Native Instruments warns macOS Big Sur can damage its music hardware

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Native Instruments, maker of audio devices such as four-channel DJ controllers, has warned users that macOS Big Sur can potentially physically damage equipment.

Native Instruments' Traktor Kontrol S4
Native Instruments' Traktor Kontrol S4


Musicians have already told AppleInsider that they plan to wait before moving to Apple Silicon Macs, but now a music company is telling users not to update to macOS Big Sur either.

"Using a Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 on macOS 11 (Big Sur) can cause malfunction and potentially damage your controller!" says the company in its certain older products">support pages. "We are working together with Apple to find a solution to this problem."

Although the company does not specify how macOS can damage this particular popular device, it does go into more detail for the rest of its range. "Using a Maschine Mk2 or Mikro Mk2... can cause high CPU spikes on your computer," it says.

"Using a Komplete Audio 1, Komplete Audio 2, or Komplete Audio 6 Mk2... can cause CPU spikes and distortion with sample rates above 172kHz," it continues. "This can be avoided by selecting large buffer sizes (2000ms)."

Separately, the company notes that certain older products are not compatible with macOS Big Sur.

There's no information about compatibility with Apple Silicon M1 Macs. The company does not disclose in what form it is working with Apple, nor whether this has been taking place during the extended beta period.

This is not, however, the first time that Native Instruments has had issues with macOS updates. It previously took time to support Apple's Music app, which replaced the previous iTunes.

Similarly, Native Instruments and other music hardware companies initially found problems with Apple's T2 security chip. That was reportedly a glitch that Apple later addressed.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,647member
    Would have been nice to announce this information before Big Sur was released but maybe they did directly to current users.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Native Instruments has had how long to figure this out? Come on.
    MacPropscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Native Instruments has had how long to figure this out? Come on.
    Because Native Instruments have unlimited resources and only four major hardware lines and several dozen major plug-ins to support on all platforms, while Big Sur only hit Golden Master a few weeks ago — and it seems like the problem might actually be on APPLE's side?

    Yeah, come on.
    pscooter63beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Sounds like a hardware problem ... for Native Instruments. There should be no way any digital input should damage peripheral hardware (different if it is analog).
    right_said_fredMacProwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    jdb8167 said:
    Sounds like a hardware problem ... for Native Instruments. There should be no way any digital input should damage peripheral hardware (different if it is analog).
    *should* is correct. 

    However, if there is some unfixable design flaw that could damage the hardware (I've seen synthesizers permanently bricked by sending the wrong kind of Sysex data via MIDI, resulting in Boot Flash corruption that required replacement*), and Apple's update is sending spurious, errant data that it shouldn't be, then the problem is indeed Apple's to fix. 

    It's sort of like if I forget to lock my front door and a burglar just walks in and steals stuff — yes, I should have locked my door, but it was the burglar who actually ruined the day. 

    This is speculation, of course. 


    *) The guy who told me this was using it as an example of how software engineering had gone to shit since the days when he still wrote the code for that brand's machines. He'd always test the resiliency of the machines he was writing for by sending them a huge .TIFF file via SysEx to see if they'd lock up. 
    edited November 2020 pscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 13
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    This is terrible and needs to be fixed.

    Also will Apple ever provide hardware for Logic? We desperate need this!
  • Reply 7 of 13
    spheric said:
    It's sort of like if I forget to lock my front door and a burglar just walks in and steals stuff — yes, I should have locked my door, but it was the burglar who actually ruined the day. 
    That's not a great analogy, because it's more like all that but when the thief came the house spontaneously sank into the earth. :smile: 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    spheric said:
    jdb8167 said:
    Sounds like a hardware problem ... for Native Instruments. There should be no way any digital input should damage peripheral hardware (different if it is analog).
    *should* is correct. 

    However, if there is some unfixable design flaw that could damage the hardware (I've seen synthesizers permanently bricked by sending the wrong kind of Sysex data via MIDI, resulting in Boot Flash corruption that required replacement*), and Apple's update is sending spurious, errant data that it shouldn't be, then the problem is indeed Apple's to fix. 

    It's sort of like if I forget to lock my front door and a burglar just walks in and steals stuff — yes, I should have locked my door, but it was the burglar who actually ruined the day. 

    This is speculation, of course. 


    *) The guy who told me this was using it as an example of how software engineering had gone to shit since the days when he still wrote the code for that brand's machines. He'd always test the resiliency of the machines he was writing for by sending them a huge .TIFF file via SysEx to see if they'd lock up. 

    Er … no.

    If their hardware can be damaged by data, then that's their problem to fix, not Apple's. 

    When folk start sending odd text messages that causes the iPhone to reset itself, then that's Apple's problem to fix, and Apple fixed it. What they didn't do was ask politely for folk to stop sending dodgy text messages. 

    Apple can't reasonably expected to cater for design flaws in everyone else's products.

    And your burglary analogy doesn't apply here because burglary is a deliberate act, this was not. Apple did not deliberately send data that damaged their flawed system. What Native Systems did was fail to design a resilient system.

    A better analogy would be building a house made of paper in a flood zone.


    jdb8167watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Rayz2016 said:
    spheric said:
    jdb8167 said:
    Sounds like a hardware problem ... for Native Instruments. There should be no way any digital input should damage peripheral hardware (different if it is analog).
    *should* is correct. 

    However, if there is some unfixable design flaw that could damage the hardware (I've seen synthesizers permanently bricked by sending the wrong kind of Sysex data via MIDI, resulting in Boot Flash corruption that required replacement*), and Apple's update is sending spurious, errant data that it shouldn't be, then the problem is indeed Apple's to fix. 

    It's sort of like if I forget to lock my front door and a burglar just walks in and steals stuff — yes, I should have locked my door, but it was the burglar who actually ruined the day. 

    This is speculation, of course. 


    *) The guy who told me this was using it as an example of how software engineering had gone to shit since the days when he still wrote the code for that brand's machines. He'd always test the resiliency of the machines he was writing for by sending them a huge .TIFF file via SysEx to see if they'd lock up. 

    Er … no.

    If their hardware can be damaged by data, then that's their problem to fix, not Apple's. 

    When folk start sending odd text messages that causes the iPhone to reset itself, then that's Apple's problem to fix, and Apple fixed it. What they didn't do was ask politely for folk to stop sending dodgy text messages. 

    Apple can't reasonably expected to cater for design flaws in everyone else's products.

    And your burglary analogy doesn't apply here because burglary is a deliberate act, this was not. Apple did not deliberately send data that damaged their flawed system. What Native Systems did was fail to design a resilient system.

    A better analogy would be building a house made of paper in a flood zone.


    I understand what you’re saying and agree to a point, BUT: If an error I made didn’t show up until somebody else also started doing something wrong, that doesn’t mean that the other person didn’t do something wrong. 

    If the error I made is unfixable, then it really
    is up to the other person to stop doing something wrong — that does not mean that I didn’t fuck up; it just means that I’m not the one who can do anything about it at this point. 

    If Apple‘s software is performing perfectly, and this bug can happen even under normal circumstances, then of course I agree that Apple carries no responsibility to fix this. 

    OTOH, I know that the manufacturer of my audio interfaces spent so much time fighting obscure bugs in Apple‘s FireWire implementation back in the day that they eventually just fixed Apple’s FireWire stack for them. 

    Courtesy. 
    edited November 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Beats said:
    This is terrible and needs to be fixed.

    Also will Apple ever provide hardware for Logic? We desperate need this!
    You mean controller hardware like the Logic Control Mackie built for Emagic in 2002?

    I doubt they ever will again. They make Logic Remote for iPad, which is much more flexible and adaptable to future feature sets and controller needs. 

    Hardware controllers are a whole huge can of worms for a very, very niche market. The only reason the Logic Control existed was because Mackie standardised the control protocol ("Mackie HUI") and thus made it available to all other DAWs, so their hardware became compatible with the entire market. This introduces a huge support burden and is not at all in Apple's interest. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    spheric said:
    jdb8167 said:
    Sounds like a hardware problem ... for Native Instruments. There should be no way any digital input should damage peripheral hardware (different if it is analog).
    *should* is correct. 

    However, if there is some unfixable design flaw that could damage the hardware (I've seen synthesizers permanently bricked by sending the wrong kind of Sysex data via MIDI, resulting in Boot Flash corruption that required replacement*), and Apple's update is sending spurious, errant data that it shouldn't be, then the problem is indeed Apple's to fix. 

    It's sort of like if I forget to lock my front door and a burglar just walks in and steals stuff — yes, I should have locked my door, but it was the burglar who actually ruined the day. 

    This is speculation, of course. 


    *) The guy who told me this was using it as an example of how software engineering had gone to shit since the days when he still wrote the code for that brand's machines. He'd always test the resiliency of the machines he was writing for by sending them a huge .TIFF file via SysEx to see if they'd lock up. 
    Sanitizing input data is something that is the responsibility of the designer. Relying on a third-party to do the “right” thing is going to bite you in the ass. Whether you are designing a web page or firmware doesn’t much matter. If your device bricks because of spurious data sent by Apple or Bob’s MIDI shack has no bearing. You are still going to be on the hook for warranty support. Write better software. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Yes, I addressed that above. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    NI at its finest - dear kit with bad drivers 
    #pioneer4ever #serato4life
    watto_cobra
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