NI - Software quality, particularly for those users using Mac OS

Richard S
Richard S Member Posts: 28 Member

I recently had many issues with Kontakt, such that it was crashing almost all of the time on my Mac OS running Sonoma and with Ableton and Logic Pro. Not sure which crashed the most often, but I believe it was Logic Pro, that crashed within the first minute, and Ableton after a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately I had to give up using the product, as at least for me it was unusable. Now I know what people are going to say, they're going to say "you should not have upgraded to Sonoma". But in my case, I bought a new machine with Sonoma installed. Probably I will not be the only person doing this over the coming months.

I've been following some threads here, and it would seem that there are some people who are not so happy with the quality of the NI software. I won't get into mentioning the hardware, as people seem to have even more issues with that.

For those people who have been using NI over the years, do you feel the quality of the software, support and fixes in particular for Mac OS, have been getting better or worse? How about Kontakt 7, which I believe is a very important application, is that getting enough love and care, or are there more and more bugs coming up, that you feel are not being addressed in a timely manner? Are you hoping for a Kontakt 8, which will be more user friendly?



  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,764 Expert

    I am not on Mac, but fact that certain plugin crasches in certain DAW does not necesarily mean, that problem is in that plugin. It may be problem in DAW.... Or even problem in OS...

    My guess is that part of the problems is caused by transition to Apple Silicon and that it will take few more years to catch most of bugs. And also transition to VST3.

    Concerning Kontakt. It gets fixes quite often.

  • DunedinDragon
    DunedinDragon Member Posts: 287 Pro

    I've never had any problems with NI software, but I'm on a Windows PC not a Mac. And the bugs you're referring to are not NI bugs, they're bugs caused by changes to the Mac operating system not accounting for how it impacts their installed base of software.

    In my experience this is nothing new with Apple. What makes Apple different from most other core operating system vendors is they're more focused on marketing and first-to-market than on engineering and stable releases. Other vendors such as Microsoft and Google (Android) can't afford to do this because so much of their installed base are large corporate customers that rely on the operating system for running their businesses. Apple on the other hand is almost solely in the consumer market. That means the stakes are much higher for other operating system vendors and therefore diligent testing of releases is far more important.

    That doesn't mean other vendors don't encounter unforeseen problems with their releases of operating system upgrades, but the tend to be far less prevalent or critical because the stakes are so high.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,508 Expert

    I am on Mac, and on Sonoma, and have been a NI user for many years. This is not my experience, I can't remember the last time I had a crash in Logic (or Live but I don't use that as much with plugins) - it is not a common occurrence for sure.

  • Richard S
    Richard S Member Posts: 28 Member
    edited December 2023

    Something doesn't add up and I'm very surprised to see the "I've never had any problems" posts, as I just checked the forums and Google and I see there many people who have experienced problems. In fact, when I check the updates, I even notice that the latest release has fixed a bug where Kontakt was crashing.

  • mykejb
    mykejb Moderator Posts: 900 mod

    @Richard S Is your system still crashing even with the fix? If so maybe it's a different problem, or the fix didn't have enough 'fix' in it?

    -- Mike

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,764 Expert

    But still, it could have been problem in Logic Pro and not in Kontakt.... And NI has changed something in Kontakt to avoid incompability in Logic Pro (Logic Pro is mentioned not generally DAWs). But I do not know, there might be problem in Kontakt as well.

    And there is wast field where it is not clear, who made a mistake and has a bug. The interfaces are not described precisely, so one may interpret it in one way, the other another way.

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 809 Pro
    edited December 2023

    Kontakt has been a roller coaster for me on MacOS. I started on MacOS 13.5 and Kontakt was fine. Then seemingly overnight Kontakt started causing kernel panics that would cause my entire computer to reboot. These would happen as soon as the program got to the main screen, without even having a chance to click on anything. I went back and forth with their support and eventually got a list of things to try on Windows, not sure why they sent me that. But I basically gave up at that point. MacOS 14 came out so I updated and between the recent NI updates and MacOS updates Kontakt has been extremely stable. But I definitely have that fear of updating Kontakt or MacOS now because I don't want it to break again.

  • Richard S
    Richard S Member Posts: 28 Member

    I think there are many people who have experienced similar and so I find it difficult to believe when anyone tells me they have not experienced any problems. Hopefully those people are not people from NI marketing or people with close connections to NI, who are trying to downplay quality issues with their postings.

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 1,734 mod

    Experiences depends on more things such as exact version of OS , level of user experience and DAW used among others..

    If you go to the page Compatibility of Native Instruments Products on macOS then you will see that the level of how well the OS is supported varies between OS versions. Also , then a lot of MAC users got problems because they simply do not have the 'required' level of experience of how to get into 'smooth sailing' with the N.I. products on their OS.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,764 Expert

    It also may depend on how user uses SW, what else SW he has installed on computer, what sound interface he uses, what else SW is running together with given application. And also on hardware configuration. Even though Macs do not have as wide range of HW as Win computers, it still may matter....

    Power/experienced users will have most probably good spec Mac, good quality souncard, not more applications installed than those needed for music production. No programs running on background if creating music, and so on....

    So, they behave so as minimize unwanted interactions and facing problems because of that.

    I have heard many people complaining that there is something wrong in NI plugin finding later that it has been caused by plugin from other manufacturer.

    I do not know how it war in case of Kontakt, but there is more explanations that there was bug in Kontakt....

  • Vic Angelo
    Vic Angelo Member Posts: 104 Advisor

    I've been using NI Since Kontakt 2.0. I can say I've never had serious stability problems... but since switching from Windows to Mac, almost zero. "Almost"... 😁

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,508 Expert
    edited December 2023

    Problems like crashes are often due to interactions between multiple elements which means just because some people are having problems on their systems doesn’t mean everyone is - also people tend to come to forums to ask for help with problems but it’s much rarer to see people talking about not having problems so what you read may not be particularly representative

    it also helps that know my system inside out and also have a good grasp of how to troubleshoot and prevent problems

    also I didn’t say I had ‘no problems’, I regularly report on problems when they occur but crashes are not generally something I experience on my Mac. On the whole I find NI software to be pretty stable on Mac and certainly more than when I was on Windows

  • Voiceman
    Voiceman Member Posts: 8 Member

    I have had, and still have problems with Kontakt. I use Pro Tools and get AAE-9173 errors quite often. The latest update 7.7.2 works a little better than the previous versions. However, NI has been reasonably helpful, keeps in touch and tries to fix the situation.

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