TASCAM Users: Don’t Upgrade to macOS Sierra Yet

As has become unfortunately typical from TASCAM, macOS Sierra-compatible drivers for much of their audio hardware are not yet available. Previous years have seen a three-to-six month wait after the release of each new build of OS X for TASCAM to finally put out even preliminary public beta drivers.

TL;DR: if you use TASCAM audio hardware, don’t upgrade to macOS Sierra yet. Check back around Christmas. Maybe.

Update 2016-09-28: TASCAM updated their OS Compatibility chart for Sierra. Cross reference your devices there.

I Don’t Think “Availability” Means What TASCAM Thinks It Means

In a bizarrely-worded Facebook post last week, TASCAM wrote the following:

macOS iOS10 has been released today, and we are now preparing to test our family of audio interfaces on this new operating system.

The first clue we need is “macOS iOS10”. In fact, that’s the last clue we need. Unfortunately, TASCAM gave us more in the comments. When a customer asked why TASCAM waits until now to begin preparing to test instead of, you know, using the developer previews that have been available for over three months, TASCAM replied:

It comes down to the availability of preview copies of the various operating systems.

Yeah. Those developer betas sure are tough to get these days. Apple really should make more than 100 preview copies available, huh?

TASCAM's response indicating they have no knowledge of Apple's developer previews
I wish this response were surprising.

TASCAM has their own website where customers can download things. One would think TASCAM might begin to understand this basic concept is also employed by other technology companies.

I’m frustrated that we even have to publish articles alerting people to things like this. Maybe for TASCAM users we don’t have to? Maybe folks already know what to expect? Still, we’d hate to see any of you upgrade only to find that your audio hardware is no longer recognized.

To borrow one of my favorite phrases from one of my favorite authors (and favorite drummers, too), TASCAM’s hardware is “cheap, and worth it.”

4 thoughts on “TASCAM Users: Don’t Upgrade to macOS Sierra Yet

  • I suppose I’m in the same predicament. I’ve taken a hiatus with home music recording, so last time I used my Tascam 144 was with Cubase 5, Ive recently purchased my first MacBook Pro (coming from Windows) and I was weary as Apple has their way with ever-shortening product lifecycle, aka ‘planned obsolesce.’ Thats unfortunate though, this Tascam unit was pretty solid for my needs with home music recording… I suppose it won’t work with Sierra than huh? If anyone else has any news/updates or suggestions for an alternate brand/model thats similar to this one lmk please.

  • Hey Denilso,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I own an US-1641 and have exactly the same issue. I was going to upgrade the hardware and buy again a Tascam product. Now I am not sure. At least, we may expect from Tascam to announce when they plan stop the support.

    It’s not acceptable to be hostage. It looks like the hardware and the software team don’t work well together within Tascam.

    Another bad experience from Apple discussions. Finaly solved by moving to another brand.

    I really think about doing the same.

  • Hello, Lippo! Let me share my story with you here! I’m really p*ssed at TASCAM now! I’ve been waiting for the updates on their drivers and, of course, be able to make use of my TASCAM US-144mkII.

    They had a chart on their website showing that the drivers for that device and a bunch of others were on final testing. That was awesome! All we had to do is wait a bit more and update the Mac OS and keep working.

    Well, yesterday I went to their website and the info I got from the chart was that some updates had been discontinued. So, my US-144mkII is not going to work with my Mac if I update to Sierra. Cool, huh?

    I decided to send them an email asking whether the info was wrong. Now, I’ll share here the messages exchanged between the sh*tty TASCAM and me.

    This is the one I sent first:

    “Hello, guys! I’m just wondering whether there is any news on the development of the US-144MKII driver for Mac OS Sierra. I was checking the chart you published a couple of days ago and it said there the drive was on final testing; today, I took a look at it again and it’s marked as “not supported”. So, what really happened? Is that a a point of concern for us? I won’t be able to make use of my device with the new OS for Macs? Thanks!”

    Their reply:

    2016-10-21 08:31:57
    Hello Denilso de Lima,
    Thank you for contacting TASCAM.
    Our customer support representative, NFaison, has written
    the following response to your message:

    Yes unfortunately, this means there will be no further driver development beyond El Capitan for the US-144mkII.
    Thank you for interest in TASCAM products.

    Then, I sent this:

    Well, so I guess it’s time to say bye bye Tascam!
    You’re really awesome! #saidnooneever
    Thanks for nothing!

    In a matter of seconds, I got this one:

    Sorry, if that is your wish. Maybe just the same way you will have to say bye bye to a Windows or Macintosh computer at some point when it can no longer support the latest operating system. Unfortunately, technology keeps moving and doesn’t stand still.

    Which I replied

    Well, that’s not my wish! Actually, my wish is to be able to make use of my US-144mkII. In the last 3 years, you took months to update the drivers for that device and others. I think this is totally disrespectful to your clients. It doesn’t matter if I have a brand new equipment or a not-so-old one. Other companies keep updating theirs drivers even before a new OS is launched. Others don’t even need a drive to operate. So, I think your client policy is really bad. To be quite honest, I now understand that you have no client policy at all. The problem here is, if I buy one of you brand new devices, I guess that in a 5-year time (or less) you’ll not be releasing new updates to its drivers. As I have no guarantee that TASCAM is really worth, I intend to keep moving. Like you said, technology keeps moving and doesn’t stand still. Let me rephrase that: companies keep moving to make its best for clients, those who can’t do that won’t last. Anyway, thanks for nothing again!

    I know my device is not a brand new one. But I also know it’s not obsolete. The company is making it obsolete to my needs. So, yep, it’s time to say bye bye to TASCAM. And this is the story I wanna share with those who may think about buying their products.

    Denilso de Lima

  • Alesis seems to have this same problem. It’s as if the jump from their analog beginnings, where they made their names, to the digital realm, where everything is headed, is too large these companies.

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