image Pro Tools 7.4.2 is now fully tuned, qualified, and tested for Mac OS X Leopard. It’s a free download for users of Pro Tools 7.4 HD, LE, and M-Powered. (If you’re not yet on 7.4, you will need to purchase an upgrade to 7.4 first.) According to Digidesign, the update results from collaboration with Apple to acheive the expected levels of performance and stability under Apple’s newest operating system.

7.4.2 Announcement – download is right there [Digidesign]

That’s the good news. The bad news is, your plug-ins may not yet be along for the ride. Digidesign reports some current instruments and plug-ins may be “incompatible.” Based on other reports, I assume this means it’ll run, but may either cause instability or sub-par audio performance.

Digi is maintaining a plug-in compatibility page for Leopard.

Here’s the other bad news news: for the most part, that’s just plug-ins that Digidesign ships directly. Some of them at least have updates, but some of Digi’s flagship instruments (Hybrid, Strike, Structure, Velvet, and others) are awaiting updates as of press time. Your third-party plug-ins require a whole separate set of compatibility checks.

At least what we’re generally hearing from readers is that the situation is getting better, not worse. I’m still far from being able to recommend Leopard, however, especially given the fact that Tiger remains such an adequate OS. Update: Digidesign tells us that they’ll be monitoring other third-party plug-ins on that page, as well.

FireWire Fixes (Non-Digidesign)

Via PowerPage, some users of Leopard are having FireWire connection dropouts. At least for this issue, though, there are some suggested fixes. The symptoms, as reported at MacFixIt:

After the installation of software updates, the FireWire ports on various Mac models may cease to properly function, not recognizing devices or exhibiting other issues. For some users, this has occurred with printer driver updates and for others it has occurred with the latest QuickTime update. One MacFixIt reader reinstalled Leopard and the problem still occurred.

FireWire connection dropouts: more fixes [MacFixIt]

That’s a pretty nasty issue, but it sounds different than the intermittent audio issues users here were reporting, so I don’t know how widespread it is or whether it’s related to problems CDM readers have had.

I’ve actually seen less documentation of the audio issues, which means, brave CDM readers – it’s up to you. You’re the ones pushing your Mac’s audio. So if you are still having issues, even with current drivers and 10.5.3, be sure to let us know exactly what your hardware and software configuration is.

  • ernesto

    well here comes ernesto again. there's no solution yet to PREVENT the dropouts, just praying hard to every known god on earth before a gig. im runnin a MacBookPro 2.33 with 3 GB Ram and 200HD@7200RPM, MacOs10.5.3, M-Audio FW1814 and AbletonLive6 with lots of native instruments plug-ins. All software is legit.

  • Listen people. I had nothing but problems with my Apogee Ensemble in OS 10.5.whatever.

    I would be working in Logic. Started working.. took a break browsed the web.

    Then I would come back to my Logic session and I got popping like crazy. At any buffer setting. My CPU wouldnt even be processing anything, and there was nothing in the Logic session. So i start closing apps. I close Itunes. still Pops. I close iChat. Still Pops. Closed every application but Safari. Still popping. Then I close Safari and the pops from my firewire device goes away completely.

    I heard about people turning off Airport to fix this, but I had to close out of Safari for my problem to go away. Now I can work in Logic without any issues at all.

    Hope this helps someone else with the same issue.