Mac Pro

The 2019 Mac Pro. Photo by Apple Inc.

WWDC 2019 was packed with great upgrades to macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS but the most exciting update in Alexander Lindo’s opinion was the re-introduction of the modular Mac Pro. 

Based on Intel’s Xeon processor, the new Mac Pro enables professionals to configure up to 28 cores of processing power. Of course, all of those cores require a great cooling solution and Apple have done just that. There is a massive heat sink attached to the processor with heat pipes designed to move heat away from the processor. The heat is then transferred by the heat pipes to a stack of aluminum fins. 3 massive fans located at the front of the Mac Pro’s chassis pull in cool air and transfers it throughout the entire chassis. There is an additional fan near the rear for heat extraction. If that was not enough, you can configure the Mac Pro with up to 1.5TB of RAM. That is truly remarkable. 

The new Mac Pro’s processing power was demonstrated by David Earl at the WWDC keynote when he loaded up a massive 1000+ track Logic project with a variety of virtual instruments and plugins on each track. The project ran natively without a hitch. He further progressed to show us the 8k video editing capabilities of Final Cut Pro whilst on the new Mac Pro. Very Impressive, indeed. 

For users of Pro Tools, the new Mac Pro features eight PCI Express expansion slots. This will allow Pro Tools HD users to install HDX cards in the Mac Pro’s chassis as opposed to the expansion chassis that was required with the previous model. Video Editors and Graphics designers will be able swap out/add/combine graphics cards, yielding even faster workflows and rendering times. The machine is powered by a 1.4kW power supply with 300 watts powering to the CPU, leaving plenty of headroom for expansion. 

From its stainless steel frame with a solid aluminum body, lattice design with massive fans for superior airflow, to its powerful internals, the Mac Pro of 2019 is a truly a remarkable machine. The new Mac Pro is coming this Fall. Visit apple.com for more information. Do not forget to subscribe to and follow Alexander Lindo on social media.

Mojave

Alexander remembers the first computer that he ever owned: the Apple II. What a fascinating machine that was back in the day. Fast forward to 2018 where technology is at its pinnacle. We are at the point where even a slim fan-less 12” MacBook can run Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X. Looking at the history, Apple has always made the best products in the industry and that remains true today. 

macOS Mojave has been shaping up to be one of the greatest releases of macOS from Apple. After using the beta for quite sometime, Alexander Lindo is thoroughly impressed. Featuring a polished interface, along with some welcome refinements to “Internet Accounts” in System Preferences and the “Share Menu” under Extensions. The clean up is much appreciated. We have improved privacy settings, allowing us to have better control over the data that applications have access to. The new “App Store” looks brilliant with large screenshots, live previews, enhanced editorial and an overall more structured modern appearance. The “News” app, ported over from iOS provides you with the ability to follow topics and sources of your choice thus enabling you to stay up-to-date with the content most relevant to you.

Mojave has quite a few features that will appeal to creative professionals starting with Dark mode. “Dark Mode” converts all windows and menus to a space grey appearance, embracing influence from professional applications such as Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X. While Alexander much prefers using “Light” mode (most of the time), he has found “Dark” mode to be quite useful at night or when in a dark area. The new “Gallery” view in Finder is very handy when looking through multiple photos before importing them to your “Photos” library. Within this new view, we have the ability to peruse extensive file metadata without having to use the “Get Info” function. This is a huge time saver. We can rotate the photo, export one or multiple photos as a PDF among other quick actions configurable under “System Preferences > Extensions > Finder”.

With Mojave, Apple has fixed FileVault disk encryption. After enabling it, it took less than a few hours for a full disk encryption to complete, just like it did in macOS Sierra and previous versions of macOS. In High Sierra it took two full days to complete. It must be noted however that initially when enabling FileVault for Mojave, Alexander did encounter a bug which resulted in the spinning beachball, at which point he was forced to reboot the machine. After that, the process completed without an issue.

Logic Pro X works well (like it did on macOS Sierra). The interface feels snappy and CPU usage has improved significantly. While Alexander Lindo tries to limit his dependency on third party plugins, (especially those with unnecessarily hefty requirements), from what he has tested, plugins from the likes of: FabFilter, Focusrite, Blue Cat Audio and Audio Damage among other third party AU plugins work well in Logic Pro X on macOS Mojave. Alexander has also noticed an improvement in the audio quality of his Focusrite audio interface since upgrading to Mojave.

After using the final release of Mojave along with all its welcomed updates for a week now, it can be concluded that Mojave is one of the best macOS releases since Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The OS feels more responsive and more stable than its predecessor: High Sierra. The new cosmetic and performance enhancements along with its new features place Mojave even further into the realm of excellence.

Upgraded to Sierra

LPX & Waves on macOS Sierra – Inst

Alexander Lindo upgraded to Sierra and he is glad that he did. In his words: The OS feels much faster and lighter than El Capitan and the new optimized storage features are certainly a welcome addition.” Logic Pro X appears to be working much better than it was on El Capitan and best of all, and he is no longer having audio drop outs / distortion when using applications such as iTunes.

After copying over all his useful content (such as music, photos, videos etc.) from a backup, his first step after installing a new OS was to create a backup. For this, he used Time Machine. The backup went through just fine with the exception of “iCloud Drive” which took a while to download content during the backup process. Once all iCloud content was downloaded, the backup process was complete.

Alexander opened up Logic Pro X and tested it without any 3rd party plugins installed. The DAW was as fast as its ever been since the OS X Mountain Lion; certainly a plus in his book. The next step was to install 3rd party plugins. Many companies in this area have warned users not upgrade to Sierra yet. Of course that did not stop Alexander as he tends to keep 3rd party plugin dependency at minimum. He opened up Waves Central and installed a local backup of his plugins after which he authorized. At first it did not authorize but this may have been due to the unstable internet connection at the time. After trying again it worked.

Alexander opened up Logic Pro and his Waves plugins were fully operational. He even recorded, mixed and mastered a song. Performance wise the improvements are certainly visible.

Plugins from Plugin Alliance do not work officially yet as told by the manufacturer however, he has found a temporary solution that will work until the problem has been officially fixed. See below:

  1. First copy the auvaltool file from the /usr/bin folder from your El Capitan install on to a USB Stick.

  2. Restart your Sierra install and hold down Command + R until you see the Apple logo and loading bar.

  3. Once in recovery mode, Open Terminal from the Utilities menu and type csrutil disable

  4. This will disable System Integrity Protection, which will enable you to replace the auvaltool on Sierra with the one you copied from El Capitan. Be sure to keep System Integrity Protection disabled while you use the previous auvaltool otherwise the it will not work anymore.

  5. Once a fix is officially released, simply replace the auvaltool you copied from El Capitan with the one installed by Sierra.

  6. Reboot your Mac and hold down Command + R until you see the Apple logo and loading bar.

  7. Once in recovery mode, Open Terminal from the Utilities menu and type csrutil enable in order to re-enable System Integrity Protection.

After following steps 1-4 you may need to configure file permissions. Do the following:

cd /usr/bin

sudo chown 0:0 auvaltool

sudo xattr -c auvaltool

sudo chmod 755 auvaltool

Disclaimer: Please note that this temporary fix is not endorsed by Plugin Alliance and you must use at your own risk. Plugin Alliance say that they are working on an official fix. SIP must be disabled in order for this workaround to work and should be re-enabled as soon as an official fix is released by Plugin Alliance. Disabling SIP (System Integrity Protection) poses a security risk and should only be disabled when it is absolutely necessary.

Alexander Lindo’s EP entitled “Progression” has been released recently and is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Google Play. BUY IT NOW!

Update: Plugins by Plugin Alliance now officially support Sierra.