Issues with multichannel music after upgrading core hardware

Roon Core Machine

2020 Mac Mini M1 latest updates 8GB Ram library on connected Gmobile 4TB drive

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Connected via Ethernet to Cisco switch

Connected Audio Devices

Connected to Marantz SR6012 via HDMI

Number of Tracks in Library


Description of Issue

Last evening I upgraded from a 2014 Mac Mini to a 2020 Mac Mini M1. I followed backup procedures and loaded up the new machine with Roon Early Access (just as it was on my previous machine).

Nothing else changed, I’m using the same HDMI cable, same input on Marantz etc

As instructed I ran device setup for the Marantz as a connected device, found it on the list of devices and added it. Using the advanced settings I switched the channel mapping to 5.1 (essentially copying the settings from the previous machine). It shows up as Marantz SR6012 coreaudio device.

2ch plays just fine but when I attempted to play multichannel music there was almost no sound from the center channel. With my ear against the speaker I could hear occasional low sound but nothing else. For music where the vocals are mapped to the center channel it sounded like an instrumental. The rears worked fine.

I confirmed the Marantz is receiving a multichannel PCM signal from the Mac mini and all appropriate speakers are active. I also checked multichannel disc via my Oppo 103 and the center channel sound was present.

I restarted both the Mac and Marantz several times and unplugged the HDMI in several different sequences (I e., leaving the Mac on, unplugging HDMI, turning of Marantz, plugging HDMI back in, turning on Marantz). Nothing I did changed the sound.

I also checked the midi settings within the Mac Mac mini and it showed that it was mapped to 8ch 24bit. I could send test tones from the Mac to the speakers and all worked fine at the same volume.

I’m at a loss as to what the issue is.

Thanks for your help!

I suspect you are experiencing the result of incorrect channel mapping. The standard 5.1 channel order is FL/FR/C/Sub/SL/SR but not all devices/setups play(!) by that rule. It seems to me that your center speaker is getting the Sub signal. Do you have a sub in the system? Is it working properly?

Thanks for the suggestion. The subs are operating properly and receiving the Low frequencies. I tested it with Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel, the opening instrumental should be coming through center, I get nothing, subs sound as they should when the bass line comes in. His vocals are also missing.

I also just swapped out HDMi cables to see if the cable is suddenly faulty but I got the same results.

Two other interesting notes:

  1. I noticed, when switching songs, that on several occasions Roon “loses” the audio zone for a few seconds, only to reconnect. That never happened before on the old

  2. When I swapped out the HDMI cables and started playing music, it was scrambled/high pitched with the music behind it. I had to unplug and reconnect the HDMI cable to get it to play properly again.

I’m wondering if I have a faulty HDMI port on the Mac

Hello @support team. Will you please weigh in on this? If the Mac Mini is the issue I’d like to return it. Any suggestions on how to test this?


I don’t think a faulty port or cable will cause one channel to act weird. Multichannel PCM, if I remember correctly, is a big long string of bits with each channel landing at specific word lengths (or something like that) so having just 1 channel not getting the bits isn’t really a thing. The whole decode would be off.

This I second. Get a test that moves from channel to channel to verify.

Also, at least make sure the Mac to Maratz is working as expected:

Also, did you recalibrate the Maratz? It could just be something has the volume turned way down on the center channel. Are you possibly in a movie mode when you need to be in a music mode?

Thanks. I’ll take another look at the settings to be sure. I have double checked the volume in the Marantz and all the speaker channels are set appropriately as are the setting for output (movie vs music/Dolby etc.). I’ll try and reconnect the told Mac mini and see if the problem persists. Movies and music from other sources map fine so I assume it’s something that the Mac mini is outputting incorrectly.


Beat me to the link. That’s the place to go and actually test each channel to rule out any issues with the computer.

I’m assuming OP is running Ventura

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This KB article on Roons configuration needs may also be helpful

Thanks! I’ll review both and see if I can resolve.

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Happy New Year. I’ve followed all the suggestions and yet I’m still not getting proper sound out of the center channel. I used the midi function within the Mac Mini to map and test each channel. Each channel is playing a test tone at equal volume and mapped properly. I confirmed the Marantz is getting a PCM signal and that it’s mapped for 5.1 within Roon.

I’ve played other 5.1 music through my SACD player with no issues so it’s not a speaker issue.

I erased Roon from Mac mini, eraced and reset the Mac mini and reinstalled Roon, all to no avail.

I’m at a loss at this point as to what to do.

Any suggestions?

So to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I reconnected my old 2014 Mac mini that had Roon Core on it and reauthorized it. I played several 5.1 tracks and each played fine. Center channel worked perfectly. I captured the settings on the Mac mini and Roon and replicated to the new machine and experience the same problem - no center sound.

I did however notice three interesting differences:

  1. I had Roon Exclusive Mode set to yes on my old machine, when I set it to yes on the new machine it doesn’t work - it quickly skips through all my tracks, like a fast forward but not sound

  2. On the old machine the was an option in Roons device setup for the Marantz 6012 to select “DSD Playback Strategy” which I had set to “convert to PCM” on the new system, that option is no longer there. I tried both DSD and Flac 5.1 files but neither played center channel sound.

  3. The old Mac Mini showed output as simply HDMI but the new Mac recognizes the Marantz and shows it connected as Marantz6012.

Thanks for your help!

Me again, I’ve finally solved the issue after stumbling across someone with the same issue using Jriver software.

The Mac Mini M1 sets the center channel to 4 and the sub to 3, I tried swapping them within Midi function but got the same result out of the Marantz - no center sound. Well, apparently Roon (and Jriver I learned) doesn’t seem to pay attention to how you map the channels with Mac Midi function, it just reassigns channel 3 to the center. So swapping them within the Mac midi tool doesn’t change anything

I found an old Roon support article about using Procedural EQ in the DSP engine to remap the channels. I did so, swapping what Roon thought was the center to the sub and sub to center and voila! It worked.

So in the end, it was about channel mapping but it required use of the Roon DSP engine to resolve.

I do find it interesting that it requires this type of tinkering but so be it.

Thanks to all those who provided suggestions!

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