Annoyances On Osx, Hdmi Audio Out


I recently switched to mac and bought renoise, because it seemed to be the closest equivalent to ModPlugTracker I used on windows, and it featured a very reasonable pricetag. I’m very happy with the product, but I’ve found out a couple of small annoyances that I’d like to get rid of, if possible.

I use renoise on a mac mini, which acts as a kind of ‘htpc’. Meaning specifically that it’s connected to a TV and a monitor via the displayport and hdmi outs which also carry audio. My “computer desk” features just the monitor, while the computer is a couple of meters away. For this reason, my normal setup for audio-out will be to use the headphone plug in my monitor side. The first annoyance is that under audio-out devices, the TV and monitor outs are both listed simply as “HDMI”. On my system audio preferences the two can be clearly distinguished, as their names are “BenQ V2200Eco”, and “SONY TV”, and their types are HDMI. To be fair, it’s reasonably simple to choose the right one because the order of these two HDMI-outs does not seem to change. But it’s something that seems to be easily fixed in a future update, perhaps?

The other annoyance is that I have a weird issue with this “audio out device” setting which is related to my monitor setup. I usually sit at the computer monitor when renoising and during this time other members of the household occasionally use the TV. Now, the problem is that whenever the TV is turned on, OS X seems to do kind of a scanning of the monitors, during which the computer monitor I use goes blue. OK. No biggie, lasts for couple of secs and is not related to renoise in any way. The actual problem is that after this scanning, the audio out device setting in renoise prefs gets reset to “Apple Built-in audio”. (So my mac mini box starts jamming in the bookshelf, if a tune was playing). Afterwards I always have to go to prefs and check the correct HDMI device from the list. The OSX system audio out preference does not act this way, but sticks to which ever out is choosed in the system prefs panel.

I’m not sure if this can be considered a bug, or is this merely a feature of renoise combined with OS X combined with my current monitor setup.

Maybe someone could try this out on their system? And if this behaviour can be confirmed, maybe it’s possible to fix this too?

I’m not sure about your first issue, but the system control software is always exactly aware of what is happening to its hardawre and can appropriately anticipate on what happens. Software running inside the system probably cannot guess if there is about to come an instant change in the hardware, what the previous device was and what it was doing. If it is correctable after the change has been made, i don’t know either.
Audio devices changing on-the-fly is not regular behavior in the first place.
We also would not expect you to plug out an external USB or FireWire audiocard while you would be composing.

It seems it is an OSX issue with the mac mini’s HDMI handshaking.

maybe it’s possible to disable HDMI audio?

Thanks for the swift replies!

Hmm. Sounds reasonable. Somehow I still wonder why I haven’t ran into this kind of behaviour before, though. Not that I’ve been using any software specifically designed for audio. For example, I can’t remember any software I’ve used on this box would have had a dedicated audio out that would be different than the system specified one.
So anyways, it’s not a big deal, but maybe it’s something that could be fixed? NOT a priority on development of course. :D

EDIT:Out of curiosity, I just checked this with reaper and it handles my situation just fine. No resetting of audio-out devices. So it’s doable, just don’t know how easy it is to apply such a fix on renoise.

EDIT2: (Sorry about the extensive editing…) Reaper seems to have it’s own set of troubles. Both HDMI-outs also display as plain “HDMI”, with no way to tell which is which. And choosing “the upper one from the list”, clicking ok, and going back: “the bottom one” is chosen… So, um… I guess HDMI audio is somehow kind of tough to implement right…? But still the device does not reset to Built-in audio after the monitor-scan-thingie.

Ok, I might’ve been a bit unclear about this one (checking my first post). Both my “additional” audio outs are in fact HDMI. (The displayport one goes through a displayport-hdmi-adapter) In that light, I cannot see what disabling HDMI audio would solve. If you meant that I shouldn’t use the HDMI audio, but instead use the dedicated audio out (from miniplug jack) from the mini, then that’s a no. The computer is just too far away from the desk for my headphone cord. I could buy an extension cord, of course, but this audio-out switching is just too small an annoyance for me to get any kind of new stuff. I just thought I’d mention it, if someone had an easy fix.