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Sudden audio distortion on Intel Mac

Sep 10 2009 | 4:09 pm

I am a brand new Max user and taking a course to learn how to use it.

I’m using a quad core Intel Mac Pro and last night was playing some music in itunes with soundflower 2ch as the system sound output. I had the DSP settings to use soundflower as the input, and my audio card as the output.

I simply had an adc~ connected to a dac~ without intermediate processing and after about 5 mins the audio would degrade into distortion. I tried all sorts of buffer IO and signal vector settings in the DSP window and nothing changed the situation.

Anyone got an idea of what is causing this?



Sep 15 2009 | 3:07 pm

this happens to me when i couple mainstage 2 with ableton live 8 via soundflower. its intermittent, though, meaning that everything will work fine for a while then the sound thats playing will degrade into a distorted mess and then everything will be fine again.

it actually sounds kind of cool sometimes, but in general i would hate this to happen at the wrong time during a performance.

what would cause this? is it a problem with coreaudio? maybe a problem with soundflower?

8 core mac pro os 10.6
motu mk2
6gb ram

Sep 18 2009 | 9:58 pm

I’m getting the same problem – Ableton Live 8 routed into Max/Msp via Soundflower, sometimes the audio degrades, sometime it doesn’t.

The only way to fix it I’ve found is to flick the audio off/on (it’s like it resets the buffer or something) the problem is it cause a glitch, this is really annoying because I want to use it Live in the coming week.

Is there a way to route audio into Max/Msp from Ableton any other way?

Does anyone know why Soundflower is doing this?? Are Cycling aware of it??

Sep 18 2009 | 11:29 pm

Its good to hear that other people are having the same problem and its not something wrong with my setup. Maybe we can get this bug fixed. I think the problem is Soundflower. I don’t get the problem using Mainstage or Live independently. Does Soundflower have a bug management system of some kind?

If you’re just working between Live and Max you can use Rewire instead of Soundflower. Max for Live will make it even easier. Unfortunately Mainstage can’t be a rewire slave, so Soundflower is the only option (that I know of).

Nov 07 2009 | 1:39 am

Ah! I’m glad (sort of) to hear about others with this issue.
I’m Soundflowering (that’s a verb, right?) Mainstage into Max and getting the distorted audio once in a while, too. My solution has always been a quick on/off of the audio in Max. I usually gig with another guy, so temporary silences aren’t usually a total problem since he’s usually making some other noise, though it’s still unfortunate.
I always assumed it was a problem with Mainstage since, even in it’s present, much improved condition, it still seems like it needs to bake in the oven a little longer before it’s done.

Nov 07 2009 | 4:43 pm
RabidRaja wrote on Sat, 19 September 2009 02:33
since soundflower is free and open-source:

it would be reasonable that it might take last priority…

Last time I heard anything about C74 and SoundFlower, it was that SF had absolutely no priority whatsoever. It’s basically open-sourced and if there’s something wrong, fix it yourself. That may sound sound harsh, but it’s not supposed to. It’s just a fact of life–a lot of open-source software is distributed with that assumption.

Nov 08 2009 | 10:56 am

I’ve got the same problem, it doesn’t matter what i route into what. After a couple of minutes sound gets slowly more and more distorted and slowly turns normal again this takes about a minute.

Nov 10 2009 | 10:22 pm

I’ve got this problem since I upgraded to 5.0.8
I downgraded to 5.0.7 and the distorted sound effect on inputs disappeared.

Apr 02 2016 | 11:22 am

Did anyone ever get a solution to this problem? It happens with my system all the time, for no reason that I know of. It sounds like a sudden drop in sample rate. I can fix it for a time by switching the vector size from 64 to 32 and back again. The cpu never goes above 20% and the memory usage hovers around 50%. Also, my fan Never kicks on for anything else, but it goes nuts while I’m using Max. Here is a screen shot of my settings. Any ideas?

Macbook Pro
8 gigs
2.9 single i7
Core Audio


  1. Screen-Shot-2016-04-02-at-11.08.39-AM


Apr 02 2016 | 11:24 am

And I’m using Max 7.

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