"MOTU engineers have been working closely with engineers at Apple to ensure full compatibility with Panther and to take full advantage of new CoreMIDI and CoreAudio technologies being introduced, such as input and output naming," said Jim Cooper, Director of Marketing at MOTU. "If you are a MOTU user who plans to upgrade your system to Panther, be sure to visit the Downloads page at www.motu.com to obtain all of the latest Panther-compatible updates that apply to you," he continued.
Updated drivers include MOTU FireWire Driver Version 1.07 and MOTU PCI Driver Version 1.03. Both updates support all MOTU FireWire and PCI interfaces, including the original 828 and 896 FireWire interfaces, as well as first- and second-generation PCI-324 and PCI-424 systems running under Panther.
In addition to Panther compatibility, these FireWire and PCI audio driver updates introduce three significant new features: input/output names, control surface support and default stereo input/output. The new FireWire audio driver also introduces the ability to resolve (slave) to another CoreAudio driver.
Input and output names
In earlier versions of Mac OS X, the inputs and outputs on an audio interface were hard-coded with generic names, such as "Analog In 1-2" and "ADAT Optical Out 7-8". Now, users can type in any name they wish, such as "drum kit overhead mics L/R" or "outboard reverb return". When users then choose inputs and outputs from menus in their host audio software, they appear in the menu with these more intuitive names. Note that the host audio software must also support Mac OS X input and output names.
Control surface support
The second significant new feature, control surface support, has been added to CueMix Console, the on-screen mixer that controls the latency-free monitor mixing in the 828mkII and 896HD FireWire interfaces, as well as PCI-424 core systems. CueMix Console can now be controlled from an automated worksurface such as the Mackie Control Universal�. Users can adjust input levels, pan, mute, solo and other parameters of their multiple monitor mixes using automated faders and touch-sensitive pots on the control surface. Options are provided for easily switching the control surface between CueMix Console and other host audio software that the user may also be controlling during their recording session. Detailed on-line help is supplied to aid users in configuring and using their hardware with CueMix Console. Currently, CueMix Console directly supports the Mackie Control Universal, Mackie HUI, and Baby HUI. The Radikal Technologies SAC-2.2 is supported via its HUI emulation mode, as are other 3rd-party control surface products that support HUI emulation. This new feature does not require Panther and is available to all users running Mac OS X Version 10.2 or later.
Default Stereo Input/Output
Apple's Audio MIDI Setup utility allows Mac users to choose a default stereo input and output (other than the built-in mic, speakers and headphone output) for any audio being recorded or played by Mac OS X applications such as iTunes�, iMovie� or DVD Player�. In earlier versions of Mac OS X, users could only choose inputs 1-2 and outputs 1-2 on their MOTU FireWire and PCI audio interface. Now, under Panther, users can choose any input or output pair currently enabled on their MOTU audio interface.
Clocking to another CoreAudio driver
The FireWire audio driver update now has the ability to resolve to other CoreAudio drivers. This allows any MOTU FireWire interface to resolve to other audio interfaces running simultaneously on the same computer, such as the Mac's built-in audio, a PCI-424 core system, or even 3rd-party interfaces, without the need for external word clock connections between the devices. Doing so ensures that audio tracks being played or recorded by a MOTU FireWire interface will not drift apart from tracks on the other device during long playback or recording passes. This also allows users to run expanded FireWire systems with multiple MOTU interfaces while maintaining perfect digital audio phase-lock among all interfaces, regardless of the host audio software being used. To slave a MOTU FireWire audio interface to another device, users choose the other device from the "Clock Source" menu in the MOTU FireWire Audio Console.
Digital Performer 4.11
In addition to Panther compatibility, DP 4.11 introduces several new features, including a new utility that allows users to easily configure and use patch names for expansion boards installed in their synthesizers. Users can then choose sounds from the expansion boards by name from within Digital Performer, or any other CoreMIDI-compatible software that supports Mac OS X's XML-based patch list features.
Digital Performer 4.11 also allows Pro Tools users to view TDM plug-in presets in categorized sub-menus.
MachFive and Panther
The current shipping version of MachFive, Version 1.0, is already fully compatible with Panther. MachFive does not require an update to run under Panther.
USB Driver update
MOTU has also just updated the MOTU USB MIDI driver to Version 1.2.1. This update (not related to - or required for - Panther) significantly improves the performance of the MOTU FastLane-USB 2-input/2-output MIDI interface under Mac OS X Version 10.2 or later. This update is highly recommended for all FastLane-USB users who are running Mac OS X, and it is now available for download at