I'm not trying to be dramatic here. But, don't do it. At least don't upgrade to the first version of macOS Sierra on your primary music making machine. By the time you read this it might (and probably will be) safe to upgrade. But, just as macOS Sierra is launching around 22nd September. Hold back.
Yes, we know you want to experience Siri on your Mac. Yes, it's lovely to delve into new OS features. Unfortunately, there appears to be a problem with certain audio unit plugins running in Apple's new OS. (Sigh: seems like we have similar issues every new Mac OS release...).
We're not certain yet when fixes will be made available... but as a general rule for computer-based musicians and producers: when a new OS comes out...
- Don't upgrade if you're mid-project / album
- Don't upgrade until someone else has tested the software, hardware and plugins you rely on with the new OS
- Don't upgrade on your studio or live machine
- Backup your Mac/PC before upgrading
- Keep extra copies of your important projects, settings, files in the cloud or a separate hard drive.
Here's what Plugin Alliance are saying about some of the incompatibility between some plugins and macOS Sierra 10.12:
"We’re writing to let you know that in our qualification of Apple’s new Sierra OS (v 10.12) we have discovered serious problems with many Plugin Alliance products that primarily affect customers who use the Audio Unit format. Our developers are working hard on a solution but at this time we are recommending that all Mac based Plugin Alliance customers do not upgrade to Sierra. We will continue our qualification efforts and expect to announce full support in the near future. We greatly appreciate your patience while we complete our qualification process."
Universal Audio also recommend against upgrading to macOS Sierra immediately:
"Apple has announced that macOS Sierra will be released on September 20th, 2016. UAD v8.7 software is not fully tested or compatible with macOS Sierra, and we recommend that you do not install this update until compatibility is announced. We are currently working on testing and qualifying macOS Sierra for a future UAD software update.
"UAD v8.7 is tested and compatible with released versions of Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, 10.10 Yosemite, and 10.11 El Capitan. Pre-release and beta versions of Mac OS X / macOS are not supported."
Which Plug-Ins Run Well in macOS Sierra?
It's not all bad news or sad tidings though. Simon Bangs from inMusic tells us that all AirMusic tech and Sonivox plugins are working well. Cyril Decay tells us he's been testing 10.12 for a few weeks and is experiencing no more lags in Pro Tools or Logic Pro X. Additionally 32Lives is working great with URS, Abbey Road Plugins, and he's been using "Nebula Pro with Nebula Setups, Slate Digital, Flux, Soundtoys V5, Eventide without any issues".
If you've been testing different AU audio plug-ins in the new OS Sierra, let us know how they are performing for you.