Greetings all and Happy 2022. I hope this new year is starting out well for you and will continue in that fashion.
Back in November 2021, I posted an quick portrait about the main studio space I work out of, Studio A. Since then, I was saving up for a computer upgrade and found a nice sale price on an M1 Mac mini to replace the current (and still capable) mid-2011 Mac mini. Since that computer is already 11 years old, I decided to replace it with a newer Mac for (at least) future proofing in the years to come (the older one is now in Studio C, the subject of a future Quick Portrait post).
With the new Mac comes not only the expected advanced OS, but a new (as of 2020) Apple M1 Silicon chip architecture. The result of that is determining what software, most (if not all) of which is now 64-bit vs 32-bit architecture, along with current hardware that has to now run on the M1 architecture as well. The research (which is ongoing) involves continually watching a particular music production software developer website, Native Instruments, for updates on how they are coming along announcing how many of their products are compatible with the current Mac OS (Monterey), and the M1 architecture. The official compatibility comes via the completion of successful regression testing and the announcement of them now being able to support trouble tickets for user submitted issues. Of course, there are many Native Instruments products that do work with Monterey BUT are not officially supported.
Thus far, I seem to be fine on the software side for my needs, however, my current digital audio interface is an entirely different story. While my Mac came shipped with the prior OS, Big Sur, my MOTU 828Mk3 Firewire audio interface is no longer officially supported. Be that as it may, fervent web searches resulted in finding out that there are users that have gotten it to work not only with Big Sur, but Monterey. I’m halfway there in that I’ve successfully installed the unit’s audio driver, however the interface driver is showing as outdated, and cannot be installed (despite it working for others as of Sept 2021, though my initial thinking is there as been a dot upgrade to Big Sur since Sept 2021, which is what I have, and suspect this is the issue). I’ve replied to those who do have it working in hopes of realizing a similar solution on my end – now to play the waiting game. I’m saying all this to say it is my way of trying to avoid spending at least $400 on their lowest of the line audio interface that will be compatible with my OS. I broke down and purchased a newer, yet older, MOTU 828x digital audio interface that should be here by the weekend.
In the meantime, I’ve upgraded to a 34″ ultra wide monitor and incorporated a USB-C hub with M.2 NVME SSD and 2.5 SATA SSD support for additional memory and ports, (see the connection diagram below)
I also got a good deal on a new 8TB desktop SATA drive that will be used for Time Machine backups. So far, I’m happy with the upgrades, but just need to get started on and continue with projects on deck. I should be receiving the final upgrade piece, the 1TB NVME SSD drive mentioned above, in a few days from now, that’ll be installed in the hub for storing all audio libraries. Stay tuned for more.
Have a great week,