This article explains how to identify 32- bit / 64- bit systems and how to operate 32-bit / 64-bit applications / plug-ins on 32-bit / 64-bit OS X systems.
The ability of a system to operate in 32- / 64-bit mode depends on its processor architecture. Current operating systems allow to use applications and plug-ins in both 32- and 64-bit mode.
- OS X versions 10.7 or later launch in 64-bit kernel mode by default.
- OS X versions 10.5 / 10.6 included in sytems produced before mid 2010 will launch in 32-bit mode by default. OS X 10.6 systems with a later release date may start in 64-bit mode by default, depending on the model.
Note: For these older versions, some systems will allow to boot in 64-bit / 32-bit mode by pressing the keys 6 and 4 (switch to 64-bit) or 3 and 2 (switch to 32-bit) simultaneously on your keyboard during startup.
To find out whether your system is able to run on 32-/64-bit mode you need to look up its processor model as explained in this article from the Apple Support pages.
- Both 32-bit and 64-bit applications will install and run on Intel-based OS X systems with versions 10.5 (Leopard) or higher. All current NI applications are compiled to run in 64-bit mode since this is the standard on operating systems.
- Some applications can be executed in both 64-bit and 32-bit mode. In order to execute an NI application in 32-bit mode, right-click on the application's icon and select Get Info. Then make sure to tick the option (if available) Open in 32 bit mode.
- Only 64-bit hardware drivers are compatible with 64-bit applications. 32-bit drivers will fail to install or will not be recognized by the host application (e.g. audio driver not listed in TRAKTOR's Audio Setup menu). All current NI hardware drivers are designed for use in 64-bit applications.
- You can run an application on 32-bit mode (see "Applications" above) in order to use a 32-bit hardware driver. For systems where a kernel mode switch is possible (see "General Information" above), you can switch to 32-bit kernel mode entirely.
- Plug-ins can either support 32-bit or 64-bit mode or both. All current plug-in versions of NI products are compiled to run in 64-bit since this is the standard on operating systems.
- A 64-bit plug-in can only be operated if the host sequencer is running in 64-bit mode. Conversely, a 32-bit plug-in can only be operated if the host sequencer is running in 32-bit mode.
Note: While there are so-called "bridging" tools that allow for the operation of 32-bit plug-ins in a 64-host environment, this is not supported nor recommended.
- If your installed plug-in is not showing up in your host sequencer, it may be compiled in a different mode and therefore it won't load. Note that every host sequencer may have its own methods to show whether a given plug-in is compatible with its execution mode (32 or 64 bits). Please consult your sequencer's documentation for more information.
- Some host sequencers can be executed in both 64-bit and 32-bit mode. In order to execute the sequencer in 32-bit mode in order to operate a 32-bit plug-in, right-click on the application's icon and select Get Info. Then make sure to tick the option (if available) Open in 32-bit mode.
All NI plug-ins (32- or 64-bits) are automatically installed to the OS X default plug-in folder. The plug-in path for each plug-in format is given below.
Note: After installation, do not move the plug-in files from this folder as otherwise your host application will not be able to locate them.
The default OS X folder for VST plug-ins ("*PluginName*.vst") is located here: Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plug-Ins > VST
The default OS X folder for AAX plug-ins ("*PluginName*.aaxplugin") is located here: Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Avid > Audio >Plug-Ins
Note: Since Pro Tools 11, the RTAS plug-in format has been discontinued and replaced by the AAX format (see above).
The default OS X folder for RTAS plug-ins ("*PluginName*.dmp") is located here: Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Digidesign > Plug-Ins
AU (Audio Unit) Plug-Ins
The default OS X folder for AU plug-ins ("*PluginName*.component") is located here: Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plug-Ins > Components