Should you upgrade to OS X Lion?

Depending on what you’re trying to do the answer could go either way.  There are a lot of new apps that people may really be into but from an audio standpoint – I’d recommend holding off for now.

For myself, I’m going to hold off on it – my 1st edition Apogee Duet doesn’t have updated drivers, and while PodHD and POD Edit work – there’s no word on POD FARM.

A while ago I saw a really amusing interview with Ice T, where he showed a MAC running OS 8. something and what he said that no one was allowed to update that computer because every time there was an update in the past – everything was broken and nothing ran.  At the point that everything ran and it worked perfectly – the upgrades stopped.

There’s always a desire to GAS and move to the next better thing – but trust me – having a stable platform is worth its weight in gold.  Additionally – now that the install is a download from the APP store rather than a DVD – I’m further convinced that there’s no need for me to upgrade until I know that everything is rock solid.   As I’m running an older MacBook Pro there would have to be a major performance boost down the road to warrant it but it may be more appealing.


If you do decide to take the plunge make sure to back up your existing system!!


A partial compatibility list


In yet another reason, I really like Sweetwater – they’ve posted a list of current compatibility information for various products.  The information below is from their site and is accurate as of press time (7/21/11) – but for more current information you should see the site directly here – or check with individual manufacturers:

• Apple Logic Studio (9) and Final Cut Pro X are compatible with Lion. Be sure to download the latest updates for each.

• APOGEE has announced that the following products are compatible with Lion (NOTE, be sure to download the latest drivers from
Duet 2, GiO, JAM, ONE, Symphony I/O

At this time, Apogee is still developing and testing the following products for Lion compatibility: Duet, Ensemble, and Symphony 64 for X-Series and Rosetta Series converters. Apogee recommends waiting until updates for these products are final before upgrading to Lion.

• AVID: At this time Pro Tools 9 and earlier versions of Pro Tools software are not compatible with OS X Lion. Avid is working directly with Apple in order to establish full compatibility with Pro Tools 9.

• FOCUSRITE is in the process of testing their entire product line for Lion compatibility and do not recommend upgrading yet. However, based on preliminary results, these products appear to work with Lion:

Control 2802
Liquid Channel Control Software
Liquid Mix
Saffire 6 USB
Scarlett 8i6
Scarlett 18i6
Midnight Plug-in Suite

• MOTU has approved the current drivers of audio interfaces and MIDI interfaces for use with Mac OSX Lion.

Digital Performer 7.2.3 not compatible with Lion at this time, but an update to correct this is in development.

MOTU is testing their virtual instruments for compatibility. MOTU suggests waiting to update to Lion until official results are posted.

• NATIVE INSTRUMENTS has discovered an issue where running 64-bit versions of their applications with Mac OS 10.7 will cause a crash. This happens with both stand-alone versions and with plug-in versions. The cause of this issue has been successfully determined, and updates for the affected products are in development, with their releases planned for September or earlier.

In the meantime, users should utilize the 32-bit versions of NI applications, or should consider refraining from updating to Mac OS X 10.7 until the updates are finalized. An article on switching between 32- and 64-bit operation can be found here:

• PRESONUS will be posting beta drivers for all of their software, interfaces, and mixers in the very near future. We will post here when these are available.

• PROPELLERHEAD has announced that the latest versions of Reason and Record are fully functional with Mac OS 10.7 Lion. At this time, Recycle is not compatible. A beta version will be available soon to registered owners.

• STEINBERG is in the process of testing Cubase 6 and their other products with Lion. They recommend waiting to upgrade to Lion until their results are posted.

• WAVES Version 8 currently works under OSX Lion with the following hosts:

Logic 9
Cubase 6
Pro tools 9.0.5 beta
GTR Stand Alone
Multitrack Native and SG
Main Stage 2.1.3
Wavelab 7.1
Peak 7


Special thanks again to everyone at Sweetwater for compiling this list!!

If you’ve upgraded to Lion, please consider taking a moment to drop a quick reply to this post and let me know what you’re audio experience has been.


Thanks for reading!


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