What Is The Situation With Mac OS X Mavericks & Pro Tools?

03-28-2014 11:01 AM

We regularly get questions for the podcast about running Pro Tools with Mac OSX Mavericks on the Apple Mac platform like this one from Glenn Skinner who asks..
I’ve just bought a new MacBook that came with 10.9.2. Its very nice but Avid say its not authorised as a system yet. I’m running Pro Tools 10.3.8 native with an Mbox 2 Pro. What if any nasties await me? Is any one running Mavericks yet? I’m also having a couple of weird problems with some of the Air instruments but generally OK. Bit worried about doing professional sessions on it.
Glenn, you are absolutely right to be worried about running professional sessions with this combination.
Match Your Pro Tools Version with the version of your computers operating system.

We have lost count of the number of times we have had to explain to someone why their Pro Tools system isn’t working properly and it is often down to them trying to use an older version of Pro Tools with the much newer version of Pro Tools. This often happens when people upgrade their computer so it has the most recent version of the operating system OSX Mavericks or Windows 8 and they still want to use an old version of Pro Tools, and get most frustrated when it doesn’t work properly.
Older Version Of Pro Tools = Older Version Of Your Operating System

If you want to run an older version of Pro Tools go through the older compatibility charts on the Avid web site

Make sure you use the latest version of the OS that your version of Pro Tools is supported for. Anything else is going to cause you problems sooner or later.
Latest Version Of Pro Tools = Matching Version Of Your Operating System

Notice this equation doesn’t say “Latest Version Of Pro Tools = Latest Version of Your Operating System”. You must check the compatibility charts (see the links above) to establish what is the approved version of the operating system for that version of Pro Tools and stick to it.
If you have a new computer that can only run the latest version of the relevant OS, then you must have the latest version of Pro Tools. For example if you have a Mac with Mavericks on it, like Glenn, Pro Tools 11.1.2 or higher is what you need. Earlier versions will not play well with Mavericks. The reason for this is that any application like Pro Tools is designed to look for hooks in the operating system so that it works in conjunction with the OS the way Avid designed it to. These hooks change between different versions of an OS so it is essential that you run Pro Tools and the OS as a matched pair.
If you look at the Pro Tools 11 Mac OS Compatibility Chart on Avid’s web site then there is an expanding section that outlines exactly what version of the OS works with what version of of Pro Tools.
So coming back to Glenn’s question, Glenn you are absolutely correct in saying that 10.3.8 is not approved for OSX Mavericks. Avid specify this in the Pro Tools 10.3 compatibility charts

Use Matched Pairs for Pro Tools And Your Operating System

All of which confirms the principle that you need to consider your version of Pro Tools and the version of your operating systems as a matched pair. Just as with speakers and microphones, you can work without using matched pairs, but you don’t get the best results. Using matched pairs gives the best results.
OSX Mavericks & Pro Tools

If you have to use Mavericks, and both Mike and Russ don’t recommend it if you have a choice. But if like Glenn you have no choice, because the computer is so new it can only run Mavericks, then you must have the matching version of Pro Tools, which currently is 11.1.2. That said there are still some known issues with Mavericks and Pro Tools and Avid have posted a document covering these issues for Pro Tools, Media Compser and Sibelius.
AIR Instruments And Mavericks

And finally to answer the last part of Glenn’s question about problems with the AIR Instruments, you will need to upgrade these to the latest versions too, to work with Pro tools 11 and Mavericks.