The good news: Digidesign has made a pre-release version of Pro Tools 7.4 (all versions — M-Powered, LE, and HD) available for Mac OS X Leopard. You’re advised not to install this on a critical system and to keep regular backups, but if you’ve got a new machine waiting for a Leopard-ready version, you can give this a go now.

Update: Information on Pro Tools Compatibility for Mac OS X 10.5.3

The reason you might still want to wait on Leopard upgrading, in case this hasn’t already made you cautious: not all RTAS plug-ins are expected to be “Leopard-ready.” (TDM plug-ins run on Digi’s DSP hardware and are apparently unaffected once the host works.) We’re told developers are being advised to test rigorously because of changes to Mac OS X. This may not be limited to Digidesign. Based on reports from readers, while users are on the whole happier with 10.5.3 than 10.5.2, there are still some kinks to work out — including users of products other than just those from Digidesign and M-Audio. Best advice: stick with Tiger 10.4.x if you can for the most stable alternative.

Pro Tools Plug-in Compatibility with Leopard

Just as being patient now is advisable, though, it’s equally good advice to reserve judgment on Leopard until the OS matures. Changes made to 10.5 promise better performance on multiple-core systems, for instance — so while the short-term side effect may be glitchy audio until bugs are ironed out, once software is mature, you may squeeze out more performance. The problem is, we can’t know either way until other issues are resolved first. That means patience pays off doubly: sticking with the most stable option if you can is a good way to avoid trouble, while waiting to see how things go means you could reap some rewards upgrading once the software matures. (On the other hand, some readers have no problem, so if you have more than one machine or a new machine that requires Leopard, I’d say go for 10.5.3)

I’ll say those two words I tend to say all the time: stay tuned.

Thanks to Ray Tovey and others for the tips!

  • The link leads to a page claiming "pre-release versions of Pro Tools 7.4.2 will be made available in the next few days." Perhaps they changed their minds?

  • I was impatient and upgraded to leopard last night. The update for 7.4 seemed to work fine and all plugins in check. So far so good but I havent had much time to truly test it! (-;

  • bliss

    I love how you just whip up cool graphics in Photoshop, Peter! 🙂

  • Digi deserves credit for the graphic in this case.

  • ericdano

    Don't know why there is all this caution. I've been running ProTools on my MacPro since the end of Feb. It has worked fine.

    This pre-release version works even better.

  • Brendan

    I was also impatient, bought the 7.3 to 7.4 upgrade and installed Leopard. After doing the upgrade, Pro Tools is stuck beach-balling on the load screen (when rewire loads–I recall that being a problem people noticed before the pre-release). Grrrr… I'm about uninstall/reinstall Pro Tools and see if that helps.

  • Jezz

    I'm having the same problem with 7.4.2 hanging while loading Rewire under Leopard. Terribly unfortunate. At the moment I have a dual-booting system, but it would be nice to move over to Leopard entirely. Is there any solution to this except wait for a fix from Digidesign?

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  • Neil

    I too have total hanging with DigiRewire turning out to be the culprit

    I contacted Digi a few times over it and was told to take out DigiRewire plugin for now!

    This is a fat lot of good to me as I use PT with Reason all the time and need to work on paid jobs with this combo so I can produce stuff!

    The thought of going back to 10.4.x and PT 7.4

    will play merry hell with my single computer setup but until Digi has a fix this looks like the only option

    I only went for the 'leap' to PT 7.4.2 and Leopard 10.5.3 as Digi convinced me that the new release had been well tested – arrrfghfghff!!!


  • Steve

    I'm also getting hung while Pro Tools tries to load DigiReWire, despite the fact that I just downloaded and installed the latest version of ReWire from Propellerhead. Irritating. If anyone figures out how to resolve this problem, please share your solution.

  • Reason through rewire, no matter how much we all try, does not seem to be working!

    I have scoured the internet back to front as well as spent ridiculous amounts of time with talented engineers who also have no idea or way to fix this problem.

    Holding tight is something, unfotunately, I think we are going to have to do.

    Any sign of a change or anyone who has any information Re: when this will/could possibly be fixed…. KEEP US UPDATED!!

    arggh. i have a love hate relationship with technology!!!

  • I guess I don't have it as bad as I thought with Reason / Pro Tools. I can launch Reason via the rewire plugin via Pro Tools however my audio engine hangs after about 20 seconds of recording, sometimes faster.

    It's basically worthless but gives the impression that it wants to work…