OSX 10.13: AU settings won't be saved/loaded?

Since High Sierra 10.13.2, AU settings (here ambience AU freeware), won’t remember settings anymore. If you load a song, the plugin will always have the default settings. Strangely after reloading (and changing settings), it seems to be ok, again. Also loading of some plugins now introduces a looooong pause, where no hdd action or cpu action appear.

Could be related to Apple’s “new” way of managing AUs? There seems to be again a new system service, responsible for validating AUs?


I had this same problem. I had to downgrade the OS just to deal with it.

I would guess it would help, if Taktik would drop backwards compatibility to OSX 10.5. Instead compile against minimum 10.9 or similar. Lot of changes from 10.5->10.9, e.g. drop of carbon etc.

This is precisely why I wait soooo long before upgrade my OSX! Lame to hear of this issue, but can’t say I’m all that surprised. Every new OSX release causes problems all over the place with music software :frowning:

Many thanks for the heads up!

Hi Taktik,

I made a testcase xrns for you:

Attachment 7869 not found.

This song has a ambience AU on the “guitar” send track. It loads correctly in Renoise 3.1.1 under macos 10.12.6 (with all recent patches), but loads the default setting under macos 10.13.2:

macos 10.12.6:

Attachment 7870 not found.

macos 10.13.2:

Attachment 7871 not found.

Here is the used ambience au:

Attachment 7872 not found.

Attachment 7873 not found.

Please let me know if I can help with testing e.g. under macos 10.13.2.

This was not meant as feature request, but as a bug report.

I now switched back to Sierra 10.12.6 + HFS again, and it is so much faster. The graphics performance of the recent nvidia web driver is about the same 10.12.6 vs 10.13.2 (final versions), but in Sierra, there are no weird slow downs and lags. Also HFS+ loads and writes many times faster than APFS on a SSD here. The difference is really impressive after you switch back again. I read that Apple has lot of problems since 10.13.0 with their nvidia models (unrelated to Renoise though, since Renoise lacks of a modern GUI base).

BTW. you can upgrade to High Sierra without converting to APFS (I would recommend that highly): After you downloaded the High Sierra.app from Appstore, you exit it. Then you start it from the command line, using the following switches:

/Applications/"Install macOS High Sierra.app"/Contents/Resources/startosinstall --converttoapfs NO --agreetolicense

Apple still has lot of work to do and let’s hope they will manage to fix this (does not seem like this):

  • nVidia mac users suffering from slowdowns over time, reported many times in mac forums

  • AMD mac users suffering from slowdowns over time, reported in mac forums

  • nVidia mac users suffering from lags and micro freezes, reported many times in mac forums

  • Lot of slowdowns in common apps

  • The performance loss caused by Spectre and Meltdown patches seem to be quite extreme, and more patches are following in 10.13.3. Let’s hope apple will optimize a lot more.

Btw. Microsoft now uses other CPU instructions for CPU prediction, and this only works starting Sky Lake. That means the performance loss is more heavy already on Haswell (even it supports PCID).

Here is some interesting reading:



Checker tool for Windows:



Checker tool for Linux:



Full transparency @ Apple, as always. Mac users are too dumb for such a checker tool.

Hello taktik,

Is it possible that you would release a high Sierra quick fix? The audio unit preset management is broken in the following way:

  • Audiounit FX presets saved on Sierra or lower into a song will load as init preset. (E.g. ambience au)

  • saving audiounit FX on high Sierra works, but not be loadable then on Sierra or lower. These newly saved presets could be again broken after a renoise patch.

  • audiounit generators will load correctly at first time (e.g. zebra au) on high Sierra. But on next save, it will turn into the init or random preset. So if the synth has an own preset system, you will have to save it first, then replace with vst version and then load the synth preset. This of course only works if the synth provides a preset manager and a vst version

It seems that au synths are not savable at all, at least a quite a lot. Quite a showstopper.

Since other daws load correctly with the same audiounits, I would assume the renoise simply is lacking of the recent audiounit version switches or even simply the most recent audiounit SDK linked?

I would be also curious if other bugs will be gone, if you was linking only recent system libs, e.g. 10.11 minimum.

Hi again,

it also seems to me that Renoise 3.1.1 on 10.13 has problems to detect newly installed AUs at all, at least sometimes. It is detected in other DAWs. A workaround seems to be to move these kind of audiounits to the users’ audiounit dir instead.

Ah, and btw. this also is weird in Renoise + newer macos: You always will have to restart Renoise before an audiounit rescan (if you adding / installing plugins while Renoise is loaded), since the scan data seems to be cached in filesystem or something? Other daws do not require a restart of the daw.

Other problems found:

  • Using the filemon, I can see that Renoise still scans the whole plugins on start, even if I selected not to scan at start. That’s why the loading is so long, also with a SSD. Shouldn’t Renoise skip the whole scanning if it was not selected? It seems not to use that scanned data then anyway :slight_smile:

  • Renoise still stats the harddrive at “/” for every second. What is this good for? Checking, if something has changed? There are fsevents for macos btw.

  • Some vst plugins won’t load at first try, e.g. korg … You will have to load it two times, or load the song multiple times. Or put these into the template song, so it errors at start. These load fine in other DAWs.

  • Lot of problems with bridged plugins:

  1. tal noisemaker will open, but the gui is super slow, and it will not close the gui. In other daws you can at least close the gui.

  2. tal chorus lx will not close, too.

  3. most bridged plugins’ guis will not open at all, e.g. tt dynamic range meter https://www.kvraudio.com/product/tt-dynamic-range-meter-by-pleasurize-music-foundation , tal-vocoder

Well, maybe it is not worth anymore the effort to fix 32 bit support…

The plugin scanning only happens if you select a template song!

The plugin scanning only happens if you select a template song!

Huh, that’s interesting.

Or maybe it’s simply on song load.

I definitely have a scanning of hundreds of plugins that are not part of the song.

I really noticed that start time somehow increased a bunch, but you do not realize that much with a ssd.


Ok, finally, this happens while Renoise start, even without a template song, and disabled option “scan at start”:

  • A whole scan of audiounit plugins and its info.plists

  • Also renoise plugin server again scans all audiounits

  • A complete scan of /Library/Application Support/ . At least even subdir like “Microsoft” will be scanned

  • A complete scan of ~/Library/Application Support/

So a crazy amount of dirs and files will be scanned for no use…?

Now it gets even more crazy:

  • At any song load, the complete VST plugins will be scanned. So here not the components or app support, but the VSTs - Weird!

Currently Renoise produces an insane amount of file access.

Please let me know if I can help with testing builds…

I upgraded to High sierra only just recently, it messed up what seemed like the filesystem, when I saved a file it wouldn’t show up in the finder until after a minute or longer,I think instead it was the spotlight indexing system coz as I stopped and cleaned it, saved files now pop up immediately in the finder.

I don’t have any problems with Renoise though, but I also try not to use AU plugins as I want the XRNS to open on PC too.

Sorry but what a pointless post is this? You don’t use audiounits on high Sierra and therefore have no problems? Congratulations!

If you would think a bit more first, you would understand that I post this all here for all macOS users, since all are affected.

Nice way to make my blood boil… If you had a brain you’d figure out from my first paragraph, that I think the new filesystem is worth looking into, there’s is some kind of delay that could explain some of your weird problems “Strangely after reloading (and changing settings), it seems to be ok, again”…

But okay, I’ll piss out of your sanctimonious thread

I kept HFS+, so AFS is not related to this problem. Indeed it was a good idea, I agree here. The problem you referred to exists since 10.11 already though.

Still almost all AU presets are lost btw. FYI.

Yeah sorry for posting over and over again… I know this is annoying. But this really drives me crazy. I have to boot into older OS just because of this. Restoration of AU presets is often not possible, only seems to work with a few plugins like ambience, but then I have to make a screenshot of the sliders. A bunch of plugins simply do not save anything, and there are a lot which are not available for vst2, since VST3/AU combination etc. Couldn’t you try to recompile the Renoise 3.1.1 source using the 10.12 SDK? Maybe it already would fix the au problem?