t want to lose Direct Mode. I want the most direct and highest integrity path for my bits as they wind their way to my DAC and onto my speakers. If Direct Mode is part of that path, and Origin doesn’t/can’t duplicate its functionality, I’ll stick with A+ 3.5.50.

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Not Damien or Antoine, but I think I have a decent (though layperson’s) understanding of Direct Mode.

Direct Mode is simply a driver for your DAC (code that communicates between the hardware and the computer’s audio system), which substitutes for Apple’s Core Audio.

Because drivers interact with the operating system kernel (the most basic layer of the operating system), when Apple introduced security measures several OS versions ago for anything interacting with the kernel, that made it impossible to install the Direct Mode driver without extraordinary measures. (Other drivers are made by huge companies like Nvidia and are pre-cleared with Apple.)

Please note that Direct Mode is only for direct USB connection to your DAC, so if for example you use UPnP/DLNA to send music from Audirvana to your DAC or streamer in another room, Direct Mode does nothing.

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In fact, the Direct Mode – as well as the Integer Mode – does still work on the new Origin version, at least on a non-updated MAC OS. And given that we are discussing this, I am honestly amazed at the soundstage depth and 3-D presence offered by the new version of the driver in Origin. I am not sure whether this is a matter of an updated compatibility with my DAC or of a wholly new driver, but the difference to the old version’s sound is just astounding.

Good news that direct mode still works with Origin (with the same old MAC OS hack), but I don’t see a way to select direct mode in Origin. Does it use it automatically when you make the MAC OS hack?

It is on DAC input settings page:
I am with a MACmini / MOJAVE, hacked with El Capitan IOAudioFamily extension. It works fine with a clearly audible difference on my system.

Now that’s interesting. I have Integer Mode (on/off) but not Direct mode. I wonder if there’s another setting that provides the Direct Mode option, or maybe Origin looks for the hack, and if it’s not there it doesn’t display the direct mode option?

As to be usb connect for it…

What is your OS version ?
and yes of course “As to be usb connect for it…” as said by @RunHomeSlow

I don’t have the hack, so I don’t expect to see the direct mode option, but I also don’t have the Direct Stream Digital ( DSD ) options either?

I had to upgrade to macOS Hi Sierra, 10.13.6 to download Origin. I haven’t re-done the hack yet, thinking Origin didn’t support direct mode. My DAC is connected using USB cable.

My DAC is also USB.

Origin needs El Capitan IOAudioFamily extension in order to show "Direct Mode dialog. That extension allow to bypass Apple audio “console”, and reach directly the USB structure. Apple cancelled this possibility after El Capitan for security reason.
The goal of the hack is to re-install this extension. I did it with MOJAVE. You can do it with High Sierra, and then Origin will show the “Direct Mode” button.

Alain, thanks a lot! I’ll re-do the hack in Sierra and hope to have direct mode and two integer modes again.

Like you, I think direct mode makes a clearly audible difference (on my system). Out of curiosity, do you prefer integer mode-1 or integer-2, I go back and forth. Integer-1 is more open to me, integer-2 has more energy but the sound-stage isn’t as 3D and there’s not as much blackness between voices and instruments.

I don’t see an option for 1 or 2, i just have integer mode on or off.

I don’t know for sure, but it seems Integer mode-1 and -2 are only available with the hack, along with direct mode. See Alain’s screen shot above.

Honest question, but as a poorly PC user what is the point of this ‘hack’?

Mac only…

Yeah, I know mate.
But what’s to gain by doing it?