Jump to content
miguelito

Optimizing music-dedicated mac mini?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I'm doing a clean install on my music-dedicated mini and would like to know what is the latest and greatest of the optimizations I can do.

 

Machine:

- mac mini 2012, i7 quad, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD (Mercury 6G)

- External HD over FW

- Bridged networking: Thunderbolt/ethernet adapter bridged to internal ethernet - network switch to thurnderbolt, internal ethernet to dCS Rossini

- LPS (Uptone JS-2) with internal mini MMK board

- Run headless with one of those dongles in the HDMI port keep graphics alive (screen sharing very slow otherwise)

 

OS:

macOSX 10.14.4 (downloaded the 10.14.4 installer so this is my scratch starting point)

 

Players:

Roon (over network to dCS Rossini)

Audirvana (not used much at the moment)

 

I run installation last night and did all of the standard things like turn wifi, bluetooth off, disable spotlight, etc.

 

I did NOT disable SIP so I cannot disable Notification services, etc. View on disabling SIP?

 

Any recommendations?

 

Thx.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disable SIP, do what you need to do, then re-enable it.  It's that easy.

 

csrutil disable

 

csrutil enable

 

I would do the Direct Mode hack for A+, it really does improve the sound quality.


“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, miguelito said:

I'm doing a clean install on my music-dedicated mini and would like to know what is the latest and greatest of the optimizations I can do.

 

Machine:

- mac mini 2012, i7 quad, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD (Mercury 6G)

- External HD over FW

- Bridged networking: Thunderbolt/ethernet adapter bridged to internal ethernet - network switch to thurnderbolt, internal ethernet to dCS Rossini

- LPS (Uptone JS-2) with internal mini MMK board

- Run headless with one of those dongles in the HDMI port keep graphics alive (screen sharing very slow otherwise)

 

OS:

macOSX 10.14.4 (downloaded the 10.14.4 installer so this is my scratch starting point)

 

Players:

Roon (over network to dCS Rossini)

Audirvana (not used much at the moment)

 

I run installation last night and did all of the standard things like turn wifi, bluetooth off, disable spotlight, etc.

 

I did NOT disable SIP so I cannot disable Notification services, etc. View on disabling SIP?

 

Any recommendations?

 

Thx.

 

I have chosen to entirely disable file sharing, BT, wifi by modifying the OSx itself, and I have large improvements to report. In case it is useful, here are some links with the codes I implemented...

https://github.com/herrbischoff/awesome-macos-command-line
https://www.mojo-audio.com/blog/optimizing-os-x-for-audio-video/
http://www.sonicstudio.com/amarra/howtobuildaserver.php
There are many more, if one googles, which you can use to scour the mac mini.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

 

I have chosen to entirely disable file sharing, BT, wifi by modifying the OSx itself, and I have large improvements to report. In case it is useful, here are some links with the codes I implemented...

https://github.com/herrbischoff/awesome-macos-command-line
https://www.mojo-audio.com/blog/optimizing-os-x-for-audio-video/
http://www.sonicstudio.com/amarra/howtobuildaserver.php
There are many more, if one googles, which you can use to scour the mac mini.

 

This topic was discussed excessively couple of years ago here. Some developers, as Jussi (HQ Player) warn against system optimization. You can not expect your system works properly if you apply this or another script from third parties. If you system does not work properly your dedicated music application may behave in unpredictable manner. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AnotherSpin, these are not random. They are specific lines for specific enablements or disablements. You can choose which ones to apply. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. In my system, this has worked perfectly. The computer, and the music application are both working perfectly. I can convert this back to a general purpose PC easily whenever I want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

AnotherSpin, these are not random. They are specific lines for specific enablements or disablements. You can choose which ones to apply. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. In my system, this has worked perfectly. The computer, and the music application are both working perfectly. I can convert this back to a general purpose PC easily whenever I want.

 

Thank you, I am quite familiar with optimization scripts. Tried/used most, also those you didn't mention. Not anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many here I have not mentioned. None of the ones I have implemented (and I have been quite discriminating about them) will create any problems. But a random sweep of all codes in github will definitely create problems. Anyone who embarks on a journey of optimization must do it correctly. But it is not as black and white as you put it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

There are many here I have not mentioned. None of the ones I have implemented (and I have been quite discriminating about them) will create any problems. But a random sweep of all codes in github will definitely create problems. Anyone who embarks on a journey of optimization must do it correctly. But it is not as black and white as you put it.

 

It is not black and white. I use dedicated mac mini for sound reproduction and some system functions are turned off with system preference options. I would not suggest to use questionable third party solutions for the purpose of frivolous tinkering within OS. I mentioned at the very beginning it was largely discussed here already couple of years before. Some people were very enthusiastic to scripts similar to what you are today. I also been there and it is over for me. Time and experience are great arbiters. You may want to use search option at the right top of the page. Of course, I am not trying to spoil your or anybody else opportunity to have fun. Some people prefer to make their own mistakes instead of learning from others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

By any chance is this the link you are referring to?

 

 

 

If I remember it well it started much earlier, 2013-2014, I guess. CAD optimization script, for instance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, AnotherSpin said:

 

This topic was discussed excessively couple of years ago here. Some developers, as Jussi (HQ Player) warn against system optimization. You can not expect your system works properly if you apply this or another script from third parties. If you system does not work properly your dedicated music application may behave in unpredictable manner. 

I'm pretty reluctant to run someone else's script for the reasons you state. I have maintained my own script for some time now so I know exactly what's happening

 

Disabling spotlight, notifications, and a few other things seems pretty obvious. File sharing, on the other hand, I cannot disable as I use it to sync the drives.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, miguelito said:

I'm pretty reluctant to run someone else's script for the reasons you state. I have maintained my own script for some time now so I know exactly what's happening

 

Disabling spotlight, notifications, and a few other things seems pretty obvious. File sharing, on the other hand, I cannot disable as I use it to sync the drives.

 

As I am using HQ Player predominantly I fell no need to 'optimize' an OS with exception of quite obvious things such as stopping spotlight, etc. When I was trying CAD script, it was giving some immediate effect, such as sound was seemingly more clean and crisp, but in a longer run it was more like thin and lifeless. 

 

The only trick I still use is to run a copy of HQ Player from virtual RAM. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, AnotherSpin said:

 

As I am using HQ Player predominantly I fell no need to 'optimize' an OS with exception of quite obvious things such as stopping spotlight, etc. When I was trying CAD script, it was giving some immediate effect, such as sound was seemingly more clean and crisp, but in a longer run it was more like thin and lifeless. 

 

The only trick I still use is to run a copy of HQ Player from virtual RAM. 

When you say clean, crisp, or thin, lifeless, do you say this after experimenting with equalization settings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

When you say clean, crisp, or thin, lifeless, do you say this after experimenting with equalization settings?

 

What was said has no connection with equalization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my case I am much less dependant on details of audio drivers/path such as integer mode since my connection is via ethernet to Roon.

 

I am inclined to disable SIP and leave it that way since I don't use this computer for anything but Roon (occasionally Audirvana) and very little software is installed in it. I want to be able to disable Notifications, Power Nap, etc, which require me to disable SIP.

 

Since SIP settings sit in NVRAM, does anyone here know if a future OS upgrade will re-enable it? (I understand I can always check by running 'csrutil status')


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

AudioDoctor, how does one implement this Direct Mode hack for A+?

 

 

Which OS Version are you using?


“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

Sierra. 

 

 

Are you comfortable using Terminal?


“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes...that is how the entire discussion started...me reporting vast improvements with turning off stuff like wifi and spotlight in teh OSx rather in preferences settings. It made such a huge positive difference that I am delighted. Have been typing commands line by line into Terminal. Please go ahead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is you mini connected to the DAC?  straight USB, or?

 

and what DAC is it?


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Cool_Jeeves said:

Oh yes...that is how the entire discussion started...me reporting vast improvements with turning off stuff like wifi and spotlight in teh OSx rather in preferences settings. It made such a huge positive difference that I am delighted. Have been typing commands line by line into Terminal. Please go ahead.

 

Alright, great. A few things, this involves terminal commands and replacing system files, you do this right it works, if you screw it up, I am not responsible. READ THE DIRECTIONS. It only works for A+ as far as I know.

 

That said, here you are.

 

Credit to RunHomeSlow for archiving the files and sharing them.

 

 

AudirvanaSierraDirectMode.zip


“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

How is you mini connected to the DAC?  straight USB, or?

and what DAC is it?

In my case: mini is configured with two ethernet ports, bridged. One of the ports uses the Thunderbolt-Ethernet adapter, the other one is the internal one. The one with the adapter connects to my home LAN, the internal one directly to my dCS Rossini. The bridge makes both the mini and Rossini show on the network as if they were each connected to a switch.

 

The DAC is a dCS Rossini (+ master clock) and I use Roon exclusively at the moment, over the network.

 

Edit: The exact connection between the mini and Rossini is:

 

mini <--> SOtM Isocat6 <--> Rossini

 

and the ethernet cables are not shielded - they are cat6 - on purpose to ensure fully differential operation without any ground loops.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Alright, great. A few things, this involves terminal commands and replacing system files, you do this right it works, if you screw it up, I am not responsible. READ THE DIRECTIONS. It only works for A+ as far as I know.

 

That said, here you are.

 

Credit to RunHomeSlow for archiving the files and sharing them.

 

 

AudirvanaSierraDirectMode.zip 158.34 kB · 4 downloads

In your experience, assuming the worst, if I screw up, is the machine salvageable? and secondly, if I want to later run J River on the same mac to experiment, or install a different music player, is that possible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...