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Is Monkey Supported for Mac OS These Days?


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Hey Folks,

Since I got my first Variax over a year ago I have not been able to get Monkey to work at all on my MacBook. I have tried downloading and installing it multiple times to no avail. The install completes successfully but I'm not able to launch the app. I persistently get an error message that it needs to be updated. Is Big Sur OS not supported yet (not sure how long Big Sur has been out even - I just update when I'm told to)? How long does it take for these OS updates to come out typically? 
I'm trying to reset my Varian to factory settings. Is there another option other than Monkey?

Thanks!

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Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 8.26.32 PM.png

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Monkey isn't compatible with Catalina or Big Sur. It's a 32-bit application, and at this point, I don't expect Line 6 is going to release a 64-bit version of Monkey. I could be wrong, but none of the newer products that Line 6 has released depend on Monkey as Line 6 Updater has taken its place. It's probably more realistic that Variax support will be added to Line 6 Updater, but I honestly don't know where that is either. There hasn't been a Variax update of any importance in quite awhile now. But in the meantime, your best bet is to find a Windows machine or an older Mac running a pre-Catalina OS you can use if you have to use Monkey. It's not a great answer, but that's where things stand.

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Any decade-old "high tech" product might as well be an abacus...don't hold your breath for a face-lift to the current Variax iterations, or much in the way of ongoing compatibility with every new OS that comes down the pike. Variax has been treading water for years at this point...

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Line 6 is slowly abandoning software support for the Variax. Sad, but true.

 

Workbench (legacy) no longer works on recent Macs (OSX Catalina,  Big Sur, Montery, etc). Workbench HD is safe for now.

Monkey no longer works on recent Macs for any Variax guitar.

Do you see a trend here?

 

I now an old Macbook running an older operating system around for use with my Variaxes.

 

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43 minutes ago, soundog said:

Line 6 is slowly abandoning software support for the Variax. Sad, but true.

 

Workbench (legacy) no longer works on recent Macs (OSX Catalina,  Big Sur, Montery, etc). Workbench HD is safe for now.

Monkey no longer works on recent Macs for any Variax guitar.

Do you see a trend here?

 

I now an old Macbook running an older operating system around for use with my Variaxes.

 


The last update for the original Workbench was released in 2012… Monkey has seen more updates because it’s used by other stuff; but I don’t think it’s necessarily Line 6 slowly abandoning stuff as much as it just being made obsolete by OS changes.

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Hmmmm. Many (most?) hardware and software vendors added support for 64-bit when OSX evolved to Catalina. It surprised me that Line 6 did not for certain things. I'm guessing that not adding 64-bit (for Monkey and Workbench legacy) was a cost and testing resource decision.

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12 hours ago, soundog said:

Hmmmm. Many (most?) hardware and software vendors added support for 64-bit when OSX evolved to Catalina. It surprised me that Line 6 did not for certain things. I'm guessing that not adding 64-bit (for Monkey and Workbench legacy) was a cost and testing resource decision.

 

It always is. I could kind of see them releasing a 64-bit version of Monkey in some ways, as there are products people can still buy new that use Monkey, however, from what I've heard for Line 6 folks, it would be a pretty monumental task just because of the way Monkey is written and all the legacy connections.

 

The thing is that Macs are still represent a minority of the computers out there, and even for a music-oriented company like Line 6, a minority of their users are on Macs. So you have a small sliver of their overall user base who are affected by the lack of 64-bit support for these applications, and it's not like adding it opens up additional revenue streams for them. It would be a nice thing to do, for sure, but unfortunately, I don't think that's enough justification for them.

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Just got back into Variax this weekend and was wondering the same thing Re: Monkey.  Neither MacOS or Windows 10 supports Monkey.  The JTV59 I just picked up used was built in 2014 and, based on the lack of maintenance performed on the rest of the guitar, I highly doubt anyone updated the firmware on it.  

 

I'd *Love* to find a way to get under the hood of this thing and make sure I'm getting top performance.  I've owned the Standard and JTV-69, and sold them both due to lack of comfort when playing.  This JTV59 just fits my hands so well and the mag p'ups sound great - It's reaffirmed my faith the technology, and I can't wait to gig with it and the Helix!

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42 minutes ago, GutchGtr said:

Just got back into Variax this weekend and was wondering the same thing Re: Monkey.  Neither MacOS or Windows 10 supports Monkey.  The JTV59 I just picked up used was built in 2014 and, based on the lack of maintenance performed on the rest of the guitar, I highly doubt anyone updated the firmware on it.

 

Well on the plus side, the last firmware update of any significance was sometime in 2014... so there's at least a chance that it's not sporting a super-ancient firmware version.

 

42 minutes ago, GutchGtr said:

 

I'd *Love* to find a way to get under the hood of this thing and make sure I'm getting top performance.

 

Firmware versions aside, depending on what OS you're running, you might still be able to get into Workbench through your Helix and tweak stuff on the Variax.

 

 

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Not that this is an issue for me yet, I find it interesting that they still sell Variax Standard as well as other models yet the software to program and control it is not up to date. So I find this argument of 10 plus year tech will not be supported when they are still selling the Variax. Or am I missing something?

 

Jd

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2 hours ago, jakeman19 said:

Not that this is an issue for me yet, I find it interesting that they still sell Variax Standard as well as other models yet the software to program and control it is not up to date. So I find this argument of 10 plus year tech will not be supported when they are still selling the Variax. Or am I missing something?

 

Jd

 

Companies exist to make money. As long as people are still forking over cash for a product, they'll continue to sell it. However,  long term support and/or perpetual development of an old product line is a pipe dream. They simply can't devote endless resources to everything forever.

 

The HD500X is about as old as the Variax at this point, and there hasn't been an update for that thing in years either... yet it's still on the shelves, too. Why? Because people are still buying it. 

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40 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

Companies exist to make money. As long as people are still forking over cash for a product, they'll continue to sell it. However,  long term support and/or perpetual development of an old product line is a pipe dream. They simply can't devote endless resources to everything forever.

 

The HD500X is about as old as the Variax at this point, and there hasn't been an update for that thing in years either... yet it's still on the shelves, too. Why? Because people are still buying it. 

So if they still sell it they should still support it with up to date software, mine and a lot of others opinions.

 

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16 hours ago, jakeman19 said:

Not that this is an issue for me yet, I find it interesting that they still sell Variax Standard as well as other models yet the software to program and control it is not up to date. So I find this argument of 10 plus year tech will not be supported when they are still selling the Variax. Or am I missing something?

 

Jd


If you’re talking about Workbench HD, it still works fine on both Windows and Macs. It’s a 64-bit application. Line 6 Monkey is the issue on Macs (those running MacOS 11 and newer). It’s needed to update the Variax firmware, but there really hasn’t been a firmware update for the Variax in quite awhile.

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15 hours ago, jakeman19 said:

So if they still sell it they should still support it with up to date software, mine and a lot of others opinions.

 

 

I have opinions too... and a good percentage of the time, reality fails to align with them...but so what? The world doesn't care about my opinions, or yours, and things are what they are. Lots of things that should be, 

aren't. Life's rough.

 

In the end, the simple fact is this: No product will be supported forever, whether it's still on the shelves or not... dollar signs (and nothing else) dictate that. And the more tech- dependent a product is, the shorter and shorter it's lifespan will be going forward, as tech continues to evolve ever faster. And all of this, in all its glory, will roll merrily along without any regard whatsoever for opinions that say it should be otherwise. May as well get used to it...

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I would say that any new JTV, Shuriken or Standard will have up to date software so anything sold out of the stores new will not need the Monkey to update it. And Workbench HD will work with them so technically the NEW Variax's ARE supported with all of the software they need. If another update comes out then they will have to fix that issue. But until then, the only people out of luck re: can't use Monkey, are anyone that has or is buying an old/used one that doesn't have up to date firmware. I think it speaks to the future of Variax. I just don't think enough sold to warrant putting resources into another iteration of Variax. I do, very much, hope I'm wrong.

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1 hour ago, brue58ski said:

I would say that any new JTV, Shuriken or Standard will have up to date software so anything sold out of the stores new will not need the Monkey to update it. And Workbench HD will work with them so technically the NEW Variax's ARE supported with all of the software they need. If another update comes out then they will have to fix that issue. But until then, the only people out of luck re: can't use Monkey, are anyone that has or is buying an old/used one that doesn't have up to date firmware. I think it speaks to the future of Variax. I just don't think enough sold to warrant putting resources into another iteration of Variax. I do, very much, hope I'm wrong.

 

I dunno...I was a lot more enamored of my Variax when I first got it, than I am now. It's not a "bad" instrument... it's just not great either, and it's just not what I reach for most of the time. Replacing the neck did help, but it just doesn't grab me like it once did. Anything else that comes along would have to be a whole lot nicer on the guitar side for me to get interested... though I suspect that whatever comes next, if anything, will just be another Pacifica loaded with fancier new guts. We'll see...

 

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