macOS Sierra: Does DJ Software Work?

About a year ago, Apple released OS X 10.11, El Capitan – and DJs around the world either experienced or heard about the many issues that plagued digital DJ software. Even now, many DJs and producers have held off on updating. This week Apple releases macOS Sierra, 10.12. Read on to learn what the state of DJ software is with this new release.

Warning: Do not update to macOS Sierra if your current DJ setup is stable and you have an important gig coming up. Always have a backup plan or way to roll back your operating system. Don’t take risks!  

Traktor Pro With macOS Sierra

Let’s start with the most exciting development. With El Capitan, there have continued to be a number of major issues for users of Traktor’s hardware, mostly related to larger CoreAudio problems. According to Native Instruments,

“after working closely with Apple and intensive testing, macOS Sierra delivers very stable audio performance on all our current-generation hardware devices.”

If you’ve experienced issues with stuttering audio and dropouts, many beta testers have confirmed that macOS Sierra seems to fix these with the new version of Core Audio:

There are a few legacy devices that are still having issues with their audio output which, according to NI, still seem to have crackling issues. Native Instruments has mentioned on CenterCode that they will stop support of these devices with this new update:

  • Kontrol S4 MK1
  • Audio 8/4/2 DJ

Serato DJ with With macOS Sierra

Serato DJ also had some hiccups with El Capitan – most of which were resolved after an arduous few weeks with serious issues. To ward off any potential issues this time around, Serato has sent out a mass email letting their users know the current status of their software. The main warning is for legacy Serato Scratch Live users:

As Scratch Live is a legacy product, we don’t recommend updating to macOS Sierra as there may be unknown issues.

However, we’ve been testing Serato DJ across the beta versions of Sierra and should be able to confirm support shortly after the official release.

If you have supported hardware for Serato DJ, we recommend upgrading.

Note that similar to Native Instruments, Serato have stop supporting older devices and sound cards – like the Rane TTM57 (MK1) mixer and Rane SL1 soundcard.

Rekordbox DJ With macOS Sierra

Rekordbox noted earlier this summer that, “We will not be officially supporting Sierra until after the official public release and we’ve had an opportunity to verify compatibility. During this time, you may try it at your own risk, Pioneer DJ does not guarantee performance, assumes no responsibility for loss of information, and will not provide support should you encounter any problems.”

So far we haven’t heard of any major issues – just a few posts on the Rekordbox forums and Facebook groups that seem to indicate everything is working without issue:

Ableton Live With macOS Sierra

Ableton has written up a support article on their site sharing a bit of details about Live 9 and the new macOS. It’s a similar story here – no major issues so far. They note that only the newest version of Live 9 is confirmed to be working well:

“We are not aware of any issues affecting the latest version of Live 9 under macOS Sierra.  However, older versions of Live 9 cannot be expected to function flawlessly, nor is Live is supported on the beta version of macOS Sierra.”

And the same goes for Max for Live:

“As of version 7.2.4, Max for Live will work in macOS Sierra.  However, for users that upgrade the OS (as opposed to reinstalling it), it is necessary to perform a Java 6 SE installation a new time.”

Apple is set to make macOS Sierra available for download tomorrow – Tuesday the 20th. Details on their site here

Do you have any experience with Sierra and other DJ software? Let us know in the comments. 

applemacmacOS Sierrarekordbox djserato DJsystem updateTraktor Proupdatevirtual dj
Comments (70)
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  • Jerin Khurana

    This is what I think when I see those “Show me your setup” posts with a lot of shit that have 3-4 more years left. Sure it looks nice now but the owner will be in a lot of headache when their stuff gets killed one by one by the manufacturer. Keeping an DJ/production only old computer around? Sell the stuff away? Does this means this means that every few years you’ll need to go thru a sort of ritual of selling and buying crap and making it work just because the company you have supported dont want to do a new driver PLUS wont open source the old stuff?

    Source- website

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  • Marvin Bucknell

    Hi Guys. Just bought a new I mac for my studio. It’s got El Capitan on it I run a Pioneer DJM2000 as my sound card and I just can’t get any audio to come out of it, it’s showing in audio midi devices but it’s just like locked and greyed out. Any way no audio out and video play back will not work from you tube etc. So upgraded to Siera and still the same problems. I’ve been on the Pioneer dj web site forums and have come across similar topics but with no resolve. Am I missing some thing here? Can any one point me to the right direction to get audio out again. I’ve down loaded the latest drivers from pioneer but it’s just not meshing. Stressing a bit here. Kind of ruined my buzz of having a shiny new comp. Many thanks for any advise.

    Oh yea obviously maschine will not work either. Absolutely no audio out. Even though you can select the djm from the Audio device menu’s.

  • The Letter C

    FYI I have a Kontrol Z2 A new Macbook Pro updated to Sierra. I updated all Drivers and can not get my Z2 to work with traktor on Sierra. Z2 will work with Audio 6.. Z2 will also work with old Mac running 2.8.. for some reason Z2 is not sending any midi messages to Traktor on Sierra. I’ve tried everything. If any other Z2 users have any tips or suggestions let me know. Otherwise be careful.

  • Dominik Strm?nik

    Its so sad & wrong that NI droped support for Audio 8! Last year i decided that it’s time to get brand new stable computer for my gigs finally. I bought new macbook pro Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), 2,2 GHz Intel Core i7,16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3. And a few months back I bought second-hand Audio 8. I was so happy, finnaly I can use 8 chanells! Now every time I want to DJ I get cracks and pops in the sound and im really sad. I dont have money for A10 🙁

  • Hernán Casillas Siordia

    Ive been using Sierra for a week so far and could use my NI Audio with no problems (updated without knowing my card would no longer be supported) for outputing macbook built-in out, though i couldnt use it within Ableton Live (could load in settings but track would never play). Today i had to do a 6 sec hard reset on my lap cus it hung, and now nothing, not recognized at all. My experience , i updated without knowing my card would be unsupported.

    • Sebastian Zbierski

      Hi which NI card are you using. Thanks

  • Rutger Willems

    If you own a DN-X1600 or DN-X1700 DO NOT UPDATE!

  • Chris

    btw: i found some „honk“ in the clouds of an swedish production. They can write notes from your lips

  • Sam DjSammyc Ringwood

    Im Running SL2, with El Capitan and have had no issues, I want to upgrade to Sierra and need to know if its been tested with SL2. Any help would Be greatly appreciated.

  • Pop UpDJ

    I’m going to wait until after christmas now. Call me chicken, but better safe than sorry. Still I always take my ipad backup

  • Quenepas

    Well this sucks. NI killing support for the venerable S4 MK1… So, this devices clocked at 6 years (inferring EVERYONE bought it release date meaning that many folks bought a dead-man-walking device with a few years left), does this means this is the average time NI kills support so you buy their new stuff? Maschine MK2 was released in 2012 so it means they’ll kill it in about 3-4 years? Maschine Jam already has a 6 years backward countdown? Will NI keep piggy backing on Apple decisions of planned obsolescence to push on their own planned obsolescence? NI should open source the drivers to show at least some respect for loyal customers.

    This is what I think when I see those “Show me your setup” posts with a lot of shit that have 3-4 more years left. Sure it looks nice now but the owner will be in a lot of headache when their stuff gets killed on by the manufacturer. Keeping an old computer around? Sell the stuff away? This is why people dont trust (and with reason) the whole controllerist thing and move back to not computer bound stuff. Time proved them right.

    • Jake Barry

      Really makes me question if I’ll ever buy NI again. I’ve got an S4, 2 D2s, and an X1 and that will probably be all that I ever buy. I’ve never really considered buying anything besides NI because my S4 was such a pleasure to use. But now…

      Way to kill your customer’s loyalty NI! Seriously, how hard was this going to be for you to fix? You only have to do it once a year (or less). Hire a guy/gal and make that their full time job. Problem solved and for a very reasonable price vs. the lost customers you are about to have.

      • Quenepas

        And not even full time knowing NI is beyond greedy, I say utterly cheap is more accurate, in not having a sub contractor doing the new driver for macOS, hell, it’s not like macOS will be changing music protocols every year. This is expensive hardware and a MINIMUM of 10 years is the least they can do.

        My whole music environment is NI centric, S25, Maschine, Komplete Audio 6, S4 and this reaaaaally makes me want to sell everything, get a Push 2 and forget NI even existed. Yes they make great stuff but their business decisions are pure bullshit. Was considering a Maschine Jam but having them sell it for $400 even to previous Maschine owners that do not need the software nor the Komplete Selects and now killing their products after a few years I will definitively not get anything NI either ever again.

      • Dubby Labby

        OS problem more than NI side. The new devices are class compliant even the controllers are not midi class compliant (but they could be with an update like audio6/10/2mk2 are/were)
        S2/4 mk2 work with Traktor dj app so these should be capable of class compliance and keep them more alive if usb keeps going as the last years (from 1.0 to 3.0) but who knows… The best option to avoid this is go hardware route of course but hardware innovation is slow than computer based. Not ideal solution, sorry…

        • Quenepas

          ” but who knows… ” – Just this. Would you invest in that premise?

          “but hardware innovation is slow than computer based” – I actually prefer this. It’s like this 300 year old Maggini violin which, although an extreme example, I rather get to now the kinks of old hardware than have new crap added software side which can affect your tried and true work flow. This is why your creativity is better with constrains bis/bis an universe of choice.. have you ever spent an afternoon hearing 5GB of just snares? I would have just 100 snares and everything else parameter based.

          I’m not sure about taking a consumerist approach to music making. My 2 quid.

          • Dubby Labby

            Again mostly agreed. I have all what I need from my iPad mini 4 setup but I don’t have x86 machines anymore (the last the mac mini I’ve sold to buy the ipad) and look to samplers time to time. Related to djing I still try to build my own standalone digital turntable with scavenged parts (cdx, tt500…) and considering to implement a raspi or nuc but crafted as not “computer” base. Giving it only one function and optimizating it but… I don’t need it today. If I need to mix music I will go with the iPad and soundcard (controller neither) due I’m more in live producing than mixing… Everyday I lose more and more the djing factor keeping it for talk with djs friends lol

            Not easy moment I wonder…

    • Dubby Labby

      Mostly agreed. Also buying class compliant hardware makes your setup a bit more compatible in the future. I will love to use a Kontrol d2 or F1 with my iPad but NI craft their hardware with dedicated driver (even necessary for the midi mode) so not an option for me. You nailed it 99%…

  • Tony Mitchell

    Windows anyone. I haven’t had an issue and using DJ software with a touch-screen is a joy.

    • Quenepas

      This is what I’ve been thinking. Microsoft is really putting a huge effort with Windows 10 making it a viable audio performance/production platform, Razer going the extra mile with the Razer Music initiative and companies like PCaudioLabs making their livelihood out of this, makes me think that there hasnt been a better time to jump ship from macOS to Windows and from NI to Ableton/rekordBox/Serato.

      Which computer you have and whats your setup?

      • Tony Mitchell

        Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

  • Gavin Varitech

    Sounds like I’m doing this today!

  • Xxx

    what about the software? my Traktor software constantly keeps crashing when i want to start it. i also reinstalled the software but it seems not run 🙁
    on OSX10.11 everything worked fine.

    Plz help me

  • Sevenkami

    Next up: Traktor Pro and Windows 10.

    So many latency, usb and other (audio) issues since the switch to 64 bit a long, long time ago. Some were fixed by the last patch, many are still present. The NI forums are still full of DJ’s trying to get this stuff to work properly like it did in the good old 32-bit Traktor version 9.6.8 days.

    If only they put their resources on stability and audio performance instead of Stems…

    • Dubby Labby

      Again OS (and Intel vs Amd chipset) has the weird part of the blame…

  • Eric Renan Neumann Foxx

    Now what should i do? I have traktor pro and audio 8. Should i update my mac or not?

    • Dubby Labby

      Audio8dj will lose compatibility so if you are not planning sell it and buy new soundcard… No.

  • Lakatta

    So is it only the audio for the S4 or is it the whole thing? I use the audio hub to connect.

    • Dubby Labby

      Probably the whole thing but search at forums. Logic says it will be the whole due:
      – Soundcard is not class compliant and it makes extra effort to keep it updated with new macOS.
      – Midi/Hid controller needed dedicated drivers and it’s not compatible neither with Core Midi (mk2 version is) so no suitable for iOS neither.

      • Lakatta

        Thanks for the info. Looks like I’ll have to finish working on a laptop I have and run the s4 on an 10 for now. So either a new Mk2 or purchase 1200’s again. Knew I shouldn’t have sold my setup to move in with a woman. At least I went digital for better or worse.

        • Dubby Labby

          Well you could still work with it if not upgrade. Think on it as “standalone¡ and don’t “add” new features which you don’t need. Work with it, make some profit and then if you need more sell and buy with the gains etc etc.
          That’s how mostly professionals work (almost in mobile, wedding…)

  • Michael K

    Hi everyone first of all I would like to thank DJTT for attaching my NI forum post. I have been testing MacOS Sierra extensively every week and almost everyday for the last 2 months and yes core audio is fixed 100% its just great to know that non of this was NI’s fault this was an internal Apple problem. Now that Traktor is stable with both Windows and Mac I am sure more user requested features will be released in the near future these include, D2 / S8 / S5 waveform color, Secondary Library Sort Maschine 2 Integration, Display Key Changes + Key Sync, Elastic Beat grids, Intelligent Playlists to name a few. I think that NI has been holding back for this very reason the “core audio bug”. I am looking forward to what the future holds as a long time user and beta tester of TSP:)


    Michael K
    MichaelKMusic NI forum Member

  • Roy Bear

    I am a little disapointed that nobody mentions Apples new file format for macOS…
    This will be released next spring, and i assume you have to do a “clean install”, therefor I would wait.

    • Treadway

      Yes I would definitely wait on upgrading to the new filesystem till after extensive testing by the developers. Is it available in spring or with Sierra? I am running Sierra, but will not touch the erase button in Disk Utility to see.

    • squirrel squirrel squirrel

      Why are you disappointed? The file system is still in development and can only be installed via command line. It is no where near ready for prime time and there is no confirmation that Apple will actually switch over to start using it on any devices as default any time soon. And also what you are saying about requiring is pure speculation. It is highly likely that it will be possible to convert the file system on a live installation.
      The point is, only developers need be concerned about the new file system soon. It is too early to start discussing this for the end user when so much will change between now and when it is released.

      • Roy Bear

        sure, I am speculating.
        Meanwhile I also see no need for a clean install the OS to use the upcoming filesystem. I just thought it should be mentioned…

    • Sascha Wesseler

      I might be wrong about this, but I am quite sure that I’ve read, that one of the great features of the new filesystem is that they will be able to update to that live! That means no need for a clean install!

  • 1000 Cutts

    Anyone want to buy an S4 Mk1? I think this has solidified my decision to move back to a traditional vinyl set up with maybe some CDJ’s in a few months time..

    • Roy Bear

      depends on what you demand 😀

    • Quenepas

      I agree. NI killing the S4 mk1 it’s kind of a shitty move considering how many of those units are out in the wild and still get a lot of use. The device is a bit over 6 years since release. Looks like if you want to have a dj setup complimented with a maschine or F1 etc, all would need to be brand new and everything would have a few years of support until it gets killed off by NI. To everyone wanting NI devices seems they’ll push planned obsolescence piggybacking on Apple’s decisions. They should at least open source on drivers and everything related to legacy devices to at least not leave their community in the dust. Shame on them.

      • Dubby Labby

        That’s it.

  • tehk

    NI dropping support of the S4 Mk1 ?? Seriously?! How hard is it to keep a driver updated?!!

    • Dubby Labby

      It’s about class compliance. The trouble is in the Core Midi side but hey! It’s a pity for these ‘so-new’ interface…

      • dj setaQueHabla

        It was released on december of 2010. It’s gonna be 6 years old this winter. Yes, it is not brand new, but not that old to become obsolete. For me it sounds like “ok, this fuckin driver is troublesome. just let’s draw upon the situation and get rid of it”.
        Anyway, this is another point to the list of reasons to move to rekordbox. If they don’t release a major update soon that worths all the cons, goodbye Native Instruments.

        • Dubby Labby

          6 years is a lot in computing but Rane have make djs think opposite with their 10 year hardware. I’m agreed with you about NI updates but I also miss something like AMX from them (Z1mk2?)

          • Quenepas

            “6 years is a lot in computing” thats what they have been successful in making you believe. Having new stuff out does not brake the old stuff unless of course they can brake it for you with things like this. What good is having a quality piece of that can last you decades when the decision of breaking it is being done thousands of miles away?

          • Dubby Labby

            Not really… The problem is about (business) planning but djing adds more difficult to the equation.
            Try to sell something to people who use turntables as useful, not so futuristic and updated with the time where it’s released.
            Translation: make a controller with new flava look, tested (so: old) components and deal with OS improvements which is made by people who look at us and think: turntables? Are you kidding me?

            6 years is a lot in technology where innovation is not linear but exponential. Things like Moore’s law makes sense if you think how were computers in the 80′ 90′ 2K… And then look at djing evolution. It should be parallel, right? If Stanton didn’t brung Final Scratch, none of us will talking about djing nowadays (Pioneer in these days was trying to take out the human part of it) so every year the gap is bigger (1,2,4,16,256,65.536…) and here we are discussing about maintain drivers for a 6 years old hardware… Or asking for soundcards for 2 tt and mixer setups. The thing is “Post-pc” wasn’t a cool marketing word from Steve Jobs, it’s about IoT, smart devices and trucks. In 80′ wondering the possibility to talk with my car through my watch was a “KITT” sci-fi serie. We have bots answering phone calls but we still need vinyl haptic control of music reproduction…

            Back on topic… To keep compatibility brands must add themselves to some standards like usb and its class compliances but it makes hardware a bit limited (that’s why Apple develops its own connectors or drop standard ones to push forward new ones) and also in music terms with midi (and that’s why NI has HID or Pioneer Link protocol) but even these should find “middle points” making them “freeze” innovation or “drop” retro compatibility. Shit? Yes. Necessary? Maybe. At last nobody force us to update to the latest version of hard/soft (and that’s why djs still use turntables).

            Blame your OS provider for mesh with Core audio/Asio and technology “hosts” to bring new technologies but remember these also bring us timecode and lots of features improving the artform (djing) making obsolete the previous setup (win xp 32 bits limitation of 3gb for ram, usb vs printer port or ps2, solid state vs tape…)

            Conclusion: if you are buying things to keep using them more than 3 years (usually the warranty period almost in Europe) look at hardware and standalone solutions. Those which has dependency on computers are the most innovavite (almost them have the full potential of being) but also the most ephimeral in this terms.

          • Quenepas

            While I dont disagree with your statement I definitively think that this “music performance and production” sub segment of the market should be approached differently that regular consumer electronics are. Here people like getting acquainted with their stuff and get to know their tools in and out since most do this for public performances and even make a living out of this unlike say the smartphone throwaway mentality of getting a new device every 2 years.

            If I knew the S4 was getting axed a few years later after release, I would not have bought it in the first place. Similarly, If I had known a new Playstation was getting introduced (PSPRO) I wouldn’t have gotten the first PS4 for my nephew either. Fool me once…

            It’s just the whole industry getting the Apple business model of releasing marginally better stuff every few years. Even if toxic marketing does not work for you (perceived obsolescence) they can always cut the cord from their side and excuses would not be an issue. Adding to this the already lack of quality and we can be witnessing a new landscape of consumption that will just be creating piles of trash and guess what, many people think it’s not cool. If this is what’s going to be happening I’ll just bail out and find something else and I highly doubt many people will be appreciating the ever updating threadmill of corporate planned obsolescence and bullshit.

            I already started by cancelling the Maschine Jam preorder and will be moving on to a full hardware computerless environment. This is not a smarphone, these are instruments I want to know inside out while not having a countdown on them the second I buy them. I want to go at my pace and not at some corporations pace. Eurorack, here I go…

          • Dubby Labby

            Agreed and that’s why I built my own “thingas” last years and also spreaded the most as I can diy but for me there is a line which not everybody wants to cross: open their regular tools (and the most recognized one in computing terms is apple devices). So meanwhile I encourage others to craft their own I also explain them it takes some time. If you need a tool for today then buy the best you can. Usually a mac/ipad pro but if “computer” becomes the problem, then an standalone gadget. It has pros and cons as I explained. Shit for sure but that’s how it works.
            Ways for change? Responsable consume and craft your own everytime you can.

            Richard Stallman makes it clear with Free Software Foundation. Free not as beer, Free from Freedom…

  • Stephen Nawlins

    Call me old or retarded but this Kind of Problems I Haven’t with Vinyl or CDs.

    • Roy Bear

      and you also can’t get the sweet taste of those newskool features like looping or beatgridded FX…

      Decisions, decisions, decisions.

      • Vader Trackerz

        t’as l’air d’un bon trouduc avec tes reponses cinglantes qui font pas avancer le schmilblick XD

      • Spacecamp

        For vinyl, perhaps. Looping and FX are no problem on CDJ setups, right?

        • Roy Bear

          right. I forgot 😀
          But getting a all-in-one-controller (including a audiointerface) is waaaaaay more cheaper then buying two CDJs or Turntables. This is going to be an endless discussion, therefor I stop right now, and take it how it is 😀

          • Stephen Nawlins

            I just say XDJ-R1 from Pioneer 😉 😉 😉

          • Quenepas

            Cheaper? Well we just found out you’ll have to replace it every few years. S4 MK1 releasing 6 years ago and getting killed now means it’s about $100 a year to have. Say you got an S8? Hopefully, thats $200 per year because you can be sure NI wont support that thing for 12 years nor that thing will last them with so many things that can go wrong.

      • JaylikeBird

        “The sticker-loops you like are coming back in style-”

        said the little man in my dream

      • Stephen Nawlins


        • Quenepas

          different problems like warped vynil, bad needles, heavy crates, etc but certainly not “all your shit is obsolete” problem.

          • Stephen Nawlins

            Exactly and not “Obsolete” determinated by a third Party who doesnt even know what I use it for.

        • Rob Ticho, Default Rejects

          vinyl: bad needles, warped records, decks skipping from vibration.

          CDs: scratched cds, having to burn cds before a gig, and i’ve seen CDJs randomly loose power/reset on a number of occasions.

          • Stephen Nawlins

            Bad Nedlees, warped Records, scratched CDs Equals a bad mp3 Quality or a lack of using his Setup with respect and cleaning it up after every use.
            Loose Power7Rest Equals Software crashes….so what are you arguments now???
            And all the Problems you mention are Problems due to the Setup itself or the User and not due to a third Party like Microsoft or Apple interfering in my Business.

          • Rob Ticho, Default Rejects

            No arguments now. All i did was point out that every system of equipment has its own set of problems.

            The last thing I want to do is get dragged into a boring debate on what set up is better. I don’t give a crap about equipment choices of other DJs.

  • Vader Trackerz

    new OS for expensive and bad computer (and i was a fan boy of apple when it was great to have a macbook )

    • Roy Bear

      ah, you realised macOS is also a OS like all the other Operating Systems?
      And Apple is chargin’ too much for their Computers?
      It sucks to be forced to choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.