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RABid Offline OP
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I like exploring software and sounds as much as making music. Because of that I have many, many DAW packages and LOTS of vsti's. Now with so many companies eying the cloud and moving to monthly payments I can see it coming. Once one starts making money of off subscriptions they will all want to jump in. I got a free year of Roland Cloud Pro with the purchase of a MC-101. Not a bad deal and a good way to try it out. I also gave in and signed up for the Propellerhead Reason subscription. The negative is I already had dozens of Reason rack instruments so I was not coming out great on that. The positive is that I had not upgraded to Reason 11 so that was my deciding factor when I jumped in. But do I take it any further? I've already let my Waves purchases expire because I could not bring myself to pay their yearly maintenance fee. What happens if Komplete goes subscription, or Live? I can only go so far with this model. I'm not paying everyone a monthly fee. I'm thinking one more at most, maybe. But it better be worthwhile and under $10 a month.

On the positive side, Reason and Roland Cloud are a very nice match. They work well together and I feel like I am getting my money's worth with the frequent sound packs. I would consider Live if they release monthly loop and patch banks, and if I used Machine I would consider Native Instruments. But, I have Machine and don't use it. I prefer Live, Reason and my hardware such as the MC-707 and Digitakt. What I would like to see is some companies join up and bundle their cloud services. As I said, Reason and Roland Cloud work well together. I could also see a collaboration between NI and Ableton working. Machine works well with Live as does Komplete/Live. But, Reason wants $20 a month. If NI and Ableton take the same price point I am out.


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Currently, I am subscription-less. I like that.
I am considering getting a PC for surfing the interwebz and there is your virus protection subscription. I would take my Mac offline and "freeze" it.

Like you, I have lots of plugins. I haven't tried all of them and probably don't need quite a few of them. I'm happy with Waveform 11, I may go to 12 but t at a certain point adding features to software is just going out into the weeds.

I've got a friend who runs a commercial studio up here, has recorded 30-40 albums for local acts. He froze his gear at Windows 7 and the first version of Presonus Studio One. He seems to be perfectly happy with that, he knows his software and can work quickly.

It's pretty easy to create duplicate bootable drives on a Mac, I'm using one already just for recording. I should make another one. I could (and might), just run the duplicate boot drives with all recording software offline only. Then backup both to other drives. I could probably stay in the game for a long time that way. Where I'll need a new computer is when internet browsers update to the point that I am left behind. That's when a modest Windows rig could be just the thing.

I think there will always be vendors who will offer products as a one time purchase. In many cases it comes to the same thing if you are prone to staying current. Adobe's CC bundle comes to mind, much less expensive to have the subscription than to upgrade all of that software. If you are making a living using software you need to stay current or you'll start having to turn down business since you can't open their files. I used to do that but don't do it now and anybody who can provide individual .wav files has something I can work with.


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I hear ya. I think what works best is when a company lets you buy something outright, or subscribe to get extra goodies (like Reason and PreSonus). But I do think any plan that makes your purchase go away if you don't pay up is a problem. For example, if you don't re-up the Waves plan, your existing plug-ins still work. Not all subscriptions work like that.

I suspect that if the biz goes primarily to a subscription model, two things will happen.

1. If there's a backlash, companies that don't do subscriptions will use it as a marketing angle and perhaps, gain market share.
2. If subscriptions become accepted, then I think most users will say "here's what I can afford to spend each month," and divvy it up.

I don't have cable or streaming service subscriptions, I'm cool with ads on TuneIn or YouTube, etc. But if I was paying a lot of entertainment subscriptions, and had to choose between those or music programs, the music programs would win hands-down.

There's concern that there are already too many streaming video services, and we're going to see a shakeout. I think it's more likely we'll see bundles, the way you can add HBO Max and Disney+ to Hulu for less than subscribing to all three separately.

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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I am considering getting a PC for surfing the interwebz and there is your virus protection subscription.

I've been told by people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do that Windows Defender is pretty much all you need.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I am considering getting a PC for surfing the interwebz and there is your virus protection subscription.

I've been told by people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do that Windows Defender is pretty much all you need.


Our IT guy said that too, thanks for re-emphasizing.
I snagged an HP laptop, probably at or near the bottom of the line, a demo model at our local Kroger's for $180 or so. I took it home, got it online and started trying get it up and running. My cable internet is 10mbs and tests at that. My Mac downloads around 5-7 mbs, I never got the HP to go faster than 600ks, not sure what was up with it, not that familiar with Windows. I poked around for a bit, hooked the Mac back up so I could google at a reasonable speed and in the end I just returned it.

It could probably run fine if set up properly but I didn't want to get stuck with it if if wouldn't. There will be others, computers are not rare. The one I use for work is fine on the same cable internet system but our IT guy tweaked it and he knows Windows very well.

I can wait.


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ONE and that only because Roland's D-50 flies on the great strength of those proprietary Persing samples. Otherwise, it would already have been revisited a la the Jupiter-8 realm and beyond. I'm not wild over having it prod me to sign in if its gone unused for a week, but its a unique instrument and the deal is fair. Eventually sampling the high points will be a self-defense posture against the day it might become vaporware.

Of course, bastardy is often the order of the day in Bidness, so I trust none of what I hear and only 2/3 of what I can see. I much prefer to "own" my software, as much as you can do so, anyway. You can amass an ocean of killer Soundfonts alone and be near-future-proofed, so the options are numerous. I'm with KuruPrionz about freezing your system. I mostly do this with my Macs, which I learned the hard way. After a while, you reach the Venn point between what you really need and who is a safe bet for acquiring it. I do add to my stack, but I generally prefer being sure of what I have over the new & shiny. (How dare I say that on HERE! shocked )

Its still easy to manage because the subscription model is in its starter phase, but its profitability will make it attractive to more companies as things proceed. Some subscriptions will work as advertised, some will smell like roadkill. I'm going to stubbornly cling to my Old Progger's vision/game plan: My Mac is an enhanced version of my first Korg workstation, plus the moderate risk of digital STDs. eek


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Originally Posted by Anderton
...

There's concern that there are already too many streaming video services, and we're going to see a shakeout. I think it's more likely we'll see bundles, the way you can add HBO Max and Disney+ to Hulu for less than subscribing to all three separately.

There are deals to be had. One of my favorite streaming services is "The Great Courses", hundreds of lecture series by college professors and other professionals. Normally $20 a month, Amazon has it for $8. It is not a bundle, but Amazon Prime Video makes it very easy to add and drop services so I use that. After dealing with XM I am very careful about signing up for services.


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Originally Posted by RABid
There are deals to be had. One of my favorite streaming services is "The Great Courses", hundreds of lecture series by college professors and other professionals. Normally $20 a month, Amazon has it for $8. It is not a bundle, but Amazon Prime Video makes it very easy to add and drop services so I use that.

The Great Courses sounds interesting, but if you hadn't mentioned it, I almost certainly wouldn't know it existed. There is such an explosion of content in so many places there's no way to know what's good, bad, or indifferent, let alone have the time to watch the good stuff.

Speaking of Amazon Prime video, does it have the worst user interface of any streaming service ever, or the worst user interface of all time by a company that's richer than Croesus? Tough call.

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Originally Posted by David Emm
I generally prefer being sure of what I have over the new & shiny. (How dare I say that on HERE! shocked )

You're not alone, that's for sure. My mainstays are still NI, IK, Waves, and Arturia, which I've been using for decades (same with Vegas). Sure, there's U-He and Fabfilter and a bunch of other stuff, but that core collection has everything I need. I do have some other very cool stuff, like the plug-ins from iZotope and PSP Audioware, but I don't feel the need for new and shiny except when it comes to computers - new computers save me time, even with the onboarding process they require.

Ultimately when someone listens to your music, they don't care at all what you used to make it. The only exception is other musicians, who if they hear something they haven't heard before but like it, want to know how you did it.

Of all the people on YouTube who've said nice things about my new album, NOT ONE asked "hey, you using a new and shiny soft synth these days?"

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Ultimately when someone listens to your music, they don't care at all what you used to make it. The only exception is other musicians, who if they hear something they haven't heard before but like it, want to know how you did it.

THIS. The corollary is that I find myself not caring too much about what I used to make it. In the moment, I made a choice based on what I have, what I know and what it was sounding like. Fast forward 6 months or a year, and I might pick something else. It would probably rhyme, but probably wouldn't be identical.

This has made me more pragmatic. I've focused on hardware that I enjoy using, and the same with plugins. And I let the idea of having "every option" or "every fad" go. As an artist, its my job to have a point-of-view. And that means I can pick the things I like and just ignore whole swaths of things and ways of working until I decide I want to try something different.

A media composer has a career of trying to sound like other things. Some producers specialize in the sounds of an era, or need to be able to produce it. For these people, having libraries of particular things is very important. For someone coming from the artist/creator side, this is not very important if one is trying to sound "like oneself" unless an era or time is part of it. Then you get those tools, and ignore the others. But I am definitely not on the "sound like a 60s or 70s roots rock record" bandwagon. I think it makes a big difference if one is a service provider to other creatives vs. just making one's own sound...

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The only subscription I need is one that gives me more time for working on music. We have a gig this coming weekend and I've been back to trying to work on our backing tracks again where I'm still in need of many hours more time. Meanwhile work is requesting me to do overtime, our home repairs are still not complete and we're looking to sell and move this summer.
I did do an update on some of the waves plug-ins that I use. I upgraded to Reason 11 a while back but I couldn't tell you what it looks like and my backlog of original musical ideas continues to accumulate.

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In a way, subscriptions work against time management
Originally Posted by Greg Mein
The only subscription I need is one that gives me more time for working on music.

One reason I'm happy with having a subscription to Office 365 is that it has saved me time overall. I regularly use three different computers in three locations, and having stuff in the cloud avoids emailing files to myself, remembering to save to a USB and bringing it with me, and avoids confusion over whether the version I'm schlepping from one machine to another is the current one. I don't see any subscriptions to entertainment services saving me time, and subscriptions to software may or may not help - new features can save time, but it also takes time to learn them.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
In a way, subscriptions work against time management
Originally Posted by Greg Mein
The only subscription I need is one that gives me more time for working on music.
I don't see any subscriptions to entertainment services saving me time, and subscriptions to software may or may not help - new features can save time, but it also takes time to learn them.

Sometimes new features to software are nice - Waveform just added a set of pre-configured templates for recording. I haven't reviewed them yet and have a couple of my own templates already but they might be super handy and they cause zero inconvenience, they are easily accessed in the same spot as the templates I saved. If I want them I can use them, if not, no harm no foul.

Other times, I've found new "features" to either be something I will never need or just a re-configuration of what we already had - I can't tell you how much time I spent relearning locations and names for functions in Adobe Photoshop over the years. The new version is not similar to version 3 from decades ago. All I accomplished by learning these "new" features was being able to get the work done that I used to be able to do without thinking.

So yeah, a mixed bag for sure!


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Subscription services for software and sounds to play and compose music is exactly where I get off the train. They got me with cable TV. I won't get fooled again. laughcool


PD

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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