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Synchron Pianos on ARM Macs?
Last post Fri, Nov 13 2020 by BubbaMc, 9 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Sep 29 2020 08:33
by mat123
Joined on Wed, Jun 24 2015, Posts 23

Hi vienna (and everybody else)!

I need a new laptop for on-stage purpose.

I just bought two of the new synchron pianos (Bösendorfer Imperial and upright) and my old mac is definitively too slow. It does still work reasonable well with a few old libraries, although I have the impression that it becomes more and more unstable.

So I do need a replacement. If apple hadn't announced its new ARM platform, I would buy a MacBook Pro 13 with a lot of RAM and SSD storage. Now.

However, when spending that much money, I want to use it for at least the next 6-7 years or so. I fear that, in a few years, new software will only be available for the new macs, not for the old intel platform.

Of course, I will not buy a new "apple silicon" mac before it is official that the software I need (and I specifically want to use the synchron pianos) is compatible with it. So I have to wait. But if it were already clear that it will take longer before compatibility is official (lets say more than 6 months), I would consider buying an intel machine now.

Any hints?

I am sure, someone has tested vsl software on the mac mini test machine...

Posted on Tue, Sep 29 2020 10:00
by MS
Joined on Wed, Feb 19 2003, Vienna, Austria, Posts 1760

Considering that it will most likely be quite some time before Apple introduces silicon powerful enough to replace the Mac Pro line, you'll most likely see developers keeping support for Intel CPU's up until at least 5 years after the last Intel Mac Pro is shipped.

My guess is that Apple will keep selling Intel Mac Pro's for another 3 years, so something like 8 years of Intel support would be expected from devs. Not sure how long Apple want to keep supporting Intel in macOS however, but I doubt they'll kill support for the last Mac Pro's that quickly.

Also remember, that developers will still have to develop x86_64 code in order to support Windows. Given this, supporting Intel alongside ARM isn't too much of an issue.

--
Martin Saleteg
Software Developer
Vienna Symphonic Library GmbH
Posted on Mon, Nov 09 2020 10:35
by mat123
Joined on Wed, Jun 24 2015, Posts 23

Thank you very much for your response!

After reading your response, I often felt tempted to buy a x86 MacBook. However, one thing made me wait: I want to be able to have my system running nonstop, because I want my children being able to spontaneously go to the keyboard and play without asking someone to start the computer. And my hope is that the new machines produce less heat and works well without a fan, so I would feel better when I leave the computer on for a long period of time.

Tomorrow we'll see.

If the new system isn't 100% compatible with old software (e.g. are there issues with eLicenser? Can I run a native version of MainStage and use it with x86-VSTs?), I'll get an x86 MacBook. Perhaps their prices drop soon.

Otherwise, I am eager to get an Apple Silicon MacBook...

Posted on Mon, Nov 09 2020 15:59
by RCMusic23
Joined on Wed, Apr 30 2014, Posts 35
Martin,

Thanks for the insights. As a VSL Software Developer, could you tell us if you will be/you are currently working on VSL software and libraries etc for the new silicon Macs?

If I decide to purchase an Intel MacBook Pro 16 for instance, and that has silicon CPU, will that mean current software will still work with that ARM based Mac? Or will we have to wait until you / various other developers are ready for making their software compatible with silicon Macs?
If we have to wait then it might be better to get an Intel Mac at the moment.

Forgive my lack of knowledge about the engineering side of things :)
i9-9900K
64GB RAM

VE Pro 7 / MIR Pro / Sibelius Ultimate / Cubase Pro 10.
Posted on Wed, Nov 11 2020 02:47
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2671

I have watch the Apple conference and they say you can run any Intel code ! faster ??? good question !

Let see what the audio Software suppliers are saying

I am a member of the Core audio conference develloper at Apple, let see what they talk about 

VSL is sometime a bit chilly to new technology, specially when they cannot charge for Developpement ; the last examples are NKS and Dorico Expression Maps, they are only available on Synchron base libraries and that after many year that the technology is available .

User that have paid many thousandS of euro on VI library and MIR can just sit down and cry 

 

Imagine a 4 x Mac mini (one for string, one for brass, one for wind and one for percussions and keyboards) running a full orchestra at 4 x 699 $/799 € (4x8 = 32 cores......) using  Thunderbolt to the master !!!! WOW

You do not need a 24 000 € Macpro

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
---
Macbook pro Retina 2.7 ghz 16 GB
---
Mac Mini server 10.10 (server, Itunes, WEB, and Backup )
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Big Band Orchestra series
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra 2, Art Conductor 5, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Wed, Nov 11 2020 10:42
by GilP
Joined on Thu, Aug 31 2017, Posts 76

Hello,

I think there are in fact a few questions here:

- QT: it's the software cross platform framework on which Synchron Player is based on (like other softwares like Dorico, Cubase, Sibelius, ...): currently at version 5, a beta version 6 juste came to life (20th October) and could possibly support macOS Big Sur: QT will support it, but no release date for now.

- CoreAudio: as Cyril Blanc said, the macOS audio API evolutions on Big Sur and/or ARM-based Macs could take time for developers to implement and be compatible with it

- Sound card: according to possible CoreAudio modifications, drivers should be updated and perhaps some sound cards won't be compatible

- eLicenser: this can also take time to make it usable on ARM based Macs

Regards,

Gil.

Tags: MacOS big sur ARM
Posted on Wed, Nov 11 2020 12:19
by mat123
Joined on Wed, Jun 24 2015, Posts 23

and there'll be another issue:

M1 based MACs are limited to 16GB RAM while my favourite libraries (Bösendorfer Imperial & upright) recommend 32GB.

So: either x86 now or Apple Silicon and waiting indefinitely

Posted on Wed, Nov 11 2020 12:51
by GilP
Joined on Thu, Aug 31 2017, Posts 76

I'm adding there that before all the software becoming native to ARM architecture, Rosetta 2 could be a temporary solution (if all the things are running correctly on it).

Posted on Fri, Nov 13 2020 02:33
by BubbaMc
Joined on Thu, Dec 04 2014, Perth, Western Australia, Posts 6

I'd also be very interested in a native Synchron player. Both my (fast) PC and 5,1 Mac do not have enough power to play the Steinway with acceptable latency.

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