Posts by hugol

    Right - it’s because Apple have taken a very different approach from Microsoft. Apple ditch backward compatibility in favour of constantly evolving - eg abandoning 32/bit and enforcing user/mode drivers — in the interest of security (it’s definitely a valid approach). The downside is - it’s a massive burden on vendors to keep updating / rewriting everything.

    I know.. but what can we do about it? We bought this synth to make music.. If you wanna continue doing that, adapt..

    Yes of course switching to MIDI / a 3rd party editor and the analogue outputs is an option. We get it - and it’s a compromise and painful pill to swallow. We’re discussing / venting on this forum because ideally we shouldn’t have to compromise / but more than anything Access have been totally useless in addressing this situation and at the very least providing a clear statement on their plans.

    Well at least you can use it as a MIDI synth with VirusHC. Works totally fine and still worth it imo.

    It’s not what we purchased. Depending on how you work, it means you now need to assign many inputs on your audio interface to the virus. It negates the TI concept entirely basically.

    I accept Apple has moved the goal posts. It’s the fact they are still selling the TI2 and burying their heads in the sand that is unacceptable.

    I don't disagree that Apple has moved the goal posts and broken backward compatibility. Indeed they have taken a very different approach to Microsoft - who ship endless backward compatibility layers. I strongly disagree that the changes are about Apple controlling what you can or can't do on your computer. It's just about trying to enhance security. Personally (as painful as it is) - I think the Apple approach is better from a security perspective.

    Replacing kernel level extensions with user-mode equivalents - is surely a positive thing - providing the user-mode replacements offer equivalent real-time performance / latency. I agree with Apple here, from a security perspective.

    As for the M1 - it's trivial to re-compile your application via Xcode for compatibility with both X86 and M1.

    As a software engineer myself - I am a firm believer in constantly/ incrementally updating the libraries/frameworks that your application relies upon - and not just leaving your application to rot. We've long adopted this approach for our own software - and it's served us well.

    I agree.. but they won't.

    Access is a dead company as far as I'm concerned.

    If you wanna be productive, just accept that fact, and convert to one of the alternatives already: Midiquest, VirusHC, CTRLR or Solar3d. (hate to plug just one)

    I've already finished some tracks this year. It took some time to get into the flow again but in the in the end I'm back to making music, and that's what matters.

    Maybe - but it’s still a tough pill to swallow. It’s a less polished / integrated solution and the number of.analogue outputs on the Virus and how many input channels are available on our audio interfaces is a big factor. It’s not what we paid for at the end of the day.

    ...or Native Instruments’s investment group could buy the Virus code from Access and turn it into a VST3 to run on a future keyboard based on the Maschine+ platform.

    Freakish but not impossible.

    Nice idea, but NI have a pretty poor track record supporting their own computer integrated hardware, let along take on an offering from another company.

    * I invested in Kore 2 for example - and this was abandoned by NI after a while.

    * Similarly support for my Machine MK1 hardware has also been officially terminated (although there may be workarounds).

    As with Access's support for the latest Mac OS's - all of this just puts you off buying hardware that relies on computer integration. It's not that cheap - and we've lost all trust in the vendors providing long term support.

    Post 159-ish in here:…-macos-big-sur/140193/176"The solution includes a brand new driver that moves away from kernel extensions which were deprecated with Mac OS Big Sur. Our new driver is made with modern technologies and makes development easier which in turn helps us to deliver a solution of higher quality."

    There we go - as we've discussed - Apple are just forcing the move to user-mode drivers. Sure it means previous KEXT drivers will no longer work in the future - but it doesn't explain why Ploytec state this on their website:

    "macOS Big Sur 11 no longer loads kernel extensions, it's not possible to provide an update for Big Sur. Still, we have plans to keep the driver updated for earlier versions of Mac OS X."

    Surely this is nothing more than a cop-out from Ploytec - sure, they need to significantly refactor their Mac drivers going forward - but they can't be bothered?

    In fairness, Apple changed their architecture and security policies (Catalina), rendering the software obsolete. So it's more than just some settings. Access on the other hand released their last product in 2009 and have only been maintaining the code base.

    When I read these forums, it's like everybody is mad at Access while in fact they should be mad at Apple... They made the changes, they rendered your 2K toys useless if you counted on the integration. Also everyone complaining about buying a new virus ti and not having the integration were negligent on their part for not doing the research.

    I'm not sure who that comment was directed at "it's more than just some settings". Absolutely it's Apple who have made significant architectural changes - firstly the move to only supporting 64-bit (which is what this thread is about really) - and then the move to user-mode drivers going forward.

    However Access have been completely non-comital around whether they are going to update their Mac software or not. That's unacceptable. Some of us would quite happily pay for them to work on an update.

    Also I strongly disagree with your comment around the buyers of a new TI hardware being at fault and negligent if they don't research Mac compatibility. Access should be actively highlighting the Mac compatibility issue. If they aren't then it's Access that is negligent and at fault.

    We'll have to agree to disagree on this point, I work in IT myself and while I am aware it's simpler to remove historical code I don't believe it's better from a sustainability/ethical standpoint.

    To be fair I was first and foremost calling out the (potential) security benefits of removing historical baggage and keeping things lean and mean. I don't disagree with your comments from a sustainability and ethical point of view.

    For sure Apple's aggressive stance on modernisation / not giving a crap about backward compatibility - is a (expensive) PITA from a user/vendor perspective.

    The answer is invariably somewhere in the middle - Apple need to find the right balance. I like the fact they are attempting to secure/advance the OS, at a fundamental level, for the benefit of most users (although there will always be glaring holes serious hackers can exploit for sure). Which is where I think they are coming from - despite it breaking backward compatibility. However it's definitely very aggressive.

    There is definitely an argument that Apple should provide security updates for what they consider legacy OS's for a much longer period than the current 3 years - if they are going to re-factor / break compatibility so aggressively. Or that they provide the option for people to re-enable "legacy OS features" at their own risk.

    Thanks hugol,

    I wonder how Mystery Islands and Solar 3D handle this - "protocol / API are Access used for the TI editing functionality over USB

    As far as I know, they are using MIDI for all editing functionality - i.e. standard SysEx stuff.

    So you need to connect your Virus via 5-Pin DIN Midi connections not via USB. I'll admit - I'm not 100% clear - if it works via USB as well - then they must be relying on the Access Virus TI drivers to do Midi over USB. Maybe that's how Access's plug-ins work as well - I don't know.

    The concern is obviously Access's lack of support for their own Mac Drivers/Plug-ins - so even if Midi over USB works now - who knows in the future if they've abandoned this stuff.

    I guess the question is what protocol / API are Access using for the TI editing functionality over USB. You'd surely have to get them to agree to share the required info - or we're into reverse engineering. Honestly seems like a lot of pain.

    Long shot- but maybe we could persuade Access to allow the community the opportunity to update the existing TI plug-in / drivers for them. Not as open source - same closed source / Access own the source, model.

    Then you probably don‘t know Apple long enough. They have a long history of breaking things in a major way, and leaving third party developers out in the rain. Some pick up the pieces, some just vanish.

    Most of the time, the problems might be solved, but the return of investment is questionable, if not clearly inexistent. Especially for small to mid sized companies, which cannot afford to invest man power in an experimental project without foreseeable income. It‘s economics. And as we can see by many reactions from users also here on the forum, the acceptance to pay for updates is very low. Sad but true.

    Your points are very valid. However, yes I am aware of Apple's behaviour - and I switched over to the Mac over 10 years ago. I gave up on Windows/PC's after no end of audio related issues over the years - i.e. occasional pops and clicks with several audio interfaces - fighting DPC latencies due to BIOS issues etc etc. Including lots of issues with the Virus TI Polar under Windows.

    Sure - if you're lucky and have the right (DAW friendly) PC hardware and the right audio interface (and drivers) - Windows can serve you well. However I found it a bit of a mine-field. I've had far fewer issues with my Macs (currently still rocking a 2010 6-core 5.1 Mac Pro as my DAW - although it's had a few upgrades e.g. graphics card and M.2 PCIe SSD) and over many OS upgrades - I've lost count - I switched to Mac when Leopard was the current OS I think.

    Companies just giving up supporting computer integrated audio related hardware - that's been an issue though. For example Native Instruments and the Kore II. I've been burnt a few times.

    I would happily pay for an updated driver personally - but within reason obviously. However currently they are selling TI hardware still - and it's misleading for Apple users. It's a difficult one for sure. Heck maybe some sort of crowd-funding initiative is the way forward - I don't know.

    This is the company that dropped Firewire which was a widely adopted standard in the audio industry with no prior warning.

    This is the company that introduced a security chip which completely screwed up USB audio drivers for an extended period of time.

    Apple has shown time and time again that they don't care about backwards compatibility or about being helpful towards existing users. They just charge forth and drop new tech and updates without giving a sh*t about the impact these changes will have.

    I take your point - but I don't think it's about not "giving a sh*t". Definitely backward compatibility is not Apple's approach - but I do think they are constantly aggressively modernising because they think it's the right thing to do. From an IT perspective - it's simpler and better (from a security perspective and more) to remove historical baggage (painful as it is to users).

    Look - I'm not saying they won't mess things up (like the T1 chip USB audio latency / reliability fiasco) - however I'm sure they don't intend to mess up. If they get it right - user-mode audio drivers should be fine (it's all about timing not permissions after all).

    The MOTU page refers to High Sierra 10.13 and is not updated for Big Sur. Otherwise, the current VC should just work by enabling it, right?

    As for Apple providing an alternative mechanism: After 20 years they go back to System Extensions, which do not work with the same privileges as kernel extensions. Whether real time bit aligned custom audio streaming can be made available via this mechanism is to be discovered. However, if possible at all, it means that drivers and the applications relying on them, require a major rewrite.

    I wonder what the future of Elektron Overbridge looks like...

    Sorry - I don't for a minute believe Apple would remove the ability to support audio hardware via custom drivers. It's just it's a big step change for the vendors. And this isn't my area - but I am a software engineer - so I can research further.

    -- Edit: Some time later - and I'm playing catch-up for sure (apologies). I see - so whilst we can still get Catalina KEXTS to work with BigSur (with a bit of effort to turn down the OS security settings) - Apple are pushing forward with user-mode drivers via DriverKit ultimately.

    Ok for now, we still have the updated Ploytec USB audio drivers that should work with both Catalina or BigSur. I'm still not clear if we can use the vanilla Ploytec drivers with the Virus TI, to at least regain some functionality.

    As for the future (user-mode drivers) - it seems PloyTec are copping out prematurely here - and I'm curious why. It's a given some effort will be involved moving to the new driver model - and there may be bumps in the road - but I'd be amazed if Apple hadn't put in a fair amount of due diligence to ensure there was a migration path and it should all perform as required.

    I missed that - but they (PloyTec) have still released a new version for Catalina. Also I think that's nonsense - for example see this page about Motu drivers under BigSur -…ling-motu-drivers-big-sur. I haven't researched it - but it's not like Apple don't provide an alternative mechanism under OSX - it will just take some effort on behalf of PloyTec.

    that's so ridiculous, the support of access should be ashamed to deal with their customers in this way.

    Yep - it's absolutely disgusting. I mean for FFS - of course hiring someone and getting them to work on integrating the new PloyTec drivers etc will be expensive. They don't have to do this - they could get a freelancer to work on it.

    The lack of communication / lack of willingness to be seen to do anything publicly / lack of flexibility - it's quite frankly pathetic, Access.

    My Virus TI Polar may be 10 years old or so - but it was sold largely on the top of its close computer integration. You're still selling the unit - and no mention on Mac compatibility issues. Grow some frigging balls - get someone external to update your drivers - many of us have even said we're willing to pay towards this. This "ignore everyone" attitude just puts me off all future computer integrated audio products quite frankly.


    I had a dig around in the Virus audio driver binary files and Ploytec are indeed in there. 'PloytecHalPluginType' for example and that's why it's not working in Catalina. HAL Audio has been depreciated, doesn't exist in Catalina. Ploytec have to move to a different method called 'Audio Server' instead. This has been around since macOS 10.9 by the way, it's not a new thing! Ploytec do state that "We'll release a CoreAudio-only driver by late 2019" for their commercial USB Audio driver so, fingers crossed, they will also update the Virus drivers on behalf of Access Music as well.

    Hope that helps.

    And PloyTec have already released a Catalina compatible Core Audio only driver. I posted about it previously.

    (For Mac OS X 10.13 - 10.15 see the support page. Mac OS X 10.15 no longer supports HAL plugins: Catalina Release Notes. On Mac OS X 10.15 the driver is CoreAudio only.

    I'm curious whether it actually needs integrating into the Access Plugin - or we can just install the vanilla audio driver and at least pass audio.