Does Cubase 13 work well on Macs?

Reading up on Microsoft’s AI integration into Windows.

“Satya Nadella says Windows PCs will have a photographic memory feature called Recall that will remember and understand everything you do on your computer by taking constant screenshots.”

I’d like to start moving away from the Windows platform, but not sure I want to go Linux.

How well does Cubase run on Macs?

In my recent experience using an M1 Max MBP Cubase runs a LOT better on Apple silicone than windows at the moment. I wish it wasn’t so as I prefer the windows ecosystem and openeness but I can’t deny Cubase runs so much better on the current Mac. I’m using ONLY VST3 plugins so i have cross platform compatability with my Stusio 7950x windows 11 DAW.

M

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It runs perfectly here. Fast, super smooth and rock solid. I’m sing a MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, 32GB Ram and 2 TB SSD.

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Hi,

Cubase has worked great on Mac for around 15 years in different versions on my side. At this moment: Mac M1 and Cubase 13.

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It’s a breeze :slight_smile:
I’m using both. PC for work and Mac after work. Both work equally well. I have a basic Mac Mini M2 and it’s as efficient as a Windows Laptop (and DIY desktop) that costs way more.
It’s my first ever Apple product that I bought last year and I have used Windows since 98. I simply can’t deal with Windows anymore.

What I love about Mac: no need for ASIO drivers (one less thing to care about), much better latency, no noise (my laptop is like a jet engine in big Cubase projects), integration fo audio and midi devices is amazing - Windows doesn’t have anything like that.
My only issue is with external hard drives because Mac loves to be picky.

I love Mac for its non-intrusive OS that makes audio work easy. I tried Linux and it’s the opposite - I had to spend 99% of my time tweaking Linux before I could spend the last 1% working with audio. What a pain it was.

Ps. The future of Windows looks horrible.

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Having left a 5ghz 16 thread water cooled 32Gb PC for a Mac M1 Pro 16 with 16Gb I can say that the mac pro beats the 450watt electric using turbine that was my pc hands down.

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Rock solid, next to zero issues. Running a huge setup and CB13 is extremely responsive. Have had one crash which was caused by VST3 plugin (and which was updated soon after).

MacOS is basically a different way of getting there.
Of course lots of people run Windows based DAW and are totally happy. Best advice would be to have a clear mind on why switching systems might be a good option for you.

On the ‘let’s be honest side”:
MacOS is an acquired taste. You will need to take some time to feel at home on a Mac and come to grips with the Apple ecosystem if that’s new to you. Less so these days, but still every now and then you will run into that one obscure developer that still does not have an Apple silicon version out of a plugin.

On the other hand…
No more fooling around with unclear plugin paths, audio and midi integration is an entirely different universe. Software in general tends to be better optimized for MacOS (since there is not such an huge list of hardware and OEM that needs to be supported). And as an extra benefit your electricity bill will probably come down.

History has shown…
From the moment Steinberg supported Apple silicon, they needed some time to iron out initial issues. But right now it’s a golden marriage and CB13 is just excellent.

Research.
Please do understand your mileage may vary as they say. Research for instance how stable MacOS drivers for your interface are. No matter which platform your on, a DAW is always a combination of many components and software developers.
Weakest links [in the chain called a DAW] are present on every platform.

Cheers, Nicolas

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yes, I agree with all this.

Regarding the MacOS. the one thing that I find annoying is the level of security and the hoops you have to jump through compared to windows is annoying.

2 recent examples:
Audio card drivers: if you want good performance then you still have to install drivers for your audio devices otherwise the plug and play ones aren’t great. This now means booting into safe mode to do so and bypassing security settings, it’s a lot easier in windows.

Folder permissions: I bought an IK ARC studio lasty month and after spending hours doing the room measurements they were not saved. I treid everything but in the end had to contact tech support. They went thorugh various things and in the mean time used my windows machine to do the testing and make the files. In the end it was a MacOS permissions issue whereby it wasn’t installing the folders needed to place the files in. On the windows machine this was an easy , seamless ‘it just works’ expereience … on the Mac a PIA requiring tech support.

MAcOS sonoma actually hides the library folder from the finder, unless you know theres a hot key to press so it becomes visible you’ll never be able to access it!!! that would be like windows hiding the program files folder in explorer.

Hope that helps a new Mac owner :slight_smile:

M

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Hi,

This is on Mac for many many years already. The user/Library folder is equivalent to the C:\users\username\AppData\Roaming folder on Windows, which is also hidden. :wink:

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The Library folder (there’s one on system and one on every user acount level) are hidden for a reason. Open Finder - GO - press the option key and it’ll be visible. Can’t suppress wanting to access it constantly? Drag it to the favourite section on the left :slight_smile:

As for file permissions: that would have meant the developer didn’t properly follow Apple’s development guidelines. It happens, has happened, and at some point will happen again. On any platform. Some basic skills using Terminal is eventually helpful.

As for drivers: Apple is moving (gradually) away from Kernel Extentions (KEXT). These drivers basically “talk” directly to Core Audio (ASIO equivalent) and can offer the best possible performance (lowest latency).
Kernel Extentions now demand (at least on Apple silicon) the security is stepped down a notch in order for these to be allowed to run.

DriverKit (the new method) is not part of the kernel anymore. Right now that means a bit less performance compared to KEXT. For instance RME shows DriverKit drivers can be extremely capable too. I wouldn’t be surprised within one or two MacOS versions KEXT will become obsolete.

Of course at the entire other side of the spectrum are Class Compliant (built-in) drivers. Hook up [whatever] USB device and a generic driver takes control. Of course they can never be as capable as a specific driver. Not in terms of latency, but also in terms of device specific functions. Class Compliant means: it’ll work at a very basic level.

So no matter what platform, basic knowledge will always come in handy :slight_smile:

yep, I know about all those things I was pointing out it’s annoying to have to do all these extra steps compared to doing the same thing on windows thats all :slight_smile:

Most people think ‘Macs just work’… I mentioned these things to show they actually don’t ‘just work’ you have to make them work with more effort than on windows :slight_smile:

Anyway I hope it helps the OP or anyone else who’s new to Mac OS

M

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Yeah I know, we’ve all (had to) become IT specialists so we can make music :wink:

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I use it on both an Intel and an M1 Mac and it works perfectly.

If you have money - go with Mac. I amusing both. But for my work (film scoring) Mac was very expensive… I need about 128 GB of Ram + power processor… I was switch to Windows about 4 years ago… and the main problem of Mac - it’s upgrades… you can’t upgrade for example memory or CPU… you need to buy a new Mac…
But of course Mac have a great things as well - for example no asio and latency…

Using Macs since 2003 without problems, my oldest MacBook was about 10 years. I’m now happy on M1 MacBook and M2 MacMini.
Maybe this comparison isn’t fair …
I used PC from 1994 on and I had to optimize here and there, if I remember the graphics was the greatest problem to solve crackles. I switch 2003 to Mac without any struggles until now.

In my experience Cubase is rock solid on MacOS. It’s a great OS that is very capable from the start and requires minimal fidgeting with. There are a couple of things you should prepare to accept though.

Walled garden - the Apple eco system is less open than its counterparts. This is really a feature more than a bug, making it comparably safe and robust, but it’s something you’ll have to accept. The interface is very well thought out but you really need to use it as intended.

Price - Apple hardware is not more expensive, but it costs more. Apple doesn’t really make many entry level products so you always pay for premium. They will have a decent second-hand value though. The later generations also requires you to load up on memory when you buy, which is an extra thing to consider. Generally you need less than on PC (it’s more effective) but it can still feel like a very hard, and possibly pricey, choice you’re stuck with.

Less software - There’s still a lot of software not available for MacOS. Especially when it comes to gaming. But what there is, and especially the Mac-only stuff, is very high quality.