Using PowerCore with PPC host under Rosetta on Intel Mac

Question

I'm trying to run Universal PowerCore drivers on my Intel system with Cubase SX3 and the plug-ins continually fail to initialise. What is going on?

Answer

Although OS X is capable of running old PowerPC applications -- like Cubase SX 3 -- on Intel Macs by emulating the PowerPC processor, it is not possible to use these applications in conjunction with Universal plug-ins that require access to hardware, like the PowerCore plug-ins do.

A PowerPC application will always load a plug-in as PowerPC version. And this PowerPC version of the plug-in will expect to find a PowerPC driver for the PowerCore. But since a PowerPC device driver does not work on an Intel Mac, the plug-ins will fail to run.

Therefore: to run PowerCore plug-ins on Intel Macs, you need to run a Universal host application, e.g. Cubase 4 (and the Universal Intel Mac driver for the PowerCore).

If you're not sure whether your host application is Universal or PPC native, do the following:

  1. Start your audio application.
  2. Control-click (or right-click) on the application icon in the dock and select "Show in Finder".
  3. Press Apple+I (or go to File > Get Info) to see the Info box for the application.
  4. If Universal is indicated in the Info box, you have a Universal application:
       

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