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M1 Mac Mini with Unify?

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JeremyH
(@zinct)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 514
Topic starter  

@getdunne

Hi Shane, I have been thinking of getting an M1 Mac Mini but wondered how the M1 is doing for compatibility with regards to Unify and other DAW/Audio apps for that matter. Any thoughts?

Thanks

 


   
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(@getdunne)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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@zinct

Unify should run fine on an M1 Mac. I've tested it on the Developer Transition Kit machine, and @pbeprod has tested it extensively on an actual M1 MacBook.

I have successfully compiled and run Unify for Apple Silicon (ARM), but since it won't link to plug-ins compiled for Intel, it's not useful yet. So at present, I only compile Unify for Intel, and it runs (very nicely, very fast) under Rosetta on the M1 machines.

The latest version of Apple's Logic Pro X (and probably their other audio apps as well) is a "Universal app" (aka "fat binary"), which contains binary blobs compiled for both Intel and ARM. On an Apple Silicon Mac, it will run in "Apple mode" (i.e., the ARM code will run), but the latest incarnation of the MacOS Core Audio subsystem allows it to host Intel plug-ins, through a hidden bridging technology called OOP ("out of process"). Other DAW makers are gradually waking up to discover that this lovely Apple technology doesn't cover VST[3] plug-ins.

As groovy and wonderful as OOP is, it turns out it's still more efficient to run Logic Pro X as an Intel app under Rosetta (a right-click option), allowing it to link directly to Intel plug-ins--including Unify. Running Logic Pro X, or any Mac DAW, under Rosetta will probably remain the best option for at least the next several months. After that, we'll see.


   
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JeremyH
(@zinct)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 514
Topic starter  

@getdunne

Thanks Shane for the useful and detailed information. I had heard that M1 Macs can run Intel code under Rosetta really well in most cases and sometimes better than Intel CPUs, which in itself is pretty amazing. It has made my mind up though to wait and see what happens in the coming months, by which time there will probably be M2(?) Macs and more software natively supporting ARM.  


   
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(@morganmusic)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 16
 

Just wondered if anyone had any advice on upgrading from my trusty old 2012 Intel i7 MBP to better run LPX and Unify? Am thinking of networking a mac mini with my MBP so I can retain my Firewire audio interface.


   
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(@morganmusic)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 16
 

@getdunne Hey Shane, any update(s) on OPP and running unify on an M1 M2 M3 ?

Just wondered if anyone had any advice on upgrading from my trusty old 2012 Intel i7 MBP to better run LPX and Unify? Am thinking of networking a mac mini with my MBP so I can retain my Firewire audio interface.


   
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(@getdunne)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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@morganmusic

Unify has been running well on Apple Silicon since v1.9 (released October 2022). New challenges arose with higher-performance chips like the M1 Pro, Max, and Ultra, but I think I have these licked in the current v1.11 beta (download links here). I hope to have a final release of v1.11 for newer machines, and v1.10.3 for legacy machines (Macs as far back as MacOS 10.9) very soon, but the betas are perfectly usable right now.

As for your 2012-era Mac rig, I think you've had your money's worth out of it by now, and you should probably plan to replace it entirely. A 2012 Mac will be limited in terms of running complex Unify patches, and may not run some of the newer plug-ins at all. FireWire is, alas, dead technology now. Trying to network your old gear to a newer Mac rig will just burn up time that could be better spent making new music. Just my two cents' worth.


   
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(@northwood)
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Joined: 2 months ago
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@getdunne Thanks for this, I just posted in the older topic asking exactly what you've answered here.


   
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