Topic: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi there,
I have purchased a 12mic for what I hoped was a very simple choir recording setup : 12mic on stage via AVB to either Mac Pro Ethernet or Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt 2 Ethernet adapter (Big Sur and Mojave).
For some reason there is no RME AVDECC Controller for the 12mic - and yet there is one for the Digiface AVB - making that appear easily as an audio device. The manual says third party AVDECC Controller software should be used instead.
A search pointed me towards Apple's own AVB util via Terminal, and Hive. 
Both find the 12mic - but that's about it - nothing can be routed - everything is greyed out as 'not connectable' and the unit does not show up in Audio Devices.
The 12mic also shows up in Audio Midi Setup under 'Networked Devices' - but if I try to tick the box next to it the unit disappears and the web based connection to the 12mic is interrupted.

Most video's I found about the 12mic show usage in combination with Digiface AVB or UFX over MADI - I have yet to find one showing the 12mic in a simple standalone AVB working setup - which should be possible according to the documentation.
I would prefer not to have to buy a Digiface AVB just to get the 12mic doing that.
Appreciate any help - if this has been covered before my apologies - I haven't found a solution browsing the forum...



Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi Stef,

the post you've found is absolutely the right path. Please note that we don't support native Mac OS officially at the moment, as their implementation is not fully Milan compliant and there are incompatibilities.
However, Mac OS AVB support is constantly improving and the Milan working group is well aware of the situation. I'm sure it will get better pretty soon.

As a rule of thumb: The newer the Mac the better. My 2013 Mac Book Pro needs constant encouragement and doesn't handle more than two 8 channel streams gracefully. On the other hand, on a current M1 model, we've seen up to 64 channels in and out working flawlessly.

Some pointers:
Mac OS sometimes has problems to agree on the PTP Grandmaster. You can observe this in Hive (Grandmasters are listed in the devices table).
If that happens, the easiest thing is to kill coreaudiod using the activity monitor. When it comes back (that happens automatically) the devices will agree on the same Grandmaster.

Then make sure both devices are set to the same stream formats, that can be set up in Apple's AVDECC controller or in Hive, choice is yours. AAF is preferred over AM824, but both should work.

If that doesn't help, please post a screenshot of either Hive or Apple's AVDECC controller.

And if you happened to tick the box, the Mac and the 12mic are now in an undefined state. Please reboot both, to make sure both are ready again.

I understand that this is a pretty bad user experience at the moment (that's why we don't support it officially...), but be assured that all concerned parties are already working on resolving this situation, making AVB a flawless plug and play solution.

3 (edited by studiostef 2021-06-25 10:54:57)

Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi Marc,

thanks for your swift reply. I have a big choir recording in 10 days so I need to get the setup reliably going. I've tried some of your suggestions - but simultaneously decided I'm going to let go of the 12mic - at least for now.
As I understand it the AVB direct to Mac (ie. without a Digiface AVB) is still under development, unsupported and nowhere as reliable and common yet as the Dante Virtual Soundcard connected with a single ethernet cable to the interface - the setup I was aiming for with 12 high quality RME preamps.
And as the chances to get it working also seem to depend on exactly what Mac you are using - this for me is too much of a MacGyver territory to risk with 40 singers waiting to record a one-off concert
Looking forward to further Milan developments - but for now I'm going to stick to a reliable, stable and supported solution for this imminent recording.
Thanks for your help !


Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi Stef,
Before you sell your 12mic… I had some issues as well using me AVP equipment on a Mac without digiface  AVB.
Please read this
I have no problems anymore…
Best regards, Marcus

5 (edited by ramses 2021-06-26 13:17:55)

Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi Stef,

how are you ? Following the same spirit as mruebsamen told "Before you sell your 12Mic .."

In short, the 12Mic is a great preamp, I would keep it if I were you and just build an established setup that you know works.

I can only give you the following well-intentioned advice from long experience. Of course, it is up to you whether you accept it or not...

Why depend on 3rd party solutions or implementations in the OS when you can build an established RME solution too ?! I have learned one thing in my long IT career, you basically can't force manufacturers or service providers to do anything. It's best to follow established paths that you know work well.

I mean figuratively that it's nice that Apple is starting to embed AVB natively in the OS. However, Apple does not have the same pressure / experience and know-how as a company that lives from products in this segment. And that is ultimately decisive for the quality of such a solution and by quality I mean not only the stability but also the operation, which must also be fast and secure in a professional environment. Same for other 3rd party software solutions.

Therefore I would suggest to connect the 12Mic either in the traditional way via MADI (ADAT would also be possible) to a RME recording interface with TotalMix FX or via an AVB recording interface. Then you can still keep an eye on the other solutions, but for now you are following a path that gives you the required reliability that you need for your projects.

Once Auxdevice support has been added to the 12Mic (promised by RME) you can even remote control the 12Mic's most important parameters through TotalMix FX and digitally store/recall these settings through TM FX snapshots/workspaces.

As reliability is surely critical for you I wouldn't hesitate to consider an UFX+ as recording interface with MADI and DURec.
Then you can use DURec for backup recordings which gives you an additional safety belt.
MADI gives you the benefit to be able to place the 12Mic very flexible as connections between devices may be up to 2km long, longer than you will actually need. The RME "MIDI over MADI" feature will also be of good use for later remote control (Auxdevice), because this makes you independend from MIDI cabling.

BR Ramses - UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi all,

some progress - thanks to Marcus' detailed Hansel & Gretel style breadcrumb trail of steps to follow in his linked post I got it to work.
But as Marc posted earlier - it depends very much on the computer you use. My 2013 Mac Pro seems fine although I'll be testing it the next days to see if behaviour is consistent. My 2015 MBP is rubbish with this identical setup - ticking audio, Pro Tools CPU errors with just 12 channels - with all clocking settings identical. Plus changed Hive settings at each reboot. The same MBP works flawless with + 40 ch via AES50 (through USB) or Dante.
@ Ramses - I know if it were up to RME instead of Apple this trial and error AVB working with no guarantee of success would have long been sorted. It's just the first time that I buy or use RME equipment that does nót have a dedicated RME driver and is nót compatible out of the box with Totalmix. I wasn't aware of that when I bought it - I was told it would work as I expected : 12 pristine preamps, one cable, one computer - period - no extra (Digiface or UFX or..) units or specialised under the hood 3rd party driver tinkering... 

Anyway - thanks for all your help - I'll forget about the MBP & just settle on the Mac Pro for now for testing long recordings & keep you posted...

Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi everyone,

I am considering to buy an RME 12Mic and was wondering if standalone AVB operation with a Mac (Mac Studio M1 Ultra in my case) has gotten more stable / is consistently working with the 12Mic.

Do you have any experience testing with the latest versions of macOS?

At the moment, I'm using a PreSonus StudioLive 16R quite successfully for recording with AVB directly into the Mac Studio. However, since the 12Mic's preamps are obviously worlds better, I'm thinking about switching to RME.

Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

Hi there - probably not what you want to hear but if I were you I would get the 12mic-D
The Dante version has all the same great features as the AVB version except of course the AOIP format.
Standalone operation using Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) works very well as Dante is a mature and working platform.
Just my thoughts.................

Re: 12mic standalone AVB operation with Mac

The Mac OS PTP problem is related to the profiles that MAC OS uses. As soon as an Apple device enters the network, grandmaster changes can occur. The problem can be solved by reducing the priorities on the end devices in the PTP profile. MAC OS forces others to slave through the profile and then through unfortunate things it comes back and forth through the BMCA. I changed the parameters in the switch and since then the problem has been fixed.

However, the problem is not relevant for a peer-to-peer connection.