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MacOS Catalina *WARNING* 64-bit Driver Coming Soon!

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HarrySound

Power User
I know it's not going to be available and finished for a couple of months yet (as i write this message in mid august) but I got an external SSD, stuck Mojave on it and then updated to Catalina.
Personally i'm still using Sierra but it is coming to the time where i'm thinking of upgrading my setup (hardware) sometime in the next year.
Problem is there will be a time in the not too distant future where Catalina comes pre-installed on new machines.

I installed all drivers while still on Mojave (axe fx,axe edit, my interface UR28m by steinberg)
My audio interface worked for a little while so then I turned my Axe FX on and it's not recognised and I don't even get sound from the AXE FX passing through the SPDIF to my speakers.
I reinstalled the Axe FX drivers and rebooted but still it didn't show up and there was no sound until suddenly my audio interface disconnected from MacOS and it was once again passing through the SPDIF straight to the speakers.

I'm not expecting anything to work right now, or even in a few weeks. I understand Catalina may have to be out for a time before it's considered and stable target to work on but my question is simple....Will the Axe FX drivers be updated to support Catalina in the future if this problem seems to be something that won't be fixed by Apple?
 

Saki

Member
You're getting me worried. There was a discussion on another thread about the fact that Axe-Edit had been ported to 64 bits so it'd work on Catalina, but no one mentioned the USB driver. If it doesn't work, it'll be for nothing.

Is the USB driver downloadable from the Axe-FX III page more recent? If yes, would it work with the Axe-FX II?
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
You're getting me worried. There was a discussion on another thread about the fact that Axe-Edit had been ported to 64 bits so it'd work on Catalina, but no one mentioned the USB driver. If it doesn't work, it'll be for nothing.

Is the USB driver downloadable from the Axe-FX III page more recent? If yes, would it work with the Axe-FX II?
No, there is no Mac USB driver for the III, it is class-compliant
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
My initial impression from the Catalina beta volume I installed, is that there are no issues with the III, usb audio, AxeEdit all work as expected,
Those of us with UAD Apollo, however are SOL for now, but they usually lag behind a new MacOS release...
 

HarrySound

Power User
Macs are superb for handling audio but ever since Yosemite they seem to send shivers down the spine of every audio enthusiast.
I know Mojave rendered addictive drums useless which is irritating for loading up legacy projects.
Gets a bit more serious when it’s your hardware though.
 

Patzag

Fractal Fanatic
My Pro Tools station is running 12.8.2 on Yosemite and I'm not budging.
I have High Sierra on my iMac running Logic and attempted to upgrade to Mojave once. So many things stopped working I reverted after 24 hours and haven't tried since.
 

HarrySound

Power User
My Pro Tools station is running 12.8.2 on Yosemite and I'm not budging.
I have High Sierra on my iMac running Logic and attempted to upgrade to Mojave once. So many things stopped working I reverted after 24 hours and haven't tried since.

My iMac is a top spec late 2012 i7 with 32 gig ram,fusion drive and nvidia 680mx. When I updated Mac OS from Sierra Is was awful and I immediately changed back. Now though, having an external SSD for testing and doing a completely fresh install i’m Seeing very little problems. I’m going to install the sketchy stuff and see if it works then maybe at the weekend i’ll Back up and install a completely fresh Mojave.

One of the bonus’ is that airplay to Apple TV now works which it hasn’t in like 3 years...
 

StriderHND

Member
Fractal Support told me that they are not going to update the USB Audio / MIDI Drivers for the FX 2, I Hope they change their mind and update the Drivers to 64 bits, because those drivers are 32 bits, I hope in the future they update the drivers with the new frameworks.
 
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Saki

Member
Then what was the point of recompiling Axe-Edit as a 64-bit app, if the USB driver remains 32-bits? It means that everything will stop working (for editing) in a few months (or a year, if I delay the upgrade) without annoying tools like VM or dual boot.

I'm disappointed, obviously. The transition of macOS to 64 bits started about 10 years ago and the end was announced 2 years ago...
 

Doc Rock

Inspired
Drivers? What drivers? Who needs drivers on a Mac? Both my Axe-Edit and my Helix-Edit are class compliant and just work without any specific, separate drivers.
 

Saki

Member
Perhaps I need some clarification, then. Here is what I assumed:

  • The Axe-FX II and the AX8 are not class-compliant, while the Axe-FX III is.
  • The USB driver is required for Axe-Edit to communicate with the non class-compliant devices.
  • For non class-compliant devices, Axe-Edit was ported to 64 bits but not the USB driver, effectively making the port useless.
So unless I'm wrong somewhere, you might be refering to the Axe-FX III, in which case you're off-topic.

Needless to say, I'd love to be wrong on this one. Fractal seemed to want to push us to buy the Axe-FX III, which I can't do, so it'll mean tinkering with virtual machines or dual boot setups, which is both a pain and costly.
 

HarrySound

Power User
Fractal Support told me that they are not going to update the USB Audio / MIDI Drivers for the FX 2, I Hope they change their mind and update the Drivers to 64 bits, because those drivers a 32 bits in the future or even update the drivers with the new frameworks.

Really. Wow that’s kinda changed the game significantly.
That means if I upgrade (£2000) to a new Mac anytime in the next year i’ll Just have to add on the cost of an AXE III which is (£2500)
I just can’t stretch to that....
 

StriderHND

Member
So has anybody actually tested the Axe-Fx II on Catalina yet (other than the OP)?
I have tested the FX 2 in catalina and is not working with the current drivers.

The Axe Fx 2 Appears as a "Vendor Specific Device" on the USB Device Tree on macOS Catalina

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 14.21.28.png

Tried to run the drivers via terminal and get a Bad CPU Error, that means that the drivers are 32bit and not 64bit, that error is because Apple is leaving all 32bit architecture behind. the Apple Release notes explain:

"macOS frameworks are now thinned for the x86-64 architecture. Apps that execute i386 code now fail with the EBADARCH error code. The remaining stub frameworks are nonfunctional and exist only for compatibility purposes. (51236070)"
Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 14.24.44.png

This mean that we need a drivers update to use the midi and USB Audio on the FX 2 on newer macOS releases, also the FX 2 is not class complaint as the FX 3 is.

I really just hope Fractal update the drivers. is not that hard but takes time. I can offer help with that, I just want my Axe FX XL work in my Mac :D
 
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vaultnaemsae

Inspired
Good news...It wasn’t easy but it can be forced to work.
 

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