What DAWs and VST Plugins are compatible with OSX Catalina?


MACOS has been one of the top OS choices for both beginner and pro music producers alike. It is because of how reliable the system and processor is especially for high-data software. In recording music, you will need a fast and reliable computer to handle all the data-heavy software. MACOS rarely fails in terms of speed and reliability. However, there has been a lot of negative feedback when it comes to compatible software. MACOS Catalina has stopped supporting 32bit apps, which makes some music producers and video and photo editors questioning, is upgrading to OS Catalina worth it or not.

Here is a list of compatible recording software and VSTs that are supported by the new MACOS CATALINA:

  • ABLETON
  • ACCUSONUS
  • ACON DIGITAL
  • AIR
  • AKAI PROFESSIONAL
  • ALESIS
  • ALLEN and HEATH
  • ANTARES
  • APOGEE
  • APPLIED SYSTEM ACOUSTICS
  • AROBAS MUSIC
  • ARTURIA
  • AUDIENT
  • AUDIFIED
  • AUDIO EASE
  • AUDIONAMIX
  • AVID
  • BEHRINGER
  • BEST SERVICE
  • BITWIG
  • BLUE CAT AUDIO
  • CELEMONY
  • CINESAMPLES
  • CME
  • CRANE SONG
  • CYCLING 74
  • CYMATIC AUDIO
  • D16 GROUP
  • DAVE HILL DESIGNS
  • DESKEW TECHNOLOGIES
  • EASTWEST
  • ELOSIS
  • EMPIRICAL LABS
  • EVENTIDE
  • FABFILTER
  • FABLE SOUNDS
  • FLUX
  • FOCUSRITE
  • FXPANSION
  • GARRITAN
  • GOODGOOD DRUMS
  • GFORCE
  • HEAVYOCITY
  • iCONNECTIVITY
  • IMAGE-LINE
  • IK MULTIMEDIA
  • iZOTOPE
  • JOECO
  • KEITH MCMILLEN INSTRUMENTS
  • KORG
  • KUSH AUDIO
  • KV331 AUDIO
  • LEXICON
  • LINE 6
  • LYNX
  • M-AUDIO
  • MACKIE
  • MAGIX
  • MAKEMUSIC
  • MCDSP
  • MINNETONKA
  • MODARTT
  • MOTU
  • MUSICLAB
  • NATIVE INSTRUMENTS
  • KONTACT
  • NEKTAR
  • NEURATRON
  • NEYRINCK
  • NOVATION
  • NUGEN AUDIO
  • NUMARK
  • OUTPUT
  • OVERLOUD
  • PG MUSIC
  • PIONEER DJ
  • POLYVERSE
  • POSITIVE GRID
  • PRESONUS
  • PROJECTSAM
  • PYWARE
  • REASON STUDIOS
  • RELAB DEVELOPMENT
  • RESIDENT AUDIO
  • REVEAL SOUND
  • REVERB FOUNDRY
  • RME
  • ROB PAPEN
  • ROLAND
  • ROLI
  • SENSORY PERCUSSION
  • SERATO
  • SLATE MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
  • SLATE DIGITAL
  • SOLID STATE LOGIC
  • SONAWORKS
  • SONNOX
  • SONOMA WIRE WORKS
  • SOUND RADIX
  • SOUNDTOYS
  • SPECTRASONICS
  • STEINBERG
  • STEVEN SLATE DRUMS
  • SUGAR BYTES
  • SYNCHRO ARTS
  • SYNTHOLOGY
  • TASCAM
  • TC ELECTRONIC
  • TC HELICON
  • TOONTRACK
  • TRACKTION
  • U-HE
  • UNIVERSAL AUDIO
  • UVI
  • VENGEANCE SOUND
  • VIENNA SYMPHONIC LIBRARY
  • VIR2
  • WALDORF
  • WAVE MACHINE LABS
  • WAVE ARTS
  • WAVES
  • XILS-LAB
  • XLN AUDIO
  • YAMAHA
  • ZOOM
  • ZPLANE
  • ZYPNAPTIQ
  • LOGIC X PRO
  • GARAGEBAND
  • FL STUDIO
  • REAPER

HOW TO FIND OUT ABOUT SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY

If you are still not sure about updating, there are some ways to check if the software you use is not compatible with the new OS. Follow these steps to make sure all of your apps are compatible:

  • Click the Apple logo on the top left corner of your desktop and choose “About This Mac” in the drop-down menu
  • Once the new window appears, click on “System Report.”
    • A new window will appear showing you a list of categories such as Network, Hardware, Software, etc.
  • Scroll down and click on “Software” on the left side of the new window
  • Wait for a few moments until the right side of the window is populated with the list of the apps
  • Once the menu appears, click on the column header that says “64bit Intel.”
  • The file will get sorted, and any apps that are only 32bit will have the word “NO” on the bottom.

If one of your apps are on the list of 32bit support, you should probably check if they have a new 64bit update. If not, you can always contact the developer and check if they plan on releasing a 64bit update anytime soon. If a software is discontinued, you are probably out of luck.

IS THERE A WORKAROUND THE ISSUE?

There are a couple of ways to work around the issue. The main problem is the OS not supporting 32bit apps. If you still use 32bit apps for work and anything else, you may have a dilemma. The best thing you could do is not to upgrade your system until you made sure that the apps you are using have 64bit versions, or plan to upgrade to 64bit in the future. You may miss out on the new OS CATALINA’s features, but it is more important that you can continue working with the apps you need. Another option is by doing a split boot on your Apple computer.

SPLIT BOOT

Split booting or creating a partition drive is a way to enjoy the new features of the new OS while using your old OS and 32bit apps at the same time. Here are the easy steps to do a split boot: (you have to install the new OS Catalina first before doing the partition)

Here is a summary of what will happen:

  • Create a new partition to install  an earlier version of Mac OS
  • Download the previous version using the latest version
  • Create a bootable drive for the early release so that you can choose between the two whenever you start the computer up
  • Install the older version of the OS on a partition of your drive
  • Switch between disks on your Mac

Here are the actual steps:

  • Go to Disk Utility in your Launchpad
  • Click on partition and create a 50GB drive partition
  • Click on apply and wait for it to finish
  • You will have to download the older versions on your browser because it would not appear on your drive because you have the latest version
  • Go ahead and download the OS version from the app store in your browser
  • It will take a while downloading depending on your internet speed
  • Now, create a bootable USB drive from the downloaded OS setup file that is located in the Applications folder
  • Connect USB drive and erase it
  • Open the utility and select the drive from the sidebar
  • Now, open terminal from spotlight search or launchpad
  • Enter this command:

 sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/[Your USB Drive Name]

  • Make sure you enter your USB drive name at the end
  • To continue, press the Y button on your keyboard
  • Wait until it completes
  • Don’t remove USB drive after it has finished creating the bootable drive
  • Restart your computer
  • Install the older OS from the bootable drive you created
  • Turn off your computer one more time
  • Then turn it on holding the option key
  • The startup screen will go to boot mode
  • Select your partition and install
  • Wait for it to finish and you are done; you now have two bootable drives with different operating systems  installed

You will now be prompted to set up your Mac as if it is a brand new computer. You must complete the initial setup. To switch between your bootable drive partitions, turn off the computer, and press option while you turn it back on. It will show you your two bootable drives. Select the one you want to startup with.

IS IT WORTH THE UPGRADE?

The upgrade is worth it if all of your favorite apps are compatible. If you upgrade and lose support for one of the apps or VSTs that you use, then it’s probably not worth it. It is only worth it if you want it to be worth it because everybody has their own opinion and experience regarding this new update.

OTHER CATALINA FEATURES

Here are some of OS CATALINA’s new features that might help you decide if you want to do the update or not. Some of the features I chose to talk about in this article are the ones that can help you be more productive in music production.

  • NEW MUSIC PLATFORM

With iTunes finally retiring, you can get three new separate platforms such as Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV. The new Music platform gives you a better chance and more options for streaming your music online. You can even create interesting podcasts and upload them into Apple Podcasts in the comfort of your home.

  • SIDECAR

Sidecar is a new feature that allows you to use your iPad as a second monitor. You can get more productive with two monitors working seamlessly. You can drag the windows from your MacBook to your iPad as if they are one device. You can use your iPad as a separate mixer for your DAW when you are tweaking the sounds. It is kind of like LOGIC remote, but it works for any other DAW now. It is one of the best new OS features that can help boost your productivity.

  • VOICE COMMAND

If you are feeling a little bit tech-savvy, you can channel your inner Tony Stark and do little voice commands to control your computer hands-free completely. With just a couple of voice commands, you can produce a song without using the Trackpad or Keyboard. All you need to remember is to say, “show numbers,” then choose the corresponding number on the menu to click that. There are many more voice commands on the list you could use for almost any task, including music production.

  • DARK MODE

Mixing and mastering your tracks can take hours of work. It can tire your eyes from looking at the monitor for long durations. Good thing MACOSX CATALINA introduces “DARK MODE.” This option lets your eyes rest from the bright LED display of your monitor dimming it a little bit as you work through the day. The dynamic wallpaper display will change during the time of day. The default wallpaper is a relaxing view of Catalina Island in California.

RELATED QUESTIONS:

  • Can I use “TIME MACHINE” to undo the upgrade?

Yes. You can use the TIME MACHINE app to backup all of your data before upgrading your OS. This app will let you go back to your old OS if you are not satisfied with the new one. I myself backed everything up before upgrading. Still, I never had to downgrade back to MOJAVE since I really enjoyed the unique features of CATALINA. In terms of music production and its all-around features, I would say that I really like the new OS. Some of my photographer friends, on the other hand, did not share the same opinion as me. It only shows that experience is subjective.

You can either back up your computer within your built-in hard drive or use an external device if you are out of memory. Make sure that you encrypt your data for security reasons.

  • What type of Apple Computer do I need to install MACOS CATALINA?

Here is the list of Apple Computers that can be upgraded to the new OS CATALINA:

  • MacBook 2015 and up
  • MacBook AIR 2012 and up
  • MacBook PRO 2012 and up
  • iMac 2012 and up
  • MAC MINI 2012 and up
  • iMac PRO 2017 and up
  • MAC PRO 2013 and up

Any of the earlier generations than the ones mentioned above are not compatible with the new OS upgrade.

CONCLUSION

Keeping your system up to date is essential in terms of modern technology and security. However, not just because Apple is ready to leave not such an outdated technology behind, doesn’t mean you have to too. The release of the new OS CATALINA has shocked almost every MAC user with Apple’s bold decision to stop supporting 32bit apps. For me, I made sure that all my apps work in the new iOS before upgrading. Most of the software and VSTs I use for music production work on CATALINA, so I did not have much of a problem upgrading. I wouldn’t say I regret updating because MACOS CATALINA has tons of new features that boost my productivity. Updating your computer is entirely up to you. I hope you have a good experience like I did!

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