ANNUAL PSA: Big Sur will probably break your stuff

The nights draw in, the leaves turn brown, and the heating has to go on. Yes, it’s Autumn. And another reminder of the change of seasons is the annual preemptive strike industry email — you know… the one that says some variation of “(insert that software you use all the time) is not currently supported in (insert US tourist landmark)”. That reminds me — best get the boiler fixed at the Worxlab. 

Yes, dear reader — the annual kerfuffle of Apple’s latest and greatest version of macOS is upon us, but this time it’s turned to 11. Literally. 

X is dead. Long live 11.

Working in IT at the time, I clearly remember when the original OS X beta was announced, and the conversation my boss had with me about not installing it while subsequently knowing that the second he had finished wasting his time I would of course to exactly the opposite.

But twenty years later, OS X is over, along with it all the mispronunciations. It’s a full numerical jump upwards that dispenses with all the #.#.# versions and starts over. And that puts the fear of God into me. 

You see, in recent years OS X and especially macOS have had a habit of leaving a mark, if not a permanent scar on the DJ world. In my case, that deep wound is a Rane Sixty Four aka my main mixer that resolutely refuses to work with Serato DJ Pro and my new 16” MBP under Catalina. The irony is that it will work with my ancient and long unsupported 2008 White MacBook running Snow Leopard. Perhaps Dan was correct with his assertions about external interfaces after all. But I digress.

Forgive my foreboding, but the last few years have seen Apple’s OS updates leave quite the trail of destruction. I’ve got used to the annual routine of software needing to be fixed, but the list of hardware casualties grows ever longer. Did I mention my perfectly good Rane Sixty Four?

Big Sur DJ software


Please take this as a preemptive warning and a preventative measure — when Big Sur arrives, be careful. Experience shows that the update is never quite as really exciting as the keynote would have you believe, nor do they ever deliver groundbreaking features for DJs, just gear breaking ones it seems. The irony is that your DJ software will operate EXACTLY the same as it did before the update anyway. So there really is no rush. 

From conversations, the vibe so far is that while it looks like a serious shift in aesthetics and version numbers, things seem to be working OK right now. Not well enough to officially state compatibility, but not the shitstorm that usually ensues with new OS releases.


Apple Silicon is coming. Luckily I’ll be out of the media game and won’t have to worry about reporting on OS updates, let alone entire hardware platform changes. If an OS update causes such a palaver, then wait until all the code has to be rewritten for all new chips.