Digidesign has “announced” their Vista support information, but it’s leaving some users scratching their heads. Fully a year after Windows Vista went Gold Master, Digidesign doesn’t seem to be able to get a clear support picture together. How odd is Digi’s Vista support? Let’s see:

  • Only Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Business are supported, not Home Premium — even though that’s a version typically bundled by default on most new Vista machines. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, as hardware support for audio is identical across versions, even in Vista Basic, and not a single other developer in the industry appears to be taking the same approach.
  • M-Powered and LE are supported, but no HD. And, in fact, there’s not even an announcement about when to expect HD support.
  • Digidesign still has no 64-bit support. Maybe not a deal killer, but SONAR has had 64-bit support for ages, and even Steinberg recently got in on the game with Cubase and Nuendo in a technology preview. MOTU has 64-bit Windows drivers, among others.

All of this comes with basically no explanation. If the operating system really isn’t ready, couldn’t Digidesign say so, or give some timetable on when they expect the situation to be remedied? And what’s the deal with failing to support Home Premium, again with no reasoning? This seems like not simply a failure of support, but a failure of communication. Vista may not be perfect, but given the number of PCs shipping with the OS onboard, ignoring it entirely doesn’t seem like a reasonable option. Maybe some more details for us, Digi? (I’ve had problems with Vista, but support from music software and hardware makers I’ve actually found to be good, with this exception.)

Information on Pro Tools Compatibility with Windows Vista [Digidesign]

  • hence the reason why so many people havent "upgraded" to Vista yet


    I cant understand why HD support isnt ready. Surely thatd be top of their priorities?? Very strange

  • c

    big companies tend to be less agile. digidesign proably has 10x as many employees as Cakewalk. maybe more?

    Adobe hasnt even released a 64bit version of Flash. and they must have many orders of magnitude more users and employees than either company..

    all the one-developer linux audio drivers and projects worked on 64bit in 2003 or 4..

    so i think theres a law of inverse-proportionality here somewhere

  • Actually, this is a big reason I didn't keep using Pro Tools and went to Sonar when it came time to pick a home DAW.

    They're really screwing up. There aren't a lot of hard numbers, but the Valve hardware survey seems to indicate that Vista is picking up users at a regular pace now. That may well be the reason that the "prosumer" versions (M-Powered and LE) got compatibility and HD has to wait.

  • Well, right, and in fairness gamers have a much stronger need to run XP and are more likely to be savvy enough to regularly switch OSes or dual boot.

    I'm still thinking about the average consumer: "I just bought a new computer. I want to run Pro Tools LE. What, I have to upgrade to Vista Ultimate now?" And even for HD, surely they could have something more than the few sentences they posted to their website? Not even to single out Digi on this; getting information out there is important.

  • mar

    I think digi takes a different approach here.

    I don't think "no support" means "it doesn't work".

    It probably means "better wait if your life depends on it"

    Why should you care about the OS if you are

    running a HD System? You're probably not even

    going to connect it to the Internet and run demanding

    software instruments from a second computer.

  • mar

    I think Microsoft is to blame here.

    Why 4 different Versions? (or even more?)

    Digi probably take their responsibility more serious and really thoroughly test out the systems.

    (Or they don't have the resources Steinberg have?)

    Can you just buy any Windows computer and expects Cubase or Sonar to run perfectly?

    With any external USB-Box???

  • "Can you just buy any Windows computer and expects Cubase or Sonar to run perfectly?

    With any external USB-Box???"

    For the most part, yes. Hence the frustration.

  • Yeah, I'll second that. I'm using SONAR here, and it does work perfectly with any external USB box. 😉

    In fact, I'd say generally it's the stuff from Cakewalk and Steinberg and Image Line and Ableton etc. that's running perfectly more than Microsoft's OS itself. (ahem) But you know, this isn't some niche operating system. It's been feature frozen for over a year. It's been shipping on nearly every new system since January. If it's broken in some ways, it's broken, but you can at least say what those issues are if you've been testing it. (Note the *if*.)

    Also, I'll take issue with the idea that you wouldn't connect a studio machine to the Internet. It's 2007. There's an extraordinary amount you can do from a single machine reliably. You may well want to run XP, but then if Digi feels they can't support Vista, they should be explicit about why, and talk about support timeframes. And I really can't come up with a reason why they wouldn't support Home Premium, the most common Vista flavor, especially when the differences amount to bundled tools that have nothing to do with audio.

  • Aren Downie

    Let's not forget that most Pro Tools Systems, especially HD systems, are Mac based. It is strange that they would support some versions of Vista but not others. Why ARE there different versions of Vista anyway?

    @Peter, I would take issue with you taking issue with the online studio computer- just for some critical cases: I wouldn't want to explain to a director or producer that the stage is down because we're having trouble with some new freeware VST's etc… that are crashing the DAW/Console/Recorder 🙂

  • Well, okay, maybe in a studio environment with multiple techs you need to disconnect from the Internet just to keep them from doing something dumb with freeware downloads. (Not that Pro Tools will cause any of those issues, seeing as it's incompatible with VST!) But it's not like the Internet is going to reach in and destroy your studio setup. So that's the only reason I react to that. The last time I remember keeping a studio machine offline was when a Pro Tools chassis interfered with the operation of an Ethernet connection on System 7.

    It's a decision a studio could make for a variety of reasons — fine. But let's at least agree that the flipside is true. You could be online for scheduling, email, file sharing, remote sessions, etc. Logic now supports .Mac syncing so you can load presets. None of this is necessary in all cases, but none of it is destructive.

    Of course, you don't need Vista for that.

    But I'd also question that PCs aren't used for Pro Tools. Macs are possible, but PCs have been a big part of the studio market for a long, long time.

    I won't defend the wisdom of Microsoft's multiple SKUs for Vista, other than to say you can look up the feature sets and for most users, Vista Home Premium is fine. Business gives you some additional utilities for power users, Ultimate is really only necessary if you need those utilities *and* Media Center functionality. But the media frameworks are the same across the OSes, and you won't see the compatibility problems Media Center Edition on XP caused. What compatibility problems you have, you'll almost always have on all the OS editions. (Whoo-hoo!)

  • Even with closed source software the customer is not taken seriously. I predict same thing will happen to software industry as music industry.

  • Bye Bye Digi

    A few points…

    Yes Vista needs four versions because, let's see, the OS will end up running on close to what, a BILLION computers during it's cycle…I think four flavors is a rather conservative approach considering the exponential number of hardware configurations available in the PC world (note, Macs have hardware lock in). Oh, and published "feature" lists don't include ALL technical differences between versions – just the functionality to the end user.

    Communication with your users is critical! Digi seems to not recognize the importance of *accurate* timetables regarding OS support. None of their "pre" Vista support communication mentioned that certain Vista versions would not be supported. It seems that most in the industry who have done extensive testing *recommend* Home Premium…but Digi omits it? WTF?

    I'm running PTLE 7.4 on Home Premium and it seems to work just fine. I would have purchased Ultimate had I known then what I know now. But again, at the time in June they said support was coming this Summer. Then when Fall rolled around the DUC forums kept pushing for a revised date since "Summer" had passed (and all those in Australia kept asking "Summer in which hemisphere?"). The projection was finally revised to say Winter and likely early '08.

    I'm ready to jump ship and go 64 bit with Sonar – used it a while back at version 1 & 2. Digi just doesn't get the user base. The "upgrade" from 7.3 to 7.4 to get Vista support is free for those who purchased 7.3 within 30 days of the new release. 30 days after promising (and not delivering) the support for 6 months?

    This doesn't even touch the fact that they haven't made a coordinated effort to bring all of their bundled software vendors (Ignition Pack and "Factory" bundles) up to the Vista platform.

    Keep hanging out on your little island Digi. But be careful because one day you might wake up and find it deserted.

  • Rudy

    I bought mbox with pro tools 18 months ago, and it never worked. I tried 4 different computers. (They don't say on the cover that only limited number of chipsets are supported, you have to dig through their website after you buy it to find out that they never support anything new, only 2 year old chipsets. Arghh.) Since my new machine is Vista (I know, I know, not a smart move) and they said it will be available in the summer, I have been waiting. So now it's "supported" but only for a tiny fraction of users (those with Vista Ultimate). Digi just have their own version of the meaning of "compatible" and "supported".

    The bottom line for me is that I spent about $500 for a box and a piece of software that in 18 months could not lay a single track, and it looks like it never will. And they don't even bother to say anything. I have never seen a large company with so little concern for their customers.

    Is there anything at all that one can do with the mbox besides a paperweight? Does anyone think that they will at least have drivers that will work in Vista so I can use it to run other software?

  • I guess this is the


    lol.. im glad to see im not the only one on a boat so big and fast but yet seats in the calm waters and not eeven showing off its powers.

    Vista vista vista. im not even going to say much abt that.

    and digi im glad i learnt before i went in and spent a chunk of my hard earned cents.

  • Ian

    I was periodically looking at the digi website to see if they would offer the software for the new Vista system and like a sucker I bought home premium because they said that the new software would be available in the summer. As time passed, I lost my trust as they pushed back the date. Finally, the day came and I saw that my version was not supported….speechless…luckily enough I have dual booted my laptop and have xp running protools, but I really don't like have to jump back and forth from operating systems to use one program. way to go protools.

  • Chuck

    I have Sonar 7 Producer Edition running on vista and using Konnekt 8 interface from T.C. Electronics….. It runs just fine …I could of purchased a mac computer and spend doubled for what I payed for…But I took a different route by customizing an HP desktop with intel Quad processors and a bunch of powerfull stuff for strictly recording… I also Run Battery 3 and Massive, and the Konnect 8 works great for live recording too…… I have no complaints for Vista… As long as I'm getting my work done, I'm happy!!!! =)

  • Can anyone tell me why Digi does not want to support 64-bit systems other than the fact it would be on the level with their HD equipment?


  • nick tydingco

    i'm old school.. i started recording my music with a digital multitrack recorder (boss BR8), a couple of keyboards (entry level casio wk1300 and yamaha djx)and a drum machine (boss DR 770). all while learning about computer based recording on COOL EDIT PRO. now that i can afford to upgrade to professional stuff, i started looking into buying an mbox 2 (affordably professional), because of the reputation that pro tools has being an industry standard. after reading this forum, i'm not so sure i want to invest in pro tools, unless i invest in a mac. but i've been using windows my whole life, and i don't feel like learning a whole new animal all over again.. can someone please help me out?

  • Pingback: australia windows vista ultimate()

  • jason bickel

    Is the Pro Tools application LE supported by Vista Home Premium or not? Is it just the HD that Home doesn't support?

  • Manny

    Has anybody actually tried installing it on Premium?

  • I have tried installing LE on my new Vista-only-compliant laptop to no avail. The drivers are not supported it tells me. I had to dig through digidesign's website to find out that it won't work with my Vista Home Premium, even though I read earlier that it would work with vista. Now I hear that Digi has no plans to make it compatible with Home Premium, and my laptop does not support XP, so I'm SOL with my expensive laptop and recording software and one mbox 2 paperweight. How do I get out of that pickle?

  • Dave

    I have tried installing pro-tools on Vista Premium, and Business, with tech phone support straight from Digidesign and neither worked.

    The Technician on the end of the phone's conclusion was that new Windows Laptops (all of them) are not actually supported and installation is I quote "hit and miss". All Mac-Leopard laptops are also not supported.

    The word Gobsmacked came to mind. So so far I have had pro-tools 7.3 and 7.4 for 2 months and tried 3 computors (including and xp desktop computor) and have had no luck.

    Bloody awesome!!!!!not.

  • Shar

    I have XP64 and I'm stunned to find there are no 64 bit drivers for my mbox or midi controller. I wish to god i'd never bought the mbox nor its trashy m-audio controller twin. I now hate digidesign and will put the boot in whenever i get a chance *spits*

  • Smudger

    Can anyone tell me if M-Audio pro tools works on Vista premium


  • Julio

    I have Pro Tools M-powered working on a Vista Home Basic SP1 Desktop with minimal problems. Some times if I have been working in Reason, close it, and then open Protools I get a glitch in the project that I open. If I restart Protools the problem goes away. If I have a lot of plugs loaded and I try an switch plugs while music is playing I may get a glitch. But, these are VERY minor concerns. I use PCI card M-audio 2496. It works for my needs. I can say that it works VERY well on my Vista machine…

  • JJ

    Very interesting…..sounds like a lot of confusion with Mbox being compatable with Vista.

    I am currently monitoring for the best solution before I make the next purchase for a laptop and Mbox 2?

    plan#1 stay with windows xp and upgrade to 4Gs on existing computer

    plan #2 wait for a proven download for vista with protools, I'm sure digidesign will come up with something…

  • yoman

    well ive tried to download my le 7.1 in my home premium vista(brand new out the box) to no avail! di the dig website wrote that the 7.4 may work on the premium but im not ready to take thaT chance! im glad i still have my xp running! i8 shouldve just got a mac, but dont get me wrong my old dell is and has been a very good tool for me musically!its paid itself over many many times! thank you Dell!lol

  • doug

    So I just went out and purchased a laptop (vista) 4gb and was ready to run pro tools until they told me I couldn't because my computer was 64-bit… 🙁 anyone know any updates? please contact me, releventmuzik@yahoo.com

  • glenn

    I just bought logic pro for my NEVER USED imac.

    Had to upgrade from os x 10.4.8 to 10.4.9 . .did that online . .mac crashed, NEEDS new logic board (lol . logic caused logic board to blow!!) Now, have no mac and a box of software that will not work My 7.3 pro tools le won't work on vista premium I guess, SOO, welcome back CUBASE @ the NEW price of $599 gerrrrr!! apple just got $500 from me, blew up my imac and now the pro tools with mbox 410 will not run either, WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO MAKE A LIVING . . hey!! I still have my alesis 24 hd, and it works

  • the Mime

    I've been holding back on using the Vista 64bit operating system for 9 months since I've upgraded my hardware waiting for pro tools to get onboard. cubase now supports Vista 64bit with Cubase (studio) 4.1. software so guess what digi? you lose. I'm buying the latest cubase and it's too bad… I liked yours.

  • DJ Scat

    I have had ProTools LE 7.4 Mbox2 Mini since January, I bought it on boxing day.

    I have also bought 2 new computers, a laptop and a desktop. Protools will not work on either of them. It will install the drivers on each but when I run it I get – The Program has caused an error and needs to be closed.

    I contacted Digi and the techs were very helpful but I was told my desktop chipset is not supported and my laptop is not supported because it had shared graphics and they also both have SP1 which is not supported.

    Well you can't get a new computer without SP1 now. So I am pretty much SOL as well. I am looking into Sonar and will probably sell my mbox.

  • Tim

    I just purchased a brand new computer from Dell. It's a pentium 2 quad 4 processor with 4 gigs of memory and 500 gigs of ram on Vista Home Premium, which I thought would work. It downloaded fine but when I record it cuts out saying increase buffer size. When I do nothing works. It keeps doing it no matter what. Is anyone else having this problem????? Please Help!!

  • Rob

    Well, I've been lurking on the Digi site for almost a year now waiting for a 64-bit support announcement, but my patience is up. Off to Sonar 8 I go.

  • Dan

    Hi Guys

    Just want to agree with all of your frustration, but also mention 2 things which might be importent to those who allready purchased an M box and now feel like they´ve lost all of their money:

    1: You can get the "stand alone" asio driver from digidesigns website, and then make allmost any other program run through your mbox, and in many cases this will work like a charm.

    2: Proools, especially the Mbox 1 has ONE quality, that most other manufactures just cant exceed – extremely high quality i the A/D coverters. I´ve listened to quite a few other soundcards, but none of them has the spaciousnees and true pro sound found in the Mbox recordings.

    This does not mean, as earlier mentioned, that i dont agree with the fact that Digidesigns customer service is absolutey lacking, almost arrogant in its practice, but just that there is hope, and one good thing for those of us with the Mbox.

    I myself have recently switched from Protools LE to Cubase 5, and i will never look back, but the soundcard you will have to wrestle out of my cold dead fingers 😉

    Good luck everyone.

  • Jay

    The reason why digi only lists support for Vista and ultimate is because those OS add some stability features eg if you check a comparison table you can see "Protect against hardware failure…"

    While 64 bit support would not make a top PC with LE run as good as HD system (because it would still fall behind with latency). It is definitely time for digi to get 64 BIT!!!

    The other thing LE needs is automatic delay compensation.

    Without delay compensation and 64 BIT I will be using another software until I can afford PTHD.

  • kohdred

    Just bought a brand new laptop running vista BASIC. I want to run any mbox with protools, is it compatible with basic?

  • Relevent Muzik

    I bought 7.4 in August of 08 and it didn't work at all. Uninstalled it June 09 and reinstalled same day and now it works. I google some stuff and I deleted windows explorer and worked fine. I am yet to run into any problems.

  • Vista Home Premium

    Protools LE 8, Mbox2Pro Factory

    Super fast PC

    Very unhappy client that flew from spain to track at the studio

    2 weeks now and zero up time, the protools splash screen comes up for 3 seconds and then dies, Nice!… To quote Phil Jackson.

    I like the idea of using the mbox via asio drivers in a standalone format but it should freakin well work. Downgrading to XP now to see if we can get some life out of it. That will prove once and for all that it is Vista home premium that is the problem.

    Last night I did use the mbox2pro factory as a sound card and played some music through it, so it’s not digi hardware or cables, I will post again if I get any joy. Digi support couldn’t care less, very disappointed. The digidelivery wouldn’t decrypt. I am seriously considering shipping the shizzle back and getting somehting that freaking works.

    In five minutes, if this XP reload doesnt work, there will be an Mbox sized hole in the wall. grrr

  • Screw this shit

    I just want to chime in here, I stumbled across this thread looking for a fix to my pro tools nightmares.. I bought an mbox 2 thinking it would be as someone put 'affordably professional' little did I know how fucked up digidesign truly is, this is not a professional company but a bunch of snobby idiots. I was somehow initially able to install pro tool 8.0.0 on my newer Vista system and use it for 8 months then have it go into absolute chaos when I was stupid enough to upgrade to 8.0.3 of course I assumed a company the size of digi would know what they're doing and have drivers somewhat working…nope not digi, these retards can't seem to do anything right, after installing the upgrade all hell broke loose, apparently digi thinks they're bigger and more important then the computer manufacturer and OS provider (microsoft) I hate this shit, I am NEVER buying another digi/avid product as long as I live, their complete abandonement of Vista just looks like a bitch move to me..like someone said their stance seems to be 'if you want to use pro tools we want you to use XP because we can't write drivers for a current operating system'

    I hope to hell they go under or another company makes a revolutionary product like pro tools USED to be. absolute garbage.