Updating Mac OS from Leopard to Lion: Problems to expect?

Dear community,
OS-wise I´m kind of a dinosaur as I´m still on OS 10.5 (last version before Snow Leopard). The reason was that I was afraid of various software conflicts when using the latest systems. Now I would like to upgrade to Lion (for other reasons not related to music software) and I wanted to ask if there are well known problems which you can tell me about.
I´m still using Cubase 4. Will I have to upgrade to Cubase 5 or even 6? My major plugin is Kontakt 4. Will it work with Lion or Snow Leopard? What about plugins in general. Are there many problems to expect or do most plugins not care about the OS (which I would doubt).
Any help in this regard would be highly appreciated.
Best regards

Aloha R,

I recently upgraded to lion and here is my story so far.
(this system was rock solid under Snow Leopard)

After backing up (in several different places off site)
I wiped my hard drive and then installed Lion.

So my first step was to get C6 up-and-running vanilla;
with no third party stuff.

At this point Lion/C6 and the VST Sound Collection were the only
things installed on this 'puter.

Did some test stereo recordings with just the built-in audio (ugh)
and playback of audio and Vsti tracks.

1-Got four stereo audio tracks (eight mono) and 24 stereo
Vsti tracks playing back songs of 10-12 minutes with no probs.

2-Then I did a test of 40 Vsti tracks (no audio) with a
16 minute song and no probs.

3-The last test was 12 stereo audio tracks (24 mono)
with 12 Vsti’s and again a 10-12 minute song.

Now the reason I held off on getting Lion sooner
was because I use a Yamaha n12 mixer/audio interface,
and I was waiting till Yamaha gave us the ok that
the n12 was Lion ready.

I got that OK from Yamy and so I installed
the drivers (tools) and then introduced the n12 into the chain
then tried to play back some vsti’s and WHAM!

Now I got probs.

So I went back to built-in audio and no probs.
Went back to the n12 a second time and again probs.

The problem:
Somewhere around 20-25 minutes of use, the n12 just goes nuts.
It sounds like a buffer issue but it even does it with
full buffer playback (2048) and only three Vsti’s
(piano/bass and drums) playing.

Feels like there may be some background process
going on that might be disruptive.

This is just using Vsti stuff for playback.
I have not tried audio I/O with the n12 yet. (one step at a time).

Today I will try downloading and re-installing the n12
driver software even tho’ I have the latest version.
I have learned that sometimes a 2nd installation works.

As far as software, I am waiting for my SampleTank
stuff to be updated to 64 bit and I won’t begin to install my NI stuff (which sounds great but is cranky at best) until all is well.


At the moment I’m running a sort of dual-install… this is what I did:

I bought a new 256gb SSD drive (just because I’m a speeeeeeed demon!!) and swapped it out with my Snow Leopard OS SSD drive. I love the OS being on SSDs, but they’re still very expensive. Anyway, this means I can always get back to Snow Leopard anytime, in case something should crop up during the transition, and I’ll eventually use that other SSD for samples anyway once I’m fully up and running.

First thing to check, without doubt, is your audio device drivers. Even my FireFace 800 wasn’t without problems, although I did get it working in the end. I’d head over to your manufacturer’s website and see what the deal is, although as curteye mentions above, that’s not foolproof.

Plugins, in general, work ok in the 32 bit version of Cubase, with Waves, IK and UAD and most of the other major players now supporting Lion. If you’re using the 64bit version, the upcoming Cubase 6.0.5 brings back the VST Bridge, and 32bit plugins will work in the 64bit app again (one GUI available at a time, shared 4gb RAM space).

Very old plugins that require Rosetta (Tonic, Embracer etc) will not work on Lion. This might affect your projects if you’re using them alot. I’d recommend going through those projects and printing those tracks to audio before you upgrade.

All the Native Instruments stuff in Komplete 8, and now versions that shipped with Komplete 7 too are Lion compatible, and contain 64 bit versions. Make sure you run the latest version of Kontakt 4, as this fixes a few things on Lion.

There’s some bizarreness going on if you have multiple screens. Actually, I found the new ‘spaces’ like approach quite cool, as you can set up a new space and have your mixer in it… then swipe between them. However, I think dual display’s can cause issues.

Lastly, I’d recommend against ‘upgrading’ your OS via the app store (not an option for you if you’re on 10.5 anyway), and actually doing a clean install from scratch. For me, on a Mac Pro, swapping drives out is easy, if you’re on an iMac it’s not really an option - but I’d at least carbon copy your OS drive so you can get back if things get messy.

Other than that, I’ve found Lion to be pretty good. There’s things I don’t like, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it when apps start supporting these new features. How cool would ‘versions’ be in Cubase?!

Hope that helps

Thanks a lot for the very helpful comments. So am I right: I have to use at least Cubase 5 to work with either Snow Leopard or Lion?
Best regards

Well, Cubase 5 will work with Snow Leopard of course. However, if you’re jumping to Lion to get the benefit of… I don’t know… say iCloud or some other reason, then you have to go with Cubase 6.

Plus, to be honest, Cubase 6 is better than 5. If you’re going up a version, you might as well jump to the latest and greatest - Cubase 6.0.4 has been solid as a rock for me on Snow Leopard, and has been the same when I’ve used it on Lion too. Although, I won’t be able to put it’s through real paces on Lion until 6.0.5 is released next week and I get back my bridged plugins.


I just bought a new MAC Book Pro with Lion on it. I loaded the Cubase 5 and then did upgrade to 6. It freezes on load because of the older plugins I assume that were part of C5. You have to force quit. It is a royal pain. So, I do not recommend installing C5 at all, unless yo follwo the instructions on Steiny’s website about editing the package contents of the C5 program to delete the PPC older plugins from it.

Same shit with my installation attempts. I have C5 on MAC Lion. It has always worked great. C6 will start to install up tp “scripts from package” “less tham a minute remains” , then a separate window wants to install HalionSonic and keeps repeating. Eventually it ends with “installation failure, contact manufacturer” which everyone knows is impossible. The strange thing is C6 will open but is less than fully functional. I have tried to trash all previous Cubase files as suggested. I have tried clicking and un-clicking which programs to install. Who has the fix?