Adventures In Audio

When plugins fail - The sad and costly truth

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Mr. Lowery:  You know I use R.E.A.P.E.R. for my DAW and it does everything I've ever thrown at it! And it is only $69 for it! LOL I have had Steinberg's, Neuendo and Cuebase and FL 20 and those are all good too but the cost is way more on those one's!

KILLorFILL69:  Avid and Pro Tools have ben screwing their userbase for years. I understand where there's a requirement from a client, then using PT is unavoidable, but if you have any choice at all, there are so many other alternatives that just make more sense in the vast majority of use-cases.

Dave Daves:  No, you're entirley wrong that to avoid this issue (with Pro Tools or any other DAW) use only the plugins which come with your DAW and nothing else. Not only is this untrue in that you can use 3rd party plugins in perpetutity without risk of failure (so long as you don't upgrade your computer's OS or DAW ersion), you CANNOT rely on your DAW's included plugins in perpetuity and expect updates; that will work for a few years but after a few years they'll stop releasing updated drivers/versions to allow you to use their old software package on a new OS version. RME Audio is the best ive seen in this way, they still are providing new drivers for the latest versions of Windows & MacOS, for products they stopped selling 15 years ago, but they're way better than most. This whole phenomenon with plugins is extremely infuriating and vexing to me too but you don't need to get so worried that you never use a 3rd party plugin, that's not the issue. The issue is that our computer's OS & DAW versions keep changing. I am considering keeping my setups for each generation static and when I want newer stuff, I get a newer computer to run the newer OS & DAW & plugins, but still have my old computer available to run the older generation stfuf, it'll work in perpetuity. Because this is somewhat impractical, isntead of having multiple computers physically, I have multiple SSDs to boot from - if I want to use my 32-bit SoundToys & SPL plugins, I have a dedicated hard disk to boot into an old OS (Mac 10.9 Mavericks), old DAW (Logic Pro 9), and its happy..

david keller:  No, I need all the latest and greatest plugins to compete with all the rubbish I hear today! This is what I was sold and like a fool I bought it, literally. Yes, indeed you can make music with what comes bundled with your DAW of choice. And that is what I use now and I know them well and they are very good. The only 3'rd party plugins I use are Pro' Q and Sonable plugins.

Yours Truly:  I'm convinced that Waves must be putting in specific code simply to make their plugins crash and force you cough up more money for "updates" that, strangely enough, rarely have any new features. They look and perform just like the Waves plugins of several years ago. That is why I know longer trust this company. No other plugins seem to crash as frequently as those from Waves with minor upgrades to my DAW or my OS. It's a "shakedown" for more money and I won't stand for it any longer. Neither should anyone else in the audio mixing industry. Waves should be ashamed of themselves for going down his path. The fact that Waves only lets you use the plugins you buy one one computer (with the cheesy "We'll let you use it on another one, too, for just one year if you buy our update plan) is yet another reason to avoid Waves. Many companies allow you to use the plugins you bought on up to 3 computers with no "timeout" at some point down the road. So many more ethical companies in this industry than Waves.

Audio Masterclass replies to Yours Truly: I wouldn't disagree with any of your speculation, and not all conspiracy theories can be wrong. DM

None of your Business:  This is why I absolutely loathe "software center" apps that are little more than DRM enforcers without which the plugin won't run at all. Waves is a particularly bad offender here, which is why I have stopped using their products altogether. One more dependency running in the background makes the end product more vulnerable to any failure. Especially in the days of big developers switching from buy-to-own to subscription models, it is imperative for us users to vote with our wallet and leave sinking ships behind. Pro Tools gets so much flak these days that it seems to survive on legacy support alone.

Thomas Shea:  Amen about just using standard plugins. They are all that is necessary.

Thomas Shea:  Reaper - instead of updating even minor updates, by modifying the software, it installs a completely new version 35 MB (not GB). It takes less than one minute to download a completely new copy of Reaper. Design and coding efficiency.

Thomas Shea:  Fortunately Reaper is designed so that this does not happen ---- excellent coding and design.

HOBBIT`S ODYSSEY:  On windows this is not a problem, ever.

HOBBIT`S ODYSSEY replies to HOBBIT`S ODYSSEY: @Audio Masterclass don't hold your breath.🙂

Audio Masterclass replies to HOBBIT`S ODYSSEY: Don't worry. It will be, soon enough. DM

Mark Saxon:  I mostly agree with you as I do have Waves plugins and I just updated them (for a fee) to the latest v14. I'm hoping that's it for a while and even then, I might not renew them again. I use my CLA Compressor and Abbey Road collection quite a bit so I at least want to keep those working. I have used most of the plugins built into Logic and they are pretty good. I also use the Slate Digital subscription service so I always have the latest versions but I'm not a fan of spending $180/year and not owning any of them. Lol. Hopefully my Superior Drummer 3 and EZ Drummer 2 & 3 will continue to work with future updates to the OS & Logic.

Colin Costa-Walsh:  Waves has a particularly atrocious business model. Plenty of other companies are far better about providing continued support and upgrades free of charge. Kilohearts and Melda both offer rent to own plans and none of that upgrade BS that waves puts you through. Also the perpetual sales seem borderline criminal, and convinced me to buy several of their (now unusable) plugins.

Polar Ra:  its true, but people have some kinda of addiction for plugins, especially, home producers, and songwriters, who use new "must have" plugin as push for ideas and fuel for producing...

PPL MacOS:  Avid has already abandoned its mbox consumer line by stopping updating drivers,
this was the reason for the transition to the reaper and the reaper turned out to be so good that in 5 years i never regretted switching to it

jose correa:  Excellent video as always David! I totally agree with you. I have sinned in the past with that compulsive plugin buying addiction....but I decided a while ago as well to not buy any plugin unless it has a major benefit to my mixes. So far, I haven't purchased anymore!

Purple Music Productions replies to jose correa: Same. I think we all started out that way until we learned better. It's easy to happen when you are new to it.

D Johnson:  This problem is exasperated on Mac with their yearly OS changes and end of developer support falling to what now amounts to a three year window after launch. Even when holding onto earlier OS versions, if a user wants a secure workstation they will need to upgrade within three years - at which time Waves requires a renewal to operate on newer OS. Perhaps Waves is not alone in what amounts to a subscription style usage path, but after spending thousands on their plugins over nearly two decades I can't help but feel alienated. I now only use Waves on my Bitwig audio workstation running Win 10, a system which is far less familiar to me and consequently gets much less usage. Thank you for another thoughtful video!

Threemicsrecords:  I'm still on PT12, and decided not to buy any new plugins a year ago.

shooten1st:  I stopped using waves when i got my M1 Studio. $1000's to upgrade and there's better out there...

studio media-art Tomasz Zborek:  You're right. Well, we are overwhelmed by the possibilities and deceived by cunning marketing of the audio business . Naive people take another plugin as remedy for they musical problems as another naive people take another pill as the remedy for their health problems. Poor things...

butterblood:  Haven’t upgraded my PT rig since last year and I don’t intend to. The version I have suits me just fine.

Wild Weasel:  Back to the analog domain might be the best solution. Your complete stack will be one giant plugin with a lifespan of half a century.

Purple Music Productions replies to Wild Weasel: ❤ Amen

Chris Smith:  I feel for this as well. Just to find out that the upgrade doesn’t work on my computer. 🤦🏾‍♂️

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Tuesday April 18, 2023

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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.

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