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Helix Native on M1 Macs


cgvpalanca
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9 hours ago, cgvpalanca said:

Hello,

 

Has anyone with their hands on an M1 mac tried using Helix Native on Logic Pro X? Are there any issues with recording? In the market for a new laptop and wondering which way to go, Intel or Apple Silicon.

 

Thanks!


Hello,

 

I know that some people have managed to be able to successfully install v3.0 Helix firmware from Big Sur machines. I don’t know how many of those are actually M1 units. There are also reports of people having various issues trying to run v.3.0 on the latest Mac OS. Examples including random USB disconnection and HX Edit failing to load are just a couple.

 

Considering that Line 6 emailed customers advising them NOT to update, many did. There is even a “sticky post” in one of the orange banners at the top of this page, “MacOS 11 Compatibility with Line 6 Software” stating the same as the email. There is also a discussion on the main Helix forum about how Line 6 should have been prepared for the Mac OS change. I find that odd, as not only did Line 6 send out the “warning” email, I had many others, saying the same thing about not installing Big Sur, from AKAI Pro, Eventide, IK Multimedia, Native Instruments among others. Apparently, Sweetwater have a list of the latest incompatible software items and it’s surprising how many big names are in there. 

 

I used to be an early adopter of all things Mac - I’ve been using them since the first Mac Plus, but for the past few years I haven’t bothered. This is simply because I had seen reports of people updating only to discover that their Mac and Apple software worked great, but all third party plugins failed or were flakey.

 

I realise that if your Mac is set to do auto updates, then it is going to be very annoying to find that your version of HX Native no longer works on BS, and you have to spark up Time Machine to revert back. Also if you buy a brand new Mac, M1 or Intel, then the OS will be installed and that’s it. Given the option, I would wait until I see that everything is going to work with the new Apple machines.

 

This is just my personal observation.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense

 

YMMV

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello ! I have a macbook on an m1 processor. Of course, there are problems with Helix, the interface slows down, old presets hang and lead to a failure of the Logic Pro. Only a new preset can be created.  And the new poppy is very productive and already by default has sound at 32bit / 96kHz, does not heat up, does not make noise, it works for a very long time, I am simply amazed by it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have M1 Mac mini and I'm running Helix Native.  Second Quality is good but the user interface is very slow almost on useable.  It also prompts to lower security setting for Audio Units.  Overall, I have not had any sound quality issues.

 

 I'm recording a couple pieces this week.  If I discover anything I update this thread.

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Sweetwater's Mac compatibility matrix lists 189 vendors that sell music-related hardware or software, and are not fully Big Sur/Apple Silicon compatible.

 

Out of that list, only 11 vendors were claiming Limited Compatibility status as of a couple of weeks ago:

1.     Apogee

2.     Applied Acoustics System

3.     Best Service

4.     Blue Cat Audio

5.     Focusrite

6.     G-Force

7.     Motu

8.     Native Instruments

9.     Presonus

10.  Reason

11.  Spectrasonics

 

All the other vendor listings simply said "Wait to upgrade, check back later." 

Amongst those with limited compatibility, the typical situation is that some audio interfaces and a few simple USB devices like podcast microphones may work with Big Sur in USB class-compliant mode, but control apps and/or enhanced drivers aren't ready yet.

 

In the cases where individual products are compatible with Big Sur on Intel CPU's, many of them still aren't compatible (or have yet to be tested) with M1 silicon. 

Even more interesting to me, is that there are lots of M1-specific caveats related to timing-related features. In some cases, higher sample rates over 96K are glitchy or unavailable, and support for Firewire audio interfaces seems to be thin on the ground.

This is reminiscent of the current situation with AMD Ryzen processors- while they post excellent, Intel-shaming performance scores on demanding multi-core tasks like video rendering, users are reporting problems with timing-dependent processes. It appears that something about the overall design causes higher end-to-end latency, along with other problems that affect plugin and DAW performance.

I'm curious to see whether these issues are going to respond to further development, or if they will simply turn out to be baked-in hardware limitations in the early versions of AMD and Apple's new-breed architectures.

 

 

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I made the same experience as njc235.

Helix Native kind of works but as it is so slow you can't use it practically on a M1 Mac at the moment.

 

Because everybody expects at least 3 new amp models and 10 new effects with each new update, we might have to wait longer than actual necessary. We'll see.

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2 hours ago, xBASSBENx said:

I made the same experience as njc235.

Helix Native kind of works but as it is so slow you can't use it practically on a M1 Mac at the moment.

 

Because everybody expects at least 3 new amp models and 10 new effects with each new update, we might have to wait longer than actual necessary. We'll see.

 

Unfortunately I've had to stop using Native for the this reason.  Due to lockdown, I only play online with Jamulus in the WorldJams every Saturday live to Facebook Youtube and Twitch.  We mostly play covers so patch per song is usually the case.  Until my new Mac arrived used Native extensively, now sadly I use the built-in Mainstage FX but the results are almost as good, perhaps though not as flexible.  Still use my HX FX as a midi controller though, that works fine.  L6 have known about Big Sur since September an the M1 processors since at least November but no progress apparently.

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19 hours ago, njc235 said:

L6 have known about Big Sur since September an the M1 processors since at least November but no progress apparently.


Mmm... you make this seem as if only Line 6 are not up and running with this Silicon stuff. Bet ProTools users are thrilled as their stuff will not work either - along with many others.

 

https://www.toolfarm.com/news/apple-silicon-compatibility/

 

Personally, I cannot see a reason for anyone using serious audio apps to switch to an M1 machine right now. They may be slightly more powerful, but max 16Gig RAM, no Thunderbolt 4 yet, lots of audio apps won’t work properly (even with Rosetta), plus you cannot use any older Mac OS versions. Not for me just at the moment.

 

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I think 'slightly more powerful' is a bit of an understatement. In any case my 2011iMac just died so what do you do, go out and buy a new machine with a processor in which is already being phased out?  Plus, it was a birthday present from my partner, she wouldn't know about compatibility issues.   Plenty of companies have issued updates to be M1 and Big Sur compatible but Line 6 have said nothing on the matter since September.

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8 hours ago, njc235 said:

Plenty of companies have issued updates to be M1 and Big Sur compatible but Line 6 have said nothing on the matter since September.


Much as I would hate to state the bleeding obvious - did it miss your attention that Line 6 recently released the biggest update to the firmware that customer’s had been clamouring for a long while? Maybe they have been busy getting that sorted out for the bulk of Helix product owners? I wouldn’t want to be the person who distracted them from that to cater for a minority of Mac users. Furthermore, if you check the main Helix forum there are far more people who are not happy about random USB disconnects (mainly Windows users). Basically, it may be best to simply form an orderly queue. Everything comes to he who waits.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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22 hours ago, njc235 said:

so what do you do

 

I would wait patiently while focusing on all those other things that can already be done on M1 Macs. That would likely keep me busy enough for months to come. :D

 

(Disclosure: Using Macs to make a living for about 90% of my income, I always painstakingly keep my previous Mac up to date and in sync as a backup, just in case my main Mac would die a sudden death. Because been there done that.)

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On 1/6/2021 at 7:07 PM, steve_rolfeca said:

Sweetwater's Mac compatibility matrix lists 189 vendors that sell music-related hardware or software, and are not fully Big Sur/Apple Silicon compatible.

 

Out of that list, only 11 vendors were claiming Limited Compatibility status as of a couple of weeks ago:

1.     Apogee

2.     Applied Acoustics System

3.     Best Service

4.     Blue Cat Audio

5.     Focusrite

6.     G-Force

7.     Motu

8.     Native Instruments

9.     Presonus

10.  Reason

11.  Spectrasonics

 

All the other vendor listings simply said "Wait to upgrade, check back later." 

Amongst those with limited compatibility, the typical situation is that some audio interfaces and a few simple USB devices like podcast microphones may work with Big Sur in USB class-compliant mode, but control apps and/or enhanced drivers aren't ready yet.

 

In the cases where individual products are compatible with Big Sur on Intel CPU's, many of them still aren't compatible (or have yet to be tested) with M1 silicon. 

Even more interesting to me, is that there are lots of M1-specific caveats related to timing-related features. In some cases, higher sample rates over 96K are glitchy or unavailable, and support for Firewire audio interfaces seems to be thin on the ground.

This is reminiscent of the current situation with AMD Ryzen processors- while they post excellent, Intel-shaming performance scores on demanding multi-core tasks like video rendering, users are reporting problems with timing-dependent processes. It appears that something about the overall design causes higher end-to-end latency, along with other problems that affect plugin and DAW performance.

I'm curious to see whether these issues are going to respond to further development, or if they will simply turn out to be baked-in hardware limitations in the early versions of AMD and Apple's new-breed architectures.

 

 

I just re-checked the Big Sur and M1 compatibility chart on Sweetwater.

No further updates that I could see from Focusrite and the handfull of other vendors that were reporting partial compatibility on their class-compliant USB interfaces 10 days ago.

However, there is one significant update out of the nearly 190 vendors that Sweetwater is tracking:

 

RME now reports compatibility with M1 as well as big Sur on a number of their interfaces, including the Babyface Pro. No caveats like all the other manufacturers- they just indicate that everything works, period.

Unless there are some gotchas in turns of things like sampling rate restrictions, this is the first music vendor to report full compatibility. This suggests to me that the timing issues with the M1 hardware may not be as difficult as it initially appeared.

Hopefully, it also means that other manufacturers will soon follow RME's lead.

Personally, I would still want to haunt the forums for a while to see if there are any issues before purchasing a nice shiny new RME interacing to use with an M1 Mac.

 

RME is a terrific vendor, and their driver support has always been stellar. Still, I wouldn't want to buy a pricey new interface, and then discover that there were unreported glitches in audio applications...

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Quote

(Disclosure: Using Macs to make a living for about 90% of my income, I always painstakingly keep my previous Mac up to date and in sync as a backup, just in case my main Mac would die a sudden death. Because been there done that.)

I currently make about 30% of my income from Macs.

 

10 years ago, it was about 60%. Our Mac users used to love the reliability of their older Macs, but OS update issues, declining reliability and planned obsolesence have driven most of them over to Windows. Don't even get me started on butterfly keyboards...

 

Like you, I used to like to keep my old Macs around as backups.

In recent years, that hasn't been working so well for me
:

  • After replacing my 2009 MacBook Black with a 2011 15" MacBook Pro, I kept the old laptop up to date as a backup.
  • My wife's 2010 iMac received one free repair under a factory recall, and then had to be replaced when a second failure was deemed unrepairable.
  • I had to replace the 2011 MacBook Pro in 2018, because of discontinued parts.
  • I replaced it with a 2017 iMac, which barely out-performed the old laptop. I would like to update it, but removing the glued-in display is not a task for the faint of heart.

Meanwhile, that old Intel MacBook Black?

It still fires up first try, every time I check in on it. Of course, it''s functionally useless because of incompatibility with current software...

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19 hours ago, steve_rolfeca said:

OS update issues, declining reliability and planned obsolesence

 

No one forces anyone to upgrade on Day One. ;)

 

I bought a MacBook Pro "Early 2008"  – the last model with the silver keyboard (how I still love it!) – a few weeks before the first "unibody" MacBooks were known to be released in October 2008, to replace a mere 3-years old PowerBook G4 that was already hopelessly obsolete by then but which I'm still keeping to run some PPC only software every now and then. The MBP ran Snow Leopard until 2019 (!) when I upgraded it to El Capitan – highest possible – after making sure all my important "obsolete" stuff will still run or is possible to convert or replace. Also: a 2TB SSD makes it fly. Partitioned to boot anything from Leopard to El Capitan.

 

I bought a MacBook Pro Mid-2012 – the last model with a CD/DVD-R drive (how I still need it!) and matte display (how I still can't be without it!) – in 2013, also a few weeks before the first "retina" MacBooks were known to be released. It ran Mountain Lion until 2019 when I bought a 2 TB SSD drive and partitioned it from Mountain Lion (skipping Mavericks & Yosemite) to Catalina, making El Capitan the primary partition to keep it easily in full sync with the 2008 MacBook.

 

Then I bought Helix Native last December while it was on sale combined with my HX Stomp discount, only to realize that it won't run in Logic 9. At the same time I also realized that I have the last chance to buy Logic X via Catalina before it will be Bug Sur only, so I finally upgraded to Logic X as well. That was a good move anyway because Logic 9 already has some stability issues on El Capitan, albeit manageable. I'm also slowly but steadily migrating my Adobe CS5 graphic work to the Serif Affinity suite because I won't join the Adobe CC rip-off, and while CS5 still works more or less stable on El Capitan, it won't run on Catalina. Neither will my trusty but also "obsolete" Firewire audio interfaces. Heck, M-Audio Firewire 410 works on El Capitan only thanks to user-hacked drivers, although the device is otherwise fully functional. Eventually I'll likely buy the Roland UA 1010 Octa Capture to replace the Alesis iO26 under Catalina.

 

And most importantly, I have no plans to replace this MacBook Pro Mid-2012 anytime soon. I'd rather spend a few hundred CHF to repair it in case anything will fail. And it will, sooner or later: I already had to have the keyboard replaced a few years ago. But it's still worth it, more than having to buy any of the new MacBooks, not to speak of Hackintoshs with their own tail of problems.

Or even moving to Windows; no way. Got a bunch of PCs last year from my late father who was a Windows "enthusiast", spending most of his time to keep them running in the first place, instead of doing any creative work while he still considered himself an "artist". They're waiting in storage to be thorughly inspected sometime later this year. I already shudder only thinking of having to deal with it. Love his LG display as an extension when plugging in the MacBook in my studio though. Eyesight vanishes with age, display size matters, 15" is not much…

 

Waiting for new MacBook Pros 15/16" with Sillicon chips, wondering how those will turn out. And for how much. The current 16" "Pro" [scare quotes] is of no interest for me. The major dealbreaker with all recent MacBooks: the non-replaceable SSD drive. Need 2TB or more. Won't pay Apple's "premium" for that.

 

But that's just me. Your mileage may vary. :)

 

19 hours ago, steve_rolfeca said:

Meanwhile, that old Intel MacBook Black?

 

Depending on which exact 2009 model, it can run either up to El Capitan or High Sierra. If the latter, you can still do practically anything with it. In some instances you'd only need to stick with an "older" version of software. But e.g. with Logic X, for me it's not a big deal having to use v10.3.3 on El Capitan. It does all I need already.

 

Tl;dr:

No one forces anyone to upgrade on Day One. Options exist! ;)

Edited by lou-kash
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M1 Mini 16/512. Helix Native in LPX is almost unusable, both in native and in Rosetta mode. I was able to run >30 instances @32 samples, but the UI is VERY slow. Adjusting settings is almost impossible. Would be delighted to hear from L6 about when to expect Big Sur/M1 compatibility.

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17 hours ago, Chris-7777 said:

Would be delighted to hear from L6 about when to expect Big Sur/M1 compatibility.


Hi Chris,

 

I guess that everyone would delighted to hear from Line 6 about this situation, but I wouldn’t expect a response in here. This area of the Line 6 forum is the equivalent of the Land That Time Forgot. There is a pinned post at the top of this forum, Helix Native 1.50 Release Notes, from Digital Igloo (Eric Klein, Chief Product Design Architect) dated January 2018, so don’t hold your breath.

 

For you, and anyone else, seeking a serious answer to when this issue is going to be resolved, I would suggest that you post your question on the Helix Family Facebook Group, or even better, go over to The Gear Page an mark your question for the attention of Frank Ritchotte (Line 6 head honcho). That will go right to the top and should stir things up.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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I understand that Ableton Live works reasonably well on the M1 Macs even though it needs Rosetta. Would that make a difference for Native? In other words, I understand that Native has issues when running in Logic or Garageband which is designed for the M1 platform. But what about of you run Native as a plugin in a program that runs on Rosetta? Anyone have experience with that? I'm currently running Native on a long-retired 2009 MacBook pro in Ableton 10. It works fine for just using the plugin, designing presets and perhaps some simple recording. But any more complex project will run out of CPU (and generate sound pops/ dropouts) quite fast unless I increase buffer size. Thus, I'm considering to buy a new M1 Mac.... but reading all of this I may need to be patient for a bit longer. 

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22 hours ago, datacommando said:


Hi Chris,

 

I guess that everyone would delighted to hear from Line 6 about this situation, but I wouldn’t expect a response in here. This area of the Line 6 forum is the equivalent of the Land That Time Forgot. There is a pinned post at the top of this forum, Helix Native 1.50 Release Notes, from Digital Igloo (Eric Klein, Chief Product Design Architect) dated January 2018, so don’t hold your breath.

 

For you, and anyone else, seeking a serious answer to when this issue is going to be resolved, I would suggest that you post your question on the Helix Family Facebook Group, or even better, go over to The Gear Page an mark your question for the attention of Frank Ritchotte (Line 6 head honcho). That will go right to the top and should stir things up.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

 

Totally. I started a thread on TGP, but I did not mark Frank or Eric yet. Might me about time to do so.

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/new-apple-macs-with-m1and-big-sur-performance-compatibility-issues.2200502/ 

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13 hours ago, Hillman1312 said:

I understand that Ableton Live works reasonably well on the M1 Macs even though it needs Rosetta. Would that make a difference for Native? In other words, I understand that Native has issues when running in Logic or Garageband which is designed for the M1 platform. But what about of you run Native as a plugin in a program that runs on Rosetta? Anyone have experience with that?

 

I commented on that just two comments above yours.

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2 hours ago, Chris-7777 said:

I started a thread on TGP, but I did not mark Frank or Eric yet.


Hi Chris,


Yes, you started a thread, but it is about Big Sur, the new Mac models, and their compatibility and performance with other audio products in general. Digital Igloo is not likely to respond to something like that. You need to ask specifically about the Helix products and their current status regarding this. Anything else you post that is not related to Line 6 Helix family products directly is, as you have found, likely to be overlooked or otherwise ignored.


As there is a new thread speculating about version 3.1 of the firmware, you might try asking if it will be compatible. I noticed the Digital Igloo (Eric) responded to a comment about the Rat distortion block, which is the only certain thing due to appear in the next firmware.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense 

Edited by datacommando
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