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Alesis Multimix 16 Firewire can actually work in Mac OS X 10.10.4!

Hey everyone, I am writing to rekindle discussion surrounding the lack of Alesis Firewire drivers for Mac OS X 10.9 and 10.10. I just picked up a used Multimix 16 Firewire, bummed to discover that there were no drivers for 10.10, which my new computer is running. But the great news is that I have discovered a way to make it work anyway! Here's how I did it:

1) Download the Alesis Firewire driver version 3.5.6 and install it on a compatible system (I did it on 10.6.8).
2) Once the driver has been installed and you have restarted that system, go to [Hard Drive]/System/Library/Extensions and find the file "AlesisFirewire.kext". Copy that file to an external hard drive, or store it somewhere online such that you can copy it to the computer running Yosemite.
3) On the computer running Yosemite, download the Kext Utility app (http://mac.softpedia.com/get/System-U...).
4) Open the Kext Utility app, drag "AlesisFirewire.kext" into the Kext Utility, and let it do it's magic. Once it's finished, restart your computer.
5) Connect the Alesis Firewire device and your Mac should recognize it as an available audio interface!
6) If it doesn't, try running this command in terminal and then restarting again: sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1"
7) Hopefully by then it works for sure.

I hope this helps all you legacy users out there :)
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  • hello,
    first, sorry for my english.
    thanks for those informations...
    Do you know if the alesis IO26 work with an thunderbolt-firewire link, please?
    thanks,
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  • Interesting. I'll have to have my team test this out to confirm.
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  • This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Thunderbolt-Fire Wire with Alesis IO26, is it work or not ?.

    Hello,
    I would like to know if it's possible to use thunderbolt Fire wire for my Alesis IO 26? And second question, do i need to use a power supply in addition?
    And last, is it possible to work on Yosemite OS X 10.10.3?
    thanks!!!
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  • 1
    I am selling my Alesis and Mackie firewire mixers as the customer service for both brands can only be described as 'heartless'! Thunderbolt is the norm? I know about 100 people who make music, or used to, with firewire and I only know 2 people with thunderbolt - Myself and and my brother! Reading about, it seems that Motu and Focusrite have paid for their firewire drivers to be 'publshed' by newer versions of Windows and Mac 10.9 (Despite them pushing their thunderbolt technology) so we'll be going through them for our gear now. And we'll absolutely slating your brand to anyone who'll listen (We both make music for a living!). You've had months to sort this out and you knew the technology was changing as far back as 2009 so you and your brand have no excuse to be ripping your customers off like this (Customers who used to be grateful that you sold products they could just about afford, allowing them to make music from home!). Laters taters.
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  • 1
    I've just tried this, after upgrading my Mac Pro to El Capitan. Unfortunately I haven't had any luck with any of what you said.
    Any chance of a driver update for the Firewire 16? I've been holding off upgrading my OS for literally years! I still have my macbook pro running Lion as I can't use any of the free upgrades, it will stop my desk from working! Not that I want to buy another desk, but if I did, I can't find anything fairly small that will do multitrack recording, which is the reason I bought the desk in the first place, so it's really unhelpful that it doesn't work!
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  • Hi Joshia,
    thanks for the info. Is there a chance that El Capitan will work using this method?
    I foolishly updated without checking. Last few updates don't seemed to have bothered my iO/26FireWire connecting but this one has.

    cheers,
    Paul
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  • This reply was removed on 2015-12-02.
    see the change log
  • Really useful and helpful comments in your post! With that insight, I suspect a little massaging can get the drivers to work in El Capitan, as well.

    Problem: I can't find any way to download Alesis Firewire driver version 3.5.6, which of course is the essential starting point for any solution. Alesis apparently doesn't recognize my purchase of the MultiMix 8 Firewire (although it was bought from them!) or my long-ago registration on their website and formums, and since they no longer "support" my unit, I can't get myself into the download areas. Suggestion?

    I'm presumably missing something simple in all of this, but I usually know my way around the Mac and websites/internet/procedures & protocols; apparently, not this time.
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  • 2
    For Chris D (or any other employee)... I did find a way to register and download the 3.5.6 Mac firewire driver file. Thanks for keeping the legacy downloads and info. available!

    And, now, a suggestion for a little perspective from folks who are howling about the "lack of support" for Alesis' legacy products...

    Since Alesis has made and still makes quality goodies, and is associated with other vendors who still do, I'll skip the growling over your not updating drivers for equipment from a decade ago.

    These days, big-name but small-size equipment companies often really are smaller and less well-funded than we might wish (or dream) that they could be. It would be nice if Santa drops by and his elves update the drivers, and then you simply post them, but that ain't likely to happen, according to Santa. He has mostly "legacy" elves, and they run things on an Amiga.

    I'm encouraged that you are taking a look at Joshua Gunty's insights and procedures to see if it can be easily generalized into a "fix." Thanks. Do what you can, because it encourages future sales to folks who might have more money for new equipment, day after tomorrow, than they have today.

    Seriously, I hope you guys keep selling hot gadgets and making money. Having you fail won't solve any problems for any of us, now or in the future. Been there, had that disappear. Afterwards, "revenge" ain't sweet -- we can't growl at an abandoned website. :-)
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  • 1
    Followed your direction carefully Joshua on my macbook pro and I actually got to see my Alesis firewire show up on the audio devices list but I'm not getting any sound out of the mixer. I've only got my headphones hooked up but my computer audio is not making it to the headphones

    Please let me know if you have an suggestions. Thank you!

    UPDATE!!!!

    OMG This actually worked! I had to unplug the cable to my laptop and back in (the mixer cable) and bam! sound.

    Going to try it out with logic pro x next!!!!!

    Joshua you are the man! doing what Alesis could not do in years!

    -Bishop
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  • Hello!

    I'm trying to get a MultiMix 12 Firewire to work on my MacBook Pro running El Capitan. I had it working before my laptop updated, but now the AlesisFirewire Control Panel doesn't see the board, and neither does the Mac control panel.

    I followed the steps you gave, but it is acting no differently. Even after using the terminal command, the board doesn't seem to connect at all.

    Thoughts?
    Thank you!
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  • 1
    I know this advice is a little late but, I would, at all costs, avoid upgrading to El Captain. Worse release yet. Tons of compatibility issues even with major plugin manufacturers such as avid, native instruments...etc.

    I'm not surprised your having issues with that OSX. El Capitan also has had some major kernel rewrites.

    If I think of a work around besides re-writing the Kext completely I'll let you know.

    good luck,

    -Bishop
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  • Could someone actually upload the .kext they took from the compatible system? I don't have one at my disposal the moment.
    (I misread the first step, thus my previously failed attempt)
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  • When you install the default drivers (3.5.6) it should install the correct kext file within the extensions folder as pointed out by Joshua. From there simply use the kext utility to rest the proper permissions on the file..

    -Bishop
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  • Wow! I just ordered a Motu 828x while lamenting over the lack of drivers for my sweet old Alesis io 26. I just updated my 2007 MacBook Pro with a 2014 MacBook Pro, running Yosemite, 10.10.5. I may try this to see if I can get my Alesis up and running with the new MacBook.
    But before reading this, what I was searching for, is a way to expand my mic inputs that are on the Motu 828x (it only has 2) by hooking it up to the Alesis io 26. Could this possibly be done? If so how?
    Thanks in advance!
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  • I’m happy
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    The Alesis Multimix Firewire 16 also works with El Captian !!!! :)

    follow this instructions: http://community.alesis.com/alesis/to...

    :)
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  • 1
    I can confirm that my Multimix16 Firewire is working with 10.11.2 El Capitan.
    That's what I did.
    Installed the latest driver and followed the instructions in the first post.
    After that, I rebooted in recovery mode, launched Terminal and entered: csrutil disable
    After the reboot, I could select alesis as my audio source.

    Perfect! Thanks a lot everyone!
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  • Fixed a friends new iMac (i5 Quad Core - 2015) with Alesis Firewire 16 (connected via Thunderbolt->Firewire adapter cable) using the above terminal fix. Now works a treat.

    As a precaution, having disabled SIP, it would be prudent to have a good AV package installed, bearing in mind that SIP was probably introduced due to MACs being increasingly targeted via malware. ESET Cyber Security for MAC works a treat.
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  • Just in case you all find it interesting, I have followed the SIP-disabling process described in this thread, to get my io26 working on El Capitan again.

    But I have also discovered that if I reverse the procedure and turn SIP back ON again afterwards in Recovery Mode, then El Capitan still recognises my io26 when I reboot my Mac.

    While I am no expert on the inner workings of OS X, It strikes me that El Capitan simply freezes the kernel information at the point that SIP is enabled, so that no further changes can be made.

    It might work for you too? Can anyone else verify.
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  • Hi Guys, so is this hack working on El Capitan? Thanks in advance!

    -Bishop
    • It should work if you disable SIP (System Integrity Protection, aka "Rootless, introduced in Capitan). To do that you have to boot and hold R button to enter Recovery Mode.

      [If for some reason it doesn't work with R, like on a Mackintosh, try booting holding Option key and look for Recovery partition among bootable drives to select.]

      Once in Recovery Mode, open Terminal utility and type "csrutil disable ", then press enter. If it asks your for password, give system password. If it says you don't have permission, try typing "sudo csrutil disable" then entering your system password.

      Once you successfully execute that disable command, type "reboot" then enter to reboot your system.
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  • 1
    Would this work with the Alesis MultiMix 8 Firewire on Sierra? I downgraded back to Yosemite just so I could keep using it, but I'm needing to update to Sierra...
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  • ^^ what he said - I just came over to Mac (Sierra 10.12.1) and would dearly love to use my old faithful Multimix Firewire 16 with it - any info/experience on whether the kext hack above would work on Sierra very gratefully received! Would be great to know before shelling out for a firewire convertor cable :-)
    Cheers
    David
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  • ^^ edit: "Would be great to know before shelling out for a firewire convertor cable :-) "

    It seems that such a thing doesnt exist, so seeing as my MacBook Pro doesnt have a FW port, it looks like I'm pretty stuffed :-(
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  • all you need is a thunderbolt to firewire adapter for that part. (https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Thunderb...)

    it seems safe to assume this hack will work via El Capitan instructions for Sierra. you will need to disable SIP to properly install the kext.
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  • I have a way to try it out before upgrading, I'll let you guys know within a couple weeks (finals and all...)

    Also, I use a Firewire to thunderbolt adapter right now, works just fine
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  • Thanks for the replies guys, and for the link to the FW<>TB cable. I appreciate the info! Cheers D
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  • 1
    I'm pleased to return to this forum after a month or so away.. and I'm extremely pleased (understatement) to confirm that I have my old Alesis FW Multimix 16 working on my MacBook Pro running OS Sierra following the posts on this thread.

    A massive, massive thank you to Joshua and co for your help here - I really appreciate it.

    If it helps - I followed the following processes in this order:

    [1] Joshua's initial steps at the top of this forum, to find and install the last driver Alesis published for Mac - up to step 4.

    [2] My Mac didnt see the desk as a valid audio device (and nor did the Alesis FW control panel) so I tried running the command to set boot args. This didnt work and spat out an error- but a bit of googling around for that error made me realise that I had to be in Recovery Mode to run that command (and also not use "" quotes!!).

    I used this link to help me:

    http://apple.stackexchange.com/questi...

    [3] So now I'm in Recovery Mode ok, and I execute the command just fine now. Bonus!

    [4] A reboot to get back into usual non-RM state

    [5] Desk still not seen in either audio devices on Mac or in Alesis FW Control Panel

    [6] Off I go to http://community.alesis.com/alesis/to...

    and execute the steps listed there to disable SIP on Sierra - really simple, just boot again into RM and enter

    csrutil disable

    just as that post suggests.

    [7] Another reboot to get out of RM -and this time when I plug the desk in, after a 20-30 sec wait or so that feels like an eternity...

    BINGO
    BINGO
    BINGO,

    We have the device seen in both Mac OS System Pref and Alesis Control Panel. Superb!!

    My spec:
    Macbook Pro Early 2015
    Proc 2.7 GHz Core i5
    Mem 8GB

    Physical cables I used to connect from the Thunderbolt MiniDP port on the Mac to the Alesis desk:

    [a] Apple cable to convert from Thunderbolt/MiniDP to FW800: Apple Item Code MD464ZM/A

    example URL:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-Thunde...

    Complete stitch up at £25-30, I was lucky and found a s/h one on Gumtree.

    [b] Cable to plug into above adapter to convert from FW800 to 6pin FW FW400 used by Alesis desk -

    FireWire Gold-Plated 800 to 400 9 Pin to 6 Pin 1.5m Cable IEEE 1394
    example URL:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...

    So cables [a] + [b] in series above provide the correct physical form factor to link the MacBook Pro to the desk.

    Havent load tested it yet but I have both Cubase 7.5 and Reason installed OK and using the desk OK, in both standalone and ReWire config. Cubase Device Setup reports a latency (using Alesis Control Panel 'normal' setting) of around 8mS which is sensationally low.

    I hope this is a useful addition to the thread for Sierra users - it would appear to work just fine, and I'm looking forward to making music again instead of nerding on a Saturday evening.

    David
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    • No worries - hope you can get it working OK. As you say, shame to not be able to use a desk that you know and like due to lack of drivers... exactly how I felt.

      The posts I found most useful when I went through this were Joshua Gunty's and Sacha Dobschal's in the excellent thread above.

      All I really wanted to do was try and list in a step-by-step manner the procedure I went through to save hopping up and down the thread, off to other links etc.

      So I hope it proves successful for you too.. that last half or minute or so when you wait for the desk to be recognised can seem like an eternity, but keep your fingers crossed! Cheers :-)
    • Hey man, looks like everything works just fine! I really appreciate your post. Now running Sierra 10.12.3 and my MultiMix 8 Firewire works in Logic Pro X 10.3.1 and seemingly everywhere else I normally use it. I'm going to go sell the MultiMix8 USBFX now, wish me luck!
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  • Hi,

    may s.o. please share his working AlesisFirewire.kext at Sierra 10.12.3?

    best regards
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  • 1
    @Mikel Harkins

    Try this

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/58ui6yo4g3g...

    This is my kext file from my Mac running same Sierra 10.12.3

    I upgraded to this version of Sierra a few days ago and suddenly thought - uh-oh, what if it broke my Alesis hack? But I just tested and still all working OK on this latest OS rev.

    David
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  • I’m Thankful
    1
    I just wanted to put this out there in case anyone struggled with the instructions (like I did). I went the barely-safer route than completely disabling SIP and only disabled it for Kernel Extensions. Don’t worry if you don't know what that means, but if you do this, from now on be extremely careful with entering passwords and installing unsigned drivers/kernel extensions on your Mac.

    I am providing this set of steps for any incoming MultiMix8 Firewire users trying to upgrade their system to Sierra.

    Preparation steps:
    1. Close all programs, especially cloud services, and prevent automatic updates.
    2. Download Sierra update.
    3. Backup onto Time Machine and ALSO create a bootable-full-disk backup using SuperDuper! (In case everything explodes)
    4. Eject all backup disks
    5. Update to Mac OS Sierra

    Sp4zc0r3's Adapted Concise Steps for Installing Multimix 8 Firewire drivers onto Mid-2015 Macbook Pro 15" after upgrading from Yosemite to Sierra (All credit to original posters, esp. David Youngs and Joshua Gunty, you guys are awesome)

    1. Download latest Alesis Firewire driver and install it on a compatible system (Yosemite worked fine). Verify the Alesis MultiMix8 Firewire has the most recent firmware.

    2. After system restart, go to [Hard Drive]/System/Library/Extensions and find "AlesisFirewire.kext". Copy the file to DropBox, Google Drive, or OneDrive for safekeeping.

    3. On the target Mac, download and run the Kext Utility app, wait for it to complete its initial task.

    4. Drag "AlesisFirewire.kext" onto the app, wait for it to complete its task.

    5. Restart the computer into Recovery Mode (restart and hold cmd+r until the Apple logo appears).

    6. Launch the Terminal from the utility menu and deactivate the System Integrity Protection (SIP) only for Kext (Kernel Extensions) by entering the following command line (hit enter after each full line):
    csrutil enable --without kext
    reboot

    7. After Sierra loads plug in the Alesis MultiMix8 Firewire via Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter.

    Rejoice!
    • view 1 more comment
    • Howdy, just wanted to say following these instructions worked for my MultiMix 8 Firewire on OS X Sierra 10.12.3. It's an older iMac, so rather than holding Cmd+R on reboot, I had to hold Option (which was actually Alt for me because I'm using a Logitech keyboard believe it or not) and then boot to the "Recovery HD". Thanks for the help!

      Also, it bewilders me that Alesis won't release a proper driver for us. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only reason you have to go through all of this is because they won't certify the driver with Apple?
    • That's my understanding. Since all that really has to happen is disabling the SIP after using the Kext tool to modify the Alesis kernel extension. Every iteration of the Multimix 8 after the firewire version has been progressively inferior (and bulkier), they don't even have a USB 2.0 model anymore. Very frustrating!
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  • 1
    It does work!! Thank you all! I have been using a Firewire Multimix 16 on a MacPro, 10.4 and recently acquired a used iMac running El Capitan. It wasn't until I found this forum and using all the steps mentioned in previous posts that I was able to get the iMac to see the Firewire Multimix 16. Now, I am also switching from Cubase to Logic Pro X, so I have a new learning curve. Thank you again.
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