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Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
#3033001 03/12/20 11:01 PM
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After NI announced it was ceasing support for a large number of products and that they could no longer be re-installed if you get a new computer, there was a major backlash. Apparently they're having second thoughts.

However, there's no really good answer for this. They mention Catalina as being an issue, as well as security - which if you've been following the news, is becoming an ever-greater problem with online data and the cloud.

As far as the NI products are concerned, most of them have evolved into better versions. But, I can understand users not wanting to have to buy version 5 if version 1 works.

Regarding content, I have quite a few of the 3rd-party libraries that will no longer be supported. Some of them are pretty cool, but they're also freakin' ancient. I really doubt the companies that made them are going to stop everything and produce new versions for use in Kontakt...who knows. Maybe NI can come up with a conversion tool.

But I see NI's point. It's like they have a vintage 1956 Ford Thunderbird. It's a cool car, but how much effort can you reasonably expend on keeping it running? And what resources would NI divert to continue supporting legacy products? Slower response times to service requests? Put off not-too-critical bug fixes? Slow development of new products, which are the lifeblood of keeping companies alive?

Cynics could say it's just a ploy to make you buy new stuff, like they say Apple did when it throttled older iPhone speeds (whether you think that was a malevolent way to get people to buy new phones, or a way to compensate for a bad, non-replaceable battery design, neither is particularly endearing). But if NI doesn't sell new stuff, and if the old stuff runs forever and people don't have to pay for updates (I'm still getting updates in Native Access for an older version of Komplete, and haven't been charged anything), then the company goes out of business and nobody gets support for anything.

I thought they could charge if people wanted to be able update, for example, their version of East West Colossus. But there might not be enough people still using it to justify even what that would cost.

Tough call.

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033007 03/12/20 11:22 PM
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Software is a tool.

A hammer is a tool and so is sandpaper. When you buy a hammer you have a reasonable expectation of that hammer lasting a LONG time. I have a couple of hammers that were Dad's and they've got decades more use left. When you buy sandpaper, you know you will use it until it is clogged or worn out and get more sandpaper.

Music software is somewhere in between those two extremes. I've had great service and utility from NI products. I bought Studio Drummer a LONG time ago, it went on sale for half price and I grabbed it.
I've gotten lots of use out of it and since I am holding off from going to Catalina I may have quite a bit more use.

It is the nature of computing that nothing will survive forever. I ran my 2008 Mac Pro into the ground. On to the next!!!

This time I am thinking I'll just get another computer for surfing the interwebz and keep my 2014 MacBook Pro and my Thunderbolt 2 Presonus Quantum until they die.
I just have no issue with reality rearing it's ugly head here and there when software changes. It does change, it will change and everybody should know that going in.

Well, except for that time when I got Macromedia Freehand 8 and then Apple went from System 9 to OS X and Adobe bought Macromedia and hosed Freehand even though it was better than Illustrator. That sucked...


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033025 03/13/20 01:08 AM
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Something I'm not understanding here ....what is the link between East West and NI?

I have the QL Gold Pianos the Fab Four instruments from East West - they run in the East West "sampler" called Play.

What does NI have to do with East West products??

nat

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033040 03/13/20 03:07 AM
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Before Play existed, EW provided quite a bit of content to NI based on the Intakt player, which IIRC was introduced in 2004. It was similar to Kontakt but not as flexible. IIRC Play came out a few years later...maybe 2007.

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033047 03/13/20 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Before Play existed, EW provided quite a bit of content to NI based on the Intakt player, which IIRC was introduced in 2004. It was similar to Kontakt but not as flexible. IIRC Play came out a few years later...maybe 2007.


Guess I wasn't paying attention - I've had Komplete since Komplete 2 which was 2004.

My favorites among the old NI VST titles were Spectral Delay, B4/B4II and Pro-53. There are plenty of better alternatives these days, so I don't mind moving on.

I am a bit surprised to see Reaktor 5 on the list....if I was really deep into Reaktor 5 (and with Reaktor, deep can be about as deep as it gets), I could see not wanting to move to Reaktor 6 and dealing with all the differences.

For me, software is all about moving on, getting to new capabilities and efficiencies and such. The old stuff has a place in my heart, but generally not in my studio.

nat

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033051 03/13/20 05:35 AM
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Spektral Delay WAS pretty great, wasn't it?

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033588 03/16/20 12:27 PM
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I don’t mind NI ceasing support if there is truly a new version available that’s backwards compatible. But for example the replacement for B4-II to a relatively generic sample playback VI was not an upgrade as far as I’m concerned. I’ve since moved on to Acoustic Samples B5 but still this ticks me off.

More recently Massive X “replacing” Massive. I know it’s sold as a completely different synth but I seriously doubt they will provide future updates to Massive. I really like Massive X but I wish my programs from Massive ported over somehow. It’s not about the money; it’s the time spent.

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033612 03/16/20 04:52 PM
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Apple had trouble with sales of the last iPhone release because customers did not see a compelling reason to spend $$$$ to replace their phone.

To most computer users, replacing software because the OS is obsolete is not a compelling reason to replace it with a new purchase.

Software has a paradox: sales of new products pays the salaries of developers. Then the OS changes over time; this can render legacy software to break, so two options are 1) retire the legacy software or 2) delegate developers to correct the issue. The problem is how do you pay for the salaries of the developers if there is no significant improvement to the software (IE no added features)? To users it is not "new" anymore, there's no value to users to buy the upgrade.

This is hardly the first time this has happened. Hell, the engineering industry has dealt with this since the release of the IBM PC in 1981.

Peavey built keyboards back in the 1990s. Know why they got out of that business? Because too many owners of existing units were demanding free upgrades when they became available. You can't support development efforts by giving away your product or upgrades.

The Asian hardware makers (Roland, Korg, Yamaha) avoid that paradox by implementing upgrades in the next keyboard model. New product, more sales revenue. That's always been their model to fund development - sales of new products. But when the next keyboard model is announced, suddenly the keyboard you bought the year before is near worthless as every other owner floods the used market trying to sell theirs.

With software, the advance of computer technology and of the OS has created this problem. And no industry advances faster than computers. I'm hardly on the bleeding edge of technology nor am I anxious to have the latest greatest computer or OS. I am not a fan of the upgrade treadmill; I chose to freeze my Macs at OSX High Sierra and I chose computers that will suit my needs for at least ten years. Hell, I got 25 years of use out of my circa-1993 WFW311 computer for MIDI sequencing and only had to upgrade when the motherboard gave up the ghost a couple of years ago.

It doesn't help that computers don't last long anymore - they simply don't make them like they used to.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but the reality of economics sucks.

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anti-Markyboard #3033616 03/16/20 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
More recently Massive X “replacing” Massive. I know it’s sold as a completely different synth but I seriously doubt they will provide future updates to Massive. I really like Massive X but I wish my programs from Massive ported over somehow. It’s not about the money; it’s the time spent.
I noticed something similar when I opened projects that used Kontakt 5 instead of the latest version. They wouldn't load the presets in Kontakt 6. Fortunately, I could download Kontakt 5 from Native Access, so now projects that used Kontakt 5 open up the desired preset in Kontakt 5, and the ones that use Kontakt 6 open their presets in Kontakt 6.

It's a bit inelegant to have two versions of the (theoretically) same program on my hard drive, but if the preset formats are significantly different, I'm not sure what the solution would be. I suppose there could be some kind of translation tool, but it probably makes more sense just to have both programs installed.

I don't have Massive X but I assume it's the same kind of situation...just don't uninstall Massive, and use the programs you developed for it. Yeah, it's not elegant...but it works.

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
The Real MC #3033620 03/16/20 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Apple had trouble with sales of the last iPhone release because customers did not see a compelling reason to spend $$$$ to replace their phone.
Apple came to this realization, which is why they're pushing services. It's the razor/razor blade concept. I still have an "ancient" iPhone 7+, but I'm definitely tempted to get the 2TB of storage for $10/month, and a subscription to Apple news for $10/month...so there's $240 of revenue/year right there. If I keep the phone for 3 years, they get more from the services than what the iPhone cost me in the first place.

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To most computer users, replacing software because the OS is obsolete is not a compelling reason to replace it with a new purchase.
True that. But in the case of Catalina, the previous OSes are not "obsolete." I'm still using Mojave, and stuff still works. It's that Apple decided to finally join the 21st century and go 64-bit. The whole 64-bit transition was a role reversal - normally it's Microsoft that tries to maintain backward compatibility, and Apple that one day says "no more floppy drive" or whatever. By trying to delay a disruptive user experience, now the user experience is way more disruptive than when Windows went 64-bit and kept a 32-bit version you could also use, "just in case." At some point, the value of a technological change justifies the investment. My products with 16-bit converters still work, but 24-bit converters do indeed sound better.

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Peavey built keyboards back in the 1990s. Know why they got out of that business? Because too many owners of existing units were demanding free upgrades when they became available. You can't support development efforts by giving away your product or upgrades.
It was a little more complicated than that. First, image - "Keyboards? Isn't Peavey the company that makes those amps for country and western musicians?" But even if that hadn't been an issue, the intention was for the DPM3 to be the razor, and that they'd sell libraries as the razor blades. But, they didn't sell enough razors to where the blades could reach critical mass.

Quote
The Asian hardware makers (Roland, Korg, Yamaha) avoid that paradox by implementing upgrades in the next keyboard model. New product, more sales revenue. That's always been their model to fund development - sales of new products. But when the next keyboard model is announced, suddenly the keyboard you bought the year before is near worthless as every other owner floods the used market trying to sell theirs.
OTOH, Reverb.com is an awesome place to pick up old keyboards that work perfectly well for cheap smile I still have a bunch of old keyboards I haven't sold because that hassle of packing and shipping a keyboard for which I would only get $100 or so isn't worth it.

Quote
Sorry to rain on your parade, but the reality of economics sucks.
In terms of hardware, the environmental consequences have to be considered as well. When the iPod first came out, the idea was that you'd just throw it away if the battery died. Apple did a course correction on that pretty fast due to the backlash, but it shows the kind of thinking that's problematic. If I review something that doesn't have a replaceable battery, that's always listed as a negative. My dirt-cheap Android phone has a user-replaceable battery and a micro-SD slot for expanding storage, my iPhone has neither. And don't get me started on that stupid lightning connector...

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033630 03/16/20 05:57 PM
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But to get back to the OP...it's not like the old NI stuff will disappear off a computer you don't want to upgrade. If you buy a new computer, then you won't be able to re-install it. However, the reality is that if you buy a new Windows machine, it's going to be Windows 10, 64 bits. And if you buy a new Mac, it's going to be Catalina, 64 bits. If the company wants to stay afloat, NI hasto develop new versions for the platforms that people have to buy currently, not update software that a dwindling number of people will be using.

Our industry is tiny, so when Apple or Microsoft sneezes, we get the flu. We are completely at their mercy. My TEAC 3340 cost around $4,000 in today's dollars, so spending $1700 or so on a new computer every 5 to 10 years (my PC Audio Labs machine dates back to Vista days, although sections of it have been updated) is the cost of doing business to me. It's like Uber drivers having to buy gas.

Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033663 03/16/20 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I don't have Massive X but I assume it's the same kind of situation...just don't uninstall Massive, and use the programs you developed for it. Yeah, it's not elegant...but it works.

Mark knows better than I, but I thought that Massive X was not supposed to be a replacement for Massive.
Also, I am thankful to him for talking me out of buying Massive X last year. cheers


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Actually, I'm with Native Instruments on this One...
Anderton #3033677 03/16/20 10:17 PM
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Best analogy I can come up with: Forget the 5 vs 3 octave difference, having a Wavestation and then buying a Wavestate. If you program ....err...never mind...that’s not going to work.

Ok, you go into a bar, order an IPA. Before you finish it someone buys you a double IPA. Are you really going to waste your time finishing th...umm...no, that’s not going to work either.

I got it. You meet this hot chick. And then she introduces you to her even hotter sister. So you....ah...ummm...errr...wow, look at the time....
Python


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