Due to the recent increase of interest from Mac users and some current Windows users for REW for macOS, I decided to share my experience and some basic steeps that would lead you to properly setup your MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini or iMac to run REW. To be honest, there is not too much to be said if you are a Mac user like me but if you are a Windows user thinking on switching to Mac ecosystem or wants to experience REW for macOS, then this guide can help you through the configuration process.
If you are planning on purchasing a Mac computer on the used market to only run REW, make sure you check the “Vintage and Obsolete” Apple list before making any purchase. Apple does not bring support to any hardware after they are part of that list. Meaning, the latest macOS won’t run properly on those models.
Personally, I would recommend any 13” or 15” MacBook Pro Retina from 2013 to 2015 as those have HDMI output and USB ports so docking hubs or adapters are not necessary. Same if you have a Mac mini as they have HDMI out and USB ports. If you have a MacBook or MacBook Air, then you would need a Thunderbolt 2 or USB–C hub (depending on the year model) that converts the Thunderbolt 2 or USB-C port to HDMI and USB ports. Same apply for any MacBook Pro 2016 or newer as they only have Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports. For those models, a hub would be necessary.
For Macs with Thunderbolt 1 or 2 port, you can get this adapter to convert the Thunderbolt port to HDMI out:
Most Macs with Thunderbolt 1 or 2 port, have at least one USB 2.0 or 3.0 port that you can use to connect your UMIK-1 mic. In case your Mac has not USB port, but it has Thunderbolt 1 or 2, then get this hub:
For Macs with Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C ports only, these include MacBook Pro late-2016 with Touch Bar, you can get this hub:
If you have an iMac from mid-2011 to late-2015, then you would need a Thunderbolt 2 to HDMI adapter like the one posted before as iMacs don’t have HDMI out. If your iMac is from 2017 and up, then you would need a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to HDMI adapter like this one:
Some Macs before 2010 have DisplayPort which looks the same as Thunderbolt 1 port. These Macs with DisplayPort do not carry audio over HDMI so they won’t work with REW.
Sometimes you can find very good deals buying a Refurbished Apple Mac directly from the Apple Online Store. Check this link if you are looking for Refurbished or on Clearance Apple Macs:
2.- REW for macOS Version and additional drivers/software:
If your Mac is running 10.8.3 OS X Mountain Lion to 10.13 macOS High Sierra, then download REW for macOS 5.19 latest version. You can download it directly from here:
If your Mac is running 10.14 macOS Mojave, then download REW for macOS 5.20 from AV Nirvana Forum. You have to sign up on AV Nirvana in order to be able to download REW V5.20.
REW for macOS does not need any drivers or additional software. The proper version of REW for macOS is all you need in terms of software to get REW running in your Mac.
3.- Setting Up your Mac and “Audio Midi Setup”:
The beautiful thing about REW for macOS is that it’s truly Plug and Play. After you download the proper REW for macOS version and finish the installation, basically that is all you need to do in terms of software installation. As a safe protocol, after the installation of REW for macOS is done, I would recommend checking a few things before start measuring with REW.
For this tutorial, I'm using a 13" MacBook Pro Retina mid-2014 running macOS 10.14.5 Mojave (latest macOS update)
3.1.- Plug your miniDSP UMIK-1 mic in the USB port of your Mac and connect the Mac HDMI out with a HDMI cable into your receiver or processor designated HDMI input. If you are a Mac user, you will know if your Mac recognizes the receiver/pre pro and UMIK-1 mic. If you are a Windows user and you have not enough experience with macOS ecosystem, then go to System Preferences as showed in this window:
You can access System Preferences by clicking on the System Preferences icon on the "Dock" or clicking on the Apple Logo at the top left of your screen, second option on the drop down menu below "About This Mac".
Now click on "Sound" (speaker icon) and you will see a window like this:
Sound Output window:
Sound Input window:
Go back to System Preferences main menu and click on Displays (screen icon) and you will see a window like this (make sure Mirroring is OFF checking "Use As Separate Display"):
Again, make sure “Mirror Built-IN Retina Display” is unchecked unless you want to see on your TV or projector screen what is happening when taking measurements. The problem with checking “Mirror....” is that if your projector or TV is 4K, then your Retina Display Mac will change from Retina Recommended resolution to native 4K resolution and the text on your Mac screen will look super small.
You can also press "Gather Windows" so you can change resolution or other settings in your TV or projector.
3.2.- Go to Applications/Utilities/Audio Midi Setup.
If your receiver and mic were recognized by your Mac, on the left side of the screen you will see an HDMI device, in my case I have a Denon AVR-X6500H. On Macs without HDMI port, you will see DisplayPort device instead of HDMI device. You will also see your UMIK-1 mic as an available input device.
You would see a window with Input and Output devices. It is very important to check that the sample rate match for both, input and output. The UMIK-1 mic has a fixed sample rate of 48.0KHz so for the output you have to select from the drop down menu "8 channels - 16 bit integer 48.0KHz" or "8 channels - 24 bit integer 48KHz". The UMIK-1 mic is 24 bit/48KHz but selecting the Output as 16 bit/48KHz works the same. The critical factor is the Sample Rate, not the Bit Depth.
Here is the Input window:
Go back to the Output window and press "Configure Speakers", you will see a window like this if 2 ch is selected as default:
From the Speaker "Configuration" drop down menu, select your appropriated speaker setup, in my case is "7.1 Rear Surround" and "Geometric"
After selected, press "Apply" and you are done with Audio Midi Setup configuration.