Native Instruments DJs, Don’t Upgrade to macOS Big Sur Yet – Read This

Native Instruments Big Sur
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Native Instruments Big Sur
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Photo Credit: Ricardo Abreu

Native Instruments is warning users not to upgrade to macOS Big Sur yet. It may physically damage some of its equipment.

Musicians who use Apple’s platform for their work are already at a point of limbo. Apple is changing from Intel Silicon processors to its own in-house Silicon-based on ARM. The transition is causing hiccups with hardware and legacy devices built for Intel architecture.

But Native Instruments is warning that the latest macOS update, Big Sur, may have consequences for its users as well.

“Using a Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 on macOS 11 (Big Sur) can cause malfunction and potentially damage your controller,” the company warns on its support pages. “We are working together with Apple to find a solution to this problem.”

The support pages don’t detail how the new Big Sur update can damage its device. But it does say that other products in its range, including the Maschine Mk2 or Mikro Mk2, can cause high CPU spikes. Native Instruments also notes that some of its older products are not compatible with the macOS Big Sur update.

Right now, Native Instruments has no information about compatibility with Apple Silicon M1 Macs. It also hasn’t disclosed whether or not it is working with Apple to further that compatibility. Native Instruments’ Mac support hasn’t been the best over the years.

When the migration from iTunes to Apple Music officially happened, the hardware maker took forever to support it. It was just over a year ago that Native Instruments was warning its DJs to stick with macOS Mojave ‘for now.’ That’s because the ability to export an XML playlist in real-time to other applications was missing in macOS Catalina. The lack of that feature broke cross-platform compatibility across a wide range of its devices.

At the time, Apple threw shade at Native Instruments for not having a workaround ready. “If developers followed the tools that Apple has provided, there is still direct access to playlists and stored music through iTunes APIs,” AppleInsider noted of that situation.

For now, anyone using Native Instruments equipment should think twice before upgrading to Big Sur. These hardware problems are still being tested. If you’re curious about the compatibility status of Native Instruments devices, check here.

Native Instruments also notes that Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon are two separate compatibility issues. “Compatibility with macOS Big Sur will not yet ensure compatibility with Apple Silicon processors,” the company notes on its support forums.

3 Responses

  1. JohnIL

    Apple silicon works within an Apple ecosystem because Apple controls much of their hardware and apps anyway. I don’t see an Intel or AMD able to replicate an Apple silicon model when they sell their chips to so many vendors. I also think the PC side of hardware caters to users who want more flexibility such as being able to upgrade their hardware to some extent. Third party Apple developers might see Apple silicon as a benefit eventually, while others might see it as being more restrictive especially those who also offer products that run on Windows platforms. This is certainly a good time if you’re on a Mac to play wait and see if you depend on your Mac for your livelihood. At least until third party developers catch up.

  2. Martin

    I think it’s time software developers are charching more for products used on Apple computers. I think that it costs quite a lot of time and money what Apple is doing with all the OS and hardware changes. I don’t think window users should pay for this.

  3. George

    Since I’m not djing these days, I went ahead and did the upgrade and the only thing I noticed is that my music playlists from the Music App aren’t being updated in traktor. in Other words, when I add a playlist based on the music I’ve bought , it doesn’t show up when running Traktor. It has all my playlists up until I updated.