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Apple Silicon M1 Computer Compatibility

Published October 29, 2020 / Updated Dec 11, 2020 and January 11, 2020

Apple has announced its plans to move away from Intel-based x86/x64 CPU solutions to instead use a custom-designed, RISC-based solution (aka “Apple Silicon”), now known as the M1 Chip. This coincides with the release of macOS 11.0 Big Sur, which supports both Intel and Apple Silicon hardware.

PreSonus Support for Apple M1 Mac's will be available in early 2021.

Starting with Big Sur macOS 11, Apple introduced Rosetta v2, which allows applications to run in an emulated mode. Our tests revealed performance problems when using our software with Rosetta v2 (emulation mode). PreSonus is working on developing native applications for these new Apple M1 machines available early 2021. 

We do not recommend Apple Silicon-based Macs for use with any PreSonus interfaces, mixers, or applications at this time.

What you should know about our products on Apple Silicon Macs thus far: 

Apple has retired their old method of custom device driver support called Kernel Extensions (also referred to as KEXT files) in favor of a different way of supporting connected devices called DriverKit. KEXT files meant for Intel machines will not load on Apple M1 Silicon machines. 

Quantum Series Thunderbolt products: require a custom device driver, which we provide via Universal Control. When we attempt to install Universal Control on an Apple Silicon-based Mac, the Quantum’s blue sync light will just blink repeatedly. This is because Universal Control can’t connect the Quantum device driver to the OS, as Universal Control was designed for Intel-based Macs.  This will remain the case until a new driver is available to work with these new Apple Silicon machines. We’re  working on this, and plan to fully support it sometime in early 2021.  

StudioLive AI-Series mixers and rack mixers will not work with Apple Silicon Macs. There are no plans to develop a driver to enable 1394 to connect on these machines. We will continue to support Intel-based Macs. StudioLive Ai will continue to be supported on the Windows 10 platform. 

All of our other USB audio products appear to be working with Universal Control 3.4.0.61835 with Apple Silicon Macs running macOS 11.1 (Big Sur). However, as Studio One is not officially supported on Apple Silicon Macs yet, USB audio products are tentatively supported as beta until Studio One is officially released for Apple Silicon Macs. 

Studio One 5, while not officially supported, will run—however intermittent CPU spikes may occur. Make sure to check third-party plug-in and virtual instrument providers for additional information on compatibility.  The ATOM and ATOM SQ do not light up correctly, for example. 

The emulation layer (called “Rosetta”) does allow Studio One, PreSonus Hub, Notion, and Capture to run, however official native support for these applications on Apple Silicon Mac will be available sometime in early 2021. 

If you do decide to use Apple Silicon Mac with any of our products and run into issues, please roll back to supporting Intel Hardware Macs until we provide official support for Apple Silicon Macs sometime in early 2021. 

PreSonus is committed to supporting Apple’s new hardware and will continue to update our customers as this situation progresses, as new information becomes available we will update this page accordingly.

We suggest bookmarking this page for future reference.

Read more about Rosetta v2 emulation here: 

https://9to5mac.com/2020/06/22/arm-mac-apple/

macOS Big Sur Compatibility for the current Intel based Macs can be found HERE.

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