Adventures In Audio

Waves Ultimate Subscription Plan - Ultimate subscription or ultimate mistake?

Learn how to become a better producer in your own home recording studio >>

Comments on this video

You can comment on this video at YouTube

Ben - mu:zines:  Balanced, sensible, and well -presented as ever - thanks David!

Audio Masterclass replies to Ben - mu:zines: Thank you, I appreciate your input. DM

Rock And Roll:  Just stop buying their products. They will learn the hard way.

Victor Mihai:  I came out of my casket
out of the grave
to suckle on the nipples of the unshaven
*Please like and subscribe for more for more nipple shenanigans*

Javier Alejandro:  They just committed suicide. No one trust them anymore

Ronnys Mobilephone:  This is a false argument... Cost is based on neccery labour. Once you write the code there is no more labour involved with reproduction of the product. But they still sell the product at hyper inflated prices.

The only time more labour is required is when the code needs to be updated. But the cost for that labour has already been achieved in the hyper inflated original cost.

All that is needed is a delivery system. Which is a direct download. But since reproduction costs are zero as its a digital asset. So tje capithad to figure out a way to control access. Hrnce putting a licence fee on it and various other convoluted access systems.

Ronin1973:  1. If you have to update a plug-in to keep it current because of changes in an operating system, you really should do it for free. You'd have to update the plug-in for NEW users.
2. Free OS related updates is a selling point. If you make free updates a policy and MARKET that difference to me, I will prefer your product.
3. I won't mind paying for UPGRADES if they are counter balanced with free updates. Again, marketing. All version 3.x releases are free while version 4.x costs to cross-grade to.
4. Factor in compatibility releases into the initial cost. Yes. Now that we are familiar with how often plug-ins will NEED to be updated, that can be factored. Build it into the upfront costs. Then the true cost is fair. See point #2.

Ein Stück:  Plugin companies should;
Grade their plugins value "A" "B" "C" etc..
Allow Bundle "1" to pick 5 "A" grade plugins, 20 "B" grade plugins and so on.

Editing SECRETS revealed! replies to Ein Stück: Like Disneyland's coupon books. Remember E Ticket rides?

Kristian Wontroba:  We've reached "peak plugin". With some rare exceptions, new plugin releases are re-skins and/or updated marketing of basically what has already been available. Also, stock plugins from today's DAWs have greatly improved from the early days to the point where most 3rd party plugins are completely redundant. Finally, with the rise of AI, it is conceivable that, in the future, more producers might be able to easily generate their own DIY plugins to their liking, cutting out 3rd party developers entirely. Knowing this, software developers feel compelled to move to subscription models to maintain the same revenue that they have enjoyed in the past.

Editing SECRETS revealed! replies to Kristian Wontroba: The subscription idea came from the then leader of Autodesk, suggesting that Autocad and Microsoft Office were examples of software that could be sold on perpetual subscription. Bill Gates loved the idea! But John Walker was only following up on Bucky Fuller's prediction years earlier that everything, even housing, would ultimately be sold on a subscription model. What if, he supposed, you could just continue your subscription and switch to an equally nice house elsewhere if you wanted to move?

Duque LR:  Great example is MCDSP

Jim Hines:  Once upon a time, I spent money on plugins. Then I discovered Linux back in 1994. While in 1994 is not very useful at all as a DAW, it was new and very compelling, and I knew it would not be (too) long before it would make a fantastic audio machine. Then came 2000 and the release of Ardour. That was a game changer in the Linux audio world. It was quickly followed by hoards of free LADSPA plugins, which were a mix of good and bad, but none were outstanding. It was not long after that Linux VSTs started showing up, then the new LV2 plugin format which gave us decent free OSS plugins with a real GUI. Then in 2009 the unthinkable happened. Harrison Consoles decided to create a custom DSP Mixer for the Ardour DAW. The need for multiple plugins magically went away. The mixer was so robust (loosely based on the Harrison 32C console), having only a handful of plugins was more than necessary. Eventually, Harrison did incorporate an emulated Harrison 32C mixer as a new and separate product, along with a 32C channel plugin strip for use in any DAW. While there are now plenty of commercial VSTs available for Linux, I tend not to buy them often, as my professional audio days are behind me and I am presently just a hobbiest. BTW, Waves did release a live recording app based entirely on a stripped down version of Ardour called Waves Tracks. It was completely free to download and use, but they did charge for a tech support. Not sure what the state of that project is now, but it was and probably still is available for download on their site. Love your channel. Very informative!

ABC:  The point is,
When I buy the software, I can "subscribe" (pay periodically) when I choose to
Not when I'm forced to, repeatedly

Soundivad:  Just got IK Multimedias Total Studio 3.5 today for incredible 122€, goodby Waves

David Spingler:  the answer for me is more hardware, less plugins - I’m handy with a soldering iron and most hardware I’d invest in has an excellent track record of reliability, so I thank Waves for speeding along a decision I’d already been leaning towards 🤷🏻‍♂️

Rock And Roll replies to David Spingler: Analog always sound better than digital. There is no question about it. Good choice!

Tony Pelosi:  Please investigaste Airwindows (from Chris Johnson) - it is something different

Marc:  Airwindows 😍

Greedo Kenobi:  I don’t want do subscription, my machine is offline as much as possible, just the way I like it.
I don’t like the WUP system, I prefer companies that calculate the costs of maintenance in the price they charge and don’t charge per maintenance update, that’s how most companies are doing it, just the way I like it.
I do like it when they have subscription models as an option, it’s not for me but it’s great to give people options.
The option to buy a perpetual licence should always be there in my opinion.

Rock And Roll replies to Greedo Kenobi: @Greedo Kenobi A thought I got is that it should be enough to ping them (Steinberg) with a code even from another computer, just to tell them "I am here", and once a year should be enough.
Using a dongle were a lot less cumbersome.

Greedo Kenobi replies to Greedo Kenobi: @Rock And Roll Agreed! And I am a Cubase user too, it’s very annoying since I keep my computer offline as much as possible. I actually prefer the dongle.
The best thing would be if people could choose between physical and machine licence.

Rock And Roll replies to Greedo Kenobi: Now, even Cubase Pro 12 needs to stay online, at least once a month. It is pure evil if you are at a cottage without internet for a couple of months. The software asks to log-on to keep continuing. Not sure if I am going to laugh or cry. The program costs a fortune these days also.

Musical Neptunian replies to Greedo Kenobi: You would love Reaper. It's designed to work online or offline; when offline your product registration still shows and you still get all features. This happened to me last year; my internet cable snapped and I lost internet for a week. But Reaper still worked so I could do my pre-downloaded narration scripts.

David Vincent:  Software developers are going to update their programs whether you pay 5hem to or not. They HAVE to, or else they got no product to sell. Charging clients to update is predatory. I've never had an app charge me for updating. That's just sleazy.

Rock And Roll replies to David Vincent: I always thought of update as their bug-fixing. Issues shouldn't be our problem, but their errors. Upgrade is something else, and should be a choice. But forcing upgrades is pure evil. It just force you to upgrade hardware, which is also evil. The best is to log off the internet, and use your tools when you feel "this is it". Why change something that is working?

Pete731:  I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned subscriptions tend to work for companies and businesses but not the individual. I am a music 'hobbyist' and I am happy to upgrade plug-ins and software whenever suits me. But as I have long spells of not doing any music then a subscription for me would not really be viable. But that is just me.

Cpt Adama replies to Pete731: I would say that is for the vast majority of us. I would say the semi-pro’s and hobbyist’s vastly outnumber the professionals.

Chris replies to Pete731: Plus we’re getting nickled and dimed by so many subs. Waves sub is awful. There is no flexibility, no discounts for owners, etc.

MK6:  Waves has been the leading plugin company and the first to invent the digital eq with its Q range. I'm sure thousands of audio engineers have used all sorts of waves plugins, so it surprises me that all of a sudden people are saying they only use one or two plugins from the pack. That cannot be the case, because the outrage comes from those who did spend a lot of money on waves plugins, with the update plan costing upwards of 300 dollars or more, per update. I say good riddance to their update plan. It will be cheaper for those who no longer need to do that plan. If anything they were paying for a very expensive subscription plan to start with.

alexander ewing:  Absolutely agree. Even if Waves allowed individual updates, instead of their ridiculous WUP @ £300! I might have considered continuing but alas, that ship has now sailed into the distant horizon...

Dani Torres Official:  Waves shot itself on the foot. I bought a bundle and some plugins i needed to build up the system i needed. Never had to buy the updates, so i didn't, worst case scenario, my machine stays as it is for a long time. OR in that unlikely case that i feel the urgent need to upgrade the sys, waves won't come up as a choice, as there are PLENTY of other manufacturers with great options, no need to have these subscription models.

Rock And Roll replies to Dani Torres Official: Exactly!

Adky Wun:  In a professional and business investment point of view ,It don't really matters, as long as the plugs are worth it, Since waves start introduce noise as a feature in some of their vintage lines, I am sorry, I don't use them much until not at all. Beside they don't have much thing that are really not replaceable. After all these years they slowly became just a fancy good looking GUI drawing company.😔 Thanks for the video.

Seiskid:  Good discussion.

Stripedelic Studios:  Same reason cars don't have chain timing belts anymore. And all those good cars end up trash

Stripedelic Studios:  Capitalism...

xanataph:  I just run old versions of the plug-ins on an old version of a DAW on an old OS on old metal. No connexion to the internet. That works fine, and short of hardware issues developing with the machine itself, it'll keep on going forever.

However, for some newer setups that I work with, their are so many free plug-ins now that totally rival the expensive stuff. LoudMax!

B Alex:  For Waves, Update plan was already a(n expansive) way to reward the developers.

King Ech:  25 a month is Netflix subscription. But Waves was the real victim in this situation.

Rock And Roll replies to King Ech: @dolphinwaveorg Exactly.

dolphinwaveorg replies to King Ech: Netflix provides you with services of streaming video. Services are perfectly ok to be subscribing to, if you want recurring services. And if you decide to stop subscribing - it will not render your workflow inoperable.

Waves do not sell you services - they sell you tools. A service would be mixing or mastering a track for you, to give you a result. But that's not what Waves sell for 24.99 a month. They sell you plugins.

Plugins are tools used by you to do your task, they are not services. And people don't "subscribe" to tools, they buy it to use it any time they need. Because failing to pay such "subscription" will make your whole workflow inoperable. That's why we want to own tools, not "subscribe" to it.

Thomas Shea:  Good balance presentation ----- Reaper is a model of selling their DAW ---- Great price and free upgrades for years. Very fair and and as result their users are quite loyal.

Rock And Roll replies to Thomas Shea: @Audio Masterclass Pro Tools is a hyped old DAW. Nothing special about it.

Thomas Shea replies to Thomas Shea: @Audio Masterclass If you are interested, there are a dozen good videos on YT by people who discuss the advantages of Reaper, including some who discuss it in relation to Pro Tools.

Audio Masterclass replies to Thomas Shea: I don't mind paying my subscription to Pro Tools. But - being of a certain age - suppose I want to retire and I have to pay my monthly sub for what will then be a hobby? Reaper would be a tempting option. DM

Thomas Shea:  They were greedy and got hammered and were forced to retreat --- but they are still scum.

Threemicsrecords:  It is time to set up my old digi001 and PT5.6 with all rtas plugins. Oh good old winxp.

Antoine Zayoun:  Buying something that needs servicing from time to time or even on a regular basis is not the same at all as a subscription. I like to buy my plugins once and “service” them at my own pace whenever I feel I should instead of having to pay every month to use them or else I would lose access to them. So it’s not really the same thing

Chris replies to Antoine Zayoun: Right

Yours Truly:  You have to be some sort of masochist to keep putting up with the outrageous nonsense that Waves uses to continually empty your pocketbook. Most of their plugins have remained virtually unchanged over the last 5 years and yet Waves makes subtle changes to the code so they begin to crash with DAW and OS upgrades, thus forcing their captured users to "upgrade". No more. It's long past time to abandon this plugin vendor who so badly abuses their users over and over again.

thexfile:  Adobe would have you pay every time their software is being used.

Musical Neptunian replies to thexfile: @Landon Finnerty People need reminding of how far back their shenanigans go. In Adobe CS5, well before CC Cloud, Adobe took away the ability to create your own colour slider tool sets. People loved this feature and were outraged. But Adobe didn't listen. It's been their way or the highway. Then came the CC Cloud joke; I left them behind after CS6.

Landon Finnerty replies to thexfile: And I quit using Adobe, though years ago, I took lessons to learn it. Because they changed.

Christoph Schaefer:  One of the top independent developers is Reimund Dratwa for sure. He used to work for Brainworx, was one of the main developers of Black Rooster Audio and now founded his own company Fuse Audio Labs. Additionally he is part of the team of Neold. At his company Fuse Audio Labs you can get the highest quality plugins for a fair price and without BS.

Audio Masterclass replies to Christoph Schaefer: Thank you for your interesting input. There is further information on Reimund here... DM

Morbid Man Music:  In a way, with OS updates it kinda does "wear out", based on that. Just not the way you're thinking. The idea of using them wears out due to forced OS updates

Nick Montopoli:  This whole situation I think shows a great example of "keeping the big guys honest" - instead of giving in and shuffling along, the response was deep lists of (often better) alternatives to everything Waves offers. Per your update-vs-upgrade point, I'll happily pay again for any product that offers a significant improvement (Fabfilter). Maintenance should be built into the original price, and the design (Fabfilter again).

I'm reassured to see this response, and hoping it'll shed some light on what I consider unethical subscription models elsewhere in the audio industry (*cough* Avid) - if folks think you're irreplaceable, you can gouge with impunity apparently... But as soon as other options are discovered, as we saw, there's much less willingness to accept this.

RinkyDonk:  I won’t rent.

None of your Business:  The problem with subscriptions is not the subscription - it is the insane prices that most developers charge, which often equal to buying the full price product every frickin' YEAR (and FIFA players are even stupid enough to play along). Which is an outrageous lifetime assumption to make about software. If I can use a piece of software for a realistic 10 years - give or take - the subscription must categarically NOT exceed 10% of the "buy-to-own" price. Adobe, Microsoft, Avid and Apple are lightyears away from this mark.
Also, it must remain possible for people on really tigh budgets to use outdated products, just like people drive 50-year-old cars. Yes, getting those to run requires work, but so does getting obsolete software to run. My old MS Office 2000 still mostly works, and I rarely use it, although it does not meet all my current requirements. But I am not buying Microsoft's shitty "365" suite because of the outrageous price and addictive product policy involved. AND because there is a great open source alternative which does everything I need. And that is something that needs to be addressed as well once we are comparing hardware and software: there are so many generous developers out there who are willing to share the results of their work - for whatever reason! - for free that the current subscription models are flatout insulting. Photoshop and Pro Tools need to lose a lot more customers to drive home the point. And in some areas, you can already see the Fat Cats losing revenue due to their greed: I have seen several professionals switching their DAW to Reaper - and celebrating their coice, because Reaper seems to be objectively the better product, most notably of all, more stable.
Current subscription models show many ugly faces that betray their purposes all too clearly: make the customer dependent on your proprietary format and milk them until they collapse. This will not stand indefinitely. The market will regulate itself, and networking via Internet is a powerful weapon that costumers hold against corporate greed.

Marco de la Peña:  Absolutely great to see this video a couple of days after I paid for Roon lifetime subscription, thank you very much (worried in distress emoji).

Rock And Roll replies to Marco de la Peña: @Audio Masterclass 😂 Good one.

Audio Masterclass replies to Marco de la Peña: Lifetime? Your lifetime, Roon's lifetime? The lifetime of the universe? Or until they get bored with the product and want to work on something else? Just throwing a few things in there. DM

Herbst:  Do you "own" youre guitar by subscripton???

Redinger replies to Herbst: @Audio Masterclass you are totally right, your insurance is just like a subscription. And just like a piece of subscription software if you neglect to pay your insurance bill your guitar will instantly become unusable.

Audio Masterclass replies to Herbst: As I said about hardware, there are ongoing costs. A guitar doesn't need a lot of maintenance other than strings, but it does need to be insured. DM

Herbst:  To be honest, its okay if they greedy. The market wil regulate itself in some weeks, byitself. There will be free and open alternatives, soon - Waves is done and will not recover from this - Even if this was a "mistaken" april fool, this is not aceptable and EVERY SING EMPLOYE AT WAVES SHOULD SAY THANK YOU - To there CEO

You can comment on this video at YouTube

Thursday April 20, 2023

Like, follow, and comment on this article at Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram or the social network of your choice.

David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Audio Masterclass gives you all the technical knowledge and skills to bring your musical dreams to life

The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course

Get the most from your studio with the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course.

Get your FREE TRIAL...

Learn Pro Tools with our amazing range of video courses

Pro Tools video course catalog

Browse Pro Tools courses...

Learn Logic Pro with our amazing range of video courses

Logic Pro video course catalog

Browse Logic Pro courses...

Learn Cubase with our amazing range of video courses

Cubase video course catalog

Browse Cubase courses...

Audio Masterclass gives you all the technical knowledge and skills to bring your musical dreams to life

The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course

Get the most from your studio with the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course.

Learn more...

More from Adventures In Audio...

The noisy truth about your DAW: An ear-opening investigation

CD vs. 24-bit streaming - Sound of the past vs. sound of the future (Turntable tips)

When plugins fail - The sad and costly truth

VIDEO: How much do you want to add real tube magic to your DAW? (Features Freqtube FT-1)

Add real tube magic to your DAW with the Freqtube FT-1

Unleash your creativity with the Taiga: The ultimate paraphonic modular synthesizer

From flat to fabulous: Transforming your audio with parametric EQ

What is saturation? (It's not what you think it is)

Why is the Neumann U47 considered the best microphone ever made?

Why should you learn pro audio?

When recording vocals, should you always be the same distance from the mic?

SoundBite: Does compressor attack time work above the threshold?

SoundBite: An introduction to decibels

SoundBite: Panning effects with filters

SoundBite: Put an end to clipping with the 32-bit float WAV file format

SoundBite: Left-right stereo to MS and back again

SoundBite: Gated reverb on snare from scratch

A stereo microphone - Should you want one? What can you do with it?

The EQ unwanted resonance trick - Is it wrong?

How to set the shortest attack time in your compressor

How to make your masters louder, even though streaming platforms don't allow it

Why the Tascam TM-82 dynamic microphone does not have an on/off switch

What buffer size setting should you use in your DAW?

Why you should (or should not) upgrade to an Apple Mac Studio