macOS High Sierra (10.13) is out today. And that means it’s time to check in on compatibility with all your gear.

High Sierra is mostly about under-the-hood changes, and what Apple promises will be some forward-looking architectural improvements. There’s a new high-performance 64-bit Apple File System, intended for those internal flash drives. There are major changes to graphics support, dealing with the GPU and Apple’s own Metal API – though no indication that has any particular implications for music and media just yet so much as in the future. Virtual Reality support, long possible on Windows, is coming to the Mac – well, sort of, in that you’ll need an iMac Pro or a pricey external GPU. But what most users will see right now is the usual bundle of minor refinements and usability features.

No, usually what this means – especially for the complex ecosystem of tools in music – is checking to see if anything breaks. And for once, this appears to be a relatively trouble-free update if you’re on the latest version of software.

Changes to the file system, though, mean some caution is warranted.

Here are some early reports. If you’ve got more to add, either as a developer or user, get in touch (comments on this post or Twitter are probably easiest).

One piece of advice: update your drivers before updating, as the only real wrinkle appears to be driver installation related.

Driver vendors need to catch up on validating their drivers, as reported by Serato.

Serato users are advised to hold off; Serato have a blog entry explaining. The culprit is a driver installation issue.

The latest AIR Music Tech plug-ins all work; see knowledge base story

New versions of Propellerhead Software work; old versions, though, don’t. (Think file damage with that new file system – danger, Will Robinson.) Reason 9.5.2, Reason 10, Reason Essentials 9.5.2, Reason Essentials 10 are all good, so just watch older versions. Here’s their statement:

Due to Apple’s introduction of a completely new file system (APFS) in High Sierra, many older versions are not compatible. This means that Propellerhead products before Reason 9.5.2 will not work correctly after updating to the latest version of macOS. Using High Sierra may in some cases even damage your documents, rendering them unusable.

We strongly recommend you NOT to upgrade to High Sierra if you intend to use earlier versions of Propellerhead products on your computer.

Most Akai Professional products are supported; there’s a blog post covering both macOS High Sierra and iOS 11.

Traktor Pro has an update now in beta; 2.11.1 is now in release candidate so I’d wait for that to appear as an update before upgrading the OS. There’s a public beta available.

Ableton tell CDM they have no particular issues to report – other than check your other stuff:

We have no known issues open for the upcoming High Sierra (10.13) update from Apple.
We ensure a functional version of Live on this OS from version 9.7.5 which is due for release mid October.

Before updating make sure your third party VST and AU plugins are compatible with OSX 10.13.
Also please verify that the drivers for your audio and MIDI hardware are compatible with OSX 10.13.

MOTU have posted a detailed support article on their audio interfaces and flagship DAW DP (Digital Performer). As with other hardware makers, you’ll want to install the latest drivers before upgrading. Digital Performer 9.x is not yet compatible with High Sierra, but MOTU tell CDM the issue is minor and will be resolved by an update soon (so just hold off a little bit on upgrading, folks).

MOTU and MacOS High Sierra

Focusrite have a detailed, product-by-product run-down of audio interfaces and software. Note that most stuff works, but there are a couple of incompatible pieces and some particular issues:

Focusrite product compatibility with macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Novation have a full article, too; there’s one known issue with UltraNova, but other products look fine.

Universal Audio have published a complete guide. And their advice about allowing software to install applies to software from lots and lots of other music vendors, too.

To improve High Sierra security when installing system software (such as UAD drivers), the software must be explicitly allowed to load in the Security & Privacy pane within macOS System Preferences.

Note that High Sierra is not yet fully tested with Universal Audio software but testing is currently underway and further information will be posted as needed.

See this screen capture from UA and — insert your favorite vendor at bottom:

macOS 10.13 High Sierra Compatibility Info [Universal Audio]

Sonnox has detailed information on various OS versions

Apple’s latest versions are compatible; users of older software will need to update. That is:

– Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4 or later
– Motion 5.3.2 or later
– Compressor 4.3.2 or later
– Logic Pro X 10.3.1 or later
– MainStage 3.3 or later

Apogee products are generally compatible, with the exception of some older FireWire products

Reader reports: We’re hearing some issues with third-party plug-in compatibility in Logic Pro X and GarageBand (only after upgrading). On iOS 11, some users have reported performance issues, and 32-bit apps no longer work. (We’ll have a separate iOS 11 story.)

We’ll add to this story as we get more reports.

  • Freeks

    IOS11 is caution too. 32bit apps no longer work. At least Modular synth Jasuto and Technobox2 don’t work anymore.

    • it’s time developers upgrade their apps to 64 bit. it’s been out on iOS for at least a couple of years. they had all the time.

  • chaircrusher

    FOR ALL X, MACOSX UPGRADE X REQUIRES CAUTION.

    • Pop

      What?

      • papernoise

        it means: don’t upgrade when a new MacOS comes out or you’ll be sorry and hate yourself for doing it.

        • James

          It also means that chaircrusher can also read the article, not just copy the title in the comments area. Unless he’s a robot and can’t help himself

          • chaircrusher

            As you can see — you can see? — I didn’t simply copy the post’s title. I made a nerd joke about OSX breaking shit all the time. When I worked mostly on MacPros, we used to spend 1 day to a week figuring out what the latest upgrade broke. And we weren’t doing anything as complicated as music applications & plugins.

    • ANY OS (and software) major upgrade requires caution and bit of research.

  • amgeex

    Anyone knows if Components for the Novation Circuit is affected in any way? What about Apple’s own apps, like Logic and Final Cut?

    • Components shouldn’t be, as it’s all running in-browser.

      No word from Apple, but it seems their software is compatible.

  • Presteign

    Yeesh, file damage? What kind of funky old methods was Propellerhead using to write to disk?

    • That seems not only limited to Propellerhead, FYI. I don’t know what the specific issue is, so can’t comment on the source.

  • Freeks

    HoRnet developer writes:
    “If you use Apple Logic Pro X or Apple Garage Band please do not update just yet as our plugins won’t work there.

    Apple made some signigicant changes to the way Audio Units are handled in High Sierra and for this reason our plugins won’t work in those two hosts.”

    This is a big update with very little usable new features. For audio work, i would not update at all. For video work it might be mandatory at somepoint. I want to test how external GPU works with latest MBP. Currently it’s a hack, but works. But to get full potential it needs to be run on bootcamp windows.

    • Freeks

      Forgot to mention that first thing one needs to check does the soundcard work anymore. Some companies are a bit slow to roll out new drivers and with every OS update some older hardware is left behind. Fully working great sounding sound cards just will not be supported after some time. There is probably one one company that keeps supporting old devices. Same company still sells ten year old HW as it is still as good as it gets.

  • Stéphane Picher

    Just upgraded (to 10.11 El Capitan) a couple weeks ago, and so far I’m very happy with it.

    • azoreseuropa

      No, El Capitan has a problem. There are some bugs too if you know where. For an example, PS3 controller. The blue tooth have a bugs that struggled to make it work. Sierra’s blue booth fixed for PS3/PS4 controller without a problem.

  • DPrty

    There’s a vulnerability in High Sierra and earlier versions of macOS
    that allows rogue applications to steal plaintext passwords stored in
    the Mac keychain.

  • Jeffry L

    No problems here (yet) with Live 9.4, U-he plugins, Sylenth1, Cableguys, Synthmaster Player. But no real improvements neither in terms of disk space (AFPS) as hoped for with many small audiofiles (loops etc.).

  • jii75

    At least Ableton is working, but I have some issues with Max for live. When I try to launch max devices it ask first admin password (to make changes), and then I can see only “maybe you have 32bit max for live installed”. I did try re-install Max couple of times. Have to check more detailed when I’m back home. Has any one else issues with M4L ?

    • Jeffry L

      LFO devices work properly as far as I can tell. But I do get the admin password request as well.

      • jii75

        Yep. I got same first. Then I thought that maybe newer version M4L will fix that issues. Well, it broke it totally. But luckily I have backup, so I did revert old M4L files. So now it works. Still asking password, but better that way.

  • bravebox

    Was to impatient 🙂 my bad… but can confirm, I have graphic issues with some programs where interface is not loaded properly. So take caution!

  • James

    You think High Sierra will automatically change the index structure APFS if you’ve installed your own internal SSDs?

  • bathyscaaf

    Been looking for a page/forum where folks say what is/isn’t working for them, no luck so far. I have an Echo Audiofire 8 interface — Echo has discontinued their consumer product line, no new drivers.

    Got it working in Sierra, but no info on High Sierra, and I can’t find a way to revert to Sierra (cannot find any download on Apple’s site for Sierra — El Capitan and before are available, but no Sierra)

  • Matt Jackson

    What about RME? Currently (10.12.6), if I don’t unplug my Babyface Pro from my USB C hub before unplugging my mac book pro, the touchbar crashes (no escape key) and only a hard reeboot will fix it. Others have reported the same issue. RME have failed to fix it.

    • Navi Singh

      Same Problem Here Buddy

      • Lo Ma

        I have the same problem, when can we have a solution? :/

        • Lo Ma

          i found solution 🙂

    • Navi Singh

      I use Rme 802 Fireface in macOS High Sierra….when I installed it…there is no Total Mix Pop up Window…Even My Sound Card is not detected in High Sierra…..Unable to do work…now……

      ..I was guy working with macOS Sierra Only………..

      its a Joke macOS High Sierra//////

  • Patrick Ijsselstein

    how about downgrading, to, let’s say 10.6.8 when everything worked as it should…..

  • Ryan Hill

    I just started noticing popping when turning EQ eight filters on and off. I don’t remember ever hearing that before 10.13. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

  • Navi Singh

    I use Rme 802 Fireface in macOS High Sierra….when I installed it…there is no Total Mix Pop up Window…Even My Sound Card is not detected in High Sierra…..Unable to do work…now……
    ..I was guy working with macOS Sierra Only………..
    its a Joke macOS High Sierra//////

  • Mikhail Myasoedov

    Any experience with High Sierra and Apogee Ensemble Firewire? Please share