Don’t Upgrade Your Music Computer To OS X Lion – Or Kitties Will Suffer

Don't upgrade to Mac OS X Lion, or kitties will suffer

OS X Lion – the latest super whiz-bang update to Apple’s computer operating system – is out, and you were probably starting to wonder if the apple-philes at Synthtopia were going to have some fawning post telling you how awesome it is, so you could post some clever, slightly bitchy comment.

Well – no such luck.

In fact – as cool as OS X Lion may be, don’t upgrade your music computer to it yet, or kitties will suffer. And puppies, too.


Many major music apps have yet to be updated for OS X Lion. If you upgrade now, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll run into some serious headaches which will take a lot of time and effort to sort out, leaving pets everywhere without a friend.

How big are the OS X problems for musicians? Here’s the rundown.

Here are the updates we’ve seen:

  • Ableton – don’t update or kitties will suffer; Update – 8.2.5 offers compatibility.
  • Algoriddim – djay updated with some sweet features.
  • Apogee – still testing its products.
  • Apple Garage Band – latest version should work.
  • Apple Logic Pro – use 9.1.4 or later.
  • Avid Pro Tools – more kitties will suffer; “As of this writing Pro Tools 9 and all earlier versions of Pro Tools software are not compatible and will not work with OS X Lion.”
  • Cockos Reaper – appear to be only minor compatibility issues, based on forum reports.
  • Cakewalk Sonar – keep dreaming.
  • Focusrite – still testing their product line.
  • iZotope has announced that its software is compatible with OS X Lion.
  • Madrona Labswaiting on DAWs to be updated to test Aalto.
  • M-Audio – many devices have been qualified, but see their site for details:
    • Axiom Pro 25/49/61 Firmware Updater
    • Conectiv*
    • Fast Track
    • Fast Track Pro
    • Fast Track Ultra
    • Fast Track Ultra 8R
    • Fast Track USB
    • KeyStudio 49i
    • M-Audio Black Box
    • Micro USB
    • MobilePre MKII
    • MobilePre USB
    • Producer USB
    • ProFire 610
    • ProFire 2626
    • ProKeys Sono 61
    • ProKeys Sono 88
    • Pro Tools SE 8.0.3 – Patch 003 required
    • Transit USB
    • Venom
    • Xponent*
  • MOTU – current versions of MOTU software and hardware drivers appear to be compatible with Lion, although final compatibility testing is still on-going. Digital Performer 7.2.3 is currently not compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion). Wait for an upcoming release of Digital Performer (7.2.4) before you upgrade.  Updates here.
  • Native Instruments – kittens will suffer; “refrain from updating to Mac OS X 10.7 for the time being’, Battery 3.2.2 has been qualified, updates here.
  • Propellerhead – Reason & Record fully compatible; Recycle not compatible and update is in the works. Info here.
  • Focusrite – issues with Saffire PRO 14, Saffire PRO 24, Saffire PRO 24 DSP, Saffire PRO 40, Liquid Saffire 56, Liquid Mix HD, Forté Suite & Scarlett Plug-In Suite.
  • Novation – known issues with Automap, Nio.
  • Sibelius – 6.2 or higher should work
  • Steinberg – they’ve published a compatibility chart; known issues with Cubase, Groove Agent, Halion, Nuendo.

If you’ve got additional information, please leave a comment or link below. And, if you’ve upgraded to OS X Lion, let us know how it’s working!


Image: by Mourner

40 thoughts on “Don’t Upgrade Your Music Computer To OS X Lion – Or Kitties Will Suffer

  1. I just upgraded, using Logic Pro 9 + WAVES + Access Ti + Access Ti Snow adionational external gear. everything works fine =)

  2. Just upgraded too. Using Ableton, Waves, Access Ti, Moog Lil Phatty, Apogee Ensemble. Apogee is a fail. Freezing up like crazy. Using Virus as a sound card for now. What was I thinking?

  3. Installing a new OS version is by no means a trivial affair. I for one have always waited for the first or second revision of a new major version to roll out before upgrading and so far that policy has served me well. There were some inevitable nuisances when switching to 10.6 (like Java apps using MIDI breaking) and I expect that this will hold true for 10.7 as well. One thing that has me a little on edge besides the current compatibility problems with software I use are the changes in the AudioUnit API that seem to require some tedious manual changes to the corresponding XCode projects. I'm happy, though, that XCode itself is presently available for free from the AppStore like it used to be. Every serious user of any personal computer platform needs a compiler and other development tools, and be it only to compile third party software. So, apart from some manufacturers lagging in support for Lion for the time being, the world does not yet seem to come to an end concerning Apple. Considering the alternatives (Windows or with much throwing away of investments, both financial and in time spent learning tools, GNU/Linux) I still think that Mac OS is the lesser evil. Let's hope it stays that way.

  4. can you please fix your RSS feed!!! im not getting any updates through any of my readers and ive tried reloading the feed url to no avail! please help!

  5. I had always imagined that they would save the name "Lion" for the real king of the beasts. Maybe with iOS elbowing into the lime-light, and trying to keep both platforms somewhat seemless and interactive, this might be it. (What's the opposite of an exclamation point?)

    FWIW, I have start-up partitions with 10.4 and 10.5 on my desktop, and 10.6.8 on my laptop. I'm gonna wait– but not too much longer. Just have to have my main software titles and reporting compatibility, first.

  6. People are having problems with the Alesis io|14 and io|24 audio interfaces. Alesis posted a Twitter update that they're testing the Lion GM version, hopefully a driver update will follow.

  7. I updated to 10.7 the day it was released without any fears but I expected there would be a few hitches. So far– none really. At least none that were not already issues explained by developers.

    NI's Fm8 and Absynth 5 both working fine under Logic Pro 9, even the 64 bit versions, however, FM8's standalone has some problem closing down. There's probably some other things too but NI's working on it.

    Logic Pro 9, works just fine.
    GarageBand 11, works just fine.
    Numerology Pro 3, works just fine.

    I have 99 plugins added to Logic all working at least the same as before. Same with Garageband and Numerology. Actually, some plugins seem to be working better; for example, Arturia's Moog Modular V and Minimoog V both are behaving better and are very stable. They were before under Snow Leopard after a clean install and the latest updates from Arturia, but seem even better now using either 32 bit mode or the wrapper. I still have some plugs to check yet but all worked just loading and checking for audio. We'll see anything down the road if there is a problem.

    I don't use things that are half-assed. So no Automap! I have Novation XL, Akai, and Korg controllers and all seem to be functioning well, that is, as they were intended to by the manufactures.

    You know, if one gets rid of that silly attitude about brand loyalty and go look for yourself you just might find the Apple makes some pretty good stuff. No one will go to hell if you don't like it and use something else. Oh yeah, you won't get a cut of Steve's for praising it either. You just pay money to someone and take a ride so have some fun.

    No real problems to report with Lion. No kitties suffered and my puppies don't care about Apple.

  8. What about Renoise man! Does Renoise work!? Just kidding, they already released an update for Lion before Lion even hit the app store.

  9. I'm a PC user, but an apple fanatic friend of mine was telling me about all the great new additions to Lion. Really, really impressive stuff! I must admit I found myself considering an OS switch for a split second. Here's to hoping all your necessary updates come quickly…. As a Windows user, I know that pain *cough* vista *cough* *cough*

  10. I've also dived right in using Logic + Virus TI + Focusrite Saffire 56 + bunch of plugs, so far so good, kitty will live to see another day:-))

  11. Win 7 is an improvement – but Office 2000 is a train wreck. At this point in time, the case for using Windows for music is pretty weak, unless you use FL Studio or Sonar, or are just concerned about price.

    These Lion headaches are expected and will get ironed out within a few months.

  12. The Windows audio drivers are what kill me. It's worth it to pay for Apple just to avoid that. Plus macs are generally smaller and quieter than a cheap PC would be. To me gaming is really the only reason somebody would buy a PC but then why not just get a PS3 or whatever instead if that's your thing.

  13. I've ran into one problem with logic on lion!! When selecting a project file to open logic it comes up "the file named (XXXXXX) can not be opened" other than that Lion is pretty cool! Some plugins are not compatible yet though… Apogee duet is not compatible yet either and it already august 12th and still no update. On apogee site is said update coming in august so we will see..

  14. I had to buy a new mac that came with Lion. It’s been a nightmare. Most of my synths won’t hold their security information. I have to enter their serial numbers anytime I use them. With some it’s no big deal, I just type it in and go. However, with things like the Applied Acoustics stuff, I have to enter challenge codes and the like. It’s more time consuming. Some of my Synths just don’t work. Others work utilizing the 32 bit bridge. There is no rush to update to lion. If you have a stable system, use your stable system. I never would have upgraded so soon if my computer hadn’t died…there’s nothing worse than cobbling together synth sounds when you really want to use a particular synth. Also, Arturia has the worst customer service. I’d recommend staying away from buying their products.

  15. I’ve upgraded to Lion and Logic is working ok (other than the fact that I have to use Terminal to open the programme. The problem I am having is installing VSTs. I have managed to get LinPlug Albino, MorphioX, going, But Alpha, FreeAlpha, RMV, Octopus, just won’t work. It’s really annoying – has anyone else encountered the same problems? Or has anyone managed to get them sorted? Or, does anyone know of any good synths that are compatible and working?

    I feel bad for the kittens.

  16. Lion is awful, I cannot revert to snow leopard on this machine, because it shipped with lion, even though the model macbook 7,1 should have shipped with snow leopard. VLC is skipping every 2 secs, once it gets thrown into a skipping fit due to using transmission or more than 3 tabs in firefox simultaneously. logic seems fine however I wish lion never changed core audio since now my hardware is not compatible rendering the machine useless as a daw. Many changes were started apparently with no intention of completion.

    for pc, a hooked up windows xp pro sp3 is the best microsoft has their name on
    for mac. a hooked up leopard (maybe maybe snow, prob not) is the best apple has its name on

  17. I’ve just updated os x lion and it seems not to support neither propeller reason, NI massive nor guitar pro.

    However pro tools le works fine.

  18. I personally have not experienced any issues with the latest version of automap with my nocturn 49 inside of logic. Garageband also runs fine

  19. I have upgraded to Lion and everything is running fine, some things snappier than in SL…
    including Reason… it’s common every time a new version of OS comes out for a bunch
    of bugs to appear, but in 6 months, usually a vast majority of them are gone or at least
    a workaround comes along…
    on a non computer music related note: still waiting for a Canon EOS utility Lion compatible,
    they promised a release in the first quarter of 2012… sigh

  20. No AudioEase Wrapper for Lion?????? What is one to do with Digig Perf. 7 and Mac OS Lion… anyone now hope to get Virtual Guitar 1 to work….. it had great fx.

    Please also reply to email address


  21. Should musicians use computers at all? Sounds like a plot to me. More of that never ending monkey climb of consumerism. That new stuff I just spent six months figuring out how to use is now obsolete and needs to be upgraded? Only it won’t work with my hardware? How far do you want me to bend over?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *