CoreAudio and SonarworksASPProxy high CPU [MAC]

If you noticed a high CPU utilization whilst using the SoundID Reference app, this guide will explain a potential cause of this and provide a workaround for anyone affected by this issue.


In this article:


Status: Known issue 
Issue reported: Jul 6, 2023
Article updated: Nov 21, 2023


CoreAudio and SonarworksASPProxy cause a high CPU 

With the release of SoundID Reference version 5.7.3, some users experience high CPU while SoundID Reference is running. In activity Monitor is shows a CPU of over 100% for the CoreAudio process and over 30% for the SonarworksASPProxy process. This causes the computer fans to blow at full power, as well as the computer to freeze up. It affects macOS 10.14 and 10.15 user. Our developers are working on a fix. 





Currently, for those who encounter this issue, it's recommended to revert back to the previous version. In order to do so, follow these steps: 

  1. Uninstall SoundID Reference. How to uninstall SoundID Reference? [MAC]
  2. Launch the installer (download here) and click on Customize
  3. Click on the dropdown menu and select version (marked as "Beta")
  4. Click on the Install button to proceed




Related to

Was this article helpful?

4 out of 7 found this helpful

Have more questions? Submit a request



Thanks for wasting some of my time with a buggy update. Genuine thanks though for providing a timely solution.


Beta doesn't work either. Keeps saying "Preset switch failed". Then it gives an option to contact support, but the page doesn't exist. 


d_hydrate Sorry to hear that! If you are encountering a "Preset Switch Failed" error, please see our guide for some workaround suggestions here: "Preset switch failed" error message 

The update includes a major macOS driver rework which aims to resolve this error as well. This error may appear if you've reverted, but trying out the suggestions the guide linked hopefully will help get rid of it. 

Just in case, you can submit a ticket to our support team here: Submit a request


I wish that known issues for "compatible" OS's would be published clearly with the update notifications, or even in an email.


would love an update on this issue. does the november update address this at all?
I reverted to and it's fine working again.

prior to revert I was getting +100% CPU from sonarworksASP and/or coreaudio driver, even after forcequitting them multiple times/restarting computer. latency was atrocious and audio would frequently stop working altogether until a restart. even disabling sonarworks from autoloading with startup didn't solve it, CPU usage would just spike right back up. it was a headache until I found this thread.

I'm running Catalina 10.15.5 and can't update my OS any futher. (stable hackintosh reasons) I hope Catalina will continue to be supported


Nov. 19, 2023. The update is still burning up my intel Macbook Pro. Even when no audio apps are running, coreaudiod is at 95.5% and SonarworksASPProxy is at 31.3% CPU. After restarting these processes pop right up again unbidden. Very frustrating. Also drop down menu in the installer shows as the oldest versionnot as in instructions.


Same story goes here, SonarworksASPProxy at more than 30% and coreaudiod above 100% with SoundID 5.9 using Catalina 10.15.5... I've downgraded to I've enabled "virtual monitoring" in 5.9 which i won't be able to trully try since i've activate it yesterday...


I have this issue on Catalina 10.15.7. The problem with coreAudiod persisted somehow even when I uninstalled SoundID, so I had to format my iMac. I have not installed it this time and I'm waiting for the bug to be fixed.


Hi, thanks for your comments, sorry to hear you are encountering this issue as well!

This issue is still being looked at by our developer team, at the moment we don't have an ETA on the fix just yet (it will persist with the latest 5.9.0 update). 

I will open up support requests on your behalves, so we can link your cases to the development report and gather some additional information. 


I saw this in the latest release notes and was hopeful.

"SoundID Reference is fully compatible with macOS Sonoma (macOS 14.0 and above), no OS-specific issues have been found during testing."

This is not true, as the issue still exists, and this thread confirms the issue is known to the programmers.

Please be more transparent in the release notes so I don't waste more time installing and reverting. I have significant trust issues with this company now. Not good.


SoundID Reference VST3 Plugin.vst3 v.5.2.3, what I assumed to be a previous version of the plugin, after the current version made my DAW balk. Turned off UI animation on plugins, quit all apps that weren't being used. This situation forced me to render tracks one plugin at a time, which is ridiculous. Even with no audio apps running coreaudiod and launchd are still running. This machine is ten years old, I know, but these background processes are a major pain.
Model Identifier: MacBookPro10,2
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MBHyper-Threading Technology:
EnabledMemory: 8 GB


It’s not your computer. Even on newer machines it completely crashes and has to be force quit (sometimes from Activity Monitor).


Hi, thanks for your comments, sorry to hear you are encountering this issue!

Ben Mellott - Sorry to hear about this. This issue appears to be happening on macOS 10.14 and 10.15 machines from what we have observed from user reports. This problem also appeared only with a more recent update and was not present before. Our developers are looking into and I see that you have also submitted a support ticket for this, thank you!

philips666 - it sounds like you may still be running a newer driver version if the issue still persists after reverting to a 5.2 version. Could you please find SoundID Reference.driver in this location: Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/SoundID Reference.driver -> right-click on it -> Get info -> and check the version that it is showing there. If the version there does not match the current app version you have installed (e.g. the file still shows version 5.8.0 or 5.9.0), please delete this SoundID Reference.driver file and run the SoundID Reference installer again (making sure that you follow the same installation steps for installing a legacy version - in the installer, select "Customize" -> select the necessary version from the dropdown -> proceed with the install). Then check whether the issue is still present on your machine. 

d_hydrate - Can you let us know if you are also experiencing a high CPU utilization issue of the CoreAudio and SonarworksASPProxy processes, or is the app crashing due to some other triggers, in other situations? Thanks!


I deleted the HAL driver, I used Terminal to create an Audio folder in Preferences. Killed processes, restart after restart. Still launchd and coreaudiod made the fan spin up and dominate CPU. Since I’m up against a deadline I deleted everything SoundID and got on with work. This galls me even further because I bought a set of calibrated Beyerdynamics from Sonarworks


I'm getting the same issue on a macOS 10.15.7 (Hackintosh). Unfortunately, for me downgrading is not really an option because one of my key point of using SoundID Reference is Virtual Monitoring that is not available in the earlier versions.

Zane Please let me know if I can help by e.g. beta testing an upcoming fix, providing debug logs or whatever.

Please sign in to leave a comment.