Yesterday Apple announced new iPads and today they release the latest iteration of the iMac. There are updates for both the 21.5” and 27” iMacs with options for i9 6-Core processors and Radeon Pro 580X Series graphics cards with 8GB of GDDR5 memory driving a 5K retina screen on the 27” model.
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. 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.
According to well respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo there are to be a raft of Pro related Apple products due to be released during 2019. Watch out for an ‘all-new’ 16-inch MacBook Pro, the much heralded new modular Mac Pro and a companion 31.6” 6K screen.
If your computer fans produce a lot of unwanted whirring noise in your home studio then why not build your very own isolation case? This excellent video shows you exactly how to achieve this with some basic hand tools and off the shelf materials.
Following on from one of our predictions for 2019 in which we predicted that Object Based Audio Delivery Formats Uptake Will Increase Significantly, at CES 2019 just a few days later there were 2 big announcements to reinforce that our prediction is on the right track. Panasonic announced the world’s first TV which has Dolby Atmos upward firing speakers as well as forward firing ones too and Samsung announced a partnership with Apple where they will have an Apple TV app in their smart TVs that will mean users won’t need to buy an Apple TV hardware unit.
In addition, Dolby used the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to push the growing take-up for its Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology as well as highlight the Dolby Dimension wireless headphones we referred to in our prediction, which Dolby introduced in the autumn last year.
Kevin Brennan, director of product at Dolby, told MESA at the show. “Dolby is everywhere: from the largest screened movie-going experience down to mobile phones and everything in between: televisions, computers, home theater equipment, gaming products and what we’re showing here is the breadth of support for these latest solutions.”
Panasonic GZ2000 OLED TV
Panasonic chose CES 2019 to announce their flagship TV for the year the GZ2000. In 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes, it’s a 4K OLED screen with a sound feature set that is already being raved about in the consumer electronics world as it will be the first TV to include upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers built in.
Hidden from sight when in front of the screen, there are two speakers inside this new TV built into the top of a column that runs up the TV’s rear, which fire the height channels up so that the sound will bounce off the ceiling and give the consumer height based immersive sound.
The concept takes the idea of Dolby Atmos soundbars that we discussed in our prediction article and moves in on and integrates Dolby Atmos into the TV and the sound features don’t stop there. The upward firing speakers are joined by one woofer at the bottom of the back panel and a large front-facing soundbar built into the screen’s bottom edge covering the left, centre and right channels.
Added to that, the sound system is being promoted with “tuned by Technics”, Panasonic’s specialist audio brand, and reading the specs this new sound conscious TV also boasts the proprietary JENO Engine again from Technics, which is designed for “accurate, refined audio” that has been included on previous Panasonic TVs and has been acknowledged as helpful by consumer electronics reviewers.
Those reviewers at CES 2019 were treated to a demo of this TV against last year’s model and it was described as “night and day”.
What Hifi continued… “Shattered shards of glass fly further into the distance, the noise of the football crowd fills the room and extra detail and space is revealed throughout the soundstage. Last year’s set sounds predictably flat and small by comparison”.
Forbes.com said “There’s enough control of this wall of sound, too, to ensure both that placement effects appear in their proper place - above left, for instance - and that music and ambient effects envelope you in an almost uncanny bubble of atmosphere. This was achieved during the CES demos, moreover, in far from ideal room conditions.”
This is great news to help the support and roll out of Dolby Atmos content into the consumer market as it provides another option for consumers to experience Dolby Atmos without having speakers all over the walls and ceiling of their living room.
There are no details on price and availability yet other than the strange situation that Panasonic only sells OLED TVs these days in the US via business to business channels although consumers can buy them in Canada. The good news is that we understand this situation appears to be restricted to the US.
Apple TV Coming To Samsung Smart TVs
This is an interesting collaboration, not least because Apple and Samsung are big rivals in other markets. In an announcement At CES 2019, Samsung and Apple have said that their 2018 and 2019 Samsung Smart TVs will be able to play iTunes movies and TV shows, along with AirPlay 2 support. We understand that last year's Samsung Smart TV models will get these new features via a firmware update, while all 2019 models will come with them built-in out of the box.
There will be a new, dedicated app for iTunes which will give access to users' movies and TV shows that they have purchased through Apple's service. The app will appear with the other apps in a carousel along with other services including Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.
Apple TV has until now been limited to Apple hardware which has severely limited access to media available from Apple’s growing catalogue of content, especially when you compare it with all the various ways people can consume digital content today using smart TVs, set-top boxes, and mobile apps. Once this service starts appearing on Samsung Smart TVs, users will be able to log into their iTunes accounts and play movies and shows directly from their Samsung TV without needing an Apple hardware device.
If you don’t own a Samsung TV then all is not lost. Apple also announced support for its AirPlay 2 streaming system to TV manufacturers including LG, Sony and Vizio. AirPlay 2 will enable users to send content (stills, audio, video) from another Apple device to the big screen. It will also enable an iPhone to be used as a TV remote control. We also understand that Vizio and LG plan to further integrate Apple’s assistant Siri into their TVs.
This is very interesting news when you put it alongside the rumours of Apple’s plan to start a subscription service in 2019 to compete with Netflix, Amazon that might be free to users that own Apple hardware. According to a report by The Information, Apple plans to launch its TV subscription service in the US in the first half of this year with the service then being rolled out to more than 100 countries, in the following months, although Apple have declined to comment about this.
There have been reports that Apple has set a $1 billion budget for content acquisitions and programming for its original content, and is signing deals with the likes of Oprah Winfrey to do shows for its service as well as a deal with Sesame Workshop for children’s programming. We also understand that Apple will be rebooting the science-fiction anthology show Amazing Stories, as well as produce a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, and create a series with La La Land director Damien Chazelle. All of this would point to Apple aiming to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in the OTT market.
Back to CES 2019 and there was a huge buzz on the show floor as to what this might look like following Tim Cook’s comments during a CNBC interview. It would make sense for Apple to broaden its business base across all its services including music, video, games. Apple could also leverage its heritage to innovate further by bringing together a range of services and tightly integrating them with its devices as only Apple can do.
Other CES News
Windows 10 Computer With Dolby Atmos - In other news from CES this year, Lenovo announced their new Yoga A940 all-in-one Windows 10 desktop PC featuring a Dolby Atmos speaker system and a large 27-inch optional 4K wide angle touchscreen display with Dolby Vision as well as Lenovo Smart Assist artificial intelligence-enabled features with a starting price of $2,349.99!
Hey Google - This slogan was apparently all over the CES Show. Google claims that 1 billion devices use the Google Assistant. Unlike Google, Amazon where apparently somewhat conservative compared to Google in terms of marketing, but chose CES to announce that the had sold 100 million Alexa-powered products.
It would seem that both companies have emerged as default voice assistants for TV manufacturers as well as other consumer electronic devices. Across the show most, if not all, announced support for both voice services. As a result voice assistants featured prominently in the keynotes during the press day for brands that included LG and Samsung. However, Samsung seems to be continuing to push its own voice assistant Bixby, but will clearly struggle to compete with Amazon and Google. The consensus amongst observers is that Voice will represent the next battleground in the way users interact with TVs.
We also understand that Vizio and LG plan to further integrate Apple’s assistant Siri into their TVs, so may be Apple will give Amazon and Google a run for their money when it comes to Voice Assistants.
AI Was Also Top Of The Show - The consumer tech industry appears to be embedding AI wherever they can. That said, at the moment the ways the industry are using AI could be considered as still quite limited and needs to get beyond simple algorithms providing users with basic personalised recommendations. .
LG is using AI to change the TV picture settings depending on the lighting conditions; such as brightening up a dark area in real time to improve the image. Samsung promises to adjust the audio playing through the speakers based upon the content. Personalised audio promises so much, which is something Dolby continues to pursue as well.
Wallpaper TVs On The Way - LG has come to successive CES events with prototypes of ‘wallpaper TV’ but this year it has promised to make one commercially available. The Signature OLED TV R (or ROLED) features a 65-inch, 0.18mm thin screen that can retract into its aluminium base, which doubles as a 4.2-channel Dolby Atmos soundbar.
Immersive Sound Mapping - Sony has announced that that they are developing a new immersive audio format. Currently just for music playback, 360 Reality Audio adds a spatial dimension based on the MPEG H 3D Audio format being developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISS. The system uses similar object-based surround techniques deployed in cinema systems like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, but is designed specifically for music.
“360 Reality Audio makes it possible for artists and music creators to create a 360-degree musical experience by mapping sound sources such as vocals, chorus and instruments with positional information of distance and angle to suit their creative and artistic purpose.”
Their goal is to enhance the listeners experience music so that it “immerses them in sound from every direction.”
Check out Digital Trends’ Ryan Waniata’s description of the demos Sony were running at CES 2019.
Sony seems to be is getting the music industry on board to create, record and distribute tracks and concerts specially for the immersive format. Live Nation, Warner Music Group and the streaming service Deezer were listed. Sony even showed a reference model of a 360 Reality Audio speaker and we understand that there are plans to launch on Sony hardware including headphones at an unspecified time in the future. Finally, Sony is developing an app designed to adjust the audio for each individual based on a photographic analysis of their ear.
What Do You Think?
We think that all of this news in the consumer electronics and media sectors continues to confirm our 5th prediction for 2019 that Object Based Audio Delivery Formats Uptake Will Increase Significantly is on the money. What do you think? Do you see Dolby Atmos and other immersive formats taking off in the home media market or will this be around 3D TV moment that died almost as quickly as it appeared? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.
It's a rumour that won't go away and it has recently resurfaced, that Apple is planning to switch Mac processors from Intel CPU to Arm. We compile the sources to try and give you the bigger picture.
Unveiled at CES 2019 this may be the computer accessory every Mac and PC user is going to want to own. The Nemeio is the customisable, connected keyboard that uses electronic ink and means that the keyboard can display numerous things, based on templates and customisation.
It is fairly well known that Apple would always rather you buy a computer from them as a completed system. However, this is not always the most cost effective approach for us the computer buying public. Thanks, in part of Apple making the RAM of the new Mac Mini a user serviceable upgrade you can now take advantage of after market RAM and give your machine top spec without the top spec price tag. The team at OWC show you how to upgrade the RAM in your 2018 Mac Mini.
Back in November 2018 we posted an article Got An Nvidia Graphics Card? Considering Upgrading To macOS Mojave? You Need To Read This First. In this article we share some news about the possible appearance of Mojave compatible drivers for Nvidia graphics cards released after the end of 2013.
There is some debate about how easy it is to replace the RAM in the ne Mac Mini 2018. iFixIt say it is easy, ZDNet say it’s not easy. Watch the video or read the step-by-step iFixIt guide and decide for yourself.
Over 5 weeks after Apple released 10.14, new macOS Mojave compatible Web drivers are still not available for Nvidia graphics cards that were released after the end of 2013. With previous macOS releases they were usually out within 24 hours. This is especially relevant here for some Mac Pro cheese-grater owners who wants to upgrade to macOS Mojave.
As well as the Apple Special Event from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on October 30, 2018, Apple has also announced new MacBook Pro graphics options that will bring powerful Radeon Pro Vega graphics to MacBook Pro for the first time.
Today at the Apple Special Event from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on October 30, 2018, Apple announced a new MacBook Air.
We found a powerful refurbished 12-core Mac Pro 2009 to replace a Mac Pro 2011. The refurb cost us less than the cost of buying an entry level MacBook. Can refurbished Mac Pro 5.1 towers be a suitable “stop gap” solution for those waiting for the next generation Mac Pro Modular? We believe so…
Clickbait titles fill the internet with 'you won't believe what happened next' or 'I was shocked!' For as many media outlets using clickbait titles to get traffic, there are as many idiots who claim something is clickbait if a story didn't live up to their expectation, so how do you title an article when you want to express genuine surprise or shock?
I spoke Mike about it, and we decided screw it, I was shocked when I opened the box, so the title stands - let the keyboard warriors unleash their impotent fury if they must.
With the release of macOS Mojave today, in this article we are sharing up to date information, as we get it from brands and the community, about what pro audio applications and plug-ins that do and don't work with macOS Mojave 10.14 as well as other related issues which affect pro audio users. This article will be constantly updated as the information and compatibility status changes.
Michael Kammes, founder of the 5 Things blog, which he says "is a web series dedicated to answering the 5 burning tech questions you have about technologies and workflows in the media creation space. Tech stuff I dig, and how it’s used.", decided to build a Hackintosh and then compare it to both the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro Late 2013.
In our article Apple Announce New Operating System At WWDC 2018 Called Mojave Apple announced that Mojave would be supported on Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later, plus 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models as long as they had a recommended Metal-capable graphics cards. This triggered questions from a number of you like Karl Mainzer who asked: “Can you recommend a decent Metal compatible graphics card?” Once I started to research this it became clear it would be better to answer this with a dedicated article.
The first thing to be aware of is that 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.
Which leads to the obvious question that Karl and a number of others have asked on social media. Which card should I upgrade to?
The reality is that definite information was hard to come by, there didn’t appear to be any Apple recommended Metal compatible graphics cards. In checking the Apple Support site more recently there has been a response from a level 8 responder, which states that…
After much digging, there are only two official cards for a 5,1 Mac Pro that support Metal. That is, cards that were designed for these Macs. Not flashed PC cards.
AMD Sapphire HD 9750 for Mac
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
The GeForce is much easier to find, and roughly half the price the Sapphire goes for.
There was a response is from a Level 9 responder in the Apple Support community who basically quotes a Wikipedia entry...
On macOS, Metal supports Intel HD and Iris Graphics from the HD 4000 series or newer, AMD GCN-based GPUs, and Nvidia Kepler-based GPUs or newer.
AMD Radeon HD 7000, HD 8000, 200, 300, 400 and 500 series
Nvidia - Most GeForce 600 series, most GeForce 700 series, and some GeForce 800M series
Our friends from OWC also say that there are a number of other graphics cards available that will work with your Mac Pro and support Metal…
AMD: Radeon HD 7000 and HD 8000, as well as the 200, 400 and 500 series of cards.
NVIDIA: Most GeForce 600, 700 and 800 series.
As I have already upgraded my graphics card in my 2010 Mac Pro replacing the ATI Radeon HD5770 1024MB graphics card at the recommendation of UK based Create Pro with an AMD R9 280X 3GB card, which is an AMD 7xxx series card, which is a custom flashed special Mac compatible version. I contacted their tech support and asked them whether my AMD R9 card was Metal compatible and the good news is that it is.
I then asked them for their advice for the situation with other possible cards and they confirmed that neither the ATI Radeon HD5770 and the Nvidia GeForce GT120 graphics card support Metal and so will not support macOS Mojave. Their recommendations are the AMD 5XX series and Nvidia 10XX series. However, they don’t know when Nvidia will release drivers for 10.14 yet so the AMD cards are the best bet as they will work out of the box and they have tested it successfully with the macOS Mojave 10.14 developer beta release.
Looking further afield for information on this Mac Rumours Mac Pro Metal Compatible Card thread there was confirmation of the AMD R9 280X 3GB card that I have as long as it has been flashed for use with a Mac. There are mixed views about the Nvidia GTX680 saying that the 680 Metal drivers are not good, especially with macOS High Sierra, and suggesting that the GeForce GTX TITAN X (Maxwell) or a GTX 1080 (Pascal) are OK with High Sierra,
On another Mac Rumours thread - Best Metal-compatible graphics card for MacPro5,1 (Mid 2010) running High Sierra question again confirmation of the AMD R9 280X 3GB card as well a recommendation to go with AMD cards rather than Nvidia as the AMD cards don’t need drivers.
In the same thread was a recommendation for the Sapphire RX 580 pulse 8gb as apparently, it is plug-and-play in High Sierra, but we have no confirmation of this.
Unfortunately, the AMD R9 280X 3GB card that I have got is no longer a current model but can be found on stores like Amazon and eBay for between £175 and £239 for a custom flashed version for the Mac Pro.
Create Pro are offering the following options in your Create Your Own Cheese-grater Mac Pro page…
AMD RX 560 4GB (1204 Stream Processors) (OS X 10.13.4+) £245 plus taxes
AMD RX 570 4GB (2048 Stream Processors) (OS X 10.13.4+) £395 plus taxes
AMD RX 580 8GB (2304 Stream Processors) (OS X 10.13.4+) £445 plus taxes
Nvidia GTX 1050Ti 4GB (768 CUDA Cores) (OS X 10.12.4+) £245 plus taxes
Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB (1920 CUDA Cores) (OS X 10.12.4+) £545 plus taxes
Nvidia GTX 1070TI 8GB (2423 CUDA Cores) (OS X 10.12.4+) £645 plus taxes
Nvidia GTX 1080 8GB (2560 CUDA Cores) (OS X 10.12.4+) £745 plus taxes
Nvidia GTX 1080Ti 11GB (3584 CUDA Cores) (OS X 10.12.4+) £995 plus taxes
So a new AMD RX 560 4GB card looks a cost-effective solution if you want a new graphics card or a secondhand AMD R9 280X 3GB card could be worth considering if you can find one at a good price. Either way, make sure you get one that a custom flashed Mac compatible version. If you don’t, it should still work, but not seeing the boot screen etc could be an issue if you need to select a different startup disk or need to boot on single user mode, or recovery, because these things happen during the startup sequence and before the normal video drivers load. An unflashed PC graphics card won't display anything until the startup sequence is finished.
I hope that helps to answer the question about what maOS Metal compatible graphics card there are out there for Mac Pro 2010 and 2012 cheese-grater computers.
Whilst we are talking about macOS Mojave compatibility if you have any other Mac and you want to know about macOS Mojave compatibility then it would seem that these Macs that should be OK with Mojave are…
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)
Because of the need for graphics cards that support Metal with Mojave, the list is even shorter than it was with macOS High Sierra and that rules out the Late 2009 MacBook, the Mid-2010 MacBook Pro, Late 2010 MacBook Air, Mid-2010 Mac mini, and Late 2009 iMac.