macOS Mojave has been with us since September 2018 and more and more people who use their Apple computers with audio applications are either choosing to upgrade to 10.14 or are having to use macOS Mojave because they have bought a new Apple Mac computer after September 2018 and so it has come with macOS Mojave.
In general, macOS Mojave is working well with audio applications but there are some areas that have changed. In this article we are going to show you how to optimise your macOS Mojave Apple computer for audio applications, dispel some myths that have already grown up, as well as explain things you shouldn’t do.
Which Apple Computers Are Compatible With macOS Mojave
Because of the need for graphics cards that support Metal with Mojave, the list of Apple Mac computers that are compatible with macOS Mojave is even shorter than it was with macOS High Sierra and rules out the Late 2009 MacBook, the Mid-2010 MacBook Pro, Late 2010 MacBook Air, Mid-2010 Mac mini, and Late 2009 iMac. These are the machines we understand can support macOS Mojave…
MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
MacBook Air (Mid-2012 or later)
MacBook Pro (Mid-2012 or later)
Mac mini (Late 2012 or later)
iMac (Late 2012 or later)
iMac Pro (all models)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Mac Pro (2010 or later with Metal-compatible GPU)
With the introduction of macOS Mojave APFS is now supported on Fusion drives. You need to be aware that the macOS Mojave installer will update any internal drive, SSD, Fusion or standard drive to the newer APFS system as part of the installation process. Whereas with macOS High Sierra, you could force the installer not to use APFS with a Terminal trick, the macOS Mojave installer requires the use of the APFS format and so the High Sierra trick won’t work.
This means the drive you’re using for the Mojave install will be converted to the APFS format. Other physical drives you have connected to your Mac should not be affected by the APFS upgrade, although you may be able to convert additional drives to APFS, if you wish.
Don't Update In The Middle Of A Job
We always recommend that you leave any upgrade until you have some downtime. Experience has told us that upgrades rarely are straightforward, especially OS upgrades as they often have knock-on effects, so wait until you have time to fix the unforeseen problems.
Are Your Audio Applications Approved For Use With macOS Mojave?
If you are not sure whether the audio applications that you use are approved with macOS Mojave then check out our fully searchable database in which we list all the audio applications that we are aware of, that are supported for use with Apple’s current operating system
Make Sure You Have The Latest Drivers And Software Installed
It may seem obvious but make sure you check not only that the software and hardware you are using are macOS Mojave compatible but also to make sure you have downloaded and installed the latest versions. For example our friends at Focusrite on their 10.14 compatibility page state that you should make sure you have downloaded and installed Focusrite Control 2.1.8 or later to use with macOS Mojave.
Don’t Let Your Drives Go To Sleep
The setting we are interested here is Put hard disks to sleep when possible. This setting powers down any rotating drive motors when you aren't reading or writing files from the drive to save power. Because solid-state drives (SSDs) don’t have moving parts, this setting doesn’t affect Mac computers that use only SSDs to store data.
When a rotation drive, that is also the boot drive, is powered down, the operating system can unmount audio and MIDI drivers. Unfortunately, when the computer wakes up, the drivers are no longer loaded and you may have to restart your Mac to reconnect them.
You should also consider deselecting this option if you have an internal or external non-SSD drive and you use apps—for example, pro audio or video editing software—that work better with continued read and write access to the hard disk.
As a result we recommend that you disable ‘Put hard disks to sleep when possible’ so that your audio software can always access the drivers and your media drives.
Security Enhancements That Require Explicit Permissions To Enable Some Functions
System Extension Blocked
Apple's new OS Mojave 10.14, like macOS High Sierra now includes a system that will automatically prevent users from running driver software unless the user manually gives permission to allow each driver individually from System Preferences. Once the user has allowed the driver manually in this window, all other driver software from that developer should be allowed to run automatically without having to repeat the steps to unblock.
You may see this error message after installing software that requires a driver like an interface and then restarting the computer. If you do nothing at this stage then your new device is unlikely to work correctly. To fix this, as the error message suggests, click on the Open Security Preferences button which will take you directly to the Security and Privacy pane of the System Preference and click the 'Allow' button in the lower right corner.
After clicking the "Allow" button you will see a list of software/drivers that have been blocked. Tick the checkbox next to anything the appropriate items for the software and/or device you have just installed and then click OK and restart the computer.
Be aware that newly installed software and/or drivers will only appear in the list for 30 minutes after the driver/software in question has been installed. If the Allow button doesn’t show or the driver you wish to load isn't showing up on the following screen, you will need to reinstall the software again and restart the computer. Once your computer has restarted go straight to System Preferences > Security and Privacy and the option to "Allow" the driver/software to load should appear.
If software from multiple developers have been installed, the System & Privacy pane may display a more generic message that reads "some system software was blocked from loading." In this case, after clicking Allow a list will appear and the software from each developer can be allowed individually.
If you are still unable to see the "Allow" prompt to appear, try creating a new Administrator account then follow these instructions again.
Can't Record Audio After Installing macOS Mojave?
Have you just installed macOS Mojave on your Mac, then found that are not be able to record audio in applications from Apple like Logic Pro X, MainStage, GarageBand, or Final Cut Pro X, or third-party audio and video apps like Studio One Pro Tools or Cubase?
There’s a setting in Apple macOS Mojave that might be stopping you record audio with your favourite audio application and it has nothing to do with audio drivers being up to date. The problem can affect people using Pro Tools, Studio One, Logic Pro X, or applications like iZotope RX or Final Cut.
As part of Apple’s continuous fight against malicious security issues they have now locked down access to audio hardware from applications. With macOS Mojave, to record audio, you need to give the audio application permission to access to your audio inputs and this is how you do it…
Close the application you're using to try and record audio.
On your Mac, choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then select Security & Privacy, then click Privacy.
In the Privacy window, click Microphone.
Select the checkbox next to an app to allow it to access the built-in microphone on your Mac, an external USB mic, or the inputs on an external audio interface.
Open the app and try to record audio again.
Note: Apple uses “microphone” in this dialog, but the context includes inputs from any audio device. The text within this dialog may vary depending on the audio application.
If you're using a USB mic or an external audio device, like an audio interface and you still unable to record audio, we recommend that you check with the audio hardware manufacturer for possible new drivers or software updates and information on macOS Mojave compatibility. Alternatively check out our fully searchable macOS Mojave database and compatibility guide.
Allow Keystroke Passthrough
With macOS Mojave, applications like UAD’s Console need to be given permission to pass keystrokes through to your DAW. Console keystroke passthrough allows DAW applications to be controlled with the computer keyboard (for transport, record enable, etc.) when applications like UAD’s Console is the foreground application.
With the first keystroke when a DAW is open and an app like Console is in the foreground, the “Accessibility Access (Events)” alert dialog appears asking to grant access to the UA Mixer Engine application.
Click “Open System Preferences” in the dialog. The System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy pane appears.
Click the lock icon at lower left of the Privacy pane and authenticate to allow changes.
In the right column within the Privacy pane, tick the “UA Mixer Engine” checkbox.
Alternatively you can follow the steps below to manually enable keystroke passthrough for apps like UAD’s Console. These steps may be necessary if “Open System Preferences” isn’t clicked in the Accessibility Access (Events) dialog as described above.
Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy (from Apple Menu at top left corner of display).
Click the lock icon at lower left of the Privacy pane and authenticate to allow changes.
In the right column of the Privacy pane, click the “+” button and navigate to:
/Library/Application Support/Universal Audio/Apollo/
Click the “UA Mixer Engine” application so it is selected, then click Open.
In the right column of the Privacy pane, tick the “UA Mixer Engine” checkbox.
What Graphics Cards Are Metal Compatible For the Mac Pro 2010 or 2012?
We covered this in detail in our article How Do You Find Mojave Compatible Graphics Cards For Cheese-grater Apple Mac Pro 5,1 Computers? as neither of the stock graphics cards used in the cheese-graters, the Radeon 5770 or the Nvidia GeForce GT120 graphics cards, are metal compatible. If you wish to use a Mid 2010 or Mid 2012 Mac Pro with macOS Mojave then you will need to upgrade your graphics card if you wish to run Mojave on your cheese-grater and you can learn about what graphic cards we understand are compatible in our detailed article.