Apple’s latest version of OS X, El Capitan, has now been out for nearly two months (30 September, 2015), and while there was a developer beta available for several months previously, a flurry of press notices and blog posts were shared by gear companies warning not to upgrade just yet.
Most of the issues seemed to stem from the OS update causing drivers for audio interfaces to break. A quick look at the list of Native Instruments’ problem hardware shows that it’s the older stuff that won’t work. As a completely non-expert at all things driver related, I’d hazard a guess that USB class compliancy and manufacturer drivers might be at fault.
Now that the dust has settled after the release, we’re revisiting how the bigger (and less biggerer) software houses have fared with sorting out their bugs. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to also check how all the bits of your hardware work with the software if they require drivers.
Pioneer just announced they’ve got shiny new drivers for some of their hardware that caused problems. If you’ve got any of the stuff listed below, it’ll now work with El Capitan.
DJM-S9 / DJM-900SRT
After releasing some beta drivers for El Capitan a few weeks ago, Native Instruments have confirmed they’ve got all their legacy hardware working with the OS.
Please note that the compatibility issues connected with Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan are now resolved.
The latest OS X 10.11.1 update fixes the issue where Native Instruments Audio Units plug-ins did not pass the AU validation and therefore were not available in Logic Pro X.
New drivers are also available that fix the issues experienced by users of MASCHINE (MK1), RIG KONTROL 3, and older TRAKTOR hardware.
For more information, please read this Knowledge Base article.
Serato recommend not updating to El Capitan as there are issues with hardware drivers.
Serato DJ 1.8 is now supported on the latest version of OS X El Capitan 10.11.1. You can download the latest version of Serato DJ here. There are currently a few known issues:
We are working hard to have any issues fixed for the next Serato DJ release.
Click here for more information on software version / operating system compatibility.
Hardware support for OS X 10.11 is manufacturer specific, and some hardware will require driver updates. Serato are working hard to fix any issues in our software but are ultimately not responsible for driver or firmware updates that are compatible with El Capitan. Please see your individual hardware manufacturer’s statement about OS X El Capitan before using Serato DJ as some devices are still not supported. Please also make sure you are running the latest driver available for your specific hardware.
Issues with Pioneer devices
Please read the statement about Pioneer products and OS X El Capitan here.
Our tests show that different issues occur when running the following products under OS X El Capitan: DJM-900NXS, DJM-850.
Although Pioneer have released updated drivers Serato DJ is not yet compatible when used with OS X El Capitan and the DJM-S9, DJM-900SRT and the DDJ-SZ.
Issues with Rane devices
Please read the statement about Rane products and OS X El Capitan here.
Our tests show that different issues occur when running the following products under OS X El Capitan: SL 2, SL 3, SL 4, Sixty-One, Sixty-Two, Sixty-Four, Sixty-Eight.
Issues with Numark devices
Please read the statement about Numark products and OS X El Capitan here.
Our tests show that different issues occur when running the following products under OS X El Capitan: MixDeck, Mixtrack Pro II, N4, NS6, NS7, V7.
Issues with Novation devices
Please read the statement about Novation products and OS X El Capitan here
Our tests show that different issues occur when running the following products under OS X El Capitan: TWITCH
Issues with Reloop devices
Please read the statement about Reloop products and OS X El Capitan here
Our tests show that different issues occur when running the following products under OS X El Capitan: Terminal Mix 2, 4 and 8
If you don’t see your hardware listed, or it is a class-compliant device, it should work on OS X El Capitan without issues. If you are still experiencing issues with Serato DJ and your supported device please contact the Serato Support team or contact your hardware manufacturer.
Allen & Heath
If you’ve got a Xone:DB4 or DB2, you’ll need to hold off on that update as Allen & Heath haven’t yet finished testing their drivers on both OS X 10.11 and Windows 10.
Following the releases of Windows 10 in July 2015 and Mac OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’ in September 2015, verification of these platforms has not yet been completed by our Software Test department.
As a result, support for Windows 10 and OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’ is not currently offered.
We will update this notice as our test programmes are completed, in the meantime we advise against updating your OS.
As of v1.3.2, Bitwig Studio does not currently support El Capitan. An update is currently being worked on.
Please note: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capítan) is currently not supported, but an update is on the way. Until this is available, we encourage you to continue using an earlier version of Mac OSX.
Ableton have tested the latest version of Ableton Live and found no reported issues.
The latest version of Live, 9.5 is compatible with OS X 10.11. You can download the latest Live version from your User Account.
Mixvibes Cross DJ
There are no known issues with the latest version of Cross DJ on El Capitan. Software updated to version 3.3.11 works fine.
Version 1.8 and above have no reported problems with OS X 10.11.
It’s always fun to get the latest and greatest, but really, with most OSes already having pretty rock solid stability, the rush to update is mostly consumerist. I’m as guilty of it as the next person: That’s why I run a custom version of Android on my tablet, which tends to be more agile at updating. I think we can blame smart devices and web browsers for skewing our expectations of software updates. They both push updates on users, wowing them with new features and better security, and, along with app stores alerting us to new versions of apps waiting to be downloaded, have conditioned people to want what’s newest. Especially if it means getting rid of that pesky update warning icon!
Really though, there’s no real rush (barring some must-have feature you need professionally) to go out and grab a very briefly tested version of something so fundamental as your operating system. OS makers keep going on about ‘adoption rates’, but you just need to remember: You’re in control of when to update, not them (except for Windows 10 users…).
Looking over all the different posts from the big DJ tech companies, it’s fairly consistent that the problem lies with hardware drivers. Regardless of whether your software is said to be working, you need to double check that all your hardware is OK as well, particularly if you’re using something fairly obscure or niche. The advice from experts remains the same though. Back up everything, and don’t keep your workhorse laptop on the bleeding edge, particularly if you’re gigging with it.