Audio dropouts using DS1 and 2019 MacBook Pro 16

The DS1 interface is driving me bananas :frowning:

It was running great since I purchased the unit and using it on my previous 12" MacBook 2015. I upgraded to a MacBook Pro 16" in early 2020 and since then the unit has been “disconnecting” intermittently. Many people online are having similar issues to mine with other USB audio interfaces. It appears to be a combination of some USB audio interfaces, coreaudio, and Macs with T2 chips (the ones that have the Touchbar).

Here are the specs for my MBP16:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro16,1
Processor Name: 8-Core Intel Core i9
Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 8
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 16 MB
Hyper-Threading Technology: Enabled
Memory: 64 GB
Boot ROM Version: 1554. (iBridge: 18.16.13030.0.0,0)
Activation Lock Status: Enabled

Upon the recommendation of some peeps in the Serato Forums I purchased a CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 hub and that seemed to resolve the issues until I updated macOS with Security Update 2020-001. I think this update also updated the Boot ROM. Now the audio dropouts are occurring again. Here are logs from Console showing when the dropout occurs:

default 19:40:27.323903-0500 kernel IOAudioEngineUserClient[] - AUDIO OFFLINE. online=1. state=1. loopCount=0, lastLoopTime=0 error 19:40:27.323916-0500 coreaudiod HALS_IOA1Engine::EndReading: got an error from the kernel trap, Error: 0xE00002D7 default 19:40:27.323954-0500 Serato DJ Pro HALC_ProxyIOContext::IOWorkLoop: skipping cycle due to overload

This message isn’t limited to Serato DJ Pro. In an attempt to resolve the issue I completely wiped all partitions on the MBP and reinstalled Catalina from scratch. Without installing any macOS updates or any other software installs, I used the built-in Apple Music app to stream some music and used the DS1 as the audio output for the Mac. I could still reproduce the audio dropouts with a stock Catalina install and stock Mac apps with the DS1.

I have tried multiple USB and Thunderbolt 3 hubs, and multiple cables attached to all different ports on the MBP and the hubs and the dropouts continue to occur.

I even wrote a super simple iOS/iPadOS app that used the DS1 as an audio interface and could reproduce the dropouts when the iPad was using the DS1 as an audio interface. This issue is definitely related to the DS1 and something with coreaudio because it is used on both macOS and iPadOS.

After some testing I’m wondering if the problem is the audio levels being sent to/from the DS1. The audio mostly drops out when the audio level is very high (or at least it appears that way). Unfortunately DS1 Firmware version 1.0.1 disabled the ability to adjust levels in the macOS Audio MIDI Setup pane so I cannot verify this hypothesis.

I have tried to open two support tickets with Denon support and I received a response on one incident that only stated “the DS1 is supported on Catalina” with no other recommendations or any sense of a resolution.

I’m really frustrated with the DS1 and the support from Denon. It is basically the only new DVS audio interface supported by Serato DJ Pro and I can’t use it with my MacBook Pro. I cannot use the interface in a professional environment because the dropouts occur during almost every track I play.

Any help from the community, or official Denon personnel would be very much appreciated.

You stated yourself it’s a problem coreaudio has with some interfaces, how is that Denons fault?

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As soon as the problem can be described as it all worked well until Apple … then it’s Apples fault and should be down to Apple to rectify everything they knocked off-course. This is a regular story about Apple.

Apple has pretty much locked down their core audio compliance and driver signing. You can test the interface on a Windows or Linux machine, to see if it is a hardware fault. I can’t recommend another interface confidently due to these issues arising with SL4’s, djm900 srt’s, and Xone Mixers as well.

Unfortunately, Apple is on route to be the product not to purchase for audio production and deejaying. I’m sorry you are dealing with this after such a hefty investment.

Not necessarily Denon’s fault. I’m posting here to try to get some help. I’m wondering if the audio levels can be adjusted in the Audio MIDI Setup panel since the messages stated “overload.” I’m not sure if that means “signal overload” or “processing/chip overload.”

If we could adjust the signal levels in the Audio MIDI Setup panel in macOS that could rule out one potential issue.

Thanks for the the reply.

That’s a good suggestion. I have an Intel NUC that is recent/powerful enough to run Serato so I’ll throw Windows on the NUC and see if I get any drop outs.

Yeah, it’s a shame that if this IS a macOS/coreaudio problem that Apple doesn’t recognize the issue and resolve it. Mac’s used to be rock solid which is why I used them for audio production/live shows. Now I can’t rely on them.

Maybe I’ll trade this MBP in and get a used MBP13 with no touchbar and an M1 for my other (non-audio) design and creative work. Given how much I paid for this laptop I can probably do that trade for no money out-of-pocket :slight_smile:

Thanks for the reply.