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Upgrading your music Mac to OS X Lion


Blog Post: 

I did a silly thing the other day.  I upgraded to Lion - the first release of an operating system update.  I'm a user of Logic, Native Instruments, Aalto and a few other plugins.  My brain said no, but my nerdy right hand said "yes, buy, OK, confirm, yes".  Don't do it without a backup.  You've been warned.  Audio plugins and programs are notorious for breaking on x.0 revisions.

I did a bit of research on my most used plugins.  These days I'm using the NI Komplete package for almost everything: complete it is.  Logic and recorded audio round out the sound.  I have an album 'In the works', but also a month old daughter, so I decided I didn't have any pressing projects to get done, so the upgrade would be a fun little after hours project.  So I didn't have any pressing audio work to get done - nor should you if you'd like to upgrade to OS X Lion.

During my research I found that I had never been running Logic in 64-bit mode.  There is a checkbox when you 'get info' on your Logic Pro applicaiton which determines if you run the 32-bit application.  Since I've always been in 32-bit mode I decided I would upgrade, Native Instruments plugins being busted in 64-bit mode until September.

Aalto works fine.   I also have a plugin from sound-toys which I rarely use - but it is reportedly broken.  I'd love to get the decapitator and echo-boy plugs from them - maybe when I'm farther along on the album.

Now Logic - it's virtually unchanged.  Just one little full screen button which is virtually useless, since it breaks the screen set functionality which Logic is renown for.

The one bug I've found is that the scrollbars don't work so well when scrolling down - like there is some kind of log curve which makes getting to the bottom a bit of struggle.  Bug submitted to Apple.

If I could go back without much hassle, I probably would - for the time being, there aren't many must-have features.  The operating system scroll bars piss me off - they are pretty small.  It's like they are trying to get you off the mouse/trackball and onto the trackpad/touch/gesture bullshit they think is the future.  Drop the price of the 'magic' touchpad and I wouldn't be so mad - $79 for a trackpad, lord-a-mercy.  Some folks have really complained about how windows zoom up from a tiny dot - in the case of Logic, I actually like this.  It gives me a chance to see that a window is behind another one before the foreground window takes over the whole screen.  I don't claim to be master of screensets, and sometimes I end up with a mess of windows - now I can see what is behind my arrange window.

There are some interesting concepts in Lion - but that's all they are for now, concepts.  Unused programs will shut down when the computer needs more resources.  You'll have revisions of documents to revert to and won't need to save anymore.  However, many applications don't have these features yet - they aren't automatically added unless they follow recent Apple coding guidelines.  Apparently Logic does not.  And what does a revision mean to Logic?  Will the audio files for your project be saved at every change?  Will a destructive edit no longer be destroy without using Time Machine?  Will Logic be shut down while you pop over to read some email?  How long will it take to fire back up?  Why is there a scrollbar bug in Logic - did they even test it?  

Hopefully they will pull some engineers off of GarageBand X to release Logic X in the near future - or at least take care of some Lion bugs.  Anyone else find other bugs?