After many rounds of internal deliberation, I decided to cancel my order for the new M1 MacBook Air. I’ll admit it – I got caught up in the initial FOMO. I daydreamed about not being tethered to my charger (like I am with my 16" MacBook Pro) and how much life would be different if my computer didn’t turn into a space heater every time I watch a show on Netflix.
All of that sounded great, but reality got in the way.
The main issue was the lack of Big Sur and M1 support for my Universal Audio Arrow – the audio interface I use for podcasting, among other things. At this time, none of Universal Audio’s software works 100% on macOS Big Sur and M1 systems, and there is no clear indication of when support will be coming. That’s also the reason why I’m still stuck on Catalina on my current 16" MacBook Pro.
I engaged in a lot of mental gynmastics when I made the initial decision to order the M1 MacBook Pro. I convinced myself I could just use my old RME Babyface for podcasting for a while, and everything would be fine. Technically speaking, that’s totally a possibility, but switching back to the Babyface would inhibit my recording and editing workflow significantly because I depend so much on Universal Audio’s zero-latency effects (gate, EQ, compressor, and limiter) while recording. With the RME, I’d have to do all that stuff in post-production, which is not a good use of time – especially when considering the main purpose of buying the MacBook Air was to save time on various tasks in the first place.
So for the time being, I’ve decided to take the rational route and cancel my M1 MacBook Air order. Once Universal Audio updates their software for compatibility with macOS Big Sur and M1 chips, I’ll reevaluate the situation. I have a sneaking suspicion that MacBooks with “M1X” chips will be out by then. If that’s the case, I hope there will be a 14" MacBook Pro because that’s my dream computer. With that said, I’m still looking forward to testing out MainStage and Logic Pro on my wife’s MacBook Air, which is arriving sometime next week.